Reef nutrition

New to BAR and reefing! Critique my 40 breeder stocking list and equipment please.

rdriggett

Supporting Member
Hi all, I just became a supporting member after finding out about this club.

How does my list look? Should I add/subtract anything? What specific types of blenny, goby, urchin and crab should I get?

I feel like I'm missing essential reefing equipment but I dont know what.

I plan to do a fish in cycle with Turbo Start and Prime with the clowns. I have a few years and several planted freshwater tanks of experience and I've watched most of BRS's videos but this will be my first saltwater tank.

Current list:
FishQuantity
Frozen Frostbite Clownfish2
Blenny (undecided on what type)1
Goby (undecided on what type)1
Longnose Hawkfish1
Skunk Shrimp1
Pistol Shrimp for goby?1
Urchin (undecided on what type)1
Banded Trochus SnailsHow many?
Crab (undecided on what type)How many?
What else??


CategoryEquipment
TankAqeuon 40G Breeder
FilterFiji Cube DIY AIO kit
Return pumpJebao DCP-2500
Filter MediaGreatwave Eng Biohome Ultimate, filter floss, carbon
LightNooPsyche K7 V3 celling mounted
WavemakerJebao MLW-30
RockLFS Dry rock
SandCarib Sea Fiji Pink
HeaterAqueon Pro 200W

Test equipment: Amazon refractometer, RedSea Marine Care, and RedSea Foundation Pro
Dosing: All for Reef Powder
I'll use Neptune's water and a Tropic Marin Pro Reef until I want to commit to a BRS 7 stage and booster pump.

Thanks in advanced!
 
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phc567

Supporting Member
Welcome.
Just looked over your list quick like. No skimmer, ato ? What corals do you plan to keep ? No controller ? If no controller, I would run 2 small heaters instead of one large heater on a ink bird or rancho controller. Also if your going into sps. I would buy live rock instead of dead rock. That will put you two years ahead of the game.
 

rdriggett

Supporting Member
Welcome.
Just looked over your list quick like. No skimmer, ato ? What corals do you plan to keep ? No controller ? If no controller, I would run 2 small heaters instead of one large heater on a ink bird or rancho controller. Also if your going into sps. I would buy live rock instead of dead rock. That will put you two years ahead of the game.
I was going to run a fuge with chaeto in my middle AIO chamber instead of a skimmer. I’m happy to use a skimmer instead. Do you know any DC skimmers that fit in a 4.4“ x 6.7” x 15.5” chamber?

An apex is out of budget for this so I was just going to run dual heaters controlled by an inkbird.

BRS scared me off live rock bc of the pests. Is there a BAR source for LR?

I’d like to do a mixed reef with some euphyllia to start with and lots of sticks once my tank is ready.
 

JVU

President
BOD
Welcome!

I definitely recommend a skimmer over a fuge. I don’t have experience to tell you which will fit in your space. It is important for gas exchange as well as removing stuff. You especially will need the gas exchange if you are going to use All For Reef since it can lower O2 levels and pH as your tank consumption increases. I like fuges too but are less important if you are space-constrained. Turf scrubbers are an option later if you need it for nutrient control.

Dual heaters controlled by InkBird(s) is fine. You mentioned 200w heater in your write up, but that is way too powerful if you are going to have 2 of them in a 40g. You want each heater to barely be able to heat your tank so that a fail-on doesn’t kill everything before you realize it and also to keep it from rapidly cycling on/off all day which causes them to fail. For example I have 2 300w heaters in a 200g system. Heater redundant control is a bigger topic but in general you want 2 independent heaters, each with their own dual control for fail on and fail off protection, so for example each with their own on-board thermostat and each with their own InkBird with high and low alarms activated. You set one of the controls at the target temp and the other a degree or 2 higher. I also offset the heater target temps by half a degree so one is running most of the time and the other turns on only when needed.

There isn’t one right answer about live rock vs dry rock and how to do the cycle. There are lots of strong opinions, which tells you there are lots of ways to be successful. I think your plan in this regard is good and basically what I would do. I like Dr. Tim’s One and Only with fish in cycle (very low bioload to start). You’ll want to be testing for ammonia and nitrite to make sure you aren’t going too fast.

I don’t have experience with most of the hardware you list, but for the bargain-priced brands make sure you research them well for people’s experience, and probably have a spare on hand for critical things like the return pump.

I don’t have much commentary on your stocking list. Longnose hawkfish sometimes each small shrimp or even small fish, at least by reputation. But lots of people in the club keep them successfully so they can chime in. Banded trochus snails are the best, but you should get a couple other types of snails as well. You need to start slow with your stocking including your clean up crew to give the tank time to mature so you don’t either overwhelm your nitrogen processing capacity or starve the clean up crew.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
Regarding stocking:
Normal Ocellaris Clownfish are a lot healthier and less aggressive than the more exotic types and mutants.
The only crab would be an emerald crab. Anything else is very high risk.
I would wait on a pistol shrimp. You need the right environment.
Hawkfish should be fine. I have one. They are small, and leave the larger ornamental shrimp alone.
Urchins can cause damage and bulldoze things around. Not really needed. Stick with snails for now.
Bangaii cardials, pajama cardinals, royal gramma, are good beginner fish.
Avoid damsels
 

rdriggett

Supporting Member
Here's my updated stocking list based on R2R and BAR feedback. I plan to add the fish in stages for the bio filter and the aggressive ones last.
Frozen Frostbite Clownfish 2
Six line wrasse1
Bi Color Blenny 1
Yellow Watchman Goby1
Long nose Hawkfish1
Royal Gramma1
Skunk Shrimp1
Bullseye Snapping Shrimp1
Banded Trochus Snails6
Conch (what kind)2
Emerald Crab1
Welcome!

I definitely recommend a skimmer over a fuge. I don’t have experience to tell you which will fit in your space. It is important for gas exchange as well as removing stuff. You especially will need the gas exchange if you are going to use All For Reef since it can lower O2 levels and pH as your tank consumption increases. I like fuges too but are less important if you are space-constrained. Turf scrubbers are an option later if you need it for nutrient control.

Dual heaters controlled by InkBird(s) is fine. You mentioned 200w heater in your write up, but that is way too powerful if you are going to have 2 of them in a 40g. You want each heater to barely be able to heat your tank so that a fail-on doesn’t kill everything before you realize it and also to keep it from rapidly cycling on/off all day which causes them to fail. For example I have 2 300w heaters in a 200g system. Heater redundant control is a bigger topic but in general you want 2 independent heaters, each with their own dual control for fail on and fail off protection, so for example each with their own on-board thermostat and each with their own InkBird with high and low alarms activated. You set one of the controls at the target temp and the other a degree or 2 higher. I also offset the heater target temps by half a degree so one is running most of the time and the other turns on only when needed.

There isn’t one right answer about live rock vs dry rock and how to do the cycle. There are lots of strong opinions, which tells you there are lots of ways to be successful. I think your plan in this regard is good and basically what I would do. I like Dr. Tim’s One and Only with fish in cycle (very low bioload to start). You’ll want to be testing for ammonia and nitrite to make sure you aren’t going too fast.

I don’t have experience with most of the hardware you list, but for the bargain-priced brands make sure you research them well for people’s experience, and probably have a spare on hand for critical things like the return pump.

I don’t have much commentary on your stocking list. Longnose hawkfish sometimes each small shrimp or even small fish, at least by reputation. But lots of people in the club keep them successfully so they can chime in. Banded trochus snails are the best, but you should get a couple other types of snails as well. You need to start slow with your stocking including your clean up crew to give the tank time to mature so you don’t either overwhelm your nitrogen processing capacity or starve the clean up crew.
Thank you for the verbose feedback!! My bedroom sometimes dips to 60F in the summer as I have a tower fan next to a large window to enjoy 24/7 fresh air when possible, hence the 200w heater. I'll make sure to have redundancy.
I already purchased all my hardware as I've had good experiences with Aqueon pro heaters and Jebao pumps. I'll stock a spare return pump as they're only $55.

If BAR prefers Dr. Tims over Turbo start then I can switch. I have cycled freshwater tanks using test kits and Turbo Start so I am familiar with the process. I will slowly introduce my stocking and clean up crew.
Regarding stocking:
Normal Ocellaris Clownfish are a lot healthier and less aggressive than the more exotic types and mutants.
The only crab would be an emerald crab. Anything else is very high risk.
I would wait on a pistol shrimp. You need the right environment.
Hawkfish should be fine. I have one. They are small, and leave the larger ornamental shrimp alone.
Urchins can cause damage and bulldoze things around. Not really needed. Stick with snails for now.
Bangaii cardials, pajama cardinals, royal gramma, are good beginner fish.
Avoid damsels
I've unfortunately had my heart set on Frostbite clowns since I found out about them several years ago. I'll skip the urchin and wait on the pistol shrimp/goby pair. I modified by stocking list with a royal gramma.
 

phc567

Supporting Member
I don’t know your commitment level or skill set. But let’s say you’re a beginner. Anything 2019 or newer jebao. Is perfectly fine. China tech has come along way.
If you want to see some reviews or test. I check out telegram on YouTube.
 

rdriggett

Supporting Member
I don’t know your commitment level or skill set. But let’s say you’re a beginner. Anything 2019 or newer jebao. Is perfectly fine. China tech has come along way.
If you want to see some reviews or test. I check out telegram on YouTube.
I'm new to reefing but I've been keeping various freshwater fish since 2018. I have watched a TON of BRStv and read R2R but that's about it. I've been happy with SunSun and Jebao stuff in the past.
 

JVU

President
BOD
I would not say BAR prefers Dr. Tims over another brand. We all have different experience and preferences- We don’t 100% agree on anything where there are multiple options lol. Just saying that I’ve used it many times and always had success. Plus Dr. Tim Hovanec is a real scientist and is the one who pioneered the practice of jump starting the nitrogen cycle for reefkeeping with dormant bacteria.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
I've unfortunately had my heart set on Frostbite clowns since I found out about them several years ago.
Should be ok. That was meant more as a "think about it" instead of "avoid"
The Frostbites are derived from normal Ocellaris, which is good, where "Gold Dot" and others derive from Maroon, with a nasty temper.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
For equipment, I have used Jebao returns as well.
You need to set your expectations: They are cheap, decently made, but essentially disposable, with zero support and zero warranty.

If you get a skimmer, be careful of going cheap.
Cheap skimmers simply do not work very well, and tend to be pretty noisy.

Interesting NooPsyche lights. Never heard of them.
Seems like a lot of normal Blue LEDs. Be wary of windex look.
 

rdriggett

Supporting Member
For equipment, I have used Jebao returns as well.
You need to set your expectations: They are cheap, decently made, but essentially disposable, with zero support and zero warranty.

If you get a skimmer, be careful of going cheap.
Cheap skimmers simply do not work very well, and tend to be pretty noisy.

Interesting NooPsyche lights. Never heard of them.
Seems like a lot of normal Blue LEDs. Be wary of windex look.
I’m not dead set on the NooPsyche light, it just seemed interesting for 36% off. My other option is a ViparSpectra 100w. I couldn’t find any good used lights for $200.
I’m scared of the windex look.
 
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rygh

Treasurer
BOD
I’m not dead set on the NooPsyche light, it just seemed interesting for 36% off. My other option is a VipatSpectra 100w. I couldn’t find any good used lights for $200.
I’m scared of the windex look.
Personal thoughts on lights: (others will disagree)
The UV LEDs are a gimmick. They tend to burn out rather quickly, and make a trivial amount of difference.
Full spectrum (meaning more than cool white + royal blue) can make a huge visual difference.
There are really two types of lights: The "deep blue" color, like Kessil, that really make coral pop, and the more neutral/white colors, like AI, that are for fish and everything else.
You need to really think about what you want.
While most lights are technically adjustable, it does not look quite right if you push it too far.
(That deep blue is different from the wonky windex look that some lights have)
 

sfsuphysics

Frag Swap Coordinator
BOD
I wouldn't put a six line wrasse in there, they can potentially be aggressive, they're absolutely great at pest control for corals but not to the point that they'd be perfect for a reef tank as such I would probably only put one in a frag tank for that reason. I'd also not go in the direction of crabs, just no good reason to have them in a reef tank unless you absolutely must see crabs, also with the pistol shrimp the goby doesn't NEED one at all.

As for the equipment side of things, I'd look into then Tunze Comline skimmers or filters, they do a decent enough job of hiding all the stuff you don't want to see (including a place for the heater), and best of all you don't give up a wall of space, and can arrange them however you see fit, but that's just me. As others have said I would look into a protein skimmer regardless of what you go with. I'd look into getting some sort of ATO as well, not having to think about evaporation is a nice thing to have. Not familiar with the light at all, sounds like one of those off brands that primarily sells on Amazon?
 

phc567

Supporting Member
I like tunze skimmers if you can fit it. For small aquariums. Yes I agree. Don’t cheap out on the skimmer
Lots of great information
 
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rdriggett

Supporting Member
I wouldn't put a six line wrasse in there, they can potentially be aggressive, they're absolutely great at pest control for corals but not to the point that they'd be perfect for a reef tank as such I would probably only put one in a frag tank for that reason. I'd also not go in the direction of crabs, just no good reason to have them in a reef tank unless you absolutely must see crabs, also with the pistol shrimp the goby doesn't NEED one at all.

As for the equipment side of things, I'd look into then Tunze Comline skimmers or filters, they do a decent enough job of hiding all the stuff you don't want to see (including a place for the heater), and best of all you don't give up a wall of space, and can arrange them however you see fit, but that's just me. As others have said I would look into a protein skimmer regardless of what you go with. I'd look into getting some sort of ATO as well, not having to think about evaporation is a nice thing to have. Not familiar with the light at all, sounds like one of those off brands that primarily sells on Amazon?
Would a pink streak be wrasse be ok instead? I’m ok with skipping the crab. I just heard they were decent CUC members. I'll look into a Tunze AIO style skimmer! I plan to add an ATO as soon as I get annoyed with manual refilling.
The light is from a R2R sponsor that some people seem to really like. I installed a ViparSpectra over a friends 29G and I'm not thrilled with the spectrum.
 

svreef

Webmaster
BOD
I agree with the six line - they are usually trouble when you want to add more fish. A yellow coris will do good work eating pests and won’t be aggressive.
 
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