Saltwater Setup Help

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Fishlover Extraordinaire
Dec 11, 2009
Southeastern PA
Real Name
Mr. Palmer
So it's been about 4 years since I last ran a saltwater tank and I've managed to forget about 80% of everything I knew about them. Hence, this thread. I'll do this in parts: My Plans, My Setup, and My Questions.

My Plans:
I would like to set up a 30 gallon reef tank with a few fish. It doesn't need to be fancy (in fact, I want to run this with the minimum necessary dosing & equipment. Reefkeeping on a budget, if you will). A few corals, a few fish. That said, if you really think I should do more I can.

My Setup:
Tank - 30 Gallon Tank, 24in long, 20in tall, 12in wide.
Lighting - Finnex 24/7 Marine LED, Finnex Fugeray Planted + LED system
Equipment - Jaguar Heater, Medium Powerhead. I can also run an old canister filter on the tank if I need/want more water movement. Could always fill it up with live rock for added biological filtration.
Other - I have crushed coral sand (needs to be cleaned) and about 15-20lbs of dry rock from my previous tank.
Frag Tank/QT Tank - 10 Gallon Tank, 2x 16in finnex fugeray planted + LED lighting, small powerhead

My Questions:
1) What would my lighting be rated at, and what corals would do well with it?
2) Any suggestions on stock, both corals & fish & inverts.
3) Do I need more equipment?
4) The CC Sand was used in multiple freshwater tanks and is about 4 years old - should I just get new sand, or should I clean it out?
5) Is it possible to have too much dry/live rock, so long as there is swimming space & water movement?

Thanks in Advance!
~ Fishfriend


Mar 29, 2005
My personal preference would be for using circulation pumps rather than a traditional powerhead, preferably with a wavemaker/controller.

a canister filter will work, if you remove all media and just use it as a pu,p to move water around, I wouldn't personally fill it with anything.

But use as much rock as you like..

I think you may be lacking with that light on such a tall tank... but I might be wrong, start with something cheap and see how it goes...


No freelancing!
Aug 14, 2001
Real Name
A lot of the lighting will depend on what corals you want. Lots of leathers and polyps will be ok, but for anything with much color, you will need more. I would have to check, but most of the planted lights lack actinic, and corals need it (it really isn't just about blue being cool).

i suck at advising people on what to get since I just add what I like...

I'm guessing you have a hydrometer...but you might want to look at auto topoff for FW. It's a good thing. A skimmer is not essential, but it definitely helps.

I'd get new sand, mostly because I fret about the possibility that anything with copper might have been used while it was in FW, and I'm lazy.

In terms of providing too much biofiltration, no. But in terms of filling the tank to the point where placing corals is a challenge, definitely. Rock creates shade, after all. It's one thing to boost corals closer to the light, it's another to make it so you can't do a water change without leaving corals high and dry.


Registered Member
Mar 12, 2018
I also thinking about running saltwater tank. Due to DoAHomework service I have a lot of free time to learn more about it. Am just a newbie in keeping saltwater tank so I found this site very useful for me. I enjoy reading everything written here!