Starting a reef tank!!


TFF Founder
Retired Moderator
Jan 17, 2002
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Ok I think I am going to get a 30 gallon (Uk) about 35-40 US ? tank.

I can't get everything i need/want now, but I was hoping you guys could give me help!

An RO unit for the tank I want (15GPD ?) costs around $200 ?
I won't have much room are these units big??

Is there anyway to get by without a skimmer in the beginning? as it is just more expense!!

In the beginning I want to just have a lot (40lb??) of live rock ( and 50lb?? livesand) and the cool critters which come with it. When I get bored/more money, I intend to expand getting a fish or two. eg percula clown or royal gramma some pepermint shrimps hermits and snails (in case i did not get enough on the rock ;) ).

Then if I want to get corals I will need a skimmer?? and obviously the corals themselves!

What exactly does a sump do?

Thankyou for the many questions and any advice to keep money down to a minimum with only strictly necesary things! I know it is an expensive hobby and will get things after time just the initial outlay I don't want to be too big!!


Great Lakes

Always do right, not popular...
May 11, 2002
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Southern Michigan
The RO unit. Got any place where you can buy the water?
Good way to start.

Skimmer. Not right away. About six to eight months down the road, if you don't overtax your ecosystem!

Couple pieces of cheap base rock, and a 45lb box of live stuff would be perfect for your tank size.

A sump is a great way to hide equipment. Plus it expands your water capacity. Marine fish need ten times the volume of water as freshwater fish. This is for their biological needs, not space requiements. I have seen systems that have a 180gal viewing tank, and a 350gal rubbermaid feed trough in another room to add water volume.

One other large difference. Once a reef tank has cycled, it loves sunlight.

Good article to read Starting a marine tank