View Full Version : What was I thinking???? (newbie :confused::confused::confused: )

06-29-2014, 04:24 PM
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Hi guys,

Im am new to the hobby and I am stuck!!! I bought this 95gallon hexagon tank to start my very first saltwater aquarium ( my very first aquarium ever ).

So far, here are the equipment I have:

FLUVAL 406 Canister Filter for 100g tank
Corallife Super Skimmer 125g
Lifegard Quiet One Model 1200 Aquarium Pump

What to I do next? Should I buy the sand then cycle the water? Or sand and live rock then cycle the water? Is this all the equipment I need to start?

Since my tank is a tall hexagon, Im thinking a deep sand bed? Since it will be too hard to clean to reach and siphon if I opt for a shallow bed? What do you guys think?


06-29-2014, 05:48 PM
Do you have a picture of how the tank is setup plumbing wise? The canister filter you will probably want to ditch...I've never really been a fan of hexagonal tanks, but if you want to do a cool 360' view tank you can drill the middle of the tank, add an overflow into a sump. Do a google search for hexagon reef and start reading. Don't rush the setup, learn as much as you can and you'll avoid a lot of the beginner mistakes many of us made/make. Oh ya, and welcome to the addiction :crazy:

07-01-2014, 09:30 AM
cycle everything at once (not talking about fish or coral) that comes about a month later . I agree with ditching the filters just run filter socks and a good skimmer.

07-05-2014, 01:10 PM
Go to this link.


Buy this book.


Additionally, there is a second book by Moe, "Systems and Invertebrates" that goes father in-depth once you've finished the MAH.

There are other similar books. I started with this one. I, and many others on this site will answer questions you ask, but I ask that you do some homework and learn the basics. Many of your basic questions will be answered and you will have an understanding of HOW a marine environment works, rather than just how to put one together. You'll have a deeper appreciation and enjoy the hobby more.

Best wishes, and welcome to the community.


07-05-2014, 01:18 PM
95g for your first tank is pretty huge
the lighting the flow and rocks will be very expensive

i would have suggested maybe starting with a 50 to 60g cube not to small and not to huge like the 95g

07-05-2014, 03:11 PM
95 Gallons is fine. let's start from the beginning. Welcome to the hobby and the site. I'll hit up your points in a sec.

Do you, by chance, have the dimensions of your tank? That would go a long way to visualizing things that we can assist you with. Glass or Acrylic? I would honestly suggest drilling the tank for an overflow and getting an external sump. Depending on where you live in the county I can direct you to a few people that will give you help.

What are you looking to do with your tank? Fish only? Fish and Coral? SPS? That's going to help us figure out what kind of flow you need and how much you're going to have to invest in that.

I would tell you to hold off putting anything together until you have a plan for your tank. The worst thing you can do is get started working towards something and then realize that you want to do something else. Light penetration on a tall hexagonal tank might be interesting as well and we'd be more than happy to help in that regard.

So in my opinion. Sit down with yourself, your family, or whomever is going to have to deal with the tank, and figure out what you want out of it and this hobby. Come back, tell us, and we will push you in the right direction.

So just to bypass your other questions. Tell us what you want to do with your tank, and we will tell you what we think.

Your Fluval canister filter will be of more harm than good in the long run. You should ditch it and consider something else for mechanical filtration. They can trap detritus and tend to be a pain in the ass to maintain when it comes to this hobby. They work for freshwater, but some of our demands require frequent cleaning and maintenance of canister filters. If you're into doing that, then by all means.

I would say, if you already have plans. Get your sand/rocks/water all squared away and cycle it. That's pretty basic for the starting of a tank. I'd say wait at least a month while doing that.

I am strongly against deep sand beds in cases where they can't be easily broken down. A deep sand bed needs maintenance from time to time, and sometimes will need to be broken down little by little, if you're having trouble reaching the bottom of your tank, I would say just ignore sand all together and go bare bottom.

Again. I strongly advise you to consider where you want to go with this tank. Think about it. come back, and we'll tell you what we think you should do and how you can go about it.

07-05-2014, 03:35 PM
Is it drilled? 95 gallon hex is quite a tank. I assume it is acrylic I have not seen a hex that size made out of glass. If it isnt drilled I would look into a center overflow and build you rock work around it. Drilling an acrylic tank is so easy. Drill the center of the tank for your plumbing needs. Build or have made a center overflow box to hide your plumbing. I am a fan of the herbie method. That would require at least 3 holes drain, emergency overflow and return. This could be an awesome reef tank if done properly. like stated above getting light to penetrate a tank that size will be costly. I dont know your budget but cannons or halides might your only option for good lighting for a reef tank that tall. Fish only no big deal lighting will be cheap. Get rid of the fluval you dont need it and it just turns into a nitrate factory.

09-04-2014, 01:56 PM
hi guys! thanks for all the info. here's my tank right now. I dont use a sump coz I cant find any that will fit under the stand. it's been running for 1 month now. I added the fishes about two weeks ago ( 2 b&w ocellaris clowns & 5 banggai cardinals). I have 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 sand shifting star, 3 naussarius snails, 10 hermits and 7 snails.

Water parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite.

My question: I dont use a powerhead. Coz the set up is already like a washing machine. when i do my feedings w/o the filters and skimmers....as soon as i turn them back on, food from the sand whirls up right back to the middle of my tank. so i figured that is enough circulation? or do i still need to install a powerhead?

i still have tons of questions. but i am loving my new television haha. i never watch tv anymore coz all i do is stare at the tank.


09-04-2014, 02:08 PM
Just be very sure there's no dead spots visually you may see circulation and flow but let a few dead spots catch debris/ detritus build up and start a cyano or other algae issues along with pars jumping around. But so far looking good.

09-04-2014, 08:22 PM
oh...ok. i better install a powerhead than just to be on the safe side.

also, i dont do anything with my sand. it's 3 inches of the smallest grade caribsea. i dont siphon it coz my tank is too deep. it that ok? any particular clean up crew for someone who doesnt siphon?

09-04-2014, 08:34 PM
I use a long thin pipette and sift through my sand weekly not everyone does but I feel safer doing so since day 1 siphoning helps as well but I have various snails hermits and shrimp
As for powerheads aim them towards the dead spots I used to have 4 powerheads in my 36 lol few guys from here seen it I had it dialed in to not start a hurricane on ny tank. But never had issues with dead spots.
There are so many people on the forum with knowledge way beyond mine.

09-04-2014, 08:39 PM
i'll start with 1 powerhead and see how it goes. my tank is literally like a washing machine already hahaha.

i guess i have to siphon as well. i added a few more CUC today. so far, i have 8 naussarius, 15 cerithe, 10 nerite snails, 1 sand shifting star, 2
cleAner shrimp and 2 peppermint shrimps.

09-04-2014, 08:39 PM
You can also get a sand sitting goby, such as a sleeper or diamond goby instead of trying to siphon. They will turn over the sand pretty well as they try to eat the critters living in it.

09-04-2014, 08:42 PM
if i get the goby then i dont have to siphon? i'll do that then. my tank is way too deep and it is a pain to siphon it. thanks!

09-04-2014, 08:44 PM
+1 on goby..forgot I saw fish in the tank already but be aware they may bury frags on sand bed. Still cool fish to add asap they are easily startled abs tend to be known as "JUMPERS".

09-04-2014, 08:45 PM
i'll start with 1 powerhead and see how it goes. my tank is literally like a washing machine already hahaha.

i guess i have to siphon as well. i added a few more CUC today. so far, i have 8 naussarius, 15 cerithe, 10 nerite snails, 1 sand shifting star, 2
cleAner shrimp and 2 peppermint shrimps.
That's a good size crew

09-04-2014, 08:47 PM
i went to reefcleaners.org and based on the size of my tank (95hex) he suggested 80 dwarf ceriths, 19 nassarius, 25 florida ceriths, 18 hermits and 20 nerites!!!!!

isn't that a lot???? that is like $200 worth of clean up crew!

09-04-2014, 08:51 PM
Just see how those clean up with a huge crew you will have some die off just watch and see if they need more help and wait for sales on here or in lfs plus they can reproduce within the tank.

09-04-2014, 08:54 PM
got it! thanks for all the info :-)

09-04-2014, 08:57 PM
Still cool fish to add asap they are easily startled abs tend to be known as "JUMPERS".

Great point.. they are definitely jumpers, however it looks like you already have a canopy to take care of that.

09-04-2014, 09:04 PM
If you're looking for a cleanup crew consider going to GARF.ORG. Been using them successfully for years! Their grunge and grunge+ are also excellent for adding brittle stars, worms, Copepoda, amphipods and other micro organisms.