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New frag tank build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Robbiekrause33, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Robbiekrause33

    Robbiekrause33 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    So we have started a new adventure of a frag tank. This will be our grow out tank. It will house mostly zoas some SPS LPS and other softies. Here’s what we have and what we will be running. Any advice or tips on equipment and what fish would be good for this tank would be appreciated.

    Tank: 36”L x 12”W x 16”T single over flow with 1” drain and 3/4” return reduced down to 1/2 with holes drilled in 2’ of 1/2” pipe

    Lighting. 2 XR15 G4 pro with single mount

    Sump is ADHI for now. Will upgrade to a trigger 34” sapphire

    Skimmer reef octopus 110


    Reef link WiFi and battery back up

    Egg crate frag racks will be made different sizes and heights

    Lights and power heads will be in next photo

    Live stock I was thinking about adding
    2 clownfish
    1 lawnmower blenny
    1 six line wrasse
    1-2 damselfish
    1) yellow or bristletooth( will go to a 120 when big)
    15 assorted snails
    3-5 hermits
    5280 pods

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  2. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Don't do a tang in this. If this is going to act as a frag tank as its primary purpose, the only fish I would put in there would be a single 6 line for pest control.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  3. amonchak

    amonchak Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Treasurer

    I have a tang in my frag tank and like it. So to each their own. Especially if you have a grow up plan for the tang.
    Robbiekrause33 and Legonch like this.
  4. SUS

    SUS Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    What’s your reasoning here? I feel like it would be hard to keep bio load up with one small wrasse...
    amonchak likes this.
  5. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    The tang is due to tank size. A 75g is questionable for a yellow, and a 40g is a big no-no.

    As far as only doing one fish is to keep bioload low due to the small water volume and small rock volume. If he threw 30lb of rock in the sump and tank combined and ran nitrate and phosphate reduction (GFO, carbon, biopellets, DSB, large refugium), the original sticking list (minus the tang) would be doable, but I doubt he can fit that much rock and sand in and still keep it arranged like a frag tank.

    I would start with a small cleanup crew and one wrasse for pest control and then only add more fish if he can consistently keep nitrate and phosphate low.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  6. SUS

    SUS Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    He said he’d move it to 120 gallon tank when it gets too large... 6-7 fish (all but one being small) is perfectly fine in that size tank regardless of the amount of live rock. And no, he wouldn’t need to run GFO, carbon, and all the other crap you mentioned. That’s a good way to crash a tank ha
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  7. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Where are you getting this information? I have set up 55g QTs for roughly double the bioload of that stocking list (1 clown, 2 tangs, melanarus, basslet, flame) and I had to do 25% weekly WC just to keep nitrate below 30. The bioload of fish you can keep in your aquarium is directly related to a combination of: filtering capacity (ie live rock, which there is little of in a frag tank), nutrient removal (refugium, skimmer, media. He has a skimmer so that helps some), and allowable nutrients in the system (this is a frag tank, so low nutrient or ULNS is pretty much a given).

    The original stocking list, even excluding the tang, is pretty close to the max recommended bioload for a 40b set up as a softie/lps tank with 30lb of live rock. Personally, I wouldn't even consider more than 4 fish the size of a clown in a 40b set up as a mixed reef, but I am fairly conservative on bioload. One set up as a frag tank that lacks bacteria surface area and has a low nutrient target needs to have even fewer fish unless supplemental filtering is used.

    The OP can make up his own mind on how far he wants to stretch it and obviously the stock should be added slowly, but this is what I personally would do.

    1. Let the tank cycle with as much live rock as will comfortably fit in the sump and still leave some room for cheato.

    2. Add a wrasse and some test corals that are either softies or LPS and observe nutrients and growth over a month.

    3. If all looks good add the lawnmower since those are also very useful for algae mowing. Add SPS test corals and observe for another month.

    4. If all still looks good maybe consider adding 1 more fish, but the aggression from the wrasse may not bode well even if nutrient levels are fine.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  8. SUS

    SUS Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wait... so you’re saying you needed to do 25% water changes in a QT? Well no kidding! There is zero live rock in a QT (assuming you set it up properly). Did I miss something where he mentioned he wouldn’t have any live rock or something? And why is it that because it’s a frag tank it is ULNS? To be a true ULNS that means carbon dosing. Is he carbon dosing?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  9. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    That's exactly the point. Frag tanks have very little live rock typically, so either the tank needs to be stocked with display tank levels of live rock or the frag tank needs to have fewer fish than if it were a display. QT is one one extreme, display tanks on the other. Frag tanks tend to be more like QT tanks than they are like displays.

    I was pretty explicit that my 1 fish recommendation assumed he didn't use much live rock typical of most frag tanks, and he could get away with his proposed stocking list with normal levels of rock for the tank size (hence the 30lb in my response).

    I said low or ULNS not exclusively ULNS. A frag tank with a single fish or no fish and target feeding only does not need carbon dosing to reach ULNS levels. Any tank can reach ULNS levels without any carbon dosing if it is very lightly stocked compared to LR volume.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  10. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Sounds like a reasonable plan to me. I’d look at adding the fish slowly and in an order that they are not aggressive towards one another. Frag tanks usually have fewer fish than display tanks and IMHO should be for specific purposes. Like the 6 line for planarian and the tang for algae. Most frag tanks have tangs and wrasses. As long as you have a long term solution for the tang I’d have no problem. I don’t see any reason for the damsels or the clowns but also like clowns... I also see no reason to run a ULNS in your frag tank unless that’s what you are doing in your display. I’ve tried bio pellets and don’t recommend them to just anybody. They can be disastrous if not monitored closely... and in a small tank?!? Be careful bit I do not think the OP mentioned them.

    I’ll be doing a frag tank soon but plan to plumb it into my main system. “We” (my wife) have a one tank policy over here. Lol

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
  11. SUS

    SUS Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    My old tank must have defied all science and logic then... 40 Breeder, sps dominant, with yellow tang, tomini tang, pair of clowns, fire fish, watchman goby shrimp pair, and lawnmower blenny. Regular sump with some live rock, large skimmer, no carbon, no gfo, no Fuge, maybe did bi-weekly 5 gallon wc’s...

    My point is, there is more than 1 way to skin a cat.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  12. Robbiekrause33

    Robbiekrause33 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I will be adding roughly 20-50 lbs of cycles live rock to the display and once I get a larger sump I will add more in the fuge section. We got the light and mp40 installed last night. Getting a heater today the one I ordered was defective.
    Merry Christmas to everyone and thank you for all the great advice.

    Attached Files:

    SynDen, zombie and SkyShark like this.
  13. Fourthwind

    Fourthwind Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would skip the clowns. They get aggressive and start nipping your hands every time you are in there, and could also decide to host in your corals. Skip regular damsels and get a springeri damsel. known bug eater and placid. Six lines can become devils. be forewarned! If it were me, I would do something along the Kole tang route.

    Been looking for that size tank to replace the frag tank I have now. Where and price?

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