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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m currently in the process of cycling my first tank (20 gal.) and am already thoroughly addicted to the hobby of reef keeping (go figure…). I’ve been researching the hobby for quite some time and am very happy with my decision to get a tank started.

I originally had future plans for a tank setup in the range of 120 gal but have recently scaled that back to 50 gal mainly based on space/ equipment but don’t really think I’m compromising in any way.

My current “future project” includes a 50 gal. tank (36x18x17 tall)with a 30 to 40 gal sump/ fuge. This setup will be in my family room so quiet operation is key. I will be building a stand/ cabinet against a wall that will house the entire system. I will be running all of the electrical on dedicated circuits and am planning on running plumbing to allow quick and easy water changes also.

I need suggestions on the following items:

Return pump: quiet & reliable
Skimmer: ASM, Euro-reef, Octopus… Opinions?
Canister filter: Still need a filter with a ‘fuge right? Brand opinions?
Power heads: How many? Brand recommendation?

Anything else I’m missing?

I appreciate any feedback you all can provide. -Steve
 

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First of all it sounds like you are doing a good job planning this so far. Taking your time and really thinking things through will help you a lot.
As far as recommendations go, for a return pump I would recommend a mag drive brand pump. They are very reliable and IME quiet. I would say a mag 7 would be plenty for a tank that size.
As far as skimmer choices, any of the ones above would be fine on a tank that size. Just make sure you buy one that will fit in your sump and easily fit under your stand with room to get the collection cup off.
Canister filter!? No way man! Not in this hobby:) Those are nothing more than nitrate factories in reef tanks. Not necessary at all. All you need is your liverock, skimmer and fuge and you'll be good to go. Also, monthly water changes are a good idea.
As far as powerheads go it kind of depends on what you plan on keeping. If you are going the sps route, you'll need something in the range of (20-40X turnover/hr) So in a 50 gal, perhaps as much as 2,000gph of flow if you go for the high end. I think tunze nano streams would work nicely in a tank of that size. You could get one or two 6055s and a controller and be in good shape there.
If you're just doing zoo's and lps/softies you'll be good with just one nanostream and your return.
Good luck and please post pics when you start making progress.
 

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Planning is the key. Nothing is more frustrating than having to rethink an idea when something doesn't fit, etc. The type of equipment your going to need is really dependent on the type of livestock your going to keep and your budget. Also, what kind of approach do you have to reefkeeping? Keeping it simple or going high tech?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm most likely going to have Zoos, LPS and minimal fish with some inverts. I have a moderate budget but will do what it takes to keep a sucessful reef. -Steve
 
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