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View Full Version : 3 Year Reef Plan - WWYD?


Ellylove
09/22/2017, 03:42 PM
My husband is in the Army. In about 6 months, we'll be PCsing to a new state. After 5 years without a saltwater tank, I'm itching to get back into the hobby (especially since we might be headed to Texas and I'll have no gardening outlet). We will only be there for 3 years or so, so I want to set up a tank keeping in mind that it will be disassembled at some point.

I have 2 40 gallon breeders on 1 stand (above and below, on an awesome metal stand) that aren't being used that I'll convert to saltwater and I'll have a 10 gallon quarantine tank. I'm planning on having the top tank be a mixed reef showpiece tank and turning the lower tank into a sump/fuge/frag tank. I'll be using 4" of Tahiti Moon BLACK sand (because it's awesome and I've always used it in all my tanks) in the main tank (4" for the jawfish, see below). Lights will be LED. The tank will have a glass top and/or other carpet-surfer proof barrier.

Here's my current stocking plan for the upper tank (I've successfully kept all of these before and miss them):
•25 snails (Mexican turbos, bumblebees, ninja stars)
•15 hermit crabs (including an electric blue)
•RBTA
•pair of ocellaris clowns
•purple firefish (maybe 2-3?)
•yellow-headed pearly jawfish
•male psychedelic mandarin
•female spot/bullseye mandarin
•6 line Wrasse
•pair or 2 (or 3! I like these guys) of skunk cleaner shrimp
•a few peppermint shrimp (take that, aptasia)
•electric flame scallop
•zoas
•ricordia
•SPS
•sand-sifting starfish
•hammer coral
•gorgonian

Maybe critters (thoughts appreciated!)
•yellow tang
•strawberry pseudochromis (are they a-holes like orchids? I had an orchid pseudo and that sucker was a murderous jerk. RIP lawnmower blenny)
•sexy shrimp
•a clam
•other Starfish (lenkia, or however you spell it...)
•clown goby (I think that's the really tiny one that perches on SPS?)

So here's where I could really use some feedback... Keeping in mind that the tank will be up for only about 3 years, what corals/fish would you add? Not add? I haven't kept LPS before (except a hammer) but my husband likes the look of them (especially chalices). Are they even worth getting if they'll only be kept 3 years? What would be your must-haves for a temporary tank? What would you not even attempt? I was originally planning to set up part of the lower tank for seahorses, but I think that's getting too complicated for a temporary set-up.

I have 5 young kids, one of whom is obsessed with all things pink, so I want the tank to be fun, and almost offensively vibrant so bonus points for fast growing, neon suggestions!

mcgyvr
09/22/2017, 04:18 PM
Its 3 years... Thats a long time IMO.. I'd do whatever I wanted and not limit myself because of the time.
A smallish tank like that isn't hard to move at all no matter whats in it..

FoxFace Fish
09/22/2017, 05:47 PM
It is 40 gallons? It weight like nothing without water and would be an easy movie I have moved a friends 125 full reef and only lost like 2 snails do not limit yourself with this kind of things and do not worry about it 3 years is like 1/6th of my life it is a long time

Ellylove
09/22/2017, 06:32 PM
Sorry, I don't think I was clear. After the 3 years, the tank won't be moving with us since we're likely to move cross country or to Hawaii.

Dmorty217
09/22/2017, 08:25 PM
Sorry, I don't think I was clear. After the 3 years, the tank won't be moving with us since we're likely to move cross country or to Hawaii.

Something that is cheap and pleasing to you. It will be a lot of trouble and a financial loss when you go to move trying to part the tank out.

Ellylove
09/22/2017, 10:50 PM
Something that is cheap and pleasing to you. It will be a lot of trouble and a financial loss when you go to move trying to part the tank out.

I parted out my first tank after about that long so I've definitely got ideas as far as hardware goes. I'm going to buy used or diy as much as possible and accept that some things will be less than my dream set up, but a 3 year tank is better than no tank at all. I'm planning on getting involved in a local reef group to make connections and find possible homes for my livestock before even getting them and check out Craigslist for people parting out their tanks in order to get "used" livestock. My main concern is how fast/slow certain corals grow. I don't want to get anything that's going to grow so slowly that it's basically going to stay a frag for the life of the tank. Thankfully I'm a zoa addict so at the very least I figure I can grow a decent zoa garden in that time.