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A jump back into saltwater with Oceanic 30 Gallon


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After a visit to the Dallas Aquarium this summer, my kids quickly attached themselves to setting up a saltwater tank. We had a planted tank for a couple years but after a canister filter mishap, it was taken down and has sat in the garage for almost a year.

As a result, I have pulled it out of the garage and back into the house. I was able to convince my wife to set this up as a saltwater tank for the kids. What a great excuse!

It takes great effort to hide my excitement and limit myself from going overboard. The goal here is to create a great and sustaining tank to house a couple small fish, inverts and mixture of non-SPS corals using majority of the existing equipment (Oceanic 30 Tank, AquaticLife 2x18 T5 Fixture, Penguin HOB Filter, Buckeye Supply RO Filter). The goal is to go with a focus on zoos / ricordea.

Here are the current equipment plans for this tank:

Oceanic 30 Gallon Tank (non-drilled) – I want to stay away from overflow (tank has tempered bottom)

Aquatic Life 2x18 T5HO Light – ordered a 10k and actinic bulb to replace the freshwater 6.5k bulbs

(TO BUY) Tunze 9004 Skimmer – self-contained skimmer that would go in the back corner (will ditch the Penguin HOB Filter)

(TO BUY) Tunze 6015 Nano Stream – for water movement

Live Rock / Sand (not planning a thick sand bed, just a thin bed for aesthetic purposes…I was even considering going w/o to maximize water parameters.

A couple questions as it has been awhile since I’ve been in the saltwater realm:

1) Anyone currently use the Tunze 9004 skimmer? I have seen in one video an osmolator line on the back of the unit…does it have a space to mount the float valve to integrate the osmolator?

2) Is the AquaticLife 2x18 T5HO good for a tank that is 18.5 inches deep to house zoos/ricordea?

3) Is an add-on DI required with the RO for this tank? The current TDS readings are between 7-10 ppm.

4) Where are the local, preferred, cost friendly places for buying substrate?

5) Is the Vortech MP10 that is controllable really worth it for this size tank?

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I have seriously been considering putting an rw-4 on my ten gallon you just have to realize that they are pretty much a consumable because you lose some of the reliability of the product with the price tag.

So I have known people who ran penguin filters on saltwater tanks and salt creep is going to be a big problem, I would even consider just removing the bio wheel before you start.

If I remember correctly tunze makes a couple small controllable power heads that are not as expensive as the vortech but will be more reliable than the jebao.

Edited by LarryD
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I was not aware of the Jebao RW-4 but did dig around. I found a lot of troubled reviews with the pumps from bugs in program to not turning on sometimes. Most of those were early though in the initial offering so hopefully they have addressed all the issues. It looks like only one RW-4 would be fine for this size tank. I'll dig in further but a good price to get something controllable.

Edited by rosslonghorns
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Larry's pretty spot on. I would add that the wp series seems to have a much more stream lined/direct flow.

I've been running with jebaos for 2 years now, not a single problem until yesterday. I excitedly tested a new rw-8, to compare flow with a wp-25. The flow strength button on the controller is completely non-functional! Right out of the box.

Luckily, they're compatible with the wp controller, but come on man. It even has a dated QC pass sticker on it... I'll probably be sticking with wp's for a little longer.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Bluemoon
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Ok I placed order today for the Tunze 6040 pump. We will see how it works out. I also ordered substrate, salt, mixing pump and add on DI for my existing RO.

I've narrowed down my rock choice to Pukani however BRS is currently sold out. Any idea where to get dry Pukani locally?

It is slowly coming along.

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OK, slowly moving along. I got the aquarium into the house and in its final resting spot. Also picked up a bucket of salt the other day.

I have two orders on the way that should be here next week:

Dry Sand

DI add-on for my existing RO

Tunze 6040

Maxi Jet for salt water mixing

Replacement bulbs for the light hood

Unfortunately BRS is sold out of the Pukani rock - will have to wait it out or keep looking elsewhere. Any place locally to get it?

I'm going to keep searching but also on my list is: skimmer (potentially narrowed down to Tunze 9004) and ATO (can't decide between the regular Tunze or nano version). These items aren't required out of the chute but on the list as future purchases to aid in convenience.


Edited by rosslonghorns
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OK, first shipment in today.

I received the Tunze 6040, DI add-on, sand, new 10k/actinic bulbs for fixture and other misc items like hydrometer & maxijet for water change mixing.

I also ordered 30 lbs of Pukani dry rock that should be arriving tomorrow and then follow-on Tunze Reefpack 250 next week.

I will clean and start curing the rock this weekend. It is coming together.



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Sorry I did not see your question on the RW-4 until now. I see you already made a purchase. I'm sure the tunze was a good choice :)

But, dimensions should be available online, and I cannot run the rw-4 at full blast in my tank, I run it at about 50%

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The tunze is certainly the one I would pick for a small tank if I had a couple extra bucks the only thing I don't really like is at least in the brs videos it does not appear to have any guards to stop a snail or fish from getting into the impeller. Can you confirm whether or not that is the case?

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Well I wasn't planning on opening it / getting it wet for probably another 3-4 weeks as I will use separate container to cure the rock before setting up the display tank, but to answer your question I went ahead and ripped open the box.

First impressions: It was very well boxed with everything individually wrapped. It has four major components: the pump, magnet holder, power supply and the controller. The pump output has a semi circle cover to divert water flow into the tank from the pump. It doesn't have any screen over the output, just the flow direction adjuster that covers the top portion but not the side.

As for the magnet, it feels sturdy. The vibration feet that connect the pump to the magnet holder are new. I didn't have this on my older Tunze 6100s. This should help to limit the decibels / buzz as the pump cycles to the max speeds.

During my browsing of reviews online prior to purchasing I didn't see any concerns or complaints of fish / snails getting into the prop but time will tell.

I snapped a couple pictures to give you a view. It will be 3-4 weeks before I get it underwater and can give perspective of flow and control.







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Nice looking build you got going on, can't wait to see it come together. I'm sure you will be happy with the Tunze. Are the magnets still SUPER strong? I nearly lost a finger nail to my nanostream's magnets accidentally getting too close to one another during cleaning.

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Nice looking build you got going on, can't wait to see it come together. I'm sure you will be happy with the Tunze. Are the magnets still SUPER strong? I nearly lost a finger nail to my nanostream's magnets accidentally getting too close to one another during cleaning.

The magnets do the job!

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A large box was on the door step today. The Pukani dry rock is in. The smaller pieces (<20 inches) were sold out so I ended up having to get the 20 inch or larger pieces. I purchased 30 lbs which was the minimum thinking it would be just a bit more than I need for the 30 gallon and allow some carving of the rock to be just right. WOW was I wrong...first off the packaging was in visually rough shape but the packing inside reflected no damage. The rock came as a SINGLE PIECE and after weighing it, it came in at 36 lbs (~20% more than ordered). Barely any rubble at the bottom of the box. Overall I was impressed in the condition of the rock given the visual of the outside box.

From previous threads and reviews, I was expecting some residual smell but it was minimal.

As is, it will definitely not fit in the aquarium so will need to shape it tomorrow. I also plan to have a cave through the entire middle. I like the idea of having a single piece and hoping to get a reef edge look. We will see how the hammer / chisel falls!

The plan is to get it into the final shape, hit it with a power wash and then get it into bin for curing.





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Yes, spent a couple hours with chisel and hammer. I started by cutting the side dimensions of the tank out of plywood. I used this as a base to shape the rock to make sure it fits inside the aquarium.

I started with a 36 lb rock and after the shaping, it now weighs 20 lbs. The usual 1 lb of rock per gallon of tank water doesn't work with Pukani given its density.

Overall I'm happy with it. Will hit it with pressure washer and then get it into the curing bin later today.

I did have a lot of left over pieces that I will post in the for sale section in a couple days if anyone is interested. They're good size for nano tank.






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