advice on tank setup


New member
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NE Pennsylvania
I have a 125 gallon tank, 72" L x 18" W x 24" H. I'm slowly buying the parts so I build what I want with the correct items the first time (okay, well hoping for minimal replacements). So far I've gotten the tank, the stand and canopy, the lighting system (2 x 4' actinic and 2 x 250W metal halides), 75 lbs of rock from Marco Rocks, another 50 lbs ordered. I'll purchase live rock to seed the rest when I get closer to setting it up. I also bought 6 x 40lb bags of CaribSea Aragonite Seaflor Super Reef sand. I'll purchase live sand to seed it when I get closer also. I don't have a drilled tank tho, so I purchased 4 Korelia 2 powerhead for circulation. I want to get a custom sump/refugium, and still need to work on the protien skimmer, etc. I am reading everything I can find and I think I need some advice to have all this info make sense.

I plan on having gobies, wrasse's, jawfish, and a mandarin someday I hope. My son would like a clownfish and anemone (actually he would like one of each from the entire Nemo movie LOL but he knows that isn't happening). I'd also like some corals in the future also ... I like the zoo's, gorgonian's, things like that.

My questions are: How deep of a sand bed should I have? How do I secure my rocks so I don't have a landslide? I was thinking of drilling the rocks and securing pvc piping to connect all the rocks and build a base for them to stand on so even if the sand shifts they don't topple. How many of my little gravel digging friends are too many? Will clowns and anemone survive with my choices? What equipment suggestions do you have for that type of set up?

I know it's a lot of questions but I appreciate any advice more experienced folks could offer. I am doing this slowly, very, very slowly so I can get it right.


Skimmer Freak
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poughquag, ny
with a 6" tank coral placement will be in effect with only 2 250w mh's snd depth 0-3", get the tank drilled before anything, { personally i dont trust overflow box's } no to the manderin, gobies can become territorial get a pair with a pistol shrimp maybe 2 sets cause of the lenght, get a good skimmer, depending on shape of rock you dont need pvc if stacked stable but you can use the pipe and drill the rock, or use tie bands


Will always be a Newbie..
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Jersey City
Ditto on the lighting.. if i were you i would get a 3 bulb set up. I do not know how yours is set up but you should add another MH light, or else you will regret it in the end....