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aquatic-life 09-15-2013 01:56 PM

Reef or FO?
Good evening everyone :)
I keep freshwater aquariums since many years,but now I would like to begin with the saltwater world.I will set up a 400L.
After reading many articles,i noticed that there is 2 kinds of saltwater aquarium :
reef or FO
I love reef cause i was always fascinated by the corals.....
but the main reason why i want to start a saltwater aquarium is because I love all these perfectly drawn colorful fish..

According to my researches,reef aquarium can only hold very few fish :
i read that 2 fish for 100L.
And FO aquariums only hold fish,no corals..
i am really confused,is there no middle choice ?
I don't want to end up with a "coral" aquarium and i don't want either to have only fish in an aquarium.. that will make it very poor..
I don't know..

I will appreciate any help or any articles links that can help me.

coralbandit 09-15-2013 02:07 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
I'll assume "recifal" is reef in french,and FO is fish only?
Many keep more than a few fish in reef tanks ,but they must be reef friendly and the more fish you desire(I have many) the "more simple"(less demanding) the corals should be.There is yet another type of marine aquarium we call FOWLR;fish only with live rock.These systems allow non reef safe fish but no carals but have the benefit of live rock for filtration.
Many confuse litres and gallons so 400L is only about 100 gl.You could have several(more than 4) fish and simple corals without issue.Most who really want corals go with sump filters fed via overflow extraction and a decent protien skimmer(very important IMO).You will need almost every test kit available for marine tanks to keep corals.
ammonia,nitrite,nitrate,calcium,pH,kH,phosphate are a must.Magnesium is recommended.For the best results with corals RO/DI water is also recommended.

aquatic-life 09-15-2013 02:11 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Yeah true :) Recifal is reef and FO is fish only,sorry i am french educated more than english..
Anyway.. mmm if FO aquarium how many fish can the aquarium hold?( i know it depends on the species.. but just to get an idea..)

And in FO will it be only fish and gravel?

Thanks again! :)

coralbandit 09-15-2013 02:17 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Can't say how many fish ,but definately more than with corals.Fish do not require the water quality that corals due.You could have "live rock" and crushed coral in with fish only.With fish only you are not limited to "reef/coral" safe fish.

aquatic-life 09-15-2013 02:55 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Thanks a lot for your answers :)
I think i am going to make a reef one..
Here are some of the fish that are okay to place in a reef tank according to a site,
can someone limit me the choices?and the number of each specie? i am just trying to get the idea if the reed aquarium wil be the good choice to take..
Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus)
Wartskin Angler (Antennarius maculatus)
Spotted Mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus)
Dispar Anthias (Pseudanthias dispar)
and a couple of the famous clown fish of course :P

and the invertebrates for the bottom of the aquarium.
Too much for a 100gal. ?

Thanks a lot guys! :)

coralbandit 09-15-2013 03:08 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Can't say about angler from experience, but seems like a predator(could be wrong).
The butterfly will eliminate any featherdusters as he will enjoy eating them right up!
Seems like decent fish list,and I DO have a copperbanded butterfly in my 75gl reef,just no featherdusters anymore(all moved to safer tank!)

aquatic-life 09-15-2013 04:18 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Thanks again for all your help coralbandit!!

One more question.. To save some money I am planning to build the aquarium myself,i tried to search on google for some articles,but i didn't find..
I think it is the same thing like building freshwater aquariums,with 2 holes in the bottom of the aquarium??(do you have an idea about the diameter of these holes and the place of them?)

Thank you in advanced! :)

coralbandit 09-15-2013 05:01 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Many drill holes up neartop if they don't get "pre drilled tanks".
Aquarium Overflow 1800 GPH Overflow Box - Bulk Reef Supply
Her's the skimmer box.
BRS, bulk reef supply has diamond hole bits and bulk heads to match holes.
Go for 1-1 1/4 " drains(2 would be best) and 3/4- 1" returns(again two are best).
Enjoy the build and post a thread on how it is going!

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 04:16 AM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Hello :)
Thank you again!!
I am having some trouble visualising the thing,
Is there any post that was posted? To make the things clear?
Of course i will make a post :)
Do you advice me to buy a reef aquarium? Or it is worth it to build it myself?and it's
Not that difficult ?

coralbandit 09-16-2013 07:15 AM

Re: Recifal or FO?
I would buy the aquarium.Aqueon makes "mega flow" tanks with built in overflows.
Aqueon Pre-Drilled Aquariums | Products
If you want to drill and build then here is a link;
How to Drill and Aquarium and install an Internal Overflow - Bulk Reef Supply

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 07:58 AM

Re: Recifal or FO?
how are you today?:)
thank you for the links,but I have again one more question :goldfish:
all the aquarium that I saw in the pet stores,have 2 holes,each one in the back corner of the aquarium,i think one where the water will go to the sump and the other where the pump will pump the water back to the aquarium.
Why did you advise me to make 2 holes in each corner? or I misunderstood something?
Thanks a lot for your help

coralbandit 09-16-2013 10:20 AM

Re: Recifal or FO?
If you are going to drill your own holes I would not put them on the bottom.I would locate them near top in overflow box.Two drains is safest and with overflow box you won't flow any faster than pump returns water to tank.Two returns one on each end is to help avoid dead spots,but not necessary depending on how much flow you want.
The BRS hole drilling video shows where drain holes go and how to install the oveflow box.

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 03:14 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Hello! :) thanks a lot for your help! :)
But i just want to be sure about the place of the holes,to begin with the aquarium,like that?

Uploaded with

Thanks a lot for the link it is really helpful !!

As for the flow,i don't know :S what are the benefits and the inconvenience of it
thanks again!

coralbandit 09-16-2013 03:20 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
I would drill the 2 drain holes on back to fit in overflow box(got to have overflow box IMO).I would drill the returns near top next to corners on back.
I would not drill holes on bottom as they could leak and if they did they would not stop leaking until tank was empty!
I'll try to find a good link for you.
Like this;
AOL Search

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 03:39 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
I would really like to thank you for all your help,all your patience to help a beginner. Thanks a lot!

Here we go : i think it is correct this time :

with the 2 drain holes in the middle of the back glass of the aquarium.(sorry not in the middle in the pic)

One more question :
As for skimmers,i read that for a reef aquarium i need for a 400Liters, a skimmer for 800Liters,correct?
I tried to see some skimmer brands in my country here what i found:
aqua metic

Some are very expensive like vertex,and some are cheap like dymax,I would like to have a good skimmer from the beginning.

Thanks a lot again!! :)

coralbandit 09-16-2013 03:43 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Now you got it!Probly also expensive but the deltec are good skimmers.I'll see if I can find any of the others you listed.

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 04:05 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Yeyy!! hehe
Thank you :)

I tried to google some reviews about these brands: aqua metic,lots of negative reviews
deltec and vertex as you said are the best..but the only negative side is that they are very expensive..

aquatic-life 09-16-2013 04:15 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
One more question,if possible,
For a 400L. reef aquarium does the skimmer have to be for a 800Liters aquarium?(skimmer needed : volume X 2(this is what I read in articles)
Thanks again and again! =))

coralbandit 09-16-2013 07:07 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Double the volume of water is recommended,but a good skimmer rated higher than tank volume is better than a cheap skimmer rated much higher.Can you get E shopps where you are? they're ok.
It is best to get the best skimmer you can,nobody wants to replace expensive equipment.
The dymax and aqua medic didn't rank real good and both looked crappy to me.
What country are you in ,France? I'll search what is available in your area and give my opinion.

aquatic-life 09-17-2013 05:14 PM

Re: Recifal or FO?
Hello! :)
i hope you are doing fine today :)
Actually I am from Lebanon,tomorrow i will make a tour on all the pet stores,and get all the prices and brands and will be back here to get some feedbacks :)
Thanks a lot!! :D

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