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I have a 43 gal hex tank (25" tall, each side is 12.5" wide, top is 22" across). So far, I have live sand and rock (1/2 live, cured and 1/2 base rock). I also have a power head for circulation and a skimmer (though I understand that may not be necessary on a 43 gal- what do y'all think?)

I would like to have a reef and fish, but nothing too too complicated- I'm trying to decide now whether to stack the rocks along the back wall of the tank or to make a tower up the middle, with water flow going around it. Would one way or the other be significantly more difficult or better than the other? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

Also, I haven't set up a heater since the water is staying at 74 degrees. And, I'd love suggestions for reef lighting. I want something pretty, but not ridiculously expensive.

Thanks!
Leah
 

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Welcome to TRT. Here is the link for my 75 g hex build: http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6/75-gallon-hex-reef-build-182973.html

I chose to put my aquascaping in the middle. I went with some inexpensive reef capable led's from ebay. I plan on eventually getting some coral (likely LPS's) but haven't yet. I'm pretty new at this too but let me know if you have any specific questions.

Dave
 

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I used to have the same tank you have. I had all my rock stacked in the middle with water flowing around it in a circular pattern to keep detritus from accumulating behind the rockwork. It's hard to get good flow patterns in a hex tank that small. My 29 long gets so much better flow than my hex did. I had multiple powerheads in my hex before everything was moved to my new tank. I have an Eshopps PSK-75 on my new 29 long. It might be a bit overkill but it still skims a lot of gunk. When I had the hex, I had a Lee's counter current hanging in the back of the tank, as you can see in the pics. A protein skimmer is definitely something you want, even on a tank that small. I have a big in sump skimmer on under my 29.



There are a couple pictures of when I just had the fake corals and gracillaria. I didn't have any real corals until the tank was about six months old.

Here is a link to the tank about six months ago before everything was transferred to a 29 long with a sump setup. That was when I only had T8 lights too. The coralline really took off after the addition of a 150W MH.

The video is not the best quality as it was taken on my phone.

I would definitely put a heater in there. My tank is thriving at 78~80 degrees.
 
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