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Old 08-26-2003, 04:42 PM   #1
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Bad 30 gallon Reef Tank advice????

First off all I have always wanted a Salt Water tank with sea anemones. Two years ago I got a 45 Gallon tall, acrylic tank off of ebay with the stand for $80. I made it a tropical tank with aggressive Oscars and Kenyi This tank is perfect, and the fish are easy to care for. I said to myself, the next acrylic tank bargain that comes around, it will be salt water.

So last week I got a 30 gal. Acrylic w/stand, and heater, for $46. And off I went to Redondo Beach Petco. The fish lady had me purchase a specific gravity meter, salt, large Penguin filter, bacteria, and 2 bags of crushed coral (one fine like sand, and one larger like tiny sea shells), aqua-safe, air pump, and air stone (6 inch long). I was told that I don't need a protien skimmer, if I make regular water changes.

Before I put salt in the tank, I ventured over to a store called Fumi's in LA. The guy there sold me 10 pounds of live rock, and 8 damsels: 2 black, 2 blue, 2 yellow tail, 2 four stripe. He told me to put the rock and the fish in the tank a few hours after mixing in the salt. After doing some reading on the web, perhaps this was not the best thing to do?

I then went to Petco in Glendale to search for lighting. The fish guy "Earnest" told me that all I needed for a 30 gallon reef tank, was one single bulb fixture, and a 18 watt Zoomed Reef Sun Bulb. So I bought it. Again, after reading on the web this advice was probably not the best.

I am returning the light and fixture today, and have purchased a JBJ FORMOASA 2X65W POWER COMPACT FIXTURE ONE 10K BULB ONE ACTINIC for $75 on ebay. I should have it by this weekend. Until then I have a the 15 watt aqua ray bulb on the tank (from my fresh water tank).

So far, the fish are doing well. They are all alive and very active, and the rock is starting to grow red pigment in spots all over. I hear that is a good thing, right? The first few days I had to change about a gallon of water a day to keep the Gravity down. It has been stable at 1.022 for the past few days now. I heard, I need to wait for 3 weeks before doing anything.

Before you answer any of my questions please take into account that I am "extremely cheap," and always prefer the cheaper way out.

Questions:
What do I need to do now?
Is there anything else I need to add to the water?
Will the rock be harmed by a few more days of low light?
How long before I can add Anemones?
I want to add 4 of those "Finding Nemo" fish, two orange, and two yellow. Is that too many fish?
When can I put a starfish in?
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
What do I need to do now?
Quite frankly you should return at least 6 of those fish. 8 Damsels is to many for a 30 gal tank let alone expect to put more fish in there.

Quote:
Is there anything else I need to add to the water?
At the outset I dont see much you need to add but you probably would be best to not use the airstone and airpump. Having the airstone will increase the amount of "salt creep" you get around the tank as the air bubbles pop at the surface.

Quote:
Will the rock be harmed by a few more days of low light?
The rock will be fine. If you truly want anenomes then you need the high power light for them not the rock.

Quote:
How long before I can add Anemones?
Personally I would avocate waiting at least 6 months. During this time the tank will slowly begin to mature (after 6 months I would still not classify the tank as mature) and with the begining maturity it will become more and more stable.

Quote:
want to add 4 of those "Finding Nemo" fish, two orange, and two yellow. Is that too many fish?
Im not sure if you mean gold stripe maroon clowns when you say "two yellow" or maybe your talking about the yellow tangs. For a 30 gal tank two tangs will be a very bad idea. Tangs can get large 6+" and will fair best with a fair amount of swimming room.

One thing to remember is not to confuse being cheap with buying incorrect equipment. The goal for everyone is to not spend more than we have to.

Do you have a marine test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nirate, alkinity and PH? If not I would get one of those on your next time into a store. Sure you can have the store do water tests for free but if you have a problem and need your water tested right away having to take a sample of water to the store each time is not overly enjoyable.
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:58 PM   #3
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Just as a side note....this hobby is not for people not wanting to spend money..it cannot be successfully done cheap...if you want cheap, you might want to try a betta in a bowl.
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:43 PM   #4
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???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hara
Just as a side note....this hobby is not for people not wanting to spend money..it cannot be successfully done cheap...if you want cheap, you might want to try a betta in a bowl.
Perhaps you are of unlimited means, and god bless you for that. I asked for advice, not jokes. Keep your sly comments to yourself.
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. Is there any book or magazine that deals with daily maintainance of the tank, and gradually expanding your tanks environment?

Thanks Again;
Mwita06
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Old 08-26-2003, 08:11 PM   #6
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As far as books go, I would recommend "conscientious marine aquarist" by Fenner. Good book for starting.

I think what Hara was saying was that this is not a hobby that many corners can be cut with respect to expenses. For the well being of the inhabitants of the tank, certain things MUST be done to allow them to live happily and stress free. Unfortunately, many of these things in this hobby don't come at an inexpensive price. A successful tank does cost a fair penny and this shouldn't be a hobby started without the goal of success. Just my two cents though...
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Old 08-26-2003, 08:35 PM   #7
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Just to make one last comment on the expense aspect. One thing that is often forgot is the ongoing expese of the tank. The constant need to buy salt for water changes, the cost of food, test kits, replacment bulbs and the most important ELECTRICITY.

PC bulbs should be replaced at the least every 12 months.

As far as publications the one Ryan suggested is a good one. There are many other books that are good depending on the subject mater. There are books dealing exclusivly on Clownfish, then you have books specializing in clams, or corals or other inverts. You have the general books like the one mentioned above that cover a little of all the topics but dont really dive into much detail about any of them.

For a quick break down of the books that we have read and recommend take a look at www.aquariumadvice.com/saltbook.php

AFM "Aquarium Fish Magazine" is a monthly publication that is also good. It does not deal exclusivly with saltwater but does each month have at least one saltwater article.

TO save the most money look about doing "DIY" projects. This is where you build the item yourself and often save significantly over the retail item.

None of us are on an unlimited funds budget. Many of us are very pationate about the hobby and feel that simply cutting corners because one classifes themselves at "cheap" is doing their tank a disfavor.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:11 PM   #8
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Re: Bad 30 gallon Reef Tank advice????

Quote:
Before you answer any of my questions please take into account that I am "extremely cheap," and always prefer the cheaper way out.

Many people feel that fish tanks involve expendable creatures; however, fish, coral and sw plants are creatures that deserve the same respect, care and attention as any other living pet.

Do yourself a favor (and your fish), do not buy fish that you can not afford to properly take care of.

I wouldn't have a baby and raise it on Macaroni and Cheese and not take it to the doctor - and I wouldn't buy a fish and not spend the money on water testing equipment, proper food, proper lighting, proper water, and
proper medical treatment.

I hope you were really asking for the best deals and are not truly an "extremely cheap" individual - you can get a lot more satisfaction out of life by not being extremely cheap.

Also, it's better to get your advice/do research PRIOR to buying anything because of compatibility issues and tank requirements. Just be careful about what you put in your tank and good luck!
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwita06
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hara
Just as a side note....this hobby is not for people not wanting to spend money..it cannot be successfully done cheap...if you want cheap, you might want to try a betta in a bowl.
Perhaps you are of unlimited means, and god bless you for that. I asked for advice, not jokes. Keep your sly comments to yourself.
no, i was stating reality. I am on a very tight budget, but never do i want to be in a position that I cannot take care of my tanks properly due to lack of funds. Do yourself a favor and look into the longterm costs of keeping saltwater tanks.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:49 PM   #10
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dont CONFUSE CHEAP WITH STUPID

Unlike many of you I have the courage to admit some of my character traits. I am cheap. I admit it. But I am also very diligent. I dont mind taking my time, and searching for a bargain. Some of you have the character trait of being mean spirited, and venting your personal frustrations on somebody new to the hobby. Or perhaps your knowledge of aquariums has turned into arrogance, so know you kick sand on anybody nieve.



So far I have only spent $260 total, and my tank is up and running w/stand. Eventually I will have most, if not all, of the same equipment you have to take care of your tanks. But I guaranty you, I will pay less. Or I will find a less expensive way of achieving the same goal. I am also very good with my hands, and like to make things. When I bought my tank it was missing a top, so I purchased some sheets of acrilic, cut them to size, used a dremel tool to round the corners, and in the end I have a top that looks store bought. Cheap but effective!

At least three of the replys keep using the words CORNER CUTTING. I never said anything about cutting corners. Please dont put words in my mouth, and jump to conclusions, or offer me advice on child rearing.

I am cheap. Take the word for what it means. Perhaps some of you need a dictionary to find out the true meaning of the word.

Thanks to Fishfreek for the advice. Thats all I wanted. Kudos to you.
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