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Old 03-30-2005, 08:10 PM   #1
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Hi I need some help starting a saltwater aquarium


I'm thinking about starting a saltwater aquarium. I have a 10 gallon aquarium with trickle filter, heater, and pump. What supplies would I need to start one and what would the approxamite total be?

I have researched and am thinking about crushed coral for substrate with live rock added later. Do I need a protein skimmer if I'm not adding coral?If I do, does that need to be hooked to a powerhead or do I need to put an air stone in with it? Also, I have read that you need a quarantine tank, how big does that have to be, and does it have to have the same stuff (protein skimmer, filter, another heater)?

I would like to add small seahorses very much later on, but wanted to start out simple. What type of fish should I introduce to my tank that would be hardy and cheap? Would I need to get snails, crabs, and shrimp when I get my fish?

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Old 03-30-2005, 08:36 PM   #2
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I can maybe give you a little input, but not a lot but I am sure others will respond. About the protien skimmer, it's not absolutly nessesary. I have a 29g without a skimmer and it's just fine. A QT tank is also optional but very benificial to prevent the spread of disease into an established tank. Here is a link to a post I made awhile ago and someone was describing a good QT for me
I am not sure on what kind of fish you can get for a 10 gallon but I know with my 29g I can't get many. If you can afford it you might want to look at getting a larger tank and use your 10g as a QT. Hopefully others will respond

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Old 03-30-2005, 08:37 PM   #3
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well, i do not suggest a 10 gal. for your first SW tank. but anyway, you would not NEED (however is nice to have) a skimmer for that small of a tank, and it may be hard to find one that would fit. you may need an airstone or pump, or if ther may already be one in it (specified on box of the unit) depending on the skimmer. if you don't have one you would have to make water changes a little more frequently in order to keep down the nitrates.

also i would not really put much in there besides 2 O.clowns or a small goby and a clown at most (no more than 2 fish). and if it is possible that you will make it a mini reef in the future by adding corals i would not do a CC substrate because they can get gunked up and begin to produce more nitrates over time.

a 10 gal. is do-able but requires you to keep on top of it incredibly well. i just do not suggest it for your first SW tank.
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:39 PM   #4
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The first thing to do is a bit more research. It sounds like you are on the right track. Some small recommendations would be to go with a larger tank as the larger the tank the more stable the system will be. It is recommended that a first SW tank should be 30 gal or more(some do start with 10 and are succesful). The 2nd suggestion would be to use sand instead of CC. The CC works if you like that look but requires frequent vaccuuming to keep the detritus from building up(detritus leads to nitrates). You can buy tropical playsand from a local home improvement store for a good price. The filter can have the same problems as the CC with detritus buildup unless cleaned often. Most do without a mechanical filter by boosting the biological filter. The protien skimmer will use a water pump or airstone depending on type/brand.

Tank, stand, sand, LR(1.5-2lbs per gal), protien skimmer, heater, powerheads, salt, test kits, thermometer, hydrometer and that is all that is needed

The QT tank should be capable of housing all your fish if a problem arises. It consists of the tank, heater, filter and some pvc elbows or plastic decorations.
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28gal bowfront
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:38 PM   #5
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I agree 10 gallons is to small. Your looking at only 3 inches of fish (mature size, not the size when you buy them). Guideline is 1 inch per 3 gallons. That most probably 1 fish. The 10 gal would make a great QT tank.
The first thing I would purchase is a good book on salt tanks. I liked The New Marine Aquarium by Paletta.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:47 AM   #6
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All great advice. I have to agree with tank size. It is beneficial to start off with a larger tank. the more water volume you have the less flucuation you will see with water paramters. Larger tanks are more stable and easier to take care of. that being said, a 10gal can work as long as you understand the work you will be facing. they just requie more attention to parameters, frequent water changes and the abilit to recognize problems in the begining before they become too large.
The next thing you should purchase is a good book on SW aquariums. I like "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. happy reading and ...
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