Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-08-2007, 10:41 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
[noob] I want a salty tank [/noob]

For the record, I have never owned a tank, PERIOD.

I have a 3 year old daughter. She loves animals as any 3 year old does. I decided to get her a 10gal freshwater tank this past weekend. She loves and so do I. Now I have an itch to delve in salt water tanks. I have a client I do consulting for who owns a tank with a puffer, clown, and eel and it just amazes me that you can own these creatures who live miles away in nature. Regardless, I have yet to have found a good resource for beginners like me. I don't want to go broke if I can't maintain these fish, so my budget is around $150 to start. I would like to keep it small, such as a 10/20Gal. I bought my daughter's tank from Wally and noticed the tank is "said" compatible with salt water. Can you folks give me some guidance? Be gentle...I don't want the uberaquarium just yet...I just would like to have a saltwater tank with fish in it that my daughter can enjoy without having to go to the coast for it.
__________________

__________________
jonjoyner83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 10:53 PM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,544
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Welcome to AA.

First off, you may or may not get everything you need with $150, although it won't be too far from that. As for the tank, I'd go for a 20 gallon if possible. Bigger, the better. But, aside from that a smaller tank needs daily attention in the form of topping off the evaporation (with freshwater) and water changes preferably weekly or biweekly. The tank must also "cycle" first before you can add fish. Take a gander through the articles on this site, which you can find a link to at the top of the page.

I'd browse through www.liveaquaria.com and check out their nanofish section. With fish only, you don't need upgraded lighting. Other things you will need:

A heater
Salt
Refractometer/Hydrometer
Powerhead or two
Liverock (the more the better)

Hmm, I'm drawing a blank and that's all I can think of for now.
__________________

__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 11:09 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Sorry for the noobness...can you explain the uses of those things you listed? Is Petsmart or Petco a decent place to start shopping?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishturtles
Welcome to AA.

First off, you may or may not get everything you need with $150, although it won't be too far from that. As for the tank, I'd go for a 20 gallon if possible. Bigger, the better. But, aside from that a smaller tank needs daily attention in the form of topping off the evaporation (with freshwater) and water changes preferably weekly or biweekly. The tank must also "cycle" first before you can add fish. Take a gander through the articles on this site, which you can find a link to at the top of the page.

I'd browse through www.liveaquaria.com and check out their nanofish section. With fish only, you don't need upgraded lighting. Other things you will need:

A heater
Salt
Refractometer/Hydrometer
Powerhead or two
Liverock (the more the better)

Hmm, I'm drawing a blank and that's all I can think of for now.
__________________
jonjoyner83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 11:18 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
loyalrogue's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Posts: 232
I don't think you'll be able to start a 10 gal saltwater tank within your budget.
You won't be able to afford the lights needed for most corals but you could have a nice little FOWLR tank if you could just about double your budget.
(just hold your mouse over any underlined acronyms like FOWLR to see what they stand for)

Here's a list off the top of my head for a basic/minimal 10 gal setup (I may have forgotten one or two things which I'm sure a more experienced reefer will chime in with):

A 10 gal tank with hood - $20.
Stand - $50
20lbs sand - $20 - (for filtration)
15lbs live rock rubble - $60 - (also for filtration)
Saltwater - $5
Aquaclear filter - $30 - (for water movement instead of powerheads and also additional filtration)
Heater - $15 - (incase you live somewhere the temp is below 74)
Thermometer - $4 - (gotta know the temp to adjust the heater)
Macro algae - $10 - (removes excess nutrients and reduces bad algae growth)
SW test kit - $25 - (must test regularly)

Example/suggested livestock (after initial 2-3 week cycling):

Snails and crabs - $15 - (clean up crew for algae and rotting food)
Cleaner shrimp - $15 - (too cool, colorful, and friendly. every tank should have one)
Tank raised clown - $15 - (very hardy, active, and friendly. good starter fish)
Small goby - $16 - (good docile addition to any tank. helps sift sand keeping it white looking)
Food - $5

You will also need to buy RO/DI fresh water for ongoing top-offs from evaporation and 1-2 gal of saltwater weekly for PWC.

As you can see, it all adds up pretty quickly, and I'm sure there's a few other expenses I forgot.
Of course, if you're willing to make due without a stand and one of the critters you could shave a little of the total.

If you're really lucky, you might be able to find a great bargain on an already established SW tank from the classifieds in your local area.
I was able to find a 125gal SW tank with everything included for $300 just by being patient and checking the classifieds twice a week for a couple of months... of course, in the 6 mos. since then I've easily managed to dump an additional $3000 into it.


Good luck.


**EDIT**
I see Devilish beat me to it... I'm too slow a typer...
Oh well, gives me a chance to add the reasons you asked for... unless she beats me to that too...
I also have to agree with her that a 20gal would be a better starting choice, but that means a little more $$$ for LS and LR.
__________________
loyalrogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 01:02 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,544
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Lol, aww loyalrouge. You beat me to the second part.

I double post all the time, usually with Melosu or Roka, it happens.
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 07:26 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 901
FWIW, craigslist.com ALWAYS has people selling fish tanks. Look there. You can save money by telling people at work/clubs/church etc, that you are starting a fish tank and if anyone has one in the garage or attic, you will be happy to take it off their hands. Offer a small amount of money, but most of the time, people are glad just to get rid of them. And often, they will pass off equipment as well.

for smaller tanks, you can probably get away without a stand if you have a sturdy table with a top large enough that the entire tanks bottom is within the outside of the table top.

Many grocery stores sell RO/DI water in machines. And most aquarium stores (not petco or petsmart, but local fish stores) also sell RO/DI water for about $.25 per gallon. Some also sell pre-mixed saltwater for around $1.00 per gallon

RO/DI water is important. It is pure water, without any nasty stuff in it you can get from the tap. It is highly filtered...moreso than the brita water you can get with a filter pitcher. This is really important. Even the tiniest amount of copper (from pipes), nitrates, ammonia, chlorine, chlorimine (added by the water company to help kill bacteria in the water), bacteria, silicates, or phosphates will hurt your saltwater tank. Saltwater tanks are far more fragile and less forgiving than freshwater. So this is really important. Invertibrates like snails, shrimp, corals, anemones, etc. are extremely sensitive to things like this, and algae will grow like wildfire if you have silicates, phosphates or nitrates.

If you avoid corals, you can get away with MUCH cheaper lighting. But if you want corals or anmeones, you are going to be spending some bucks. Consider going Fish only with live rock (FOWLR) if you can't afford more intense, quality lighting

Try not to skimp on the equipment you put into your tank. Getting a freebee tank is good, but a freebee heater/filter/etc might not be so good. Filters can be cleaned and restored, but i suggest you find someone to help you if you haven't done it before.

There are more things, just too tired to think of them right now.
__________________
Watch our thread! A MyCatsDrool and Travis Simonson Joint Production....55 Tanganyikan Tank. It is hidden in the photography showcase. It is really my tank, but Trav is helping and we live next door from each other...so....

CCTV Has shut its doors. Off the air.
5.5 gal ADA rimless cube, fully planted, killifish breeder. coming soon to a forum near you.
It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
MyCatsDrool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
WELCOME TO AA!!!

Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.

There is a bunch of great advice there. You can start with the basics. I would go with at least a 20G tank. Get some salt, ph, heater. Once you have these, you can start your cycle (fishless, I hope) and save up your money for other things, like decent lighting, maybe an HOB filter, refractometer. I like to buy my equipment online. I have found it tends to be a lot cheaper than at my LFS. I like to get most of my stuff from drsfosterandsmith.com.
As for saving money on LR, you could buy base (dead rock, that will become live). I bought mine from marcorocks.com, you can mix this with some LR and it save you on costs.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 05:28 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
I spec'd the nano fishes...They seem to be a good bet. I think I will be sticking with this hobby, but I don't want to jump right into 70Ga tanks just yet.

What is the advantage to having coral? Looks nice? Any advantage to the fish other than shelter?

How do protein skimmers work? What makes LR live? Are there certain fish I should not mix? What is the deal with having to "mate" clowns together at the same time?

I am expecting Obi Wan to come around the corner and say, "These are not the fish you are looking for..." and that would be a sign to avoid this idea entirely.
__________________
jonjoyner83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 05:43 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What is the advantage to having coral? Looks nice? Any advantage to the fish other than shelter?
Corals are living animals. Some do offer fish and other's shelter/protection. Ever touch a fire coral?
Are you asking about the dead branching coral, or are you talking about crushed coral?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
How do protein skimmers work?
I don't have one, but I believe they skim out the funk in the water, like fish waste.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What makes LR live?
LR to us, generally means it is teeming with nitrifying bacteria, that converts ammonia to nitrItes and into nitrAtes. The living critters are just a bonus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
Are there certain fish I should not mix?
Yes, but the list is so long we could go on for a lonnnnnng time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What is the deal with having to "mate" clowns together at the same time?
It is not mating them it is introducing the same species at the same time, if they are a mater pair. This means one is female (the bigger of the two) and one is the male. If they are mated, that changes of agression is smaller than if they weren't mated.
Basically, take a look at liveaquaria.com, see what the fish requirements (like tank size and dietary needs and such), find some that you might like, do a little research and post a list, and you will get plenty of knowledge and personal experiences.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 06:15 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 176
I started in a very similar way. I upgraed my FW 10 gal. to a 55 and figured what the heck! why not try to run the 10 gal saltwater. THe ten gallon lasted about 2 weeks when I upgraded to a 75.

Back then I started with the "Saltwater is for dummies book" which would answer a lot of your questions, but I didn't know about this site then. THere is a lot more experience and you will get a lot more feedback on the internet then you will ever find in a book. Stick with us and we'll get you there!!!!

Anyway, I agree, try craigslist lots of people will give you tank stands and lights for the price of coming to pick it up. Where do you live? I have that 10 gal, lights hood stand.... and even that same 75 that I would let go for a good price!! QT and show tank, Problem Solved!!!

I upgraded to a 90 this summer! It's addictive!!

And don't buy stuff at petsmart and petco if you are on a budget! If you really need to go to there websites because the stuff is half the price at petco.com!! use Fosters and Smith and visit the AA sponsors! Nothing wrong with supporting your LFS either. THey are always there when you need them!!

Good Luck, Happy reading!!!
__________________

__________________
phishead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Noob quetion about size of tank rmeza707 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 07-08-2009 03:12 PM
29G Noob Tank (broadband !) rfc Members Saltwater Tanks Showcase 17 10-04-2006 08:51 PM
JUST GOT NEW FISH TANK NOOB furiousgtz Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 16 03-07-2006 02:08 PM
New tank...noob questions huffdaddy Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 6 02-21-2006 11:52 AM
Noob 2 this site, not a noob 2 fish keeping Lucas Member Introductions 5 02-21-2006 06:30 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.