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Old 04-13-2006, 04:06 AM   #1
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Saltwater tank at college?

I would first just like to say that I am new at saltwater Aquariums. I am a college student. A couple of my residents have saltwater aquariums and now I myself would like to get/start one. I have a few questions.

1. If I start the aquarium over my summer break (3 months), will I be able to move the tank back to school (2 hours away) without loosing that 3 months of cycling, or will it be like starting completely over?

2. I was looking at getting a 25 or maybe 29 gallon tank with an eclipse hood. (allowed 20 gallons in hall but I am an RA) Do I really need to buy all live rock, or can I do half and half? I read that after a few months the other rock will become alive as well. Also is it ok to go with smaller (5-7inch) rock in that size tank and pile it or is bigger better for the aquarium?

3. After the aquarium has cycled and is ready for some life, what is the general rule for number of fish? Is there a so many inches per gallon rule? And does this rule just apply to fish, or do you count inverts and coral as well?

Well I think that should be it for now. I have been doing a lot of reading. The whole process of just getting informed on saltwater aquariums has been fun, such as learning about the cycle, live rock, fish, inverts, coral, and everything else. Hopefully you can help me out and if you do thanks in advanced. If I have anymore question, I will just add it to this thread. Thanks again

zmckenzie
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: Saltwater tank at college?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
1. If I start the aquarium over my summer break (3 months), will I be able to move the tank back to school (2 hours away) without loosing that 3 months of cycling, or will it be like starting completely over?
moving the tank after it cycles always runs the risk of stirring up the tank and possbibly causing a "mini-cycle". basically, you may see a small ammonia spike after you reassemble the tank, however, it should be shorter duration, and less detrimental to your inhabitants. 2 hours inst a long time for the move, provided you break down the tank last when you move out, and then set it up first when you arrive at your dorm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
2. I was looking at getting a 25 or maybe 29 gallon tank with an eclipse hood. (allowed 20 gallons in hall but I am an RA) Do I really need to buy all live rock, or can I do half and half? I read that after a few months the other rock will become alive as well. Also is it ok to go with smaller (5-7inch) rock in that size tank and pile it or is bigger better for the aquarium?
30 gallon is typically the smallest starter tank you want. bigger tanks will give you more room to buffer any water chemistry problems. im not saying that a 30 is unreasonabe, but you will need to keep up the maintenance and check the water conditions a bit more frequently with a small tank.

as for the live rock. you can put in as much base rock as you want, and then put in a few live rock pieces. the bateria will colonize the base rock turning it into live rock. any coraline growth will also transfer to the base rock, it will just take a bit longer if you have a lot of base rock and little live rock to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
3. After the aquarium has cycled and is ready for some life, what is the general rule for number of fish? Is there a so many inches per gallon rule? And does this rule just apply to fish, or do you count inverts and coral as well?
after your tank is cycled, you are ready for life. the RULE OF THUMB is 1 inch of ADULT fish size to 5 gallons of water. but that is a generalization. messy eaters will foul your water faster, and you will have to adjust your stocking to account for that. there are other factors as well, like your filtration capacity. inverts are generally not counted in the livestock per gallon bioload. they generally help you out in keeping your tank clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
Well I think that should be it for now. I have been doing a lot of reading. The whole process of just getting informed on saltwater aquariums has been fun, such as learning about the cycle, live rock, fish, inverts, coral, and everything else. Hopefully you can help me out and if you do thanks in advanced. If I have anymore question, I will just add it to this thread. Thanks again
keep asking questions and we will help. oh, and take your time, and make a plan. i cant believe how many mistakes i DIDNT make because i researched what i need to buy, and what i wanted to keep (livestock) before making the purchases. yes, this is a hobby where patience is a virtue. oh, and dont let your friends dictate what goes in your tank... if your friend wants you to put a baby shark in your 30 gallon, jsut because it is awsome to look at ... dont. heed the advice of others, but always think for yourself.

good luck!!!

and welcome to AA!!!

~mike
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2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:06 PM   #3
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It can be done but it will be hard work every time you break it down and move. If you`re up to it ,I dont see why not.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:51 PM   #4
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Some Live Rock questions

1.So I was just going over some prices of live rock and base rock and it seems almost just as cheap to order all live rock through liveaquarium. My question is do I pay the extra 30 dollars for their select premium Fuji live rock or just go with there premium Fuji live rock?

2.Liveaquarium suggest 1.25 to 1.75 pounds of live rock per gallon. Is this accurate? It seems that 45 pounds of live rock would be a lot for a 29 gallon tank.

3.Because I am setting up a new tank, should I still cure the live rock in a different container or should I do it in the aquarium? From some of my reading it seems like doing it in a garbage can works great, but I have also read that curing live rock in the aquarium with no life can also be beneficial.

Some Substrate Questions
1.How much substrate is needed for a 29 gallon tank?

2.If I plan on having a small Gobby or/and and invert that shifts though the sand do I need to have even more.

3.Is live sand needed if there is live rock in the aquarium

When it comes to cycling the tank, I read a article from this site that just adding some fresh shrimp from the market will help the cycle along. Is the shrimp still needed if there is live rock in the aquarium?

After pricing everything, I was a little shocked in how much it cost to start up an aquarium. It looks like it will be almost $500 before I even add fish. But after reading all of the personal experiences of having a saltwater aquarium it sounds like it is worth it. Plus I am thinking my residents will also like it as well.

Thanks for expressing a concern for me listening to what my friends say I should put in the tank Even though they have already tried to do that, I am very keen on doing this aquarium the right way. Even through I am still about two months away from starting the tank, I want to make sure I have a good understanding on everything so I don’t make too many mistakes. Once again thanks for all your help and time.

zmckenzie
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
1.So I was just going over some prices of live rock and base rock and it seems almost just as cheap to order all live rock through liveaquarium. My question is do I pay the extra 30 dollars for their select premium Fuji live rock or just go with there premium Fuji live rock?
do you mean liveaquaria? i have never heard of, or dealt with liveaquarium.
i have never ordered live rock from them, but the select sounds like it has a better selection of shapes. go with whatever you are comforatble spending. also, check out hirocks ... they have pretty decent base rock for good prices. i used them for my tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
2.Liveaquarium suggest 1.25 to 1.75 pounds of live rock per gallon. Is this accurate? It seems that 45 pounds of live rock would be a lot for a 29 gallon tank.
the rock per gallon suggestion is based on using the live rock as natural filtration. more surface area for more bacteria will give you better filtration. you can actaully have no live rock in your tank if you are running some sort of mechanical filtration. i have 100 lbs in my 55 gallon. you will be suprised when you see how little space your rock actually takes up. the density of the rock is also something you should consider. using rock with a lot of holes, or branching rock, the rock will take up more space in your tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
3.Because I am setting up a new tank, should I still cure the live rock in a different container or should I do it in the aquarium? From some of my reading it seems like doing it in a garbage can works great, but I have also read that curing live rock in the aquarium with no life can also be beneficial.
personally, i would use the live rock to seed the tank. curing the rock separately for a new tank isnt necessary. since you have no living things in the tank, the ammonia/nitrite spike from the rock curing will harm nothing. if you do start with base rock, i would suggest starting your cycle with some raw shrimp from the grocery store, and then adding the live rock when it arrives. the decaying shrimp will start seeding the base rock before you add the live rock. either way, i would say to do the curing in the tank.

Some Substrate Questions
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
1.How much substrate is needed for a 29 gallon tank?
it depends on your personally preference. for a deep sand bed, you will need 4-6 inches of sand. but, you can adjust this as needed if you dont want to lose all that space in your tank. as for actual substrate material, you should stay away from crushed coral, as it will trap waste and polute your water if it isnt cleaned often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
2.If I plan on having a small Gobby or/and and invert that shifts though the sand do I need to have even more.
you will need more than 1 invert. i suggest looking at the prebuilt reef cleaner packages on etropicals. you will see what typical critters and what quantities are required for a tank you size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
3.Is live sand needed if there is live rock in the aquarium
sand is generally a good thing to have. but, spending money on live sand is not required. if you use a regular sand without bacteria in it, the bacteria you produce from you cycle, and the bacteria on the live rock will colonize your sand and make it into live sand. no need to spend the extra money for something that will happen naturally anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
When it comes to cycling the tank, I read a article from this site that just adding some fresh shrimp from the market will help the cycle along. Is the shrimp still needed if there is live rock in the aquarium?
it depends on your timing and purcahses for all your materials. if you are going will all live rock to start, you can probably skip the shrimp step and use the live rock to cycle the tank. if you start with base rock (and buy live rock later) you can use a shrimp to start the cycle before you get your live rock. if you get some base rock and some live rock at the same time, use the live rock to start the cycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
After pricing everything, I was a little shocked in how much it cost to start up an aquarium. It looks like it will be almost $500 before I even add fish. But after reading all of the personal experiences of having a saltwater aquarium it sounds like it is worth it. Plus I am thinking my residents will also like it as well.
saltwater is generally going to cost a bit more than freshwater. (generally). but look at it this way... you wont have to buy more live rock or another light fixture unless you decide to upgrade your tank to a bigger size. you do have to plan on spending maintenance money for light bulbs, salt, test kits, food, electricity, water, etc. so, it isnt a cheap hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
Thanks for expressing a concern for me listening to what my friends say I should put in the tank Even though they have already tried to do that, I am very keen on doing this aquarium the right way. Even through I am still about two months away from starting the tank, I want to make sure I have a good understanding on everything so I don’t make too many mistakes. Once again thanks for all your help and time.
sounds like you are well on your way... keep reading and researching, even after you setup your tank.

~mike
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AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for your response. I was referring to liveaquaria not liveaquarium. Not sure why I put liveaqurium. I just bought my tank and hood today because it was on sale. I am getting really excited, but I still won’t be starting aquarium till May 20th for that is when my Summer Break begins.

If I cure the lr in my aquarium, should I have the substrate in the tank while it is curing or put it in after the lr is cured?

Thanks for you time as always,

zmckenzie
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:25 PM   #7
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**** .... I just upgraded my lights and took off the Eclipse hood off my 29gallon. I modded it a little and put some moonlights in the top and it came out like a pro-job!
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Jermz79,

I ended up not going with the eclipse because my Hall Director (HD) knows that the eclipse 2 needs a 25 gallon tall tank and that the eclipse 3 needs a 29 gallon tank. You are only aloud a 20 gallon tank or less in the Dorms, so I didn’t want my Hall Director saying anything. I let my residents have bigger tanks (I am an RA) but I would hate for my HD to see my tank and make me get rid of it. So I went with a tank that she doesn’t know about and from the reading I have done sounds like it will work great. I bought the AquaPod 24 Gallon Aquarium System with a 64W Compact Fluorescent System. I got the system for $159 at my LFS which was really cheap for the system as far as I know. Hopefully I made the right choice

zmckenzie
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmckenzie
Thanks for your response. I was referring to liveaquaria not liveaquarium. Not sure why I put liveaqurium. I just bought my tank and hood today because it was on sale. I am getting really excited, but I still won’t be starting aquarium till May 20th for that is when my Summer Break begins.

If I cure the lr in my aquarium, should I have the substrate in the tank while it is curing or put it in after the lr is cured?

Thanks for you time as always,

zmckenzie
cure the rock with the sand in the tank. run some power heads to circulate the water, and you dont need lights for curing.

~mike
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55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:01 PM   #10
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I just relized that Doctors Foster & Smith and LiveAquaria are only a little over and hour away, Wich means no expensive shipping on live rock, sand, and fish.

zmckenzie
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