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Old 02-15-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
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10g tank and want to convert to saltwater

I have an 10g gallon tank that used to have freshwater fish in it before I up graded to a 40g freshwater tank. I want to start getting into saltwater tank and fish.

I have been reading that a 10g tank is to small for saltwater but I dont want to invest in anything to big until I know what I'm doing. I just want to start with LR/LS and coral. Is 10g to small for what I'm trying to achieve? Maybe Shrimp or Crabs?

Also, when cycling a new saltwater tank does anyone know of a good web-site to get some details? Is LR?LS anough to cycle a tank? Do you cycle the LR/LS at the same time?


All advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated by this noob!
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA.

Take a look at the articles tab up at the top of this screen for information on the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle a tank. In my opinion a 10 gallon is a pretty tough project to take on the first time out. My first salt water tank is a 29 and looking back I would say that was a little small for starting out. I know it seems backwards, but bigger = easier. If you have to take some bad tasting medicine, do you want to dilute it with a little water? or a whole lot of water so you do not taste it? The same applies with your fish tank. The more water the less care is needed to keep the nasty stuff at a minimum.

As far as a good web site www.aquariumadvice. com is a good one for information and help .

You can do a 29 gallon tank for not a lot more money than a 10 gallon. You would be buying new lighting for your 10 gallon tank if you plan on any kind of corals anyway. Might as well go with the biggest tank you can afford. If you must go small then a 29 is the smallest I would suggest.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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Thanks, but why is a smaller tank so hard? Is it the salt or fish that makes it hard? What about no fish just coral?


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Old 02-15-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Smaller tanks are less forgiving of mistakes or water problems because of small water volume. It can be done though but dilligence will be needed. An example would be that on my tank I have 165 gallons of total water volume. If my tank water evaporates and I need 2 gallons of water to top off then no problem but if your tank is 1 or 2 gallons low then you have major problems if not lethal problems. Do you see what I mean. You just stay on top of it every day and it can be done.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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I honestly never understood the rational behind them being more difficult and still do not agree with it, but to each his/her own. As long as you understand that for every action there is a reaction (any size tank) and you continue to amass your knowledge-base then you should do fine. On my old "standard" 10g I had an Aquaclear 110 (diy'd into a fuge), 25w heater (fit in my AC110), and a Coralife 1x96w pc light fixture. Uncured live rock is the easiest way to kickstart your cycle. I would just purchase dry aragonite sand and skip "live" sand (live=bacteria of which you'll get from the uncured live rock).
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:28 AM   #6
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Good advise, Im now a aquarium advice fan. Moving forward I think I'm going to try growing coral in my 10g tank with the understanding that its a challanging project. This will be fun and Im always in my tanks so hopefully I will be able to control the tweeking that is required. If nothing else it will be a learning event that will prep me for my future saltwater tanks. I have nothing but time.

Thanks to all

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Old 02-16-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Your light will be the largest expense. You will want to invest in a good one since your planning to grow corals. how wide is your tank? I bought a 24 inch nova extreme t5 light from fosters and smith.

Next you will need to not worry with live sand, most of the time it isn't live by the time you buy it. You will want to shoot for 20 lbs or so. cant remember exact number. someone plz verify. get 20 lbs of live rock or as close as you can comfortably get. Leave open area all the way around your rock for easy cleaning.

You will also need a water test kit, get the drops, forget the test strips

For a filter i suggest an aquaclear hang on back, or HOB and fill it with live rock rubble. When i ordered my live rock from F&S it came with plenty of rubble.

Maybe add a Hydor Koralla Nano powerhead for extra flow. Buy a bucket of salt and a refractometer, skip the swing arm hydrometers. Go with a fishless cycle. This is just a basic off the top of my head list, not meant to be the end all guide. hope it helps
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hckingsland@msn.com View Post
Thanks, but why is a smaller tank so hard? Is it the salt or fish that makes it hard? What about no fish just coral?


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Simply put: Because dilution is the solution to pollution.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:39 PM   #9
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my first SW was a 10gal. It definitely can be done, but "get a glass top!" It will slow down the evaporation that happens on a daily basis. My tanks hardly evaporate at all because of this. Just be prepared to be diligent and patient. All good things come to those who wait! Don't rush, go nice and slow.
Oh...by the way, if your screenname is your personal email address, I'd changte your screen name quick. You're inviting spammers to overflow your in box with loads of junk.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
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Even though I see your reason for suggesting a glass lid I personally think the bad points outweigh the good here. Glass lids do two things that will hurt your tank. They will trap in heat and also cause lower PH due to poor gas exchange at the surface. I`m not a big fan of glass tops.
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