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Old 10-07-2005, 01:37 PM   #1
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A SW beginner aquarium???

Hi, I've been messing around with freshwater for about 4 months or so, but I've had pretty good luck with all my fish so far. The only ones that have died on me are darn neon tetras. Anyway... for christmas I'm getting a 70 gal wide or maybe just a regular 75 gallon aquarium. I might get a 55 gallon. Could you guys help out a newbie with some ideas and ease of maintainance.... The store I'd get the fish from doesn't have a huge selection, but they sell pre-mixed Salt RO/DI water for like $0.50 a gallon... I could buy more for my water changes every week or however I need to do water changes. I don't wanna overstock this tank either... maybe a clown fish and some other fish you guys think would be good maybe as a beginner. I definetly dont wanna do corals or anything requiring a lot of high maintainence lol... Anyway thanks!

125gallon - 3 Giant Danios - 1 7" Jack Dempsey - 1 5˝" Green Terror - 1 9" Lutino Oscar
65RR - SW - 30g Sump w/fuge - 40lbs MI LR 30lbs Base - 4-5"Sand Bed - 2 false black perculas, 1 six line wrasse, 1 peppermint shrimp, 6 zebra hermits, 6 blue leg hermits, 6 nassarius snails, 6 astrea snails
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:34 PM   #2
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As far as beginner fish, check out http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/s...fm?pCatId=1926. With the clown, I would go for a pair of the same type, either get a known mated pair or 2 juveniles. Royal Gramma, firefish, gobies are nice small fish. Tangs and dwarf angels are cool fish also that are quite hardy.

Maintenance isn't that bad. $.50/gal for salt is a good deal in my opinion. Just buying RO/DI at the grocery store is almost that much. Go with a DSB instead of crushed coral to lower maintenance there. Lots of LR always helps.

My maintenance is a 10% pwc every week and cleaning the powerheads monthly. I empty my skimmer cup about every 3 days.

45G Reef - 65#'s of LR, 3" sand bed, Fluval 304 filled with LR rubble, (2) MJ900, SeaClone 100 protein skimmer with MJ1200
Fish - Ocellaris Clown, Royal Gramma, Purple Firefish, Coral Beauty, Blue Neon Goby
Coral - Xenia, Devil's Hand Leather, Toadstool Leather, Green Hairy Mushrooms, Zoanthids
Inverts - (2) Peppermint Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, (5) Turbo Snails, (4) Nassarius Snails, (10) Blue Leg Hermits, Emerald Crab, (3) Scarlett Crabs, some small starfish(hitchhikers)

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Old 10-07-2005, 02:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input! Anyone else... 10% pwc would be no problem at all seeing as how I change like 50% in my 125 gallon every week for my cichlids lol... Instead of pythoning it back in just dumping the salt water premixed back in... I need advice on filtration and lighting and such as well... I dont think I'd be able to use sump... I'd prefer a couple of canisters if possible... probably 2 more xp3's I like them... Don't know how i'd get a skimmer in there, but i know i'd need one...
125gallon - 3 Giant Danios - 1 7" Jack Dempsey - 1 5˝" Green Terror - 1 9" Lutino Oscar
65RR - SW - 30g Sump w/fuge - 40lbs MI LR 30lbs Base - 4-5"Sand Bed - 2 false black perculas, 1 six line wrasse, 1 peppermint shrimp, 6 zebra hermits, 6 blue leg hermits, 6 nassarius snails, 6 astrea snails
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:50 PM   #4
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God I miss my cichlids sometimes They are near impossible to kill and doing 50% water changes is a breeze, I could just hook up the hose outside and pour the de chlorinator in at the same time as filling up the tank.

When I moved I switched over to salt on 8/1/05. I kept the same filtration equipment (Magnum 350 Pro) and got rid of the rocks and replaced with 80 lbs of Arag-Alive http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113565

Other than that I just ordered 80 lbs of base/lr and am waiting for it to cure.

Getting the sw from one vendor should make water changes go pretty smooth except having to transport 20+ gallons at a time. Currently I use a ro\di and mix the salt for 48+ hours prior to changing using a ph to keep it all moving well.

Clowns are fun but fickle eaters sometimes if not tank raised (lost one, would not eat anything for two weeks till it died I have 4 damsels which are quite active and fun to watch and just got a yellow tang which is also hardy and fun to watch.

A sump is not necessary with enough lr, just make sure to take your time and let your tank cycle properly before adding fish. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=15

The XP3 is new on the market but has gotten some good reviews and maintenance should be fairly easy 2 should provide a decent flow (350 gph each) along with a ph or two. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...=6&pCatId=3602

Basic lighting like 2 pc would be ok for a fowlr as long as it’s strong enough to show off your fish. www.hellolights.com has some good prices if your lfs doesn’t carry what you need.

What kind of filtration are you using for your cichlid tank now? 50% water changes are easy but still seem a bit on the high side and from your photos it doesn’t appear to have that high of a load.

Lastly I know you said you “don’t want to do corals or anything requiring a lot of high maintenance” but the artificial corals are virtually maintenance free and also look aesthetically pleasing and give your fish a more “natural” environment without the expensive lighting/maintenance. (Links below)

And if you live near a Pet Co they have a great selection without having to order them online.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:17 PM   #5
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Do a lot of reading and asking questions before you make the move.
SW is not a cheap hobby if you want to do things right. For starters you should have live rock least 1 lb per gallon. A deep sand bed is not needed having a few inches is fine some people even run bare bottom.
Lighting depends on what you want to keep, fish only you can use the strip lights that you have on FW tanks. If you want corals you need to look into PC,VHO or MH.
I would buy a ro/di unit on ebay it will be cheaper in the long run. Do the math to start you need approx 60 gal x .50 plus gas to get it. Then 15-20 for top offs and water changes monthly x .50 + gas and your time.. Buy the unit and you will be happy you did, I lugged gallons and gallons of water for a year what a PIA.
Buy your salt mix in bulk so you have it on hand. You can use canisters they are fine for water movement and to run carbon in, take out the bio media if you have enough LR.
Some power heads for movement and a heater. If you go with corals you will want a skimmer. Test kits are a must have..
So you looking at some $$$$ to get a SW tank up and running right. If you cut corners now it will only end up costing more in the long run. I know a lot of guys who have a basement full of stuff that some LFS told them they needed and it turned out to be junk..
So read, read and read some more before you jump in..
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

TANK PICS http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=98202
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:25 AM   #6
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as this is a beginners thread im gonna ask what is probably a very stupid question, from my understanding you can use plain sand that isnt silica? based and seed it with live sand, as i live relatively close to beaches would it be posiible to "borrow" some.

p.s i dont plant to go into S,W for a long while was just curious
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Old 10-08-2005, 06:55 AM   #7
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Its not a good idea to grab sand from the beach. It is exposed to human contamination, and also from the possibly contaminated beach water. You can buy most any kind of sand to use in your tank, and live sand on top to seed it. That is what I did in my tank. Or, you can buy just regular play sand/pool filter sand and let your LR seed it.

I agree with others, its not cheap at all. Make sure you can financially support your tank, and have the time to as well.

Best of luck.


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