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Old 11-15-2006, 02:10 AM   #1
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Absolute Beginner

I am reasonably well-schooled on freshwater aquariums, but have never looked at saltwater. So, I thought I'd have a glance at the forums... but everything went so far over my head it wasn't funny. So, I looked at the "getting started" articles, but it's all still too advanced. I mean, what is live rock anyway?! Do I need a filter? Do I do water changes? What is a "feeding hole"? What's this about a "drilled" tank? I mean, really basic stuff... Is there any information like this around?

I am asking because I have a "spare" 17gal tank. Is this too small to do a successful saltwater set up? I just want gobies! If I'm way off, would I be better off with a brackish tank and some bumblebees?
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:50 AM   #2
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I would reccomend a book then. Bob Fenner has a book, The Concientious Marine Aquarist, that would be good. I have The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta that I think is good for beginners. It will explain everything you need to know about sw aquariums. Else, you've always got AA.

However... Liverock is rock that is colonized with bacteria and life. It is good because it provides good grounds for the denitrification process. No, you don't need a filter, but you do need something to move water. Powerheads, for example. Prtoein skimmers are also a good investment, esp for reef tanks. No feeding hole. And a drilled tank is a tank drilled for overflows and sumps. They are beneficial, but not needed at all. With 17 gallons, I personally would not worry about dilled, overflows, etc. Like said, justmy opinion though.

HTH
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:15 AM   #3
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I am just a beginner myself, but I was told at several stores that specialize in SW around town that you shouldnt set up a tank for SW under 29g because it is too hard to maintain.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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Welcome to the SW side. Please do not cycle with live animals. Dt gave some great advice.
Rock, there is base (dry, usually white/dead, which will become live, very cheap), cured LR (generally what the LFS has in their display tanks, and should have critters growing on/in it), uncured rock (generally inbetween base and cured, LFS should have this in a different tank until it is fully cured).
You don't need a filter, if you have 1.5-2Lbs of LR per Gallon.
In a smaller tank, more frequent PWCs are vital to the survival of your inhabitants. This removes the nasties and will replenish the depleted trace elements used by your inhabitants.
If you want to use the 17G, feel free, make sure you are diligent on PWCs and testing. If you are going with gobys, I would look at a possible goby/pistol shrimp combo.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:53 AM   #5
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you say "more frequent" - would weekly changes suffice? how much would i need to change? and i just mix up salt into water and then add it?

so no filter, just a PH to move things around, get some live rock (and/or live sand?). is there extra maintenance required for reef tanks?

what am i missing? it sounds too simple...
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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It's really pretty much that simple!

You will top off the tank with freshwater, not saltwater, because salt does not evaporate. So just remember that. Premixing sw for a day or so is best, usually done in a rubbermaid tub, because it lets the mix dissolve more, resolves heat and pH issues, and stuff like that. Weekly water changes would be perfect. Small tanks are harder to maintain, definitley, but as long as you don't cut corners and are diligent on water changes, you will be fine.

No extra maintenece. Its really not that hard, trust me. HTH
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICEnVy
I am just a beginner myself, but I was told at several stores that specialize in SW around town that you shouldnt set up a tank for SW under 29g because it is too hard to maintain.
I usually advise anything over a 55 to start with simply because you have more water volume and mistakes will be more forgiving. Saying that ICE, It is not impossible to do a sw tank under a 29 gallon. You`ll just have to stay on top of your game to avoid major problems and the other two moderators have pretty much helped to point those out. IMO it is better to do a bigger tank to get the SW basics and then try the smaller tanks when experience will be your guide. But that is JMO.
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