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Old 04-24-2013, 02:18 AM   #1
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Posts: 1
Beginner needs help with 35g Reef!

Hey everyone,

So as the title gives away, I am completely new to the saltwater scene, though I am experienced with freshwater. I've completely cleaned out my old 35g and it's just sitting in my basement, so I've decided to try my skill at saltwater.

I do apologize but for any who are willing to help, you'll have to take baby steps with me only because I don't want to make any (big) mistakes..

I'm 100% open to all the advice that can be given!

I made a list of fish that I prefer to have in the tank and would like to see which would work best and if I'm able to keep all of the ones I want or have to cut out a few..

The rest of the list is pretty much asking for explanation because I don't know much about saltwater-specific equipment..

STOCK

Fish:
Ocellaris Clownfish
Yellowtail Damsel
Royal Gramma Basselet
Firefish
Bicolor Dottyback
Blue & Pink Sea Star
Longnose Hawkfish

Coral/Anemones:
??
I have no clue, really.. I want anemones that will be able to house my clowns.

Cleanup Crew:
Misc Shrimps, Hermit Crabs, and Snails

Live Rock:
- Recommended Type (cured, base, ~ Fiji LR, etc..)
- How much in Lbs?

Live Sand (Or regular sand... what's the difference?):
- How much in Lbs
- A good setup in terms of how thick the layer of sand should be at the bottom of the tank. I read that people usually go for about 3"?

TANK + EQUIPMENT:

I already have a glass 35g tank that I used to use for freshwater... and that's literallly all I have now.

Can you guys lead me in the right direction in terms of:
- specific lighting (preferably based on the recommendations of corals)
- Maybe a specific hood/canopy that would work best with the specific lights
- LED's at night?
- Power heads
- Heaters
- Testing equipment for pH, salinity, gravity, nitrates, all that good stuff!
- anything else that I missed.. (refractometer and all that stuff just to be sure)

Maybe naming specific brand names would be very, very helpful as well!

Not sure what else I have to look for..

Again, I really don't know much (or anything) about starting up or maintaining a reef but I really enjoy learning and do have the patience to commit to this, so all the help I can get would be much appreciated, thanks!

* on a side note, I read somewhere that it might be easier to start off with a FOWLR tank to avoid extra water maintenance and then add coral later once everything has cycled and stabilized, etc.. any thoughts on that?
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnafer View Post
Hey everyone,

So as the title gives away, I am completely new to the saltwater scene, though I am experienced with freshwater. I've completely cleaned out my old 35g and it's just sitting in my basement, so I've decided to try my skill at saltwater.

I do apologize but for any who are willing to help, you'll have to take baby steps with me only because I don't want to make any (big) mistakes..

I'm 100% open to all the advice that can be given!

I made a list of fish that I prefer to have in the tank and would like to see which would work best and if I'm able to keep all of the ones I want or have to cut out a few..

The rest of the list is pretty much asking for explanation because I don't know much about saltwater-specific equipment..

STOCK

Fish:
Ocellaris Clownfish
Yellowtail Damsel
Royal Gramma Basselet
Firefish
Bicolor Dottyback
Blue & Pink Sea Star
Longnose Hawkfish

Coral/Anemones:
??
I have no clue, really.. I want anemones that will be able to house my clowns.

Cleanup Crew:
Misc Shrimps, Hermit Crabs, and Snails

Live Rock:
- Recommended Type (cured, base, ~ Fiji LR, etc..)
- How much in Lbs?

Live Sand (Or regular sand... what's the difference?):
- How much in Lbs
- A good setup in terms of how thick the layer of sand should be at the bottom of the tank. I read that people usually go for about 3"?

TANK + EQUIPMENT:

I already have a glass 35g tank that I used to use for freshwater... and that's literallly all I have now.

Can you guys lead me in the right direction in terms of:
- specific lighting (preferably based on the recommendations of corals)
- Maybe a specific hood/canopy that would work best with the specific lights
- LED's at night?
- Power heads
- Heaters
- Testing equipment for pH, salinity, gravity, nitrates, all that good stuff!
- anything else that I missed.. (refractometer and all that stuff just to be sure)

Maybe naming specific brand names would be very, very helpful as well!

Not sure what else I have to look for..

Again, I really don't know much (or anything) about starting up or maintaining a reef but I really enjoy learning and do have the patience to commit to this, so all the help I can get would be much appreciated, thanks!

* on a side note, I read somewhere that it might be easier to start off with a FOWLR tank to avoid extra water maintenance and then add coral later once everything has cycled and stabilized, etc.. any thoughts on that?
Quite a few subjects here
Glad to hear you are making the switch!

Ok so your fish list has a few issues. The dotty back will fight with your royal grama, and prob your firefish as well. They are mean little buggars. I would avoid any Pseudochromis as they are all pretty aggressive. Also if you plan to have starfish, they like to knock over coral frags. Other than that, your gold. Also keep in mind damsels can get pretty aggressive as well.

As far as corals and anemones, you wanna wait around 6 month min for your tank to establish. They require close to perfect parameters.

Cuc: hermits and snails play different parts but are both needed for a tank. I prefer dwarf blue legs bc they stay smaller and do work. A skunk cleaner shrimp is usually a preferred cleaner as well. They will clean your fish and any leftovers in the tank.

For rock and sand, It's more of a budget or preference. Base rock and regular sand is much cheaper than live rock and live sand. Both still need to by correctly cycled but live will cycle faster. I have done tanks both ways and found that live sand and base rock is a good mix and saves in the wallet. For sand I use the same as gallons, maybe a few more. Rock however depends on of you are planning a sump or refugium. I have almost 300 lbs in my 135 system and around 60 in my 37. It's good to have, but all kind of depends on your tank and setup as well.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:25 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnafer View Post

TANK + EQUIPMENT:

I already have a glass 35g tank that I used to use for freshwater... and that's literallly all I have now.

Can you guys lead me in the right direction in terms of:
- specific lighting (preferably based on the recommendations of corals)
- Maybe a specific hood/canopy that would work best with the specific lights
- LED's at night?
- Power heads
- Heaters
- Testing equipment for pH, salinity, gravity, nitrates, all that good stuff!
- anything else that I missed.. (refractometer and all that stuff just to be sure)

Maybe naming specific brand names would be very, very helpful as well!

Not sure what else I have to look for..

Again, I really don't know much (or anything) about starting up or maintaining a reef but I really enjoy learning and do have the patience to commit to this, so all the help I can get would be much appreciated, thanks!

* on a side note, I read somewhere that it might be easier to start off with a FOWLR tank to avoid extra water maintenance and then add coral later once everything has cycled and stabilized, etc.. any thoughts on that?
Sorry broke it into two sections..

Lighting and flow all depend on what you would like to keep in the tank. Sps coral requires high light and high flow, but softies require low-medium light and low-medium flow.

For lighting, I would recommend LEDs. There are a few on the market, I like the taotronics TTL09's as they are dimmable. There is a Topic on them on this site.

Heaters you want something that is good for twice your total water volume. I have two in case one fails. When you have that much going on in one tank, it helps to have fail safes across the board.

As far as testing, the basics yes, and down the line you will want phosphate, calcium, and alk for corals and such. I use Red Sea for all my test kits. They are easy and accurate.

So basics about tank maintenance...
Water changes are a must. Keeping water quality will help any tank dramatically, especially reefs.

Something else that in haven't mentioned or talked about that I swear by are skimmers. They are one of the most important things in a system IMO. They are used to pull anything and everything out of the system that shouldn't be there or is a byproduct. I prefer reef octopus brand but that is a preference. Most skimmers work and are effective, but keep in mind, you get what you pay for.

All in all, it is something to sit there and be proud of. You have a little bit of the ocean in your home and its thriving. Good luck!
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