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Old 09-04-2005, 01:07 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Please be paitent with me and forgive if this is suppose to be common knowledge.

I have recently got a tank sizes are as follows....

150 cm(length) x 60 cm(wide) x 70cm(High) sorry for the metric, i am in SA and don't know a inch from a yard

currently its a tropical fish tank with only a few small fish in it, i think its fresh water but 25 deg C.

I want to convert it to a salt water tank and don't know where to start my local fish shop had one opinion but the second shop had another so now i thought i would ask someone who isn't in it to get my cash.

I have a 4ft single neon tube (White) a green mat on the bottom and a filter on the back that sucks water up and through a sponge, charcoal then sand.

Basically what i am asking is.....

How do i get started, do i need to prepare the tank, what can i put in the tank, is it a lot of maintance?
I know my daughter wants it to look like the tank in the movie "Finding Nemo" with the clown fish etc.

I want some coral but i promise you i really dont have any clue what i a doing and would love to hear all your advice.

Thanks

Kenny
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:22 PM   #2
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If my math is right, that's about 155g tank. ?? Someone correct me if that's wrong.
I would just empty the tank and clean it well with warm water. What you put in will depend on what you want to get out of the tank. Do you intend to do fish only? The lights you have is ok for fish only or fish only with live rock but not for corals or anemones. In the beginning the tank will be alot of maintenance. There will be lots of water changes but over time, as the tank stabilizes, that will ease up some.
The problem with the movie Nemo is the fish they had in that Dr's tank aren't really aren't compatible. A clownfish is a good starter fish. But, let me back up. Before you even think about fish, the tank needs to be cycled. (raw fish or shrimp being the preferred method over cycling with fish) Also, have you decided on a substrate? I would suggest an agranite sand bed. Also, liverock is expensive but it is one of the best filters out there. The filter you have now, with the sponges, will eventually become a nitrate factory. You could take out the sponges and replace them with some live rock rubble. Enough live rock to act as a filter for a tank that size will me huge so if you go that route, plan for that expense.
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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Hi fluff,

I have just worked out that its a 4 ft x 1.5 x 1.5 (approx) so that will be approx 70 gallons.

after further reading i think i will go with a sand bed but i really want some coral aswell. you mention about a different light?
Please advise me on what light i would need, and if i will need to install it before or after i "Cycle" the tank.

Also what temperature do i need to set the heaters? and what salt do i need to get?

also i am correct in saying that i need to cycle for 3-4 weeks before adding any fish?

Thanks for the help

Kenny
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:48 PM   #4
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The best thing for you to do at this point is buy a book and read before you start setting up. You could always use this site as reference and for asking questions, but to have a book in front of you to guide you along the way will save you time and trouble. Others on this site recommend The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner. I read a different book and it helped me many times over. There were still things I missed and had to backtrack a little. For example I started with crushed coral substrate and switched to sand after I learned a little more. I also wish I would have built my own stand so I could house a sump for the tank. Welcome to AA! There are many helpful and nice people here with all the advice you can ask for.
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, i will be buying book tomorrowm however i believe that the bst education is from other peoples experiance.

I have found what i want my new found passion to look like....

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...medium&cat=542

I just read in anothr post regarding sand and coral, and they were saying you get sand grom a home depot???

is this just "River sand" (building sand?) or do i need too get it from my lfs

Kenny
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:56 PM   #6
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I used a converter for cm to in. Don't know what I messed up then. lol
Lighting can wait til after the cycle. In order to advise you on what type of light, have to figure out what you think you'll want to keep in the tank. Different corals and anemones need different light. Some are more tolerant of lower light than others. For a soft coral tank and maybe a bubbletip anemone, power compact lights work well. For sps corals and anemones like the carpet or ritteri anemones, they need higher light like metal halides. Also, I want to add that anemones shouldn't be added to the tank til it's about 9 months old. They require a mature stable tank to do well.

I keep my temps at 80 expect through the summer due to heat issues it stays at 82. 78-80 is good though.
The cycling process could take longer than 3-4 weeks. I cycled my tanks with base rock (dry rock), sand and a raw shrimp and it took about 6wks to complete. However, if you cycle using uncrured live rock, that helps shorten the cycle time. Also, if you get some fresh or fully cured live rock, you may have an even shorter cycle since the live rock will be carrying the nitrifying bacteria already.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:01 PM   #7
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Wow, I need to type faster. lol

Any agranite sand will do. We suggest agranite over silica sand due to it's ph buffering capabilities. Also, if I remember correctly, silica sand has sharper edges which isn't as friendly to the critters that will eventually be living in your sand. I don't know what river sand is.

MT79 has a beautiful tank but he also has alot of work and time into it. You can get there but be patient. It takes time for a tank to look like that.

You could try pm'ing him though to find out what equipment he uses as far as lights, etc. And, I as well would encourage you to get a good book. I agree personal experience is helpful but books are very helpful as well. The recommended book is a great one and I would suggest it as well.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:05 PM   #8
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Thanks again Fluff,

One last question for the night..

I just read that if i mix the sand with vinigar and it fizzes then its good sand,

if so i am off to the builders yard with a bowl and vinigar

Thanks again

Kenny
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:10 PM   #9
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Yep, that's right. But, you can also just read the bag. It should say if it's araganite or silicate sand.
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