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Old 04-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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considering a saltwater tank...

So, here I am, treading lightly into something I know absolutely nothing about. I hope you'll humor me!

***I'll add: I just now read the stickies posted at the top of this forum and there are some fabulous links. Read a lot about keeping fish together, etc but am also very open to hearing what works/ed best for you, particularly when you started out with your tank. Thanks!***

We have several tropical aquariums but as a family have always looked longingly at salt water tanks. As I said, we know nothing about this and I know we would need to do a lot of research before doing anything, but just thought I'd start out by asking a few relatively *simple* (haha) questions. You've probably heard these before so my apologies in advance...

First of all, we do not want a huge tank but I have also heard that micro tanks can be hard to manage. What I think we'd start with would be a live rock tank, perhaps moving to a reef when we felt more comfortable. What is a good sized tank to start out with? We do not have a huge budget. I am thinking along the lines of between 20-40 g...

Next question, and this may help us to figure out what size tank we need, we know we'd want 2 clown anemone fish (because we have a 7 year old who WANTS clown anemone fish!) If we were to get a tank no bigger than, say a 40g, what other types of fish would we be looking at as tank mates? We love marine angels, as well, but, yeah, that tank size thing. I guess another question would be would clowns do well in a live rock tank as opposed to a reef? Again, I have no idea but, as we are preparing for this for some point in the next few months, want to be somewhat prepared.

Last question is, I do know that this variety of tank takes a significant amount of time out of one's days. That's fine but is it the type of thing that could be left for a week if we were on holiday, or is this something we'd want someone to come in and maintain for us if faced with this likely situation?

The rest of the questions, and I know there will be lots of them, will come. Right now figuring out whether what we want in our imaginations would work into our realities, and then taking it slowly (sump pumps, filters, lighting, etc) from there...

Thanks for indulging my questions...

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Old 04-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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A 40 breeder would be a great size to start with. The larger the tank, the easier it will be to maintain water parameters.

Clowns would be fine in a fowlr tank. There are a lot of fish choices... gobies, wrasses, basselets, chromis, etc etc. You would just want to avoid some of the larger species, like tangs and angels, in a tank that size.

Maintaining a fowlr tank is no more difficult than a FW tank. You just have to mix sw for water changes, and use fw for top off to keep salinity relatively constant. Leaving the tank a week at a time should present no challenges above just some feeding. You can automate things like water top off relatively cheaply, but even if you don't a week away would be fine. Just feeding, and that's it.

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Old 04-14-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Thanks so much, Fort384. I really appreciate your reply. That makes me feel more confident about slowly moving forward. We really do love our fish and spend a lot of time making sure they have great environments. And we take the time, so I know this would not be a "try it, tire of it, move on" type thing. Well, I'll take the next few months preparing what it looks like we'll need and figuring out expenses, talking to our local, and also checking out the boards and communicating with the community here. Thanks again. Any further input from anyone is always welcome.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend...
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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I recently started my second SW .

The first was a 30 gal square with a 10 gal sump .
That was 15 years ago .
I had 2 clowns and 2 damsels and 1 .
I never tried corals
I recently started a 70 gal and starting off with 40 lbs of live sand .
50-75 lbs of live rock .
Apparently they suggest 1 lb / gallon
I just bought a hang on protein skimmer
And T5 HO lights .
The best advice I was given was patience .
I have had this tank running over a month and still hesitant on adding creatures.
I am starting with a CUC ( clean up crew ) first
Im still thinking of what they will be .
( hermit crabs , shrimp or snails )
I must say the bigger the tank it is easier to maintain parameters .
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salt, saltwater, saltwater tank, tan, tank

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