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Old 06-29-2006, 01:04 PM   #1
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First Marine Tank: Equipment and Procedures?

I am considering setting up a SW tank, my first ever! I've had aquariums for years, but have just recently set up 3 freshwater tanks again after not having any for about 8 years. All are doing really, REALLY well (age and experience are such great teachers, especially where patience is concerned), but I'd like to try a smallish marine tank...

I've looked over a number of the guides here, but was wondering if anyone here is aware of up a basic "getting started" guide, with the following types of information:

1) Getting Started
.....1a) Basic Equipment Required
.....1b) Basic Saltwater Chemistry (including initial tank cycling, etc.)
.....1c) Good "Starting" (i.e., hardy) SW Creatures and Plants
.....1d) Basic Maintenance and Upkeep
.....1e) Optional (but not advanced) Equipment
2) More Advanced Topics
.....2a) Advanced Equipment (and why its helpful)
.....2b) Advanced SW Chemistry
.....2c) More Advanced SW Creatures and Plants
.....2d) Other Advanced Topics (breeding, biotopes, etc.)

Are there any recommended books with these topics (at least the "Getting Started" ones) covered?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:20 PM   #2
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Reading up on the hobby is the only way to go. Research research research and you will have a great chance of bieng successful.
A great book, that isn't very long is "The New Marine Aquarium" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189...700709?ie=UTF8
or a longer book, very good, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189...700709?ie=UTF8
or you could save a little by buying them together.
hth they both are great reading
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
but I'd like to try a smallish marine tank...
First, welcome to SW!!!
Second, PLEASE don't cycle your tank with fish.

Smallish=less room for mistakes.
How small are you looking?

ckmn101 is right, those are two very good books, they are pretty easy reading.

There are a bunch of links on this site for "basic" equip and cycling your tank. I hate to leave you hanging, by not answereing your questions, but I found what worked for me was reading those books and the links that others will post (I still have trouble using the search, but that is just me). After I read, that stuff, I could ask more specific questions like, "Should I ditch my hydrometer for a refractometer and what is a good, reliable brand?"
Keep us posted and lots of pics!
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Good reading about:
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:04 PM   #4
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Those books look great, and I just ordered them!

I've learned about fishless cycling, and will definitely never cycle a tank with fish again!

I'm thinking of a simple 12-gallon tank (probably a nanocube) to start. Is that too small? I know that larger tanks are more stable, but I don't have a lot of room for large tanks. I have a spot for a 55-gallon tank, but that's already set aside for a new Freshwater (probably African cichlid) tank for this winter. About the largest tank I can easily fit right now is approximately a 20-gallon cube...

I know this will limit me to 1-2 fish, probably, but that's okay. Also, I'm pretty patient and so don't mind a slow setup and stocking schedule.
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Is that too small?
Nope.

There is actually a new a sub-forum for "nanocube", under Saltwater Reef Aquaria. I have never had a nano, but I bet those folks would love to help you.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roka64
There is actually a new a sub-forum for "nanocube", under Saltwater Reef Aquaria. I have never had a nano, but I bet those folks would love to help you.
Thanks! What a great sub-forum, with just the information I need!

I'll post there once I read my books and know more about what I need to know more about!


EDIT: I think it might be better to start with a larger "community" tank, assmung that (as with FW) larger SW tanks are easier to manage.

I'm thinking of this 24-gallon AquaPod 24 from Drs. Foster and Smith.

This looks nice, is pretty self-contained, and appears to have all of the basic equipment I'd need (except for maybe a heater). Does that appear to be so?

What do you all think of this unit? I'd probably get the (less expensive) 64W Compact Fluorescent system. I won't be buying anything soon; I'm just researching options (and planning on what sort of budget will be needed) now.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:15 AM   #7
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If you are still looking for some basics here is another similar thread with some good links:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=81906

HTH,
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