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Old 08-31-2005, 08:15 PM   #1
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First saltwater tank ever

I have been keeping freshwater fish for 10+ years and that's not counting any of the tanks my parents kept during childhood. However I have never had a saltwater tank. I'm very comfortable with freshwater tanks and fish and there are still tons of freshwater species I have yet had the opportunity to keep. However my kids really want some anemonefishes and of course anemones for them to swim in. So I think I might give this a try. I'm hoping to purchasae a tank and stand this weekend and I have some questions right off the bat.

First I'm thinking the 20 long tank would be better than the 29 high? I always prefer long to high....but is that preference wise with saltwater as well? What we are picturing is a tank with some anemones, anemonefishes, maybe some shrimp and then other invertebrates like soft coral and polyps. This is possible with the tank size I'm talking, right?

My second question.....When buying new tanks for freshwater I often get the starter kits. Usually I can get away with very little upgrading to these kits. But for this tank I am going to probably need better lights than what comes with the kit and other stuff. I have seen "marine" starter kits. Is it worth buying these or will I be better off buying everything I need myself?

Are protein skimmers necessary?

What light do I need for the coral/polyps/& anemones?

What book would you recommend for a total saltwater newbie? I really enjoy having stuff spoonfed to me in the simplest terms in the beginning.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:00 PM   #2
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Also is it true that anemonefishes control their gender? And which anemonefishes are hardiest and will most likely take to an anemone? We like the percula and common clownfish.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:02 PM   #3
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I'd say start w/Robert Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist". Give yourself about week or two with that book before you buy anything IMO. I really wish I did that and planned better when I first got started. Nothing like having to buy something again when you get better informed.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:05 PM   #4
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Percula is a clown fish. Just one variety. Also, lots of folks think you should have a more mature tank - close to a year, before attempting an anenome.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll check the library and see if they have that book. I have the saltwater handbook by George Blasiola that I have been reading over the past couple of days but it isn't as simple as I'd like it to be. And it didn't help me understand much about coral and live rock at all!
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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Kool. The AA library has it too. I think you'll have a decent time w/this book with what you're looking for.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
Percula is a clown fish. Just one variety. Also, lots of folks think you should have a more mature tank - close to a year, before attempting an anenome.
Oh I thought the "common clownfish" were the more orange&white and the perculas were more yellow/white.

A year before I can have an anemone 8O 8O 8O

hmmm I was going to try to get all the live rock, corals, polyps, and anemones going before I added the fish? Is that backwards?

Does everyone agree with this having to wait a year before trying to keep an anenome?
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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Oh and I read the article about curing your own live rock......can you do that while you are in the process of cycling the tank........or no?
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:09 PM   #9
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Anemones need metal halide lightin, around 7-8 watts per gallon of water and really good water conditions. You'll want to buy around 1-2 pounds per gallon of lr if it is uncured throw it in your tank to start the cycle, and remember yu can't do this with cured rock. Also, polyps and softies require arouund 3-7 watts per gallon of CF or halides or other types of reef lighting. No NO fluorescents for corals unless it was something like sun corals, because corals are photosynthetic. I would say after your tank is mature and you have alot of lr and as good skimmer then go ahead with the corals. Plan on spending a lot of money on lighting though. Also i would go with the fish first just to get the hang of things as they are easier to take care of than corals generally speaking, especially clowns. Good LUck on your first tank!
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:10 AM   #10
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I think the orang and white clowns are the Perculas and the yellow and white ones are Clarkii Clownfish.
As for the light, I have heard mostly in the 5 watts per gallon range for raising anemones and coral. I dont think you NEED metal halide for anemones. I think you can get away with compact flourescent for many anemones, some soft corals and mushrooms. For the hard corals I have heard that you will need metal halide.
I think that starting a reef without fish could work fine. I would recommend putting a couple cheap damsel fish in there to keep your bacteria fed. The only cost about 4 bucks each. I know that you should wait for a tank to be "mature" before adding any coral and stuff but my tank seems to be doing fine with some simple anemones, ricordia, xenia, and a candy cane coral. I say start cheap and easy and ease into how everything works together.[/i]
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39 gallon (2yrs) 40lbs live sand. 23 lbs LR (still collecting) , 1 turbo snail, 5 Nasarius snails, 10 blue knuckle hermits, 1 zebra hermit, 1 scarlet hermit, 5 red tip hermits, 1 Green Chromis, 1 Blue Damsel, ? Ricordia, candy cane coral.

135gallon (2 months)
125lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock, 2 175W Metal Halide, 1 175W VHO Actinic (so far). Berlin Protein Skimmer in 40 Gallon Sump. 2 Maxi Jet 1200's. 10 Nassarius, 10 mexican turbos, 10 astreas, 20 Blue Leg Hermits, 20 Scarlet Hermits, 5 Emerald crabs, 5 peppermint shrimp. 1 Copper Band butterfly, 2 False Perculas, 1 Javanese Damsel.
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