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Old 05-08-2006, 01:55 AM   #1
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First try at salt water

Ive been keeping fish for about 3 years and im about to try my first saltwater tank.

Im going to turn my 29 gal into a saltwater tank. (at the moment it is a freshwater) Ive been reading through the forums and so far this is what I got.

1. Deep sand, i'll get approx. 4 inches, do you have to get the gas pockets out also? (like in freshwater)
2. Live rock 40-50 pounds.
3. Im going to go with Ocellaris Clownfish looks like 2 is the max with maybe 1 other fish.
4. What is the best way I should add water, just get the salt mix, or get the pre-mixed saltwater?
5. A good Cleaning crew, Shrimp, crabs, any other good ones?
6. Anything I miss?

Thanks. Sorry if I placed this post in the wrong section of the forums. I saw the live rock section and thats what in going for, + im at work, lol
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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No problem Csquare. Imoved this to a forum that will get you better answers. The only thing I can recommend is that you do a fishless cycle,which is up top under articles. Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
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What kind of filtration system will you be using? I would recommend a protein skimmer as well.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Congrats.

I'm in the same boat as you.
I've had several FW tanks going for years and just recently made the jump to SW with a little 10g tank.
I'm lovin' it! It's just like the magic of having my first tank again.

While I can't answer most of your questions with any authority I can tell you that although I sarted with the Instant Ocean salt mix and treated tap water I wish I had gone with storebought SW from my LFS.
Not only would it have been half the price of mixing my own but they also use RO water to make it.
I plan on doing all of my water changes with their SW in the future.
I've stocked up several tank's worth in the garage in 5g water bottles.

Congrats again and good luck with the new venture.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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Yah I see that you can buy the water in 5 gallon boxes, much better water quality and less problems with alge i assume.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
Sounds like you are off to a great start.
Quote:
Deep sand, i'll get approx. 4 inches, do you have to get the gas pockets out also? (like in freshwater)
Yes, toxic gas pockets in the sustrate can be a bad thing. Plenty of sand sifting via critters is the answer.
Quote:
Live rock 40-50 pounds.
That is a good number to shoot for....60lbs total would be great.
Quote:
Im going to go with Ocellaris Clownfish looks like 2 is the max with maybe 1 other fish.
A pai of O. clowns and maybe two other small fish is realistic.
Quote:
What is the best way I should add water, just get the salt mix, or get the pre-mixed saltwater?
When first starting it is not as important, but I would just mix up some SW in a 30gal. rubbermaid tub and let it age and mix for a day, then just add it to the tank. It will take a few days for the sand to settle and water to clear.
Quote:
A good Cleaning crew, Shrimp, crabs, any other good ones?
Crabs, snails and shrimp all make good cleaners. I would let your tank cycle completely before adding any livestock.
Quote:
Anything I miss?
Most likely. There is a lot that goes into setting up a SW tank. Let us know what equipment you have or plan to get, what type of filtration you want to use and your overall plans for the tank so we can comment more.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:21 PM   #7
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Im going to use my HOT magnum if thats ok, any information on a protein skimmer whould be helpful, or if needed with a LR system. But im open to all information and opinions. I'll definately let the tank fully cycle.

So with the first set up of water mixing it myself should be ok, and then after the cycle go to the boxed?

and with saltwater what should I do for water changes during cycle, I dunno if its different then freshwater.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csquare77
and with saltwater what should I do for water changes during cycle, I dunno if its different then freshwater.
Most resources say that you can do basically the same as a FW tank with a weekly 10-15% water change but I've seen quite a few people on these boards who advise doing larger weekly water changes of 25-50% so it really seems to be up to the individual.
Just so long as you keep a routine and do your maintenance regularly as I'm sure you do on your FW tanks you'll be fine.

I've only just started with a little 10g with no skimmer so I already figured on doing a 30-40% PWC each week.
If I had a larger tank with a skimmer I might only do a nominal 10-20% weekly...

One thing that you will have to remember after you have your salt level/SG where you want it is to only "top-off" and replace any evaporation with fresh water, not saltwater.
Evaporation only removes the FW and leaves the salt behind.
If you top-off with SW you'll end up raising your levels too high.
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: First try at salt water

3. Im going to go with Ocellaris Clownfish looks like 2 is the max with maybe 1 other fish.

I have two clowns, a firefish and a newly aquainted six line. Im going to see how much the wrasse affects my parameters in a period of time and maybe add one more yellow goby to pair with my pistol. That would be an absolute max though.

4. What is the best way I should add water, just get the salt mix, or get the pre-mixed saltwater?

I always mix the water the day before. SG changes alot in the time you mix it.

5. A good Cleaning crew, Shrimp, crabs, any other good ones?

Nassarius snails are good for keeping the beds stirred, astrea or turbo snails are good for keeping the rest clean. I also have a emerald crab, skunk cleaner shrimp, and hermit crab. They also seem to be thriving! I would get at least 30 snails, half and half would be good. I just kept adding snails till i saw a good upkeep on the tank.

6. Anything I miss?
Patience. I have had some BAD experience with SW. I had alot of death, but I learned alot from all of it. I feel that for all the death that has happened, I have now given my fish a wonderful home and I know a bit more about how to make them be best nurtured.

Oh and the more liverock the better.
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csquare77
I’m going to use my HOT magnum if that’s ok
If you have enough lr (1.5+ lbs per gal) then it will provide all the biological filtration needed for the tank assuming you don’t overstock. The HOT can be used for circulation and to drop in media like GAC occasionally.

When not using media I’d run it empty to keep waste from building up on the filter sleeve which will increase your no3. You can take out the media container completely and just use the middle tube and top plastic piece. Also I’d put a pre-filter sponge on the intake to keep waste from entering and rinse every couple of days.
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