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Old 08-04-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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fresh water to saltwater

Hey all *waves*

I didn't think I would ever post in this section. I was at the LFS and was looking around and noticed this 10 gallon nano tank they had. It's 100.00 for the one they have there, comes with a filter and the lights. I don't have the money to go out and get one just yet, I don't know if I want a ten gallon tank or not or something maybe bigger. I am saving right now for one, and would like to start figuring out what I need and what to do. I would have asked all the info at the store, but the guy that was telling me about it, told me if I bought bottles of seawater from them that I wouldn't have to cycle the tank, and could put fish in it right away. I know that doesn't sound right. So I didn't want to ask him anything really. So I thought I would get all the info I need from here.

I know all about keeping freshwater fish, but don't know anything about saltwater fish. So I am gonna need all the help I can get.

I know I want to keep at least one clown fish. The LFS store has live rock, which I know I am gonna need that stuff. I also don't know much about clean up crews or what else I can put into a tank that small. I know I want a starfish, if I can keep one, and maybe a goby? I also know nothing about those funky looking moving jelly things. Please help me in the right direction. I want to do this right. I am gonna give my self some time to figure everything out before I go out and get anything. I am thinking around Christmas should give me sometime to figure out what I am gonna do.

Thanks for listening!! I know I am blabbering a lot through here hehe.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the saltie side. Generally we like to say larger water volume is better. Since you are familiar with fish keeping, you have a greater chance and some experience. You will need to keep up with more frequent PWCs and top offs with FW.
You are correct, the water does not contain much of the beneficial bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrItes to nitrAtes. This all resides in the LR, filter media and substrate.
Here is a list of nano fish, just to give you an idea:
Nano Fish
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ank-73477.html

Welcome to the SW side. Read our articles section. Also read the above article to see about equipment needs for your tank.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Hey thanks for the links. There seems to be a lot to learn. I wish I could go bigger with the tank, but I just don't have the room, and my boyfriend thinks I don't need another tank. I am looking forward to the challenge of keeping saltwater fish though.

I guess the first thing I need to do is figure out how big the tank I want, or can afford. I was thinking something around 10 gallons to 20 gallons. I am not really sure yet.

with live rock how do u stack it? And coral what is good to have and not to hard to keep? Sorry so many questions.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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I would suggest a 29 at least if you can afford it. The bigger the better bacause of the added water volume. There are several ways to stack rock. Some folks epoxy it together and some put it on top of PVC pipe. Myself and others just try to stack it stable on top of each other. I`ve not had any collapse yet in 10+ yrs.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:20 PM   #6
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I am confused on what type of bio cube to get. Is there some that are a reasonable price. I saw a 14 gallon for $169 at big Al's I think a 29 gallon might be pushing it for me. I don't mind the extra work with a smaller tank. I hear it is harder to keep up.

As for rocks I guess stacking will be alright, but not really sure on how to stack it. I am saltwater dumb
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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You could check Craigslist for some deals on a used tank. Unless the tank was specifically set up for SW before I'd look for a tank with few "extras" as they are likely to be junk. A few points I learned on my SW tank odyssey:

1) Research research research! With SW, you can't just go to the LFS and get what looks nice like you can with FW (i.e. a tetra is pretty much the same as all other tetras as far as requirements and compatibility. The same can't be said for most kinds of SW fish or inverts.)
2) Be very patient. SW tanks do not tolerate hastiness as well as FW tanks do.
3) If you start with a 10g you'll quickly want to upgrade (I did)
4) SW is not cheap, particularly if you get into corals. However, a FOWLR tank is a good way to get the hang of things without the expense of corals or the lighting they need.
5) BUT....saltwater is SO COOL. You definitely won't regret that you did it. But start with #1 above.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfound77951 View Post
You could check Craigslist for some deals on a used tank. Unless the tank was specifically set up for SW before I'd look for a tank with few "extras" as they are likely to be junk. A few points I learned on my SW tank odyssey:

1) Research research research! With SW, you can't just go to the LFS and get what looks nice like you can with FW (i.e. a tetra is pretty much the same as all other tetras as far as requirements and compatibility. The same can't be said for most kinds of SW fish or inverts.)
2) Be very patient. SW tanks do not tolerate hastiness as well as FW tanks do.
3) If you start with a 10g you'll quickly want to upgrade (I did)
4) SW is not cheap, particularly if you get into corals. However, a FOWLR tank is a good way to get the hang of things without the expense of corals or the lighting they need.
5) BUT....saltwater is SO COOL. You definitely won't regret that you did it. But start with #1 above.
I am excited about this whole saltwater! I am trying to research as much as possible, and taking my time, instead of rushing to get everything. I am wondering if maybe a reef isn't such a good idea. I am wondering though, if I can use any type of tank to be able to put saltwater in? Or does it have to be a saltwater tank period. I can buy the right type of filter if you can do this. The packages they have seem to be pretty expensive. I would like to get at least a 29 gallon tank. It would be good for my budget and also the room that I have in my small apartment.

Now with a flower set up as there away to have some types of coral if I get the right amount of lighting? Or is there no way of keeping it like that. Also what types of fish can I keep in a 29 gallon tank? I can certainly fit more that two types of fish in it I hope, like maybe some damsels ?

Thanks for all the help on this, and I think this will be my big project for the year I don't care how long this takes me as long as I can do it right.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tifta View Post
I am saltwater dumb
No you are not. Dumb is someone that does not want to increase in knowledge. I see you trying to learn. Good luck on the tank.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:09 PM   #10
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Not sure what you mean by a "saltwater" tank. Pretty much any tank can be used for SW. The only caveats would be one of those ancient metal framed tanks, or a tank that was used for FW and dosed with copper containing meds.

You can start with a FOWLR tank and then get some corals later. That's what I did. Live rock on its own doesn't need special lighting but you can have that lighting if you want. I have a friend with a 29 gallon reef tank with 2x65 watt CFs and he has several happy soft corals in there.

Most salties don't actually use a filter, at least in the freshwater sense. The biological filtration in a FOWLR or reef tank is provided by the live rock. A skimmer helps to remove excess organic stuff dissolved in the water, powerheads provide circulation, and a "clean up crew" of snails, hermits and other inverts takes care of most of the detritus. Filter media produces a lot of nitrate which is OK for fish but bad for corals, which is why most reef tanks don't have filters. The only instance that I can think of in a SW setup where you'd want a filter would be a fish-only tank with big, messy eaters like triggers or puffers.

As for fish in a 29g, you're a little limited, but 2-3 small fish would be fine. Damsels are cute and hardy but can be ferocious little beasties. Gobies, blennies, firefish, pygmy angels, clownfish and grammas would be good fish to research. I had 3 fish in my 30 and they were happy but that was definitely enough.

So the basic equipment would be:
-Tank (as big as you can afford)
-some PHs
-heater
-skimmer
-lights (what kind depends on what you want to do)
-salt mix and a refractometer
-base rock and some live rock (base rock is cheaper and will soon become "live")
-substrate (aragonite sand is what most people prefer)
-the usual odds and ends (thermo, nets etc that you probably have), saltwater test kits

Determining which of each of these to get is the hard/fun part, and you'll get plenty of advice on here about that. First thing to decide is what size tank you want, as everything else is kind of based on that.
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