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Old 12-13-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
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Future First Saltwater Tank

Hi everybody. So I am really jumping the gun here. Lol. All I have right now is a 2 gal shrimp tank, and I am going to have a 20 gall fresh right after Christmas. Fish just fascinate me, and now I am already planning on making a saltwater tank!!!

I don't have $30 a month allowance, so I think I will start around March when I get my birthday money. I usually get about $250 and then whatever I have saved up for allowance.

The biggest tank size I would get is 10 gallons, but I would like it to be around 5-8 gallons so I can keep it on my desk where I do school. I want a few live corals, and the only fish I would want is a goby. Even though they are shy and don't do much, they have always been my favorite saltwater fish. Besides sea horses and deep sea fish. But I obviously can't keep those - yet. Plus, I would like a couple shrimp.

For corals I prefer soft corals. But, if they are not good for begginers then I'll opt for hard.

I believe I will also use a pound or two of live rock so I can get it to cycle faster, and I'll also have some 'dead' coral in there. I don't know what it is really called lol.

So, that is really all I know what I am going to do. Otherwise, I am clueless. Do I need a sump? A skimmer? A powerhead? What salinity, substrate, light, and ph do I need. What goby would be good for this tank? Could I add a crab? Hahaha this is all confusing. I just want to start preparing now, because time goes fast, and it would be nice to start being able to purchase some things.

So, how, what - uh..... Can you help me?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyhorse View Post
Hi everybody. So I am really jumping the gun here. Lol. All I have right now is a 2 gal shrimp tank, and I am going to have a 20 gall fresh right after Christmas. Fish just fascinate me, and now I am already planning on making a saltwater tank!!!

I don't have $30 a month allowance, so I think I will start around March when I get my birthday money. I usually get about $250 and then whatever I have saved up for allowance.

The biggest tank size I would get is 10 gallons, but I would like it to be around 5-8 gallons so I can keep it on my desk where I do school. I want a few live corals, and the only fish I would want is a goby. Even though they are shy and don't do much, they have always been my favorite saltwater fish. Besides sea horses and deep sea fish. But I obviously can't keep those - yet. Plus, I would like a couple shrimp.

For corals I prefer soft corals. But, if they are not good for begginers then I'll opt for hard.

I believe I will also use a pound or two of live rock so I can get it to cycle faster, and I'll also have some 'dead' coral in there. I don't know what it is really called lol.

So, that is really all I know what I am going to do. Otherwise, I am clueless. Do I need a sump? A skimmer? A powerhead? What salinity, substrate, light, and ph do I need. What goby would be good for this tank? Could I add a crab? Hahaha this is all confusing. I just want to start preparing now, because time goes fast, and it would be nice to start being able to purchase some things.

So, how, what - uh..... Can you help me?
Skimmer--not needed on a small tank. You just have to stay current with your water changes.
Sump-not needed.
Power Head- you will need something between 250-400gph.
Salinity-for a reef, shoot for 1.025-1.026.
PH- I shoot for 8.1. It will fluctuate through the course of the day.
Substrate- your choice. Look into aragonite sand.
Lighting- all depends on what kind of coral you want to keep. I would suggest T5 lighting to start out with.
Gobies- check out Liveaquaria.com. Everything is broken down by care level, tank size, etc.
Crab- yes you could add a crab. If its a reef, do your research on crabs first, as some are reef safe, while others are not.

Additionally, you will most likely need a heater(depending on where you live), live rock (or dry rock, if you're willing to wait for a longer cycle), and the ability to get saltwater and freshwater that is made from a RODI unit. Most fish stores sell water, or you can purchase a cheap RODI unit from eBay. Not having RODI water can lead to algae problems down the road.


All in all, you can do a lot with a little money in a 10g tank. Search through the different forums on here, there is a wealth of information to be had. Welcome to the salt world!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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A 10g will be a challenge cuz the water parameters are more difficult to keep in check. But if you're up to a challenge, go for it. The yellow watchman goby say smaller than most of the others. There's also the clown goby that would work in that size tank.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Qube View Post
Skimmer--not needed on a small tank. You just have to stay current with your water changes.
Sump-not needed.
Power Head- you will need something between 250-400gph.
Salinity-for a reef, shoot for 1.025-1.026.
PH- I shoot for 8.1. It will fluctuate through the course of the day.
Substrate- your choice. Look into aragonite sand.
Lighting- all depends on what kind of coral you want to keep. I would suggest T5 lighting to start out with.
Gobies- check out Liveaquaria.com. Everything is broken down by care level, tank size, etc.
Crab- yes you could add a crab. If its a reef, do your research on crabs first, as some are reef safe, while others are not.

Additionally, you will most likely need a heater(depending on where you live), live rock (or dry rock, if you're willing to wait for a longer cycle), and the ability to get saltwater and freshwater that is made from a RODI unit. Most fish stores sell water, or you can purchase a cheap RODI unit from eBay. Not having RODI water can lead to algae problems down the road.


All in all, you can do a lot with a little money in a 10g tank. Search through the different forums on here, there is a wealth of information to be had. Welcome to the salt world!!
So, to make the salt water, do you just use aquarium salt? How much do you usually need?

How do you raise your PH? I think my PH is about 7.4, but I am not sure.

I'll do some research on the gobies and crabs.

I'll need to use a heater at least in the winter. My shrimp tank gets to about 67 degrees with out one.

What kinds of corals are good for begginers?

Can you send a link to a good RODI unit? Do I NEED one?
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:13 AM   #5
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A 10g will be a challenge cuz the water parameters are more difficult to keep in check. But if you're up to a challenge, go for it. The yellow watchman goby say smaller than most of the others. There's also the clown goby that would work in that size tank.
I don't mind a challenge as long as it's not a total pain in the butt and a waste of money.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scottyhorse View Post
Hi everybody. So I am really jumping the gun here. Lol. All I have right now is a 2 gal shrimp tank, and I am going to have a 20 gall fresh right after Christmas. Fish just fascinate me, and now I am already planning on making a saltwater tank!!!

I don't have $30 a month allowance, so I think I will start around March when I get my birthday money. I usually get about $250 and then whatever I have saved up for allowance.

The biggest tank size I would get is 10 gallons, but I would like it to be around 5-8 gallons so I can keep it on my desk where I do school. I want a few live corals, and the only fish I would want is a goby. Even though they are shy and don't do much, they have always been my favorite saltwater fish. Besides sea horses and deep sea fish. But I obviously can't keep those - yet. Plus, I would like a couple shrimp.

For corals I prefer soft corals. But, if they are not good for begginers then I'll opt for hard.

I believe I will also use a pound or two of live rock so I can get it to cycle faster, and I'll also have some 'dead' coral in there. I don't know what it is really called lol.

So, that is really all I know what I am going to do. Otherwise, I am clueless. Do I need a sump? A skimmer? A powerhead? What salinity, substrate, light, and ph do I need. What goby would be good for this tank? Could I add a crab? Hahaha this is all confusing. I just want to start preparing now, because time goes fast, and it would be nice to start being able to purchase some things.

So, how, what - uh..... Can you help me?
I am just gonna use previous format lol

Skimmer--not needed on a small tank. You just have to stay current with your water changes. (agree with it water change is super important to this,however, you can play around with some regular filter, I saw someone use a wet-dry filter removed all media and placed some algae in it. I think technically it would work)
Sump-not needed. (agree)
Power Head- you will need something between 250-400gph.(if you are looking for soft coral, should aim for lower water flow towards 250gph)
Salinity-for a reef, shoot for 1.025-1.026. (agree)
PH- I shoot for 8.1. It will fluctuate through the course of the day. (agree ph drop in nite when lights out)
Substrate- your choice. Look into aragonite sand. (u can even try bare bottom for a small tank like yours, easier to clean and look really nice)
Lighting- all depends on what kind of coral you want to keep. I would suggest T5 lighting to start out with. ( T5 or LED fixtures)
Gobies- check out Liveaquaria.com. Everything is broken down by care level, tank size, etc.
Crab- yes you could add a crab. If its a reef, do your research on crabs first, as some are reef safe, while others are not. (Disagree, cuz most crab are not reef safe especially in a small tank like this, your goby will be very dangerous,all other one are algae eater and small tank like that would prefer almost 0 algae grow, so they wouldn't survive )
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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I am just gonna use previous format lol

Skimmer--not needed on a small tank. You just have to stay current with your water changes. (agree with it water change is super important to this,however, you can play around with some regular filter, I saw someone use a wet-dry filter removed all media and placed some algae in it. I think technically it would work)
Sump-not needed. (agree)
Power Head- you will need something between 250-400gph.(if you are looking for soft coral, should aim for lower water flow towards 250gph)
Salinity-for a reef, shoot for 1.025-1.026. (agree)
PH- I shoot for 8.1. It will fluctuate through the course of the day. (agree ph drop in nite when lights out)
Substrate- your choice. Look into aragonite sand. (u can even try bare bottom for a small tank like yours, easier to clean and look really nice)
Lighting- all depends on what kind of coral you want to keep. I would suggest T5 lighting to start out with. ( T5 or LED fixtures)
Gobies- check out Liveaquaria.com. Everything is broken down by care level, tank size, etc.
Crab- yes you could add a crab. If its a reef, do your research on crabs first, as some are reef safe, while others are not. (Disagree, cuz most crab are not reef safe especially in a small tank like this, your goby will be very dangerous,all other one are algae eater and small tank like that would prefer almost 0 algae grow, so they wouldn't survive )
I got a little lost with the lack of punctuation at the end if this post. Are you saying that the goby would die because it eats algae? That's not true cuz YWG are carnivores, not herbivores.

I'm not a big crab fan myself, so I wouldn't suggest them either. A pistol shrimp/YWG pair would be cool, though.

To OP: there are some other gobies that are quite small. I think it was mentioned, but check out the sw nano section of liveaquaria.com.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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I got a little lost with the lack of punctuation at the end if this post. Are you saying that the goby would die because it eats algae? That's not true cuz YWG are carnivores, not herbivores.

I'm not a big crab fan myself, so I wouldn't suggest them either. A pistol shrimp/YWG pair would be cool, though.

To OP: there are some other gobies that are quite small. I think it was mentioned, but check out the sw nano section of liveaquaria.com.
I could have 2 gobies?

So I won't get a crab then. Could I have some shrimp with the gobies, or would they eat them? Also, what do gobies like to eat, and where do I get their food?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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I agree that a 10g reef will be tricky, but if you keep all your parameters in constant check, it is doable. Not sure if it was mentioned yet, but you will want to get a good test kit. As for an RODI unit...it is good to have and you should use RODI water, but if your budget is tight, then maybe just buy the water from a LFS. That cost will add up over time, but with such a small tank, its not like you would be buying too much at a time for water changes.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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We have well water, if that makes a difference. For a saltwater, should you test every day? Also, we live about a half hour away from the lfs or petco.
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