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Old 11-07-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
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FW conversion to a 29 gallon Nemo tank

Just starting out my research on converting my 29 gallon FW tank to saltwater. Planning the typical Nemo tank. A clownfish or two and hopefully an anemone they might take a liking to.

Just hoping someone could point me towards some more info on a few things. I plan on using a mixture of crushed coral and a white sugar sand they have here locally (I'd really like to know where they find white sand here in Ft. Lauderdale as I've been to every beach and they're a sickly yellow) Anywho, how deep should I go on the sand/coral mix? I was only thinking of going 2 inches unless there's a reason to go deeper.

Other than that my plan was to use my cannister filter (replace the sponges/clean the bioballs) The lighting would be 130watts total. A 65watt cf daylight(6,700k I believe) and a 65watt 50/50 daylight/actinic instead of the plant light. I think that should be enough for live rock and an anemone or two.

I haven't decided if I'm going to buy or build a protein skimmer yet as I have about half of what I would need to build one sitting around already. The real question is should I start out with it on there for the cycling the tank or wait until the cycle is finished to kick it on? Not wanting to remove the food for the bacteria I'm trying to grow for the cycle and so forth.

The other question is activated carbon, will I need it with a skimmer?

And I've seen a few recommendations for just over a pound per gallon of live rock. Is it really safe to put 30+ pounds of rock in there? I was thinking about 20 should handle it.

And is there a site with a good list of anomene's with light/food requirements etc? Obviously with a focus in mind of the clowns. Most of what I'm finding is spotty info at best.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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I am also building a nemo tank with my 46 gallon bow front. I am pretty sure that the BTA bubble tip anemone only needs a minimum of 4watts per gallon of lighting and the other anemone's need more the the 4.48 that you will have. And from my understanding most Saltwater aquarist do not use carbon filters simply because The Live rock is what does most of the biological filtration. A lot of live rock is your best bet. Some saltwater aquarists do not use mechanical filtration at all because the power heads and the protein skimmer do the same job that a canister filter does. The canister filter is good for water flow and in case you need to use chemical filtration in an emergency. Using RO/Di water, having good water flow and an awesome protein skimmer with lots of live rock is really all you need. Why use the crushed coral? I prefer the look of just the sugar fine sand(I got Nature's Ocean white marine sand for 7.99 per 10 plb's at Petco) I used crushed coral before and found that it just collected crap and added to the nitrate's in my tank. here is a cheap place to buy a good protein skimmer http://www.aquatictech.com/

Here is some good Q&A on Anemone lighting http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/in...ightngfaqs.htm
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:48 AM   #3
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A couple comments...

I wouldn't hesitate to put 50 lbs of rock in that tank. Yes... it's perfectly safe - even with the rock sitting directly on the glass. Actually, that's even safer because nothing can burrow under it and cause the rock to shift. Shifting rocks are a bad thing. If you use 1-1.5 lbs of live rock per gallon, you won't need the bioballs in your cannister, and can use it just for circulation and chemical filtration.

I think you'll find the majority of folks run carbon 24/7, with or without a skimmer. I did for the first 6 months or so, then switched to a synthetic product called Purigen. Good stuff and it's rechargable. I was concerned about carbon stripping out the "good stuff" along with the bad, and Purigen supposedly doesn't do that. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects.

I'm sure others will chime in on the bad effects of crushed coral, but fijiwigi nailed it - it just collect too much junk and the fine sand will just sift its way to the bottom of the pile. Go all sand and get a good cleanup crew (snails that burrow in the sand like nassarius, etc) and you'll be in good shape.

I'm sure you've read it all over, but I'll just say it again - clownfish don't need anemones in a captive environment. Even if you get an anemone, there's no guarantee the fish will associate with it. BUT... if you do, be aware that you should really wait 9-12 months (yes... months) before putting one in your tank. They want stable, high quality water conditions. Between you getting used to what it takes to keep the water parameters in good shape, and the water parameters themselves going through swings, it really does take that long for a freshly set up tank to "settle down." Everyone thinks their tank is different, but many folks before us learned the hard way and that's why the "rule of thumb" is out there. There's just a lot of stuff going on (with or without our help) in that tank during the first year or so when you're SLOWLY stocking it and figuring it all out.

Welcome aboard, and read read read! That wetwebmedia website fijiwigi suggested has tons of great info. It's a little tough to navigate because there is just soooo much stuff there, but it's a huge storehouse of knowledge from some very knowledgable folks.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. Looks like I'm gonna be knee deep in reading for a while now. Which is a good thing. It's going to take me a few weeks to get the tank emptied and the fish/plants dispersed to their new homes. I have to make some room in my 75 gallon for the pair of angels and plants that are in the 29 now. My hope is to get the 29 set up with live rock and sand asap, then I can let it sit, cycle and acclimate for a couple months before adding anything to it.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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cycling the tank with uncured live rock would be a good idea Dr Fosters &smith live aquaria has some decent prices. Even with shipping its still cheaper than the LFS about $4.00 a pound. I cured my rock for about 6weeks in my tank. Than I added white sand waited 3weeks added some snails 2weeks later added a clownfish. I encountered a hair algae issue that I realized was my lack of RO/DI water so I am now purchasing RO/DI water from my LFS for .40 cents per gallon. And my white sand is turning brown since I do not have a decent sand cleanup crew. I am actually curios on if someone could chime in some good ideas for a sand cleanup crew. I was thinking a conch or a sally lightfoot crab. something hardy and good for a beginner. And my clownfish is happy without an anemone He has one certain piece of LR that he wiggles around all day long that he treats like his anemone. The clown wiggles in about a 4inch area of the tank by his favorite rock. Only moves away at night to feed at the surface.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
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I think I have an advantage on the live rock costs. It's a bit cheaper down here in South Florida, we're closer to the source. Sand, live rock, corals and a variety of tropical fresh and salt water fish are all cultivated down here so I can get a lot of stuff locally at the same price or slightly cheaper than online prices. It's the imported stuff that's cheaper online.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=76139
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:31 AM   #8
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That was a very helpful link to some info. Thanks Melosu58. I learned a thing or two. Do you have any advice on a good sand clean up crew???
I am jealous that I live in the northwest it must be nice to live down south where the prices are favorable.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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I would go with aragonite sand and hold off on the clean up crew until your cycle is complete. Once it is complete, you can add a small amount of snails, I like nassarius, cerith and margarita snails. Turbo snails are great too. Just remember, start small since there aon't be much food for them to eat, and you don't want them to starve. Other possibilities are a few hermit crabs, bristle star, astreas and nerite snails.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:39 PM   #10
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In addition to the one`s that Scott mentioned I would suggest a good sand sifting Goby but you`ll need to wait a while for the sand to develope first. Nothing better than a bullet goby. Here is mine.

http://www.fantasyreef.com/database/...=7&item_id=168
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