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Old 11-23-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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How do I start a Salt water tank?

so i would like a saltwater setup, i have a 37 gallon older style corner aquarium (hex type as opposed to bow front)

My question is how do i start? i have all sorts of filters for my cichlids, fluval, eheim, hob, canister etc, do i need to go the sump route?

i planned on using crushed coral substrate with live rock that i will purchase from a LFS.
do i need to have special placement of powerheads and protein skimmers? or can you pretty much chuck em in?

also should i set up the tank with live rock, then fishless cycle? how long should that be for? i want to put in corals and anemones (sp?) eventually, should i put those in, then fish?

ok, that should start me off. i would like to eventually have a lawnmower blenny and a damsel fish of some sort, but that can wait
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Well a skimmer isnt needed but is useful You have to maintain a Ph of 8.2 and test your parameters every day.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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Do you know the basics of saltwater? If so your already a step closer to starting the cycle.Now there are to ways to cycle with lr You can buy cured lr or uncured lr. With cured It will take less time to cycle. But it costs a lot more then uncured. But uncured will stink during the cycle and will take longer. Do you have any salt yet? I am not a pro with filtering so I probably wouldn't no which filter to use.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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sarah, if you are heading in the reef tank direction, i suggest a completely different tank. a hex is very hard to keep the proper alternating flow in, for one. it's also got a bad foot print (insufficient surface area to place corals and have them grow out).
crushed coral is also a bad idea for a reef tank because of the maintenance issue. i suggest smaller granules. aragonite based substrate that is slightly larger than sugar sized.
you'll also need strong lighting for corals and anemones.

IMO, you'll get a lot more enjoyment out of a 40 breeder. it's got perfect dimensions for a small reef.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:19 PM   #5
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aggreed with mrx
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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Ah, i see what you mean. Luckily due to MTS, i have a suitable tank. lol
thanks for the heads up i was reading that if i had a wrasse (which may be an option) that he would dig, so crushed coral would be bad for that too...
hmm... before i get any live rock or livestock i will set up and let you guys critique i think...
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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lord help me i am a bargain hunter. i just bought a 40 gallon breeder off craigslist with 45 lb of live rock, 40 lb of live sand, everything you need and a pair of damsels for $160.
i am going to pick up at 4pm.. right now i need a master test kit, salts and a LFS for help... yay for me. i will keep you posted. i have the LFS on standby to take the fish if i am too far over my head, but wish me luck..

will be on periodically to check for advice
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #9
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Congrats on the 40 gallon pick up. Mr X hit it on the head on the other stuff.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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You are off to a great start. Ma I suggest you continue to do some reading on this forum and ask questions before you do or buy something. As you have already found out, there is some great advice to be had here from people who are not looking to sell you anything.

AA Articles

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank

How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish

Quarantine article

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro

Refugiums

Reef Aquarium Water Parameters

And, my 10 rules for a successful marine aquarium:

Rule # 1. Nothing Good ever happens Fast in a salt water aquarium
Rule # 2. Don't add anything (supplements/chemicals/minerals)you don't test for first.
Rule # 3. PWC (Partial Water Changes) are your friend, and cure many ills.
Rule # 4. QT EVERYTHING before adding it to your tank (mandarins excepted, corals should be dipped)
Rule # 5. Use only RO or RODI water (either buy it or make it)
Rule # 6. All animal species live longer on a 30% reduced caloric intake. Only feed every other day at most (fish species Dependant)
Rule # 7. Hyposalinity is the best, safest, and most effective treatment for marine Ich (IMHO)
Rule # 8. A Refractometer is a MUST HAVE, not a luxury.
Rule # 9. Anemones will never live anywhere near their normal (approx 30 years) lifespan in a home aquarium. Leave them in the ocean.
Rule # 10. The tank size recommendations for fish are there for a reason - HEED THEM!
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