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Old 05-30-2004, 12:37 AM   #1
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I may be ready to take the plunge

OK, I have been doing fresh water for awhile now and things are going well on that front, but have always wanted a saltwater tank as well. I may be getting a great deal on a 75 gal that I think would be ideal for this purpose.

Before I delve off into the various intricate topics, I would like to find a source with sort of an overview - the basics so to speak. I want to get an idea of what type of set-up will work best for me. Will someone please point me in the right direction.
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Old 05-30-2004, 12:51 AM   #2
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"the conscientious marine aquarist" by robert fenner
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Old 05-30-2004, 12:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
the conscientious marine aquarist" by robert fenner
Also simply start reading the "getting started", "beginners" threads in the sw forum here and on other sites. You can really learn alot this way.
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Old 05-30-2004, 01:08 AM   #4
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You can't go wrong with The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner. I also have The New Marine Aquarium, by Michael Paletta. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/saltbook.php

Fenner's book has (besides the basics) detailed descriptions of fish and invertibrates. Paletta's book has drawings of different ways to arrange live rock (a bonus for me, lol).

I'm still undecided on starting a SW tank, but I've enjoyed these books a lot. Also, just reading the SW forums is a big help, like MT79 said. Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2004, 01:53 AM   #5
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I will definately pick up the book. In the mean time, here's a couple of SW newb questions:

1. What is "reef ready" tank?

2. What is the difference between live rock and reef?

3. If you begin with fish and live rock only, can you turn the tank into
reef later?
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Old 05-30-2004, 07:38 AM   #6
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1 usually a reef ready tank includes better lghting, and overflow boxes or a drilled tank. I am not sure if they include a skimmer, but a reef needs one.
2 I think of a reef as the whole system. not just the sand, but the critters that live in the sand as well. Lr is the basis for your reef, it houses many things that make up the reef, algae for the fish and snails to eat etc.
3 yes. as long as you make livestock choices wisely. many fish will eat inverts. so if yu want to go for the reef, stay away from these species.
Good luck
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Old 05-30-2004, 10:25 AM   #7
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Great questions and welcome to the salty side of things! A tank that is "reef ready" has two big holes drilled in it for plumbing and generally has an internal overflow box. This is ideal for systems utilizing a sump for filtration. Basically, water is pumped out of your tank to your sump where it is filtered and skimmed and then it is pumped back into your tank for recycling. Think of it like a swilling pool and it's filter system. This is great for many reasons. First, the sump adds water volume to your system. They are usually 20-30 gals or more. The more water you are working with the more stable your total system is. Larger volume of water will be affected less by changes in water parameters. The sump also gives you a place to hide your equipment. Things like skimmers and heaters can go in the sump instead of hanging on the back of your tank. No more hang-on-back filters either. A sump also helps maintain a consistent water level in your display tank. As water evaporates, the level in sump falls, not the level in your tank.

the difference between Live Rock and Reef? LR is the foundation for a reef tank. It is beneficial as biological filtration for your tank and it adds structure to your tank. By adding various corals and inverts you can create a reef. If you think you would like to have a reef some day, choose your fish wisely now as a lot out there are not reef-safe. they will eat corals and inverts. Start off with as much LR as your can. The more the better. You will need 1.5-2 pounds per gal to get good biological filtration out of it. However, some is better then none. The good news is that this is a hobby that takes time so no need to be in a hurry. I hope this helped you and was not too confusing. Good luck and read, read, read! Lando
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:15 PM   #8
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Yes, very helpful.

So, if I understand correctly, a tank does not have to be reef ready, it is just a convenience. I have read some people talking about having their tanks drilled; I assume this is for the same purpose. Am I correct that a reef tank does not have to be pre or post drilled?
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:30 PM   #9
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Yep, you don't have to have it.. you can buy hang-on overflow boxes that don't require any drilling. That's if you even decide to have a sump. Again not a requirement.

The biggest expenses in my book are the lighting and the rock. You can't really skimp on the lighting if you want to go full reef, but you can use cheap rock as a base and then seed it with pieces of live rock.
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:31 PM   #10
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mine isn't drilled and I plan on adding inverts oneday. You can get a hang on the back overflow box which works the same as one that is internal. but if the hang-on-back fails to syphon correctly you could end up with water all over the floor.

You don't absolutely need a sump. but from what I hear, it makes things alot easier and alot more stable, so Its probibly a good Idea.
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