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Old 03-19-2006, 09:48 AM   #11
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Hey Marty...Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
All very good advice, nice job ryguy. I suggest the first thing you do is get a good book on SW aquariums. I like "The Conscientious Marine Aquarium" by Robert Fenner. It is a great resource on starting and maintaining a SW tank. As you are finding out, keeping a SW tank is much more then filing a tank with water and adding fish. When I first got into this hobby I was very surprised by all of the extra or less-glamorous stuff people said I needed to buy. Test kits, books, and RO/DI unit, skimmer, LR...the list goes on. Take it from me, the less-glamorous things you need to buy will make the difference between success and failure in this hobby. Good luck and keep researching!
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:18 AM   #12
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So with the nitrogen cycle, the live rock would take care of it mostly?? with the live sand what does that do, or could i use regular sand you find by lakes-rivers? is there a big difference in live rock because i've seen prices from 2.25 a lb to 6.00 .the more expensive the better? How much live rock should i order if i wanted an overhang and an archway ...maybe a cave too

thanks for all your help!
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:25 AM   #13
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After your tank's cycle the LR/LS will help maintain good water quality by acting as a biological filter. It will give the beneficial bacteria a good place to colonize. This bacteria is what the "live" in live rock.
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could i use regular sand you find by lakes-rivers?
Not a great idea. It is best to use prepared sand from the LFS (dry) or get some aragonite play sand from a place like Home Depot. No need to spend the money on the LS in a bag from the LFS.
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is there a big difference in live rock because i've seen prices from 2.25 a lb to 6.00 .the more expensive the better? How much live rock should i order if i wanted an overhang and an archway ...maybe a cave too
Thre is a difference. LR comes from various areas around the world. Some is taken from the reefs and some is aqua-cultured. There are several areas online to purchse LR and have it shipped to you. Do a google search under for "live rock" and you will be surprised what you find.
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:54 AM   #14
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what kind of LR do you reccommend I get for a 40 gallon aquarium and how many pounds?
How many invertibrates and what ind would live in an aquarium that size?

Marty
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:11 PM   #15
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The kind of LR is really up to you. I like carribbean or Fiji. For a 40gal tank you should shoot for 60-80lbs of rock for good biological filtration.
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How many invertibrates and what ind would live in an aquarium that size?
This is really a pretty vauge question. So is the answer...it depends. You can have a very large variety of inverts from reef hermits to snails to several species of shrimp. Other types like anemones and corals and clams require special lighting and attention. Interms of fish...it also depends. Reef safe or not, community vs. aggressive. Like I said, lots of research ahead.
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:56 PM   #16
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First off, thanks guys... it's nice to know I've learned enough here to help others.

Marty,

I'm glad to see you didn't get scared off and are taking all the right steps. I think you'll be happier in the long run with a 40G tank over your original, smaller plans.

I too agree that the Conscientious Marine Aquarist is a great starter book. Reef Secrets by Alf Nilson is another one I like as well.

As far as amount of live rock, Lando's 60 - 80 lbs is a great goal but I wanted to add that you need to be mindful of the type you buy because 80 lbs of a porous rock will barely all fit and not look too good if it does. I bought 55lbs of a porous rock for my 46G and was thinking on adding more after I judged how much more I needed after the initial 55 lbs.
By the time I finished aquascaping ledges, archways anc caves, (as you mentioned as well), I didn't feel I needed any more in there. Also, research the typical shapes and avg. pounds per piece weight in different types of rock. If you want a dramatic aquascape, you don't want to receive a shipment of 60 lbs and find two 20 lbs pieces in there, it can be limiting.

For a heads up, Many people just stack their rock until pieces "lock" together and look good. Other options are aquascaping epoxy putty and pvc framing support. I mention these because they will allow you to dream up, and carry out the various caves, archways and overhangs that you want to have. I too had the same in mind when I was waiting for my rock. Luckily, I got very cool shapes and only used a limited amount of putty. (placed after aquascaping for peace of mind)

As Lando said, there are tons of ways to go about stocking a tank this size, and tons of inverts, fish and corals waiting for you to discover and get excited about!! This site is an invaluable resource.... just keep reading and asking questions and I'm sure you're gonna find this hobby to be unlike any other.

Cheers,
Ryan
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:04 PM   #17
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what breeds of fish are usually group safe?. i used to want puffers but i quickly learned they like to kill other fish. How do you introduce live rock to your aquarium? and does it require any assistance after you place it in. and that epoxy putty do you just stick in to the live rocks and form it out or do you need pvc pipes? with the salinity is it as big of a deal as i think it is on how much salt you need put in? if i don't get the shapes i want can i still "break" it up into smaller pieces?? im planning on getting zoanthids ( different colors) but if i got them earlier would they survive in a 1 gallon tank with a airator and a filter or is that just ridiculous thinking?

marty
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:32 PM   #18
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A good book for aquarium suitability for fish is Marine Fishes -pocket guide, by scott w. michael. This will let you flip through lots of photographs and give you adult sizes, behaviours, reef suitabilty, food needs etc... A great source for finding the fish that will interest you.

We could easily give you a list of what WE would keep, but that takes the fun away from you and at the end of the day... you're the one looking at them. The general recommended amount of fish in a beginners tank is 1" of ADULT fish per 5 gals. (not including the tail). So this loosely translates to 8" to 10" for an aquarium the size we are talking about. If you stick with 2" adult fish, behaviour aside, you should be safe with around 5 fish. Depending on your choices, maybe not.

You can buy your LR and place it in the tank and let the LR start the nitrogen cycle. Wait until the cycle is done then slowly start adding fish. Introducing LR to a stable and existing ecosystem with fish and inverts requires some work however. LR goes through a die-off stage during transit and the amount of die-off is directly related to the time out of water, from its place of origin to your retailer then finally to you. LR that has die-off occuring needs to be "cured" to render it safe for your tank. If it was added straight into your existing tank, then the you'd see an ammonia spike which would cause another cycle to occur and jeopardize the life in your tank. It is OK to put uncured LR in your tank at startup, because you don't have any life in tere yet and you need to start that cycle anyway.

You don't need pvc or epoxy to secure your rocks, I only mentioned it to let you know you can use either of these to assist you with your aquascape. pvc frames and zip ties go hand and hand when going this route. Epoxy is just another option to stick 2 rocks together in order to make a structure stable. You can break live rock and drill it if needed.

Getting the proper salinity is not difficult. you just need to add 1/2 cup of salt per gallon and then test. If you're luucky, that recipe got you in the 1.020 to 1.021 range which is acceptable. Personally, I aim for 1.023.

I wouldn't get ANYTHING living until you've completed your cycle. Zoo's need a fair amount of lighting and I don't think its wise to purchase before you have a suitable home for them.

Ryan
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:34 PM   #19
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ok ive been looking at saltwaterfish.com and this is what ive came up with for fish invertibrates and coral so could you look it over?
invertibrates
-1 cleaner shrimp
-10 blueleg hermits
-3 emerald crabs
-10 hawaiin zebra hermits
-1 lettuce Nudibranch
-flame scallop
-10 Nassarius snails
-and cucumbers, feather dusters, starfish ( would really like but dont know if safe with other items), or urchins??
Fish
-2 percula Clowns
-1 yellow pygmy angel
Corals
- Finger-leather
-Green Ricordea Mushroom polyp
-Zoanthids
-Orange Sun Coral

i dont know of a cheap sight but saltwaterfish.com is selling 20-25 lbs of cured liverock for $109 thats really all i can afford(still in high school).so unless i buy all used stuff tis gonna take me ahwile to get on my feet anf going. would you have a website to recommend thats cheap? could i add rocks i get from the pet store and combine them with the live rock?

thanks for your help
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:31 PM   #20
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Fish/invert selections look pretty good with the exception of a couple I noticed.

The pygmy angel will probably nip at your corals and I would hold off for 4+ months before adding the Nudibranch just because they require fairly stable water conditions.

The Flame Scallop & cucumbers I wouldn’t even attempt for 1+ years since they require a mature well established reef tank and tons of experience!

For star fish avoid red/chocolate (they eat coral) and personally after 6+ months I’d get a brittle star fish.

Make sure you read all the sw articles on this site. (Especially about fishless cycling & acclimation). The articles on liveaquaria.com are invaluable as well.

I’d highly consider getting a qt tank also.

Take your time and research/ask questions on purchases of fish/inverts/equipment before acquiring to make sure it’s ok for your tank
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