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Old 02-13-2014, 12:17 AM   #1
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I want to really venture into the saltwater side

So over the weekend I bought my daughter a little 10 gallon tank. She's only 15 months old by the way.

I have it set up for tropical fish. I really enjoyed setting it up and we currently have 3 guppies and 3 glowfish in it. The maintenance is pretty straight forward for me.

While I was setting it up it brought me back to the days when I first moved to the U.S. from Germany. I moved over and my first job was at a petsmart store, in the fish department. I cared for the little tropical fish while the main guy there was all about the saltwater aquariums.

He had set up a massive display case he constructed himself and I remember that the fish and possibilities of saltwater tanks were stunning to me.

Well, there's a little history.

I did research for a while now and I keep seeing different things from different websites so I decided to join here and ask a couple questions.

First, budget is not a problem with me. I understand it can get expensive pretty quick, but I'm also not wanting to spend an atronomical amount of money.

How hard is maintenance? I read from some websites that the technology nowadays makes it tough to mess up, as long as you are paying attention of course. What are the things someone needs to test and at what frequency? How often and how much water drainage is needed to freshen up the tank?

How hard is it to move a tank from one home to another? I'm most likely going to wait until I purchase a house and move into it before I set it up, but I was just curious. I will be buying everything for it over the course of the year with the exception of the fish/coral/reef.

I'm on the edge about creating a mini reef tank vs. a reef and fish combination tank. If I went with fish as well, I would definitely, without a doubt, love to have a clownfish or two.

Also, what kind of gear do I need? I currently just have a filter, lights and a heater for my daughter's tropical tank, and I know that nowhere near cuts it for saltwater.

I might have more questions as the thread goes on and I think this might be a good start in getting information.

I will also be going to a local aquarium store this weekend to check some things out, jot some items of interest down and bring them here to talk about.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:53 AM   #2
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First off welcome. Maintaining a sw aquarium isn't much different than fw. What equipment you'll need depends a little on tank size and set up you want but some basics are ro/di water, flow device, rock for bio filtration (either live or base) , a skimmer is nice to have but not necessary depending on what size tank, and then you have lighting which there are to many options to list and this also depends on tank size. Fish and coral in the same tank is no problem as long as you do your research and get reef safe fish, there are also lots if cool inverts you can add. IMO the 2 most important things for starting and maintaining a reef are research and patience.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:05 AM   #3
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Nice. Good to hear. I'm definitely doing my research whenever I have downtime.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:12 AM   #4
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Check out http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/_/...a-nano-reef-r1 they have some great articles and info. All the info pertains to larger systems as well not just nanos
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link!
I was browsing on the forums and a couple of the links I went to are not valid any more.

I should be going to the giant aquarium store this weekend hopefully to jot some notes down on things I find that I want to look up.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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It isn't as difficult as one would think to have a thriving reef. You just gotta spend the money on good equipment and go very slowly. We are all here to help!
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Nice. I will definitely be asking a lot of questions as I read articles and how-to's. I want to educate myself before I start setting it up and I will be buying bits and pieces as I do more research. I'm thinking about doing between a 20-50 gallon tank.

I read that a lot of people refrain from using a glass tank because of it's vulnerability to possibly cracking. Is that true? Is there a benefit I should know about when choosing between a glass vs the hard plastic material for a tank?

The tropical tank I have is not glass.

There goes simple question number 1. I just learned about gravity levels.

I definitely don't want to cheap out on anything, I plan on buying quality products for accurate readings and efficiency.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:44 PM   #8
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Glass tanks are fine, I prefer them to acrylic because acrylic is to easy to scratch. A 40 breeder would make a great starter reef, they have awesome footprints and are pretty shallow making it easier to light and do work in the tank
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:44 PM   #9
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I have a glass tank lol and it's fine. I've never heard that though. I'd do a 40 breeder, makes a sweet reef. That's actually my next tank as well haha. Or a cube as they're really nice for a reef as well.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:54 PM   #10
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I saw the cubes and it didn't really appeal to me. I like the 40 breeder! Looks like "widescreen". Seems like a perfect size. I will jot that down for when I go to the store so that I can physically see the size.

I'm reading about setting up and cycling as well as how to set up for power outtages. That's one thing I want to definitely throw a good chunk of equipment at.
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