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Old 05-14-2004, 05:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada
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Im a newb...

Hey everyone.

I currently have a 55 gal mixed african cichlid tank that I love, i will post some pictures later, but I also have a small 20 long tank that I want to setup as a reef tank, most likley with some clown fish and anemones..

I might be switching to a smaller 10 gallon but I have some qeustions...

I found 50 pounds of live rock from someone aroud here for 5.50 CAD a pound which is about half the price at the LFS, so ill be buying some of that.

What should I get for a subsrate and how much? Crushed coral?

Do I need a Filter? or does the live rock and crushed coral bed do the filtering? I have heard that you dont really need a filter on tanks?

Do I need watermovement then? just get a really small power filter?

What about air, do I have have an air pump in the tank?

I know I will need some salt mix.

The next thing is what do I need for lights? If I want anemones, I need a special lighting system? Is it easier just for me to build it myself, or should I say cheaper, because I dont want to spend a ton of money on a Salt water tank.

Thats why I am going with a small tank, I have a 33 gal but It would be alot more to setup I think if I went with that..

Or would it? if I had a 33 gal would I still need a filter and all that?



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Old 05-14-2004, 05:23 PM   #2
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dont switch to the 10g... smaller tanks are very hard to keep stable. If anything i would at least get a 29g tank.

Use sand for the substrate. Crushed coral needs to be vacuumed regularly (which is a big pain) or it will cause lots of nitrate.

The live rock and sand should filter enough, but you should consider getting a skimmer as well.

Get two powerheads for water movement.

aim one of the powerheads towards the surface of the water causing ripples. This is wehre the oxygen exchange will take place.

If you dont want to speend a bunch of money you should stop right now. Expect to pay at least 200 dollars or so for a lighting system that wil be ok for an anemone. They should have metal halide lighting, but you can get away with VHO or PC lights if you get a ton.

Oh, you have a 33 gal? Is it a hex? I dont know much about MH lighting, but you would probably just get one 250 or even 400 watt light and some actinic lighting and you would be set for any coral/anemone you wanted.

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Old 05-14-2004, 05:25 PM   #3
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Hey, Im a newbie too so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

1. 20 gallons is pretty darn small for a saltwater tank. Keeping the water balanced and the fish healthy will be a feat, however, you will save money when it comes to live rock, substrate, and especially lighting.

2. You will need a filter, I would suggest one that is rated for a tank at least twice the size of yours. ( I personally like canaster filters, they have served me well in the past.)

3. You will want some agragaite sand for your tank. You may be able to find some cheap playsand (check out the playsand season thread) but I ended up having to purchase mine at the LFS.

4. You should have high water movement, (think at least twice as high as your cichlid tank) With a 20 gallon tank You wont need a powerhead as long as you use a large enough filtration system. Just place the intake and output tubes far apart.

5. You will absolutely need a protien skimmer. This is something I have never used on my freshwater tanks, but is essential to keeping the water clean and pure in a salt water tank.

6. And most Importantly, expect to spend about 2 times more than originally anticipated. It is very expensive to set a marine tank up. I have a 37 gallon tank and I am very near the 1 grand mark and I havent put in a single fish yet!

7. Start with only fish and live rocks, but plan for a reef setup later, meaning that with every item you buy, make sure it will work well both with a FOWLR setup and a reef setup.

again, I am also brand new, so take my advice lightly, but I am sure that some of the more experenced guys will agree with alot of what I have said.
Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 05-14-2004, 05:48 PM   #4
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hmm thanks, I actually got a call from my parents who said they w ould buy me either a tank or barbq for a hosue warming gift hah, so I have to choose now.

But I was told that you apparently dont need a filter.. so i dot know, I guess tommorow I will go and price everything out.
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Old 05-14-2004, 06:15 PM   #5
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If you have sufficient live rock, it acts like your filter, so you don't have to use mechanical filtration. I would stick with the powerheads because you don't want stagnant areas in your water. What I have right now in my 55 gal is four powerheads and a HOB filter that has carbon in it 24/7. I have about 65-70 lbs of live rock and 60 lbs of aragamax sand. About 1-2lbs per gallon is a good general rule of thumb to follow. HTH
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Old 05-14-2004, 10:32 PM   #6
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If you only spent double what you thought you would your doing a lot better then me!

You might want to reconsider the Anemones...there not for a new tank, most people recommend the tank be at least a year old, and being that there life span is cut way way short in captivity you might not want to get one at all!
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
—Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:12 PM   #7
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You may wanna look into a toadstool leather instead of an anemone. Anemones just are too difficult to keep in a new tank and a tank that size, most of them doe with in less than a year of being put in a tank.

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