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Old 10-29-2014, 04:02 AM   #1
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In need of saltwater experts?

Ok so I have been wanting a sw tank for maybe 2 years now. My boyfriend is giving me $300 to get my dream sw tank started!I have a 55g community tank, 65g african cichlid tank,10g planted ghost shrimp tank, and a 20g snail tank. I have no experience with sw tanks , but I would love to learn and experience it. I have been doing a lot of research such as live rock and species of fish! I think I want more coral and invertebrates than fish! I do want some clowns and gobies! I'm not sure what size tank to get! Many people say go big and some say go small! I'm not sure what tank I should use! So here is some of my questions
1. What size tank would be good to begin with? Not to big or small. A tall or breeder?
2. What kind of filtration should I use? I have no idea what a protein skimmer is? Can a hob filter work? Please educate me??
3. What type of lighting should I have for coral?
4. Salt water? I have read you can mix Marine salt to water to make saltwater is this true? I would rather not have to buy it in the bucket and I do not have Money for a roe system which I do not know much about.
5. Cycling?? And curing rock? ? Pleaseee educate me? I read somethin about a shrimp put in the tank to rot? Sounds crazy to me??

I'm sure I will have a thousand more ??s but this will do for now! please give me any information! I love to learn! And this is something I really want to do! And please remember I'm newbie so any help is wonderful! I need yall!!!!

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Old 10-29-2014, 05:59 AM   #2
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Well I'm no expert but I'll try and help as much as i can.

A good tank to start with I'd say would be a 55. Generally speaking, the bigger the tank the more room you have for error which is why people say go big. Also the size of your tank dictates what type of fish you can and cannot have.

As far as filtration, I use a canister filter on my 55. It works well and everything but i have to clean it once a week to make sure it doesn't turn into a nitrate factory. So it's kind of a pain in the butt. A sump/refugium is really good from what i hear but i have no experience with them so hopefully someone else will chime in on that.

Protein skimmers are a must if you plan on having coral. Protein skimmers take all the gunk and nasties out of your water column. Keeping your water clean is vital to keeping a healthy tank and having happy critters.

Lighting for corals depends on the type. Some require intense lighting while others not so much. Dimmable leds are pretty good to have since you can adjust the intensity of the lights.

I get my water from the ocean so i can't speak on making your own. What I can tell you is that a ro/di system is rather important. If you can't afford it then ro water works too. When your tank water evaporates you need to replace it with fresh water. Do not use tap water if you can avoid it. Tap water has all kinds of impurities in it that will wreak havoc on your tank. Having a ro/di unit gives you fresh purified water with minimal impurities and your critters will appreciate you for it.

The key in this hobby is to do research. And when you feel your brain is going to explode from all the info your getting then you research some more. Patience is paramount. Nothing in saltwater goes fast so you will need lots and lots of patience but all for good reason. Also ask all the questions you have here. There are a lot of experienced reefers with lots of knowledge to share.


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Old 10-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
1. What size tank would be good to begin with? Not to big or small. A tall or breeder?
2. What kind of filtration should I use? I have no idea what a protein skimmer is? Can a hob filter work? Please educate me??
3. What type of lighting should I have for coral?
4. Salt water? I have read you can mix Marine salt to water to make saltwater is this true? I would rather not have to buy it in the bucket and I do not have Money for a roe system which I do not know much about.
5. Cycling?? And curing rock? ? Pleaseee educate me? I read somethin about a shrimp put in the tank to rot? Sounds crazy to me??
1. Bigger is always better. So, as big as you can fit in to what suits your needs/space.
2. Depending on the coral you want to keep will define your filtration. Skimmers are great for preventing proteins from turning into nitrates.
3. Lighting will be defined by what coral you want to keep. Lighting is expensive...the best bang for your buck is usually the taotronics LED panels you can get on ebay. One will cover 2 ft of tank.
4. Yep, for the most part we mix our own water with ro/di water. Some LFS can provide this service, but not all.
5. Cycling is easy. Simply making your bacteria to prevent your fish from dying. As long as you are following a lbs of rock per gallon rule you'll be able to build up enough as this bacteria is your main filtration in saltwater. Just put a cocktail shrimp in some pantyhose and let it take its course. With a simple API test kit, you can watch your ammonia turn into nitrites, and the nitrites into nitrates. You're cycled when the decomp from the shrimp no longer reads any ammonia or nitrites. Then a water change to bring the nitrates down and you are ready for a fish.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:59 PM   #4
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We also have excellent articles in our articles section on cycling and curing LR. Many good articles in there. My preference on size of tank to start with is the 55 gallon tank. Not too big and cumbersome and not too small and less forgiving on mistakes.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:53 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the information! I have another question I have a 55g tank that is set up for freshwater but it only has a few fish I can get another smaller tank to put them in. It has led lights. But I don't think they are the right ones could these work at least until I got the tank cycled when I start? And what should I clean the tank with to kill the bacteria?

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Old 11-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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Are 60 ltr biorbs any good for salt water ?


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