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Old 11-11-2004, 11:41 PM   #1
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Just wanted to say Hi

I just wanted to say hi to every one.(this is my first post)

I've had FW tanks for years and currently Have a 55 gal. I told my wife that when my fish die we can try salt water....well it looks as if my oscar is on her last fins after a run in with my Jack dempsey.(i put jack in my tank at work.)

So If i take the plunge into SW I'm gonna need plenty of advice.
I'm gonna pick up some reading this weekend.

Now to my questions
My tank is 55 gal
I have an Emperor hang off the back filter with biowheels on it
a standard heater
and standard hood lighting.

what am I going to need? please suggest some brands
mind you I'm not made of money but i don't want cheap crap.

I'm thinking about clown fish, liverock,an anenomie, a starfish and maybee a seahorse(after the cycle )

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Old 11-12-2004, 12:01 AM   #2
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You will want a protein skimmer. I use CPR, and Aqua C Remoras come highly recommended.

You will want sand as substrate.

You will need 55 - 110 lbs of live rock, depending on the density (fiji isn't too dense, keys rock is).

For an anemone you will need better lighting (and a well established aquarium).

For a starfish, I would suggest a serpent star - cheap, easy going, and lots of personality. Be aware that some starfish (blue linkia for example) are very hard to keep, and some (green brittle star) might find your fish a nice snack.

A seahorse should be in a species only tank IMO.

When you say you're not made of money (hey if you were, that might be even worse.. a tank really WOULD cost an arm and a leg!), it concerns me a little. None of us are super rich (to my knowledge), but the price of a SW tank is pretty well.. not pretty. Check out the "price of your SW aquarium" thread to know what you're getting into.

Hope to see ya around, and some pictures of your tank once you get started!

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Old 11-12-2004, 12:37 AM   #3
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One thing I have learned in SW, is if ever faced with the decision "Should I opt for the cheaper ______________" the answer is almost always no. Except in the case of sand! But for the most part the money spent does to some degree determine quality.

As for your questions, the first thing is if you are planning on an anemone, you are going to need to wait at least 9-12 months, and upgrade your lighting signifigantly.

Indeed, a seahorse would need a species tank, as Corty said.

That said I would start with the sand and live rock, and then once you have the cycle, which is BTW far longer than a FW, start on fish.

Clowns are not a bad suggestion for a first fish. Pretty hardy and easy to get. You could get a star once the tank is pretty stable also. Some other nice fish to start out with could be blennys, chromis are cool, I love mine, and according to what you are gonna do with the tank, a trigger, especially my niger are some tough little boogers.

So, I think I sporadically answered some of your questions..........
Woo Hoo, PAYDAY! Time to pay the LFS rent (even before I pay mine )

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Old 11-12-2004, 01:01 AM   #4
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Firefish gobies are small and rather hardy as well. At least in my expierience

AquaC makes some good protein skimmers (the Remora would work well hang on back). If you're shooting for an anemone, a 4x65W CF/PC fixture would work, but you can't overlight cheaply (well, a 1kW MH bulb would be overkill, but thats not cheap ), so get the 4x96W if you can afford it (and the electricy bill).

LiveRocks.com Live rock is a very good product (love my keys rock). If you're thinking about base rock, the stuff from hirocks.com (ebay hirocks) is good as base material where you can put live stuff on top. Some it is very dense (solid blocks), but some is rather pourous. I put the dense stuff in my electric yellow tank

What is your tap water like (nitrates, phosphates, ph/KH)? Since you have cichlids I assume you're talking high PH and alkaline. Some salt mixes won't work as well in this kind of water (it will usually say on the packaging to use RO/DI, and sometimes you end up with SW at a really high PH). Salt water also likes considerably lower nitrates than FW, so an RO+DI unit is a good buy. Its not 100% essential, but well worth the money. Good quality units can be had from eBay for $100 or less. Look for filterdirect or aquasafesystems stuff.

Good luck, its well worth it!
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Old 11-12-2004, 08:09 AM   #5
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I didn't mean I want to skimp when it comes to $ I'd just like to get the best bang for the buck
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Old 11-12-2004, 08:57 AM   #6
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welcome to aa
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:18 AM   #7
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Good Luck!

I've kept fresh water forever. SW is a whole other world.
your going to love it.
72Gallon Bow Tank | LS/80lbs LR.com Keys LR 20Lbs Base Rock | fluval404 | Remora Skimmer | Red Sea Pro Wave Maker | 4 Maxi Jets 2/1200 2/900 PH | PinPoint PH Monitor | ARTICA 1/10 HP Chiller

Lighting: 48'' Coralife HQI aqualight pro | 2 150 watt MH | 2 96 watt true actinic fluorescents | 3 1 watt blue-moon-glow LEDs

Fish&Inverts: 3-BlueGreen Chromis | Shrimp Goby | Purple Firefish | 6 Line-Wrasse | LawnMower Blenny | Royal Gramma | Coral Beauty | Maxima Clam | 16 Assort. -Snails | LR Hitchers: Crabs, Urchins, Brittle Stars, Feather Dusters, and more

Corals: Assorted Mushrooms | Green Button Polyps | Toadstool Leather | Pulsing Xenia | Clove Polyps | Star Polyps | FrogSpawn | Branching Hammer | Candy Cane | Zoos | Ricordea | Open Brain | Bubble |
24Gallon JBJ Nano Cube | LR 25lbs Marshall Creek/Tonga/Fiji | 2 Flase Percula Clowns | Shrooms | Xenia | Green Button Polyps | Snails | Hermits
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:54 AM   #8
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what is your take on premixed saltwater??
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:50 PM   #9
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Probably not worth the money? At least when one of my LFS has the 50gal Instant Ocean salt bags for $10. Nobody hates Instant Ocean. There probably is better out there (people seem to like Oceanic too), but IO is a very good salt mix.

You're going to need some plain water to do topoffs anyway. Water evaporates, the salt doesn't.
55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:05 PM   #10
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the salt you use depends a lot on what you plan to do with your tank. for example, i personally think that IO is bad for a small tank, but i like it in my 44, while i use oceanic for its higher CA content in my tank i wll be devoting to corals. i wouldnt waste my $$ on premixed, save it, you will need it.

as for lighting, you might be able to do some DIY MH pendants or retrofits on the hood for cheaper than you could buy such a large PC fixture. thats what im planning on doing for my tank. with that light you could eventually keep an anemone in a few years.

i also like the AquaC, its a pretty good deal too. look into getting some powerheads too for additional circulation. with those, the skimmer, a good deal of LR you should be fine for filtration.

make sure you chekc out the articles on this site, esp the ones about cycling without fish.

HTH, good luck

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