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Old 04-21-2010, 12:07 PM   #1
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Native Saltwater Tank

I got a 46 gallon tank from a friend and want to start a native saltwater tank. It came with a Bio Wheel filter and heater. I really don't want to get into spending a lot of money, but would like to put some local fish in it from the Long Island Sound. I filled the tank and added some instant ocean to get the specific gravity up and now its been running for a week or so. Been doing some research and was wondering if I really need to purchase live sand/live rock? Can I just get sand and rocks from sound and put them in? Will the Bio Wheel be a sufficient filter? I plan on putting in all native creatures/fish that I catch/come across on the shore. I do not plan on getting "hardcore" into the tank, but would like some native fish to be able to live... Any shoestring budget tips/ideas would be grateful, thanks!
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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let me start off by saying i am NO saltwater pro by ANY means!!

just to put my $0.02 in... and going strictly by what i read on here, saltwater and not spending a lot of money.... never thought the two went together...

as far as your filter, what type/size is it? im pretty sure you would need a few more things besides just that filter....

as far as your stocking choice, im not sure if your tank will be large enough for anything coming from the LI sound.....

then again i could be WAY wrong about all the things i just stated.... just my first reactions.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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If you wanted native fish, you would NEED a chiller or to keep your house 60 Degrees year round. The biowheel, if you loosed the wheel, would be fine. I would get some base rock off of craigslist and use that.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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I agree, if this is going to be a major investment, I'll probably just convert to a freshwater tank... I've just been fishing my whole life and would like to see some native fish swimming around, nothing too big, a small sea robin or some minnows, etc...

The filter is a Marineland Penguin 350B.

If I get base rock, what actually makes it "live" though?
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA!

I have no SW experience, but I did research when I was considering a SW tank.

Live rock and live sand are really just rocks and sand that have nitrifying bacteria living in them. Wild-harvested live rock also has various algaes and hitchhikers. If you have enough live rock, you don't really need a filter. It sounds like you've got an Eclipse tank with the built-in filter. They're decent for FW, but I don't know if it's enough for a salt tank.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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I would see about collecting some rock from the sound if it is legal then. I have heard of DIY chillers though, and craigslist may have some. What is the budget? A gold chain shoestring, or a pyrite knockoff budget?
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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I've seen the DIY chiller too.. I actually have a small fridge from college and can run some tubing through it... So if I basically get some rock from the Sound with some algae growth on it and setup the chiller, it could possibly work out? Was thinking of going at low tide and collecting some rock/sand in knee deep water and just putting that in and seeing what happens... I am also going to check the Sounds water parameters and try and duplicate it in the tank.

As for budget, my wife hates the thing already, and it just has water in it... so I was hoping for less than $100.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:40 PM   #8
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Well, thats doable if you got time. I personally would have gotten water from the sound to save money and just exchanged water in the tank during water changes, as to not waste any. If you get a temp controller and a few powerheads, you should be able to keep the tank with water changes every few weeks.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your help!
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