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Old 11-28-2006, 05:39 PM   #1
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Location: Boston MA
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Need help picking out equipment and what not!

Well I have decided its time for me to start my first SW tank. I am a newb with this stuff but I have been doing a lot of reading for the past few months. I think I am ready to set up and maintain a system.

I've decided to go with a 30 gal for economic reasons. (read "I couldn't convince the wife to let me get a 50" ) I know this isn't the best setup for a beginner but I'm going to give it a go. I plan to upgrade to a larger system in the distance future using this 30 gal as a sump. The dimensions are 36"x12"x18" I believe. I'm also getting a matching stand with storage space underneath.

I plan on starting off with a FOWLR system and down the road start adding some corals, a clam or 2, and possibly an anemone. What are some good reef safe fish to go with? I don't think a Tang would fit, and the only other fish I have my heart set on is a Clown.

Would this lamp fixture be a good start?


The guy at the lfs said 110 watts would be enough for some low light corals and this one is 156 watts giving me 5.2 wpg.

I'm thinking of going with 50 pounds of uncured lr. How much sand would I need and where should I get it? Also I have heard horror stories about curing your own LR, and the odors it gives off while curing. The curing would be taking place in my living room. Would I be better off getting 50/50 base/lr? Prices around here are rather high.

What protein skimmer would you recommend for around 80 bucks?

What heater would you recommend?

Any type of ph better than the other?

I appreciate any input you guys can give me. My head is swimming with all the options out there! Thanks!

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Old 11-28-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
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Please do not cycle with live animals.

I have that same light and love it!
I believe you can get some nice corals with 5.2wpg, (i'll let the reefers help you on that).
Clowns will be great in your tank, maybe even a mated pair...
You are in Boston, check out this place for base rock:
I would shoot for 1.5-2 Lbs of rock per gallon, for proper biofiltration, so you won't really need a filter.
I would say about 75-100 lbs of base and the rest either cured or uncured. If you plan on cycling with the uncured, you should not have a huge odor. I would throw in 2 raw/unseasoned shrimp to help the cycle kick start.
I'm not sure on the skimmer.
I would recommend a titanium heater. Personally I have Finnex digital heaters, but have only had them for a few months, but so far, I like them.
Phs I like the kind that have diffusers, so I can direct water flow.
Check around the drs site, you can get your sand, salt, refractometer, lights, ph, and any other things like garlic extreme, zoe, selcon. They don't charge extra for weight.

Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:57 PM   #3
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I agree on the Clownfish suggestion. 2 would be ideal for a 30 gallon, then maybe a goby or blenny. The problem with other fish is that most that can fit in a 30 gallon with the clowns aren't reef safe, or are sorta iffy. Dwarf Angels would be a good choice, but the majority of them are coral nippers. And I'm not really a fish person, so there may be others out there that I'm missing.

With the skimmer, check out the Prizm.

Another good choice would be the Bak-Pak, but it's about $60. Or the Aqua-C Remora, which is also about $60 more.

Otherwise, agree with the advice roka gave!

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equipment, ick

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