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Old 11-09-2002, 04:16 PM   #1
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New into saltwater

I'm interested in setting up a saltwater tank. Recently, a friend gave me a 50 gallon tank with a filter, light, etc. for a freshwater tank. I went to the local fish store and was told I didn't need a new filter. He said the wet/dry filter isn't necessary. From the small amount of research I have done this didn't sound right, especially because I told him I wasn't planning on spending a lot of money. Anyways...my questions:

1) Do I need a new filter?
2) What's up with all this lighting mumbo jumbo? Do I need a new light?
3) How about live rock? Do I need it? How hard is it to take care of?

I don't want to make these poor fish suffer. This guys seemed like he just really wanted to sell me something. Maybe I'm wrong though. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:18 PM   #2
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Stevie, I just wanted to say hi and welcome you to this community. I'm in the same spot as you are regarding saltwater, but you've found the right place for good advice. Everyone here is nice and willing to help out. So, stick around, and look around too...there's tons of good info here.

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Old 11-09-2002, 04:19 PM   #3
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Wow...that was a fast reply. I can tell help is on the way.
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:36 PM   #4
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Before we can answer your questions, we need to know what it is that you envision this tank to be. Do you want a Fish only aquarium, with a few decorations? Do you want a full blown reef tank with corals and other inverts and fish? Do you want a fish only with live rock tank? Once you know what you want, we can steer you in the right direction. You might consider looking in the gallery and seeing the pics of other peoples tanks and see what strikes your fancy.
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:46 PM   #5
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Hmmm...I was under the impression that reef and live rock were the same thing. Obviously not. I really like how reef tanks look, but I don't think I can afford it right now. I was thinking live rock and fish though.
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:59 PM   #6
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Re: New into saltwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebe
1) Do I need a new filter?
Maybe, if you have 1 lb to 1.5 lbs per gallon of LR, then it is doubtful that you will need a filter at all. Just some powerheads for waterflow and a protien skimmer. I would also recommend a sand bed of 4"-6" of sugar grain sized sand, with infauna.
http://www.rshimek.com/reef/sediment.htm


Quote:
2) What's up with all this lighting mumbo jumbo? Do I need a new light?
Depends on the light that is on the tank now. For a FOWLR, I would recommend at least a twin tube 48" strip light for a 55g tank. That is two normal output tubes that span the length of the tank, with less, you are liable not to keep the macro algae and coraline algae as well as any light dependant inverts alive. If you decide to upgrade to reef later, you will need to upgrade your lights. You may also consider a 2 X 65W PC retro for a FOWLR, this will give lot's of light and is easy to upgrade later on, without wasting any money.


Quote:
3) How about live rock? Do I need it? How hard is it to take care of?
Hard to have a FOWLR without live rock But seriously, I have found that the most healthy fish are found in tanks that employ LR in their decoration. It makes a more natural environement for your fish, which reduces stress, which reduces the instance of disease.

Quote:
I don't want to make these poor fish suffer. This guys seemed like he just really wanted to sell me something. Maybe I'm wrong though. Thanks for all your help.
I think you will find that the LFS is there to make money. It is there job to sell you something, where the problem lies is that quite a number feel it is there job to sell you anything whether you need it or not. Check out this thread about LFS...
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=743
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:13 PM   #7
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Ok...what exactly are powerheads and protein skimmers?

I have a light right now. It's only got one bulb. So that's not enough? Also...what is a 2 X 65W PC retro?
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:21 PM   #8
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A protien skimmer is a reaction chamber that mixes water and air, and (believe it or not) removes dissolved organic compounds from the water. This is important because the DOC is a very good source of nusiance algae.

A powerhead is a submersible motor that uses an impeller to move water. It is very similar to a pump on a back filter, but it is submersible.

2 = two bulbs
X = times
65W = the amount of watts the lamps consume
PC = Power Compact flouresceant lighting

These are very intense lights for the amount of electricity they consume. Your 1 X 40W normal output bulb is about 5-10 times less intense than a 65W PC bulb of the same color temp.
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:31 PM   #9
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Wow...those protein skimmers are expensive. Are there any cheaper alternatives? Sorry for all questions. There's a whole lot to learn though
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:37 PM   #10
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Maybe Kevin will allow someone else to get into this thread...

For a 50 gal tank you could use a red sea prizm skimmer or a sea clone skimmer. Those two skimmers usually run ya around $70-80 mailorder.

You could also DIY a skimmer if you felt like it. You could get a skimmer for just a few $$'s that would perform just as good as one that was much more expensive.
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