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Old 12-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #11
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"fantastic natural tap water" sounds great, but just because the water coming out of the faucet is fit for human consumption, doesn't mean it's good for an aquarium, let alone a sensitive reef tank. there are heavy metals and other things in our drinking water that can work against your success in this hobby.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:53 PM   #12
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ok, can I get a test kit for my water? just the straight tap? and what should i look for/avoid?

also, i need online places to buy coral, live rock and such. any suggestion? (tried and true preferably)
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:22 PM   #13
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Welcome to AA! What the others posted about using tap water is true. Using tap water will lead to unsightly algae blooms and basically make your tank look like crap. The fish will survive in it, but your ability to have any sort of coral is little to none. You can find RO water at your local Walmart or grocery store. What you'll be looking for is the machine people use to fill the big blue water cooler jugs.

It sounds like you have definitely done some research, and I know it has resulted in more questions then answers lol. To break it down into phases you basically have:

Phase 1: This is where you pick out the tank, get your hardware together like powerheads, skimmers, liquid test kits, refractometer, heaters, T5HO lights (if your planning for corals down the road) etc.

Phase 2: This is where you setup the tank, fill it with RO water and mix in the salt using the refractometer to get to your ideal salinity. After the empty tank has been up and running for around 24-48 hours to let the salt mix and clear, then you can go get around 20-30 lbs. of live rock and put it in. You then can add your substrate of aragonite sand (rinse it well before hand in RO water).

Phase 3: This phase takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month usually. This is when you begin the cycle of your tank. There are many articles on how to do this, but just know this has to be done BEFORE you get any fish.

Phase 4: After your cycle is finished, you'll do a water change of around 20-40%. Now you are ready for your first fish! Make sure you get the least aggressive fish first. This will help prevent territory disputes.

That's basically the set of steps you need to get it up and running. After it matures for a few months and you get a good handle on doing weekly water changes and keeping the parameters stable, you'll be ready to shop for corals. You can add fish at the rate of one every 4-6 weeks to be on the safe side since it's a young tank. Too many at once and your tank will crash. A great place to buy from is liveaquaria.com. I have purchased quite a few things from there and they have always been good.

Good luck with you new tank!
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:32 PM   #14
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Wait, your 16 and have a fiance?
whats wrong with that? jenatronQT3.14159 and i are engaged, only 17 and 18 respectively.


but on the subject what everyone else has said is really hitting the nail on the head, and we're not trying to keep you from having fish and things you like, we're just trying to let you know you'll have more trouble than fun if you do.

i think the guy about me really has it
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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whats wrong with that? jenatronQT3.14159 and i are engaged, only 17 and 18 respectively. Congrats


but on the subject what everyone else has said is really hitting the nail on the head, and we're not trying to keep you from having fish and things you like, we're just trying to let you know you'll have more trouble than fun if you do.
No i understand. I really appreciate all the advice
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #16
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Aquarium Adventures

thats my blog, where i plan on keeping track of all my fishy stuff, if any of you are interested in following along. I will probably get my tank sometime this week, so that will probably be my next post
thank you all so much
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:26 PM   #17
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Gold Neon Eviota Goby
Pinkbar Goby
Wheelers Shrimp Goby
Yellow Stripe Clingfish
Orange Lined Cardinalfish
Firefish
Clowns

Those are the fish im interested in. plus maybe a serpent star, and a piston shrimp. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #18
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if you have a 20 gallon tank you could have 2 maybe 3 small fish depending on how well your biological filter operates (live rock/sand). A pair of clownfish is a classic choice and are always interesting. Dont have much experience with gobies however i think firefish are easy to maintain although they are prone to being bullied. Just dont rush into things to quick! the cycling period is hard but worth it if you do it right. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:00 PM   #19
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Hi. I don't know a whole lot about saltwater, so I can't help at all in that respect, but... I glanced at your blog and saw your "tank stand." While many people put their tanks on regular old desks, bookcases, and endtables, I have personally had bad experience with that. Nothing permanent or significant, but I had an 8 gallon on a bookcase which caused bowing in the wood and I eventually had to take it down and off of the bookcase. It was a new bookcase, very good quality (best bookcase I've ever owned), but it wasn't able to properly hold the weight (~8lbs per gallon).
Please make certain that your end table can hold that much weight. That's all that water, and rock, and sand, etc.
Something moderately important to consider.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:29 AM   #20
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thanks, I think it should be ok. My 10 year old brother piled all kinds of stuff on it before I took it lol I think its small enough that the weight will be pretty evenly spread out without damaging anything
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