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Old 11-10-2006, 06:12 PM   #1
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New to saltwater

Hey there,

I'm very new to saltwater and I'm just getting started. I helped my cousin with his the past couple of years so I have some knowledge, but as my father says "a little knowledge is dangerous". I recently started the switch from freshwater to saltwater. I am going to stocking a 180g non-reef tank. Just live rock and fish. I read the thread on all of the materials I will need so that seems like a place to start there, but I would like some advice on live rock and fish.

1. Cured or non-cured live rock and is there a certain type I should be looking at? Also, is 180 lbs enough or should I go for more?

2. I definitely want a trigger - either a clown or assasi. I also want some kind of eel, but what type I am open to suggestions. I also like lionfish, but that's not a deal breaker. What else could I add to a 180g besides a trigger and eel.

3. How much sand should I have for this size tank?

4. Do I absolutely need a sump? I tried building one for my freshwater tank with disasterous results so if it's not totally necessary, I'd rather not try again.

5. Can I add all fish at once when tank is cycled or do I have to add one at a time over several months (I can very impatient )

Thanks in advance. I am sure I'll have more questions, but I think that's it for now.

Mike
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:44 PM   #2
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Hey Mike, welcome to AA.

1. Up to you. Uncured rock can cycle your tank for you, cured rock will not help as much and will require an outside boost (like raw shrimp). I used uncured. You can also look at some base rock, which will become live over time. I would shoot for 180 lbs atleast, if not more, which would be beneficial.

2. Sorry, I am not a fish person. Someone else should come along that can answer this question.

3. 180 to 200 pounds. Base it on the depth you want. 180 lbs should give you roughly 2 inches of depth, I'm assuming, without knowing your tank's footprint.

4. They are beneficial, but not really needed IMHO.

5. More than likely over a period of time. Some should also be added after/before others. Getting your proposed stocking list will help. Then the people who know fish can give their experiences on which order to add them.

HTH!
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:06 AM   #3
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A sump is a great place to put a skimmer.

Uncured, if you're willing to put in the time (not buy stock until done) catching any nasty hitch hikers, most ppl use cured & then cycle w/ minimal bio load.

Triggers are nice, but many species want to grow way too big for even a 180g. I'm not sure how big assasis get - a clown should be OK (AFAIK they don't get big - but I'm not certain)
Eels - all require a nearly air tight tank lid or they'll die on your rug. Any eel that's been eating at the LFS for a while would be preferable to a special order that may, or may not eat for you. Research first as diets do vary among eel species.
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:49 AM   #4
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The question of LR is quite clearly up to you. When starting my 55gal tank, I bought 85lbs of cured LR from LFS & experienced no cycle. But that is not a guarentee. Most people choose to buy uncured LR though, because you can buy it in bulk over the internet for generally cheaper prices than the LFS. Some others may be able to recommend sites. Generally, shoot for 1.5 - 2lbs per gallon of LR, but 1 LB is not unheard of.

I'm still new here so someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong but triggers, eels, lionfish, puffers, territorial / aggressive fish, ect. tend to be messy, messy eaters. If you decide to go that route, you will need serious filtration to make sure you water quality stays good. Also, your clean up crew will be very limited with these types of fish. As for what other types of fish could go in the tank, I'll leave that to the more wise.

Once you have completed your cycle you will generally need to add one fish at a time. If you add too many at once, especially with messy eaters, you may experience another cycle & risk losing your fish. And as stated before, once you have decided on a stocking list, the order in which you add them may be determined on how territorial the fish are.

And finally, you will learn that patience in a must in this hobby. The more patient you are, the more rewarding it is. And it is definately worth it
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Cured or non-cured live rock and is there a certain type I should be looking at? Also, is 180 lbs enough or should I go for more?
For a new start up, I would go with uncured and use it to help cycle your tank. 180lbs is the bare-minimum I would go with. my suggestion is to bump it up to 250-300lbs. The fish you mentiond are messy eaters and your tank will certaily enjoy the extra biological filtration. If you do not want to drop the big bucks for all of that LR, you can suppliment with BR which will eventually become live over time. the down side is it takes a lot longer and you will need to add fish even slower.
Quote:
I definitely want a trigger - either a clown or assasi. I also want some kind of eel, but what type I am open to suggestions. I also like lionfish, but that's not a deal breaker. What else could I add to a 180g besides a trigger and eel.
The problem with aggressive fish is that they are...well...agressive. They don't play well with others. The clown trigger is one of my favorite fish, but is also pretty nasty. If you get one, make sure it is well down the road and the last fish that is added. I would not pair this fish with an eel or a lion.
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How much sand should I have for this size tank?
200lbs is fine. Look for a sand bed depth of about 2 inches.
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Do I absolutely need a sump? I tried building one for my freshwater tank with disasterous results so if it's not totally necessary, I'd rather not try again.
I am a fan of sumps...they add water volume, filtration and give you a great place to store equipment like heaters and skimmers. However, not a deal-breaker.
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Can I add all fish at once when tank is cycled or do I have to add one at a time over several months (I can very impatient )
This is where people new to SW make the biggest mistake. They figure that since their tank is cycled they can start adding fish all at once. It is very important to add livestock slowly, especially in a new tank, to let the tank's biological filtration adjust to the increase in bioload. Once fish every few weeks is a very safe practice. Even a couple at a time is fine.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:32 PM   #6
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I really appreciate everyone's help. I found this site via google and am so happy I did.

I was searching through your threads and am sure this was answered, but I couldn't find it. Obviously, I'll need to test the water occasionally, but once I throw in the live rock, how long will it take on average before fish can be added?

By the way, considering I want a clean up crew (it seems to be highly recommended) I am going to abandon the trigger idea. That being said, does the tank have to be completely cycled before the clean up crew can be added?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:36 PM   #7
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does the tank have to be completely cycled before the clean up crew can be added?
Yes, inverts are very sensative to poor water quality. It is best to have a cycled tank before adding them.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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If you would like to save a little money you can use 1/2 LR and 1/2 BR or whatever percentage you want to use. The base rock will become Live over time and it is alot cheaper.
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:59 AM   #9
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Your clean up crew will be limited also with an eel. They like crustaceans for snacks.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:05 PM   #10
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.Thanks again guys. I am taking notes like crazy and reading as much as I can.

I also eliminated the eel once I realized he would destroy the clean up crew. I have 3 follow up questions.

1. I am trying to get an idea about which fish will work. I would like there to be one centerpiece type fish. Can someone point to a nice (not super expensive) 10" or larger fish that wont kill off the cleaning crew?

2. When I get the water ready and all of the equipment going, do I put the liverock in immediately? or do I have to wait a few days even for that?

3. I used Biospira with great results on my freshwater, how would it affect the cycling time on a saltwater? Would I use it with the liverock or when I first put the cleaning crew in or when I put the first fish in?

Thanks again
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