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Old 01-19-2006, 01:34 AM   #1
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New to this...

We are REALLY new to saltwater. We purchased a Pufferfish at the local feed store and the girl there said its really easy to take care of. We got a 10 gallon tank with a filter and a tetra submergable heater. We bought a test fish to see if the salt level was right and he is still alive so thats good. The lady at petco said its a very bad idea to use a 10 gallon for saltwater because the water goes bad? We were told they are full of it and they are just trying to sell us stuff. Like the PH test kit for 45 bucks. Just on here for a little advice before we actually pick up the fish. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:46 AM   #2
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Well a 10 gal is pretty small if your new. The reason its harder though is not because the water goes bad but because of the evaporation. In a 10 gallon the evaporation of just a gallon changes the salt content in the water alot and can be detrimental to your fish. But if you watch everything very closly it is possible to do. Many ppl on here have nano tanks which basicly is what u have.

IMO i would suggest about 15 or so pounds of live sand and 15 pounds of LR for your aquarium setup. This will help with the intitial cycle as well as help keep ammonia and nitrites low. You would also still need just a regular chemical and mechanical filter to finish the set up. You do have another option. If you dont want to go the LS LR route you can get a mechanical,chemical,biological HOB filter if you wish. I would suggest something around the lines of a bio-wheel. but i dont know how well it will work. Most on here have the best luck from what i can tell with LS LR. A Protein skimmer would also be beneficial. Coralife has a nice cheap one from what i have read.

As for the puffer i really dont know much about them but i havent heard of them being easy to care for?????? Maybe they are Maybe they arnt someone else will have to pick up on that one.

Im still new to this as well but im starting to understand more and more everyday. I hope my thoughts are helpful and if im wrong on something im sorry in advance. Im sure more will reply to your post soon. Good luck

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Old 01-19-2006, 02:04 AM   #3
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Thanks I am talking to you on yahoo but anyone elses input would also be appriciated thanks.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:15 PM   #4
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A 10 gallon tank is going to be too small for the puffer, especially if it is larger (or when it grows larger). I think the recommended minimum tank size for a puffer is 50 gallons.

As far as the water going bad, the store is right, unless you stay on top of water changes and keeping the water level topped off. Think of it this way: Would a drop of lemon taste stronger to you in 1 ounce of water or 100 ounces of water? Meaning, the smaller amount of water, the more drastically it can/will change, and then shock your fish.

Another thought is the equipment you will use for a 10 gallon tank. It will look awkward, because the equipment will be almost as large as the tank. I would suggest starting with a minimum tank size of 50 gallons, no matter what you plan on keeping in it. It may be more expensive initially, but I can almost bet that you will end up going larger very soon anyhow. All of us do! Hope this helps, and good luck!!!
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:28 PM   #5
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You're headed for trouble IMO. The fish will generate ammonia and will probably die soon. What kind of fish is it anyway? Definitely no puffer shuld go in that tank either. Ever heard of cycling a tank. Check out articles at this site or other searches. That's a very important part of SW fishkeeping that you need to know IMO.

The puffer is still at the local feedstore? If so, pls consider leaving it there. You will need a test kit to do any fish. You shuld be able to find one that tests ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH and alkalinity for less than $30. Stay away from the dip strip version.

Any way to get a 40 - 55g tank? Much more room for error.
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Define " test fish"...
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:14 AM   #7
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Its a domefish or something like that for the test fish lol. Test fish as in using it to see if the tank is ok. And see if it dies or not. I dont know thats what they told us to do. Our fish is a Porquipine Puffer. Anyway we are getting a 75 Gallon for like 300. I dont know how good of a deal that is. So the Pufferfish will be in that 10 gallon for about 1/2 Month or so. Hopefully it will be ok I will watch the water carefully. Any other advice?
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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Heh you'll probably catch a bit of flak around these boards for using a fish as a coal mine canary.
Technically, it's a sound principle, but most consider it a mean method to cycle/test out a tank.
If you are indeed getting the bigger tank, the puffer would be find for a couple weeks in the small tank, provided the small tank is properly setup and maintained.
I'd really advise that you do your tank setups in parrallel as much as possible.
It really is necessary to get some bacteria going in whatever home your fish end up in, as those lil bacteria are excellent biological filtration.

Most people around here say:
Get the tank, clean and make sure it holds water properly etc - never clean with soap!
Put in your substrate, fill tank with filtered water (RO/DI) about 2/3rds of the way up.
Add live rock (it's expensive, but it is beautiful and FULL of life (and provides a great place for them bacterias!!!))
Let the thing sit for as long as it takes to 'cycle'.
A cycle is where ammonia is generated from the die off on the rocks (and can be supllemented with an uncooked shrimp from the grocery store).
The bacteria munch the amm, turn it into nitrites which get broken down into nitrates.
So a tank in cycle would test as a spike in amm, then nitrite, then nitrate.
Then it's safe to put in fish.


Now, you can do this with live fish, but it can really stress them out (to death) to live in these conditions without very frequent water changes, which will greatly prolong the cycle and equals more work for you and more stress for the fish.

I set my first tank up a little while ago.. got it in november.. it sat running with nothing but rocks for 6 weeks or so... but patience paid off and the tank is in great shape and my recent livestock additions are happy and apparently healthy.

Do not rush into this, it costs too much money to do it 'quick n dirty' like..

My 2cents...hope things work out well for you
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Old 01-20-2006, 12:45 PM   #9
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Consider the 10g the quarantine tank, but get a 20g before the next new fish IMO. Read up on how to set up a QT tank. Bare botton, PVC pipe hiding space, and watch the water for ammonia and nitrites. Cahnage as necessary. Clean up uneaten food, etc, etc.

If you wanna do this without the heartache and wasted money, you might consider this. Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:27 PM   #10
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My half cent here...

I am new to SW tanks as well, and have come to learn ALOT from these boards.

Seems you have the size of the tank for your puffer resolved, and I think that 300 for a new tank and stand is a pretty good price.

Most fish stores will try to sell you the farm, take their advice with a grain of salt (har har) go home, and do research before buying anything you arent sure about. However, you definitely need test kits. You ABSOLUTELY have to have test kits. A 'test fish' alive or dead can not tell you what your parameters for are for salinity, pH, Ammonia, Nitrate, Phos and Calcium.

Your tank needs to cycle. Period. There is no fast or easy way to go about it, for the life of your fish, the health of your tank, take things slow and easy. That puffer will be there in 2 months, and then he will have a happy, clean, healthy home.

Read these articles, they have alot of wonderful information. They will spark many more questions, and the people here have been wonderful answering even the most basic of fish husbandry questions.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showfaq.php?fldAuto=2


The only thing that happens overnight in fishkeeping, is mistakes. It takes patience, and a dedication to the little fishy lives to make sure you and your family have a great time and positive experience with this hobby.

Good luck, and keep the boards updated with your progress!
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