Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-14-2004, 12:39 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 4
Newbie Help Q's

Hello everyone. Im new here and to this hobby. Im finally about to take the plunge into this hobby after years of people telling me that its so much harder and complicated than fresh water. I need to be pointed in the right direction, Im on information overload. This website is amazing, the amount of knowledge here is incredible, but I dont know where to look first. Anyway, can you guys tell me what i need to get? Such as a filter (are wet/dry's the only way to go), lighting.. etc Clownfish are good beginners fish too right? I really want to get into reefing, but I have to start somwhere first. Also any tips for breaking into reefing. I just need all the advice I can get. How much is the setup going to cost me? I dont want to buy junk either, I dont mind splurging on something that is worth it, Im sure all you guys/girls understand that one
__________________

__________________
LiteEmUpGood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 12:53 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 601
Welcome!

Don't be stressed out - I've found that only the set-up of SW is harder - once you decide how you want the tank, it's just as easy as freshwater. I'm sure you'll end up with a beautiful reef tank.

For filtration, the most accepted method around here is to use sand as substrate (many are fond of deep sand beds), and live rock (one to two pounds a gallon - be aware that some are denser than others - fiji is less dense, keys rock is more dense, tonga has some pretty shapes, and keys rock comes with lots of critters - it's really all about what *you* are looking for, and when in doubt, get a mix!).

You will likely want a protein skimmer. Aqua C Remoras come very highly praised around here, and I use a CPR BakPak. I believe either one is a fine choice.

For cycling, you will not need to use a fish - you can cycle with just the die-off from the live rock you get (you may want to purchase uncured live rock - you will experience more die off (fine for an uncycled tank), so it's cheaper - if you had a cycled tank, you would have to cure the live rock yourself before adding it to the display).

I know very little about reefing, my system is FOWLR, as my future systems will likely be, but there are plenty of other members here who can help you out in that respect.

Regarding the cost of your tank, there's a thread on that which I can't seem to find. It's titled "How much to expect to pay for a reef tank" or saltwater tank or something like that. You'll know it when you see it. Seems pretty accurate.

To cut down on costs, you will likely want to purchase uncured LR (see above), and you *may* want to consider purchasing a used tank - these things do not have great resale value. The problem with the latter is why the tank is being sold. Sometimes it has a leak you aren't told about, sometimes it was cleaned improperly, etc. Most of the tanks I have purchased pre-used have been just fine, but don't be afraid to enquire why they're selling - it's usually due to moving constraints.
__________________

__________________
Corty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 04:27 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 4
Thanks.

I just past by my LFS and wow Rip Off City... I was going to say "hey buddy why dont I just bend over and say you fu...." LOL. But wow, very expensive. I also felt as if he was pressuring me into getting a 75 gallon tank setup. Whats is reverse osmosis? Is the wet dry the best filter for saltwater? Whats this Emperor thing i see everywhere? Are there any carnivourous fish that i can feed live fish too? Any info on lighting, thats an singma to me?
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I need all of your help, thanks.

BTW What is cycling?
__________________
LiteEmUpGood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 11:13 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 429
If you don't have any LR (live rock) then a wet dry filter is a good buy. But if you plan on having 1-2lbs per gallon of live rock, then a wet/dry is not at all needed.

Lighting:
If you plan on a FO or FOWLR (fish only w/LR), then lighting is not very essential. To get some nice coraline growth on your LR, you're going to need slightly more light. Reef setups are moderate light (for soft corals and mushrooms), to very intense light (SPS corals). Usually light is estimated using watts/gallon (valid only really for flourescent and compact flourescent lighting, and can be applied to metal halide). 2w/g will get you coraline growth (although slow), 4-6 will get you soft corals, mushrooms, some anemones, and the like, and 7+ will get you hard corals and most anemones. People favor mixing 10,000k bulbs with actinic bulbs. 10k bulbs are a very crisp white (on the blue end), while actinic is very blue, and will cause some corals and fish to flouresc.

Lighting thats common and recommended include your average NO (normal output) flourescent fixtures (for FO and FOWLR systems), CF (compact flourescent aka PC power compact). You can fit a lot of CF light above your tank, I'm just adding another 2x96w next to my 4x55w on my 55 gallon . Above CF lighting is metal halide. Very bright, very hot (usually have to be raised above the tank), rather expensive, but on big tanks the only reasonable way to light them.

(some people probably have more expierience here)

Protein skimmer:
I have an AquaC Urchin. If you don't have a sump (small tank below your main tank), the AquaC Remora is its hang-on-back sibling. AquaC is very recommended. Protein skimmers in general are highly recommended. Stay away from SeaClones or Prizms (or airstone driven skimmers).

Some info on the nitrogen cycle:

http://aquariumadvice.com/showquesti...q=2&fldAuto=21
http://aquariumadvice.com/showquesti...q=2&fldAuto=15

RO units:

http://aquariumadvice.com/showquesti...q=2&fldAuto=20

And books:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

Now back to what I should be doing but don't really feel like doing...
__________________
55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
theatrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 01:05 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 64
I am new so take this for what it is worth. I have done a lot of reading over the past 2 months on SW tanks. I strongly reccomemd you get a copy of "The Cntientious Marine Aqaurist" by Robert Fenner. Theatrus hsa given you the amazon link. The book does a great job of explaining the SW tank. The most importat part of a SW setup is patients. Take time a do research. Most people have a fish the want or a coral they love. Plan your system aroung the achor species. It sucks to find out that the fish you always wanted needs a bigger tank then you have or that your lighting is inadequate for a particular coral. The more research you do the less likely you are to waste money and the happier you will be in the end.

As for equipment, I think they have covered it above. Here is my list of what equipment you will likely need.

1) Tank, stand and cover
2) Substrate (Playsand from Home Depot is the same as the lfs stuff but way cheaper)
3) Live rock, 1-2 lbs per gal
4) Heater (I think 2 smaller ones is better incase one faisl you still have some heat. Ebo-Jager are the best IMO)
5) Skimmer (Aqua C Remora or Remora Pro dependng on size)
6) Power heads (You need to make sure you have 10 times your tank size in flow. Maxijet make a good power head)
7) Lighting (Since you are looking at doind a reef system pay particular attention to your lighting. PC are probably the way to go)
8) Water. Lots of people use RO water. depending on what your tap water is like you might be able to get away with using it. Take a sample to your lfs and have them test it. You are paticulaly worried about high phospate or copper levels. PO4 will cause algae and copper is deadly to inverts)

Well that is all the time I have. Have fun and post pics once your system is up and running.
__________________
Juster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 08:13 AM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
austinsdad's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
Welcome to AA!

The recommended book will help you ask better questions @ the LFS and keep the discussion in line, believe me. The 75g recommnedation was a decent one IMO. The larger the tank, the better for the beginner to handle. Besides, I started w/a 75g 11 months ago, and seriously want a larger one.

Good luck.
__________________
-Ray-

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 12:09 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 4
What are your thoughts on the long tanks? They are shallow but really long. Ive seen some nice FO setups in them. And how do you know what size sump to get, it sounds like it is highly reccomended? Do you have to clean the sump too?
__________________
LiteEmUpGood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 429
Long is favored over deep. You get better light penetration, and more surface area for the volume of water. About what dimensions are you talking about though? Is there enough width? Tanks under the 55g form factor in width are probably way too narrow for most things to turn arround in (under 12" in width). I have a hard enough time stacking nice looking rockwork in my 55

Sump size is matter of preference and what you're planning on putting in them. My 55g has a 10g, but I've seen people with sumps at 20 and 30g on a 55g (if you're planning on building a fuge, the extra size helps). The bigger the sump, the bigger the total water volume of your system, which tends to make your tank environment more stable. I wouldn't advise a 55g with a 125g sump though, since you'd rather probably look at the 125
__________________
55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
theatrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 05:28 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 658
Hey if you're looking for a discounted protein skimmer I have a Seaclone 150 for sale.... I just bought a new tank with a built-in wetdry and skimmer included .... I've only used it for about a month or two but it worked well for me....... e-mail me at c0mf0rt@charter.net if you're interested.
__________________
c0mf0rt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 12:51 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Stockton Ca
Posts: 232
Quote:
BTW What is cycling?
hey you sound like me about 8 to 9 months ago . your on the right track by starting on this AA forum no BS. Ask allot of questions here before you buy anything,and use this site as a "Bible"and youll find out that it is really not that much harder than FW once you get the basics down which is Cycling.
juster has a good list of stuff youll need, if you want to do a reef tank later on, dont get NO lighting but for right now lighting is that big of a deal
as far as the stuff youll need just to start out with:
Refractometer(measures salt levels of your water)
saltwater test kit (a must)
patience,patience and patience
__________________

__________________
90 gal SW tank / cascade 700 canister fliter / Coralife super skimmer / 3x402 PH / 100lbs LS / 80 lbs LR / 30lbs base rock / 2x65w & 2x96w PC / 2 moonlights
PiscesLou is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Protein Skimmer Q's from a Newbie jdf_jeff General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 11 05-26-2009 08:59 PM
My Live Rock has Crabs!!! (a few newbie Q's i need some advice on) stu Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 16 09-12-2008 01:06 PM
Newbie to Freshwater with a couple of Q's... Jason Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 07-19-2005 04:01 PM
Live Rock Q's (newbie) Gatorfreak Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 8 08-27-2004 05:57 PM
Newbie Q's Neuve Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 3 09-13-2003 03:28 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.