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Old 05-02-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Wink Newbie here with a 55 gal empty canvas.

First off hello all, I recently moved out on my own and have always wanted to start a saltwater tank and I figured what time would be better then the present. I was given a 55 gallon tank from a friend with some salt and sand and a top fin filter, I went to my local store and got a heater a PH test kit and a salinity tester. My first question to start off with the many I guess is what equipment do I need to get a tank started. I have spent some time reading through the many forums here and from what I can gather a good filter is important which I am guessing mine is no good and lighting is very important. I know the light that was given to me is a flouresent bulb that spans the lenght of the tank. Any tips or advice is greatley appreciated.:p
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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well....first off...figure out what kind of fish you want...then work around that...most fish require different things...plus do you want live corals and anemones in the tank? you should look into buying a book on saltwater tanks and decide on your fish then go at it...patience is a virtue! Saltwater tanks get a bad rap for being "complex" and "hard to maintain" they just take a little more time and a little patience and some daily maintenance, but personally I like coming home from work, seein' the fish excited and doing my chores with them...kinda our personal time..........and now I sound like a wierdo! (BLAH! :P) I like this book:

Amazon.com: The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide: Michael S. Paletta, Edward Kadunc, Scott W. Michael, John Goodman: Books

great for begginers and don't go all "budgety" with it...get the best stuff you can get, don't try and do it all at once....in about two months you'll have a great looking aquarium!
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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that's great advice. Don't rush it! I would also recommend cycling your tank with dead shrimp and not damsels too. The damsels are nearly impossible to catch later on when you want other fish. I really like the wet/dry filter that goes under your tank also. It adds more water to your system and works great. I made my wet/dry sump to save money and made it as big as possible. Good luck with what ever you go with!!
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA!

For good filtration in a SW tank you are going to want 1.5-2lbs of live rock per gallon. Many of us do not use "filters" on our systems. Go to the article section of this site and read about cycling your tank.

Lighting is something you will have to think about. If you are going to do just fish and rock then lighting isn't that important but if you want corals and anemones then you are going to need some very strong lighting.

As was mentioned take your time. Don't rush things and research everything before you buy it. Ask lots of questions.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:16 PM   #5
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Ok guys i've done some more reaserching and I have decided to do a tank with some basic clown fish with some live rock and etc to start off with. I would like som anenimes and what not later so id like to get the ank ready for that now rather then go back to do it all over is this a good start am i headed in the right direction.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:41 AM   #6
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Good to see your asking first I would suggest double checking with anyone here about any advice given by a LFS.

You wanting sand or bare bottom? If you want sand I would highly suggest aragonite. Second, LR does get expensive if bought at a LFS. Best best is to find it online. You can usually find around 50lbs fairly cheap compared to a LFS. Since its a new tank, the LR can go right in. Beware there will be die off on the LR so you of course can not put anything live in until the cycle is complete. Others will give you good advice on to where to order LR.

Sumps are also a nice addition to any saltwater tank, look them up. I am in the stages of building my own lol.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:07 PM   #7
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Some I am planning on filling my tank this week with water and begin the process do I need to do a cycle before putting in live rock
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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glad to hear your taking your time and reserching first. Make sure you get the right lights and skimmer etc. right from the begining cause you'll save yourself a lot in the long run. Your rock will help your tank cycle. Are you doing a fishless cycle?
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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I waited a couple weeks before I added my rock just to help the little critters that come on it survive. I don't know if thats necessary though
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Yes I do plan on doing a fishless cycle, I have a fluvall canister filter do I still need a skimmer also heres my last question now I've been very hesitant to ask. at my Local store I seen lights that were over 1,000.oo and I about had a heart attack I really need some help in deciding what lights I need please help
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