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Old 08-05-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
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Ok....some questions

Hi everyone!
I have a 26 gallon tank collecting dust in my garage. I would love to get started in saltwater with rock. I have my heart set on a few clowns with an anemone. I realize that this is a LONG way out....but that's OK.
I want to start slowly and let the tank mature for a long while.
Ok, so where do I start? If I am doing live rock with a protein skimmer, do I still need a canister?
I saw some marcorock on ebay, being this is "cycled", will I need to add ammonia to get my cycle started? I don't want to use fish....Just so you know, I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle, as I have been keeping ranchu for a few years, but now amazon puffers.
should I start the cycle with tap water, being there are no fish in there? Or do I start with water from the fish store?
And for WAY in the future....is there a sure fire way to be sure an anemone and fish will host? Is that saying it right?
The guy at the LFS said to wait until the had new clowns and an anemone arrive together and see which fish is willing to go into the anemone....does this sound right? That's alot.....Hope I don't sound silly!
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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I would rinse the tank with a vinegar and water solution before you do anything with it. There is no garruntee that clowns will host anything. No protein skimmer needed as pwc will accomplish the same thing on tanks under 30 gallons. No cannister filter needed as live rock will be your biological filtration source. I would cycle the tank even though the rock contains bacteria, just to be sure. Buy a RO/DI unit and use the filtered water from it instead of tap water as tap water could contain harmful chemicals and other things. As I sai before, a clown may not host an anemone. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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You dont need a protein skimmer to start out. Focus on getting your tank cycled. You need to either use cured or uncured LR - its your choice. The uncured LR would become cured eventually (obviously). I used cured LR. You can mix your own salt water and make sure you have a hydrometer to measure specific gravity (although I would reccomend spending the extra money and buying a refractometer as hydrometers are not very reliable). So once you get your heater (temp should be at ~78-82F), filtration system, test kits, and all other equipment you will need, get your substrate which make sure you dont get crushed coral! Go with dry (not live) aragonite sand and enough to give you a 1.5-2" sand bed. Also, you want to get about 1.5-2lbs of LR per gallon. Then you need to wait for your cycle to go through. There are many ways to have your tank cycle. I know of the raw shrimp method being used a lot. Personally, I just bought 30lbs of cured LR for my 29g and the tank cycled after about 2.5-3 weeks. There is plenty more to tell you and I will let the experts take care of that but I hope this helps!

As for the LFS telling you about the anemone. First off, you need a well established and mature tank for an anemone as well as the right lighting. So I wouldnnt consider putting an anemone in for several months. Also, it is not guarenteed that clowns will host with an anemone. Some anemones like condys will not host clowns at all but some like the bubble tip anemone (BTA) will. Its a hit or miss if you ask me.

Here is a link for equipment and basic SW supplies:
Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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see below post......
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbait430 View Post
You dont need a protein skimmer to start out. Focus on getting your tank cycled. You need to either use cured or uncured LR - its your choice. The uncured LR would become cured eventually (obviously). I used cured LR. You can mix your own salt water and make sure you have a hydrometer to measure specific gravity (although I would reccomend spending the extra money and buying a refractometer as hydrometers are not very reliable). So once you get your heater (temp should be at ~78-82F), filtration system, test kits, and all other equipment you will need, get your substrate which make sure you dont get crushed coral! Go with dry (not live) aragonite sand and enough to give you a 1.5-2" sand bed. Also, you want to get about 1.5-2lbs of LR per gallon. Then you need to wait for your cycle to go through.
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I thought the live rock was the filtration....so to start my cycle I need rock and a filter?
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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Yes, you need something to move the water around, like a powerhead. Most skimmers will NOT provide the water movement you will need in a reef tank.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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Live rock is your filtration. Most filters will end up causing nitrate problems later on, so it is best not to use them unless you take out the filter media and fill thefilter up with live rock rubble. Even though he rock contains most of the bacteria you will need, Your sand contains no bacteria. Thus, you need to cycle your tank so your sand contains bacteria too.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thominil View Post
Yes, you need something to move the water around, like a powerhead. Most skimmers will NOT provide the water movement you will need in a reef tank.
Ah...OK. so the basics to get the bacteria growing....sand, LR, and a powerhead. And of course....a good test kit.
Is cured or uncured live rock better in the long run?
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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Welcome to AA. You will need 1-1 1/2 #'s of rock per gallon. Even if the marcorock is said to have been cycled there will be some die off in shipping and you more than likely would have a cycle again, I would go with shrimp to aid in the cycling of your tank. Use ~1 cocktail (uncook) shrimp per 20g of tank water. The shrimp is not only good as an ammonia source, but will aid in other bacteria that is on the shrimp or in it's body.
There is no way to guarantee that a clown would except a host in your tank. I guess the way the LFS explained to you is a better then average way of doing it. I commend the LFS for not just pushing an anemone on to you. You need lots of light for an anemone to survive. T-5 HO lights or MH lights to say the least.
It is best to start with good R/O water so that you would minimize the chances of algae outbreaks as your tank matures after it is cycled.
I hope this helps... Test your water(out of your faucet) to see how much Nitrates and Posphates are going into your tank water. You can get a report from your local watersupply company.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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to move the water around use a powerhead or two. try koralias. they are very good
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