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Old 07-29-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
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PLEASE help a saltwater NOOB get his footing!!!

Hello all, I have been into aquariums for years but freshwater only. I have decided I may want to dip my feet into the saltwater world but I have LOTS of questions. I found a 60 gallon cube tank (I wanted a smaller one but can't pass up this deal) and all I really want for now is some live rock, some clowns, some other smaller fish (of course I would research to see which ones are compatible) and some anemones and corals possibly.

With that in mind...I know I will need a tank, stand, heater, some sort of filtration system (WHAT exactly???), and other stuff...but WHAT is this "other stuff"???

Please help a noob out here...I want to make this work for me.

Do I need a sump?
Do I need a refugium?
Do I need a protein skimmer?
What kind of lighting will I need? (dimensions of tank are 25 inches each side)

Anything else I am forgetting (other than substrate/salt)?

Thank you SO MUCH for help that you are able to give...it's taking me forever to get a decent answer searching around on these many forums.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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With a 60 gallon cube, I'd go with a sump. That way you can put all of your equipment in the sump instead of cluttering up your tank. A refugium would be nice and be incorporated right into your sump. If you are looking at anemones and corals, I'd suggest a protein skimmer as well (check out the Aqua-C Remora, great skimmer). Other than that, some powerheads for flow would round out your "filtration".

In addition to what you listed you are going to need the obvious things like a test kit (including Ca, Alk, PO4) and a few buckets or a rubbermaid for saltwater premixing.

As far as lighting, I would reccomend either Metal Halide or HO T5 for that tank if you wish to keep an anemone. 25 inches is a deep tank that only MH or T5 can penetrate enough light all the way to the substrate.

Also look into which corals you wish to keep. SPS (high light, high flow), LPS (usually low light, lower flow), softies, zoos, etc.

HTH a little to start.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply.

If I DO go with corals I would go with low light ones. I really don't want to spend tons of money on lighitng so I think I may stick with FOWLR for the tank. Stupid question but what makes a reef tank a reef tank? Is it corals?

I don't want to spend TONS of money on this if I DO decide to do it. I think a 60 may be a little large for the amount of money I want to spend.I was initially looking at a 29 gallon for this which seems more and more like the way to go. I can get 2 of the 60 gallon cube tanks for less than $50 though...that's why it was tempting to me.

So...if I go with a 29 (FOWLR) I would need a heater, powerhead (one?), sand (thinking argonite), filter, lighting (I what would be a good fixture for FOWLR and maybe 2 anemones ?). I would want to stick with medium light stuff in order to save money at the moment. I don't feel like spending much over $100 on a PC fixture if possible.

Any other suggestions/comments? Thanks Lindsay.
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs6749
I don't want to spend TONS of money on this if I DO decide to do it. I think a 60 may be a little large for the amount of money I want to spend.I was initially looking at a 29 gallon for this which seems more and more like the way to go. I can get 2 of the 60 gallon cube tanks for less than $50 though...that's why it was tempting to me.
In reality, the difference in the amount of money you're going to spend over the first year really won't be much different between a 29g and a 60g. The cost of the tank is really insignificant, when it all gets added up.

Quote:
So...if I go with a 29 (FOWLR) I would need a heater, powerhead (one?), sand (thinking argonite), filter, lighting (I what would be a good fixture for FOWLR and maybe 2 anemones ?). I would want to stick with medium light stuff in order to save money at the moment. I don't feel like spending much over $100 on a PC fixture if possible.
A PC fixture, even for a 29g tank, seems like it's going to run you more than that so keep your eyes peeled on eBay or craigslist.

You keep mentioning anemones, but I think you'd be safer adding them (if at all) after 9-12 months of your tank being up and running. They really want stable water conditions which most "new" tanks will not have. Clowns don't need them to live happy little lives in your tank. In addition, as Devilishturtles mentioned, you'll most likely need better lighting for them than you're looking at getting.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion about waiting to add anemones...I WILL wait that long to make sure my water params are good and I see what you are saying about the fish not needing them.

About the cost...I was thinking that if I went smaller I wouldn't need a refugium and a sump. What are your thoughts on this? How many watts per gallon would I need for a FOWLR setup assuming I had a 29 gallon tank? The thing is...I thought I may need TWO fixtures that were 24 inches long with the 60 gallon cube because it is so wide. I thought the 29 would be better because I would only need one.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:10 AM   #6
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About the cost...I was thinking that if I went smaller I wouldn't need a refugium and a sump. What are your thoughts on this?
A ref or sump is really personal preference. If you don't want one on either size, then you don't need one. In reality, the smaller tank would probably benefit more from a sump than the larger tank, as you'd have more water in the system to dilute any bad stuff. I have a 46g, and have no intent to put in a sump, as I just don't have the room right now. I just keep up on my water changes, and keep a tidy tank, and everything's fine.

Quote:
How many watts per gallon would I need for a FOWLR setup assuming I had a 29 gallon tank? The thing is...I thought I may need TWO fixtures that were 24 inches long with the 60 gallon cube because it is so wide. I thought the 29 would be better because I would only need one.
Good point about the extra width of the 60g cube. But if you're not keeping corals, good lighting across the whole tank really isn't as much of an issue. For fish only though, I don't think there really is a minimum watts/gallon rule. The fish don't care. However, the more watts you have, the more the coloration of the fish will "pop" for you. I'm always surprised at how better my fish look after they get out the quarantine tank (1.8W/gallon) into my main tank (4+ W/gallon).
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:54 AM   #7
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This may sound stupid but does live rock need light? Anemones need light? What else would need light and how much light (WPG) would allow me to have low to low-medium light corals, anemone, whatever?

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:16 AM   #8
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Not stupid at all! Live rock doesn't need any light to house bacteria. If you want it to turn purple/red with coralline algae, then you'll need some light.

Low light corals will be happy with 3 watts/gallon, while medium lighting are probably looking at 4 watts/gallon. (Correct me if I'm wrong, lighting gurus.) The watts/gallon rule is not totally scientific, but makes some assumptions that your tank is a standard size tank, and of "normal" depth. With a cube tank like you're talking about, you probably will want to be at the higher end of the recommendations, as the tank is deeper than most "normal" tanks of that capacity.

I'll let someone more familiar with anemones chime in, but I'm thinking you're looking at 5 watts/gallon or more, and probably at that point you're talking metal halide.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:28 AM   #9
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Metal halide is out of the question for me due to cost so I'm guessing most anemones would be too if that is the case. All I can afford are PC and T-5....which are better? I was thinking of a 130W PC fixture over a 29 gallon tank and that would provide roughly 4.5 wpg and @ $120ish or less it is doable. That may be the way to go for me.

Now I need to find a good filter and a powerhead.............
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:41 AM   #10
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You should be able to get by with some moderate light anenomes but only with a mature tank of 9-12 months as Kurt mentioned. You should be able to do most soft or LPS corals with that lighting. Read this article on what you`ll need for your tank.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=76139
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