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 09-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Question Saltwater...how hard could it be???

OK-so my original reason for wanting an aquarium is a saltwater setup for seahorses. Obviously for someone with no experience, reading on how to do it was all greek to me. So I started with freshwater. No worries-I'm not planning on an immediate saltwater-I know when I'm in too deep (pardon the pun ) *No seahorses or other fish are in any danger* I understand seahorses would be WAYYYYYYYY down the road after being very good at saltwater..and that's wayyyy down the road after being very good at fresh.


Soooo we (Dbf and I) were in, suprise, my local big box (but reputable, all from farms supposedly no wild caughts) LFS (I'm there so much I know all the staff, it's really very sad) and finally found an OH SO helpful employee!! He spent about an hour with us going over the basics of saltwater, but from a big picture perspective (Which I have not found on the internet-and I'm a big picture person, need the whole picture to then zero in on details)

So I'm pulse checking-I'm going to relay what he said. Can you all advise if there are huge errors here, or things missing I should know?? Obviously way more research is in order before we start a saltwater but I need to ensure I have an idea of where to start...



---
So what he said was, you don't need a filter under 55 gallons. What you want is two powerheads at least, to create a back and forth current, live rock at -at least 1lb per gallon. The live rock is your filter. (He also said you can start with 50% or more established live rock and the rest unestablished but ready live rock i.e. no bacteria colony yet, but the right type of rock, and let it colonize). He said you would need a protein skimmer too. Then you would let your salinity and temp stabilize and start adding fish.

He said water changes weekly and you get it ready the day before (if you want) to let salinity stabilize, and you'd want a heater in the bucket that is being prepared.

He also explained a sump tank that would have algae in it, but not necessary.

This seems very simple...Issues? I think I have a better idea of how they work but I think I'm still missing a big picture overview understanding. Feel free to post links if it saves you typing. I'm still a bit lost.
__________________

__________________
Yikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 11:50 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
carey's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 20,962
Well the LFS is right on some items and not so much on others in my opinion.

As far as filters, I would use one on anything less than say a 75g. You want some sort of mechanical filtration. I wouldnt add a skimmer on to anything less than a 55g as weekly water changes is all you'll need if you dont overstock or over feed.

What he said is right about the live rock and base rock. You don't need all live rock. The live rock is the majority of your biological filtration though, so the more the merrier. It's advised to get 1.5 to 2.0 lbs of rock per gallon.

A sump can be used on any size tank here is some quick articles for you to go over to get a better feel for things.

Refugiums,fuges or refuge
Berlin method of filtration
Protein skimming - is it right for you?
Sumps Explained
__________________

__________________
180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
carey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 02:37 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Quote:
As far as filters, I would use one on anything less than say a 75g
Soooo opposite-filter on smaller but not larger? And double live rock?

Next question if you don't mind...I've read about alkalizers and CO2 reactors-what are they for...unnecessary, necessary...other things a saltwater should have for set up?
__________________
Yikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 06:14 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Ausfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austria
Posts: 387
Co2 reactors are for freshwater tanks, they basically provide your plants with extra co2 to help them stay healthy and grow. Alkalinity is a water parameter you measure like carbon or ph. It has to be within a certain range to make a sw setup work and coral thrive.

Personally, I would have some kind of filter in any aquarium. For example, my 9g nano cube runs a wet/dry that sits on top of the tank.
If you want sea horses down the road I would definitely consider setting up a refugium to help algae and pods cultivate. You can also put in live rock rubble to help the pods hide. It acts as a filter and food-farm at the same time. Then make sure everything is well established over month before adding your horses.
__________________
___________________________________
my 30g reef with refugium
Ausfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 09:56 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mr_X's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fairless Hills, Pa.
Posts: 17,895
Send a message via MSN to mr_X
Seahorse Organisation. Keeping and Breeding Seahorses in the home aquarium.
__________________
thanks,
Doug
mr_X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
huma-huma's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: washington Pa
Posts: 5,257
+1 to Carey, she pretty much covered it all. i feel that mechanical filtration comes down to personal preference in larger tanks. some people have had success not running an actual filter, but they usually have ALOT of live rock in the tank, whereas the opposite of that theres the people that run actual filters and less live rock. not trying to confuse at all, just mentioning what ive seen.
__________________
my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
huma-huma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
kdogg85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 506
A mechanical filter is good to use once in a while to help polish. I don't use one myself and have enjoyed good success.

The whole thing of letting salinity and temp stabilize is right, but do not add fish yet. Get a test kit(api kit) to read ammonia,nitrite,and nitrate. When the ammonia and nitrite are gone, do a 30% water change then add 1 or 2 small fish. Then wait a couple months while checking water params. This called cycling and the live rock will do that for you. Slow and steady turn great rewards,fast and furious spells certain doom.

Saltwater isn't as hard as it seems unless you get into specialized livestock and/or corals. Seahorses are a finicky thing to try and do require advanced knowledge and care tactics.

As far as the skimmer goes, water changes do the same thing but the skimmer allows you to do them every couple weeks instead of every week or less depending on bio-load. There are alternatives to a skimmer, I use an alternative(turf scrubber), but I am for the skimmer in that it does help with the health of the aquarium.

I will put it this way, if you have the ability to keep goldfish alive, you can keep a basic or fowlr saltwater tank. I say that because goldfish are some of the nastiest fish to keep.
__________________
kdogg85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2011, 10:59 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Thanks all!! You are all so helpful and patient with my very beginner questions

Are there special filters for SW or are they the same as those for FW?

Also I've heard of having algae in your refugium...what are pods?

Also I'm crazy about water changes, my FW tanks enjoys a 14% (just the size of tank and bucket work out to a 14% change) daily and weekly I do 2 or 3 or those. So can I skip a skimmer if I do a filter and do lots of water changes?

What's the difference between basic and fowlr? I've read of fowlr and sounds like the way to go-is basic even more basic?

Is the alkalizer (sp?) necessary? I know you want a higher pH for salt water, and that the sand you buy will make the water more basic. Is that something you should have or are there special circumstances?


Also-we have very hard water here, our pH out of the tap is about 7.8 -and I read that's a-ok for FW, it's really about keeping a stable pH rather then a certain one. Is my hard water going to be a serious issue for saltwater fish?
__________________
Yikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 12:12 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
huma-huma's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: washington Pa
Posts: 5,257
Filters are the same for either fw or sw. The beneficial bacteria that grows in hem is different. Alkalizers are not necessary until you establish a stable tank and doingtesting to determine if its needed. There is multiple types of sw tanks.
Reef- contains live rock, fish, inverts, and coral
Fowlr- fish only with live rock
Fish only - tank with just fish and substrate
Bare-bottom- tank that has no substrate.
As you can see there are choices that you should make before diving too deep into it

IF you go with fish only or fowlr, 7.8 should be ok...it may need raised if you go with a reef setup.
In terms of the pwc, I wouldn't do them daily. Once a week is plenty, you could do 2 a week if the tank needs it.
The need of a skimmer would depend on what type of setup you go with and/or the size of the tank.
__________________
my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
huma-huma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Ausfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austria
Posts: 387
I'll add to huma's reply: what kind of filter you have highly depends on the kind of tank you keep. Usually people use HOB(hang on back) filters or sumps.
HOB is probably the easier choice for beginners because for sumps you either need to drill your tank or get an appropriate overflow.

Pods are essentially little bugs a lot of marine fish like to eat, some fish will only eat life pods.

A skimmer is necessary once your tank gets a certain size. It's hard to give you numbers though as it depends on a lot of other things as well like your water quality, stock list and so on.
__________________

__________________
___________________________________
my 30g reef with refugium
Ausfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, saltwater

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
Considering saltwater Rhino Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 10 09-26-2011 11:23 AM
Fish for hard water? gabysapha Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 08-30-2011 10:27 PM
saltwater fishless cycling Gunk Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 08-09-2011 01:59 PM
Saltwater Tank Dream/Journey Hatterz Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 11 07-15-2011 11:40 PM
New to Saltwater Tracie6283 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 07-05-2011 10:25 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:49 PM.


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