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Old 05-26-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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Salty Conversion

What I have:

40watt 20/20 light. 20g Aquaclear HOB filter. 20g Stealth Heater. 10g Tank.

What do I need?

I'm thinking a FOWLR rock setup. I would like to do a small clown fish with some live rock and maybe a sea anemone or something. Any suggestions on what clown or if there is one small enough. What do you suggest for a starter nano tank like this? I'm starting small with what I have on hand in hopes of upgrading to a larger tank in the future. Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:10 PM   #2
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I'm not certain about the clowns, but I think Ocellaris or Perculas would be fine. I don't think you have enough light for an anemone, but you could keep non-photosenthetic corals. With that setup, you would have to be VERY vigilant though. Small tanks can be tricky.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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I heard small tanks are tricky as well. Its harder to keep stable is what I have heard. I have not tried them though. I do think biocubes and other small tanks like that can look awesome all confined into one space. I got a 75 however so that I could get a few of the bigger fish and still accomplish a reef setup.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:58 PM   #4
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I have heard small tanks can be tricky. But I don't know whats tricky about them. I only have experience with fresh so any requirements of a salt talk are a bit foreign to me. What will have I have to keep up? What parameters will I now have to monitor besides salt levels? Newb questions i'm sure, but still info I need to find out.

Also, are there any anemones that require less light or specifically the amount of light I have? Or will I not be able to get something for clown to sort of call its home?
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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Reef tanks (and corals in particular) are generally less forgiving. Any sort of spike can hurt, any extra nutrients can be an algae nightmare, etc. The smaller the tank, the quicker bad things can manifest. That said, my only SW experience so far is a skimmerless 20G. It can be done, but attention is definitely required. In a reef setup you'll want to keep track of the usual (NH3, NO2, NO3, GKH, DH, and pH) and probably calcium and magnesium.

No idea about anemones.... gotta leave that to someone else and learn along with you.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:09 AM   #6
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Smaller tanks can be more difficult because of the smaller water volume. Basically things (bad) can happen faster if you don't keep up with regular maint.
You will really need to test ammonia, nitrItes, nitrAtes, pH, for starters (no corals), temp and salinity. API saltmaster is a decent kit for those. I would wait on the nem, you need a mature tank (plus you can save up for lights).
One other thing, clowns are not guaranteed to host a nem, sometimes they will host other corals, sand, a chunk of rock, a ph (you should get one of those too) or even a corner of the tank or just swim around. Neither needs the other to survive.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:17 AM   #7
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Smaller tanks can be more difficult because of the smaller water volume. Basically things (bad) can happen faster if you don't keep up with regular maint.
Gotcha. I was aware of this because of my freshwater experiences I just wasn't sure what the difference was from fresh to salt. I see your point about the clown not even being guaranteed to pair with the anemone. Are there any lower light options for anemones that are also clown compatable? I tried to look it up but haven't found anything yet. I estimate I have medium ish light.

I plan on doing a fishless cycle with live sand and just a little bit of live rock. After that I will add the clown and I was thinking maybe a few shrimp or crabs? Does this sound do able? As long as I'm aware of the added necessary upkeep involved?
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
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I'll have to let the reefers chime in on the lighting requirements.
Don't waste your money on the so called "live" sand. Get the dry aragonite and rinse it out. Use some LR and you can save money by using base rock.
Hmmm, 10G tank, you may want to skip crabs (they can get a little nasty as they get bigger), look at a cleaner or fire shrimp...possibly a few sexy shrimp (pretty neat little guys), MAybe a hermit or two (not my personal favorites).
Look into nassarius, cerith and margarita snails (nassis are pretty cool, you'll see what I mean if you get them).
Get a QT, a bucket to premix your water (with a ph and small heater) and that should get you well on your way.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
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(with a ph and small heater)
When you say a ph what do you mean exactly? Just test for ph? What is my desired ph anyway or like most freshwater will I likely be able to adapt anything. And as far as my supplies like LR and "live sand" goes I get it dirt cheap because I work at a petstore so might as well give it a shot lol. Once my tank is cycled in a few weeks I will order an Ocellaris Clowfish, they seem to be the smallest and hardiest available and since this is my first salt I'd like to keep it fairly simple.

Couple more questions and I think I'm good to go. I understand that RO water is good because it starts you at virtually perfect but then there is stuff to add to the water right? If i chose to use RO water (which I also get for free) then what additives would I need? Would I be ok with skipping the RO water and using my tap water? Also, do I need a seperate test kit for salt? I have the api master fresh right now?
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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I think roka was referring to a powerhead (ph) to mix your water.

RO is best and is used without additive for top off. Water evaporates, but salt doesn't. RO mixed with a salt mix (Instant Ocean, Oceanic, Red Sea, etc. etc.) is used for PWCs.
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