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Old 04-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 269
So I started a SW tank... (dumb questions/build thread)

I was previously going to do a 6 gal hex sw for our sons room, but the 6 gal really leaves no fish options. We also have a 12 g hex that we were doing nothing with, so I figured it would be a better choice than the 6.

This is my first venture into saltwater, so I have tons of questions! I am researching as well, but everyone here is very helpful and I appreciate the insight of more experienced salties

Here are a few questions;

- Can I use the freshwater API liquid kit to test NH3/NO2/NO3/pH ? I tried it, and everything looks ok, but the ammonia tests turn into a milky liquid (it's high-liter green, almost bright yellow - prob 0.2 ppm ammonia). Maybe that's normal and I'm just not used to it?

- Is doing WC's at 20% every week sufficient? And does anyone have any tricks or anything for mounting the powerhead in a 5 g bucket to let the water mix sit/aerate over night? I've just been dropping it in but I noticed all the salt doesn't get mixed up properly. I usually give it a good stir before I dump it in.

- Do I need a powerhead in the hex?

- For stock we like Ocellaris Clowns, Firefish, Gobies of all sorts, shrimp, snail, crab, etc. Is there anything else that would fit in a 12? What are good nano sw fish that would get along with the clown/firefish/gobies? And would 1 of each of those be too much in our tank?

- What is the difference between mandarin dragonets and mandarin gobies? My gf is obsessed with them, but they seem hard (having to have a refugium, copepods, bigger tank, etc)

- I'd like to grow some corals. If I spend big bucks on a light fixture, I want to just go for the gold and get one that can grow anything so I don't have to worry about upgrading later. I see a lot of "VHO" and "IceCap" stuff on CL. Any good?

- What kind of light do I need to get for these? I guess the consensus is MH? Here's a pic of the light fixture on the tank:

It's a small, awkward sized bulb since it's a hex... hard to find much... any recommendations are appreciated!
Are there any bulbs that would fit my existing setup and work for lots of corals?

Thanks in advance
Poverty reef in progress. Ballin' on a budget!
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