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Old 07-20-2011, 01:37 AM   #1
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Some basic questions for saltwater setup...

I am going to be getting a larger freshwater aquarium so will have my 37 gallon available and want to use it for some clown fish because my daughter really wants Nemo fish. I have just a couple questions for just starting out:
- can I pretty much seethe aquarium up like my freshwater as long as I pay close attention?
- Can I use my same HOB filter that I was using for the freshwater?
- the heater I'm assuming is the same so I should be able to use it no problem since it is a sealed submersible?
- since I will only be wanting fish and inverts I assume my existing lighting should do fine?
- will I just have to check the different levels and do my normal water changes similar to what I'm doing now for the freshwater setup? I know there will be more to check lime the salinity, etc.

I just don't want to put much if any money out to set up this aquarium as I'm doing it basically for my daughter and if she looses interest I may not keep it set up. I really enjoy my freshwater fish. I know I will no doubt become hooked though.

Bottom line: for starting out with just fish and invertebrates can I get it up and running with the same equipment I was using for freshwater and then invest more later if it's a hit?

Thanks to everyone in advance. I look forward to this discussion!
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
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Yes. All that should work. Just wash everything. Like you would and buy new filter media for the hob. Get test kits for cycle, then just change water and check salinity. After that should be fine.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:38 AM   #3
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Yes most of what u said will work.
Make sure u cycle the tank.
Also try keeping ammonia, nitrite-0, nitrate >5

Inverts don't like salinity, temp and ph fluctuation. So check to make sure they stay stable.
Don't forget to add fresh water as top-up water because water evaporates but salt does not.

But u will need to add a powerhead to move water around.

Are u adding liverock or no?? If yes, and don't have skimmer do weekly water changes.

But I am sure u knew this. Just thought I refresh it again.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heera
Yes most of what u said will work.
Make sure u cycle the tank.
Also try keeping ammonia, nitrite-0, nitrate >5

Inverts don't like salinity, temp and ph fluctuation. So check to make sure they stay stable.
Don't forget to add fresh water as top-up water because water evaporates but salt does not.

But u will need to add a powerhead to move water around.

Are u adding liverock or no?? If yes, and don't have skimmer do weekly water changes.

But I am sure u knew this. Just thought I refresh it again.
OK, don't assume I know anything. Seriously, I'm just learning anything about the salt stuff so even the elementary stuff to me is interesting and still new for me as I have never had and still do not have a salt tank.

Powerheads, right. I was planning on getting two of them, on for each side as I have seen this is what most people seem to have in their tanks unless they are super big. Again, just from what I have seen.

OK, Liverock. I was planning on it just because I have heard that you should have live rock. If Liverock will not do anything beneficial for my fishes or inverts that I put in there then I wouldn't have to. Can you explain why you ask and if I do have liverock why I would have to do weekly water changes? I was hoping that after cycling I would be able to do the 10% change every 2 weeks. For my own education, can you explain why you as the question and what the liverock actually does that would cause me to do water change weekly? I was not planning on a skimmer right now.

Thanks again for the help and I look forward to your reply.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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If all you're going to have is some inverts and a pair of clowns in a 37 gallon tank, you should get about 40 lbs of live rock. The weekly water changes are recommended with or without a skimmer.

Live rock not only gives the tank a more natural look but it also acts as an excellent biological filter. The surface area on the rocks allow for more of the "good" bacteria to be. The reason for the powerheads is to move the water around so it doesn't create dead spots in the tank.

You should also get some aragonite sand for your substrate. It will buffer the water and help keep your pH stable.

Live rock is expensive though, and there are other options. If you don't want to risk getting any pest hitchhikers on live rock you can use base rock. It won't help speed up your cycle though. If I had it to do over again I would use 90% base rock. It's only about $2/lb vs the $6+/lb for cured live rock.

I'm also going to say that with such a small bioload a protein skimmer is overkill. And the fish will do fine with more than 5ppm nitrates. Keep them below 20ppm and the fish will be fine.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:13 PM   #6
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Do you have just a single white bulb light.If you do you need to switch it for a 50/50 bulb for the saltwater fish color.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Oh, an excellent place to get base rock is reefcleaners.org. Very good looking rock. I got 30 lbs from them and it looks better than the live rock I already had.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricksreef
Do you have just a single white bulb light.If you do you need to switch it for a 50/50 bulb for the saltwater fish color.
I do have just a single white bulb in the hood of my 37 gallon. What in the world is a 50/50 light? And what do you mean for the fish color? Does it just make them look brighter or does it actually benefit the fish in some way than just pleasing to look at?
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjm80
If all you're going to have is some inverts and a pair of clowns in a 37 gallon tank, you should get about 40 lbs of live rock. The weekly water changes are recommended with or without a skimmer.

Live rock not only gives the tank a more natural look but it also acts as an excellent biological filter. The surface area on the rocks allow for more of the "good" bacteria to be. The reason for the powerheads is to move the water around so it doesn't create dead spots in the tank.

You should also get some aragonite sand for your substrate. It will buffer the water and help keep your pH stable.

Live rock is expensive though, and there are other options. If you don't want to risk getting any pest hitchhikers on live rock you can use base rock. It won't help speed up your cycle though. If I had it to do over again I would use 90% base rock. It's only about $2/lb vs the $6+/lb for cured live rock.

I'm also going to say that with such a small bioload a protein skimmer is overkill. And the fish will do fine with more than 5ppm nitrates. Keep them below 20ppm and the fish will be fine.
So, 10% water change once a week? That is the recommended regardless then? I think I can handle the 4 gallon swap every week no issues. Do I have to get all of the liverock at once or could I get say 10 lbs to start with and then get more later? I assume I would probably want to set everything up all at once though so I would probably just get it all at the same time anyway. I kind of like your idea about the base rock and live rock mix. Does the base rock eventually become live rock after in the aquarium for a period of time with the liverock?

Sand, right. I will definitely get the right sane. I will remember aragonite sand. I have well water and my pH is right at 8 which I understand should be pretty good for saltwater tank, right?

I will use the fishless cycle method recommended by my friend eco. He has helped me through my freshwater cycle. Great guy he is...
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjm80
Oh, an excellent place to get base rock is reefcleaners.org. Very good looking rock. I got 30 lbs from them and it looks better than the live rock I already had.
Thanks for the tip. I think I will go this direction and will check them out.
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