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Old 10-05-2004, 06:30 PM   #1
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...Soon to be Newbie to SW

Ok Guys n Gals....
Couple questions - I hope you can explain and give any tips...

I have a 75G FW with a handfull of chiclids and a couple oscars (I know that a few people told me they would never live together that the oscars would be killed but they all seem happy and there arent any fights once in a while one of the chiclids gets a little crazy and starts tryin to show his stuff but i think there is too much compition for him cause there all still fine and it has been bout 6-8mnths now)
anyways... on to the issue @ hand...

I have been drooling over SW setups for sometime now, at first i didnt want to cause everyone says how hard it is, but reading and researching - I have come to the conclusion I can do it and want to do it.

I need some help though

I have a couple of filters...
1 HOB filter -- 1 canister filter (im not sure the brands or sizes but they were top of line when purchased and have been working great at keeping tank clean) ( im at work now or else i would just look)

LFS hood with 2 Fluorescent's that seem to work great - I also rigged it up with a nice little switch on the back and some PC blue moonlights, i click them on at night the look pretty good a little bright but im gonna modify them soon.
Doing all my research im a little confused about the lights
will these work ok for SW or do i need a Metal Halide lighting system or both - if they will work are there specs on the W or whatever else i should have n know?
I also have a bunch of Lace Rock im using I made some nice caves with them and my fish love them ( the picture only shows about half the rock and I want to get more... but can I use these rocks in SW or do i need live rock ? I would like to use the Lace as a starter for the caves and Get some Liverock to build up and around, and build a nice rock formation) The Lace is really nice looking rock and it looks like tons of stuff could grow on it - can SW fish and Live Rock go fine with teh Lace Rock?

I suppose you should know what type of tank i am looking into building..
heres what ive been thinking...
I want some live rock to go with my Lace rock, some Anemones, Clownfish, Blue Tang, hand full of Blue/Green Reef Chromis, (Black & White Butterflyfish - can i put these in a setup im thinking of?) , Flame Hawkfish? , and some more just gotta do some more research... suggestions welcome - thanks
Want to do live sand how many lbs should i get 50 or so? would like a nice bed on the bottom.

also do i need a protien skimmer? im thinking i want one - do i get a HOB type? or a sump type ?
and what exactly is a sump - another tank in the stand that feeds the water to the main tank ???? little confused about that too...
is it better to have a 10g in the stand ? do I fill that when water gets low and that feeds the big tank ?
or can i use my two filters and a HOB skimmer ???
What should I do about water flow in the tank - there is some good flow now but i assume i need better???

Sorry for the long garbally post but have alot of questions and need alot of answers... thanks please feel free to just tell me my idea is foolish and what i do really need to do - i really want to do the SW thing just need some help (well more than ...some help) duh!!!

oh yeah im also going to be building a nice canopy and I plan on configuring some lights and fans in there, once i know what lights i need - Im prob going to build a new stand as well i have one now thats cool but i wanna build a really nice setup that goes perfect with the canopy. gonna really put some time and money into the stand n hood, cant wait to get started!!! :P :P

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Old 10-05-2004, 06:45 PM   #2
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Hi, welcome to AA!! You asked a lot of questions in that post but I will try to answer a few of them for you. First off, buy a good book and start reading. I reccommend "the Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner. Research is the best thing you can do now. The lights you are speaking of will do fine for a fish only set-up. If you plan to keep anenomes and corals and want nice algea growth on your LR then you should consider a lighting upgrade. CF or MH will be okay. As far as fitlers go...the best source of filtration is a DSB with 1 to 2 lbs of LR per gal of water. If you want to use lace rock as a filler you can. Just mix it with some LR so he LR can "seed" the base rock. The more LR the better. It will take a bit longer to cycle the tank with a mixture of rock but it can be done. As for the livestock...decide what type of tank you want to have, FO, FOWLR, reef. then pick animals compatible with it. I would hold off on the anenome for about a year. They require a mature tank with stable water conditions. They are not for the beginer. A skimmer is a great thing to have so look into those. I prefer using a sump over HOB filters. Sumps can add to your total system water volume making more stable water conditions. They also provide a nice place to hime skimmers and heaters, keeping them out of the main tank. HTH...Lando

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Old 10-05-2004, 06:45 PM   #3
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You're off to the right start by doing lots of research before buying anything! I'm new, myself, so I can't address everything, but I can put in a few cents . . .

First, what size tank are you thinking of? The 75 you already have? If so, you might want to reconsider the tang; most folks think they really need more room than that to thrive. I was going to put a tang in my 75, but after lots of reading I've ditched that idea. I don't know about the rock you already have; SW breaks down some kinds of rocks that are fine in FW. The general rule is 1-2 lbs of LR per gallon.

This calculator
will tell you how much sand you need for the depth you want. Real live sand is $$ so I think most folks "seed" the bed with a few lbs from the LFS or an existing tank.

Yup, you'll want a skimmer. I don't know much about brands . . . if you are going to have a sump, you can buy an in-sump model. The sump is just an extra tank of water; the water goes from the main tank through the overflow to the sump and is returned via a pump. 10 gallons would probably be a little small for a 75G--I'm trying to get a 29G under my 75 (it's a bit of a trick). The sump
a)increases water volume for added stability
b) gives you a place to hide equipment
c) gives you a place to add water so it can mix before hitting the main tank
d)lets you have a fuge with macroalgae (if it's big enough). That can help with nitrates.

AND--here's some books that will really be a help:
Paletta, The New Marine Aquarium
Fenner, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist
Michaels, Marine Fish

These books are invaluable to me as a newbie! Someone else will answer your other questions (and improve on my answers), I'm sure.


EDITED--Lando beat me to a lot of these while I was typing!
75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:00 PM   #4
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ok cool - thanks for the info
yeah its the 75G i have now im going to convert it to SW - hopefully sooner than later.

I tried to post a picture of it but it wont take - the img size is less than 100k and its .jpg so im not sure why it wont work

Thanks for the info and i will ask more people let me know

I would like to do FOWLR I would also like to add some anenome but I will wait if everyone thiinks that is best. I just thought the clowns would like them - but i guess they can live without them...

thanks again
- this site is great!!!!
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:12 PM   #5
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this site is great. Your clowns do not need an anenome to thrive in the home aquarium. While it is a fascinating relationship to watch, clowns do not require the protection of the anenome in a tank. They are difficult animals to keep and have a very poor survival rating in captivity so lots of reserch is required. Good luck in the switch and have fun! Lando
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Old 10-05-2004, 08:05 PM   #6
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some important things to note:

1. Salt water is VERY expensive. You are doing alot of DIY projects which will help out alot, but know that the start-up cost is huge. I spent over 1000 bucks before I was ready to add fish. (and I have a long way to go before I am ready to add corals.

2. Salt water fish need much more room then freshwater. In a 75 gallon tank you can fit about 15 inches of fish. That translates to roughly 5-8 fish depending on size.

3. Patientces is a must. It usually takes at least a month for a tank to cycle and be ready to accept its first fish. You also need to quarinteen all new arrivials so completely stocking your tank will take months. after that you must let your system age up to a year before you can add your first corals. You should do some serious research before jumping in. Heck, researching is the best part!!!

Don't let this scare you, just be aware of it. ENJOY!!! its the greatest hobby in the world!
Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 10-06-2004, 10:38 AM   #7
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Yeah I realize the $$$ thing...

But thats alright im going to buy a few things here and there (skimmer, buy the wood & build the stand and some other things)

then ive got my charge card all ready to make all other purchases at once - prob once i get back form Hawaii ( we leave on xmas eve for 11days - cant wait, we got a sweet condo on the beach with an incredible pool)

once i get back im gonna get it all ready and buy all the other gear I need and then th LR, LS, and some fishes....

if all goes well that is...

Hey thanks for the post - it does kinda scare you off but like i said ive been drooling over some of these tanks for a while and really wanna just do it. and plus my girl is all for it so she wont mind me spending the $$$


hey thanks again
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Old 10-06-2004, 05:57 PM   #8
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[once i get back im gonna get it all ready and buy all the other gear I need and then th LR, LS, and some fishes....]

wait atleast 3 weeks after the sand and lr to add the fish

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