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Old 09-24-2006, 12:40 PM   #1
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starting a reef, send help and advice

Hi, Ive been keeping a 55 gallon freshwater for some time now and I wish to try and start my first reef. Im slowly understanding what all I will need to start a project like this, but Im sure Ive left about 10 key things out. Ive got time and I wont be starting this very very soon, probably in a week or 2.

I have two tank options, one is a 2.5 gallon and the other is either a 10 or a 15, im waiting for my friend to let me know so I can get it from him. Which one should I use?

I havent found a place to get less than 20 pounds of live rock, if I end up using the 2.5 gallon I know I wont need that much. If yall give me a good live rock site Im sure theyd have good live sand too and Id go ahead and get that there. In the way of all the filters pumps skimmers and such, Ive read about alot of different ones so I have no idea which ones I should be looking for. WHAT do I need to get?? Lastly what kind of testing will I need to be doing to the water andwhat to get for that. And alittle help with all the abbreviations, I have no idea what half those mean.

Thanks! HELP
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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Hi there, Tentacles. Welcome to AA.

Go with the largest thing you possibly can, so the 15 gallon if that is the largest option. www.liveaquaria.com or www.tampabaysaltwater.com has good liverock and has gotten great feedback on here. As for filtration, if you are looking to do a reef tank (as oposed to FOWLR (fish only with live rock)) I would simply get 2lb per gallon of liverock, 2 powerheads or so, and a small protein skimmer. About testing, a saltwater master test kit will be all you initially need, plus something to measure salinity like a refractometer or hydrometer. When you get into the reef aspect, you should really pick up a calcium and phosphate kit.

HTH
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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WELCOME TO AA!!!
I agree, in SW bigger is better. Devilish gave some great advice.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:35 AM   #4
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Welcome!!!

As for tank, personally I would not recomend anyone start with less than a 55g. Anything under 10g really is not an option and even 10-30g takes an experienced sw aquarist.

Most important do not rush into it. Do what you are doing now and reseach what it takes. There are many posts on this site that can walk you through setting up a new tank. I would also recomend getting some good books.

I was a long time FW keeper and can tell you that sw is harder only because it requires more patience.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

HTH,
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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The title makes me think of the Talking Heads song that goes... "send lawyers, guns and money.."
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afilter
Welcome!!!

As for tank, personally I would not recomend anyone start with less than a 55g. Anything under 10g really is not an option and even 10-30g takes an experienced sw aquarist.


My opinion exactly. You might want to check out the nano forum if you do go that route. Most will go the bigger tank first and then for a challenge go with the nano.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:12 PM   #7
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Tank size

So maybe get a 20g or 30g lying around and put my balas and gourami in it, and use their 55g to start up on an SW? I have access to a 20g I think to do the switch in, how does that sound? Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:21 PM   #8
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If the FW fish will be happy in the smaller thank, I am all for it.
Remember, please do not cycle with live animals.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:23 PM   #9
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Re: Tank size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tentacles
So maybe get a 20g or 30g lying around and put my balas and gourami in it, and use their 55g to start up on an SW? I have access to a 20g I think to do the switch in, how does that sound? Thanks!
Yes, if you are ready to make the jump to SW IMO that would be the best option with you existing tanks.

Remember there are some more equipment requirements depeding on what type of SW setup you are planning (ie FO. FOWLR, Reef).

It is not just as simple as using the same filtration and lighting you had for the fw and adding salt mix. I do not state this to insult anyone, but some people including LFS have this opinion.

The other thing to consider when using a used tank is were and meds such as a copper based product used in it. If so it will not be a ggod choice if ever planning to keep inverts/corals.

HTH,
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
The other thing to consider when using a used tank is were and meds such as a copper based product used in it.
Good point!
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