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Old 09-15-2004, 09:22 PM   #1
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Starting A Salt Water? Live Rocks & Blue Tangs? Big Tank

I am really wanting to start a salt water aquarium.. I was looking at our local pet shop and they have this listed on sale:

All Glass 72-Gallon Oak Bow Front Aquarium--Includes: Stand, Versa Top & Strip Light.

Is this large enough to house a nicely colored live-rock, 1 blue tang, 1 clown, Sun fish? (actual name?), cleaning shrimp, and a couple others? Can I mix types of live rock, like Fuiji rock with Gulf Rock? Where should I start to read for questions? Basically, where do I start?! You all must be tired of these kinds of questions but thank you for the advice in advance!
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:57 PM   #2
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I hope the member doesn't mind that I post their BEAUTIFUL tank? I'm looking for this kind of "growth" in the tank.. where should I start? *Hoping the member responds..*

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Old 09-15-2004, 11:12 PM   #3
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My friend, the best thing I've found to do is read, read, read

One book that I really enjoyed reading was the Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner. It really helped me out a lot, and I still refer back to it often.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:20 PM   #4
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You've started in the right place by coming to the forum, so welcome to AA. If you start reading post 1 in the getting started section and just keep on going you'll end up with a pretty good introduction to the hobby. There is a ton of information available here and lots of it is repeated often. So do your research and you'll be off to a good start.

Equipment wise, a 72g tank is a good start. It will provide enough water volume to slow down bad water changes and let you learn about water quality, and provide enough room for a nice variety of livestock. It is about the minimum size needed for an adult blue tang. The clown will be fine, as will any shrimp in this size tank. And you'll still have room for other livestock. You can mix any live rock together that you want. The corals in the above tank, and pretty much all corals will need drasticaly more light than the stip light could possibly provide. The type and amount of light needed for a mini-reef is constantly debated. You'll likely end up with either metal halide or power compact, or a combination of the two. Lighting is the most expensive part of this hobby. You can easily spend just in lighting, more than the rest of your setup put together.

Other than that you'll need to decide on what type of filtration you want to use. Many of us prefer live rock and deep sandbed filtration, others prefer a wet/dry or canister filter. They all have their pro's and their cons. The only exception is an undergravel filter which has no pros and is all cons, so stay away from them.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:31 PM   #5
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Great advice from Boardsurfer and Indy. Let me throw in--patience! I'm just starting this hobby and one thing (among many!) this board has taught be is go slow, be patient, wait, wait some more--did I mention go slow? From reading the "what's wrong with my tank?" posts, it seems that 75% of the problems people have come from rushing into equipment or livestock purchases or asking too much of a new tank too soon. I've been reading for about 4 months now, trying to get a grip on one thing at a time. Right now I'm on DSBs. Anyway, this is a great place to come for help--those in the know have endless patience for those of us who ask questions and more questions as we try to get our skills up to speed.
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120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
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10-gallon tropical
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:43 PM   #6
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Hi Nina! WELCOME TO AA!!! The picture you posted above is of my tank. Thank you for the kind words. It is nice to know some else can appreciate what I spend many many hours looking at at home. What you see is the product of about 20 months worth of work. Started as a 40 gal. fish only. I then found the benifits of live rock and some of that. Next came some easy corals with a lighting upgrade. My current tank is a 72 gal. bow front reef ready by Oceanic Systems. I can only reitterate what eveyone else has said. Do lots of reading and even more research. Remember to go slow, there is no hurry in this hobby. My tank is still a work in progress. Decide what type of tank you want, what type of filtration you will use and start putting together a wish list. This will give you some direction. Most importantly, keep asking great questions here. There are many experienced forlks on this site willing to help out. Thank you again for the wonderful compliment...Lando
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:58 PM   #7
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yes to all the questions

but ask yourself: have i underestimated the cost of keeping a saltwater tank?
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:04 AM   #8
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'Cause it's just about impossible to OVERestimate.
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Rebecca
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 09-16-2004, 09:36 AM   #9
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There is no way around it...this hobby is expensive. I have well over $4000 invested in my current tank and the number rises every week. The good news is that you do not need to blow a huge chunk of cash all at once. The most expensive part will be your initial set-up. I began buying mine in piece by piece over the course of several months to make it more affordable. This is where the "not beign in a hurry" begins. You can source a lot of what you need on-line to save big bucks. Do not get discouraged over the expense. Everyone here will tell you that it is well worth it. Good luck...Lando
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Old 09-16-2004, 10:42 AM   #10
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Yeah, saltwater tanks, especially if you're going for the reef setup, is not cheap at all. Even if you find a cheap used tank and stand, 70% of your expenses still come from purchasing the live rock, a good skimmer, and the lighting.
you might decide you need your own R/O unit too (tap water is not a good thing for SW tanks) which can add another $200 into the equation, and then your yearly resin filter replacement (which I have heard can be $100)

don't let us discourage you...just be prepared for the cost.
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