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Old 05-04-2004, 09:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
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Starting over - fishless for 30 years

Hi!

I'm new to your forum and forgot everything I ever knew about saltwater.
I have a hexagon aquarium 13" x 48" (anyone know how much water that is?). Had marine fish 30 years ago and would like to try it again. I have many questions:

1) Should I want to learn about reefs? What do they add?
2) I remember that salt water aquariums support fewer fish by volume
than fresh. Is that still correct?
3) If so, then I guess I'll want a sump huh?
4) What kind of cool structure can I put in a 48" tall aquarium so the
fish feel secure? (That always was a problem.)
5) I still have this neat black, bush like, woody, plant about 12" tall that
grew off a piece of coral that I bought for structure. Does my
description sound like anything you know?
6) Do those bushes get taller? Can I afford a tall one?

I hope some of you enjoy sharing information and opinions because I'm going to be a syphon for awhile. Should be a smiley face here.

Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:30 PM   #2
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Re: Starting over - fishless for 30 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by NONEWNAME
Hi!

I'm new to your forum and forgot everything I ever knew about saltwater.
I have a hexagon aquarium 13" x 48" (anyone know how much water that is?). Had marine fish 30 years ago and would like to try it again. I have many questions:
Welcome to AA.com! We're glad to have you and will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Quote:
1) Should I want to learn about reefs? What do they add?
Most folks that start with a FO system eventually move up to a reef. You would do well to read up on reefs as you might want to start with one. You'll have less of a total equipment investment by doing that...some of the equipment for a FO tank (lighting for example) just won't cut it on a reef tank. Also, there are some differences in setup.

Quote:
remember that salt water aquariums support fewer fish by volume than fresh. Is that still correct?
Yes, that hasn't changed. Actually, the bioload for a SW tank is much lower than FW. This is not only due to SW tanks supporting a lower bioload. SW fish tend to be more aggressive and need more space than FW fish. They also, as I'm sure you know, usually get much larger than most FW species.

Quote:
If so, then I guess I'll want a sump huh?
Probably, but not so you can add more fish. Although the sump adds water volume, it doesn't really allow you to add more fish. It does make maintenance easier and hides all your equipment for a much less cluttered tank. In sump skimmers seem to be more efficient too.

Quote:
4) What kind of cool structure can I put in a 48" tall aquarium so the fish feel secure? (That always was a problem.)
I'd go with some live rock. A 48" tall tank is going to be difficult for SW. The reason is that fish load is proportional to surface area instead of volume. A tall narrow tank will not have much surface area and therefore will not support the bioload that a wide shallow tank of the same volume would. Lighting will also be difficult because water diffuses light...it takes a serious light fixture to punch through 4' of water with enough intensity to support photosynthetic inverts (corals).

Quote:
5) I still have this neat black, bush like, woody, plant about 12" tall that grew off a piece of coral that I bought for structure. Does my
description sound like anything you know?
6) Do those bushes get taller? Can I afford a tall one?
Not really. Possibly it was some type of macro algae though.

Quote:
I hope some of you enjoy sharing information and opinions because I'm going to be a syphon for awhile. Should be a smiley face here.
We're happy to help. We do ask that you do some independent research though. The search option on this site will bring up lots of posts that will answer questions that most folks ask in the beginning. I would also recommend "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. This book is great for beginners and experts alike. It will, in your case, update you on the latest innovations in SW aquariums. Having said that, don't ever hesitate to ask any question...that's why we're here and we enjoy it. HTH.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:31 PM   #3
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Hey, welcome to the forum...I'll try and answer some of your questions, I'm sure you'll get more advice from others too.

Quote:
1) Should I want to learn about reefs? What do they add?
A reef tank tries to simulate a coral reef enviroment, it usually has a sandy bottom, live rock, stronger lighting etc. A reef tank can contain corals and other reef inverts but not necessarily.
Quote:
2) I remember that salt water aquariums support fewer fish by volume
than fresh. Is that still correct?
Still correct, I believe the number is somewher in the range 1.5 inches or fish per gallon of tank water. I could be wrong, but I know it is somewhere tween 1-2"
[quote]
3) If so, then I guess I'll want a sump huh?[\quote]
Sumps are never a bad idea, increase your total system volume, a place to put unsightly gear, keep macroalgaes...
[quote]4) What kind of cool structure can I put in a 48" tall aquarium so the
fish feel secure? (That always was a problem.) [\quote]
Live rock of course...pile it in there try for at least 20-30lbs (I'm guessing your tank is in the 20-30 gallon range)
Quote:
5) I still have this neat black, bush like, woody, plant about 12" tall that
grew off a piece of coral that I bought for structure. Does my
description sound like anything you know?
No idea on this one nor #6.

Right off the bat I would suggest you pick up a copy of "The Concientious Marine Aquarist" Great book for beginners and old timers, covers all questions you just asked, has fish and invert references..its a must have. Good luck on the hobby and come back with any other questions.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:53 PM   #4
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Thank You!

Thanks guys! This is a great web site! Already used the calculator. I'll do my research and give this a shot. My nexy post will probably be: How do I get rid of that dead fish smell?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:19 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA.
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Old 05-05-2004, 01:03 AM   #6
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Re: Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NONEWNAME
My nexy post will probably be: How do I get rid of that dead fish smell?
Clothespin on the nose?

Seriously, I'm sure you'll do well as long as you do the research and ask the questions first. Knowledge and patience are the keys to this hobby with patience probably being the most important.
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