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Old 01-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
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Stepping into the dark side...

I'm interested in starting up a small saltwater setup that I could keep in my room. Lately, I've been wanting it more and more. I hope you guys can help me through this. Thanks!

I'm expertise is more in the freshwater side and planted tank. I hope I can return the favor sooner or later!

I'm gonna be asking questions. If you guys think I am forgetting anything, please feel free to point me to the right direction. I've been reading up on a bunch of things on saltwater.


1. Would a 10g be a good starter tank? (I know bigger is better, but I don't have much space.)

2. I'm going to be starting with fish only with live rock and live sand. What type of live rock/live sand do I need? Should I get all live rock at once or just get about 5lbs and then get more in the future? What do you think?

*Could someone explain to me cycling and curing and all that? I got the jist of it but I need some clarification

3. What types of equipment would I need? After reading around, I think I'm going to use my AC20 as filtration and having some rubble live rock in it. I also have a small powerhead that I can use (not sure on GPH). Should I add another one? If so, what would you recommend?

4. What type of salt would you recommend me use? Also, should I invest in a refractometer or just use a hydrometer for now?

5. Do I need a protein skimmer?

6. How often would water changes need to be performed and how much?

7. As for lighting, would a regular fluorescent tube work for now? (If I ever go reef, I know i'll need to upgrade, but I don't want to have to worry about any of that yet.)

8. What type of fish and inverts would you recommend for this setup? I've been looking at Royal Grammas, Neon Gobies and few others. Any recommendations would be helpful. I'm interested in snails and other inverts also. I saw this link, would all these fish be tank/reef safe? http://www.nano-reef.com/fish/

9. As for food, should I just buy for specifically labeled as saltwater?

10. As for heating, what would be an optimal temperature?

11. Is water okay from the tap water? What would be a good way of mixing salt? I know there are procedures when doing this.

I think that is it so far. Any additional information suggested would be appreciated. And, thank you very much!

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Old 01-14-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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Hi. Welcome to the dark side! lol This helped me out a lot: Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

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Old 01-14-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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First off, Welcome to AA!
1) A 10g would be a death trap for most beginners. It is to easy to become unstable and crash on you, kill all or most of your animals.
Saltwater fish are very territorial and you would be able to only keep one fish in a 10g.
2) I like Figi rock but it's a personal thing. Live sand is a waste of money as most bacteria would die off in a closed bag.
3) Yor Live rock will be your filter so just use the powerhead to move water flow.
4) All the major brands of salt would be okay...again it's a personal choice. a refractor is the only way to go .
5) You will not need a protein skimmer on a tank that small.
6) you would need to do weeklly water changes and lots of topoff because evaporation on a 10 would really affect the water parameters.
7) for a fish only setup you would need lights just mainly for your viewing.
8) as stated above...a 10g is only big enough for one fish.
9)Saltwater fish food is what you need. get a variaty and that would be best.
10) Temp should be between 76 and 81 degrees at best.
11) water from the tap is a NO-NO. A small tank you can buy RO/DI water from Wal-Mart.
trackfasts link is very good!!!
Happy Reefing,
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