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Old 03-08-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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SW for dummies, beginners guide??

Basically, I'm considering about starting a SW nano tank, maybe a 10g? I just am clueless about where to start, what I need, etc. I basically need info on all the basics. I have seen posts on here and have a very basic idea of what all is required, but I'd really like to learn more.

Can someone explain how it works, what is needed, and why it's needed to me? Or does someone have a beginner SW tank for dummy's guide that'd be fantastic!

Some questions I have is, why is livestock necessary? Why do you need an ro/di machine, why can't you use tap? What are all the different types of tanks? Do you cycle salt just like fresh? Basic beginner questions like that.


Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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For starters, check out the articles section. There are beginners guides that will help you out. If you still have questions, ask away.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:02 AM   #3
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so I had a chance to read through most of those articles, or atleast the ones I thought would apply for now. They answered some of my questions, but answered more the How's than whys.

Why do you need live rock? Is it to just help cycle faster??
What is a frag tank? To my understanding, its basically a coral nursery, right? Why cant you just keep them in the main tank?
How about feedings? Do most SW fish eat flakes/pellets, or do they need live/frozen?
What is the major benifit of RO vs Tap? I know there is a lot of different minerals and stuff in tap that RO will take out, but if tap works well in fresh, why isnt it suggested for SW?

I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, but it's too late for me to spend much more time trying to think of what I had wanted to ask originally.

Thanks in advance for whatever help I can recieve!
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:30 AM   #4
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1 live rock houses beneficial bacteria that helps convert toxic fish waste from ammonia>nitrite>nitrate. without this bacteria, your livestock would die quickly.
2.a frag tank is a "propogation" tank, it allows you to grow out corals and watch closely for problems, these tanks are usually designed specifically for the corals and may house only inverts or a single fish or two, it also helps to keep the corals from getting damaged or nipped.
3. most sw fish do eat pellets, but there are quite a few that need more than just pellets (frozen, freeze-dried, etc) its usually a general rule of thumb that you should vary the diet as much as possible. also certain sw fish have requirements.
4. TDS... Total Dissolved Solids. although they don't necessarily cause problems in a fw tank, they def can be quite a headache in sw tanks. using any water with a high TDS count can have various effects, including high algae growth, cyano outbreaks, cloudy water, etc. ultimately theres a lot of "stuff" in our tap water that shouldn't be there naturally. (its usually to benefit humans). an RO or RODI unit will remove these unwanted TDS in water. making it 100% pure h2o. although you may think the units are expensive, keep in mind that they usually pay for themselves in the first year or two. the price of equivalent water from a LFS or other store is usually pretty expensive.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:07 AM   #5
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Wow! Thanks for the informative reply!
So basically, Live Rock houses benificial bacteria kind of like the filter sponge and ceramic rings do in a FW filter? Except I'm sure they house a lot more?
Do you know of any articles that might be helpful for the beginner other than what's listed in the stickies? I really would love to do some research on all the different types of SW tanks and what goes into them, but don't want to go searching for it myself. I know there's a ton of inaccurate stuff out there on FW, I imagine its the same with salt as well and don't want to read all sorts of wrong information.

1 more question, are stocking ratios pretty similar between salt and fresh? Is there a rule of thumb?

Sorry for the 21 questions, I just really want to learn about this so maybe I can start one sometime in the near future. I've always wanted some clowns!
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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live rock is just another form of filter sponge/ceramic rings. I personally don't really have any informative links for the sw hobby. they do actually make a "saltwater for dummies" book. ive never really had a chance to look into it but id believe its informative and helpful ( other for dummies books were)
Amazon.com: saltwater for dummies

stocking ratios are NOT the same for sw. the inch rule doesn't apply, or any other weird rule. the only accurate way to figure out stocking is to spend time combing through the sw fish that are available, write them down, then let us know. we can help you narrow the list down to something manageable and appropriate for your given tank/equipment. the reason I say equipment too is because it plays a big part in exactly how far you can go with stocking the tank.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:30 AM   #7
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also, please keep in mind that any and every site/person you talk to will give you a different "recommended tank size" for a fish, so if you do look through live aquaria, don't assume that the tank sizes are set in stone.
www.liveaquaria.com

that being said, I have found live aquaria to be one of the most helpful and informative sites regarding fish stats. ive used them countless times to lookup info on fish before buying.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:45 AM   #8
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Thanks!
I won't be looking into stocking anything for quite a while, but I will definitely come here before I get close to that stage. I wouldn't dream of doing it myself, regaurdless of how much I researched it.

The "for dummies" books have always been pretty great books! I will have to take a look at it! I honestly didn't think to check amazon! They have EVERYTHING! Lol
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:54 AM   #9
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in all honesty, joining this site was prob the best thing you could have done in terms of gaining knowledge and experienced answers. there isn't a shot that my tanks would be where they are at now if I hadn't found this site.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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I used these two books...you can find them at your local petsmart or LFS if they stock literature:
Marine Aquarium Handbook: Beginner to Breeder: Martin A., Jr. Moe, Matthew L. Wittenrich, Julian Sprung: 9780982026212: Amazon.com: Books

Amazon.com: The Nano-Reef Handbook (9780793807178): Chris R. Brightwell: Books

Edit to add: The first one is a *great* general marine tank resource, and is on the shelf next to my tanks. The second one is very good for smaller tanks.
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