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Old 05-20-2010, 04:08 PM   #1
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tanks sizes for saltwater...

I've read online its best to have a 55 gal or higher for salter water aquariums. Why is this? I know with freshwater aquariums, the size really doesn't matter, the more fish you have, the more often you need to do water changes. Why would it be any different for salt water? I'm asking because I'm getting a free 30 gal tank from the wife's co-worker and I'd like to setup a saltwater aquarium. I've only had freshwater my entire life, so I'm treading into new water here!
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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You can do it in a 30. The general advice to start with a 55 or larger is because the more water volume you have, the more stable parameters will be and the larger the room for error. Research first, a lot, and go for it. I started with a 20G for my first reef. It's doable, but the smaller the tank, the more vigilant you need to be with testing and good husbandry. Nothing good happens quickly.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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Like HN1 said, bigger is better to keep tank parameters more stable. Small tanks are actually more work.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
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Why is it more work exactly? Define what you mean by work. With my freshwater, I've never had a problem as long as I do water changes weekly. Can't I just follow that same formula? What more is there besides doing getting the water temp and water mixture right? I guess I need a dummies guide.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:54 PM   #5
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SG, top offs, RO source, salt mix, etc... there's a ton more to worry about in SW. Not hard, just more. Check out the articles section for some good jump off points to start researching. Also, if you're a reader, The Concientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner is a great book.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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It's a percentage thing. Saltwater tanks require certain salinity (salt per gallon) levels. When water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind, increasing your salinity. If you lose a gallon of water from a 20g SW tank, you've lost 5% of your water. If you lose a gallon of water from a 200g SW tank, you've lost 0.5% of your water. The same change is much more minor on a larger tank.
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Ahhhh ok gotcha. So there is more to it than just throwing in 10 to 15 drops of Prime and then dumping it into the aquarium. That make sense. I think I'll get that book, I'm reading the first few pages right now on amazon... a very interesting read for sure.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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Start HERE:

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank (STARTING OUT)

How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish

Quarantine and this

and then of course there's my rules for SW:
Rule # 1. Nothing Good ever happens Fast in a salt water aquarium
Rule # 2. Don't add anything (supplements/chemicals/minerals)you don't test for first.
Rule # 3. PWC (Partial Water Changes) are your friend, and cure many ills.
Rule # 4. QT EVERYTHING before adding it to your tank (mandarins accepted, corals should be dipped)
Rule # 5. Use only RO or RODI water (either buy it or make it)
Rule # 6. All animal species live longer on a 30% reduced caloric intake. Only feed every other day at most (fish species dependant)
Rule # 7. Hyposalinity is the best, safest, and most effective treatment for marine Ich (IMHO)
Rule # 8. A Refractometer is a MUST HAVE, not a luxury.
Rule # 9. Anemones will never live anywhere near their normal (aprox 30 years) lifespan in a home aquarium. Leave them in the ocean.

Still working on number 10.

Welcome to the SALTY SIDE. You won't regret it!
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