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Old 03-13-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
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Thinking about starting a saltwater tank

Hi, I'm thinking about starting a saltwater tank, but I've never even THOUGHT about doing this before. I haven't bought anything yet, and am just starting the research but I was wondering if anyone has any advice and information on the topic. What I've already determined is:

1: I want a smaller tank. I'm in a rental, but me and my fiancee are going to start looking for a house after the wedding and thus will move and want to make moving easier than a 100 plus gallon tank would allow. Thinking something in the ten to thirty gallon range. Is this reasonable?

2: We want to keep seahorses, though I'd like some "Fishy" fish too. What would work well?

3: I'd like to keep things as simple as possible. I KNOW saltwater isn't as simple as fresh water (And admittedly I'm still mastering my two freshwater tanks... but they seem to be doing well) but I've got BAD MTS and just can't help it!

4: I'm not planning on doing Annenome's. I'm thinking FOWLR (From what little I have learned about that at this point. Like I said, in the research stage).

Advice? Comments? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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1) Read our SW articles section esp. the article on cycling
2) IMO SH`s need to be in a species only tank. I have had SH`s and I know the fish would outcompete the SH`s for the food.
3)equipment checklist
4) Welcome to AA
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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Already decided on fishless cycling. Sorry, should have mentioned that.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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1) I think a 30G first tank is fine; it does take more maintenance than a larger tank.
2) You can keep seahorses and fish in the same tank but it's not easy.
3) It's not simple but get into a good maintenance routine and it can be easy.
4) You could also do FO; but I like a FOWLR tank bc it's more visually appealing and I like the LR benefits.

Here are some links to get you started.

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank. ;
We have a series of articles to help get you started
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #5
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BTW, meluso58 really knows his stuff! He'll steer you right!
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
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Melosu58`s seahorse diary

This is a diary of my SH adventure. HTH
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:47 AM   #7
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Yeah, researched the seahorses, and have decided I'm not ready for that... heh. Thinking along the lines of a pair of clowns, and/or maybe a firefish. And inverts, of course. My fiancee loves the little guys and I gather their about invaluable in saltwater.

My head's just spinning at the equipment stuff I'm trying to research. Going to the equipment list link now. I even ordered a book! Freshwater is so much easier, but the challenge of the thing has me in it's teeth now. Kind of wish I owned my house. The petco near me has a seventy five gallon pre-drilled for cheap right now (Some one pre-ordered it then never came in for it.) Oh well.

Research is continuing. I just wish I understood all the acronyms (Stopping to look them up is a bit frustrating at times...heh)
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:52 PM   #8
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Okay, so I've been doing research, research, research (As well as have downgraded my 37 tanks freshwater population to a twenty gallon. Don't worry, the 37 was fairly recently cycled and very lightly stocked so the twenty gallon is plenty of space.

Anyway, doing my research I've become rather confused and bewildered. I think I've figured out the lights (a double bulb t-5 rig, from petsmart or petco. It's not a very deep tank and I doubt we'll get past the "lowlight" corals and anenome's stage and even if we do, we can upgrade later easily enough), and I'm toying with an aquaclear or marineland bio-wheel filter rated for a 50 gallon tank (I can not do a sump. the 37 is about as big as I can really do. I'm a renter).

I have a basic stocking plan, though I am expecting to revise it while cycling the tank, and am already planning to use the Shrimp method for fishless cycling.

My big confusion is on protein skimmers. I dig that they are usually "over rated" for tank size and am taking this into account, but I'm 1: Not sure if it will benifit me that much and 2: not sure what will do the job. Plus, the prices on the equipment just seems exhorbinant for what they seem to actually involve! I don't need anything overly huge and I can't do the sump thing and want a hob.

When I started working on this I was really excited, and I'm willing to invest a reasonable amount of money to get things off the ground, but I just can't seem to find what I need to research equipment and be sure I'm getting a good price. Could someone please help? I want to jump into saltwater but this one component is begining to scare me off!
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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Also, would a protein skimmer be that useful in a thirty seven gallon tank?
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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it would be useful, but if i was going to start a 37, i would skip the skimmer. i would just do weekly water changes of about 5-10 gallons, depending on bio load, and feeding, and call it a day.
the skimmer is better for larger tanks when massive water changes are more difficult.
in the end it's all about the nutrient export. everything that helps with that is a good thing to have, but on such a small aquarium, i believe it will take away from the viewing pleasure, having to stare at a big, noisy thing hanging off the side or back.
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