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Old 07-19-2004, 01:15 PM   #1
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Tips for newbies, from a newbie

Slow day at work, so I thought I would post a little advice for the newbies, from a newbie. No I don't work here. I started my tank in January. I had run a freshwater tank before, but I had never done saltwater. So far so good, other than some cyano problems things are going well. Like me, you've probably had freshwater tanks before. Maybe you've seen "Finding Nemo" or you've been to your local aquarium and you've decided that you want to start a saltwater aquarium of your very own. You've come to the right place.

So what can I tell you?

#1. Read. And then read some more.
The overwhelming favorite book is:
The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists
by Robert M. Fenner
I bought it, and it was worth every penny.

#2. Search for your answers, and then ask questions.
This site is an awesome tool for people like you and me that have an urge to start a saltwater aquarium but aren't sure where to start. The people here are very nice, and no question is considered "dumb". Don't be afraid to ask. However, your answer may be here already, use the search tool too find it. I do that all the time.

#3. Listen to the answers, even if they conflict.
There are many differing opinions on many different things, but listen to the answers and use them to help you with your own situation.
Keep in mind, these people know really know what they are talking about but nobody knows everything.

#4. You may be wrong and you may not even realize it.
When I started the tank I filled it with tap water. Then I read here that you should use RO water if at all possible. I wanted to save the money, and I didn't want to install an RO unit. The tank looked good, so why not use tap water? Well now it's 7 months later, and I have an RO/DI unit under the sink in my guest bathroom. I should have just bit the bullet at the beginning. Same thing with my lights. I started with NO, now I have PC.

Also, I had it in my head that my tank would be a FOWLR and I would never go beyond fish and a little bit of live rock. I would definitely never go reef. People here told me otherwise (yeah we've heard that before, you'll change your mind, etc.) Now it's 7 months later and I am starting to research corals. None yet, but after I get rid of my cyano that will be my next addition.

#5. You can do it.
When I started out I was pretty overwhelmed. I was paranoid about every thing I did to the tank. This site was extremely helpful to me, and helped me to "get my feet wet" into this hobby without too many problems. As you go along, you will become more confident. Trust me.

#6. Sit down and look at your tank once in a while.
Sometimes we get caught up in taking care of the tank, and we forget that hey, it's really cool to look at!

#7. Post pics of your tank.
Haven't done it yet myself. But I will, I swear!

I could go on but someone just gave me some work to do. So anyway, I hope this helps someone a little bit. I don't claim to know a lot by any means, but I know a lot more than I did 7 months ago, thanks to the folks on this site.

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Old 07-19-2004, 02:44 PM   #2
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A great post, Mrbill! Thanks for taking the time.
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Euroreef ES5-3
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1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
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3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:29 PM   #3
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Kudo's

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:57 PM   #4
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Kudo's to MrBill..........Great Post.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2004, 07:01 PM   #5
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Your sentiments will definitely be appreciated by all.. If it was up to me I'd make this post sticky
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks guys!

So, any suggestions for a first (easy to care for) coral?
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:07 PM   #7
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Depends on the lights you have? Your profile does not list what they are but at 6 months into your set up, softies and LPS should do okay otherwise.

Cheers
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:17 PM   #8
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Thanks!

Here's my setup:

46 gallon bowfront
2x96 Power Compacts (CSL Moonlight hood, 1/2 actinic 1/2 10,000)
CPR BakPak 2R Protein Skimmer
Fluval 404 Canister Filter (used for water movement, Carbon and Phos remover only)
2 Maxi Jet 900 Powerheads
Approx. 65 lbs live rock
3.5-4.5 inch DSB
2 True Percula Clowns
3 Blue-Green Chromies
1 Small Yellow Tang
1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp
2 Camelback Shrimp
1 large Brittle Star
3 Turbo snails
5 Olive snails
Assorted smaller snails
1 small hermit crab
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:28 PM   #9
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The camelback shrimp will probably nibble the corals
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:32 PM   #10
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I would start with just about any photosynthetic softies you can find except mabye devils hands and some types of Capnella. The lights you have should be fine for a wide variety of corals and depending on tank height even a few lower light demanding SPS's but I would not suggest you move onto those for at least another 6 months.

A few points though. One I am sure you are already aware, the tang but one you may not is the Camelback shrimp. These should really be avoided in a coral tank. They will typically prey on corals and can be quite a pest.

If the Fluval is your only water movement in the tank, you should also look into some additional powerheads. The water flow in the tank should be well over 500 GPH for most types of corals. With the 404 when using media + head pressure will normally cause the flow from it to be much less than the manufacturers rating.

Cheers
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