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Old 01-14-2005, 12:38 PM   #1
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Total newbie - advice needed

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums. I've been reading the articles on this website as well as some of the posts and I've decided on taking the plunge into the aquarium world. I've visited a few of the local pet stores and have been looking at the 55 gal tanks. So... I have a few questions because it seems like every LFS gives me conflicting advice. Could someone break down what I'm going to need in the beginning stages? My goal is to have a saltwater tank with 3-5 fish and some crabs or other interesting little critters. The prices I've seen at the fish store for the tank, stand, and lighting came to about $300. What else is needed? Are there name brands in particular i should look for? Expense isn't really an issue I have a pretty open budget for everything. I'd like to get hte best things possible for my tank. What will I need in the beginning to cycle my tank? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! Here is a general list that I can think of that you will need:

55-70lbs. lr (www.liverocks.com)
skimmer (Remora)
2-3 powerheads (Maxijet)
lighting (NO, PC, VHO)
salt (debatable)
substrate (sand)
timers - Home Depot
QT for your new arrivals (10-20 gallon setup)
Couple of buckets for mixing salt
Conscientious Marine Aquarist (Bob Fenner)

I'm sure others can add to the list. These are just a few things that you will need all together. HTH

Mike
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:31 PM   #3
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dwish8990 - are doing a fish only tank or a reef tank?
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:42 PM   #4
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i would say on the protien skimmer to look at the turbofloater.

sand - youre looking for 3-5 inches of sand to create a dsb. I used playground sand for all but the top layer and then i used "live sand". not sure if this is really necissariy, but i have tons of little things in my sand which do a great job of eating detris.

you should also look at the turbo or astrea snails along with the red- or blue legged hermit crabs.

lighting will depend on what else you decide to keep in your tank. corals will pretty well determine what lighting you will need.

you will want to research whch fish you are interested in getting and make sure of the order to keep everyone happy.

also make sure you either get an ro/di system or plan on trips the grocery store or lfs to get water.

live rock - you will want to get 1.5 pounds per gallon

hope this helps. read the articles on saltwater on aquariumadvice.com
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klam
dwish8990 - are doing a fish only tank or a reef tank?
I wanted to have fish and corals etc. So I guess that would be reef tank? But I was going to start out with fish only and upgrade once I get an understanding of everything.
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:52 PM   #6
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You need to take the transition into a reef tank slowly and buy what you will need for the end result now. Dont save money now to have to spend more to upgrade later. This is pretty common for lights and LR.
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #7
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I understand... what type of lighting should I be looking for considering this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMPD109
You need to take the transition into a reef tank slowly and buy what you will need for the end result now. Dont save money now to have to spend more to upgrade later. This is pretty common for lights and LR.
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Old 01-14-2005, 02:38 PM   #8
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i am personally a fan of the power compacts. they do have systems that are complete, they have your whites, actnics, and a moon light (fun) all in one package. you are probably looking at 4x65watt. see the formus on watts per gallon.

i echo dwish when he says to make the reef purchases now instead of upgrading. the LR and lighting will be fine if you only have fish for a while and if you want a coral then you are all set up.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:30 AM   #9
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I would determine what types of corals you want to keep first. Some require MH, and some will be fine with pc. For example, if you are wanting clams later on down the road, you should consider MH. This will save you money later on. Lighting is one of the most important, and expensive elements to keeping a reef. Make the right decision the first time.

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