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Old 02-06-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
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Want to know more about salt water tanks

I've had freshwater tanks as long as I can remember. My first fish was a red wag platy that live in a 3 gallon heated bowl with a little sponge/charcoal filter. I loved that thing... It lived five years before its untimely leap from the bowl. I've got five tanks right now, all freshwater.. 55, 46, 10, 5, 2.5.

The more I delve into saltwater literature and pictures of saltwater tanks, the more I feel that longing to take that cold, salty plunge into the world of salty-goodness that is keeping saltwater aquaria.

I want to know the absolute basic things you need for a saltwater tank, some things that are nice to have but arent necessary, and stuff that people try to sell you that you dont really need. Id really like to start up a saltwater aquarium with my next tank. ^,^ Something simple. 30 gallons with a pair of clowns, some gobies, and a few inverts with live rock.

For example... In freshwater aquariums...

Need:
You need a tank (duh). A filter. A heater if you have tropical fish. An API masterkit. Water conditioner. A gravel vacuum. Lights. Food. (again.. kind of duh) Thermometer

Nice to have:
Gravel. Decorations. Live plants. Filter brushes (the bendy kind that can get into the filter intake). Scrub brushes.

Dont need:
Ph up/down products. Clarifier (unless its a serious problem) Algae removing products (imo, they do more harm than good) "Instant cycle" products
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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You don't need a gravel vacuum. Just use fine grained sand and nothing will get trapped in it. Flow will keep food from lying on the bottom. A couple power heads will provide that.
It's basically the same as fresh water except for the salt and fish requirements. The inches of fish per gallon rule does not apply to salt water.
You need a swing arm hydrometer (inaccurate, but it's something) or better yet a refractometer.
Salt
Test kit for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
And that's it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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In addition to the above,

Salt, extra heater, and large containers for premixing supplies. If you have multiple power heads in your DT, then take one out to premix the water.

Read the sticky: Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Saltwater tanks do have more requirements / less room for error than FW tanks, but I am told that once you get the hang of it, SW tanks (particularily peaceful community reefs) have a way of becoming their very own ecosystem and taking care of themselves to an extent, because each inhabitant supports / relies upon another and they live cooperatively, from tiny invisible micro-organisms to your largest reef fish. Personally, I have never accomplished anything beyond a very simple FOWLR with inverts and plants, mostly because I was afraid to try anything more, due to the costs.... I'd love a reef though, someday. I even have a 260g set aside for it, lol.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Salt water tanks do not have less room for error as far as i've experienced. Keeping photosynthetic creatures is another story. A general fish tank is the same, except for the salt. You test for the same things, do water changes, feed...all the same.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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Yeah I just started my saltwater tank not to long ago and it's the same exact thing except for the salty water.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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You guys are making it very difficult to not get a salt water tank, lol.

We've got this beautiful little 29 gallon starter kit at work, for freshwater of course, but itd be so easy to convert it to salt water....
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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Give it a try! I started my 29 gallon 6 months ago on a whim that my 4 year old wanted nemo lol I did all the research first but had never kept a saltwater tank and from what I can tell you it defiantly is not hard. Just make sure you ask a lot of questions if you have any and things will turn out fine. Just keep up on your water changes especially once your tank starts to get a decent bio load. Other than that the live stock cost more but is well worth it. it turned into a great hobby for me all because of my son.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalsh View Post
Give it a try! I started my 29 gallon 6 months ago on a whim that my 4 year old wanted nemo lol I did all the research first but had never kept a saltwater tank and from what I can tell you it defiantly is not hard. Just make sure you ask a lot of questions if you have any and things will turn out fine. Just keep up on your water changes especially once your tank starts to get a decent bio load. Other than that the live stock cost more but is well worth it. it turned into a great hobby for me all because of my son.
I wish I could! But that is going to have to wait until we get a house. My husband, 2 1/2 year old, and I live in a two bedroom apartment. We've got 5 fish tanks (55 gallon, 46, 10, 5, 2.5) and a reptile terrarium for a bearded (50 gallon?) plus two cats.

We have no space, atm. Plus I think my husband would get mad at me. He likes fish too.. But doesnt QUITE get the obsession.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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My wife is the same way I want to get a 125 but is making me wait until we get a house then she said I can have a 200+ built in the wall. So for now I'm stuck with my 29
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