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Old 11-18-2004, 08:55 PM   #1
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what do i need to start a marine tank?

what do i need to start a marine tank? and what's the difference between a saltwater and a marine tank? i'm planning on getting a 55 gal tank, and i know i''ll need live rock, and a sand base, but what else? i'm really not planning on going too drastic with corals and annemonies, just a few blue damsels and a clown or two and maybe a yellow tang. but what other equipment will i need? what kind of heater and filter? i know there's a lot of questions here, but i thought i'd ask people who know rather than scower the web for hours. so any advice you can give me would be great! thanks!
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:29 PM   #2
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From my understanding, salt water is broken into 3 categories:
Fish only (FO), fish only with live rock (FOWLR), and reef (.. reef? )

You don't nessecerily need live rock, but its very advantageous to use it. If you have enough live rock (1-1.5lbs/gallon), you don't need any external filters, just power heads to move the water around. Look into getting a protein skimmer like the AquaC remora or CPR BackPack. This kind of filtration is called the Berlin method, and lots of people have used it sucessfuly.

Damsels are mean. The yellow tang would work in a 55, but they like all the room they can get (they are an active swimming fish).
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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The first thing I suggest you get is a good book. I like "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. Do as much research as you can, it will pay off in the long run. Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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Besides what is listed above PATIENCE and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

ALso you have found one of the other important things. This site :P
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:13 PM   #5
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right. way way more $ than you expect at first.
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:13 PM   #6
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BTW I guarantee that you will start with that plan, and the plan will change. Everyone gets the reef bug, or wants a bigger tank, or something changes the plan. That is the fun of the hobby!
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Old 11-19-2004, 01:49 PM   #7
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Very true. My plan was a 100gallon tank. Ended up with a 225 built into the wall. They money is well spent though. As long as you do your research and buy the right stuff the first time you will do ok. I hear too many people buy the cheaper equipment only to replace them with the better stuff later. I bought a lifereef sump and skimmer for mine and couldn't be happier. I am in my tank 4k at the moment including lighting, live rock, everything but fish. My cycle is just starting and I have my QT ready. I am going to go get my first fish this weekend to put in the QT
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:44 PM   #8
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If you go fish only set it up just like a fresh water tank. Get an aragonite substrate that is large enough to vaccuum. This will buffer the pH in the water. Also buy live rock and base rock, both will buffer the pH and help establish a good bio filter. Get one or two quality heaters. Get a decently sized tank so temp and SG dont swing much. Get one or 2 power filter for flow and media or a combo with a power filter and a power head. Lighting if you have live rock should be atleast power compact if you are trying to encourage coraline growth. If you dont care for coraline, just using normal output bulbs. When filling the tank use distilled or RO water.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:43 PM   #9
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ok thanks theatrus your advice was very helpful, as was everyone elses, unfortunatly i dont have a clue what deepcutta720 is talking about. what's a aragonite substrate? and how does it vaccum? can't i just get a bunch of hermit crabs and shrimp to do that? and what do you mean by media? i dont like coraline growth too much, and i dont want it on my glass so i think i'll skip the power compact bulbs. how powerful of bulbs do i need with a 55 gal tank? oh and tmcpeek, wow, i have no where near 4k to drop on this, or anything for that matter i'm just a 22 year old girl who always wanted some cool fish. so i dont have the means to keep upgrading and such. but thanks for the warning
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:58 PM   #10
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Don't let me discourage you. A majority of my cost was the lighting, sand and live rock. unfortunately I live where I cant get southdown so I had to shell out too much to get sand. You will not need as much rock and lighting so it will keep the cost down. Just figure a budget and do your research. Deals are out there if you look hard enough.

Also included in that 4k is a 35 gallon QT tank with powerhead, power filter and heater.
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