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Old 02-26-2004, 02:32 PM   #1
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Newbie to saltwater

I'm trying to set up my 29 gallon for saltwater. I've been freshwater fish keeping for the past 10 years. Really interested in clownfishes(Amphiprion ocellaris) At this point this is what i have set up.
29 gallon tank
15 lbs of crushed coral(about 1-2" on bottom of the tank)
Running a fluval 404
Heater (came with 29 gallon tank when i bought it. not sure of the wattage)
Light/hood that came with 29 gallon. Previously used as freshwater(stock bulb)
I set it up last night, added the prescribed amount of marine salt stated on bag. Now My lfs told me the fluval 404 would create enough water movement/filtration for a 29 gallon. He said my next step is to add 1/2 damsels to cycle tank. Now can I use a clown fish(Amphiprion ocellaris)? Cause i'm not too interested in damsels at this point . I'm sure he was presribing damsels, because they are about half the price of a clown fish and probably hardy enough to make it through the cycle. Also i was told i would need a protein skimmer. Any suggestions for a 29 gallon? Anything else I'm missing. i have various tests kits. ammonia, pH, kh, gh, nitrite, nitrate. What do i measure salinity with? Any help/suggestions you can give me would be helpful.
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Old 02-26-2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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You will need a hydrometer to measure the salinity. Your LFS should have them. Your current light will work for a fish only tank but you might want to get 10000k bulb. It takes about 6 weeks for a salt water tank to cycle that is why the LFS guy said to use the damsels. It will help cycle the tank faster, live rock will help also. If you put a clown in there right away he probably wont make it, and if you want an aenenome to go with it you really should have better lighting. Before you put anything in the tank you should ask lots of questions from lots of different people, about set up, fish, etc. I spent about 3 monthes asking every question I could think of to anyone I could ask before I turned my 29 gal into a saltwater tank.
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Old 02-26-2004, 05:06 PM   #3
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How much live rock should i put in the tank? I think i'll stay away from the anenenome, until i become more accustomed to salt water? Will I need a protein skimmer? Do I need any chemical additives? Special conditioners. I added some stress coat to get rid of the chlorine. Other than that.. the only thing in there is marine salt. Can I stick to regular pellets/flakes? or do I have to buy live or frozen foods? Again I really appreciate this forum for all the information provide. It saves me and many other people.
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Old 02-26-2004, 05:13 PM   #4
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Re: Newbie to saltwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by president89
I set it up last night, added the prescribed amount of marine salt stated on bag. Now My lfs told me the fluval 404 would create enough water movement/filtration for a 29 gallon.
The fluval may be enough for the beginning but I would not suggest leaving it as the only apparatus moving water. Even at the manuf rating of 350 GPH, that will not be the case once loaded with media and running a bit. They will generally operate at about 2/3 efficiencey.
Quote:
He said my next step is to add 1/2 damsels to cycle tank. Now can I use a clown fish(Amphiprion ocellaris)? Cause i'm not too interested in damsels at this point . I'm sure he was presribing damsels, because they are about half the price of a clown fish and probably hardy enough to make it through the cycle.
I would suggest not using fish at all./ It is completely unneeded. >>fishless cycling<< is much more humane and will accomplish the same thing. If using uncured LR, then that will often be all that's needed.

Quote:
Also i was told i would need a protein skimmer. Any suggestions for a 29 gallon? Anything else I'm missing. i have various tests kits. ammonia, pH, kh, gh, nitrite, nitrate. What do i measure salinity with? Any help/suggestions you can give me would be helpful.
Need is a strong word but skimmers can be a great asset especially for new aquariust. It can a great saving grace with water quality. If you are prepared to employ other means of export for impurites, like a >>refugium<<, the skimmer becomes much less needed.

Cheers
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Old 02-26-2004, 05:58 PM   #5
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how much live rock will be needed?
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:19 PM   #6
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Personally I would go with about 1½ lbs of rock total. Wether that is all LR or mixed with dry base rock to save on costs.

If you are only going to have the stock light for awhile, I would just opt for about 30 lbs of >>base<< rock for now and add the LR once/if the lights get upgraded.

As for additives, I would leave off those until the tank matures some. The saltmix you use will provide much of what is needed for the tank. Best thing to remember for additives, if you can't test for it, leave it at the LFS. If using an RO water, conditioners are not needed. If using tap water, I would look for a product that binds metals and works on both chlorine and chloramines. Try not to get ones that contain aloe. They don't do much really and end up limiting equip performance.

On your listed testing equipment I would suggest making sure your reading total alkalinity (KH/DKH) gh is not needed. Also be sure the ammonia test reads for NH3 not NH4.

Foods can be varied from flake, pellet or meats. It's a good idea to vary them a bit to be sure nutitional requirements are being met unless you make your own blender mush. What you feed will also vary depending on the species of fish. Some are primarily meat eaters while others are herbavor or omnivor.

Cheers
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:48 PM   #7
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I always cycle my tank with 1lbs of live rock per gallon. I use live sand mixed with regular sand. Also some specialty fish stores will sell seeded bioballs. I recommend using fish to cycle because the bacteria needs a steady food source to multiply. I've cycled with ocellaris before using the above method twice and no fish loss... less is more and slow is better. Don't rush it. I've also used a product called 'Cycle' I don't know how well it works but Ive never lost a fish while cycling. If you do your water tests daily the first 6 weeks, you can catch a problem before it harms your fish.
I like protien skimmers, they are also called ion fractioniser and they remove organic waste before it is cycled, slowing down your accumilation of nitrates.
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:11 AM   #8
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Do I need to cure the live rock since the tank is unestablished?
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:37 AM   #9
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If the uncured rock is added when the tank is set up, the cycling process will in turn cure the rock as well. Hence no need for fish All a tank needs to cycle is an ammonia source to allow the formation of bacteria to perform nitrification. The uncured LR will do just that.

Try this article... Curing Live Rock? I didn't even know it was sick!!

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Old 02-28-2004, 10:52 AM   #10
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What type of lighting do I need for live rock? Any brand name suggestions?
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