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Old 05-25-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
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best size for low maintenance starter?

i have been doing a lot of reading and am conflicted

i read that larger tanks are easier to maintain than smaller tanks.

but i also read that its much more expensive to run a larger tank due to the need for a protein skimmer and stuff.

pretty much all i want is a tank for a few fish 5-7. i dont want it to break my wallet.

im just wondering how large of a tank is good to start with and how much live rock i will need.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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you don't need a protein skimmer on any tank. it's just another way to remove nutrients.
5 to 7 fish are going to require a bigger tank anyway. you need to research the types of fish you want and then choose a tank that will suit them.
a 75 is a good tank to start with. you won't hurt your wallet much if you shop craigslist and forums for someone who is looking to get rid of a system.
as for live rock, people say a pound to a pound and a half per gallon does a good job on a reasonably stocked tank.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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thanks.... i was thinking more of smaller fish..... so if i go with something like a 60 gallon tank with about 80 pounds of live rock, it should be fairly easy to maintain?
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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i would say so...but what smaller fish are you suggesting? SW fish have varied requirements and some of the smaller ones can be very territorial as well. you can't pick them by size alone.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:47 PM   #5
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i was thinking a coupe of clown fish, a blue tang, and maybe a butterfly fish or 2
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
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a blue tang won't work in a 60...humanely anyway. neither will butterflies for long.
i would look into a 6 foot tank if you want to keep fish like that.
clowns are fine in a 10.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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You can get a 30G and get 3-4 fish and make it interesting by getting a Clownfish Mated Pair, a Watchman and Pistol Shrimp Pair and a beautiful fish like a Royal Gramma. The system is a good size, no need for a skimmer as water changes achieve the same thing. Also you can put some T5's over and then you can get some beautiful SPS corals and a clam or two. Small can be just as amazing as large.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:17 PM   #8
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i know for fresh water tanks theres some fish that clean the tank.... is there a salt water equivalent?
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:30 PM   #9
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Lawnmower Blennies eat algae and Neon Gobies and Cleaner Shrimp clean fish.
You could do a Clownfish pair, Neon Gobie pair and a Cleaner Shrimp. That would be nice because you'd have two pairs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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i know for fresh water tanks theres some fish that clean the tank.... is there a salt water equivalent?
On the salty side, that's what are clean up crew (CUC) is for. To keep the tank clean, you will probably want to get some snails,shrimp, and crabs. The number of those will depend on the size of the tank you'll be getting. There are a few scavenging fish, but they aren't as proficient at cleaning the tank as the CUC.
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