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Old 11-07-2003, 06:13 AM   #1
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Tiny-Baby Steps - Tips, Advice, Help?

Hi there! New member here.

I'm starting from scratch here, and I plan to go very very slowly about this, because I don't have the money to pop out all at once. So, I was wondering if someone could give me a rundown of the bare-bone basics for a saltwater tank? I don't even mean live rock or anything like that yet - I'm talking just the basics to get it set up, filled up, and filtering/running properly.

Once I get that far, I'll start fretting over liverock and such.

Thanks guys!

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Old 11-07-2003, 06:44 AM   #2
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Well the first step is determining what creatures you would like to have in your tank. Look around the photo gallery, read some of the species profiles, etc.

When you have an idea of what you want, next research and see if any of those creatures will be able to live together! Also you'll need to find out any specifics on how hard it is to feed certain species, and what size tank a species needs - you'd be surprised.

I say start with research, and you are sure to do everything right the first time and you'll be confident that you got what you wanted, too.

FREE!! 6 freshwater clams & 1 XL mystery snail, NY/NJ area - must pickup by 6/17/05 or they go to the LFS.
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:02 AM   #3
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Well, I know that I want clownfish, even if it's just one or two in a smaller tank without all the glit and glam.

I have three tanks at the moment, two of which are available, one is ten gallon and the other is....twenty I think, I may be wrong though.

I just mostly want to get the feel of things and the experience of doing my first saltwater tank and then maybe one day I'll branch out into weird squishy-fishies and mobile-plant-thingies. hehe.

I'd really like to know things like filter types/brands, lighting, aquarium materials/sizes, stands and canopies, pumps, water treatments/measuring tools and all that other stuff that is needed for just a basic tank to be filled and clean and proper. If that makes sense? But for sake of ease; let's just go with the clownfish.

Now what are my specs? :p
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:33 AM   #4
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Welcome to AquatiumAdvice.com seadonkey....

The 20 gal would do fine for the clowns. If you post the L"W"H", the true volume can be determined for sure.

As far as equipment needed, you will need a sand susbstrate (oolitic aragonite or southdown), heater, salts, PH's and a simple strip light as it's just to be an FO tank. You will also need to decide some type of filtration sysstem in the absence of the LR. FWIW, a FOWLR would be easier (although more $$) to mainatin and keep healthy. On a 20 gal without rock, you may need a HOB, canister or some other type of filter to help keep the water clean. You can also plumb the 20 gal and use the 10 gal as a >>sump<< which would be much better than the first two filters mentioned or possibley a planted >>refugium<<.

Other equipment will be a hydrometer or refractometer for measuring SG or salinity respectivelyand the various test kits for cycling/water quality. They will be ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as ph for after the cycle. I would suggest reading the article of >>fishless cycling<< to get the tank's biological filter started.

One of the best books you can get that will help you with alot of this is The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner and Christopher Turk which can be found in the book section.

That should at least get you started...

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Old 11-07-2003, 12:00 PM   #5
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Another good title would be "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael S. Paletta. Steve set you on the right track...I would pick up one of these books and start reading...You'll feel a lot more confident starting your new system with one of these reference books to guide you. I use both of these books nearly every day. Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:13 PM   #6
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I would go with a protein skimmer, liverock a sandbed and good water motion. For circulation I would use a SCWD on a closed loop with a mag 9 pump! You really can skip the external filters as the liverock and skimmer would take care of water quality for you better than a power filter. Get some quality test kits to test for Nitrate, phosphate and PH at the minimum. For a small tank you must also practice good maintnence. A bi weekly 5 gallon water cange would be adequate. Keep the fish load light. Say two clown fish and one more small fish. Add a few snails and crabs to clean up the tank.

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