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Old 10-23-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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What is needed in starting a saltwater 'fish only' tank?

Thinking of trying a saltwater tank. Fish only. As I love fishkeeping. But it depends on how hard it is to maintain and what equipment is needed.
Is it like freshwater cichlids, where I just need a good canister filter with eheim or matrix media for the bacteria, a heater and air pump? Or is there more to it than that?

Also, I remember a store owner once told me I need to buy water from him everytime I do a water change. Is this true?

Also, which fish are great for fish only tanks? Is live rock hard to keep? What's its purpose?

As u can see, I'm clueless with saltwater tanks.

Thanks so much. Sorry for the noobish questions.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #2
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Yes you need ro/di water. Either bought or made at home with an ro/di system. Other things you need are salt, a refractometer to measure the salinity. Test kits to measure ammonia nitrates and nitrites. Power heads for water movement. Live rock and live sand are recommended. Caniater filters have been used but I think the majority of sw people will tell you not to use them. Obviously a heater is needed. Protein skimmer is optional for a fish only but recommended
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:45 AM   #3
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In short answer it's more complicated
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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Live rock is not hard to keep all it does is provide a place for natural filtration bacteria to live
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:18 AM   #5
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Thank you chbix for your response.

So pretty much, the equipment I need is:

- Filter: Sump ( with live rock as beneficial bacteria filter media. Does Matrix not work?)
- Heater : Any
- Power Head: Any
- Refractometer (Measure salinity): Which brand is more popular?
- Protein Skimmer: Any
- Test Kit: API test kit
- Ro/Di water
- Salt: which brand? Do I only add at every water change?

Is that pretty much everything I need?
- No air pump?
- Light is not essential?

Are water changes once a week like freshwater?
Also, what exactly is Ro/DI water?

Thank you again.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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What size tank you thinking about? I started a 29 gallon tank! I spent around a grand for it. It can be expensive but if done right it can be less than what I spent.

I will give you a list to start a 29 gallon.

2 Nano Power heads.

Amazon.com: Hydor Koralia Nano 240 Aquarium Circulation Pump 240 GPH: Pet Supplies

1 Fluval 206 canister filter (this is where people will tell you different. Each have their own opinion. I am still using mine and have not had any issue. The key is to CLEAN the canister out every two to three weeks to avoid a nitrogen spike. If your just doing a Fish only, than you should be fine, but if doing a reef tank than you will need a sump filter.)

Amazon.com: Fluval 206 External Filter: Pet Supplies

I got this skimmer, it's very good for anything up to 75 gallons! Beyond that you will need a Bigger skimmer.

Amazon.com: CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus with External 1000 Pump for Aquarium Filter, 100-Gallon: Pet Supplies

If your going smaller, I would suggest.

Amazon.com: CoralVue Technology BH-100 Octopus Hang-On Back with Surface Skimmer for Aquarium Filter, 75-Gallon: Pet Supplies

I got live sand, you can go with a cheap sand that is not live, but I would suggest live sand. Only because it helps with the cycle process and it speeds it up. Normal sand will become live over time, but buying a bag of it just speeds up the process. I got 60 pounds. I suggest a little less for you because my 60 pounds gave me a 3in sand bed in my 29 gallon. Maybe 40 pounds! Almost anything from this list will be good!

Amazon.com: Live Sand

Live rock! Now the same as sand, any rock you get will become live over time. I bought 50 pounds of Live rock from my LFS and it cost me around 250 dollars. My suggestion is not to get 50 pounds of live rock for a 29, as it over filled my tank and didn't leave a lot of swim space. The rule is normally one pound per gallon of fish tank. To be cheaper buy maybe 10 to 15 pounds of live rock and than a few pounds of base rock. The base rock will become live over time.

Base rock is not live! You can find it at your LFS. Here is a list from Amazon.
Amazon.com: aquarium base rock

Live rock is live and comes with some surprises! Because it's live and sometimes pulled right from the ocean.

Live Rock and Live Sand: Live Saltwater Aquarium Rock and Sand

More expensive, but well worth it sometimes. Most LFS with saltwater fish will carry live rock.

Of course you need the normal stuff, heater, temperature gauge, and so one.

When it comes to water changes, I would start out once a week with 10%. You don't need to buy your water from the LFS, all you need is Reverse Osmosis water. Nothing really special and a lot of grocery stores sell it as well. However, if your LFS is cheaper with the R/O water, I would buy it. You will also need salt to mix with the R/O water. A lot of people use this.
Amazon.com: instant ocean

Don't forget the
Amazon.com: Instant Ocean Aquarium Hydrometer: Pet Supplies

Important for salt mixing! Good luck! I will be back to help out when needed!
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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takin notes

What... no lights?

guess with Fish Only system, or fowlr systems that special lighting is not needed?

this is good
Thank you for all that good info!!!
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmar View Post
What... no lights?

guess with Fish Only system, or fowlr systems that special lighting is not needed?

this is good
Thank you for all that good info!!!
Lights are kind of self explanatory. It was apart of the bottom list. The list that said, plus all the normal stuff. Plus with a fowlr system you don't need the hundred dollar lights.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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Thank u sooooooooooooooooo much for the info. It helped a lot.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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sorry...

if i offended ... I was only joking!
I am very very new to saltwater too and starting out very slowly with fowlr (hopefully):
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