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Old 09-26-2012, 03:28 AM   #1
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New, and need help!

Hi everyone,

I currently am suffering from a disease called lupus. It is an autoimmune disease that kills your organs. I am not fairing very well, and part of my coping is to attend pain management therapy classes. It was suggested to me to start an aquarium for stress relief and something to do. I am stuck at home for almost the entire day due to risk of catching something. So, I am at home all day long and need something productive to do, I am only 22 so it sucks, but you have to make the most out of life.

My mom said OK to the aquarium, but she wants a saltwater aquarium. Probably in the range of 20 gallons to the maximum of 29 gallons. I have never dealt with a saltwater tank. I have no idea on what to get, what to buy. I went to a supply store in which they tried to sell my mom and I expensive equipment that was going to cost close to $500 without a TANK. It seemed like a lot of money for smaller tank set-up. If anyone can help me with what to buy for a 20 gallon tank, that would be great. I am willing to learn, but need guidance. i have rad some forums, but would like more specific information on what to buy for a 20 gallon tank.

I am also OCMINPIN neighbor, she directed me to this site.

Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #2
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to AA! You may need to hit up the saltwater section to get some answers. Hang in there a saltwater tank can be a lot of work plus its not cheap by no.means
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #3
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Well I'd start by searching creigslist for a deal. That'll be your cheapest route. Post it on here so we can check it out and make sure your not gettin ripped off.

To start first we need to know if you want a fish only with LR or reef. And predator or community tank?

Basic things you'll need for everything is 20gallon tank
Hydrometer to test salinity
Nitrite nitrate and ammonia test kits
20lbs of LR
20lbs of LS
A power head
Thermometer
Heater

The rest depends on the answers to the questions I asked.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:42 AM   #4
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Hey! Glad you made it over here! This is the best group of people around... People from all over the world... I've been here a year and have been carried along every step of the way... The unmanageable becomes simple and you know you aren't alone no matter what fishie panic you get in
Welcome to a wonderful underwater family..
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:57 AM   #5
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Thank you for replying so quickly!

I am thinking a reef with a community tank. I am most likely going to buy slowly once the tank is prepared properly. I will start looking on Craigslist, thank you for the advice! I really appreciate it!

Should I re-post this thread in the saltwater section as well?

And thank you OCMINPIN for the advice to join this wonderful website!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:07 AM   #6
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You can. I'm sure people will find it either way. And very nice choice! I have a 29gal community reef set up right now.

So in that case you will also need some good lights. I'm not the best person to talk to about that but I have t-5 4bulb high output lights and I can grow anything in my tank

You'll also need phosphate mag calc alk test kits. I don't think I mentioned it before but you'll also need ph.

The more LR and more Porus it is, the better.

For a tank that small a skimmer is optional. I don't have one.

Usually you can find a complete reef set up on creigslist for a decent price. Then we can help you more and get you started with your cycle while your waiting read up on the nitrogen cycle and look on liveaquaria.com for some fish ideas.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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My mom came home with a used 28 gallon acrylic hexagon tank with a stand she got for $60 at a local fish store. I was so excited!

I have to sand and paint the stand though because it needs some TLC, but it is sturdy! I will post pictures later of the before and after for the stand.

It came with the hood and a bulb, but the guy said the bulb was for a fish only tank. I wasn't with my mom when she got the tank, but this is step one, of course. This may seem like a silly question, but for a bulb for a reef tank, do I need to get a different hood, or just the bulb?

Also, he mentioned to my mom that we can bring him the water for testing for free. I know you mentioned to buy testing kits, but he is across the street from my mom's work. Would this be a better option or would the kit still be good for instances that I cannot take the water to him?

Thank you for being so helpful!
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocgirl
My mom came home with a used 28 gallon acrylic hexagon tank with a stand she got for $60 at a local fish store. I was so excited!

I have to sand and paint the stand though because it needs some TLC, but it is sturdy! I will post pictures later of the before and after for the stand.

It came with the hood and a bulb, but the guy said the bulb was for a fish only tank. I wasn't with my mom when she got the tank, but this is step one, of course. This may seem like a silly question, but for a bulb for a reef tank, do I need to get a different hood, or just the bulb?

Also, he mentioned to my mom that we can bring him the water for testing for free. I know you mentioned to buy testing kits, but he is across the street from my mom's work. Would this be a better option or would the kit still be good for instances that I cannot take the water to him?

Thank you for being so helpful!
Yay for you!

It all depends on wether or not he's using liquid test or strips testing... Strips are known to be inaccurate...
I have the API Master Liquid Test kit... Yours would be the Saltwater Version... I got mine on Amazon for $23... Can find deals there... Beats Petsmart who sells them for $38+!
it will be highly beneficial for you to have one at home when you are doing frequent (sometimes daily) partial water changes and need to test daily... Test results quickly at home work out nicely!
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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Hey there, I am new to the saltwater world myself but I really wanted to respond to your post because of your lupus. My wife who is 33 also has lupus, it can be hereditary as her mother had it. My mother in law lived with it her whole life as it never turned on her. I believe it's called systemic lupus. My wife just developed the rash and if she in the sun she does burn quick and gets a rash. Anyhow I just wanted to say hi and if you have any questions or need to talk send me a pm. Good luck on your tank!!!!
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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Welcome! Glad to have you here!
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smikey View Post
Hey there, I am new to the saltwater world myself but I really wanted to respond to your post because of your lupus. My wife who is 33 also has lupus, it can be hereditary as her mother had it. My mother in law lived with it her whole life as it never turned on her. I believe it's called systemic lupus. My wife just developed the rash and if she in the sun she does burn quick and gets a rash. Anyhow I just wanted to say hi and if you have any questions or need to talk send me a pm. Good luck on your tank!!!!
Thank you for responding. I am so sorry to hear about your wife. You are correct about it being called systemic lupus. I don't have the sun aspect of it, but my internal organs are failing. So, I cannot not be out a lot due to the risk of getting an infection and my organs shutting down. I will keep you and your wife in my prayers. Thank you!
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:11 AM   #12
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yes. get your own test kits. better to have them and not need them im pretty sure you need a whole new hood to get the better lights :/ i know its a pain. cant wait to see pics
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:11 AM   #13
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yes. get your own test kits. better to have them and not need them im pretty sure you need a whole new hood to get the better lights :/ i know its a pain. cant wait to see pics
I ordered a saltwater complete testing kit today as well as a aqua clear 70 filter. Buying things slowly right now.

This weekend I am going to sand and paint the stand so I can get started on the actual tank. I am so excited! I will post the before and after. My stand is a oak color right now, but my mom wants me to paint it a funky color to make it stand out. So, I will see what she picks.

Speaking of a new hood, I just found out that my hood is not working and it is not the bulb. The actual hood is 16.5'' long, and I am having a hard time finding a hood that size. Most hoods I am finding at 20'' long, and since I have a hex shape, it needs to be less than 18'' long.
Any recommendations on a hood that will house better lights so I don't have to buy a new hood again. Might as well buy the hood I need later now, as long as I can find the hood with the right size.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocgirl

I ordered a saltwater complete testing kit today as well as a aqua clear 70 filter. Buying things slowly right now.
size.
What brand test kit did you get? And did you get liquid or strips?
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #15
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:14 PM   #16
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have you thought about LED lights? they'd be expencive but it'd definitely fit your tank. you could do some DIY LED's look em up.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #17
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welcome to AA
I feel your pain as I'm recovering from mantel cell lymphoma
I also don't have a immune system so I know how your feeling
fish are just so relaxing I'll try to do my homework cause I know I saw hex hoods somewhere and I"ll pass the link along as soon as I find it
if you want to talk tank or something just give me a shout
I'll keep you in my prayers

john
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:13 PM   #18
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I found this one
just follow the link
think it was third one down
Amazon.com: hexagon aquarium hood

if I come across others I will let you know

just found these also

http://www.aquariumguys.com/hood-accessories.html
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #19
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Welcome, and starting a SW tank can be costly, frustrating, and confusing, but with our help you'll be alright!!! Lol most of us have all learned the hard way on the do's and dont's, and the things that are a waste of money or that can wait. You have the tank and stand: step one is done!
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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Also you made a good purchase with the aqua clear filter. I have one and its great! I will give you advice on which media to put in it when you set it up. Having a hexagon shaped tank can be frustrating on finding things for it, due to its odd shape. But I wouldn't buy a hood for it anyways. Will trap a lot of heat. what type is substrate( sand) are you thinking?
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