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Old 07-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Contemplating Saltwater

So, I've been contemplating a saltwater tank. I really am only interested in a desktop aquarium just large enough to house a clown fish. Nothing spectacular. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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For a clown you need a 20 gallon tank.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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As far as equipment, do I need to buy piece-by-piece? I'm still a few weeks from being able to purchase, but Petco has the $1/gallon deal for fish tanks. I was thinking about purchasing a standard 20 gallon tank. It seems most aquarium starter kits are geared for freshwater. Can you use those, or do you have to pick it apart?
Any recommendations for filters? Heaters? Other equipment needed to get started?
I dunno, I was thinking about an anemone, but from my reading the clown fish doesn't require one. It appears live rock is more important?
I was thinking of a fish only tank, but some live rock and maybe an anemone is under consideration.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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Nems require high lighting. Expensive when compared to fish only needs.

If your plan is only a clown then most starter kits will probably be ok. Still gonna want live rock tho. And you will need to upgrade your lighting if you plan on keeping anything but fish and inverts.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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For a simple setup, the gear in a starter aquarium will get you going...but you'll need sand and rock as well. As for a nem, a 20 won't be large enough to house one. A FOWLR system would prob be best for a 20 gal, that and you'll be able to use your PC lighting.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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OK. I can hold off on the anemone. No biggie. This is probably a really stupid question, but what lighting is used in the saltwater tanks? Is it fluorescent? It may just be me, but it appears more blue.
So, really there isn't any difference between SW and FW? No extra stuff really needed? Monitor salt levels and the rest is like FW?
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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In terms of a FOWLR system...it is pretty similar. Things get complicated in reef systems.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:11 PM   #8
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Essentially SW is exactly the same idea as FW when doing a fowlr just water parameters have to be a lil better and obviously there's salt in the water
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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You need a 20g tank to house just a clown. Bigger for anemone since they grow really big. I have been in the reef for awhile and even I won't try an anemone. I'd go for a plate coral or a hammer/frogspawn. Way easier and looks like anemone. But fish only is way cheaper. I dropped 400 on t5 lights which is the most expensive part in my opinion. Also need a skimmer. Live rock atleast 1lb/gal a powerhead for flow and a good heater. I am sumpless so I use a fluval heater which has a thermometer built in but if your going for a sump I'd use an in-line or a chiller. Test kits, salt, it's going to be atleast 1k for a reef. But is worth it once u get the hang of it. Also watch out for the cycle process for a new tank. I killed my first clowns by moving them to a new tank.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm just looking for something simple. Sand and live rock. Can you expand on the skimmer, and sumpless/sump, please?
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:16 PM   #11
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Well if this is a desktop aquarium then Sumps are out the window but they are just seperate tanks usually underneath the display tank made to filter the water through different sections and a skimmer is used to pull waste out of the water before starting the nitrification process resulting in lower nitrates over time which is a plus since the thresholds are lower in SW. Skimmers aren't normally used on tanks that size though especially a fowlr
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
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If you want just a simple setup you can get some live sand, some live rock, defiantly a hang on back skimmer like the reef octopus bh-100. ( not attractive but u can hide it with live rock. It's about 200 bucks) regular fluorescent lights for fish only. Get a powerhead for water movement. A heater, some distilled water with salt mix. Use instant ocean and get a hydrometer to measure salinity. If you only want fish then that's all you have to worry about is salinity since the salt mix has calcium etc. I use distilled since it has no extra calcium etc. I also use for water changes a dechlorinator that ages water. Do atleast 10% water changes every week so you don't get green hair algae which can take over your tank quick. Watch out for the cycle process which ammonia gets very high and is lethal. I'd go with somthing very hardy. Alot of people use damsels but I used a yellow tail damsel which is the least aggressive. You might spend 500 tops.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #13
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If you want to skip the skimmer use a regular filter like you would use for a freshwater tank but put carbon in it. But a skimmer is awesome to have. Especially if you wanna expand eventually. There's very small skimmers you can use for nano tanks but I've never used them.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:50 PM   #14
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for what youre describing id get a 14 gallon biocube. its all in one with the filter and everything. they look great with the black back and they are easy to maintain. you just add sand and rock and away you go. the lights are good enough for soft coral so you can get some nice mushrooms or zooas when the tank is cycled. i dont think there is a sw biocube out there without a clown or two in it. i had a clown and a damsel and both did fine.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:55 PM   #15
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Yeah biocube is a good way to start but get some sand LR and salt mix with a hydrometer and I'll be set. I customize my own tanks so I buy separate but biocube is very good plug n play! Check out my photos I have a FOWLR pic of an old tank to give you an idea. Will put new ones of my 30gal setup tomarrow sometime.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:03 PM   #16
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A skimmer is not required in anything below a 30g if you plan on 20% weekly water changes and a lite feeding schedule. I feed my clowns every 3 days. Easy peasy lemon squeeze!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:03 PM   #17
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The BioCube is exactly what I was looking for! Petco appears to have everything I need. (I provided a link) There's even a stand. It's perfect!
Fish BioCube from PETCO.com
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #18
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I use a skimmer on my 30gal reef to be safe. It probably isn't necessary for a FOWLR but insurance is always nice. And I only do 10% water changes every week and my trates are 0.25ppm. anyways good luck and post some pics once u get everything setup. Also i think bio cubes are acrylic? If they are don't clean them with cleaner like windex etc. It will craze the tank. Use just freshwater or buff it out if it gets dirty.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:35 PM   #19
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check out youtube for biocube videos to give you ideas on set ups that look nice, there are hundreds on there...
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madcrazyroyboy
I use a skimmer on my 30gal reef to be safe. It probably isn't necessary for a FOWLR but insurance is always nice. And I only do 10% water changes every week and my trates are 0.25ppm. anyways good luck and post some pics once u get everything setup. Also i think bio cubes are acrylic? If they are don't clean them with cleaner like windex etc. It will craze the tank. Use just freshwater or buff it out if it gets dirty.
They are glass. Looks like acrylic tho.
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