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Old 12-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Wanting to start a reef nano tank-kinda fearful about it?

I'm here because of this reason- I have a nice planted freshwater 60 gallon angelfish tank that's beautiful. I went into my lfs for some new algae eaters when I stumbled upon the yellow tangs. The man said they were saltwater so I was sad since I thought they were so pretty (I love bright yellow). Then I started researching and decided I might want to try a nano saltwater/reef tank-i first wanted to make a small one for my wife since she always wanted a small one once again because of our lfs (they have like a 4 gallon nano reef with a little clownfish) for her Christmas present...first off, what's the difference? Saltwater and a reef? This will be her tank if i get her one and i will stay with my angelfish tank.I don't want to start out with any complicated fish or just have no fish at all, just a saltwater or reef setup to get the hang of it, then maybe upgrade the tank and get a fish or two IF we can make it that far...so I'm really good at FW. had a large FW tank for years. Love it. Then I went back to the lfs and I got somewhat hooked on SW. he has lots of awesome reefs in his store but they seem like so much work! And expensive! All I want is maybe a 5-10 gallon little tank to get the hang of it, but I have researched for so long now and still everybody is talking in a foreign language to me. (not literally, you get what I mean). I don't understand any of it excpept I need salty water with a specific gravity of about 1.023 or something. I found about 15lbs. Of live rock and that's it I have on my shopping cart. What tanks do you suggest? I like it all in one kit, I hate shopping all around for things and piecing it all together, but if I have to I will. I also like rimless tanks, preferably about 5-7 gallons. I just think that I will get somewhat of a tank going, then screw it all up and fail...so can anyone explain how to set one up and the expenses and difficulty? And where can I get some corals? What about substrate? I have a couple Amano shrimps I could out in it to cycle it better if you need to...I just need an easy explanation/ setup guide step by step that's not 28 pages long i can't even understand...sorry if I sound like a bummer right now I just am not sure whether to just give up this and keep up with my FW hobby...I love the way all these nano reefs look, but putting it altogether is just scary to me! I don't know why! I'm sure some of you were like this, so how did you do it? I'm overreacting way too much I know, but anyone please help? Thanks! Sorry for the novel lol.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Difference between saltwater and reef is jist one is more high light and the other only need small amounts of light for the live rock and one has coral and one dosnt

Post one question at a time and you'll get more responses

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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Definitely a lot of questions at once.....

To address your basic issues:
- A reef is a saltwater tank, it just has live corals in it in addition to saltwater fish. Some people run coral reefs without any fish at all.....
- 5 to 10 gallon tank for a beginner is not the greatest of ideas. One, there are VERY few fish you can have in there due to room constraints. Second, since you are familiar with fish tanks, you will understand the concept that more water volume gives you more room for error. The smaller the tank, the quicker things can go from bad to worse.
- Fish only tanks are going to be cheaper, particularly in the lighting department, and easier to maintain. You don't need high quality (expensive) lights for just fish. If you want corals, then things really can start adding up (see my sig).
- If you are wanting a reef, I'd look at one of the 28 gallon nanocubes or 29 gallon biocubes. For a beginner, they are a decent balance of water volume & set-up expense, and opens up some room for a better selection of fish.
- Yes.... it's intimidating (and expensive). Best thing I can tell you is do a LOT of research before hitting that "Buy" button.....
Wanna calculate the cost of that new reef tank?? Take your worst nightmare, double it, and you're halfway there.
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nano, nano tank, reef, start, tan

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