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Old 08-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #1
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How to start a SW tank?

So I have a 10 gallon tank with nothing in it, and I am contemplating making it a SW tank.

I have nooooo clue about SW so I am going to have to ask for help. I want sand on the bottom and have a PF10 filter. I know what lighting also.

Live rock? Coral? Fish? Mixing water? Protein skimmers? Invertebrates? I wann know just about everything lmao it's allot of info so a good link with good info would be enough. Or multiple if you know any
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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here are some links for setting up a sw tank. You wouldnt need a skimmer on such a small tank if you do your weekly water changes. You say you know the lights already, what lights are you figuring on, that will dictate what if any corals you can keep.

Cycle your salt tank
Ammonia conversion to nitrate
Important Information for those new to the Aquarium Hobby
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ank-73477.html
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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I recently set up a tank and found this book really helpful: The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta. He explains everything clearly and it's not too much info for beginners so you're not overwhelmed. It's on Amazon for $13 and a great investment.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Zoo med 50/50 lights, accidently got them when i was setting upa planted FW tank and learned why they only work for reefs lol

Thanks for responding carey, i have seen you all over the forum and just got done looking at the pictures from your online order, really nice clowns

Thank you for the book idea, i was hoping on keeping it to online and free articles tho, maybe if i can get it on my kindle app
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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O and really funny thing, i live down south in Homestead and was just up in deltona volunteering at the Methodist Childrens Home. small world
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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If you use that lighting you will probably have to replace thebulbs for corals, but it should be sufficent for basic corals like zooa's, leathers and mushrooms. Beyond that depends on the bulbs you choose in my opinion. Def not enough light for any anemones or anything needing major lighting.

Check out Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums and check out the nano fish section as well as the corals. They have them set up for beginners so you can see what needs what.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Thanks

looks like clowns need more than 10 gallons, so whats a good stocking idea? I was thinking live rock, some shrimp, 1 or two fish to hang on the bottom, than small fish that would live around the live rock/coral
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #8
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Clown gobies are awesome little fish, but you can only have one or they will fight. You could also get a single clown or maybe some cardinal fish.

A pair of clowns needs at least a 20g in my opinion but one with a goby should be fine. I also have porcelain crabs, a pom pom crab, emerlad crabs and two peppermint shrimp in my 4g. You could also get gold coral banded shrimp too. Lots of invert room and low bioload.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:03 PM   #9
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That sounds really nice!

so maybe

1 clown
and inverts
and maybe 1 or 2 other fish?

or

small fish
and inverts

Im going to start doing allot of reaserch so i can get a better idea of what i want. Thank you so much and i hope you dont mind me asking questions along the way!
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #10
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Ask away, thats what we are all here for.

Good luck! let us know when you start her up!
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180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:57 PM   #11
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So I'm going to start a check list

I have the tank, lid and filter

I need
Sand
Salt
Power head
Lighting
Heater
API SW testing kit
Thermometer

Cycle the tank with a dead shrimp

Than add live rock, coral, and fish

How does salinity work as far as me making it, and how high should I keep it?
Temp?
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:27 AM   #12
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You should add the live rock before you cycle if possible - It will help cycle faster and then you don't have to worry about mini-cycles when you do add it.

You should get a refractometer, here's a link for a cheap one that works well:

Salinity Refractometer 0-10% ATC Aquarium Salt Water | eBay

You want your salinity in the range of 1.022 - 1.026.

The Temp should stay between 78-82 degrees F. The goal is constant temp, no swings. Most people keep there's at 78-80 to ensure that overheating doesn't occur.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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Yep, get as much live rock as you can afford and put it in before you cycle. It will cure the live rock and help your cycle prgress,
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #14
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You guys have really good advice, where I live its purty darn hot, and to keep the bills down the ac is kep at 80, so keeping a constant temp shouldn't be to hard in the summer. But it can drop in the winter so I'm def going to but a back up heater just in case.

now on the subject of live rock, what exactly is curing? And do I need to treat it for anything before I put it in my tank?

And I have read PFS works for FW tanks ( I use it now) but what I'm going to need is aragonite sand. Most people are saying buying it wet is pointless cause mostly everything dies on the shelf. So if I buy it dry and put the live rock it will "seed" it? I'm guessing "live" is just micro organisms living in it.

After more reaserch I'm deciding to start with a FO tank than once I get good at keepin everything going smoothly I'll ads corals along the way. I don't wanna learn mistakes the hard way at the expense of a bunch of coral. :p
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Zer0 on Curing Live Rock:

"In a sense. Cured base rock essentially means it won't cause a cycle, because it already has the beneficial bacteria living in/on it. The bacteria that disposes of ammonia, which is produce by your tank inhabitants.

See, no matter what you get, base rock or uncured live rock, once you cycle your tank with whichever rock in it, once the cycle is completed, that rock will be CONSIDERED "live". What defines rock as "live" is the fact that it has beneficial bacteria growing on it. Not whether it has tons of little saltwater critters running all around it and through it. The life that comes on the rock from the ocean is something you get with cured live rock, or uncured live rock assuming something survives the cycle.

See, what i like to do, like mentioned by Corey above, is get mostly base rock, cycle the tank with that base rock, and then seed that base rock with some CURED live rock. This way, none of the critters on the cured live rock will die off because there's no cycle, and no ammonia to kill them."


Also, if you are adding Live Rock, then you won't be doing an FO you will have a FOWLR - Fish Only With Live Rock.

Sand:

Pool filter sand has been known to work and you can get it relatively cheaply at Home depot, like $5 for 50lbs. Carey in fact used it in her 125 build. In order to "seed" the sand, see if a LFS will give you one scoop of their already live sand. add that to your sand, and it will essentially seed it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:28 AM   #16
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Would you mind interpreting the part where you seed the base rock with LR for me please?
I am trying to make this a real budget build
Also I don't understand if you need a filter or not??
And how do you clean the sand? Or do you just leave it?

I have a couple of fw tanks but I want to get into sw and learn
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:36 AM   #17
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Yep, I used 250lbs of pool filter sand for my 125g, just make sure you rinse it really well. If your home depot doesnt carry it a pool supply store will but it was like $7 for 50lbs there.

When I setup a new tank I put the majority of rock in thats base and add my live rock at the same time. Theres almost always some die off from live rock so it can induce some ammonia which is what you want for cycling. I also add pure ammonia too so I can get the ammonia up to 4ppm which means a stronger bacteria base.

The live rock will seed so to say the base rock and within a few weeks it will be considered live as well as the sand. After only a month or two the base rock will look just like the live rock.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:44 PM   #18
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mmm okay, so PFS is good than, i love that stuff lol

So i get the sand, live rock, salt, temp.
only things left that i have questions are lighting and power head/filter.

As far as the powerhead goes, i know it is used to cirulate the water, any ideas of something that ISNT going to whirlpool my little ten gallon lmao, and is the filter nesseary? I already have it and plan on using it, but if it dosent do anything than no point in having it running.

Lighting, you said the zoomed 50/50 wasnt powerfil enough.
I use CFL in my planted FW. 2- 6500k daylihgt bulbs. im not getting the coral yet, but when i do could i use these kind of bulbs?

You guys are the best, glad i finally joined a forum.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:03 PM   #19
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I would say between your filter flow and powerhead that you could use a koralia 240 or even better a 425gph. if aimed correctly they will not cause a sandstorm or a whirlpool for your fish. lol
The filter is to remove floaters and other things that build up in your tank, with proper flow the "stuff" (read fish poop and uneaten food) will be sucked up by your hang on back filter.

As far as lighting, for a 10g there isnt a heck of a lot of cheap options for a 20" tank.

there are these though which is an entry level fixture that can let you keep a good selection corals. And it doesnt cost like 4200 or more which is where you would be at if you choose a higher end unit.

the typical bulbs used are either 2 10k or 2 12k white bulbs and 2 blue bulbs.

Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #20
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i was hoping to try and stick with the screw in type lighting...
if those arnt going to work or dont exist i might just get stuck with using the
zoomed 50/50s and keep low light corals :/
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