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Old 02-09-2005, 08:40 AM   #1
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New person here!

Hi all,

Ive just moved into a new house and we decided that we wanted a fish tank. Ive kept tropical fish in the past and to be honest ive never really been that good at maintaining it. So this time i want to do it properly.

The problem i have is the girlfriend....see i want fresh water tropical fish as ive had before, however she wants to be "different" and has a facination for nemo therefore wants percula clown fish. Now to do this i know the tank will have to be salt water.

I was wondering if anybody could give me some general tips on getting started with a salt water tank, what the differences are between maintaining salt and fresh water tanks (apart from the salty water that is! haha), ideas for the different types of fish i may come across for my tank etc.

Thanks people,

Phil
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:57 AM   #2
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There is an OVERWHELMING amount of material available online that you shoud search and read. The people on this board offer WONDERFUL help and advice, but there is no substitute for thorough and careful research.

You might start here:

http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/startinganaquarium/
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for your help, ill have a thorough read through as soon as i get change....

Just one quick question you may be able to answer for me, i know with a fresh water tank you are supposed to fill the tank and leave it to stand for a while before adding fish, i presume its the same for salt water fish. Do you know how long this needs to be?
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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Or Robert Fenner's book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is a good read also. Available in the library at this site.

Welcome to AA too!
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:05 AM   #5
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I can see this is going to take alot more time and effort than previously thought....and i have a disorder with reading more than one page of hard text...its called lazyitus!

I will try my best though, thanks again for the help!
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:07 AM   #6
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We also have a growing series of articles on our site.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=42920
Also take a few hours and just read through the 100s of threads in the "getting started" forum. Many answers can be found right here is our community.
Welcome!!
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Old 02-09-2005, 12:13 PM   #7
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ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT

Read all about the nitrogen cycle (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates) before putting critters in your tank.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:16 AM   #8
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Patience Grasshopper, the main key to sw.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:16 AM   #9
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I'm new to SW as well, as a matter of fact this is my first post on this forum. I just finished " Natural Reef Aquariums - Tullock", it really lays out all the different ways of setting one up, putting emphasis on natural of course. It was really helpful and I'm in the planning stage now, hopefully starting the purchases in a few weeks.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:25 AM   #10
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I highly recommend researching for at least 2 weeks straight before buying anything! you cannot rush this hobby and expect good results...

It will take 2-4 weeks AFTER you get the tank filled before it's ready for fish.

The short list for the lazy: Biggest tank you can afford (no less than 30), GOOD protein skimmer, 1.5lb of live rock per gallon and 10x gph water movement (so 300gph for a 30gal at least). Good test kits, good water (RODI, either bought, or made with your own rodi off ebay (90-140$). PATIENCE.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:00 AM   #11
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Hi again,

Ok after a fair bit of re-search i have decided against sw and am now sticking to what i know, tropical fish.

I have purchased an under-gravel filter (which i am seriously confused about...ill get back to this though), gravel, one or two ornaments. The tank is filled and ill be treating the water tonight. Im not rushing into putting the fish in there i want to get it just right.

Ok so onto the undergravel filter....maybe i should start a new thread for this but....It comes in many different parts. The first of which are three jigsaw like parts which clip together and lay on the bottom of the tank. The other bits are 3 tubes, 3 connectors (to connect the tupes to the base) and 3 carbon filters. The instructions are lame. It says in the instructions to set up the filter as shown in the picture, in the picture there are 2 tubes connected to the base, one with a carbon filter on top and one with a powerhead (the kit didnt come with a powerhead). I was just wondering if any of you guys had experience with under gravel filters and what i need to do to set it up correctly. So far i have connected one tube with one carbon filter. I do not have a powerhead, do i need one??
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:42 AM   #12
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I do not have a powerhead, do i need one??
Some riser tubes use air bubbles driven by air pumps, others use powerheads (one of top of each riser). Did yours come with air stones? Do the instructions mention air stones at all? Are there short pieces of rigid tubing enclosed with the kit. Probably should have been my first question: how big is the tank?

I've used UGFs in the past, but mine only had two tubes and were powered by air bubbles - suitable (maybe) only for a small tank. I also used it in my livebearer bredding tank. Both of my FW tanks (55 gal and 90 gal) have external filters now, so I'm a bit "out of the loop" on undergravels.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:58 AM   #13
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The tank is 36" x 18" x 12" (dont know how many gallons that is!)

The kit included:

3 base bits which click together to cover the full length of the tank
3 hollow rigid tubes about 2" thick
3 connectors to connect the tubes to the base
3 carbon filters which click onto the top of the tubes (each one of these has some thin flexible tubing which goes inside the bigger tubes about 4 5th of the way down)

The instructions dont mention air stones no :-( Its so confusing!!
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