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Old 07-13-2016, 05:16 PM   #1
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Newbie to Saltwater Tanks!

Hiya everyone! I'm Namirah and I know next to nothing about saltwater, except the names of a few species. I have kept freshwater for a few years now but I would like to try saltwater. What is the minimum tank size for a saltwater aquarium with fish and corals? And what are the basic things that I would need? Sorry for being ao uneducated about the topic but I'd love to dive in and learn about saltwater!


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Old 07-14-2016, 05:05 AM   #2
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First of all DO YOUR RESEARCH. read as much about the hobby as you can and watch as many videos as you can. Get informed before you start making expensive mistakes. I know cuz I made a few myself. As for tank size go as big as you can afford. Just make sure you keep all parameters in check. Get good reliable test kits and keep up with the water changes.


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Old 07-15-2016, 12:26 PM   #3
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For a complete beginner, the smallest tank I would recommend would be a 40 breeder. It is a good size tank with an excellent footprint not too small not too big. If you go any bigger you need to start doubling your equipment as far as lights, skimmer size, pumps Etc.
Try Googling or searching YouTube 4 beginner's guide to setting up reef tanks. There are many many out there, and after watching several, even with conflicting advice you will be able to get a good grasp on the subject.

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Old 07-18-2016, 03:16 AM   #4
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Hiya everyone! I'm Namirah and I know next to nothing about saltwater, except the names of a few species. I have kept freshwater for a few years now but I would like to try saltwater. What is the minimum tank size for a saltwater aquarium with fish and corals? And what are the basic things that I would need? Sorry for being ao uneducated about the topic but I'd love to dive in and learn about saltwater!


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Good evening! There are 2 schools of thought when weighing the options for the size of SW tanks. To answer your question, minimum size to house fish and corals is a 10 gallon! You will be very limited on your fish options but this is one of the cheapest setups you will find. The two schools of thought are:
A) the smaller tank is better because it's cheaper, which is great for a beginner to avoid spending thousands on a hobby you might not be as interested in as you had hoped. The downside here is, if you make a mistake, it is amplified tenfold in a small aquarium. Because the volume of the tank, one little mistake or fluctuation of water quality could be extremely harmful or deadly to your fish and especially your corals.
B) The pros and cons of the larger tanks is just the opposite of the smaller tanks. The margin for error is greater BUT you will be shelling out for your supplies and equipment.

You asked "what are the basic things I will need?" The VERY FIRST thing is knowledge! You'll want to be best of buds with your saltwater experts at your lfs (if they're truly knowledgeable). The Internet has thousands of articles and we are always more than happy to help here at Aquarium Advice

After that, you'll need of course, a tank. Stand, canopy if you want one, cleaning supplies separate from those you use for your freshwater tanks. The tank size that you choose will dictate what filtration system you will need. Learn which corals you love first and purchase a lighting system adequate enough to house these corals you will be wanting.

To be honest, as a first time SW owner. The biocube 29 is a fantastic setup. These are higher end packages but they are worth the money, offering beautiful rounded edges with adequate lighting and built-in filtration. You can watch for sales at your lfs or check your online garage sales/Craigslist since they are a very common setup.

Please feel free to post anymore questions you may have and be sure to keep us updated on your journey to your first SW setup!


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Old 07-18-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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Newbie to Saltwater Tanks!

Thanks for the great info everyone! I will for sure be using these next few months to a year to learn more about saltwater before I do anything I might regret. I've been looking into a 40 gallon but what is a breeder tank? I might even be able to get a 55 instead but also looking into that. What types of fish and corals would I be able to put in a 40 breeder? Fish are my top priority but I love the look of corals and am definitely looking into them too. Also, my LFS is horrible and they know next to nothing about fish (they said I could fit ten 'nemos' in a 10G with anemones). I'll probably have to go a bit further so the LFS visits won't be as frequent. I'll also be looking online.

Thanks again for all the responses!


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Old 07-18-2016, 11:53 PM   #6
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The 40 breeder is a wider tank. The differences between the 55 and 40 are pretty small besides opening up the world to more types of fish the larger the tank. But with that said, the 55 is quite narrow and the 40 would be easier to work with.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:15 PM   #7
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this is a 40b one of the best foot prints on a tank under 50g tank .



36L X 24W X 16H this second picture gives a good idea of how wide it is



this is one tank you wouldn't be disappointed with
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:58 PM   #8
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Awesome, thanks! I'll go for the 40 gallon breeder then.


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Old 07-21-2016, 06:21 PM   #9
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Keep reading threads on aquarium advice. You will learn so much from other people. Reading their problems then reading other people's helpful solutions. I've learnt a lot from here


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Old 07-22-2016, 10:57 PM   #10
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you can also see the cover I made from light defuser (egg crate)
I made 2 styles





these were made a few years back they still are in use .
the grate on the bottom of the tank is a must to prevent rocks damaging the glass bottom . acts kind of like a cushion
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:34 AM   #11
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you can also see the cover I made from light defuser (egg crate)
I made 2 styles





these were made a few years back they still are in use .
the grate on the bottom of the tank is a must to prevent rocks damaging the glass bottom . acts kind of like a cushion

Very interesting. Why are they special (besides them looking so cool)?


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Old 07-23-2016, 09:20 PM   #12
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Very interesting. Why are they special (besides them looking so cool)?


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they let the tank breath and keep the fish in at same time
and when you have odd size tanks they are a perfect option.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:00 AM   #13
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I'd try and find a drilled tank of you can, as it will make things a lot easier, but overflow boxes are good alternatives if you can't find a drilled tank


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Old 07-24-2016, 04:22 PM   #14
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I'd try and find a drilled tank of you can, as it will make things a lot easier, but overflow boxes are good alternatives if you can't find a drilled tank


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Could you explain what those are? Sorry and thanks in advance


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Old 07-24-2016, 04:53 PM   #15
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Drilled tanks are drilled so you can have the overflow in the tank go straight to your sump, and have a return-pump pump water back into your tank


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Old 07-24-2016, 05:45 PM   #16
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Drilled tanks are drilled so you can have the overflow in the tank go straight to your sump, and have a return-pump pump water back into your tank


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This is embarassing. Why would you have overflow? What's a sump?


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Old 07-24-2016, 06:25 PM   #17
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A sump is a separate tank often placed in the stand below your display tank. The are great for housing equipment for you tank like protein skimmers and heaters. Things that take up room in your display tank and also look ugly. They also add water volume to your system which helps keep your water parameters stable. The overflow is to allow water to drain down into the sump tank and a pump pumps the water back again to your display tank.


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Old 07-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #18
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A sump is a separate tank often placed in the stand below your display tank. The are great for housing equipment for you tank like protein skimmers and heaters. Things that take up room in your display tank and also look ugly. They also add water volume to your system which helps keep your water parameters stable. The overflow is to allow water to drain down into the sump tank and a pump pumps the water back again to your display tank.


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Thank you! So if I had a 40B, how big would my sump be?


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Old 07-24-2016, 07:36 PM   #19
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As big as you wanted or needed or could fit.

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Old 07-25-2016, 04:04 AM   #20
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You could either buy a pre-built sump, like an Eshops R-75 or you could buy a drilled 20 long that'd be a good one to use, generally a sump that is half the tank size and up is good if your going for DIY, but if your buying a commercially built one, most manufacturers have a scale on which models fit which sizes of tanks


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