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Old 11-05-2003, 07:50 AM   #1
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Newbe needs advice

I am getting a 30 gal this weekend, with a stand and a penguin 330, I want to use this as a sw tank and have only 4 clown fish in it. Or a couple of clowns and maybe something else. What do I need to accomplish this? I know nothing about sw tanks, only that it needs salt , I have 3 fw tanks, the 10 gal is leaving and I'll be setting this up. Anyonw got any suggestions?


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Old 11-05-2003, 09:32 AM   #2
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Well as you say you will need saltmix. I would get at a minimum two 50gal saltmix bags. This will fill your tank the first time and give you a few waterchange's worth of salt.

Have you given any thought to filtration? Aside from the 4 clowns or pair of clowns and another small fish or two what else do you want in the tank? Do you want live rock? Do you want to go with a DSB or do you want a shallow sand bed or a shallow bed of crushed coral?

Do you want to keep corals? If so what corals interest you (maybe look thru our gallery). Different corals will have differrent lighting needs. Aside from the penguin (assuming you use it) what else do you plan on using to turn over the water? Does the tank come with a heater? If not then that should be on the list along with some basic marine test kits like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, alkinity and if your going to go with corals then calicum. A hydromoter is important to have so you know what your salinity level is.

Getting some buckets set aside for tank work if you dont already have some will be important. Maybe getting a small tub or something to use as a water mixing contaner aswell as a small heater and PH to put in the mixing vat.
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Old 11-05-2003, 10:19 AM   #3
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Here's a quick list off the top of my head...If I miss anything which I'm sure I will, I know others will chime in...
Salt mix
SALTWATER test kit
PH's for water circulation
(Old castle sand works great, you can find it at Home depot. I would stay away from CC with such a small tank as you will probably be battling water quality for a while until you get the hang of it.)
Live rock
(spend the money and load your tank with live rock....you'll be very happy you did 1-1.5 lbs per gallon)
(If its a FOWLR tank...lighting can be pretty minimal...but as with most everyone, I'm sure you will fall in love with something at the LFS and end up needing more lighting. Try to get 3 watts per gallon anyway.)
Protein Skimmer...
(some people would argue it will take out too many of the trace elements in a small tank...I think its a good idea.)
QT tank
(Maybe you could keep your ten gallon for use as a QT tank.)

1 raw shrimp to cycle the tank. Despite what your LFS may or may not tell you...don't cycle the tank with a fish. The fish will most likely die. Just use an ordinary shrimp from the grocer...You will find some excellent posts on these boards regarding cycling the tank.

Don't get discouraged by the false claims that SW tanks are TOO difficult to keep...You'll be fine. Check the reading list on the boards.

Last but certainly not least...PATIENCE...that is the key to having a great SW tank. Cycle your tank properly, use proper husbandry, and keep up with your maintenance...before you know it, those FW tanks will be converted...lol....
Good luck...and the general rule of thumb is to keep one pair of clowns per tank.
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Old 11-05-2003, 10:49 AM   #4
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The other suggestion I have is to be sure to use RO/DI water. The following links will help you get some more information. The first two are from the articles section of this website. They are great articles, and the third is one I found helpful on understanding lighting. Hope these help!!

>>How to cycle your tank without fish<<

>>Common mistakes when planning your aquarium<<

>>Lighting the Reef Tank: A Primer for Beginners<<

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