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Old 02-07-2013, 03:39 AM   #1
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A Future Aquarist

Hi everyone,

I have no experience with aquariums. However, I have always been in awe by the beauty of salt water tanks. I can't have a tank at the moment but I am looking to start very soon. I have lots to learn and would love any advice at all. Eventually I have a dream of having a very very large aquarium in my own home. Stingrays are a must!

My goal for this year is to learn the fundamentals of tank keeping and be able to create a small reef tank. I would like to learn how to maintains corals (which are absolutely stunning).

Like I said I have no experience and from what I understand, there is a lot to learn! Please give me advice! Oh and in terms ill understand! Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:50 AM   #2
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Hi everyone,

I have no experience with aquariums. However, I have always been in awe by the beauty of salt water tanks. I can't have a tank at the moment but I am looking to start very soon. I have lots to learn and would love any advice at all. Eventually I have a dream of having a very very large aquarium in my own home. Stingrays are a must!

My goal for this year is to learn the fundamentals of tank keeping and be able to create a small reef tank. I would like to learn how to maintains corals (which are absolutely stunning).

Like I said I have no experience and from what I understand, there is a lot to learn! Please give me advice! Oh and in terms ill understand! Thanks!
:Welcome: to AA! We hope you enjoy

The first thing you can do is look in our article section of the main site. It has lots of easy to read info. You can also scan threw the saltwater threads to learn.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:04 AM   #3
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Hi welcome to AA

I really think it is best to start with FW tanks. Less can go wrong, you can keep more fish, it's MUCH cheaper, etc. But, some people have started with SW, then moved on to FW.

Ever since I was little, I have loved deap sea SW fish, but I knew I couldn't keep them just then. When I had the chance to start a small FW tank (even though I didn't research and killed everything eventually) jumped on it! It wasn't my dream tank, but just a few months later I have my new, cycled, 25 gallon planted. I am in love! There are so many cool and interesting fish you can keep in FW tanks too. Just letting you know how addicting this hobby is: I am starting at least 2 more tanks at the beginning of next month. For sure a 12 gallon long brackish planted bumblebee goby tank, (That's a mouth full!) and a 5.6 gallon planted dwarf puffer tank. I am also hoping to have a 5-10 gal shrimp tank, a 5 or so gal betta, and a 5 gal Pygmy Sunfish tank, all of which are fw

I will tell you, if I ever do a SW tank, it will be a 40 breeder tank with pred fish like an angler.

But back to your question, and sorry for my rambling

Sting rays will be harder to find a pretty expensive. I do know you can keep freshwater sting rays. But if you can get SW ones, go for it! You will need a HUGE tank for them. Like, HUGE

If you want to have a huge reef, which it sounds like you do, I hope you have a well paying job! You are going to need massive lights, massive amounts of live sand and rock, not to mention other equipment. Fish, corals, CUC (clean up crew) etc, it's going to cost a lot. But if you do this, I will be with you all the way!

I just re-read your statement, and you want to have a small reef tank. Say, 20 gallons. That would still be fun, and still cost quite a bit!

All I can tell you is: read, read, read, and read some more, then some more, and a little more. Then wait until some salties come over here and help you

-Sydney
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Looks like you've gotten some good advice already.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Wow! Thanks everyone! I was afraid I wouldn't even be heard!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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Wow! Thanks everyone! I was afraid I wouldn't even be heard!
That wouldn't happen here! Sometimes it takes a little time to get a response back but they always get seen and usually always get a response . This is a very active forum and we hope ya enjoy
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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So I got a question, I have an old 20 gallon tank that I used to use for hermit crabs. What is the proper way/ what is the best way to clean it up so I can use it for fish? What is the best way to get those water spots off?
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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So I got a question, I have an old 20 gallon tank that I used to use for hermit crabs. What is the proper way/ what is the best way to clean it up so I can use it for fish? What is the best way to get those water spots off?
A little elbow grease should do the job. Okay ok maybe a lot. You can use water and vinegar jus make sure you rinse it outlying good with water when your done
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #10
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Welcome to AA!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searchin View Post
So I got a question, I have an old 20 gallon tank that I used to use for hermit crabs. What is the proper way/ what is the best way to clean it up so I can use it for fish? What is the best way to get those water spots off?
You'll want to avoid using household cleaners for your tank. Try vinegar and a razor blade for the tough spots. If you have some really tough stains, soak a paper towel in vinegar and lay it on the area for a while, then come back to it later. Give it a good rinse and you should be good to go.

Just as an aside, if you want to try a small reef tank then try a small reef tank. It's totally doable if you just do plenty of research, ask lots of questions, and are willing to give the tank daily attention (monitoring specific gravity, testing water, doing water changes and top offs, etc.). Small reef tanks really do need daily attention IME- I have kept several SW tanks ranging in size from 2.5 to 50 gallons. Most people do seem to start out in freshwater but that doesn't mean it's impossible to go straight to reef.

One good bit of advice I can give you right off the bat is to ask questions about your equipment BEFORE you buy it. I have bought some pretty junky equipment in the past because I was getting it for cheap working at a fish store, but it really cost me more in the long run when I had to replace it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #11
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Yep, read read read! There are tons of helpful people in the SW forums too.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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I've been reading all morning so far. The sad thing is, I feel like I haven't read anything on the basic fundamentals. Either that or I need it spelled out for me. Please tell me if I'm going in the right direction:

Starting with the water:
In a salt water tank you have to remove hazardous chlorinated water? Then you have to reach a certain specific gravity ( reach a certain salinity) Is there a specific way to do this? Like a specific type of salt that must be purchased? What is the standard specific gravity that should be maintained?

Cycling:
The process of introducing bacteria that will help maintain the balance of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. This bacteria comes from things like live sand and live rock? Both of which can be purchased at a LFS, so the tank should essentially be just live rock and live sand for a few weeks or months until the bacteria grows? How can you tell when your bacteria is sufficient/ your tank has completed cycling?

Fish:
When fish release waste it is in the form of ammonia. Of course, after establishing a cycled tank... The bacteria will turn ammonia to nitrites and then nitrates. Nitrates are still toxic though? So how do we get rid of nitrates, or are they not toxic?

Is that about right?

Thank you! Sorry if this seems trivial
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #13
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I've been reading all morning so far. The sad thing is, I feel like I haven't read anything on the basic fundamentals. Either that or I need it spelled out for me. Please tell me if I'm going in the right direction:
Your reading the right stuff or on the right path

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searchin View Post
Starting with the water:
In a salt water tank you have to remove hazardous chlorinated water? Then you have to reach a certain specific gravity ( reach a certain salinity) Is there a specific way to do this? Like a specific type of salt that must be purchased? What is the standard specific gravity that should be maintained?
You'll have a tool that reads gravity when testing. There are marine salts that you'll buy and on those box's and bags it will tell you how much to add per gallon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searchin View Post
:
The process of introducing bacteria that will help maintain the balance of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. This bacteria comes from things like live sand and live rock? Both of which can be purchased at a LFS, so the tank should essentially be just live rock and live sand for a few weeks or months until the bacteria grows? How can you tell when your bacteria is sufficient/ your tank has completed cycling?
Bacteria comes from food, fish waste anything that creates ammonia. Ammonia turns into nitrite, nitrite turns into nitrate. Its all part of the cycle. Bacteria sticks to stuff like live rock, sand and filter media.

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Fish:
When fish release waste it is in the form of ammonia. Of course, after establishing a cycled tank... The bacteria will turn ammonia to nitrites and then nitrates. Nitrates are still toxic though? So how do we get rid of nitrates, or are they not toxic?

Water changes a good maintenance. Schedule of pwcs will keep them lowered.

Is that about right?

Yep

Thank you! Sorry if this seems trivial
Not at all that's why we are all here to help others learn. When you set up the tank starlet uourself a build thread and you'll get a lot of answers along the way
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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In saltwater you have to use ro/Di water. Some people buy it pre mixed at their lfs and some buy gallons of water at the grocery store. Others have invested in a ro/Di unit for their house water. That is very nice to have especially if your doing a nice size tank
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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You might want to take a look at our articles section to read about the basics. You can view the articles from our main site on a computer or mobile browser (not the app).
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