first sw tank

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jan 15, 2007
Dublin Ohio
Hey guys, first off this is my first post I have been looking around the forum and it seems like I will be able to get great help. I have a 10 gallon tank just sitting around in my room and I figured why not make it a sw tank. I was talking to the guys at aquarium adventure (store by me) and they said that that size was fine for a first one to get started with. I do not plan on going any bigger just cause I do not have the money. Most of the my money has gone into my 30gallon fw. I was wondering what all I need to get the tank started. Chemicals, do I need a certain filter for sw? I was also told that live rock would be good for the tank. What is live rock? I'm new to sw so I don't have a clue. Also thinking about a black or white sand. Which lighting will be the best for live rock? Which fish will be good the get started with? I am thinking about only 2 or 3 fish and maybe a shrimp or sea star. How much should I be expecting to spend on all of this? Thanks for the help guys.
You can do the 10 gallon tank but you have to remember that the smaller the tank the less forgiving it will be should a problem come up. It can work but you will need to be dilligent. The only filtration I have ever used is LR and a skimmer. As a matter of fact I`m going to move this to the nano forum and they will give you plenty of answers. Good Luck on your quest.
sw tanks can be real expenisve. basically its the upfront costs of setup that get ya. like mel said, you will have to be dilligent with the maintenence, but it can be done.

live rock is rock that has beneficial bacteria on it. it runs on average 5.99-9.99 a lb and you should expect to get 1.5-2 the tank volume (10 gal = 15 - 20lbs) no special lighting is reqiured, but you will want to decide on lighting if you are thinking about a reef tank. get a decent skimmer, too (about 150 id say). after that you should be all set to go ahead with the cycle. for fish, you really wont beable to get 2-3 in a 10. check out, the nano section for your options. hth.

Please do not cycle with live animals.

A 10G is doable, but as mel said, the smaller the tank, to less room for error. Basically, if your water parameters slip, bad things happen very quickly. Is there any chance you could gat a 20-30G tank? If you are new and have problems, I would hate to see you get upset and quit the addiction....err hobby.
I also agree, the initial expense is kind of high, once you are set up there is not expense after that.
Read over loyalrogue's link, there are some great pieces of equipment. This will give you an idea of what you need. Try not to skimp on cheap equipment, it will end up costing you more, in the long run.
BoarderX47 said:
What is live rock?
Live rock is, in SW terms, rock that has the nitrifying bacteria that helps convert ammonia to nitrAtes. The critters that grow on it are just a bonus.
We have a great page of Articles to help you understand. I would read How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish and How ammonia is converted to nitrate, to give you an idea of how the fishless cycle works.
Read those and ask away.
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