Question 1st Saltwater Tank

aquanerd13

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Hello, I have a 10 gallon freshwater with 11 neon tetras, and am planning on getting a 55 gallon freshwater soon. I also am interested in reef aquariums. I am on a budget, and don't know what fish and equipment to get. I love clown fish, and wanted to get 2 ocellaris and some sea anemones, along with some hermit crabs if possible. Any suggestions on stocking and equipment?(It will be either a 30 or a 55. probably a 30)
 
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aquanerd13

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No, I want a 30 or 55 gallon saltwater after the 55 freshwater. I currently have a 10. I will soon have a 55. After that I will hopefully have 30 or 55 reef.
 

Jesterrace

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aquanerd13 said:
Hello, I have a 10 gallon freshwater with 11 neon tetras, and am planning on getting a 55 gallon freshwater soon. I also would potentially be interested in reef aquariums. I am on a budget, and don't know what fish and equipment to get. I love clown fish, and wanted to get 2 ocellaris and some sea anemones, along with some hermit crabs if possible. Any suggestions on stocking and equipment?
Be prepared that even a small FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) will cost $150-$200 just to get ready for fish. The 'nems will add expense and hassle as they require bright lighting (aka expensive) and well established tanks (ie running for 6 months or more). Clownfish need something bigger than a 10 gallon long term. Hermit Crabs will definitely work but I would stick to the small red legged hermits in a smaller tank as they are less prone to bothering things and just help keep the tank clean. 20 Gallon is the MINIMUM for a pair of clowns long term IMHO. Avoiding corals and going FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) will keep costs down as they will work with just about any led light (fish don't care) and you won't need to dose elements or test for them if you don't have corals.
 
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aquanerd13

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I MIGHT HAVE A 30 GALLON FOWLR TANK!

I am still not sure about the whole saltwater thing.

nikm128 said:
Awesome, so I'm assuming you're just going to go right to corals and not do fish with live rock (FOWLR)?
What kind of corals are you looking at?
Jesterrace made corals sound too hard, so maybe just FOWLR?
 

Jesterrace

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Okay for a 30 gallon FOWLR you will need the following:

30lbs of live or dry rock (Live Rock has established bacteria and biolife) dry rock is simply dry and dead coral skeleton that needs to be scrubbed down and cured before it can be used and then establish healthy bacteria. In a saltwater tank this is your biofilter (not the filter media)
A brand new adjustable temp tank heater (fixed temp tank heaters are bad news) that is saltwater compatible (most are, just check the box)
A Hood/Cover (ALL FISH JUMP)
Solid HOB Filter (ie Fluval 50 or 70 or Seachem Tidal in the same range)
A powerhead/wavemaker in the 800-1000gph range to simulate underwater current. This is vital as it not only provides flow for the fish but keeps the bacteria alive on the live rock and prevents nasty stuff (ie Cyanobacteria or Dino)
A Refractometer (measures salinity)
A Thermometer of some kind (ideally somewhere between 77-78 degrees is where you want your tank)
Sand if you want to increase your options for fish (ie Live Sand, Argonite, etc.)
An RODI unit (reverse osmosis with de-ionization) or source of RODI water (treated tap is a real risk with saltwater tanks). You can pick up one of these for $60:
 

nikm128

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Some corals aren't too bad, but they are fairly advanced. If you might decide to add corals later, start by mixing reef salt in the first place so you don't have to change it all later.
 

Jesterrace

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aquanerd13 said:
Jesterrace made corals sound too hard, so maybe just FOWLR?
It's not that all corals are hard, it's just that he mentioned he was on a budget. Corals require more expensive lighting and even a few of the cheapest coral frags can easily set you back $100 just by themselves. Add in the additional tests that are required for corals and the fact that they are more sensitive to water parameters and they aren't the best choice for a guy trying to keep costs and the learning curve down.
 
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aquanerd13

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Thank you, what are some good stocking ideas for a 30 gallon? anemones? sea cucumbers? clownfish?
 
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aquanerd13

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That seems good. Thank you. Do I need a sump and a protein skimmer?

What do sumps and skimmers do?
 

nikm128

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Sump, not really. Skimmer, yes. Skimmer is always a yes for inverts

A sump is just another type of filter, lots of people use their size to grow plants in, they have way more space for any type of media, and they're usually more efficient at converting nitrogen compounds. Not sure if or how that changes in Saltwater though....
A skimmer:
 

nikm128

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Well a sump requires drilling which I'd assume you most likely won't want to risk, canisters need a lot more work for Saltwater or they become nitrate factories really. For this size tank, HOB's are fine
 
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aquanerd13

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Perfect. Are seachems good filters? They look super nice to me.

Also, is it okay to over-filter in a saltwater tank?
 

nikm128

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The tidal line? I'd say they're great, though I'm not sure how the built in skimmer will function is SW

aquanerd13 said:
Also, is it okay to over-filter in a saltwater tank?
Lol, you can't "over filter" a tank, just have too much flow blowing the fish around. With Saltwater 15-20x turnover is low-medium flow, meaning you want 450-600gph on for a 30g
 
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aquanerd13

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Ok, just confirming it was the same for saltwater. This is like visiting a new planet for me The tidal line is for fresh/saltwater. Here is the one I am thinking of.
 

Jesterrace

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aquanerd13 said:
Thank you, what are some good stocking ideas for a 30 gallon? anemones? sea cucumbers? clownfish?
I would skip the 'nems. Sea Cucumbers are out as well. I would focus on fish for starters.

30 gallons would allow for 4-5 smaller fish from the following list:

1-2 Ocellaris Clownfish (you could also do a Percula variety if you so desire)
Royal Gramma Basslet
Cardinalfish
Possum/Pink Streaked Wrasse
Firefish
 

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