1st Saltwater Tank Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by aquanerd13, May 7, 2019.

  1. aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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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)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  2. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    So you're wanting to make the 10g saltwater after you get the 55?
     
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    aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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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.
     
  4. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    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?
     
  5. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    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

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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    I MIGHT HAVE A 30 GALLON FOWLR TANK!

    I am still not sure about the whole saltwater thing.

    Jesterrace made corals sound too hard, so maybe just FOWLR?
     
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  7. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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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:
     
  8. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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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.
     
  9. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    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

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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    Thank you, what are some good stocking ideas for a 30 gallon? anemones? sea cucumbers? clownfish?
     
  11. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    2x ocellaris clowns
    1x lawnmower blenny
    5-6x red leg hermit crabs
    Seems like a good start to me, no?
     
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    aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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

    What do sumps and skimmers do?
     
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  13. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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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 SW though....
    A skimmer: https://m.liveaquaria.com/article/240/?aid=240
     
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    aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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  15. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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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 SW or they become nitrate factories really. For this size tank, HOB's are fine
     
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    aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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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?
     
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  17. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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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

    Lol, you can't "over filter" a tank, just have too much flow blowing the fish around. With SW 15-20x turnover is low-medium flow, meaning you want 450-600gph on for a 30g
     
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    aquanerd13

    aquanerd13Valued MemberMember

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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.
     
  19. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    That and a couple powerheads will be great
     
  20. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    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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