1st Saltwater Tank - Page 2

nikm128

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Perfect, thank you so much. Is there anything else I should know?
Well one thing that's often overlooked: when you do your top offs, you only use RO or RODI water, no salt. You only use the saltwater you mix for a water change.
On the subject of top offs, take a marker and put a line where the water will no longer be at the right salinity due to evaporation. When the water hits that line, top it off
 

Jesterrace

Member
Any of these fish will work in a 30 gallon and I will try and list temperament:

Peaceful

Small Gobies
Cardinalfish
Possum/Pink Streaked Wrasse
Firefish

Somewhat aggressive:

1-2 Ocellaris Clownfish (you could also do a Percula variety if you so desire)
Royal Gramma Basslet
Small Blennies

Now for the record the last 3 aren't really bad in most cases, I just recommend adding them last on your stocking list. One thing to be aware of for small peaceful fish is that they can also be super timid and hide a lot (learned that the hard way with my first tank), the fish that are a bit more assertive will be generally more visible.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Jesterrace said:
Any of these fish will work in a 30 gallon and I will try and list temperament:

Peaceful

Small Gobies
Cardinalfish
Possum/Pink Streaked Wrasse
Firefish

Somewhat aggressive:

1-2 Ocellaris Clownfish (you could also do a Percula variety if you so desire)
Royal Gramma Basslet
Small Blennies

Now for the record the last 3 aren't really bad in most cases, I just recommend adding them last on your stocking list. One thing to be aware of for small peaceful fish is that they can also be super timid and hide a lot (learned that the hard way with my first tank), the fish that are a bit more assertive will be generally more visible.
So I am looking at 2 ocellaris, a royal gramma basslet, and a couple gobies. What type of gobie should I get?

nikm128 said:
Well one thing that's often overlooked: when you do your top offs, you only use RO or RODI water, no salt. You only use the saltwater you mix for a water change.
On the subject of top offs, take a marker and put a line where the water will no longer be at the right salinity due to evaporation. When the water hits that line, top it off
So when do I know the salinity is no longer correct?

Do I just test it periodically, and if the salinity isn't correct, wherever the water level is at that time is where I mark?
 

nikm128

Member
aquanerd13 said:
So when do I know the salinity is no longer correct?
aquanerd13 said:
Do I just test it periodically, and if the salinity isn't correct, wherever the water level is at that time is where I mark?
That's what the refractometer is for, so as the water evaporates the salinity level will go up. Test everyday until it is no longer 1.025, then put your mark where the surface of the water is. This may require that you only fill the tank to the bottom of the rI'm so you can see it change

I'll let Jester answer the goby question, he knows more than me
 
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aquanerd13

Member
ok, thank you. That makes sense.
 

Jesterrace

Member
If you mix gobies you are going to want 2 that occupy different space (ie Clown Goby and Yellow Prawn Goby or Tangora and rainsford). Gobies are generally peaceful but there will be fights between similar shape gobies that occupy the same parts of the tank.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Ok, thank you. I get 2 ocellaris, a yellow prawn goby,and a clown goby. Could I get a small tang instead of one of the gobies?
 

Jesterrace

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Ok, thank you. I get 2 ocellaris, a yellow prawn goby,and a clown goby. Could I get a small tang instead of one of the gobies?
Definitely not. The Smallest Tang doesn't belong in anything smaller than a 4 foot long tank. Not only are they open water swimmers that need room, Tangs are also somewhat aggressive by nature and the aggression would be heightened by being in a cramped tank. Tangs have a sharp bone spur in their tail that they use to cut up any fish they want to bully or be aggressive to. They back up and do a tail slap and the result is a cut in their targeted fish (hence the reason why they are also called surgeonfish). The point is that in a tank that is too small for one long term, with smaller more peaceful fish the odds are very high that it would become a tank bully and cause harm to the other fish. Disney did a real disservice portraying Tangs as these cute personalities when they are often aggressive jerks (unless you have a tank in the 6 foot long or longer range).
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Wow. Thank you! That is good to know.
 

Jesterrace

Member
I witnessed the above issues with my Yellow Tang first hand and it wasn't half grown. It took a chunk out of my coral beauty dwarf angel's fin tip and repeatedly cut it with it's tail scalpel producing visible white scratches on it's body.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Wow. Little jerk. Thank you so much. I will NOT be getting a tang. Would angelfish be compatible with clownfish?
 

nikm128

Member
Should be, though maybe not quite in a 30. Maybe a pygmy or dwarf angel since they seem to be the nicest
 

Jesterrace

Member
Unless it's a 30 Long, skip angelfish of any kind. They are super active and don't do well in cramped quarters. Generally my recommendation is 3 feet long minimum for the pygmy angels (ie Cherubfish) and 4 feet long minimum for Dwarf Angels (ie Coral Beauty, Flame Angel). A Cherubfish aka Pygmy Angel would be okay in a 30 Long but I wouldn't try any other angelfish. The other Pygmy angelfish tend to be pretty aggressive (ie Yellow Tail, Flameback, Fireball).
 
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aquanerd13

Member
I actually changed my mind to a 55. I was getting a big enough filter, heater, etc. So I thought I may as well go with a bigger tank.

The 55's are 4 feet long.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Could I get a sea slug or a sponge or a sea cucumber or something? An oyster? A sea star? A sea urchin?

I like the idea of inverts, but I read angels are compatible with them?
 

nikm128

Member
I actually read somewhere that oysters can somewhat aid in filtration because of the way they get food and stuff out of the water. I think if it weren't for the need of an actual current, as single one could filter an entire 20 gallon tank. I have no idea how true that is though, so be sure to have someone else verify
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Ok, so oysters are good, it would probably be hard for a clownfish to bully them

I really want a hermit crab(or a few) though.
 

Jesterrace

Member
Angels can nip at inverts. If you can keep the water clean and wait until it's well established a tiled starfish would be a cool addition. Also are you going with a drilled setup and sump?
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Not sure yet. Should I?
 

Jesterrace

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Not sure yet. Should I?
Absolutely. It will solve many flow issues and provide maximum filtration. 55 gallon aka 4 foot long tank is the tipping point where I recommend a drilled tank with a sump. My recommendation would be to go to your LFS and to purchase a used reef ready setup. It will save you a fortune in costs.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
So a reef ready would be drilled and come with a sump? Should I also get a HOB filter? I like the tidal line filters.
 

Jesterrace

Member
aquanerd13 said:
So a reef ready would be drilled and come with a sump? Should I also get a HOB filter? I like the tidal line filters.
With a sump there is no need. Here is a basic setup of how a 90 gallon drilled (same 4 foot length as a 55 gallon or 75 gallon) works:

 

DanInJakarta

Member
nikm128 said:
Yup, you can check all the fish you could possibly want on liveaquaria's website. Clownfish: reef compatible, firefish: reef compatible, hermit crabs: with caution
I'm not sure about the anemones though
No, they will harass your SPS.
 

Jesterrace

Member
DanInJakarta said:
No, they will harass your SPS.
Who will harass the SPS?
 

nikm128

Member
For the other noob here (me), SPS?
 
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aquanerd13

Member
I doubt this is what you are talking about:
Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease. SPS is characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimulI such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms. (I found this on google)
 
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stella1979

Moderator
Member
SPS = Small Polyp Stony corals, typically, the high light high flow corals that are more advanced care than say, LPS or Large Polyp Stony, or soft corals which aren't stony at all. As far as I know, this is a non-scientific but widely accepted way of sorting corals using the ratio of flesh to skeleton. For example, have a look at an Acropora coral for SPS, for LPS perhaps a very fleshy Duncan which almost looks like anemones or something that looks fleshy but feels hard like a Favia. Common soft corals are zoanthids, leathers, xenia, or the ever famous and sometimes invasive green star polyps.

Anyhow, I think the harassment may refer to an anemone and the danger they can present to corals... because anemones have toxic stings and can move around the tank leaving injury and death in their wake. Indeed, a roaming anemone is scary in a reef tank. However, there are many, many reef tanks out there with large and lovely anemones in them. I think the key is... time. Anemones shouldn't be added to brand new tanks because they are sensitive to fluctuations in parameters and are certainly not tolerant of newb mistakes. But... you don't want to spend the time waiting for an anemone covering up your tank in treasured and expensive corals. Adding an anemone to the tank is inviting one to roam, but if the tank is a good environment, a common nem like a bubble tip will likely find it's favorite spot and stay there for the most part. So, we can start a reef tank with some easy care and not too expensive corals, then add an anemone, add more coral, and finally crown her off with some SPS. Because SPS are your least forgiving corals, this works out because all that time leading up to this point, our tank was getting established and mature. However, and here's the kicker, all corals AND anemones are photosynthetic and thus, need very good lighting to survive. After reading this thread, I was kinda thinking this would be a FOWLR tank, without any photosynthetic creatures. A FOWLR is a great way to start the saltwater journey and upgrades can be added later to transform it to a reef tank.

Last thing as far as anemones and corals go... well, the anemone needs a reef light. Not many dedicate their reef lights/tanks to anemones alone. If I'm buying reef lighting to support an anemone, well, that lighting will support coral too, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I wouldn't invest in a reef light and not house coral.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
This is probably more aplicable:
LPS, which stands for “large polyp stony coral (or large polyp scleractinian),” andSPS, which stands for “small polyp stony coral (or small polyp scleractinian),” are hobby-specific terms referring to the size of a coral's polyp or polyps.(Also found on google)

Thank you! I will look into this more. Any idea what materials I could use for a DIY overflow, or maybe even a DIY sump? I am trying to save money if possible.
 

Tony_097

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Thank you! I will look into this more. Any idea what materials I could use for a DIY overflow, or maybe even a DIY sump? I am trying to save money if possible.
Petco has tanks that are perfect for sumps if you are still using a 55 I would personally use a sump of 20 long or 30 long. As for overflows you can use a hob overflow but it can be a gamble so it would be more convenient to drill the tank
 

DanInJakarta

Member
Jesterrace said:
Who will harass the SPS?
Anemones.

Small polyp stony corals.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
perfect, thank you so much. Anything I else I need to know/buy?
 
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stella1979

Moderator
Member
aquanerd13 said:
perfect, thank you so much. Anything I else I need to know/buy?
There is so much to know/learn... always, because the hobby is constantly evolving and there are so, SO many aspects to it. I'm not great with expanding on general questions so I highly suggest reading these.
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...uarium-part-1-where-to-start-research.118422/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ing-nature-home-researching-equipment.119039/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ng-setting-up-and-running-your-system.120421/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...et-nano-saltwater-guide-for-beginners.327674/

Then, return here with more specific questions.

There is no doubt that anemones can hurt/harass/kill 'things' but really, this isn't the first thing most of us would say about them because the simple fact is... much more often they are a pleasure to keep, and when done right, are not the huge danger this trait makes them seem to be. Quite honestly, ALL of our critters are predators of some sort or another or how would they survive? Personally, I've got warfare going on between several corals. For example, Leptastrea is getting to my Birdsnest and Trumpets can sting my Monti... but it is up to me, the aquarist, to intervene when and if the danger is too great. The difference is, anemones can move, but they aren't generally Speedy Gonzalez, so even in these cases, we may do what we can to protect a tank. Such as, lowering the flow and sticking the 'unstuck' anemone into a nice crevice where other corals might be safe, and with knowledge backing us up, we can make the educated guess that the nem might like the lighting and flow in that area and what nem doesn't like a nice crevice in which to secure his mighty foot? Hopefully, this post will change the feeling of dread some may have about nems but... I found it. If anyone wants to see a GORGEOUS reef tank with healthy corals and BEAUTIFUL RBTA's (rose bubble tip nems), well, allow me to take you to our leader. Here's Mike 's prime example of a reef tank.
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/media/albums/august-2013-corals.5144/
 

Jesterrace

Member
Tony_097 said:
Petco has tanks that are perfect for sumps if you are still using a 55 I would personally use a sump of 20 long or 30 long. As for overflows you can use a hob overflow but it can be a gamble so it would be more convenient to drill the tank
Provided the glass isn't tempered of course.
 

nikm128

Member
Jesterrace said:
Provided the glass isn't tempered of course.
Petco sells Aqueon, Aqueon sells tempered glass tanks. Therefore, Petco tanks are tempered glass. Why is tempered glass bad though?
 

Jesterrace

Member
Drill tempered glass and you get a shattered tank.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
I definitely want a reef tank. After seeing those pictures, I was like 'and why am I not doing this?'
Where could I get a pre-drilled tank? Is craigslist a good option?
 

Jesterrace

Member
aquanerd13 said:
I definitely want a reef tank. After seeing those pictures, I was like 'and why am I not doing this?'
Where could I get a pre-drilled tank? Is craigslist a good option?
Either Craigslist or see if your LFS deals with used setups. A used reef ready setup would save you lots of money (I went this route with my 90 gallon, my LFS found the setup for me). Be sure to check for scratches and leaks though. You don't want a tank that looks like this:

 
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aquanerd13

Member
Never mind, I want a FOWLR. Sorry.

Do I need live rock and live sand, or could I just have live rock and regular sand?
 

Tony_097

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Do I need live rock and live sand, or could I just have live rock and regular sand?
Most people start of with dry reef rock and sand but it is acceptable to use live rock if you take the proper precautions but I recommend going with dry rock since it really is the safest way for a beginner to start a tank.
 
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aquanerd13

Member

Tony_097

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Perfect! Thank you! Would pool filter sand work?
I would avoid using it and you’ll just end up creating a sand storm there may be other issues with using it by I have no clue. Here’s a good guide to help you decided on the best grain size of sand for you
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Which one is better? Crushed coral is cheaper and stays put better, but the sand looks better. I am leaning towards sand.
 

nikm128

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Which one is better? Crushed coral is cheaper and stays put better, but the sand looks better. I am leaning towards sand.
Don't use crushed coral as substrate! I went down that road on accident and it is a disaster.
 
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aquanerd13

Member
Ok, thank you. Sand it is then.

How is this stuff?
 

AJE

Member
I know nothing about saltwater but can’t wait to see how it turns out
 

Tony_097

Member
It seems like it’s fine sand you may want something that looks like sand but won’t blow around as easy the aragonite is a bigger grain size which is good if you want to a move towards an sps dominant tank later on
 

nikm128

Member
aquanerd13 said:
Ok, thank you. Sand it is then.

How is this stuff?
It's good, but I prefer live sand. So I personally would go with the first or third link Tony_097 provided, but since you're on a budget I see no problem with plain sand and letting it become live.
 

Jesterrace

Member
Live Sand's bacterial benefits are marginal. I prefer Live Sand for the perfect mix of substrate than anything else. It's just a good mix for a wide range of fish.
 

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