Question 30 gallon SW tank info needed (lots of questions from a n00b)

Akari_32

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so my dad brought home a 30 gallon tank (its about the same length as a 20 long, but a bit taller and not quite as wide, if that makes any difference in few minutes), and i was wondering how hard it would be for a person (maybe 2 or 3 if i can get my parents to help. i told them i wouldnt do a SW tank alone) that has only been doing FW for about 3 years? i know SW is hard to keep, and i think if i can get my parents to help, we'll be able to do. so i'll make a list of the things i need to kno before i decide to jump in or not~

1) ease of keeping a SW tank
2) COST. this is very important, as we are on a limited budget (but arent we all....)
3) fish that would be suitable for 30 gallons, and easy to care for
4) equiment
5) decor (rocks, ect.)
6) time that needs to spent on the tank per week (remember, i already have 3 tanks, 2 of which are a bit over stocked, but not much)

i thinks thats all the questions i have. if there are any imprtant points i missed, please add 'em in. links to sites with lots of info i can print out would be helpfull also. thanks!
 
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Akari_32

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thanks! i looked it over and its all a bit of information-over load late at night ^_^'> i'll have to look at it better when im not 1/2 asleep XD

my mom really likes seahorses (she also wants "a Dory," to put it i her words, but i managed to get her to relize we dont have room for a Tang). and i was looking at this cool little angler (an Assorted, i think is what it was called?) any ideas on those? im not so sure i should start out with a reef tank, and i forget what those two like. i was browsing on Drs. Foster and Smith last night and there are so many fish to chose from =C i dunno what to look into, what would be easiest, or anything for that matter! XD
 
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Akari_32

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Seahorses are extremely hard to care for I've heard. What about a reef setup with SW gobies? They are breathtaking.
thats what i thot...

i was thinking about a reef set-up, but i dunno if i have the time (or money...) for a reef. something easy, that doesnt need a reef, would be what im aiming for at this point, after looking around at SW info on the web (tho i still got a LOT of researching to do if i go with SW...)
 

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my experience is that anyone who says they're getting FOWLR winds up having a reef tank. Happened to me. Started with one innocent looking Kenya Tree and now I can't stop.
 
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Akari_32

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my experience is that anyone who says they're getting FOWLR winds up having a reef tank. Happened to me. Started with one innocent looking Kenya Tree and now I can't stop.
lol it happens sometimes! XD i could just slowly build it up tho, couldnt i? i didnt think about that. but i'll only be here for another year and 1/2, and it'll be off to college with me (its a very long treck to be vet...), so im not so sure my parents could do it by themselves, tho u never kno. they could learn
 

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hi,

saltwater isn't too hard...you just have to be patience. It gets hard when people are impatient.

Most of the answer for your questions is it depends

1)How hard is it depends on the size, what you keep, and the equipment you have. Generally, the more you spend, the easier it'll be
2)Cost is up to you. You could spend a ton of money and get a very nice tank or spend a little bit and get a very nice tank with a little more work.
3)If you were going with reef, I would keep a pair of clowns and some other small fishes. If fowlr, I woul look into dwarf angelfish
4)Again, up to you. THe more you invest in, the easier it'll become though. For example, some people say a skimmer is unncesary for a 30g tank. I say its unncesary as well, but it'll prevent some headaches-lol.
5) IMO, as natural as possible. I avoid artificial. Nothing wrong about them thogh.
6)depends on equipment
 

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Hi there,
30 gallon tank

1) ease of keeping a SW tank
In my personal expereince, with that size tank and not being a reef, it's pretty easy.

2) COST. this is very important, as we are on a limited budget (but arent we all....)
For that size tank the most cost will be the intial cost. Also if you go with a reef setup it will add more cost. Im my opinion, too much to make worth a while. I love the fish more then I like the corals. Fish only tankare alot less costly and easier to maintain.

3) fish that would be suitable for 30 gallons, and easy to care for
There are plenty of them, but the dimensions of the tank will determine what would be the maximum size of a fish you could keep for its entire life. There are also limitatins based on type of fish and aggression of fish.

4) equiment
Depends on the setup you decide to go with.

5) decor (rocks, ect.)
Most saltwater tanks only have sand and rock. You could go with any decor aslong as it is intended for saltwater tanks.

6) time that needs to spent on the tank per week (remember, i already have 3 tanks, 2 of which are a bit over stocked, but not much)
If you go with fish only tank, then maybe just the water changes and cleaning the glass. All that along with regular filtration maintenance, changing pads and cleaning the units. I lost count, but I have definately have over 12 of them.

i thinks thats all the questions i have. if there are any imprtant points i missed, please add 'em in. links to sites with lots of info i can print out would be helpfull also. thanks!
 
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Akari_32

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Hi there,


In my personal expereince, with that size tank and not being a reef, it's pretty easy.




There are plenty of them, but the dimensions of the tank will determine what would be the maximum size of a fish you could keep for its entire life. There are also limitatins based on type of fish and aggression of fish.
i guess i did forget to put the dementions down (oops! >.<) its 19 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 30 inches long (i think. im going on memmory). its like a 20 long but taller and not as fat! XD

so lets just say i wanted to do a FOWLR tank. how would that effect the answers then? (not including fish in the price, but if u could include a few fish possibilities in the stocking answer, it would help a bit, tho i do have a few i like picked out, like that angler! <3 nothing deffiante tho)
 

locoyo386

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i guess i did forget to put the dementions down (oops! >.<) its 19 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 30 inches long (i think. im going on memmory). its like a 20 long but taller and not as fat! XD

so lets just say i wanted to do a FOWLR tank. how would that effect the answers then? (not including fish in the price, but if u could include a few fish possibilities in the stocking answer, it would help a bit, tho i do have a few i like picked out, like that angler! <3 nothing deffiante tho)
No probelm, most people go by volume but you could have a 200 gallon tank and not be able to keep a tang. Yeah, sounds like a standard 30 gallon tank.

The ease of keeping the tank will be easy, in my opinion. There are things that need to be followed in order for that to be true though. For example you would use RO water versus tap water. The regular things would be, water changes and testing for nitrates. Once you have the tank setup and ready for live stock (cycled), the things to do is replace evaporation (top off), water changes, cleaning glass, filters and powerheads.

Cost will depend on what you already have, as long as equipment is concerned. The higher cost comes from live stock. The things you will need are;
1.) Tank, obiously.
2.) Heater, at least 150W, but not hogher then 200W
3.) Lighting, regular flourecent lighting will do for a FOWLR.
4.) Hood if you like
5.) Filter, I would recomend a power filter or if yo have a tank sitting around you could use a sump. All my tanks (pver 12) are running with power filters only, including a 240 gallon tank.
6.) Powerhead, maybe 2, but no more.
7.) Saltwater, either premixed or you can mix it yourself.
8.) Ro water, for top off.
9.) Subtrate, I use non-live sand.
10.) Rock, you could buy regular live rock, it depends on the rocks, but maybe around 20 lb.
11.) The livestock, snails, crabs, shrimps, stars, fish, etc..
Just for the setup without livestock, it could be anywhere from $200 and up, depends on what you have. Good thing is that you have the tank already.

The fish can be almost any fish that is between 4-6 inches max when full grown. It will depends on the fish and fish that will go with it. Basically you will have to look into compatability. Keep ni mind that I don't stock my tanks the way that the mainstreem does. Meaning that I sometimes keep fish in tanks that the majority of people will say not to do it. I have reason for doing it and I have not had a loss due to that, nor do I think that the fish are unhappy. I can further help you with this if you wish.

As far as time that you would need to spend on the tank, it will not be more then the time you spend on the freshwater tanks. With me basically about 1-2 hours per week in total time, for that size tank anyways.

If you like further assitance let me know, I will try to help you step-by-step. Once you have your tank up and running, you will notice in a few months that they are not as hard as they make them to be.

There is a con side to this hobby thoe. Sometimes saltwater fis die from no apperent reason at all. You couls have the most perfect setup and you might expereince deaths that are just not justified, but that's part of this hobby.
 
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Akari_32

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No probelm, most people go by volume but you could have a 200 gallon tank and not be able to keep a tang. Yeah, sounds like a standard 30 gallon tank.

The ease of keeping the tank will be easy, in my opinion. There are things that need to be followed in order for that to be true though. For example you would use RO water versus tap water. The regular things would be, water changes and testing for nitrates. Once you have the tank setup and ready for live stock (cycled), the things to do is replace evaporation (top off), water changes, cleaning glass, filters and powerheads.
where would i get RO stuff? at the petstore?

i did see that you can buy ocean water at Pet...Co i think. maybe PetSmart.... i dunno... anyway, whats ur oppinion on that stuff?

Cost will depend on what you already have, as long as equipment is concerned. The higher cost comes from live stock. The things you will need are;
1.) Tank, obiously.
2.) Heater, at least 150W, but not hogher then 200W
3.) Lighting, regular flourecent lighting will do for a FOWLR.
4.) Hood if you like
5.) Filter, I would recomend a power filter or if yo have a tank sitting around you could use a sump. All my tanks (pver 12) are running with power filters only, including a 240 gallon tank.
6.) Powerhead, maybe 2, but no more.
7.) Saltwater, either premixed or you can mix it yourself.
8.) Ro water, for top off.
9.) Subtrate, I use non-live sand.
10.) Rock, you could buy regular live rock, it depends on the rocks, but maybe around 20 lb.
11.) The livestock, snails, crabs, shrimps, stars, fish, etc..
Just for the setup without livestock, it could be anywhere from $200 and up, depends on what you have. Good thing is that you have the tank already.

The fish can be almost any fish that is between 4-6 inches max when full grown. It will depends on the fish and fish that will go with it. Basically you will have to look into compatability. Keep ni mind that I don't stock my tanks the way that the mainstreem does. Meaning that I sometimes keep fish in tanks that the majority of people will say not to do it. I have reason for doing it and I have not had a loss due to that, nor do I think that the fish are unhappy. I can further help you with this if you wish.
all i have is the tank and the hood (with the bulb, but i dunno if it works or not). would it need a SW spesiffic filter and heater, or are those versital (i never really did notice any of that when i was looking for stuff for the 20g)? how do sumps work? i was looking at About.com on the SW step-by-step guide thing and i didnt really understand how they worked (tho it was pretty late at night...).

i really like those red shrimp with the white stripe down their backs and those chocolate chips starfish (they look fake! then u come back later and its on the other side of the tank XD). the only fish im certain on is the Assorted Angler. not sure about what i want to clean up food and algea tho...???


As far as time that you would need to spend on the tank, it will not be more then the time you spend on the freshwater tanks. With me basically about 1-2 hours per week in total time, for that size tank anyways.
i think i only spen about an hour and 1/2 on the tanks i have now. my betta tank only take 10 minutes, the 20 takes maybe 45-to an hour and the 10 only takes 15-30 minutes. i think i can squeeze that in with no problems.

If you like further assitance let me know, I will try to help you step-by-step. Once you have your tank up and running, you will notice in a few months that they are not as hard as they make them to be.
thanks! i still not sure if we're gunna do it or not, but i'll talk to my parents about the costs and what-nots. i think when they hear that plain (treated) tap water cant be used and that it will be over $200 dollars, not including the fish, they may not go for it... tho i will definatly do it some time in the future and keep all this in mind! =P (you have no idea how much help this! -hug- <3)

There is a con side to this hobby thoe. Sometimes saltwater fis die from no apperent reason at all. You couls have the most perfect setup and you might expereince deaths that are just not justified, but that's part of this hobby.
it can happen with fresh water too. i had it happen a few months ago with one of my favorite guppies, Howl Jr (his son still lives on tho! i luflz u Howl Jr II!<3333333)
 

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You get RO/DI equipments online. Check out Bulk Reef Supply
IMO, it would be best to mix your own water because depending on your saltmix, the water parameters will most likely be better than NSW.

For a filter, I would use a sump if possible, but a powerfilter should be good and a HOB skimmer would make things alot easier. A sump is a tank to hold equipment. Usually, each equipment have their own sections in the tank. Each section is seperated by baffles. So water goes down into a small section then into another section that houses a skimmer , etc. The purpose of the baffles is so most of the water will be filtered. As oppose to just a tank without baffles where some water moght be pump back up without even going into any filtration.

Those red shrimps are cleaner shrimps. Choclate chips stars aren't really friendly to slow moving inverts. Anglers aren't friendly with most CUC. Cleaner shrimp could be fine since they are a type of symbiosis.

Most saltwater fishes are more sensitive than freshwater. Guppies are very hardy species. I dont even check my water in my guppy tank when I had them and I rarely loose one. Some saltwater species like moorish idols, sharks, and lots more requires prestine water parameters. Some fishes also require a wide variety of diet to be healthy. For example the emperor angels requires sponges on top of other food you give them or else they'll loose colors.
 

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You can get RO water at many local fish stores. Buying one is obviously the best option for convenience. Yet they can be pricey. Usually the RO/DI unit is the last thing that people buy.
 

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Hi there,
where would i get RO stuff? at the petstore?

i did see that you can buy ocean water at Pet...Co i think. maybe PetSmart.... i dunno... anyway, whats ur oppinion on that stuff?
You could do it in different ways. You can buy RO water from an independent pet sotere, NOT petsmart or any soter like that, unless they sell it. Or you can buy an RO unit, which could cost around $100 and up. This option is more tidious since you have to test the water to make sure it is filtered right and you have to buy the filter media and so forth. I just buy my RO water and salt mix from pet store and mix it myself. I read that waltmart might sell RO water, but I believe it is around $1.00 per gallon, were at at a pet sotre it can be as low as $0.25 per gallon. You can ask around and see if there are any stores that sell RO water.

As far as ocean water, I have never used it since it does tend to be more expensive then mixing it myself. I have seen them at pet store like petsmart.

all i have is the tank and the hood (with the bulb, but i dunno if it works or not). would it need a SW spesiffic filter and heater, or are those versital (i never really did notice any of that when i was looking for stuff for the 20g)?
Well then you are going to have to check and see if the hood and bulb work, otherwise you might have to get new one. The filters and heaters are the same for fresh and salt water tanks. Make and model is what determines the better ones from the not so great ones (TopFin heaters). Personally I use power filters for that size tank. You could look into the AquaClear70 for that size tank. As far as heater, I like the marineland heaters, specifically the steatth ones. I also like a recent brand I got, but I can't remeber the name as of right now. I can get that brand of you like me too. Price for the filter should be around $50 and the heater around $30.

how do sumps work? i was looking at About.com on the SW step-by-step guide thing and i didnt really understand how they worked (tho it was pretty late at night...).
Well the basic function of a sump is no different then that of the power fiters. With the sump you get additional benifits, but it depends on the size of the sump. You could hide equipment down there, like the heaters and other mechanichal filtration you may want to use. The sump can also house a refugium. A refugim is a place to put critters that are benificial for the tank and you can also use it as a natural filtrataion. You can do that by placing macro-algae with lighting, this will help obsorve the nitrates and phosphates in the tank.

i really like those red shrimp with the white stripe down their backs and those chocolate chips starfish (they look fake! then u come back later and its on the other side of the tank XD). the only fish im certain on is the Assorted Angler. not sure about what i want to clean up food and algea tho...???
Well that could be a start since you will have invertibrates. If you like that shrimp, you might also look into the redfire shrimp, they are a bright red with whites accents, they are awesome. By the way that shrimp is called a "cleaner shrimp" or "skunk shrimp" and many others, but those two are the most popular names used in associatin with it. As far as the angler goes, it could limit the type of fish you might be able to have since it is a predatory fish. I do not have expereince with those fish as of yet.

i think i only spen about an hour and 1/2 on the tanks i have now. my betta tank only take 10 minutes, the 20 takes maybe 45-to an hour and the 10 only takes 15-30 minutes. i think i can squeeze that in with no problems.
From personal expereince it should not be any more than that.

thanks! i still not sure if we're gunna do it or not, but i'll talk to my parents about the costs and what-nots. i think when they hear that plain (treated) tap water cant be used and that it will be over $200 dollars, not including the fish, they may not go for it... tho i will definatly do it some time in the future and keep all this in mind! =P (you have no idea how much help this! -hug- <3)
Well tap water in general is a NONO, but it can be done, but it might require more attention to the tank. Also you would have to make sure it is really clean tap water. I never recomend tap water, just to simplyfy the upkeep of the tank.

To initially setup the tank I think you are looking at;
Heater - (+-) $30
Filter - (+-) $50
Powerheads - (+-) $40 ea.
Total - (+-) $160
That would be a bare tank with NO sand or rock.
Sand - (+-) $20
Rock - (+-) $90 for 15 bl @ $6.00 per lb.
New Total - (+-) $270

it can happen with fresh water too. i had it happen a few months ago with one of my favorite guppies, Howl Jr (his son still lives on tho! i luflz u Howl Jr II!<3333333)
True, I just lost my leoperd cory cat, I still don't know what happend. I am always glad to help out.
 
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Akari_32

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well i just told my dad aabout how much it would costs, and he says that we arent gunna do it T_T i was really looking forward to haveing a new tank (and SW none the less!), but i still gotta do what they say... oh well, i'll do it when i get my own house >=-D

thanks for all your help guys, and feel free to add in more stuff if u want! <3
 

locoyo386

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well i just told my dad aabout how much it would costs, and he says that we arent gunna do it T_T i was really looking forward to haveing a new tank (and SW none the less!), but i still gotta do what they say... oh well, i'll do it when i get my own house >=-D

thanks for all your help guys, and feel free to add in more stuff if u want! <3
HI there,
Well sorry to heard that. You could setup a 10 gallon tank and it will be less then that. It still will cost because of the fish, although I have seen some for about $7 each, well here in CA anyways.
 
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Akari_32

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HI there,
Well sorry to heard that. You could setup a 10 gallon tank and it will be less then that. It still will cost because of the fish, although I have seen some for about $7 each, well here in CA anyways.
the only extra tanks i have are the 30 and a 1 1/2. i do have a 10 gallon but its now being used for the guppies (they got kicked out of the 20 long for the gourami, doradid, cuban ditch fish and rainbow shark).
 

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the only extra tanks i have are the 30 and a 1 1/2. i do have a 10 gallon but its now being used for the guppies (they got kicked out of the 20 long for the gourami, doradid, cuban ditch fish and rainbow shark).
Well if yo want a feel for the saltwater side, you could set up the 1-1/2 with a shrimp or a small goby, like a yellow goby. It might require more visual observation in your part, but in can be an option to get a feel for saltwater tanks.
 
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Akari_32

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i think i'll just wait till i have the money later down the road. i have a feriend looking at the tank for his fish, so i think i'll just let him have it. he's all excited and is already planing a DIY stand for it XD
 
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