Clownfish Care Questions

Mike1995

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so.. Some of you might know but i have many freshwater tanks and many fish. But i have no experience with saltwater. I am getting a small 15 gallon saltwater tank on Sunday with two clownfish. ITS A TANK IM BUYING FROM SOMEONE THATS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED. comes with one of those filters built into the tank, a heater and a light, and live rock. Can i use any substrate? sand? What do i do with the live rock? Is there a way to attach corals? And what do clownfish eat? How do I um... Make the water saltwater i guess?
I've never owned saltwater so any advice would be great. I don't however want to buy any insane expensive equipment right now so just basic care tips would be great!
 
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Mike1995

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Na not really. I've been waiting for something like this to come along.
 

stella1979

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Sorry I've left you waiting.... Give me a few and I'll answer all your questions as best as I can.
 

stella1979

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Definitely go with sand for substrate. You could get live sand but you definitely don't have to.

Live rock - it's best to transfer it quickly and in a bucket of tank water if at all possible. When removed from a tank, live rock starts to experience die off of the life within it. In particular, you will lose some of the beneficial bacteria... how much will depend on how long it is without water and flow. If you have a significant amount of die off you may go through a mini cycle.

Is there anything in the way of biomedia coming with the tank? Most SW tanks depend on the live rock alone to house BB and hold the cycle. In smaller tanks, or for those that do not want a lot of rock in the display, biomedia in the filter is sometimes used. Liverock rubble in the filter may be used as biomedia.

Before thinking too much about corals, let's get your water straight. First, mixing saltwater. You'll need a refractometer for measuring salinity, water and salt. You'll also need a mixing container, a spare heater and a spare pump. Saltwater needs to be mixed for a while and trying to do it by hand will lead to Popeye arms. Your other option is to simply buy saltwater from an LFS, it may be easier on a smaller tank. NEVER add water to your aquarium without first testing the salinity

On to the water, it can't be just any old water. Most reefers go with RODI water with a TDS of zero.

For example, my tap water has a TDS of 325 or higher. It's definitely full of calcium and who knows what other minerals, not to mention 40ppm nitrates. The salt that you buy will contain the right levels of the right minerals for your tank. So, my salt will bring calcium levels of RODI water from zero up to 430, which is perfect. If I were to add the salt to my tap water, calcium levels would be off the charts and no good for a reef tank.

Tap water also often contains phosphates. You absolutely don't want to have phosphates in your tank. Phosphates should remain very near to zero, like even .05 is considered high. High phosphates lead to algae and cyanobacteria outbreaks.

This leads me into testing. You can use API for ammonia & nitrites. You can use it for nitrates too if you're going fish only, that is, no corals. I know you want corals! So, for nitrates, phosphates, alkalinity (KH), calcium and magnesium I would recommend a different brand as API is known to be inaccurate for these tests. I use RedSea and Salifert tests, but you can't go wrong with a Hanna checker. Unless you're a cowboy like @grantm91 , you'll want to test for these things now and then. You want to keep them all in the recommended range if you want corals to thrive.

Attaching corals is often done using Gorilla Glue Gel. It's Cyanoacrylate that you're looking for in glues. You can also use an epoxy like the Aquastik.

Clownfish will usually eat a quality marine pellet or flake. They'd also love frozen foods like mysis and brine shrimp.

Hope this isn't too much. You could certainly start with fish only with live rock for a while, before moving ahead with corals and the expense involved with that. With a FOWLR tank you treat it pretty much like FW, get it cycled and do water changes for reducing nitrates. Corals are another game with the lighting they require and keeping stable parameters.

You can check out these build threads too if you want. They may answer some questions.

Stella's Salty 20g

Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist
 
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Mike1995

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thank you!!!
currently i don't believe there is anything in the way of biomedia. It's been running and the live rock seems to be alive and well.
is there something i can do to reduce phosphates?? I know there's seachem stuff that removes it. Will that work?
where can i get RODI water? Or is that something i have to create myself? You mentioned buying saltwater from a store. Is that RODI? basically you're saying i definitely don't want calcium right?
 

stella1979

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No, you do want calcium. You want the right levels of it though. Your salt will achieve that, so you don't want to add the salt to water that already has calcium. Most tap water does. It was just an example.

Yes, saltwater sold at an LFS should be made with RODI. Remember, always check salinity before adding new water to the tank.

There are ways to reduce phosphates. I haven't needed any and there's no reason to think you will yet. Let's cross that road when we get there. You will need a phosphate test though.
 
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Mike1995

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ah ok! So for now i can probably get rodi water at my lfs?
 
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Mike1995

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I'll look into the devices and all you mentioned!
 

JR. Reefer

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when you move or add rock into a tank it releases a ton of ammonia... do attach coral you can use coral glue or wedge it into the rock but first make sure there is a good enough light... when you add live sand it clouds the water a ton and I'm not sure if it hurts the fish but i would ask LFS to hold fish for week or two until the tank is ready. clown fish will eat pellets and different frozen foods ask LFS what the best is.
 

JLeeM

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I think you're really brave trying a saltwater tank. My girlfriend wants me to try someday. There's so much I don't understand though. Like, trying to read threads about it confuses me. About all I can say is I really like the little clown fish.
 

KinsKicks

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I think you're really brave trying a saltwater tank. My girlfriend wants me to try someday. There's so much I don't understand though. Like, trying to read threads about it confuses me. About all I can say is I really like the little clown fish.
Lol! You can totally do it . There's only really a couple bits of extra equipment, and once you get past the learning curve (kinda like FW), SW really isn't that bad if you have a decent sized tank, set-up and some hardy fish .
 

stella1979

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I think you're really brave trying a saltwater tank. My girlfriend wants me to try someday. There's so much I don't understand though. Like, trying to read threads about it confuses me. About all I can say is I really like the little clown fish.
You can do it!!! I was so very confused and overwhelmed before this journey began. I was doing my research, but it was difficult for me to understand it all without any practical/hands on learning. I would just recommend taking things one step at a time and moving slowly. My tank was started in May, but I started researching and gathering equipment well before. I thought the confusion would never go away... now here I am trying to help, (push/shove/enable), others to do the same.
 
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