Going Salty!

Lollipop0912

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So yep. After 5 FW years (and a brief SW stint) I’m ready to leap into sw. Here’s the list of things I think I’ll need... (for a 10 gallon setup)
1. Tank (check)
2. Filter (check)
3. Heater (check)
4. Pump/ wave maker (check)
5. Sand (6 dollars)
6. Live rock (10 dollars)
7.RO water from store (10 dollars)
8. Clowns (40 dollars for a pair or ORA online)
9. Refractometer 20 dollars
10. Light 4 coral : 25 dollars
11. Coral budget: 20 dollars
12. Unforeseen expenses: 20 dollars
12. Total cost: 151 dollars
Does anybody have anything to add to my list? And is it seriously plausible to do this for under 100 dollars??? (I doubt it)
And I blame
@stella1979 , @Gypsy13 , @Nart , and @KinsKicks for the sw addiction...
 

PoorBigBlue

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YES! I'm so happy to hear!

For a 10 gallon, as long as you don't want to do any corals, you might be able to get away with something around $100. Do you have a light for the tank? Anything will do, but I'd recommend staying away from a super low Kelvin light, as you'll just be encouraging algae. Something around 6500K will be cheap and readily available, but won't look all that salty.

Instead of getting a hydrometer, I'd wholeheartedly recommend that you look into a refractometer instead. They do the same things, but hydrometers are pretty innaccurate. Hydrometers will run you around $10 or so, while a cheap refractometer will run you around $20 on Ebay, and even a cheap one will be much better than any swing-arm hydrometer.

If you're using store water, make sure that the store is actually using an RO unit. I've heard horror stories of stores using plain water filters (like Brita), or of them using RO units but never changing the filter. Your own unit is the safest thing you can do, but I understand that it's a big cost up-front, and if you don't plan on doing corals, it shouldn't be a big issue. I used distilled water from walmart for years and never had issues - you might look into that.

You're forgetting a clean-up crew - even a FOWLR tank needs one. I'd recommend a variety of snails to start out with. They're going to be cheap, easy to get, and won't cause issues down the road like some crabs tend to.

You are aware of the saltwater nitrogen cycle, right? AKA, you know that the filter doesn't actually hold your biological filter (or not most of it), and that your live rock does the majority of the "filtering". And, of course, normal cycle rules still apply - the rock you're getting likely isn't cured, so you'll need to be testing the tank and waiting to get livestock until it's done.
 
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Lollipop0912

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Thanks for the advice! I forgot about the clean up crew. I’ve actually already technically “gone salty”. I kept dwarf seahorses for 1/2 a year. I was pretty good. The BBS was just too much to do for me. I have a job, I can’t be hatching and feeding all day! I’ve checked with my store, they deffinately use ro water. I am aware of the SW cycle and I wish FW and SW BB were the same, but alas, they aren’t. I’ll deffinately do a refractometer this time. So much more accurate!
Edit: I just became a well known member WOOOHOO!
 
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Lollipop0912

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With the tank stocking is 2 clowns and a few snails overstocked? Understocked?
 

PoorBigBlue

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I'd say 2 clowns plus your CUC is pretty well stocked. It'll leave you with some wiggle room, and you won't have to worry about aggression from your clowns as they age.

Since you won't be doing coral (I assume), you won't have quite so much extra waste flying around in the tank, which will make things easier.
 
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Lollipop0912

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I’m steering clear form coral because it’s expensive. I’ll start with some chaeto and maybe a fake bta. #findingnemo
 

PoorBigBlue

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You might want to look into some different macroalgae. A marine planted tank can be absolutely gorgeous, and things tend to be cheaper, from the lighting to the macros themselves. Plus, water quality is usually helped immensely.
 

Jesterrace

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Lollipop0912 said:
So yep. After 5 FW years (and a brief SW stint) I’m ready to leap into sw. Here’s the list of things I think I’ll need... (for a 10 gallon setup)
1. Tank (check)
2. Filter (check)
3. Heater (check)
4. Pump/ wave maker (check)
5. Sand (6 dollars)
6. Live rock (10 dollars)
7.RO water from store (10 dollars)
8. Clowns (40 dollars for a pair or ORA online)
9. Hydrometer (unsure on cost)
Does anybody have anything to add to my list? And is it seriously plausible to do this for under 100 dollars??? (I doubt it)
And I blame
@stella1979 , @Gypsy13 , @Nart , and @KinsKicks for the sw addiction...
You can but will be seriously limited on stocking options. I personally would not keep clowns in a 10 gallon tank, it really is too small for them (Captive breds are pretty active). These would be better choices:

Firefish
Possum/Pink Streaked Wrasse
Small Gobies

As for your list, skip the Hydrometer and go with a Refractometer (About $20-$22 shipped from Amazon). Hydrometers are really inaccurate for measuring salinity. Also has the 10 gallon tank equipment that you have been used? You will need to sanitize it and do a tap water and distilled white vinegar mix run through all the equipment and then spray out and wipe down completely and let air dry for 24 hours.

To give you an idea of how active captive bred clowns are here is how my snowflake was in my 36 gallon bowfront (keep in mind it was only 1.5-2 inches at the time):

 

david1978

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I have seen it done but I never actually sat and watched them long enough to see how they were acting. So I don't really know.
 

PoorBigBlue

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I've personally got a clown in a 10, and it's fine for the moment - although she's just around 1".

Bigger is always better, but false percs are usually said to be okay in 10 gallons. Some will disagree, and they have fair points. I may feel completely differently once my clown reaches 3", who knows. Look up some 10 gallons with full-grown clowns in them, and see if that's something you're all good with - personally, I do think a full-grown pair usually looks a little bit cramped in a 10. For that reason, I've stuck with a single clown, and I do plan to upgrade as soon as I'm not restricted by dorm rules.
 

Jesterrace

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One of the things I am guilty of is that I never recommend a fish that can't comfortably live out it's life in a tank of a given size. Yes, people re-home (I actually did it with my Melanurus Wrasse as it just happened to coincide with an upgrade I was doing anyways) but in general I am not a fan of the practice as it adds stress to both the fish and owner (as catching and re-homing fish IS NOT an exact science). Hence my recommendation above. For some odd reason Firefish have been bumped up to a 20 gallon minimum on live aquaria. Not sure why that is as Firefish generally don't move around a ton. They tend to hang out outside their den/burrow by only 5-6 inches and just sit there in case they sense danger so they can dart back in very quickly.
 

Katie13

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I'm brand new to SW, but I'm keeping a pair of Ocellaris Clowns in a 20g. I don't think I'd keep them in anything less than a 15g. If you want a low budget tank, I would suggest a pair of standard Firefish for a 10g. The pair will probably run you $20-$30.
 

Jesterrace

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I wouldn't do pairs with Firefish. They aren't aggressive to other fish, but they hate each other with a passion once they get established. The only way I would do a pair of firefish is if they were a male and female mated pair, which is hard to do since there are no distinguishing characteristics between male and female. A regular Firefish and a Small Goby would be the best choice for a 10 gallon without breaking the bank.
 

krzydmnd

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An ATO is not absolutely necessary but should be considered an early upgrade option. A salt tank of that size will have a lot of evaporation so you'll be topping off a few times a day which can cause salinity swings.
 
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Lollipop0912

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Thanks! As previously mentioned, I’ve had a 10g saltwater tank before and am framilliar with the danger of salinity swings and the need to top off water.
 
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