Help Tank Setup How Do I

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by NeonTetraBoi, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. NeonTetraBoi

    NeonTetraBoiNew MemberMember

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    I want to get a saltwater fish tank preferably on the smaller scale 5-10 gallons and I never have had a saltwater tank so I was wondering what saltwater fish are beginner friendly and possibly any corals and the maintenance needed for this kind of tank
     
  2. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

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    Hi,
    Have a read of the stickies in the SW Beginner's forum as well as some of the threads in the Nano SW section (Nano Saltwater Tanks - Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum).

    Nano tanks are not easy, and finding stock to suit is very difficult. IMO, there's no fish that should be put in less than a 20G. Some inverts can be ok, and with proper husbandry, some corals can be ok too.

    Most SW species grow too big, but some can do ok in smaller tanks. Check out some of the species in the Nano SW Fish section Small Saltwater Fish Tank (nano) Species
     
  3. OP
    OP
    NeonTetraBoi

    NeonTetraBoiNew MemberMember

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    Thank you for telling me! So I think I will get a 20 gallon tank what would you recommend for stocking it?
     
  4. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

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    Depending what you want to concentrate more on as in corals vs fish look into frag tanks.
     
  5. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

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    It really depends what you like. Clowns (Oscellaris and Percula) and blennies can be pretty cool and personable. Pyjama and Begaii cardinals are cool looking, but IME not as personable.
    You really need to think about the long term goals/aspirations for the tank, as this will determine your stocking. What you do now can have a big impact on what you can do later.
    Have a look at my series of beginner guides, particularly this post about stocking a SW Reef tank Starting a SW System - Part 3 - Designing, Setting up and Running your system
     
  6. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

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    Agreed with everything @ryanr has said. (WOW... nice to 'see' you Ryan! Your content has been so helpful to me, but I think you haven't actually 'been here' since I started.)

    @NeonTetraBoi - I'm biased, of course, but can honestly say that a 20 gallon long makes an excellent first reef tank. If you're thinking fish and corals, you're thinking of a reef tank. Bigger is nice, of course, but isn't always feasible, so I find the 20g perfect for these reasons... (1) They aren't so deep, so easier/cheaper to light for corals... and lighting is of the utmost importance for corals. (2) 20g longs offer 30 inches of side to side swim space, and this helps with stocking. Consider that even nano saltwater fish can have big attitudes, and a long tank can provide more territorial space. (3) Being still in the nano range, we can save money by not having to buy some of the equipment that larger setups need... for example, a skimmer.

    Please do read through the stickies in the Saltwater Beginner's Forum, including Ryan's in-depth posts teaching us to understand what we're doing with an in-home marine ecosystem, and how to take things step by step. The best line of advice in this hobby is, nothing good happens fast in a salty tank.
    Starting a SW System - Part 1 - Where to start (Research)
    Starting a SW System - Part 2 - Bringing Nature Home (Researching Equipment)
    Starting a SW System - Part 3 - Designing, Setting up and Running your system
    @Nart 's Nano Tank on a Budget is also a very good read and lays things out step by step. This guy started out being the best salty mentor I could ask for and has turned into a true friend. I have always found his advice to be very trustworthy.
    Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners
    Finally, if you want to see what lots of research and patience can lead to with a 20g long mixed reef, check out my own salty thread. This one is full of chatter, and super long, so if you're not in the mood for a very long read, go ahead and look at some of the first and last pics to see our little reef grow. Also, I do try to keep up with the equipment and stock list in the very first post.
    Stella's Salty 20g
     
  7. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    I agree with the above, a 20 gallon Long would be the way to go if you are content with a few small fish. The length gives the fish room to swim and the more shallow depth gives you better light penetration for coral growth. It also gives you quite a few more options for stocking. A 5 gallon is very difficult for a first timer and it isn't best suited for ANY saltwater fish IMHO. A 10 gallon is limited to 2 of the following:

    Smallest Gobies
    Firefish
    Possum Wrasse
    Tailspot Blenny (after algae starts growing)

    With the 20 gallon long you get the aforementioned and the possibility of going up to 4 fish total:

    Ocellaris (ie Nemo) or Percula variety clownfish
    Any Cardinalfish
    Royal Gramma Basslet
    Pink Streaked Wrasse
    Any Goby
    Any Blenny
    It's a bit of a stretch but if you want something really interesting you could try a Flame Hawkfish (but you can't stock it with really small fish or it will eat them). Tons of personality and they hop around from rock to rock.
     
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

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    Flame Hawks are awesome, so funny to watch. They also enjoy shrimp, so be careful choosing a hawk.

    @stella1979 - nice to see/meet you. Glad you've found my content helpful :emoji_sunglasses:
     
  9. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    Yes, forgot to mention they can find smaller inverts to be snacks.
     
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