How To Set Up And Maintain A Saltwater Aquarium? :)

Mike1995

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so.. I know some people helped me before on here with saltwater but i really honestly didn't understand a lot of it. My first attempt went terrible lol. i really love clownfish. They're my favorite animal.
can someone explain how to set up, cycle and maintain etc a small saltwater aquarium? (40 gallons or less). And whatever other information that will be beneficial? thank you. also what is a good starter setup?
 

Seahorse man

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so.. I know some people helped me before on here with saltwater but i really honestly didn't understand a lot of it. My first attempt went terrible lol. i really love clownfish. They're my favorite animal.
can someone explain how to set up, cycle and maintain etc a small saltwater aquarium? (40 gallons or less). And whatever other information that will be beneficial? thank you. also what is a good starter setup?
I started out with a 55 gallon, and now have two reef tanks, so I know what your going through.
First get your sand in, then rock, then fill it up. I added 20 drops of pure ammonia each day for 6 weeks unroll I got a reading of 0. Once it's cycled, your homefree. Keep up on water changes, evaporation, and testing and you'll be set. Honestly, saltwater isn't any more difficult than freshwater, just more expensive:banghead:. Good luck with you endeavours!
 

Seahorse man

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is there a certain way to measure salinity?
If you have a hydrometer, Dip it in the water and hold it up, it will have a needle that swings up and down. Make sure it is between 1.021 and 1.026. If you have a refractometer, clean off the lens with freshwater. Put some ro/di water in it and look through it, twist the calibration screw untill it says 0. Clean it off and put a few drops of your saltwater on the lens make sure there are no bubbles. Add water or salt until it is between 1.021 and 1.026.

I'm not an expert on these things, but this is just how I do it.
 
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Gundy1024

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If you have a hydrometer, Dip it in the water and hold it up, it will have a needle that swings up and down. Make sure it is between 2.021 and 1.026. If you have a refractometer, clean off the lens with freshwater. Put some ro/di water in it and look through it, twist the calibration screw untill it says 0. Clean it off and put a few drops of your saltwater on the lens make sure there are no bubbles. Add water or salt until it is between 0.021 and 0.026.

I'm not an expert on these things, but this is just how I do it.
I think you meant 1.021-1.026, just want to make sure they get the right info.
 
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Mike1995

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is it better to use ro di water to mix salt?
 

Gundy1024

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YES, I would never use tap. You can buy salt water from your LFS or if you can afford it a RO/DI system is a big plus. Remember to use a powerhead and heater when mixing your saltwater though.
 

Gundy1024

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Back to your first question though I started SW with a 28 Gallon Nano. I know that bigger is better in the SW world but it is also way more expensive. I wanted to try this 28G to see if I could handle it. If I can I will bet a much larger tank later down the road. If you want a good read I would suggest Culprit's thread. He has a nice long journey into the SW world. Also there are loads of informational videos out there that will educate you. I have a thread as well about the journey for my Nano Cube. Actually need to update it and let everyone how my tank is doing.
 

Jesterrace

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Back to your first question though I started SW with a 28 Gallon Nano. I know that bigger is better in the SW world but it is also way more expensive. I wanted to try this 28G to see if I could handle it. If I can I will bet a much larger tank later down the road. If you want a good read I would suggest Culprit's thread. He has a nice long journey into the SW world. Also there are loads of informational videos out there that will educate you. I have a thread as well about the journey for my Nano Cube. Actually need to update it and let everyone how my tank is doing.
It is a catch 22 on that since if you upgrade you end up spending WAY MORE money than if you went with the larger tank in the first place. That said, you also don't want a big tank with lots of equipment and a very steep learning curve and expense for a saltwater newbie. I would say a smaller saltwater tank (ie 40 gallons or less) is fine provided you keep it as simple and cheap as possible, thereby getting your feet wet with a smaller and easier to maintain setup but not completely blowing your budget if you decide to upgrade. I ended up spending way too much on my 36 gallon bowfront and upgraded to my 90 gallon after just under a year and lost a ton of money on it, but if I had known then what I know now, I could've spent significantly less on my tank and gotten a relatively simple experience that was worth while and upgraded the right way.
 
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