I want to set up a marine tank


Ok, brand new to the marine side and full of questions:
I live right next to the sea in Wales, UK and want to start a marine tank. I have access to loads of rock-pools and tidal areas where I can catch the local inhabitants, but as the water is not particularly good quality, would like to find out how to create the right environment in my tank without carrying the water from the beach.
The tank is a brand new corner tank and will hold around 30 gallons. It will be the centerpiece of a series of 6 tanks running around 2 walls of the living room.
Livestock would be mainly shrimps, crabs, small fish, annenomies and anything else that catches in the nets to start with but with the eventual aI'm of keeping sea horses, starfish and clown fish. (A long way off!)
The main aI'm is to establish the tank using easily obtained inhabitants to mature the tank before spending heaps of money on what we really want to display!

1. What equipment would the tank need, as in heater, powerhead, filters, airstones?
(As our waters are relatively cold, how would these inhabitants take to being in warmer waters?)
2. What tests would I need to do to start up and to maintain the tank?
3. What sort of foods would I use especially for the annenomies?
4. How frequently would the water need to be changed and how would I maintain the salinity?
5. What would be the ideal temperature for the water?
6. Should I add seaweed etc?
7. What is a protien skimmer and what is it's purpose?

I have the idea that sand would be better than gravel, and this can be obtained easily, but would contain things like flees, snails and ragworms, would they be ok, or would they cause problems down the line?

Any ideas?


Wait on the anemone's. Also if you are to catch them make sure they are legal to catch first. you need sand for the worm's and pods that dig in your substrate.

Equipment: protein skimmer, Heater, Filter, powerhead, if you are using synthetic salt and not natural then I would go for instant ocean.

The animals will have to be slowly acclimated to the water. I would use the drip method

Your tank has to cycle with the sand and live rock before adding animals to it. That can take anywhere from 1 week - 1 month and sometimes longer.

Compatibility: Make sure your adding animals that can live with eachother in harmony. Seahorses are slow and if you add fast animals like clowns they will die. Also if you have the anemone with them they will get stung since seahorses are slow. You don't need to add seaweed.

Protein skimmer: To take out natural organics in the water.

For the tests I would use API's saltwater master test kit.

foods: you can use... frozen, flake, freeze dried and pellets.  Make sure you read the back off the bottle to. for frozen I would get krill or brine shrimp for treats.

Water change: buy a refractometer not a hydrometer. 5% weekly or 10% every 2 weeks or 40% every month. a refractometer will tell you your salinity. make sure its exact. the PH has to be the same to or else you will kill them. Make sure your temp is exact. It can be 1.5F higher but not lower.

food for anemones: squid, silversides, feeder shrimp. You will need a MH ballast with 250 watts for photosynthesis.

temp: 78 - 81F is ideal

Do not collect sand from you waters. You may spread a disease throughout the tank

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