New To Saltwater

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Setup' started by luke355027355027, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    Hi guys i am planning on starting up a saltwater tank. I am new and will need a lot of help so heres my thinking. The tank i have now is a 75 gallon and is hoising freshwater fish. I will move these fish to a new tank.

    Than i will dry the tank out wipe it down and let it sit upside down for a day. After that i plan to fill it up with the old dried gravel. Or should i use crushed coral.

    Next i plan to fill the tank with saltwater and run my cleaned out filter for a day or two. After this i will add my 20 lbs or live rock and 50 lbs or dried rock. I plan on having a powerhead moving water from the live rock to the dry rock. After a week i will add a clown fish pair. Now should i wait longer or add them i will be buying larger ones.

    Also whats a protein skimmer.

    Lastly do i need special lighting, i do not plan on having corals. Just a lionfish a snowflake eel and the clown fish.

    Also how do i clean saltwater tanks protein skimmer. And do i vacum the gravel? thanks
  2. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi, glad to see more people getting into SW - it's a great aspect of the hobby.

    Happy to try and help where I can, but I've gotta be honest, the first port of call is research. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet, but I've started a bit of series on starting a saltwater, part 1 is available here:

    There's a lot of text, but it should (hopefully) give an insight into what research you should be considering, and where to start on the journey.

    Onto your specific queries:
    Tank preparation - Once you've finished washing it, I'd also give it a good wash with a solution of warm water and white vinegar. Then wash out again, and let dry. I wouldn't put the tank upside down, it just puts pressure on the top edges of the panes, and restricts air flow. If you wanted, you could place a sheet over the top to keep stuff from falling in (dust etc)

    Substrate - I wouldn't use the old gravel, The crushed coral would be ok, as would any arognite based sand, or live sand.

    Filtration - personally I wouldn't use a canister, well not for bio-filtration anyway. Certainly for mechanical and water polishing. Canisters can become a nitrate factory very quickly, so regular cleaning of the filtration media is required (regardless of canister or not)

    Filling the tank etc. My approach would be to fill the tank with Saltwater (are you mixing your own or using natural sea water), and let it run. Let it come up to temperature and stabilise. If you're mixing your own SW, then keep an eye on your SG and/or salinity - are you using a refractometer or hydrometer?

    You'll need to cycle the tank with the Live Rock in it - this process can take anywhere from 1 day, to 8 weeks or more. Same as FW cycling, you need to have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, some nitrates.

    I'd recommend at least two powerheads to provide alternating currents in the tank.

    Protein Skimmer - there's plenty of info in the SW Beginners pages here at fishlore (main site) on Protein Skimmers. If after reading about them, it still doesn't make sense, by all means come back and ask.

    Lighting - doesn't have to be special/specific if there's no coral, but decent lighting will help promote growth of coralline algae on your live rock :D

    A Lionfish? Interesting choice, they are predatory (could kill your other fish) and venomous :
    Eel? They can also eat any fish small enough to fit in their mouth, not to mention they are escape artists:

    Cleaning - a good algae scraper/magnet is almost a must have, I don't vacuum my tank (it'd just suck all the sand out), just water changes and algae scrapers. You also need to clean-out (empty) your skimmer cup regularly (sometimes daily)

    I think a little more research, and then come back with some questions.........

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