New to Saltwater

Annahhayy

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Hello! I’m Hannah and I was gifted a 29gal tank and kind of wanted to try salt for the first time. I’m kind of wanting two clowns and an anemone if possible. How should I cycle the tank and what all should I add to ensure that it thrives? I also wouldn’t mind some advice and general care instructions from experienced people such as you all. I’ve done basic research but fact sheets aren’t as real and personal as advice from others in the hobby :) thank you all!
 

Mrfister1116

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Is it one of the biocube or jbj all in ones or just a 29?
Biggest thing for anemones is lights, I like my LEDs and did keep bubble tips under current USA lights( relatively inexpensive sadly given their price point) though they seem happier under my new black box lights.
The biocube/jbj have either the led or power compact bulbs so should be fine. But lights the single biggest investment of you have to buy them.
For filtration you want live rock, you can buy dry rock for cost savings and then a small amount of live rock from a lfs or just buy the live rock. In a 29g you want somewhere around 25+ pounds of rock, atleast one large rock atleast 4-6 thick will help with nitrate production.
Rock also helps with ph buffering.
You’ll need to think about water, here there are three stores I can buy RO water or( like I do) you can buy an ro filter ( I do suggest Rodi but it’s not 100% necessary)
Get a good test kit as anemones are susceptible to water condition changes fairly severely, on the plus side clowns are pretty tolerant

I suggest live arginine sand for its ph buffering and atleast in theory bacteria seeding You don’t have to have any and it can go as thick as you like, there are pros and cons to all of it

For filtering the all in ones are generally alright, for a regular tank the ultimate is putting an overflow in ( drilling or one of the boxes) and a sump ... this can really hit the budget for obvious reasons but I’ve known quite a few people who just use HOB filters and are fine. I’ve read of people just using under gravel filters though have no first or even second hand experience on that with sw someone here likely will.

For cycleing I have had good luck with instant oceans bacteria booster to jump start the cycle. use your test kit and either add ammonia or you can put food in the tank and let it rot to start the cycle. People cycle with fish I find this mean to the fish and don’t suggest it but it is done.

Once your up and running and seeing those nitrates you can get your clowns, from my own experience I’d say buy a pair and add them together so hopefully they don’t bicker. On the anemones you want the tank well established before you add one so wait atleast a couple months.


There’s protein skimmers and power heads/wave makers and all manner of other things but a good filter and checking your water quality with a test kit will with plenty of patience and diligence get you some truly rewarding results.
 

saltwater60

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Cycle it for a month then add clowns. Then wait another month or so and add the anemone. Also make sure you research the clowns and anemone to make sure they are compatible. A bubble tip is the easier anemone and what I’d recommend to start.
You will need a good light and possibly a protein skimmer or you’ll have to do more water changes. Don’t forget to feed the anemone too.
 

Jesterrace

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The first thing I recommend doing is researching the differences between freshwater and saltwater as precious little knowledge transfers between the two. This vid addresses many of the common mistakes made by folks transferring over:

 

ryanr

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Hi, welcome to Fishlore.
When it comes to cycling, there's no set time period, there's many factors, but you want to wait until ammonia and nitrite are at 0, and some nitrate.
There's a lot of great info to get you started in the Saltwater Beginners stickies.

For stocking, if you're going with two clowns, I always recommend buying a known pair to limit/reduce the chances of aggression.

Anemones are more demanding, and I really wouldn't add one to an immature tank. The general advice is wait 6 to 12 months before adding a 'nem, once the tank has really settled and is stable.
 
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Annahhayy

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Cycle it for a month then add clowns. Then wait another month or so and add the anemone. Also make sure you research the clowns and anemone to make sure they are compatible. A bubble tip is the easier anemone and what I’d recommend to start.
You will need a good light and possibly a protein skimmer or you’ll have to do more water changes. Don’t forget to feed the anemone too.
Could I add starfish or maybe an urchin?
 

Jesterrace

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Could I add starfish or maybe an urchin?
Both require well established tanks with pretty stable parameters and lower nitrate levels. I just added a Long Spined Urchin to my tank a couple of weeks ago since I wanted an algae eater that my Melanurus Wrasse wouldn't eat and my tank has been up just shy of 2 years (no, you shouldn't have to wait that long). Be aware that Urchins can eat Coralline Algae (the harder crusted purple and white stuff) so that is another reason to wait as it will be easier for it to find plenty to eat once the Coralline algae takes a hold as the tank matures.
 
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