Question, got equipment

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atmmachine816

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So I got the for sure ok from my parents, it's my tank I can do what I want, just don't "spend a lot of money". So I'm going Saltwater  (unless my betta doesn't do good in my community tank which I'll find out soon, though he should since my last one did. sooo......

Tomorrow my aunt and I are going around to lfs's and I'm gona look for sales and I'm also going to the biggest Saltwater store in my state, so that means I'm gona get the equipment, and if I have enough money LR if that's ok.

So here's what I need

-glass versa-top 10-15$ (need it since my hood isn't covered and can't be over open Saltwater)
-aquaclear filter 10-15$
-maxi-jet 400 15-20$
-bag of salt mix 10-15$

So that leaves me to supply heater, tank, and lighting along with thermometer so I'll then have:
-full hood
-filter
-heater
-thermometer
-salt mix
-powerhead

And still to get

Hydrometer-Will I be ok with this to start off with?
test kit-Do I need this the first month or so while the tank is cycling or would it be ok to buy a bit later

If I don't have to buy a test kit immediately I could get the LR tomorrow and buy the test kit in the beginning of march, unless I find a bunch of good deals. What type of test kit will I need to test what levles, since it will be fowlr to begin with I don't need a reef test kit right?

Remember I'm a kid and don't have a real job so that's why I'm asking can I not buy the test kit till later when I get my allowance because I get money at weird times like shoveling last week.

Thanks, fast response would be appreciated.

O yes I understand I need patience and I have that, it's just that I'm not going to be able to go to the Saltwater store for awhile again and I'd rather get the LR there since they'l have a nice selection.


O my friend told me to get the maxi-jet, if I find like an aquaclear for cheaper could I go with that?
 

agsansoo

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Re: Question, Mike can you help ASAP

OK ... I'm not Mike !
What size is the tank ?
 
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Mike

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Re: Question, Mike can you help ASAP

That was my first question too agansoo - How big is the tank going to be? Smaller tanks are more work. Don't forget about the recurring costs associated with saltwater tanks such as the salt mix used in the partial water changes. Also, saltwater fish are way more expensive than freshwater fish. I don't want to discourage you at all, I just want you to know this up front.

If you're getting live rock and not putting fish in the tank until you can get a test kit to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and the pH, then I think you'll be ok waiting.

I like the maxi-jets but I don't know about the aquaclear since I've not used them yet. I've found that you get what you pay for when it comes to protein skimmers and power heads.

You'll also need to get a substrate. Go with an aragonite sand which will help buffer the water which should help keep the pH levels where they should be. Don't worry about getting "live sand" which is way expensive and your sand bed will become "live sand" over time anyway. A hydrometer is a necessity since it will measure the sg/salinity and you'll need this from the start for when you're mixing the water for the tank.

You don't mention a protein skimmer... If you're not planning on getting a skimmer, plan on more frequent partial water changes. It will really depend on how lightly you stock the tank and how much live rock you get.

Take your time and have fun with this. I think the research and planning is one of the best parts of this hobby.

Mike
 
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atmmachine816

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Re: Question, Mike can you help ASAP

O snap sorry about that, it's going to be 5.5 gallons..a challenge. Sorry forgot to mention that, I just copiend and pasted what I was asking my friend since he's got a lot of Saltwater tanks, I just wanted different opinions.

Ya I know about the reccuring costs, I had that with my Freshwater planted tank with the co2 and ferts.

Ya I'm JUST getting live rock today and letting it run for well over a month and getting a test kit later BEFORE I get any fish or inverts.

Ok that helps a bit

Ya I was going to ask about the aragonite sand, I should get enough for a 1" substrate right? Ya I'm going to get a hydrometer though my friend said it's best to use RO water, what's your opinion on this and agsasnoo

Ya it's 5.5 gallons so I'v read that a protein skimmer isn't necessary with frequent water changes.

Ya I know I'm kinda all of a sudden rushing into it because I saw pico tanks on google and realized I could use my 5.5 gallon tank for Saltwater and I'd like to get the LR at this large Saltwater store I'm going to today and since I'm not going there again for awhile I'd like to get it today. And since I had looked into getting a Saltwater tank awhile ago I think I got the basics down to setup a Saltwater tank.

thanks a lot, and don't worry you didn't discourage me, I'v been looking into Saltwater for 8 months now and was shot down once by my parents but now it's ok since I don't have to get another tank
 

agsansoo

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Re: Question, Mike can you help ASAP

WOW .... 5.5 gallons ... This should be a challenge.

>> Ya I'm JUST getting live rock today and letting it run for well over a month and getting a test kit later BEFORE I get any fish or inverts.
Good move on the live rock and waiting .... Test kit will be a MUST on this small of a system ! Water parameters could change very quickly..

>> Ya I was going to ask about the aragonite sand, I should get enough for a 1" substrate right?
I'm going to start a little controversy now. Here goes ... I would not have any substrate in this little system. Yes I would go Bare Bottom !
This way you can remove any debris off the bottom daily before it becomes dangerous.

>> Ya I'm going to get a hydrometer though my friend said it's best to use RO water
Hydrometer a must if your mixing your own water. Does your LFS sell saltwater ?

>> Ya it's 5.5 gallons so I'v read that a protein skimmer isn't necessary with frequent water changes.
I would like to see you get a small nano skimmer of some kind in the near future. Even a air driven skimmer ! I used a Berlin Air-lift
after my tank was cycled. It couldn't hurt !
 
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atmmachine816

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Re: Question, Mike can you help ASAP

Ok I only got the equipment, no live rock. They told me I should have my tank running 24hours before adding live rock so I didn't get any.

No substrate is find for me, SAVE money since I can only find 20lb. bags and I think I would only need like 5-10 it's a big waste of money

Ya I'm mixinig my own salt since It will save me 25$ every 50 gallons if I mix it myself, though eventually I'd like to buy a RO unit so I don't have to keep buying distilled water since it's more convient for my parents to buy distilled water since the place that sells RO water is really far away, though my aunt says they sell RO water at wal-mart and that's convient.

Ya if I can find one I might put one on.
 
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atmmachine816

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1. hydrometer
2. maxi-jet 400
3. gloves
4. rio mini powerhead
5. 50 gallons of salt mix
6. aquaclear 20
7. glass versa-top
8. all together

Working on getting some distilled or RO water to get it running, then liverock
 

discus guy

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if u wanna do a small tank then just buy a nano cube they are much easier then buying all the filters and everything they are like 200 dollars and they have all the filteration built in them and they work wonders. its a pain in butt to have a small tank on filters other then the nano cubes. just a suggestion
 

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Not a fan of Aquaclear personally but here in South Africa they are very popular in Freshwater, I have never seen one on Saltwater, you seem to have a space problem.

Muz
 
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atmmachine816

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Well I already have the equipment and I'd rather be able to buy my own equipment rather than have to modify what comes in the cube. They also go well over 200$ here and my parents don't want another tank, I'v been looking at them though, I don't like how there so deep and all.

I'v never used an aquaclear before either though I'v been told they are good for a small filter on a Saltwater tanks to put stuff in. Do'nt know
 
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Mike

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Like agansoo said, I think a 5 gallon Saltwater tank will be challenging and you are extremely limited to what you could keep in it. The bare bottom's not a bad idea either for keeping the water parameters as stable as possible. Be ready for algae probs if you slack at all on the partial water changes.
 
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atmmachine816

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Thanks Mike, I'm up for the challenge, though it shouldn't be all that hard as long as I keep up on water changes like you said and take my time setting it up.

How often and how much water changes should I do...20% every 2 weeks?

thanks
 
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atmmachine816

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I think I'm going to try the sand substrate, will monitor it carefully.
 
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Mike

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The amount of water changes needed will be dictated by the results of the water tests, usually nitrate in fish only systems.
 
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Ok, I wiill turn it into a reef tank later. Currently I'm toying with the idea of getting a smaller species of a frogfish though I'm not done doing research yet. I might be picking up some LR in a week or so.
 

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ATM, just wanted to comment on the lovely little tank (Saw the pictures on pic thread). You know it is hard for parents to be wise in these things, setting limits, but letting their kids expand their knowledge and interests. Sounds like yours are doing a good job. You also sound like a very bright young man, so I wanted to interject this thought. WHEN you go to college, after all the time invested in your tanks, you will want to take something with you. I am sure this is part of what your parents are thinking in not wanting you to have any more tanks.....Most colleges are fine with fish as pets in your dorm room. A 5 gal tank would fit most anywhere you go.

I can see you someday with a fish store of your own, or in the very least, getting into raising them to sell, or having a home PACKED with tanks, but for now I think your parents are teaching you restraint...that is so cool !

Fish in the Frozen North -5F & sunny this morning 8)
 
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atmmachine816

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susitna-flower said:
ATM, just wanted to comment on the lovely little tank (Saw the pictures on pic thread). You know it is hard for parents to be wise in these things, setting limits, but letting their kids expand their knowledge and interests. Sounds like yours are doing a good job. You also sound like a very bright young man, so I wanted to interject this thought. WHEN you go to college, after all the time invested in your tanks, you will want to take something with you. I am sure this is part of what your parents are thinking in not wanting you to have any more tanks.....Most colleges are fine with fish as pets in your dorm room. A 5 gal tank would fit most anywhere you go.

I can see you someday with a fish store of your own, or in the very least, getting into raising them to sell, or having a home PACKED with tanks, but for now I think your parents are teaching you restraint...that is so cool !

Fish in the Frozen North -5F & sunny this morning 8)
Thanks, it should be a lot of work and fun, look again in six months and it should hopefully be MUCH more colorful

Well on the parent note, I've realized just how much they sheltered me from the world now that I can understand it and now that I'm older it's a little annoying since they still want to do it. I only wish they spend more time with me and I can talk to them more, but I pretty much have to keep it all in, there too busy now :-\ I'm not amazingly smart but I'm smart that I can handle honors classes, I think my brother is smarter than me, but I think I'm faster than him, though he won't admit that. ;D I hope my college will let me take the 5 gallon with me, I'm teaching my little sister to take care of my Freshwater tank, but I don't think she can take care of a Saltwater.

I hope to have my own fish store someday, and my house will definately be packed with tanks though. My parents don't want anymore tanks because my dad doesn't want to pay for the water, electricity ;Dand all and my mom thinks I can't take any tanks to college so all the money I might spend on them now would be a waste, though the equipment won't go bad ;D Now I just get the best products possible for them.
 
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