HII new here and to salty fish

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Massey, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Massey

    Massey

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    HII every one!!
    I have had a few fresh water tanks over the last few years and they have all done great, now I would like to try going for the pretty salty fish. I am going to be taking my 30gal tank that I have a freshwater setup in and make it into a saltwater tank. I have alot of questions.

    For my gravel would it be OK to keep the current stuff I have? There is a small amount of algae growing on it now. My Pleco and snails are doing a pretty good job keeping it clean but there is still a little green. Oh ya I use sand under the gravel.

    I currently use a hood and flourescent lighting, I have found that I cant grow a reef with the hood light but how about maintaining a SW aquarium. I do want a reef but I simply dont have the $$$ for it right now.

    Filtration, I have been told that my filtration is a little too little I use a Penguin Bio wheel 150 right now. How big should I go? My LPS said a second 150 will be just fine.

    Water flow, how large of a power head should I use to keep a good flow in a 30 gal tank. 36x24x18 ( I think that is the right dimentions)

    Those are just a few for a salty tank if ya all dont mind a few about a smallish reef tank

    Can a successfull reef tank be built with out the complex filtration that goes behind or under the tank? I dont have room behind the tank for that type and pricing parts to make a undertank filter was out of my range ATM.

    What choices do I have for lighting? my LPS showed me some lights that were over $250 and they said the lights were an absolute must have for a reef.

    Wether I am able to build a reef or not one of the fish that I really want to have is a clownfish. I like the bright colored fish the best but I am sorry I dont know all the types right yet.

    Thank you in advance for any help that can be offered or advised. I am new to salt and want to learn as much as I can to make my tank healthy and happy.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 6, 2007
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  2. Massey

    matthew1048 Wurd to ya motha

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    Although I'm not really qualified to answer questions here as I am new myself, I think I could show you a few sources that I've been reading through that have taught me alot!!!

    https://www.livingreefs.com/forums/saltwater-aquarium-articles/ You can use the search feature to narrow your "field".

    Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums While looking at rock, lighting, filters, etc. there will often times be links to articles on this site giving useful info on the particular group of items you are looking at.

    Welcome to About.com I can't remember exactly how I found it, but this site has a ton of saltwater aquarium articles including a free email course called "Saltwater Aquariums 101".

    I'm sorry I can't give you any direct answers, but I hope this helps you. Good Luck!!!!
     
    matthew1048, Feb 6, 2007
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  3. Massey

    jhnrb

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  4. Massey

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    You dont have to have the high dollar lights if youor just keeping fish. So what you alread have will do just fine.
    I would either go ahead and add at least another 150 filter or maybe get an emp.400.
    As far as your gravel,ill let some one with more experence answer that one.
     
    yote, Feb 6, 2007
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  5. Massey

    bobby I like to do bad things.

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    Ok I'll try to answere these 1 at a time.
    1.I would use new sand. Not old fresh water or play sand get it from your lfs. The reason for new sand from a lfs is it has certain stuff in it that will help buffer your water and keep the ph up.
    2.For a fish only tank your regular strip lights will be fine.
    3.Filtration can be just alot of live rock and a skimmer, you can add another if you want but if you add alot of rock and a good skimmer you'll be fine.
    4.Water flow for a fish only tank is about 30 to 40 times the amount of water. Also the dimentions you gave is for a 50 gal. If its a 50 the flow should be from 1500 to 2000 gal per hour if 30 then 900 to 1200 gal per hour. On my 30 I have a little over 1200 gph. Note that the flow count anything that moves the water skimmers, filters, power heads ect.....
    5.You can have a very nice tank with out a sump (the under tank filter) I dont have one on mine.
    6.You do need good lighting for a reef, your choices are power compacts, t-5's, metal halides, vho's and I'm sure theres more. The best ones will be the metal halides then t-5s.

    Before you start do a lot of research and reading then do more research and reading then do it over again. One of the biggest thing in this hobby is to be patient everything has to go slow to be sucsesfull. I suggest starting at the HELPFUL ARTICLES at the top of this page. Good luck keep us posted. When your done reading if you still have questions please post them.
     
    bobby, Feb 6, 2007
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  6. Massey

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hi and welcome. I agree with Bobby, you shouldn't use the gravel from your freshwater tank. Buffering capacity is very important in saltwater tanks, and freshwater gravel does not have the pH buffering capacity like sand specifically for saltwater tanks, like aragonite. I'd recommend buying aragonite and using that. Plus the bacterial communities in fresh vs. salt are very different, it's generally not a good idea to introduce stuff that belongs in freshwater to your system.

    If you don't have the money for reef lighting right now, that's fine. Just stick with fish and other invertibrates (crabs, snails, shrimp, starfish) that don't need light for a while. They will keep you more than busy and entertained while you save up money and learn about how to keep more difficult animals like corals. Lights are probably the most expensive thing you will have to purchase for your tank, so it's better to make sure you are ready and can keep fish alive before you spend a lot of money on stuff like that.

    I would just get a good protein skimmer instead of another penguin. If you have a good protein skimmer and live rock, then you don't really need any other type of filtration. Especially if your tank is not very heavily stocked.

    I'd use two powerheads, one on each side of the tank. You can find good ones for less than $20. I like the MaxiJets.

    You can definitely have a nice tank without tons of equipment, but you'll find that as you get more involved in the hobby you will constantly want to make your system better and upgrade it. You'll learn as you go and eventually you may want to add a sump and move your filtration equipment under the tank, but that's not necessary in the beginning.

    You have a few options for reef lighting: PCs, T5s or Metal Halides. What your LFS quoted you is generally what they go for. I'd suggest starting with fish only for a while, make sure you can keep them alive and healthy, and then later on you can try your hand at corals when you have the money to buy the proper lighting, but for fish only, a fluorescent strip light is fine. A clownfish will be perfectly happy without an anemone or corals.

    Hope this helped. Welcome again.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 6, 2007
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  7. Massey

    Massey

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    Thanks for the info guys!! I dont have time to look through it now but I will when I get home from work. I am glad that I dont have to buy alot of stuff to just have some :sfish: in my tank. If I come up with any more ???s I will ask.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 6, 2007
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  8. Massey

    Massey

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    OK I have been doing some research and asking questions at my lfs and I have decided to not make a reef at this time but to start with some salty fish and see where that takes me. Here is my plan to date:

    Crushed Coral for ground work with a little colored sand mixed in to add some color.

    Some rocks to give my fish a place to play.

    my filter is going to be a Marineland canister filter (the new kind) that is good up to 55 gallons (30 gallon tank)

    I will prolly use some fake plants and maybe a sunken ship.

    I want for fish a Clowfish or 2 and an anemone for them to play in. maybe a dorry ( yea I know Finding Nemo theme here :p ) there are a few fish that I like but I dont know their names blue body with yellow tail and a couple of others. I will find out if they will be OK together before I buy them.

    A shrimp to help keep stuff clean. The one I want is red with a white stripe down its body.

    This is the plan, what do ya all think.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 9, 2007
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  9. Massey

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I wouldnt use the crushed coral,after 6 months itll look like crap.Within a month all the colored sand you put in will be under the crushed coral.
    And a 30gal is way to small for Dorry.If I remember right,125 is the recommended minium those.
     
    yote, Feb 9, 2007
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  10. Massey

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Yote is right about the crushed coral. Substrate is not just for looks, it serves a purpose too. Aragonite sand is very good at buffering so you won't get huge pH swings. I would advise against using the colored sand as it does not have any buffering capacity.

    You will have to keep the canister filter very clean, they can lead to algae problems, I'd recommend a protein skimmer instead.

    Clownfish would be a great choice, but any kind of tang (like a Dorry) needs a much larger tank. They need to swim a lot.

    If you are planning on getting an anemone, you will have to have the correct lighting for it, they require very high lighting, at least 8 watts per gallon. And they require very good water quality and stable water parameters, meaning you should wait at least 6 months after your tank is done cycling before adding an anemone. They don't do well in new tanks and are very difficult to keep. I would advise against getting an anemone.

    The shrimp you are talking about is a cleaner shrimp, and they are very good additions to any tank. In order to keep a shrimp, you will have to keep your nitrates low (high nitrates can kill invertibrates like shrimp, especially). This might be difficult to maintain if you are using a canister filter and not a skimmer.

    That's just my opinion, good luck!
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 9, 2007
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  11. Massey

    bobby I like to do bad things.

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    Dont use crushed coral it traps detrius and other garbage, go with arginite sand. I wouldnt use a canister they can cause a nitrate problem if not cleaned often, I would go with a hang on back with out bio wheels. Live rock is good the more the better, its a natural filter and food source for some fish. I would use only rock instead of ornaments but I dont think ornamates will hurt, unless they have metal on them. The clowns are good to put in after the tanks cycled, however, anemones shouldnt be put in a tank untill its 8 to 12 months old and your water is good and stable. You also need very high lighting for them. The blue body fish with a yellow tail is a damsel most are mean but you can get a nice one if your lucky, there cheap and can go with clowns. The dori fish is called a blue hippo tang, they can get up to 12. The inches long and need ALOT of room to swim prefferably atleast a 100 gal tank, if they dont get that room they will be very stressed and could get ich and most likely die, so that is a definet nono for your tank. The shrimp are good most anyway depending on what all you wan to keep, but you will need to dose iodine so they can molt (shed there exoskeleton). Before you buy anything if you havnt already done the research on the spesific fish post here what you want and we will do our best to help. Remember you have to add slow what for your cycle to end then add 1 to 2 fish every 3 to 4 weeks till your get your stock were you want it. Well good luck and post anymore questions you have.
     
    bobby, Feb 9, 2007
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  12. Massey

    Massey

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    The canister I am planning on using is basicly a sump system in a can. This one is not the circular filter like in a shop vacuum. I just came on the market a few days maybe a week or so ago and the Marineland website does not even have it listed yet.

    Thank you for the advise on the Tangs and the anenome, my lfs has already told me about waiting for the tank to cycle and getting the nitrides and stuff all at low levels before getting the anenome but I didnt know about the lighting. I will post any questions I have as they come up. Oh and I have agrinite sand not the crushed coral I remember now the guy at the fs told me that it works better.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 9, 2007
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  13. Massey

    JellyMan

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    Yes you can do a 30 gal reef I am currently in the process of one all I have is 2 powerheads a hob filter (emperor 400) a hob skimmer, and your powerheads need to be rated 1200-1300 youll be fine Lights you can use a 30" pc lighting.
    Sand as well as CC has there advantages and disadvantages, make sure you have enough live rock and look at what type of salt you are wanting to use there again they have there advantages and disadvantages. Your going to want to keep your tank at a stable temp between 78 and 82 Hope this helps.
     
    JellyMan, Feb 9, 2007
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  14. Massey

    Massey

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    OK here is what is going on now. I put about 20 lbs or so of Aragonite and a little colored sand for variety in the tank then I started adding water from a Deionizer/filter. The water has a white cloudyness to it now and I cant tell if it is air or what. I added seasalt. Water is circulated with a power head and the Marineland Multistage canister filter C-220. This is not the Magnum series nor does it even resemble them, it resembles a sump filter more than anything else. So will the cloudyness go away and what is it? and how soon could I start adding live rock and other life into the tank?

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 10, 2007
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  15. Massey

    Massey

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    OK NVM about the cloudy water it went away this morning :) I went last night from not enough salt by alot to too much by alot. I have to take some out and add more fresh :( Oh well at least I am having a good time working with this new tank. I will keep ya all posted on my progress.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 10, 2007
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  16. Massey

    Adrastos not getting a free ride

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    Hi Massey and welcome

    As for filtration.. you can use your current setup if you have enough live rock (expensive). The live rock will act as the main filter for the tank. You might just need to add a powerhead or two for better current.

    As far as lighting goes, for fish only you will only need an extra flourescent strip. For my Fish Only tank I had two strips.. one 14k one blue. These were the regular bulbs that you will find at a local petstore. Obviously these won't be good if you want to get anything other than fish.. but I ran my fish only tank for 4 years with it.

    Best advice at the moment is to go to your local bookstore or library and look for a few good books. They will give you great information on requirements for upkeep, total size, what will go good with them...
     
    Adrastos, Feb 10, 2007
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  17. Massey

    Adrastos not getting a free ride

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    I use a crushed coral substrate with no problems. My nitrate and nitrite levels have always been optimal... its more of an visual difference than anything. Those of us with CC substrates love them.. :) It's a nice look!
     
    Adrastos, Feb 10, 2007
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  18. Massey

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Massey, you can add live rock anytime. If you add enough live rock now, it will start your cycle. Then you will have to wait for your cycle to complete before you can add a fish.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 10, 2007
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  19. Massey

    Massey

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    This may be a stupid question but, is is normal to have a little salt that kinda sits in the sand? I notice when I stir up my sand a little that some salt is kicked up and clouds the water again. I know that I put way too much in last night I drained about 5 gallons and replaced that with more fresh and the tank is almost clear again with the salt levels good on my hydrometer (1.022). I want to get some base rock and some live rock tomorrow if everything stays and looks good in the morning.

    Massey
     
    Massey, Feb 11, 2007
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  20. Massey

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    It may take a little while for the salt to completely dissolve and that's nothing to worry about. You might want to get it up to 1.023 to 1.025 though, that's optimal. Live rock will be fine right now.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 11, 2007
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