Originally Posted by kritas
Far out, I got to stop going on this site lol
Anywayz, im going to start up a 29G SW tank soon ( After copious amounts of study) and was wondering...
Questions that will take too long to find the answers through research:
1.Do I need a filter AND a Protein skimmer?
2.What exactly does a protein skimmer do?(removes all the harmful bacteria in the water column?(just clarifying))
3.What is a good turnover rate per gallon on a protein skimmer?
4.Occelaris clownfish... Good starter SW fish?
5.Is there a wide variety of corals one can keep?(does what would anemone and frogspawn classify as?)
6.Can I get a list of items(electrical) that i'll need to maintain a SW tank?
7.Is it only the initial cost of SW that is high? or is maintenance also high?
8.Will my freshwater heater work in salt water? (just in theory, not planning on doing that if you cant)
Any other quick tips on reef systems would be very helpful
Thanks in advance guys, sorry i'm being so lazy
I didnt read the other post because its way long so sorry if i answer something with something already said.
1. No filter. Filters tend to become nitrate(poopy) factories and act against you by pumping nasties into the water. I would do a DIY sump w/ protein skimmer. Live rock with good water flow acts as filtration.
2. skimmers, skim the water of nasties, its amazing what a good skimmer will collect from the water, and when it comes time for cleaning out the collection cup boy does it stink
3.there is no such thing as "over-skimming" i personally would buy a good brand skimmer to begin with instead of having to upgrade a month or two down the road. as for turnover rate in a tank, youll want about 20-50x the tank size but thats a general rule. 2 koralia powerheads are good for this. you dont want your sand swirling around like a storm and your fish getting blown out of the tank but you want good flow, esp if your keeping corals.
4. clowns make great starter fish. i would get "tank-bred" specimens as they tend to be "hardier"
5. i would avoid the anemone and any SPS corals to start. frogspawn would be fine, but more "hardier" corals tend to be mushrooms,zoanthids,palythoas,pulsing xenia,green star polyps
6.electrical wise, youll want lights,powerheads(+1 for mixing salt),heater,protein skimmer,possibly UV,return pump(if your doing a sump) possibly a chiller (depending on where your from and so forth) i think that covers the basics, but it seems to be never ending.. you can get timers for your lights, a pump for an auto-top-off unit, a reef controller and so on and so forth.
7.it seems that initial costs are high. but if you buy things one at a time while your doing months of research its not so bad at all. i strongly recommend finding out the better brands of equipment and going with that instead of settling on something cheaper and wanting to upgrade in a month. esp. for your protien skimmer as some are not so great, possibly see if there is a local reefing club in your area and join. members tend to sell un-used old equipment, or they hold group buys and you can get new stuff cheaper,members sell frags of coral for fractions of the price, or even club sponsors offer discounts (my club is $12 a year and it is the best investment i have made) maintnance isnt so bad, id say initially getting started is where your going to see your wallet hurt, but i cannot judge whats "bad" for you as i dont know whats your budget.
8. freshwater heater should work in saltwater
Dont want to sound rude, but Google.com is your friend, i mean it is great you are asking questions but research research research.
Go VERY slow with starting up your tank.
Buy a REFRACTOMETER (ebay has them for like $20-30) not a HYDROMETER right from the start. Your going to want test kits as well, amonia,nitrite,nitrate,pH,dkh,cal,mg at the minimum, and the proper dosing chemicals to match, B-ionic seems to be a decent 2 part additive. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING you dont test for.
use only RO/DI water, either get it from a LFS or purchase a RO/DI unit and make your own.
Mix salt water a day or two (atleast) in advance, with powerhead and heater in a bucket.
i personally would build a DIY sump/refuge and use t5 lights. i would also use a 40 breeder as my display tank with the background painted black and drilled holes going to the sump (but thats my opionion) t5s are not as expensive as metal halides (purchasing and electricity cost wise) but are still good lights. you can also change its color output simply by change 1 bulb instead of having to change the 1 metal halide bulb that you have to get a different color.
again, theres so much to include in the questions you have asked so research research research and if you have trouble with something ask away
good luck and dont rush.