Help for a first time saltwater aquarist - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-06-2012, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
Help for a first time saltwater aquarist

I have been a freshwater aquarist for about 3 years now and am succesfully keeping 5 different aquariums (one is a turtle tank so I guess it doesn't count). But I would like to get my feet wet with a saltwater tank.

What I was thinking of starting up was a small reef tank with maybe one or two small reef fish, a hermit crab or two, shrimp and what not with some "easy" corals/anenomes (used loosely because I imagine no saltwater creature is easy :]

I was hoping for a small tank (hopefully like 5 gallons no more than 10) but if that's just not possible, then it isn't possible.

It would be awesome if somebody could give me a list of what I would need for this type of tank. If its not possible, I'm just going to start up a freshwater shrimp/nano tank.

I have no knowledge of saltwater tanks, so any and all advice/opinions is welcome.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-06-2012, 03:29 PM
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the smaller the tank, the more difficult it will be to keep water params in check. as your water evaporates the salt wont, so you'd have to be ontop of keeping up with that or i suggest using an auto top off.
there arnt many fish for a 10 gallon, maybe a small goby and shrimp pair would work. honestly i would suggest starting with a 40 breeder or larger to learn before a smaller nano tank. it may also help to search your area for a local reefing club.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-06-2012, 06:52 PM
I wouldn't go anything small than a 20g Long to start with.
Heres the list of stuff:
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#9-Fish net
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water
.#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike
.#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash
.#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
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