Help a noob, save a fish. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-14-2007, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Help a noob, save a fish.

My dad got a 4 ft by 1 ft by 21 in complete saltwater aquarium, lights, filter, coral, everything but fish and water, from a freind. he just told me that this tank is to be mostly my responsibility . we are planning on going through the many boxes of equipment tommorow.

Are there any common noob mistakes to look out for?

Will salt level be a constant x-salt per y-gallon?

what kind of cycling needs to be done?

any reccommended sustrate other than wal-mart white gravel?

can you reccoment an EXTREMELY HARDY fish to begin with?


thanks in advance, sorry for the complete lack of information on my part.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-14-2007, 08:32 PM
the are plenty of things that can happen both good and bad. just take your time. what kinds of set up are you wanting? fish only, fish only with live rock or a reef like tank?

your salinity should be about 1.023

after you set up the tank it will need to cycle for about 4 or so weeks.

you can not use walmart gravel. you need to get something like aragonite sand or live sand.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-14-2007, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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would salinity test kits and aragonite sand be available at an lfs? so far my plan is- buy sand for substrate, set up equipment, lay sand in, water in, put coral skeletons in and plants. now what do I do to prepare the water? would there be some special salt to put in untill salinity is good, then cycle? and since the coral i'm using has been kept in boxes and is dead, is it considered a fish only tank? I'm really excited now, I found a store with tons of saltwater fish :D . If I'm doing anything wrong or I could change something, please let me know!
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-15-2007, 03:14 AM
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there is a thing called a hydrometer, it measures the specific gravity which is the salt level.u can buy this device and just keep adding salt every so often till it reaches the desired level.try to get ur PH around the 8.1-8.4 mark for the optimum.just remember when u buy ur kits to look at the label and see if it it marine compatable or fresh water i made the mistake about 5 times till i learnt my lesson.if u dont want an crustaceans id say to go for FO because u get the ability to use copper based medicines if u get expensive fish later on n save them from illness and have the ability to treat the entire tank instead of 1 at a time
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-15-2007, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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I now have a salinity test kit and a powder water additive, but can anyone reccomend a fish?

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-15-2007, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Right now i'm thinking about some type of angelfish, a pair of ocellaris clownfish,
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-15-2007, 07:45 PM
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clowns (which r a type of damsel), all types of damsels, green chromos is wat i used to kick my tank off, try not to use the damsels as they r agressive n kick new comers out pretty fast, aswell as clowns.ask ur LFS for some starter fish, i heard u can slowly acclimate mollys and they r messy too so its good for ur biological filter to build up really cant go wrong with 4 chormos and maybe some mollys to start it off, very peaceful wat ive seen is that with the shy fish u get later on, the chormis swim near it like a pack and bring it out abit more and school with them, but wat ever ur LFS has and ask for it to be hardy
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