Need some info (read: newbie help) on salt water tanks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-11-2008, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Need some info (read: newbie help) on salt water tanks

Hey guys,
This is my first post here on and i think it is a pretty important one. My self and my girlfriend are looking at setting up and starting a Salt water aquarium in the next month or two. Now i assume that the task of setting it up and all the slog work will go to me and the fish watching will be mainly my gf's domain but thats not really important. What i need to know is either the basics of setting up a marine salt water tank (probably a fish with live rock tank as i keep reading these are the easiest to set up and maintain) or somewhere where i can go and find reliable information on how to set this sort of thing up.

When i say i need information treat me like i know nothing on the subject and you will be pretty much right. Ive kept a few fish over the years gold fish (show me a kid who didnt own one or ten lol) and some tropical fish (ive recently kept a few fighters but they dont take much to keep happy and swimming) but i would really love to start taking this hobby a bit more seriously and i would love to start up a salt water tank. So what i need to know are the basics and everything else. It would be great if you guys could help a guy out. Thanks in advance guys
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-13-2008, 05:48 AM
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Unfortunately your question is almost impossible to answer. You need to do a lot of reading first, or you will simply get lost in the vocabulary.

We obviously have limited space in a forum, However, to give you starting points on the most important consideration:

1) 4'' deep aragonite sand should be used.
2) protein skimmer should not be considered optional. It should be your biggest expense because it is the most important piece of equipment you will buy.
3) live rock serves as the biofilter. Do not buy another biofilter, as it will only degrade water quality by causing an increase in Nitrates.
4) you will be testing pH, alkalinity, and Nitrate weekly. But test kits.
5) You will be buying fish based on their ADULT size. Be sure to choose your aquarium size properly. For example, a Yellow Tang will need at least a 75 gallon tank, preferably a 125. If you are thinking "i will start small", such as a 29 gallon, then be prepared to only buy 2 or 3 fish, all of which have an adult size under 6''
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-10-2008, 02:38 AM
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Well I started by reading articles in
Then I found reefcentral that has some informationa and a forum.
And then I found this forum, where I spend most of my time reading other people's topic.
See how they setup their tank, sump, refugium, etc.
I've been reading articles and posts for about 9 months and to be honest, all I know is about setting up the aquarium.
Nothing about fish compatibility, eating habits, corals or invertebrates.
So if you want to start in a month, you'll probably have to study more than you did in highschool!
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