Originally Posted by jms1026
Well, first off, I own a 29 Gallon Tank. It was a freshwater aquarium for awhile, but now its empty and Im ready to start a saltwater aquarium. I want to use this one to start, I think this is a perfect tank to start with. It will ready me for when I want to upgrade. Plus I'm on a budget for now
Here is the rest of my set-up:
I use a 40-70 gallon aqua clear filter(with foam, carbon and biomax)
Aquasafe for the tap water, and 3 test kits(N0-3, N0-2, and NH3&4).
Thats about it. I want to know the minumum needed to start this tank. Now, what will I need to start? Can I use the aquaclear filter I have? I heard a Bio-Wheel like emperor works good. I want to use sand to lay out the bottom. Or should I use something else ? Does it matter ? I understand I also need a protein skimmer, and some liverock to start. All help is appreciated, thanks.......
thing you need to do is to get an idea of what animals you wish to keep. The selection for 29 gallons is not very large, and due to the height of the tank, stronger lights will be needed for corals.
29 gallons is very limited in length, which most saltwater animals will need!
Test kits: add calcium, carbonate hardness, and pH to your set.... these are all extremely important... and make sure you are using saltwater test kits for all of them... some are different in most kits, and freshwater kits won't give you an accurate reading in saltwater. It should say on the kit whether it is for freshwater or saltwater use...
Hydrometer or refractometer, can't even start without that...
Marine salt mix
seperate tub or vat for premixing saltwater, and 1 powerhead for just that alone!
lights (dependent on animals)
30 lbs of live rock or as much as you can reasonably fit into the tank. In smaller tanks it is better to work with smaller pieces of rock for stacking. 2 large 15 lb pieces, even if they fit, won't do the animals much good for territory and hiding places.
live sand, 25 - 30 lbs
Aqua clear filter will also be dependent on the animals you keep.
Power heads, at least 1 for that size of a tank
Good source of DI or RO water, or a good phosphate remover and extra filter running on your mixing vat. Tap water contains phosphates, and any can cause a lot of problems in a saltwater tank. Water conditioner does not neutralize that. If using tap water and filtering phosphates on the mixing vat, be prepared to let this filter for at least 48 - 72 hrs before using in the tank.
If you're considering reef tank and/or inverts of any type, a UV sterilizer is a good idea. There are a lot of little nasties to be found in saltwater, and UV is a good way to avoid infestation of your tank. If that happens, meds that are safe for the fish are not safe for the corals/inverts.
And, finally and one of the most important things that most people forget or try to leave out... a quarantine tank! Anything that goes into your main tank should spend at least 2 - 3 wks in quarantine first, especially fish, but including corals and other inverts. The majority of saltwater animals are still being wild caught, and without a quarantine tank there is no way to make sure an animal is healthy before going into the main tank, and should you end up with a sick animal, it must
be treated in a quarantine tank to avoid wiping out your entire main tank!
That's going to be bare minimum to get started. Saltwater is an expensive hobby, so if your budget is tight, then even more reason to not take chances or cut corners. Screw ups are much more expensive than doing it right from the beginning.