Newbie looking for advice - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-12-2010, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie looking for advice

Hey all,

I'm doing some research into the hobby and am thinking of jumping in soon. I've never had a tank of any kind before, but would much rather keep salt water than messing around with fresh to get my feet wet. I have a friend that's into the hobby that's answered some basic question for me, but I've learned most of the little I know from the web. I also ordered "The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide".

I'm thinking of getting a 30 gal tank for starters. I'm thinking I'm going to stock it with about 50 pounds of live rock. My friend suggested a canister filter, but it seems like sumps are preferred by most advice I've seen on the web. I don't want to get into corals right away, but I'd like to leave that avenue open for the future

I haven't bought anything yet - just learning all I can. At this point, I'm just looking for some advice on what to read and what to consider as an absolute beginner.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-13-2010, 12:02 AM
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Hi and welcome to the hobby! There is a lot to learn, but the most important lesson in fish keeping is patience. The 2nd most important lesson is that the bigger the tank the easier it will be to keep stable and healthy.

30 gallons is not an impossible tank to start with, but especially for saltwater, you should be forewarned that there is a very limited number of fish species that can be kept in a 30 gallon tank, and even more limited on how many of those can mix together.

The easiest way to start an aquarium, either salt or fresh water, is to first decide what fish/animals you desire to keep and then go about setting up what those fish need. If space is limited, then work with the largest tank you can... but again, before deciding how to set things up, you need to know what type of fish you are going to provide for. Will this be a reef tank? Corals are not a requirement in keeping a reef tank, but whether the fish you keep are reef fish or not will make a huge difference in the environment they require.

Another consideration is whether once you get your feet wet, do you intend to later add to your population in any way? This makes a big difference when choosing a tank size and when you begin stocking the tank with your first fish.

Filtration, lighting, tank size, maintenance schedule, decor, chemical additives... all these things will be determined based on what animals are in your tank.

If you'd like to post about what animals you wish to keep, it would be much easier for someone to offer you actual and accurate help.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-13-2010, 06:56 AM
Hello and welcome to TFK! if you decide to go with a tank in that range i'd suggest the 40 gallon breeder because you will have more space for aquascaping. 12 inches of depth (front to back) dont give you enough options for aquascaping. keep in mind if you put corals in the tank they need space for growth and expansion. i personally would nt go with a tank that has less than 18 inches depth (front to back) that way you can make the aquarium look more "realistic" as oppose to what is called "fruit stand" look meaning rocks piled up against the back glass all the way to the top. I would also recommend a skimming overflow on the tank and a sump so you will have space for skimmers and other goodies recommended in keeping a healthy tank. also go to the article section where you can find info on keeping SW tanks. A good book i'd recommend is "The Reef Aquarium" by Charles
delbeek and Julian Sprung vols 1 and 3. ( i found vol 2 too technical and not necessary unless you are a biologist)

100 Gal SPS Rimless, 2X250 Watt + 4T5's Giesemann infinity, Bubble King Mini 200 skimmer, Ca reactor, DIY Kalk Reactor. See my Reef aquarium in HD video http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=2207.

Last edited by reefsahoy; 12-13-2010 at 06:58 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-13-2010, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
The easiest way to start an aquarium, either salt or fresh water, is to first decide what fish/animals you desire to keep and then go about setting up what those fish need. If space is limited, then work with the largest tank you can... but again, before deciding how to set things up, you need to know what type of fish you are going to provide for. Will this be a reef tank? Corals are not a requirement in keeping a reef tank, but whether the fish you keep are reef fish or not will make a huge difference in the environment they require.
I've been reading the fish profile page on this site and reviewing some other sites for fish appropriateness. Since I'm going into this with no previous experience, I want to select nice, simple fish that would work in a tank that will slowly transition from simple live rock to sand. I don't have any "must haves" but my kids would like a clown and it seems that the Percula Clownfish (or 2) would be perfect.

I just came across Pasfur's compatibility and stocking list which is exactly the type of info I was hoping to find. Will make sure I develop a good list before I dig too deep into what kind of equipment to get.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
Hello and welcome to TFK! if you decide to go with a tank in that range i'd suggest the 40 gallon breeder because you will have more space for aquascaping. 12 inches of depth (front to back) dont give you enough options for aquascaping. keep in mind if you put corals in the tank they need space for growth and expansion. i personally would nt go with a tank that has less than 18 inches depth (front to back) that way you can make the aquarium look more "realistic" as oppose to what is called "fruit stand" look meaning rocks piled up against the back glass all the way to the top. I would also recommend a skimming overflow on the tank and a sump so you will have space for skimmers and other goodies recommended in keeping a healthy tank. also go to the article section where you can find info on keeping SW tanks. A good book i'd recommend is "The Reef Aquarium" by Charles
delbeek and Julian Sprung vols 1 and 3. ( i found vol 2 too technical and not necessary unless you are a biologist)
Great - thanks for the book recommendation! I don't know how I missed the article section. I found some of those by using the search, but you guys have it all nice an organized - lol. Plan to do plenty of reading before I do anything - I'm in no hurry. Also appreciate the tank advice.
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