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noob from Chicago!

This is a discussion on noob from Chicago! within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> So me and my cousin are going to set up our first saltwater aquarium... i was wondering if anyone could give me some advise ...

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Old 06-27-2010, 09:20 PM   #1
 
noob from Chicago!

So me and my cousin are going to set up our first saltwater aquarium... i was wondering if anyone could give me some advise on common mistakes, or maybe some wise words of wisdom? i am really excited but i dont wanna kill my first tank... i know a lot of people say "Read, read and read some more" and i have been but its really nice to get specific advise from people that have been maintaining marine displays for a long time... people that have the knowledge...

thanks in advance! : )

Garrett
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:01 AM   #2
 
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WELCOME!!!
this should turn into a great thread.... well from my own experience the top three issues i have had are
not knowing enough about what you are buying BEFORE to put it in your tank
not demonstrating patience (this is the hardest one for me personally and i am grown up enough to admit it)
and leaving stuff alone !!!!!!! it took me quite awhile to relize the largest issue i have had with my tank is to know when to let it go and do its thing...
again these are just my top 3 i am curious as to what others may contribute
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
 
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drill the tank for an overflow before its full and your stuck using a hang on over flow... or be lazy and buy one reef ready.
and search your area for a local reefing club.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:43 AM   #4
 
@onefish do you think you could give me an idea where to start with the overflow? i imagine 1-2 inch air line near the top back side of the tank to drain into a bucket below? am i completely missing what you are saying?
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
 
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i think your missing what im saying.. the overflow is for a sump and having the tank drilled or reef ready ( means its drilled already for you ) but personally i like doing it myself with the www.glass-holes.com kit as i find them way smaller then any reef ready tank. i also like using a used fish tank as the start of my sump as its way cheaper then any pre-made one, however takes a few DIY skills. i find the DIY sump better though because it can be made to exactly how you want it. here may be a good idea to start http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...g-sumps-15930/
a sumps a great place to put equipment, like a skimmer as you wont be using a canister filter, hang on tank filter, bio balls, filter media, and so forth as these all cause nitrate and phosphate issues on saltwater tanks.

i also suggest wayyy more reading as you can never do enough. it is important to set the tank up right the first time around to save money, time, fish, the first time around. keep in mind a saltwater tank is an expensive long term commitment. when you set your tank up right, there should be no issue keeping it going for 10+ years, i would say at a minimum. granted we usually upgrade long before a tank hits anywhere close to that but hopefully you get the idea.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
 
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i suggested a reefing club because they're great places for learning new things, seeing others setups, meeting new people, picking up used equipment, and so on.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
 
lol ok i thought i was misunderstanding you... clearly im a noob! lol a reefing club you say.... that sounds like a lot of fun! yeah clearly im going to have to do more reading... its hard i think for a beginner because there are so many terms that get thrown around and everyone does and recommends doing it a different way... thanks for the input (and the welcomes)
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:10 PM   #8
 
First Draft of a Stock List

This is my list so far of Fish and inverts that I have put together to choose from as i think they may be good fits for my display. Keep in mind I won't be trying to cram all of these animals into the same habitat this is just a list from which I can pull. In addition to these animals I'm planning on having live rock and a live substrate.

--Fish--
Ocellaris Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris)
Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma loreto)
Auriga Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)
Hector's Goby (Amblygobius hectori)

--Inverts--
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber (Holothuria sp.)
Bulb Anemone (Entacmaea Quadricolor)
Black Longspine Urchin (Diadema setosum)
Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab (Clibanarius tricolor)

--Other Creatures I'd like but am hesitant on purchasing due to their difficulty--
Banded Pipefish
Yellow Multibanded Pipefish
Fancy Brittle Sea Star (Ophiure protoreaster)

I don't really want to have too many fish actually maybe 4... I want people to look in the tank and have to actually spend time looking. I see a lot of tanks that feel really crowded to me (though they may not be). I want my creatures to be spoiled with space and quality of life! LOL...
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:59 AM   #9
 
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lets start off with how big this tank is going to be? is it going to have a sump? skimmer? other filtration? lighting? FOWLR or REEF? anything else about the tank you can include.


Quote:
Originally Posted by garrett View Post

--Fish--
Ocellaris Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris) perfect, i suggest getting 2, one larger then the other. eventually ( and hopefully ) they should pair.
Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma loreto) ok
Auriga Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga) with caution
Hector's Goby (Amblygobius hectori) ok

--Inverts--
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) perfect
Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber (Holothuria sp.) ok
Bulb Anemone (Entacmaea Quadricolor) no.
Black Longspine Urchin (Diadema setosum) loves knocking over corals and rock
Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab (Clibanarius tricolor) ok, but loves ripping snails from their shells for their shells.

--Other Creatures I'd like but am hesitant on purchasing due to their difficulty--
Banded Pipefish no no no no
Yellow Multibanded Pipefish no no no
Fancy Brittle Sea Star (Ophiure protoreaster) brittle stars are "ok" but i would wait until your tanks really matured and avoid GREEN stars.
the reason i said no to the anem is because i have heard in the wild they can live for 200+ years but ive also heard they're eternal ( meaning they never die ) im not sure which claim is true, but either way i can promise you, you wont have it for more then that time period. i dont want to sound like a hypocrit as i have a RBTA, but i waited until my tank was establised for some time prior to adding. i strongly suggest waiting until your tank is 1+ even 2+ years old and completely stable before considering even adding one. i also say this so you can better accustom yourself to keeping up with your tank and its maintnance. these things walk where they want to in your tank. lets say it walks its way into a powerhead and its shredded like a wood chipper... the death of the anem will more then likely kill everything else in your tank. even if it doesnt make its way into the powerhead, they tend to die easily in the hands of new aquarist. it seems everyone and their mother ( no joke intended, seriously ) wants to keep an anemone for their little nemo. clownfish will host what THEY want to host and ive seen them do so to live rock, corals, even powerheads, so this means it may not even take to the anemone and usually thats the case. mine tooks months to finally go in, and now i cant get them out lol. these inverts also need metal halides for ultimate health. you can get away with a bunch of high output t5s, but MHs are the best bet. ontop of that you want a butterfly which feeds on anemones.

as for the pipe fish these guys are just as bad as seahorses and really should be in a species only tank.

i personally like adding a mixture of different snails for my clean up crew ( CUC ) as i find the hermits love tearing the snails out of the shells and then not liking that shell so they move onto the next snail. for this reason i keep my tanks crab free ( if i find one hitched on the rock, i toss it into the refugium )
all crabs, including hermits. dont get me wrong, they are good to have but be sure to keep a bunch of empty shells littered on the bottom of the tank ( and even when i did this i found they loved killing my snails for their shells )

no green brittle stars as they prey on fish.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearwithfish View Post
WELCOME!!!
this should turn into a great thread.... well from my own experience the top three issues i have had are
not knowing enough about what you are buying BEFORE to put it in your tank
not demonstrating patience (this is the hardest one for me personally and i am grown up enough to admit it)
and leaving stuff alone !!!!!!! it took me quite awhile to relize the largest issue i have had with my tank is to know when to let it go and do its thing...
again these are just my top 3 i am curious as to what others may contribute
Even more importantly than doing plenty of research BEFORE putting anything in your tank is to do do plenty of research before you even BUY anything! As I'm learning from my experience, I jumped the gun w/ equipment and bought stuff before I fully understood what I read and therefore have to pay shipping to return some of the equipment. Wish I would have just been a little more patient to begin with!
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