Thinking of starting SW - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 125 Old 08-23-2012, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of starting SW

Hello All,

I was gifted a double decker stand with a 25gallon and 20 High tank. I wanted to know if this would be an OK to start a SW tank for a newbie. I have freshwater but im trying to decide what I want to do with these tanks. I cannot fit anything bigger for at least two years, so this is all I have to work with.

I know i would need:
Filter, Heater, hood, etc normal stuff
Protein skimmer
ro/di unit
live Sand/ live rock
API master SW test kit and a refractometer.

FOWLR would be my start, adding easy coral if possible at some point. Also love shrimp/ crabs. Is this possible, and what would be my possible stock list. If i like it and decide to go with SW then ill start picking your brain on equipment.

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post #2 of 125 Old 08-24-2012, 12:01 AM
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Awesome gift! I'm just starting with SW as well. If I was fortunate enough to have two tanks right next to each other I would definitely make them polar opposites. As in have one with Carribean sea life and the other with Pacific life, or one with carnivorous fish and the other with peaceful, one with corals, one with anemonies... etc etc. That would be really neat imo :)
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post #3 of 125 Old 08-24-2012, 12:32 AM
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#9-Fish net
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best
.#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock
.#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.

Nano Fish
Blennies: Blenny Fish Species Including Bicolor, Striped and other Blennies
Clownfish for Sale: Clownfish Species for the Home Aquarium
Gobies for Sale: Goby Fish Species Including Shrimp Gobies
Chromis for Sale: Blue and Green Chromis and other Reef Species

Beginner Invertebrates: Invertebrates Suitable for Beginners in Saltwater Aquariums
Saltwater Crabs: Hermit Crab Species for Saltwater Tanks
Aquarium Snails: Sea Snail Species and Aquatic Saltwater Snails
Sea Urchins: Live Red, Black and Pencil Sea Urchin Species
Aquarium Shrimp: Cleaner Shrimp Pistol and Coral Banded Shrimp
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post #4 of 125 Old 08-24-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks reefing. Ill go over what you provided over the weekend, then maybe by monday we can start talking stock and equipment.

I know it would depend on species, but could you maybe share an example of a stock for this size and for a new person. I would just like an idea of what I can expect as i look these profiles over.
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post #5 of 125 Old 08-24-2012, 03:22 PM
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If you go to they have a beginners fish section. In the profiles of each fish it also tells you their level of difficulty and what size tank they need. It has helped me find fish that I would like once my tank is cycled :)
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post #6 of 125 Old 08-24-2012, 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by MiamiLeos View Post
If you go to they have a beginners fish section. In the profiles of each fish it also tells you their level of difficulty and what size tank they need. It has helped me find fish that I would like once my tank is cycled :)
Click on any of those links I listed. It will take you just where you were saying.
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post #7 of 125 Old 08-25-2012, 06:38 PM
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Ahahahaha I should know to leave it to the pro's! lol
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post #8 of 125 Old 08-26-2012, 08:38 AM
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Go with it. Get a good light fixture too, even if it will only be a FOWLR tank the light will be good for a start on your coralline algae.
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post #9 of 125 Old 09-01-2012, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK so I’m going to get some ideas:

1: I’m assuming, since the total is going to be about 45 gallons including sump, I would need enough rock for 45 gallons. So minimum 50 pounds. Live rock is about $4/pound at my LFS. Any good online sites for dry rock?
2. I’ll get to this later.
3. I would like some easy corals at some point. So I will say 20x. By water volume, I’m still assuming it’s the total of 45 gallons. Not sure what a good brand is. But let’s say I use two of these (
4. Understood I need a skimmer rated for 100gallons. Any good brands. They look expensive J but I know that going in.
7. I have a python. I use it for FW so I’m assuming I won’t want to move it between FW and SW. So if I don’t need it, then that’s better.
11. Good brands? Or are they all pretty accurate?
14. This will have to come down the line. Not sure where in my apartment I can hook this up. Again, any good brands?
16. What watt is suggested given I’ll have a sump.
18. Will defiantly get a refract meter, but not sure if it will be digital.
20. Live sand for me, 2-3” sounds nice.

On stocking, this is what I like. Not sure what I can do specificity.
Clown fish.
Catalina Goby
Striped Blenny
Tail Spot Blenny
Horseface Blenny
Clown Goby
Highfin Red Banded Goby
Black axil chromies
Agile Chromis

Banded Coral Shrimp
Blood red fire shrimp
Hermit crabs only
Pretty much like all snails
I like urchins, but not set on a specific one
I really like brittle stars

Now onto tank setup. I believe the tank is an eclipse 25 setup. This has the built in filter in the hood. I cannot find any good pics on line. Ill take a closer look tomorrow. I do know it is two 18” t8’s. Will this work? I need to have both the tank and sump covered so my cats don’t go fishing. They will do so if its open.

Could you point me in the correct direction for installing the sump? I figure I need to do some drilling
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post #10 of 125 Old 09-02-2012, 12:19 AM
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With regards to getting an RO/DI unit. I have a small unit exactly like this here, it does 50gpd and can easily be removed and stored in a cupboard until needed. Note though it did not come with the DI unit which I purchased from the same vendor. It hooks up easily with included connectors to almost any faucet / tap.

Sumps - you can find a wealth of information here

Python - I use mine for both fresh and saltwater. I usually remove the saltwater first, dont use it to refill though as I have a separate pump for that, then I flush it out by doing the water change in the freshwater tank. I do 60% water changes in a 75g freshwater tank, so it has plenty of water to flush any remaining salt residue out.

Rocks - offer dead dry rock which over time would become live, you would only need a few lbs of actual live rock to start cycling the tank and begin the process of the dead rock becoming live.

Hope it helps.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)

Last edited by Tazman; 09-02-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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