Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Doing research before starting my SW tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/doing-research-before-starting-my-sw-10045/)

Daffid 12-15-2007 08:15 PM

Doing research before starting my SW tank
 
Ok, so I love my freshwater tank. Its fantastic, and its coming along really well. My buddy got be back into aquariums, and I'm really not regretting it. However...I'm one of those addictive personality type people. My tank is sucking me in. Every time I go to the LPS (thats Local Pet Store if I'm learning my forum acronyms right, ya?) I see these incredible saltwater creatures and corals, and fish. So...I gotta have one, right? *wink*

Ok, so I've run into some things as I've been perusing, and I haven't found the answers readily, so I thought I would ask here and see what kind of answers I could find. If I'm in the wrong portion of the forum, I apologize. Just let me know where I should post, and I'll confine myself to there.

So, to start with, I've noticed LPS, SPS and soft mentioned in regard to corals. I think I can figure out what the soft one is, but what are LPS and SPS corals?

What exactly is 'live rock' and what does it do? Does the same go for 'live sand'?

I've seen things like '5g' or '1g' or '10g' when referring to a 'nano tank'...are we talking gallons?

I think I want to start off by going fish less for a while. I love the look of the different fish, but I really get a kick out of the corals and anemonies and suchlike. Is going fish less a problem? Will that make it harder to start or harder to keep going?

I have access to beach sand...Is there a benefit or detriment to doing this? Same goes for samples of ocean water - would this add to the flora/fauna in the tank in a good way or just be a great way to catch a bug that will kill all my stuff?

This ought to get me started and help me know where else to look and what other questions to ask. T-minus 4 months to tank time...

SeaSerpant 12-15-2007 08:19 PM

i think it will have a build up of nutrients whitch might be harmfull i'm not toattaly sure.

Josh72836G 12-16-2007 01:53 AM

First of all welcome to the forum! Now onto business...

For information about setting up a saltwater aquarium your probly better off posting in the general section of starting and maintaining a saltwater aquarium but your close enough.

LPS stands for Large Polyp Stony coral and SPS stands for Small Polyp Stony coral. Had to look them up.

Live rock, in general, means rock which has beneficial bacteria living in it that break down toxic ammonia and nitrite to non-toxic nitrate. Similar to a biological filter in a fresh water tank. Live sand is basically the same thing.

Yep, 10g means a 10 gallon tank, etc. It's MUCH easier to start with a bigger tank for salt water though. like 20 gallons or larger.

Since I'm pretty new to the hobby myself, I don't know about an Invertebrate(Inverts include all types of corals) only tank. but I know that for corals, anemones, and the like the tank needs to be running for a while. I've heard for six months or so but I could be wrong. I've actually never heard of an invert only tank so I look forward to the answer from one of the senior members.

Beach sand or anything from the ocean is bad. unless you have access to a deserted island 10-20 miles or so offshore, the sand and water will be polluted and have heavy metals in it along with, like you said, nasty things that could harm your tank inhabitants. For the sand you actually want, most likely, argonite sand which is made of calcium carbonate which will dissolve in your water thus raising calcium levels and buffering your water(both are good).

Best of luck with your tank and feel free to ask any questions you have.

-Josh

SKAustin 12-16-2007 06:44 AM

Re: Doing research before starting my SW tank
 
OK, josh gave you some good answers. Let me see if I can elaborate a bit on them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
Ok, so I love my freshwater tank. Its fantastic, and its coming along really well. My buddy got be back into aquariums, and I'm really not regretting it. However...I'm one of those addictive personality type people. My tank is sucking me in. Every time I go to the LPS (thats Local Pet Store if I'm learning my forum acronyms right, ya?) I see these incredible saltwater creatures and corals, and fish. So...I gotta have one, right? *wink*

Congratulations, If you are able to put your heart and soul (and a good amount from your savings account) into an aquarium, then you are making the right choice. A reef tank is far more rewarding then any FW tank you could imagine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
Ok, so I've run into some things as I've been perusing, and I haven't found the answers readily, so I thought I would ask here and see what kind of answers I could find. If I'm in the wrong portion of the forum, I apologize. Just let me know where I should post, and I'll confine myself to there.

Well, as josh stated, youre close enough. One of the mods will slide this thread into the right spot in short order I'm sure. No worries there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
So, to start with, I've noticed LPS, SPS and soft mentioned in regard to corals. I think I can figure out what the soft one is, but what are LPS and SPS corals?

Large Polyped Stony, and Small Polyped Stony corals. These are the corals that absorb calcium from the water to develop a calcerous (stony) skeleton. If youve ever been to a shell emporium, youve probably seen some small fragments of these coral skeletons painted bright orange for sale. The LPS corals include such corals as Frogspawn, Torch, Hammer, Plate, Brain, Maze, Fox, and Elegance. To name a few. SPS corals Are for the most part, the more difficult corals to keep. Most of them require very high lighting, and are more delecate, and aggressive, but also more attractive. I have very little experience with the SPS so I'll leave any further elaboration to someone with the hands on time.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
What exactly is 'live rock' and what does it do? Does the same go for 'live sand'?

Yep, it's (depending on the quality of the Live Rock) a pourous chunk of either Rock, Coral Skeleton, or some combination of both. The "Live" in live rock refers to the number of different life forms that inhabit the rock. Common "hitchhikers" (as they are often referred to as) include a number of bacterias, Fanworms, Bristleworms, Tunicates, sponges, starfish, serpent stars, snails, seaslugs, flatworms, and various other worms and creatures. Often you will also find pest anemones like aiptasia and Majano anemones. And occasionally you will find corals that may survive and return.

Live Sand is not the same. It aledgely contains the bacterias, but little else.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
I've seen things like '5g' or '1g' or '10g' when referring to a 'nano tank'...are we talking gallons?

Yep, as josh pointed out. However in the UK and others "across the pond" (overseas) the commonly used unit of measure is Litres. Hence the need to add the (g) or (l).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
I think I want to start off by going fish less for a while. I love the look of the different fish, but I really get a kick out of the corals and anemonies and suchlike. Is going fish less a problem? Will that make it harder to start or harder to keep going?

While some corals and anemones may benefit from the presence of a few fish, I dont see reason they cant survive without them.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
I have access to beach sand...Is there a benefit or detriment to doing this? Same goes for samples of ocean water - would this add to the flora/fauna in the tank in a good way or just be a great way to catch a bug that will kill all my stuff?

Bad Idea. for the money you will sink into a healthy reef, spend the little extra to get good clean water and sand. You invite far too many problems via pollution and contamination not to mention, the posibility of introducing harmful creatures into a controlled system.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffid
This ought to get me started and help me know where else to look and what other questions to ask. T-minus 4 months to tank time...

It's great to see others willing to spend the time to research properly before moving forward. I spent a year researching before i mixed my first gallon of saltwater. It has surely paid off. and If I might add one more bit of info. Dont skimp on anything. the more you spend on the proper equipment now, the less you waste making up for it later. this holds especially true with the rock.

Daffid 12-19-2007 05:10 PM

This has been great! Thank you for the responses.

I may be fairly patient, but I don't think I could study it for a whole year before even starting. I'm aiming for around the last week in April of 08 for the start of tank and stand construction. I'm one of those over obsessed DIY people, so I'm going to make what I can so long as I can justify the cost of materials and can be certain that it will be on par or above in performance compared to something from the LFS. I'm glad to hear (so far) that fish aren't essential to start with. I love the look of the many SW fish, but I think its the corals and little creeping things that really pique my interest.

So, due to the gap in time between now and liftoff I may not post often, but I'll keep you all posted as to how it comes along when things start happening.

Thanks again for the insight and advice all!


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