FW going to the dark side
Far out, I got to stop going on this site lol
Anywayz, im going to start up a 29G SW tank soon ( After copious amounts of study) and was wondering...
Questions that will take too long to find the answers through research:
1.Do I need a filter AND a Protein skimmer?
2.What exactly does a protein skimmer do?(removes all the harmful bacteria in the water column?(just clarifying))
3.What is a good turnover rate per gallon on a protein skimmer?
4.Occelaris clownfish... Good starter SW fish?
5.Is there a wide variety of corals one can keep?(does what would anemone and frogspawn classify as?)
6.Can I get a list of items(electrical) that i'll need to maintain a SW tank?
7.Is it only the initial cost of SW that is high? or is maintenance also high?
8.Will my freshwater heater work in salt water? (just in theory, not planning on doing that if you cant)
Any other quick tips on reef systems would be very helpful
Thanks in advance guys, sorry i'm being so lazy:notworthy:
Woops forgot to add,
Metal halide lighting obviously, how many watts per gallon, lumens, Kelvin rating(that looks the best)...
1) depending on what you put into your tank you may or may not need a protine skimmer. they come in handy if you don't use a refugium, the skimmers are good for getting rid of nutrients that are can lead to issues (green hair algae, cyano bacteria[it's red])
2) if you over feed it'll help get rid of the food that's excess(not all) and it gets rid of the detritus(poop) your fish will leave behind.
3)you want to go with at least double your size tank for a skimmer. so you'll have a 30g tank(rounding up) then a skimmer rated for a 55g would be fine.
4)Occelaris or False Perc are great starter fish. if you decied to get True Percula Clowns just be weary that they(the local fishstore) doesn't try to sell you False Percs.
5) For corals it all depends on what you get as lighting. you can get Soft corals and some LPS(large polyp stoney) corals under Power Compact lighting(PC) and Very High Output(VHO) lighting. then your can keep all corals like LPS and SPS(small polyp stoney) under high amounts of VHO, t5 and Metal Haylides (MH). Anemones are invertibrates and can be kept under the same as SPS. Frogspawn i belive are LPS.
6) You'll need Powerheads, skimmer, (no bubbler), sump, refugium, Good lighting RO/DI(reverse osmosis/ de-ionized) unit, and if you can get it a ReefReady (RR) tank.
7) the initial cost is pretty high, and the corals will be expensive, the rest is as long as you keep up with maintaning the tank then it won't be as expensive as others will make it out to be. still much more then a FW though
8)You can depending on the type of heater. i'd say get a SW heater though, much of the thermal covering that goes onto a water heater will wear off because of the salt in the water and it can be toxic.
and the last question... MH are the best, but T5 is an upcoming competitor along with LED lighting. For spectrum you'll need 10,000K bulbs and i use 14,000k bubls (i like the blue) then you'll need some actinics to get other colors out of the color. the sun offers much more then one spectrum of lighting so we try to mimic that by offering as many different kelvin lvls as we can. You'll need 2-4watts per gallon (wpg) for softies, these will be zoanthids, hammer, xenia, and green star polyps(gsp). then for LPS you'll need 4-6wpg, that's going to be your candycane, plate coral, bubble coral, open brain (other corals do require more light then others and LPS is very broad of a range when it comes to wpg). then you'll have SPS which are for the expert level aquariest. MH and t5 and the new LED lights are all that are recammended for these corals. you'll need from 7-11wpg depending on the coral, you can get birdsnest, acropora, milipora, cup(scroll), stylophora and anemones will fall under this catagory.
All corals will survive under higher lighting and will do just as good if not better accept for the Sun Coral. They do well in low to no lighting because they are found in caves, the only drawback to this coral is that you have to feed each polyp head individually daily, otherwise they die, but they so pretty! and they only come out at night unless you train them.
1. No filter. Filters tend to become nitrate(poopy) factories and act against you by pumping nasties into the water. I would do a DIY sump w/ protein skimmer. Live rock with good water flow acts as filtration.
2. skimmers, skim the water of nasties, its amazing what a good skimmer will collect from the water, and when it comes time for cleaning out the collection cup boy does it stink :shock:
3.there is no such thing as "over-skimming" i personally would buy a good brand skimmer to begin with instead of having to upgrade a month or two down the road. as for turnover rate in a tank, youll want about 20-50x the tank size but thats a general rule. 2 koralia powerheads are good for this. you dont want your sand swirling around like a storm and your fish getting blown out of the tank but you want good flow, esp if your keeping corals.
4. clowns make great starter fish. i would get "tank-bred" specimens as they tend to be "hardier"
5. i would avoid the anemone and any SPS corals to start. frogspawn would be fine, but more "hardier" corals tend to be mushrooms,zoanthids,palythoas,pulsing xenia,green star polyps
6.electrical wise, youll want lights,powerheads(+1 for mixing salt),heater,protein skimmer,possibly UV,return pump(if your doing a sump) possibly a chiller (depending on where your from and so forth) i think that covers the basics, but it seems to be never ending.. you can get timers for your lights, a pump for an auto-top-off unit, a reef controller and so on and so forth.
7.it seems that initial costs are high. but if you buy things one at a time while your doing months of research its not so bad at all. i strongly recommend finding out the better brands of equipment and going with that instead of settling on something cheaper and wanting to upgrade in a month. esp. for your protien skimmer as some are not so great, possibly see if there is a local reefing club in your area and join. members tend to sell un-used old equipment, or they hold group buys and you can get new stuff cheaper,members sell frags of coral for fractions of the price, or even club sponsors offer discounts (my club is $12 a year and it is the best investment i have made) maintnance isnt so bad, id say initially getting started is where your going to see your wallet hurt, but i cannot judge whats "bad" for you as i dont know whats your budget.
8. freshwater heater should work in saltwater
Dont want to sound rude, but Google.com is your friend, i mean it is great you are asking questions but research research research.
Go VERY slow with starting up your tank.
Buy a REFRACTOMETER (ebay has them for like $20-30) not a HYDROMETER right from the start. Your going to want test kits as well, amonia,nitrite,nitrate,pH,dkh,cal,mg at the minimum, and the proper dosing chemicals to match, B-ionic seems to be a decent 2 part additive. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING you dont test for.
use only RO/DI water, either get it from a LFS or purchase a RO/DI unit and make your own.
Mix salt water a day or two (atleast) in advance, with powerhead and heater in a bucket.
i personally would build a DIY sump/refuge and use t5 lights. i would also use a 40 breeder as my display tank with the background painted black and drilled holes going to the sump (but thats my opionion) t5s are not as expensive as metal halides (purchasing and electricity cost wise) but are still good lights. you can also change its color output simply by change 1 bulb instead of having to change the 1 metal halide bulb that you have to get a different color.
again, theres so much to include in the questions you have asked so research research research and if you have trouble with something ask away :-D good luck and dont rush.
the only way i could see what youve stated to be true is if the skimmer is mondo super huge.
the only arguement i could see with "over-skimming" is that it is pulling too many nutrients from the water that would be taken in by corals. (like a 250 gal. skimmer on a 10 gal tank)
but hey, i could be wrong about it all, just my opinion
Why not add my opinions...
1) You don't need one or the other. I would personally add a sump to a 29G tank, but that isn't needed if space (and money) is limited. I have seen plenty of people go skimmerless in tanks of this size. All you need to survive is good powerheads and live rock/sand (and water changes).
2) Removes nutrients.
3) On a PS, I have no idea. For tanks in general, I say 25-40 times turnover (IE, 10G tank needs a powerhead with 200-400GPH)
4) Great starter fish. Do best in pairs *when introduced at the same time*.
5) Huge variety... I will go into detail if you would like. Anem's are inverts and Frogspawn are LPS.
6) listed already by others
7) Initial cost is very high, but after you get everything you want, then it isn't too bad IMO except when you want that nice coral. It costs lots of time, though.
8) It should.
9) A MH of 150W and 10000k-20000k is your ideal (really depends on how much, if any SPS you are keeping and what color lights you like).
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