Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Hailfirex 01-05-2009 05:55 PM

37 gallon new to saltwater

I am beginning to gather the materials I would need to start a saltwater tank. Is a 37 gallon suitable for a FOWLR or would it be better suited to be a reef tank? Which would be better suited for a beginner (I have had saltwater fish years ago, but made alot of mistakes)? I don't want to make the same mistakes as I had in the past. So I plan on doing as much research as I can, but my LFS lady isn't totally knowledgable herself when it comes to saltwater. She only has a small display of fish etc...(but assured me I can order what I need) Which is why totally finding this forum rocks!

Also my 37 gallon oceanic tank is discontinued ( I have had it for about 14 years) and I am wondering due to it's shape I might find a hard time with proper lighting.

cerianthus 01-05-2009 06:21 PM

I also have Classic Cheery Oak tank set. 36"L x 12"W x 24" H. IMO this tank is too narrow thus stiff slope of Rock work. Rather do FOWLR. For Reef set up prefers at least 18"W or more.

Cody 01-05-2009 07:27 PM

I have a reef in a 10" depth tank. I don't see why not you can't do it in a 12".

A 37 gallon is great for a beginner. Pasfur has a very nice 37G reef, so you may want to contact him about some info.

Pasfur 01-05-2009 08:09 PM

I have really enjoyed my 37 gallon reef, but I would suggest a fish only with live rock for your first marine experience. In any case, the same principles still apply. You want a nice protein skimmer, live rock, and a deep sand bed of 3-4'' aragonite sand. This will be the entire setup, with no additional filtration of any type.

This system would be set up the same if it were a full blown reef, with the only changes being lighting. Given that, if you want to start with a reef, you could certainly add the lights and keep some easy to keep soft coral selections, such as mushrooms, yellow polyps, green star polyps, and buttons.

At this point into my reef the growth has been crazy. My corals are already outgrowing their environment and I will be upgrading into a 58 gallon bowfront when I move in 2 months. For this reason, if you do decide on a reef, be very careful to select corals which will not rapidly outgrow their environment.

Thanks for the compliment on my reef Cody. I can't wait to get started on the big one....-)

cerianthus 01-05-2009 08:57 PM

i also have 10 Nano, but 37 being 24" tall and 12" wide, you could only bring up you rock to about 12-14" high. That leaves 12-14" form the top of the rock to light, requiiring more intense lighting to reach the coral close to the bottom. In my nano (10"W), have rocks sticking out of water. Gap b/n top of the rock to light, nothing. To deepest end is probably less than 12".
If the rockwork is very steep, hard to mount the corals.
The rockwork in tank that is 30" L x 12"W x 12" H would be just about same amount of rock for 37 G. In a tank that is 36"L x 18"W (30, 40 breeder, 65G), can build up rockwork not as steep thus better choice for reef w/ more surface area for corals.

Hailfirex 01-05-2009 09:01 PM

ok it will take me a bit of time to collect the materials due to the cost, but first I am going to order the protein skimmer. will the tank need powerheads or a filter? Or is the protein skimmer enough?

I appreciate the help.

Hailfirex 01-05-2009 09:04 PM

also my tanks dimensions are about 19 "L x 24.5 "W x 19 " H. It's more of a cube shaped tank then a rectangular one. Will lighting be in issue?

Cody 01-05-2009 11:28 PM

If you go reef, you will most likely need T5s or Halides in order for the light to penetrate deep enough.

And you will need probably two Powerheads along with the skimmer, with the sand and live rock. That is your filtration, as well as weekly to bi-monthly (every other week) water changes. Koralia Powerheads are great, and two #1's or a #1 with a Nano would do great.

Hailfirex 01-06-2009 02:45 PM

I just got an api freshwater master test kit and have found my tap water has higher ph 7.4 will this cause any problems with saltwater?

onefish2fish 01-06-2009 02:56 PM

do NOT use tap water. it is high in unwanted minerals and nutrients (phosphate,copper, and so on)

RO (reverse osmosis) water is what is used to make salt as well as top off water from evaporation. Pref. a RO/DI as you will have a TDS of 0 or 1. You can purchase RO water by the gallon at most local fish stores or if you want to save yourself constant trips back and forth lugging jugs pick up a RO filter for your home

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