Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SheyFirestar 05-21-2009 02:24 PM

hello all! look here for good conversation
Hi everyone. ive been gone for a while and boy did i miss you guys. my freshwater tank is doing great thanks to the help from everyone here. now i think its time for something a little different. and i think saltwater is my answer. i dont have money or space large enough to dive in with a 30gal or something so im thinking of keeping it small. around 12 gal or so. been scoping out the forums here and others to see what people are using and what additions they have had to make. i want to tell you what im thinking and trying to plan ahead and also any of your experience is more than welcome.

i am aware that going smaller means any mistakes made could go drastically wrong. i feel with proper planning i can keep something this small. im thinking of using either an eclipse system or a biocube. i like the shape of the biocube more and it will probably be my choice unless i get a better suggestion. also i am unsure wether or not i want to go reef or not and would like to keep my options open. ive seen places like nanotuners that do light upgrades for nanocubes and would make things possibly simpler in the long run for a lighting upgrade. ive read the biocubes stock light is sufficient for a fowlr set up. is this true?

if i did get into keeping corals i would most likely upgrade to the best lights i could so i could keep any and all corals happy healthy and to their full potential.

stocking of the tank would of course be slowly after the cycle is complete. starting with small peices of a cleanup crew. snails and crab mix. as for fish i am thinking of the smaller clown fish. or maybe a goby. i dont plan on really stocking this tank with fish only 1 or 2. down the road even farther after the tank matures maybe a sand sifting star.

ok now on to some questions i have for you.
1. i know the biocubes come with filtration that i wont need. what do i do with it. as lr will be my main filtration?
2. biocubes also sell a skimmer that goes with the tank im looking at. anyone with experience with it? most small tank setups ive seen dont have skimmers. would i really need it?
3. in a system like this what is typical for powerheads?
4. what are your opinions on starting out fowlr and converting to reef. can it be done if planned properly meaning choosing the right tank. and of course stocking it with reef safe fish/cuc?

to conclude. the reasons im thinking of going fowlr first is to get a feel for saltwater and because from what ive read you do tend to start at the same point. cycling with live sand and live rock. and i guess i can see if its planned right being able to progress through the cycle and adding improvements later like better lighting and then starting down the corals path.

sorry for being so long winded but ive aching to write this for sometime :).

petlover516 05-21-2009 03:53 PM

1.u can remove the filtration media and make a refugium in the media basket
2.yes many people usually run small tanks without skimmers. i would still reccomend. even just a cheap airstone 1. but the biocube skimmer has terrible reviews.
3.i would suggest hydor deflectors.

SheyFirestar 05-21-2009 10:15 PM

thx petlover. any chance someone can point me in the right direction on how to make a refugium in the media basket?

i went to my lfs today to get a price on what i can buy locally. and i saw that they had live sand but in black. i think that it would make my tank look different but wanted to hear what all you have to say. does it cause light problems from lack of reflection and what are your opinions on what it looks like?

also found a tank system that may do one better than the biocube and thats the auqapod.
54watt cf lighting over 4 watts per gallon is fair. enough for softies and some lps right?
lemme know your thoughts on that tank. thx all.

onefish2fish 05-21-2009 10:29 PM

personally, i suggest a 40 breeder. you can use a 40 breeder and a hang on skimmer like an Aqua-C. thats just my opinion.

i doubt you will be able to keep LPS with the power compacts. softies shouldnt be a problem.

SheyFirestar 05-22-2009 08:14 PM

thx onefish. but i really dont have room for anything of that size. part of the reason to go small is to minimize cost and maximize the effect of the lighting. i cant really afford to have 300$ in equipment and another 300$ tied up in lights at the moment. then add in the extra amount of sand and live rock i just cant afford a large tank.

Pasfur 05-24-2009 04:45 PM


Originally Posted by SheyFirestar (Post 197950)
part of the reason to go small is to minimize cost... the extra amount of sand and live rock i just cant afford a large tank.

This is nothing more than a myth in the saltwater hobby. Dollar for dollar, for FOWRL, there is almost no different in a 10 gallon compared to a 20 gallon, or a 29 gallon compared to a 38 gallon, and so forth. The only limiting factor to consider should be the actual floor space that you have room for. The extra $50 to $100 total that you might spend on additional rock and sand, should you upgrade to a larger aquarium, will more than pay for itself with fewer water changer, fewer water tests, and less livestock death.

There is a very good reason that the experienced hobbyists tell you to buy the biggest aquarium you possibly can. To ignore this part of setting up your first marine tank means that you are not currently ready to take the plunge.

Look, I absolutely love this hobby. I want as many people to set up successful marine systems as possible. But a 12 gallon setup for your first aquarium, regardless of planning, is almost always a disaster. No amount of conversation or book learning can replace hands on practical experience.

What is your total budget? Lets talk through some options for somewhat larger low budget setups that you can enjoy and learn from.

Pasfur 05-24-2009 04:48 PM

Also, what City and State? We need to search Craigs List for you.

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