Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   finaly gonna start my new tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/finaly-gonna-start-my-new-tank-36063/)

teddyzaper 01-26-2010 06:11 PM

finaly gonna start my new tank
 
ok so im starting a new reef tank and i have some questions. i made a post a while ago about thinking about it but i wasnt to serious at the time.

ok so im gonna either start out with a 10gal or a 20gal, because i already have both those tanks and a very small budget. i also have a light that fits both and is very nice.

the light specs are: 6700k 65 watt... will this be adequite in either of the tanks for some corals of some type? please say what type of corals.

ok so for stocking the tank, we have a VERY nice salt water fish store, and not to be rude im kinda hoping it will close so i can get sales :lol:. i will probably buy the skimmer and the sand and maybe a heater online. for that i have a VERY tight budget and will be looking for stuff on ebay and some other auction stores. i need a skimmer that can hang on back and has all that good stuff for the tank for $35..... i know, but ive seen them before for like $20.

the rest of the money will be spent on high quality rock, that i like the look of. i am planning on making a bridge and a cave, and some nice flat areas for some corals. the best part is that i can pick out the rock myself. i think im only gonna start out with 5lbs because the rocks at the store are very light.

what depth sand bed should i get, because if i get a 6inch sandbed that is almost 1/4 of the 10gal tank and then i would only have 7.5gal of water which seems like VERY little.

as for stalking, i would like a goby and a shrimp. i think it was the watchman goby and the pistol shrimp that team up together or something? i really like that type of group. also, i would like to have a crab, although not a HAVE TO HAVE, i think they look really cool. got any suggestions on stalking other then what i said?

i will be working a lot for my mom so i can get money, but currently i have $36 so what would be the best thing to buy to start off with? i know i need to buy salt, a salinity thing, and a water tester, i got freshwater and it also has PH for saltwater, but no calcium or any of that good stuff. could u tell me what tests to get and what to buy first?

also, im in no hurry so i can take this tank very slow if needed to, ofc everyone wants its done so they can look at it but i think half the fun is the making of the tank :lol:

long and confusing post but please if you could help me on this it would be greatly appreciated, i will post a build when i start to put it together:lol::lol::lol:

teddyzaper 01-26-2010 06:39 PM

ok so i got some more questions now that ive surfed the web for a bit.

do i need a cover on the tank so the water doesnt eveaporate making the salnity spike?

i saw these skimmers for in my price range: Aquarium Water Quality: JBJ Lighting Protein Skimmer Kit for 28 gallon Nano Cube

Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer

although the secod one is in the tank and looks a bit big.

would the first one be any good? its well within my price range.

mrdemin 01-26-2010 06:54 PM

With a 10 or 20 gallon tank you will probably lose more money than with a bigger tank. A decent skimmer goes for over 100 bucks, so I would not recommend one for 35. I'm not sure if corals REQUIRE actinic light, but 6700k is daylight, not for corals. As for sand you would need between 4-6 inches. Live/dry rock needs to be present in 1 lb/gallon. You need a calcium test, alkalinity test I believe, buffers, the salinity thing is called a hydrometer. All this will add up in the hundreds of dollars.
Based on your post I would recommend using your 36 bucks to invest in a book on starting and maintaining saltwater tanks.

Pasfur should have a more interesting and helpful answer for you ;)

teddyzaper 01-26-2010 07:26 PM

i understand i cant get the bist stuff, but i cant afford $100 on a skimmer alone. would that skimmer at least SKIM stuff?

Pasfur 01-26-2010 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdemin (Post 313486)
Pasfur should have a more interesting and helpful answer for you ;)

Thank you, but honestly folks, we have a lot of great experienced hobbyists on this site. Don't loose track of OF2F, Wake, BettaBaby, Kellsindell, and others who provide a ton of great advice. Sometimes to much of one person can be a bad thing.

Anyhow, the best advice I can give on this thread is to be extremely patient. I realize you have a small budget, but small tanks need a long time to mature, and you will have no problem buying things as you go along. Most test kits can be purchased gradually, such as Nitrate, alkalinity, and calcium. The same with your buffer and calcium supplement.

Up front, you will need to get salt, a hydrometer, ammonia and nitrite kits, a couple power heads, live rock, and purchase 10 gallons of RO water. This will probably max out your budget for now. A skimmer won't be necessary for several weeks.

For the record, both of those skimmers that you posted are horrible models. The VisaJet is possibly the worst skimmer ever made. The other has an extremely thin neck, which will allow very minimal water to bubble contact time. Here is a better option:
Nano Protein Skimmer Reef Aquarium Nano Reef Tank Nano Cube Aquapod

I would prefer a hang on skimmer, so let me also check on eBay and see what I can find for you. I didn't see much at first glance just now, but I'm home dealing with a knee surgery and nothing better to do, so I will keep a look out and try to find something that works for you.

Again, the biggest key will be patience. Also, you want to stock this tank VERY lightly to allow room for grow out. Corals grow a lot faster than you think. For a 10 gallon, I think your light will be fine. You should stick with mostly soft corals to get your feet wet. Polyps, mushrooms, zoanthids, that sort of thing.

For sand, I would suggest a very thin layer, under 1'' of sand, for a 10 gallon tank. If it is 20 gallons, then consider going 4''. In my experience, this will provide you the maximum denitrification benefits.

Pasfur 01-26-2010 08:18 PM

This isn't a very good skimmer, but for a 10 gallon would be within your budget and with soft corals and routine water changes would get the job done. It also holds about a gallon of water, which increases your water volume by about 15%. The chamber would also allow you a place to put a small bag of activated carbon, which i'm a fan of in a reef. Finally, it pushes some water flow, which would really be helpful in a small tank to save some space, allowing you to only use 1 powerhead. So, it does provide some benefits. Protein Skimmer TAAM Rio Nano Skimmer for Coral Reef - eBay (item 220545492182 end time Jan-30-10 16:55:51 PST)

mrdemin 01-26-2010 08:52 PM

See zapper I was way off :)
And pasfur, I have only seen wake and bettababy around a few times, you're always on here, thats why I mentioned you lol.
This should be an interesting thread, and I'm curious the outcome since every other thread I have seen til now recommended different things. As for buying LR, I wonder how much is it in that store of yours? I have seen it here at one store for 10 bucks per pound, sounds like overkill... is it?

teddyzaper 01-26-2010 09:12 PM

well at the store it was about $6-$10 depending on the "quality"... this makes me laugh, because its all in a giant tank all mixed together, how do they tell?

first off, thank you for understanding me and my budget.

so all those skimmers are within my budget but the first link had one for $140? is that the one your recomending? are is it the other two?

i can do up to a water change a day XD i dont think that will be necesary though....

so do i need to change the buld or will it do for soft corals?

are kenya trees soft corals? i think they might get to big for the tank though... i also like polyps, although i love natural color, so the more color the better :)

im thinking of going with the 10gal, because im afraid the shape of the 20gal will make me go crazy (its pretty tall).

i think my dad has an R/O machien sitting in the grage somewhere. could i use that? and also there is a big one and a small one. which one should i set up, i can get some specs on it tommorows (its cold outside and dark and im being a wimp)

ok well i think the live rock will be the end of my budget due to the price of the stuff.... also is there any type of salt or can i just stop by petco on the way to check out the fish store again. (i wont buy anything at the fish store unless i could buy the LR the same time as the salt.

do they give u LR out of the water or in a baggy or sumthing? that would be a heavy baggy. im just trying to think of everything before i go, cause its a long drive.

i could go there tommorow or thursday because i got half days (finals). but i still dont understand about the skimmer. i thought u would need it at the beggining like in a FW tank, cause its like a filter. although the LR does filter i would think it needs a break in time....

i got powerhead that i use in freshwater, although im not sure how well they would do in salt water, is it worth a try? would they break down? also i think i can find a hydrometer in the big pile of fish stuff..... are old ones accurate enough, it would be like 5yrs old....

i also prefer hang on skimmers, maybe not for the same reason, but i like them cause they arent in my beutiful tank XD

i just found those skimmers online through price range check so i wasnt really looking at the quality, and to tell you the truth, websites are pretty convincing XD

i like the one you found on ebay, i might just snag it before someone else buys it, because i can wait to set up the tank.

teddyzaper 01-26-2010 11:45 PM

ok well my mom says we can go to petco tommorow, just wondering, how much sand should i get to make a 1 inch sanbed, and how much salt, and they are clearing out thier SW section so they might have specials, the LR is pretty bad but i mean if its for a good deal i could get some?

Pasfur 01-27-2010 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teddyzaper (Post 313625)
so all those skimmers are within my budget but the first link had one for $140? is that the one your recomending? are is it the other two?

I gave you the wrong link. This is the skimmer I was looking at for you: Nano Protein Skimmer Small Aquatic Life Internal Mini Skimmer 115 Protein Skimmer

Quote:

i can do up to a water change a day XD i dont think that will be necesary though....
I don't consider water changes to be an alternative to skimming. A 10% water change will reduce the nitrate buildup by 10%. You are trying to prevent the buildup of nitrate and depletion of carbonates, which is what the skimmer will help achieve.

Quote:

are kenya trees soft corals?
Yes. I would think this is along the lines of what you are looking for. OF2F & Wake have more experience in coral selection than I do. They can help you a lot on this.

Quote:

im thinking of going with the 10gal, because im afraid the shape of the 20gal will make me go crazy (its pretty tall).
Is it a 20 X-tall, or a 20 regular? A 20 x-tall is the same as a 10 gallon, but 2 times the height. This would be ideal for you to use with a nice 5'' deep sand bed!

Quote:

i think my dad has an R/O machien sitting in the grage somewhere. could i use that?
I have no idea. Ask Dawn. (BettaBaby)

Quote:

is there any type of salt or can i just stop by petco on the way to check out the fish store again.
I use Instant Ocean.

Quote:

do they give u LR out of the water or in a baggy or sumthing?
They will box it for you and should wrap it in wet newspaper.

Quote:

t i still dont understand about the skimmer. i thought u would need it at the beggining like in a FW tank, cause its like a filter.
The skimmer is really the exact opposite of a filter. It is REMOVING nutrients. A filter breaks down nutrients or traps nutrients. The live rock will serve as your only source of biological processing of waste. Again, not having a skimmer for a few weeks will not hurt at all.

Quote:

i got powerhead that i use in freshwater, although im not sure how well they would do in salt water, is it worth a try? would they break down? also i think i can find a hydrometer in the big pile of fish stuff..... are old ones accurate enough, it would be like 5yrs old....
The powerhead should be fine for saltwater, unless it is a very generic brand. Rinse the hydrometer in vinegar and take it to the LFS. Test it compared to their hydrometer to see if it is still giving an accurate reading.


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