Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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deathjesta1 04-22-2007 03:32 AM

please help. huge tank, so many possibilities
I managed to get hold of a 6x2x3 foot tank for $200 and would love to start a salt water aquarium. I have no idea what the capacity is and have never owned fish before but i have plenty of spare time and a willingness to learn. I have spent a lot of time looking at other forums to see what people say about fresh and salt water tanks and it looks to be about a 50/50 split. My fiance and i would love to start a salt water one for we think the available species are a lot more exotic. If anyone can help me out there with what sort of filters and lights would be best for the large tank, as well as what sort of sands and corals to use that would be most helpfull. We want colourful reef fish and i am quite partial to having a lion fish in there but i know that it is a predatory fish and have to have others around the same size. All your help will be greatly appreciated. :D :D :D

sxcsamman 04-22-2007 04:13 AM

your tank by my calculations is app.270 gallons
the main difference in filtration between salt and fresh is that you'll need a protein skimmer for your tank. i would get a heep of live rock and creat sort of a back with that and than put coral on that, corals your own personally chose go to a store c what they have and choose what u like. you would want halogen lights. for fish i would go more a smaller sizes fish but more to get more of a school which i think is nicer like some gobbies and dottybacks heres a good site for getting an idea of the fish and prices ull also need most of the normal stuff for freshwater like test kits etc.

my 2 cents


deathjesta1 04-22-2007 05:43 AM

hi sxcsamman, thank you for the recomendations. I have done some research and we are thinking of starting off with the essentials before we think of any fish or corals. can you or anyone inform us of the better brands to be looking for when it comes to filters, lights and the likes. We understand that this is a big task and we don't really want to put our money into equipment that falls short of quality. but we don't want to go over the top either.

sxcsamman 04-22-2007 06:46 AM

eheim make great filters but are a bit on the price side but if you can afford go with an eheim

caferacermike 04-26-2007 12:01 AM

Bubble Master, Bubble King, H&S, Deltec, Euroreef, and ASM. Those are the most user friendly units available. Needlewheel technology is the most efficient and cheapest to operate. Beckett injectors are ancient technology, like undergravel filters some people refuse to adapt. Becketts are ok in that they do work but need huge high wattage pumps. Personally after spending $1,000 on a nice skimmer I'd like to save some money on the operating costs. ASM being the most economical. Euroreef being easy to find and affordable, step up from ASM. Deltec are available, pricey but well worth it. the rest are like Ferrari's, expensive but oh so nice.

Return pumps.
Reeflo Dart. Most economical and quietest of external pumps.
Eheim being the best and absolutely silent of the submersibles. I heart Eheim.

Others, MagDrive, coralife, Iwaki, Blue line

Icecap ballasts, PFO ballasts. Sunlight supply for ballasts and fixtures. Retrofit kits from are affordable and nice. you'll need to decide what is going in the tank. A tank that large I'd recommend at least 3x 250w halide with about 200w+ of T5 actinic lighting in TEK reflectors for a reef. flourescent fixtures from Hdepot will work. CoralVue ballasts are known to burnout early.


Tunze pumps are awesome. I won't use anything but Turbelles and wave boxes.

Other brands of interest, Hydor Koralia, Seio.

Sumps or refugiums
Stay away from the over priced Oceanic units. TriggerFish systems makes beautiful sumps but they might not be large enough to house a skimmer appropriate for such a large tank. Rubbermaid feed troughs from livestock sources work great and are affordable for your tank.

Pacific Coast imports. Sunlight Supply. Teco. Current Prime.

salt mixes.

Tropic Marin, Seachem for reefs. Instant Ocean for fish only.

Caribsea Aragonite for substrate. 300lbs of live rock.

An old calculator said to expect $50-100 for a beautiful reef tank per gallon from new. That was for everything: tank, stand canopy, lights, filtration, chillers, heaters, etc.... Fish only setups are cheaper and just as enjoyable. Best of luck.

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