Planning my first marine tank. Help!
I am wanting to set up my first marine tank and would like some help in planning ahead to ensure i get it right from the start.
As i have never kept saltwater fish before I would apreciate help on selecting compatibe species and planning my tank. I haven't got my heart set on anything specific, though I do want lots of colour and I like unusual fish like the cowfish.
I have a 4 foot 200 litre tank.
Woud love some help on where to start and the best fish to choose.
the best is to start with homework. check the fish profiles and see what goes with what water parameters and see if they are the community type. make a list and post it here.
while you are doing this you might want to start cycling the tank coz it will take up to a month to fully cycle before you can add any type of sensitive fish. damsels can be used in the second week of cycling if you want a fish to help cycle the tank. this is what you'll need sand for the bottom, live rock, filters(sump filters a best for large tanks), skimmers, lighting,thermometer, marine salt and ro water (not necessary but the best) and a test kit.
add salt and water accordingly and wait till it's fully dissolved.place sand and live rock into tank add filters and pipes then slowly fill in the water.the tank will be murky a first but it will clear up in time.test the water and make a note. for the first 2 weeks you'll have an ammonia spike after that a nitrite spike in the following 2 weeks (you can safely add 2 damsels at this point to help cycle the tank) then after the 4 weeks of cycling you'll see nitrate.your tank has now cycled sufficiently to add a few more fish but remember don't add a lot each time.
as for lighting get the right lights for a marine tank. theres coral lights, moon lights and others.i prefer using 2 x48 inch T8 or T5 bulbs one for coral one for night time.
balance out the light given to the tanks so there wont be algae problems.10 hours of day light, 4 hours of moonlight and lightouts for the other 10 hours.
I would begin by reading the Introduction to Saltwater article by OF2F, and then move onto the Saltwater Filtration 101 article, written by a very handsome near genius, whose name I will keep to myself.
After you read a couple of articles, the next step is to review some build threads by members who have set up successful marine tanks. You can find those here http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...ctures-videos/. My 180 build thread has lots of pictures about how to set the system up http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...r-build-21979/.
OF2F has his build there as well http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...und-2-a-20611/. With a little browsing, you will see that a lot of these threads are posted by people with no experience at all as they start. You will find that almost all successfull tanks have a very common theme, which is the use of a protein skimmer, live rock and/or dry rock, and aragonite sand.
Your 55 gallon tank size will limit you to smaller fish, with an adult size of 4-5'' maximum. There are a ton of suitable fish to choose from, so finding color won't be a problem. But you have to recognize early that you have size constraints with a tank this small, and realize that keeping some of the more popular fish, such as Tangs, will just not be an option for you.
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