Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   What do I need for a saltwater aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/what-do-i-need-saltwater-aquarium-70032/)

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 05:42 PM

What do I need for a saltwater aquarium
 
I recently went to my local pet store and spoke with an employee about
salt water aquariums. He told me they aren't difficult they are just different from
freshwater aquariums. I told him "I really enjoy saltwater fish but have become discouraged
by others who say the saltwater aquariums are not worth the effort that they are to expensive
and are extremely hard to maintain." he then told me owning a saltwater aquarium is actually
not as hard as people make it out to be. He asked me what sized tank I would use I told him
I could purchase any size really but I preferred a larger tank for swimming space. He then told me all I would need is the tank, appropriate filter, live sand, live rock, saltwater mix, and I should be fine.
He also said I would need a hydrometer and he said to do basic water tests.
Is this true?

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 05:45 PM

Money and time is not an issue I just have a few questions.

onefish2fish 05-09-2011 07:28 PM

i prefer a refractometer over a hydrometer any day. look on ebay for one, as you should be able to find one for not much more then what a LFS is selling a hydrometer and they are way more accurate.
patience is the huge key with a saltwater tank.
it seems the store employee has mentioned most of the basics you will need. no "filter" besides a protein skimmer. you'll also need heaters, and powerheads for water movement. high powered lighting is a must if you wish on keeping any corals. also keep in mind the tank is actually one of the cheapest things you'll purchase for your setup.
regardless if you really have some cash and time to invest then a saltwater tank isnt so much of a challenge, as long as you do tons of research. i suggest reading anything related to the hobby to increase your chances of success and enjoyment. i cannot stress how important it is to read up about saltwater tanks if your serious in keeping one. asking questions helps too, just be careful where your information is being sourced from. hope that helps, and feel free to ask away.

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 669831)
i prefer a refractometer over a hydrometer any day. look on ebay for one, as you should be able to find one for not much more then what a LFS is selling a hydrometer and they are way more accurate.
patience is the huge key with a saltwater tank.
it seems the store employee has mentioned most of the basics you will need. no "filter" besides a protein skimmer. you'll also need heaters, and powerheads for water movement. high powered lighting is a must if you wish on keeping any corals. also keep in mind the tank is actually one of the cheapest things you'll purchase for your setup.
regardless if you really have some cash and time to invest then a saltwater tank isnt so much of a challenge, as long as you do tons of research. i suggest reading anything related to the hobby to increase your chances of success and enjoyment. i cannot stress how important it is to read up about saltwater tanks if your serious in keeping one. asking questions helps too, just be careful where your information is being sourced from. hope that helps, and feel free to ask away.

That helps a lot actually but no filter, why?

onefish2fish 05-09-2011 08:22 PM

a "filter" traps debris, detritus and food/poop within its mesh filter pads allowing them to build up, and then start to break down. this method of filtration works well on a freshwater tank, but on a saltwater tank you do NOT want excess nutrient build ups/dead flow spots in the tank, you want to keep poop in the water column long enough for a skimmer to remove it. idealy a saltwater tank has 0ppm nitrate reading, which i strive to keep my tanks at. a properly set up SW system should not have an issue of acheiving this. it will involve dedication and work, but the end result is a beautiful looking, healthy running tank. to sum it up, anyone can put water and fish in a bucket and watch them swim around for the 2 days they'd survive, but not everyone can fill a glass cage with water and enjoy their same fish for years.

exactly what size tank do you wish to set up? what do you want to keep and what are you looking to get out of it?

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 669898)
a "filter" traps debris, detritus and food/poop within its mesh filter pads allowing them to build up, and then start to break down. this method of filtration works well on a freshwater tank, but on a saltwater tank you do NOT want excess nutrient build ups/dead flow spots in the tank, you want to keep poop in the water column long enough for a skimmer to remove it. idealy a saltwater tank has 0ppm nitrate reading, which i strive to keep my tanks at. a properly set up SW system should not have an issue of acheiving this. it will involve dedication and work, but the end result is a beautiful looking, healthy running tank. to sum it up, anyone can put water and fish in a bucket and watch them swim around for the 2 days they'd survive, but not everyone can fill a glass cage with water and enjoy their same fish for years.

exactly what size tank do you wish to set up? what do you want to keep and what are you looking to get out of it?

Well I haven't purchase the tank yet I can buy any size whatever works best.
I do not want a lot of fish max 2 percula clown fish and as for the tank I was looking to purchase
a 55g with just live sand and live rock no coral. Does this sound okay or should I change something?

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 08:52 PM

I'm looking to successfully
start a saltwater tank with
1-2 happy percula clown fish.

onefish2fish 05-09-2011 09:11 PM

perfect! i mean it, perfect. usually its, i bought this, this and this and now what do i do.
since you havnt spent any money yet, knowledge is free if you seek it, soak it up. this is the time to read, read, ask a few questions then read. i admire you reaching out before starting. prior research before purchase is important for sucess. as your reading dont be afraid to jot notes or ideas. plan ahead. look at other peoples build threads, see how they did it and so forth...dont expect the minimum wage kid at the fish store to be a wealth of information, not to discredit his/her knowledge but use many sources to aquire the best tried method.

im glad i had asked tank size. a 55 gallon tank IMO makes a good sump or freshwater tank, not so much a display saltwater tank. i dont want you to think you cannot set up a 55 gallon tank and have it running just as smoothly as another size, but theres some things to consider. a standard 55 is 4 feet long, same as a standard 75 gallon. however, the width of the 55 is smaller of that of the 75. again, i know people who have done 55 gallon SW tanks, but the smaller width constricts your aquascaping with your live rock. either going down to a 40 breeder, or up to the 75 will give you the wider room to have more options with your rock work. now, keep in mind the larger the tank the more saltwater you'll be mixing, meaning you'll be using more salt, meaning you'll be spending more money longer term.. it would also cost more for powerheads to keep the water flowing in the 75 and lighting then the 3 foot long 40 breeder. your also going to loose some tank volume due to the rocks being in the tank ( about 1-2lbs of rock per gallon, est. depending on its density ) and displacing water.
these are just a few things to consider. if your only doing 2 perc clowns they'd have plenty of room together in the 40 breeder. realisticly speaking if you really do intend on ONLY the 2 clowns you can even go with a smaller tank then that. also just to mention since you def. want sand, either go with a less then 1 inch sand depth or 4-6 inch sand depth. anything in between seems to cause nutrient build ups ( similiar to the freshwater filter as stated above... just like not having enough flow would build up poop in your rockwork, or having bioballs in a sump ) and should be avoided.

CottonDandyBubbleFun 05-09-2011 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 669957)
perfect! i mean it, perfect. usually its, i bought this, this and this and now what do i do.
since you havnt spent any money yet, knowledge is free if you seek it, soak it up. this is the time to read, read, ask a few questions then read. i admire you reaching out before starting. prior research before purchase is important for sucess. as your reading dont be afraid to jot notes or ideas. plan ahead. look at other peoples build threads, see how they did it and so forth...dont expect the minimum wage kid at the fish store to be a wealth of information, not to discredit his/her knowledge but use many sources to aquire the best tried method.

im glad i had asked tank size. a 55 gallon tank IMO makes a good sump or freshwater tank, not so much a display saltwater tank. i dont want you to think you cannot set up a 55 gallon tank and have it running just as smoothly as another size, but theres some things to consider. a standard 55 is 4 feet long, same as a standard 75 gallon. however, the width of the 55 is smaller of that of the 75. again, i know people who have done 55 gallon SW tanks, but the smaller width constricts your aquascaping with your live rock. either going down to a 40 breeder, or up to the 75 will give you the wider room to have more options with your rock work. now, keep in mind the larger the tank the more saltwater you'll be mixing, meaning you'll be using more salt, meaning you'll be spending more money longer term.. it would also cost more for powerheads to keep the water flowing in the 75 and lighting then the 3 foot long 40 breeder. your also going to loose some tank volume due to the rocks being in the tank ( about 1-2lbs of rock per gallon, est. depending on its density ) and displacing water.
these are just a few things to consider. if your only doing 2 perc clowns they'd have plenty of room together in the 40 breeder. realisticly speaking if you really do intend on ONLY the 2 clowns you can even go with a smaller tank then that. also just to mention since you def. want sand, either go with a less then 1 inch sand depth or 4-6 inch sand depth. anything in between seems to cause nutrient build ups ( similiar to the freshwater filter as stated above... just like not having enough flow would build up poop in your rockwork, or having bioballs in a sump ) and should be avoided.

Thank you I really appreciate your info. I wasn't planning on jumping into owning a saltwater tank and have everything go wrong spend tons of cash and watch my clown fish suffer and possibly die off. I can purchase a different tank if necessary but the tank I'm looking at has plenty of room for aquascaping but I thought the 55g at petsmart looked cool but if you think I should do a 40/75 that's fine what ever is best for my
tank. Money is not the issue for me the issue is I'm new to saltwater aquariums I'm actually starting
multiple tanks actually :jester: I'm addicted but this is my first saltwater tank and i want to do it properly.

onefish2fish 05-09-2011 09:51 PM

the 55 gallon would work, i was just suggesting better options in my opinion. (IMO) the wider tanks really help when it comes to placing your rock and having it look natural. its easy to have a narrow tank and reconstruct the berlin wall, as space is limited. for this reason alone its fairly common to see cube tanks with saltwater.
for the sake of only having 2 clowns you could go with a 20 to 30 gallon and be more then alright, with water changes to keep it in check.


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