Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   First Tank, need advice on parts to buy (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/first-tank-need-advice-parts-buy-8374/)

mrandersonxd 09-20-2007 05:43 PM

First Tank, need advice on parts to buy
 
So I've been researching this and reading for a while. At first, my goal was to build a 75+ gallon reef tank with various species(coral, eels, clown fish, etc.), but after reading I realize this might get costly and potentially risky. So I've picked up a 10 gallon tank that I'm going to start with live rock and potentially some snails or crabs, and eventually add a fish or two(approx. 1 month after fillup). Now that you know my plans, tank size and stocking goals, here are my questions.

What accessories do I NEED?

After skimming through a couple books and reading at least 20 how-to's this is my list.

-(2) 100GPH powerheads
-(1) heater
-(1) air pump(i didnt read about these anywhere, but am familiar with FW tanks and I thought this would be required?)
-(1) basic light(I read that lighting is not so crucial in FOWLR tanks)
-hydrometer w/ temp gauge
-pH tester

One of my ideas is to use a 5gal bucket as my "sump" and use my 2 pumps specified for sending and returning of the water(the bucket will hold my filter + heater), is this not practical? What would the optimal, money-saving way of doing this be? I'm trying to save some money here because this 10 gallon is just for my learning, I plan to step up to a 50+ gallon tank in the next year or 2.

I have priced out some of this on bigalsonline.com, is this a site you guys recommend? If not, point me in the right direction. I plan to go to a local store to purchase my salt, distilled water, sand, live rock and fish. But I'd like to do my hardware shopping online(I find this to be cheaper, especially where I live).

A piece that really confuses me is the protein skimmer, will my 10 gallon need this? A detailed list of all the pieces I need for a first-time successful FOWLR tank would be amazing, but any advice is gladly taken.

This is my first post here, my name is Nick Anderson and I live in the Chicago area. Hopefully my first tank will be a good one!

gymnothorax 09-22-2007 01:37 AM

well, what does your budget look like? 10 gallon fowlr is possible, but considering this is your first marine tank I would advise against it. Tanks that size require alot more dedication and attention to detail, evaporation will be a much bigger concern, ammonia can shoot up overnight with a single generous feeding, anything that can go wrong in a large tank will get out of hand alot faster. The best thing to do is to get the largest tank within your price and space limitations. I'd hate for your first try to discourage you from the hobby, i've seen too many people try start out small, and in the end they end up getting frustrated and giving up. If you do choose to go small, however, I would not recommend a sump, unless you plan on using one larger than the tank itself. Best suggestion I can give you would be to use a small canister filter and maybe a powerhead depending on whether or not the canister provides enough current. That will allow you to cover as much of your tank as possible using a canopy to help cut back on evaporation. That combined with lr should be enough. heater may be optional, in some cases the motor on the filter will heat the tank plenty, just monitor your temp while cycling and make your decision.

bettababy 10-10-2007 04:10 PM

I agree completely!!! Starting off small can get more expensive and will require daily care to keep it stable, not to mention healthy. It is possible to do a 10 gallon, but please also note that there isn't much room for animals in 10 gallons. If fish are what you crave, the bigger the tank the better! Even 1 blue damsel will eventually outgrow a 10 gallon tank, and it doesn't take real long to happen. About the only real good fish for a 10 gallon is an ocellaris (neom) clownfish, due to their small size... and maybe something like a red head or clown goby. That's it for fish, even with a sump. Inverts are also harder to accomidate in 10 gallons because as was stated, water quality fluctuates so much more rapidly, and to such an extreme. Inverts are also not all compatible, and many will get too large for a 10 gallon tank, also.
If you can handle small and mostly corals, and being very choosy about what you put together, it can be done, and I've had some beautiful tanks in the past that were 10 gallons and even smaller, but the sacrafice is a lot and it is not easy to keep going long term. Skimmers that are made for nano tanks don't tend to work very well, which means skimming the water's surface with paper toweling daily, sometimes more... and having every test kit imaginable on hand all the time. Calcium, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, GH, Kh, iodine, and a few others will be needed on hand for a nano reef of that size. A hydrometer that is accurate, mixing vat for premixing your saltwater, because even with a sump, daily water changes will be needed. You could attempt to put a skimmer into your sump, but then a bucket wouldn't be the thing to work with... a rubbermaid tub which is rectangular in shape would work better and provide more room for the things you'll need.
Keep us posted, we'll help all we can!


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