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pootwilson

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does a salt water tank have to have a filter if you do weekly water changes i was just wondering if it was absolutely neccessary or if i could do without it. and do i have to have a sump and a skimmer too or are those just things that make cleaning easier? also i was wondering about easy fish(or hardy fish) that would be good for a begginner i was going to set up a 10g tank(and dont give me the lecture about it being harder to take care of a smaller tank b/c i already know) but i want a fish only tank i dont really want the rocks or anything b/c i dont have the lighting for that but i want to eventually be able to put two compattable fish in the 10g but i want to start off with one at first so i want an easy one to take care of. i would really love a clown fish but i dont want to kill it (or any other fish) :o but i didnt think clown fish were easy to take care of for begginners so i wanted an easy fish. i have been doing some research so i think i am ready to get a salt water tank i just have these questions i need answered first. thanks for answering any questions i really appreciate that. :wub:

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General info:

Saltwater tanks need:

Water changes 10%-20% once a week.

A filter and possibly a protein skimmer for better quality water if your going to do a coral reef. If a fish only tank you still need a filter but skimmer is optional.

You need chems: Alk, Calcium a different for fish or reef tank.

Test kits: Ph, Alk, Cal, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, phosphates.

You will need RO water for top offs of evaporation tap water will add to many nitrates to the tank.

You will need to either find a place that mixes the salt water for you and you can buy it or you will need to mix it your self.

Then you need to make a decision if your going to have a Fish only tank or a Reef tank. cause then you need to plan out live sand, live rock or fake rock or no sand at all.

You will need for a reef tank 4-5 watts per gal of light.

Fish only tank I would go with 2-3 watts per gal for them.

You will need a very good heater to keep the tank temp 78-80F. Reef tanks like it in the higher end fish can be more tolerant of this....

I also suggest even if its a fish only tank to have an extra power head going for the water circulation in the tank. If you go reef I would say its different since most of them except a very few of the animals need water circulation in there.

If you go reef with coral and such there is another big part of additives for the tank depending on what animals you have in there. Some like Plankton others like Marine snow, mystical shrimp and other things....

But in a general ? no you can run a SW tank with out a filter... :D

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just reread your?

clown fish that would fit in there would have to be the False perc or the True no other one will fit in there. If you want 2 of them you will need to buy them as a paired couple or they can fight with each other.

You will need a filter and a light for them, even the fish need the light, also a heater will be needed.

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thanks alot :heart that was very informative. and i figured i would get clown fish later after i had more experience and you didnt answer my question about hardy fishthat could fit in a 10 gallon tank thanks for everything else though

also what does RO mean i know i saw it somewhere but i cant remember and would distilled water be ok or would tap water that sits out be okbecause i asked my mom and she said we dont have any clorine or chloramine in our water wich i have heard is bad for salt water and how much calcium and alk will i need to add and how often will i need to add this. thanks

Edited by ilovefish
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  • 1 year later...
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I have been thinking about turning my 29 gal freshwater tank into a saltwater tank. How hard would that be? Can I still use my AQ110? Is a fish only tank easier for a beginner? What do you Xperts think?

Edited by Jeana727
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Damsels are highly terrirorial and unless you want to keep just one, there's no way you keep 2 or more in a 10 gal tank. Even if they're the same species. The limited space will make them aggressive. In a larger tank, they can go to their own territories/ homes if they're chased by a fish.

Bullying occurs because they want to protect their territory, but in a nano tank, damsel often takes it to the next level and they will not quit chasing the fish until it's dead. But if you plan to keep just one, go ahead they're colorful, hardy, and are not choosy about foods. :)

I recommend two fish and no more. Ten gallon is really not much space for marine fish... even for gobies.

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Even if your tap water doesn't contain chlorine and chloramine, it still contains metal and phosphate that are still dangerous. Best to go with is the R/O water you can purchase at LFS.

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I think for a beginner, it's better to go with live rock and not fish only tank. It's better to have a biological filter. I think it takes someone experienced to completely rely on the water quality on mechanical filters because they don't really filter

much of the waste in marine setups.

Biological filter should be the main system and helped by the mechanical filters. You should also use protein skimmer. For a nano tank, a small one that uses air stone should be a good fit... if you use the common bigger skimmer, it's too expensive and will cause too much water current.

But never go with undergravel filter because it will never work in marine setups. You can research more why that is... I find it appalling some books still suggest undergravel filter for marine, because it's totally so wrong. Honestly, I forgot the reason why this can't be used in marine setups, but all I know is you just can't lol :yikes

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Water quality... in addition to what koko said about weekly water change... you should always monitor how much water is lost to evaporation.

In fresh water you could get away with evaporation, but in marine setups it could cause death. When water evaporates, the salt remains, this means the tank gets saltier. You could put a marking with a marker or tape to know where the water level is when you first set it up so you know how much water is lost and how much you should add. And since the salt remains in the tank, for water top off, you only need to put in just water (without salt).

Also before every water change, it's important that you do it when you have finished topping off the water lost to evaporation. If you do water change before you top off the water that is lost to evaporation, what happens is you're getting rid of the saltier water in the tank with water with normal salinity that you do. You may get away with this once or twice but over time, over 4-6 months or more, this will considerably reduce the salinity of the water in the tank, especially considering your tank is a nano.

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Clean up crew will help you a lot. Get some turbo snails, hermit crabs.

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Tank set up should be with live sand to go with the live rock... over time the beneficial bacterias (hitchhikers from live rocks) will reproduce and they will host in the sand. This is why the thicker/ higher the sand the better... but make sure it's not too thick you can't enjoy your tank. You will see thousands of critters (pods) on your tank glass... they're the good guys. And once you add a fish like damsel or clown, they like to eat them so the pods will burrow and live in the sand. They're helpful in processing the highly toxic "nitrite" to a still toxic but much more tolerable "nitrate".

I believe the perfect set up should read all ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at 0.

I think so far that should be a pretty solid basic... there's plenty more to learn, including lighting, sump, calcium, kH, pH and other advanced level care, which I'm not there yet lol

I hope you enjoy should you decide to give it a go :)

Remember patience is gold with marine tanks...

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Blue Damsels are nice docile fish and are good community fish.Heres some information for you to read on them :)

http://www.aquariacentral.com/species/db.c...;view_records=1

Sorry but I really question that... the neon damsel is one of the most aggressive damsel fishes along with domino damsels.

They're not at all docile... I don't know where you get that unless they're housed in a massive tank and have their territory/ station big enough to make them happy... yeah they can look docile. Or unless they're the only fish in the tank.

But in a nano tank, with more than one fish, they're a disaster waiting to happen. Many guys who keep damsels in 30 gal or smaller tanks usually want to catch them to return them to LFS because they're just impossible to maintain peace with other fishes.

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The only way to go with damsel if you have enough space is if you go with a large fish or an equally aggressive fish. Damsels won't mess with maroon clownfish unless if it's juvenile of course. But big fish such as tangs and butterflies shouldn't be kept in small tanks.

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I agree just looking at the page tells you to keep them in groups and from keeping SW any fish that is a group fish will be aggressive and if you have only one they will get more and more aggressive :( I have 3 Chromis in my tank and even with just three they are very mean if others get in there side of the tank.

As for changing from Fresh water to salt water, thats easy and how I did my 45 gal tank. It was a goldfish tank and its now my SW tank. This tank has sand and Live rock in it, coral and inverts, and some fish. So heres some specs of my tank.

45 gal tank

450 Emperor filter (sponge and Chem pure bags in it only)

Prizm Deluxe Skimmer on the back

About 50-70 Pounds of live rock

About 10 pounds of sand (used to be more but been taking it out slowly)

2 powerheads (good for circlulation in the tank)

165W Coral life compact light

200W Coral life compact light

Thats just the set up :D

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Guest addicted2clownfish

damsels are very aggressive I had 2 of them it got to the point they were attacking everything in my tank esp my true percula's needless to say I got rid of them

I switched fully to saltwater and loving it

saltwater is easy as pie to set up but also saltwater takes a lil longer to cycle

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So true on the cycling, It took me about 4 -5 months just to be able to place shrimp in there and mushrooms. Anyone going to SW that has had goldfish can but you need alot more time to get the tank right before doing anything. I love it :heart

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Guest addicted2clownfish

same here I read so much on individuals putting stuff in their tanks after only 1 month and we're talking sps stuff and then later you read they had a major crash. thats one thing with this hobby it has to be taken slow. I didnt even add anything right away when i first started the true way to tell that your tank is truly cycled also is when you get diatoms once you get diatoms you know that your tank is cycled some ppl will feed their tanks with no livestock to get a cycle going

I think some good books to read is called the reef aquarium volumes 1 volume 2 and volume 3 alot of excellent info in there esp for the newbies wanting to do salt water you can most likely borrow them from the library

Edited by addicted2clownfish
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I bought 2 books when I started and researched for 6 months before buying my nano tank. Then was so slow in placing anything in there. I think the biggest mistake most people do when they start in SW is not taking time with the set up and trying to get it to cycle to fast. The biggest problem with this is that you will kill things and it will make your cycle take longer, plus the fact how expensive things are in the SW world.

Time is all you have with the SW world :D

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Guest addicted2clownfish

yep taking your time and reading up and doing as much research as you can is all worth it in the end esp with the water chemistry it is a whole other story.

that is so true my other half is freaking out at how much I spend on coral but I buy it from fellow reefers in my local area reef club so it does somewhat save on $$$. I spend so much time on my reef it is crazy I actually moved it into my computer room as that is where I am majority of the time. I am always eyeing up stuff for my tank I am actually getting ready to buy 5 frags of micros for 200 and getting ready to upgrade to full blown metal halide thats really going to cost as those are really expensive esp the bulbs. I also plan on doing a dedicated RBTA tank with clowns

Then my tank is going to be full blown sps dominated and the only place I will get sps frags from is fellow reefers or ORA never wild caught

Aqua Cultered is the way to go

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I completely agree about aquaculturing!! As much as I love my mandarins I wish they would stop collecting them--for every mandarin that is placed in an established, appropriate tank, how many more are there that die?

You will LOVE the MH for your SPS. We set up our tank last January and just love it. We really debated over metal halide vs LED or VHO lighting but with SPS, there's really no comparison. What light spectrum do you plan to go with? We have 1400s, a nice mix of white and blue that still gives color but also promotes growth.

Jeana, I would say that yes definitely you can do a fish only tank with your 29 gallon. I turned my 30 gallon into one, and kept a really cool chocolate chip star in there. YOu can't keep those with corals since they eat them, so they are one great thing to keep in a fish only system. You can also keep other invertebrates such as shrimp or small crabs. So really, a fish only system doesn't necessarily mean only fish, just no coral.

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Guest addicted2clownfish

I hear ya on that everything I get has always been AC. I think they should stop with the WC stock there are so many things I think they should keep in the Ocean as well IMO.

I plan on going with 150watts HQI 14000k phoenix's with actinics as I have a 30 gallon reef and 250 watts I definitely think would be overkill for them.

My next system is going to be 120 gallon Oceanic RR

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I worked in a pet store for years and the prices of AC stock are what turn people away from them. A lot of people, I found, would want large colonies rather than small pieces, so of course they would go for the wild caught. I personally have mostly aquacultured or traded pieces in our tank. I'd rather wait for them to grow than take a huge chunk out of a reef.

The Oceanic RR tanks are amazing!! Definitely post pics when you get that! :)

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I agree most of my SP are from a LFS here that trade frags its nice knowing that they are tank raised and not plucked off the coral reefs :D

I keep compact lights due to the fact it would heat my Apt to much and I dont have AC. I would like to have the better lights :D

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The halides do heat the place up a lot. Koko, we just got a little window AC for the living room. It's right next to the tank, and we have fans in the canopy, pulling all the heat out of it. Maybe that's a possibility for you at some point. The larger the tank though, the easier it is to keep the temp stable. Even with our 75 gallon, we've had some fluctuations.

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Man I would love to have an AC but these stupid landlords wont allow anything in the windows except fans. Even my porch can only have a table and 2 chairs :( . Those lights I have seen in the LFS are so nice keep the colors nice and the temp, plus I do like the fact they hang and not sit on the top of the tank like mine do :( One of my lights has a salt creep on it so at night I have to unplug it :(

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Guest addicted2clownfish

alot of ppl who get the mh pendants have the tall rotating fan near it to cool down the water either that or you could get a water chiller depending on how you have your system set up as that is what I am investing in within the next few weeks

I am getting the mh pendants that hang above and just have a completely open tank with that and the water cooler it should be ok if not then I will just turn on the ac

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Guest addicted2clownfish

I have some I will post them up my sand is all over the place my engineer goby thinks its funny to move all the sand away from his cave under the man rock. I am also getting some sps today shockingly sps can survive under t5ho lighting my acropora and montipora cap seems to love it.

Hopefully my true percs wont mind me putting my hand in my reef (invading their space)

I can't wait until tomorrow I am getting a red spotted hawkfish from a fellow member @ the reef club I am a member of .

those guys are awesome they will swim to the top and beg for food and eat from your hand.

I will post up pics soon but here is a pic of my unknown acropora I just got it and it was freshly mounted

CIMG1758.jpg

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