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I Think I'm Going To Try This...


Sushi67

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I love the way coral tanks with the blue tone(not moon lights) lights look. I am going to the LFS tomorrow to buy a few supplies and check to see if they sell a 5-6 gallon tank.

I always though salt water tanks were horribly hard to care for but after reading through " Aquarium and Pond Fish Encyclopedia" and looking at the pictures and graphs provided it seems a lot easier than I thought. Seems like the hardest thing is getting use to water changes on a SW tank and getting the amount of salt correct for your creatures. I've also been checking out a lot of forums and websites.

I have a few personal questions. The thing that I worry about the most is water changes. How do you get the water correct so that you can change it? Just make a salt mixture in a bucket that matches the amount of salt in the tank and change it? I dunno why, but it sounds like it could be really easy to screw up the tank by getting the water change wrong.

Also it said that in the book to replace evaporated water in between water changes, to just add freshwater that is clean and that has had conditioner added. Sounds correct to me, after all salt does not evaporate so it would remain in the tank and to get volume back, just add fresh. just want to make sure this is correct.

Sand question. At pet store I just seem the live sand and calcium carbonate stuff in the SW section. What brand best? I want very fine grain sand.

Here is my IMPORTANT question. What type of filter? In the book they use an undergravel filter with their step-by-step pictures and info but list other types. Undergravel filters seem to not be favored. I would like to purchase a cheap/regular priced filter, nothing that is way over the top. BTW-I plan on sand so I'm sure this changes the type of filter you would want to buy.

Oh- can someone tell me the amount of light needed to grow coral and things like polyps? What bulbs are best to buy?

How about this? Can some one give me a basic shopping list so I can get an idea on price. Just the setup of the tank I would like to stay under or around $50. Corals are a separate budget saved for later.

Here is what I can think of buying/looking at:

5-6 gallon tank(wish I could find a mmm that still sold that bookshelf tank)

small heater(anyone have any good brands to recomend?)

some type of filter(I guess I will have to do more research)

Light setup

live sand

black BG

rock(I will have to see what my LFS carries)

small power head for current

Got anything to add?

Thanks for the help. :heart

Almost forgot- With such a small tank would bottled water be good to use? I HIGHLY don't trust my tap water.

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!. As far as the water and salinity goes you should try to make the tank water and the new water as close as possible to keep from a salinity shock.

2. Evaporated water should be replaced daily in such a small setup. The small amount of water evaporated each day can take the salt level high very guickly without the daily top offs in a small tank. (Larger the tank the more slack you can have.)

3. If you like the fine sand find an aragonite sand about the 00 grit. This is a very fine sand. It is a calcium based sand so the calcium carbonate might be the same. Ask the store reps and they should tell you.

4. As far as filter, you can use a hang on the back or canister. You would be better with checking out some the new nano skimmers and forget a filter all together. Skimmers are going to be the best filter for a small reef tank and the price is now comparable to the actual filters.

5. With a small tank the lights are going to be harder to find. I now their are some small setups available that are designed to work with small tanks. You should try to find lights that give at least 3-5 watts per gallon of water. 5 being the better. Just keep an eye on the temp. Too high and you can lose stuff.

6. Ebo Jager are going to be the best heaters out but they are expensive but very accurate and reliable.

The powerheads are good to add and rio makes good powerheads that are small. I hope I gave some good info and good luck, just take your time adding livestock and you should have much luck.

JD

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in order for you not to have any problems with lighting needs of photosynthetic inverts, just start your first tank with common mushroom anemones as they aren't demanding of high light levels (in fact, they go sickly under metal halides or power compact bulbs)... they could still be reasonably healthy with the lighting you're contemplating.

if you're planning to use bottled water for topping off, use distilled water, not mineral.

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!. As far as the water and salinity goes you should try to make the tank water and the new water as close as possible to keep from a salinity shock.

2. Evaporated water should be replaced daily in such a small setup. The small amount of water evaporated each day can take the salt level high very guickly without the daily top offs in a small tank. (Larger the tank the more slack you can have.)

3. If you like the fine sand find an aragonite sand about the 00 grit. This is a very fine sand. It is a calcium based sand so the calcium carbonate might be the same. Ask the store reps and they should tell you.

4. As far as filter, you can use a hang on the back or canister. You would be better with checking out some the new nano skimmers and forget a filter all together. Skimmers are going to be the best filter for a small reef tank and the price is now comparable to the actual filters.

5. With a small tank the lights are going to be harder to find. I now their are some small setups available that are designed to work with small tanks. You should try to find lights that give at least 3-5 watts per gallon of water. 5 being the better. Just keep an eye on the temp. Too high and you can lose stuff.

6. Ebo Jager are going to be the best heaters out but they are expensive but very accurate and reliable.

The powerheads are good to add and rio makes good powerheads that are small. I hope I gave some good info and good luck, just take your time adding livestock and you should have much luck.

JD

Thank you so much. This was very helpful. I'm hoping to look for RO water at my LFS but I've yet to see them selling it. However I have this really nice private pet store that I haven't asked if they carry it bottled. They are a great SW store, lots of nice LR and fish. They even had a ramora "shark" and a horse shoe crab. The other SW store I know about is an hour away and way to rich for my blood. They even have this huge tank with those small tan and brown sharks in it. Must be at least 500 gallons, but I guess if you want rare fish then thats where you should go.

Good news is that I found and extra $50 in one of my old wallets while cleaning underneath my bed so now I have a bit more money to spend on lights and filter.

I'm trying to remember the brand of lights that I saw that would be great. They were the same brand I was going to buy for my planted tank. Problem is the bigger they are the more they cost so the one I saw for small tanks was much much cheaper than the $90 one for my 20 gallon long. I think the brand was coral life( or maybe that was just a brand of bulbs I saw). I hope I can just find a simple PC light that is small or supplies to build my own. I understand the needs that some will need, I have a planted tank with dwarf hairgrass. It requires extreme levels of light to grow. Its a pain in the butt but I finally busted out the money and now its growing nicely.

I didn't go to the store todaay because my mother wasn't feeling well. i didn't want to cause her any stress so I'm going to hold it off until the weekend so I can get more info.

Are the filters for SW the same as FW? This is what I've yet to figure out.

Anyways- I came across this tank which I really like.

http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro/aquapod.htm

It seems like a good tank. Even though it $140 + $22 for skimmer it comes with lights and everything. Its a cute tank. I could always buy it now and wait until I get more money for corals.What do you think?

I think I will get it if I can't find a 5-6 gallon and everything else I need for less money than that.

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Jenny and I have had a nano for awhile and they are good tanks to start with. I would get the skimmer with it to save on buying one later. The lights would be good for growing softies. (mushrooms, xenia, leathers, and some types of clams).

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  • 2 months later...
Guest chris345

5-6 gallon tank is kinda small if ur kepping fish. if ur doing corals its fine. they sell protein skimmeres for about 30 bucks. the tank is like 20. filter 20. heater 13 dollars. light 30 dollars. snad about 15 dollars. live rock is liek dollars a pound. its gonna be much more than 50 dollars. about 130 dollars.

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  • 4 months later...

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