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Salt water aquarium

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Dec 3, 2002
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I'm hoping to set up a 10 gallon saltwater aquarium, with coral, soon. I have a heater, water filter (not the under gravel kind), and some of that Stress coat stuff I got from another Kit. What else do I need, and what do I have to do weekly/monthly/yearly, maintainance wise?

Thanks,
Mike
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don't mean to burst your bubble, but a 10 gallon is too small for a saltwater setup. there won't be enough room for coral, live sand, fish, protein skimmers, tidepool filters, etc, on such a small aquarium...
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timbudtwo

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A 10 gallon if fine if you want a micro-reef. But your not going to be able to fit anything but aobut 1 or 2 small fish. You would have to go completely coral or anemone since they will get too close in a small tank like that since anemones can move and corals cannot. If you did go anemone you owuld probably one get 2, probably a long tentacled one and carpet (would have to move it out eventually). It is a lot more work for the smaller tanks. You have to be very careful if you keep inverts. Keep up with water changes, dont let salinity, dissolved solids, temp fluctuate. But if you do do everything requred, you can come out with a spectacular piece of work!

But Spectabilis is pretty much right, unless you pump all the water out into a sump, it would be too difficult. Plus, micro-reefs should not be attempted by a beginer.

The small aquarium you saw at the store probably was just an azzo aquarium with a small filter, some sand, a feather duster, a snail and some pygmy brittle starfish, seen them. I have however seen succesful 2.5 microreefs that people have kept pygmy seahorses in.

Plus, how much money do you have. To amke a saltwater aquarium, most suggest you start with at LEAST 50 gallons. Then with all the live rock if you can find it cheap, add 150-200 dollars on that, then live sand, another 100, then your clean up crew, time to stabilize the aquarium, proper lighting, and then the expensive fish. Its a big investment unfortunatley.... But you will be happy if you can do it all!
 

RamPuppy

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Don't forget the all important protein skimmer!

Remeber, when it comes to salt water systems, the bigger the better. I know it costs so much to set up a big one, but your chances of being successful go down.

look at it this way...

you have basically three conditions you need to wory about.

Water Quality
Temperature
Specific Gravity

if you run a ten gallon tank, and we'll take Specific Gravity (The Salt Concentration in the water) and you are standardized at 1.022 in a 10 gallon tank, and an evaporation of 1 gallon occurs without you adding fresh water, you have then sustained a 10% increase in the specific gravity, lethal to corals for sure...

now, the same scenario with a 100 gallon tank.

lets say you lost 1 or 2 gallons in a day, your talking a 1 or 2% shift in specific gravity, this is not lethal, and you have time to correct it.

The greater margin for error in a larger tank gives beginners the time they need to learn, unlike in fresh water where you start small and go big, in reefs, you start big, get bigger, and go smaller on a tangent for giggles... someday I hope to have a 1000 gallon indo-pacific reef system... but that is a LONG way off!
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Joined
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Oh, ok. Well, better I find out now then later.
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I guess I'll start out with something easier.
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One more question, how do you get those words under your name, timbudtwo?
 
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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (monkeyman @ April 29 2003,6:49)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Hmmmm...... I know which space to fill in. But I don't have that the option in my profile. Why?
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[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Only mods and admins can do it.
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Colieo

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I had a 10 gal aquarium, and it did great with only a bio-wheel filter. I would Highly recomemend a bio-wheel for anyone persuing an aquarium of any type. I had an anenome, live rock, sea pen, starfish, 4 fish, hermit crab, and sea fan ( the worm in a tube that feeds with a fan-like structure). May I also recommend that you avoid a hermit crab, mine ate the anenome, sea fan, and sea pen & thier replacements. By the time I designated the crab as the sourse of trouble, he had cost me about buku $.

I like the new fourm!

Cole
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RamPuppy

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Hey Colieo,

couple things,

10 gallons can be done, and a lot of experienced aquarium keepers do so successfully, the point is, you have to have mega good husbandry skills, keep up with your water changes, filter changes and so on...

I wouldn't be suprised if your nitrate level was what was killing your inverts, and your hermit got the rap because you caught him eating the carcasses... but I can't be sure... just an off the wall guess.

Also, be mindful that there are many species of hermits, and some are only herbivores, or detritus eaters, I think currently the blue electric hermit is considered one of the best algae control specimens around, it only eats green fimamentous algae, leaving desireable coraline alone. Red hermits from the sea of cortez eat coraline, and should be avoided.

ANy how, my two cents. I bet if you were really succesful with a 10 gallon reef system you were changing filters and water on a weekly basis and really taking good care of the tank.
 
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Many species of hermit crab will actually "trim" the tentacles of an anenome, it doesn't hurt the anenome at all, it actually helps them. the nitrite levels may have killed them...
nitrates aren't dangerous to fish, they're harmless, nitrites are dangerous, but not nitrates, bacteria turn ammonia to nitrites, and then turns the nitrites into harmless nitrates, am I right? or am I mixing nitrates and nitrites up?
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correct me if i'm wrong
 

Colieo

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Ram, Spec, I did change the filter alot like you said! It was about every 11 days ( pain in the rear). I paid special attention to the Nitrates because of the number of invertebrates in the tank. The tip off was that 5 min after introducing the the sea pen, and fan worm into the tank, I did catch the the crab red-handed starting a mini-buffet
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. I have no clue as to the species, think I just got a rotten crab out of the bunch. What do you think?

Cole
 

RamPuppy

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I belive your right spec, nitrites...

but, to make me look smart again!
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lol... nitrates do BECOME nitrites... so there! LOL

Yeah, Cole, looks like you might have gotten a predatory species that stinks...
 
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Ok, I've done a lot of research into the topic of maintaining a saltwater tank and come to the conclusion that, I can do it. But it's going to take all of my allowance money and a considerable bit of my time too. So far I've come up with a list of everything I think I need. I've also decided that a 10 gal is too unstable. ( I.E. Easily affected by changes in temperature, ect...) So I'm going to get a 29 gal instead. The tank will be placed in my computer room where the temperature varies from 70-78 F instead of in my room where the temperature varies from 75-100 F. The computer room is pretty busy near dusk and on weekends so the fish should get used to people after a short while.

Here is the list:

Water Quality------------
Ph Increaser
Ph Decreaser
Chlorine & Heavy Metal Remover "Stress Coat"
Bacteria Additives "Stress Zyme"
Bio Wheel Filter 330
Combo Test Kit "Hagen"
Undergravel Filter "Lee's Premium"
Air Pump "Penn Plax"
Tubing & Connectors
Airstone
Siphon & Gravel Cleaver
Protein Skimmer "Red Sea Prizm"
live rock

Temperature-------------
Heater "Ebo Jager"
Thermometers "Hagen"
Powerhead "Penguin"

Specific Gravity----------
Artificial Sea Salt "Reef Crystals"
Hydrometer "Precision"
Water

Other-------------------
Small & Large Nets
Ick Treatment "Super Ick Cure"
Bacterial Treatment "Melafix"
Calcium "Reef Calcium"
Aqua Gloves
Epoxy Stick
Filter Brush Kit

If I need anything else or you don't think I need something on the list let me know.
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Thanks,
Mike
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EDIT: I'm going for a reef tank with a couple corals, inverts and fish with a lot of biological filtration.
 
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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (monkeyman @ June 24 2003,08:33)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Ok, I've done a lot of research into the topic of maintaining a saltwater tank and come to the conclusion that, I can do it. But it's going to take all of my allowance money and a considerable bit of my time too. So far I've come up with a list of everything I think I need. I've also decided that a 10 gal is too unstable. ( I.E. Easily affected by changes in temperature, ect...) So I'm going to get a 29 gal instead. The tank will be placed in my computer room where the temperature varies from 70-78 F instead of in my room where the temperature varies from 75-100 F. The computer room is pretty busy near dusk and on weekends so the fish should get used to people after a short while.

Here is the list:

Water Quality------------
Ph Increaser
Ph Decreaser
Chlorine & Heavy Metal Remover "Stress Coat"
Bacteria Additives "Stress Zyme"
Bio Wheel Filter 330
Combo Test Kit "Hagen"
Undergravel Filter "Lee's Premium"
Air Pump "Penn Plax"
Tubing & Connectors
Airstone
Siphon & Gravel Cleaver
Protein Skimmer "Red Sea Prizm"
live rock

Temperature-------------
Heater "Ebo Jager"
Thermometers "Hagen"
Powerhead "Penguin"

Specific Gravity----------
Artificial Sea Salt "Reef Crystals"
Hydrometer "Precision"
Water

Other-------------------
Small & Large Nets
Ick Treatment "Super Ick Cure"
Bacterial Treatment "Melafix"
Calcium "Reef Calcium"
Aqua Gloves
Epoxy Stick
Filter Brush Kit

If I need anything else or you don't think I need something on the list let me know.
smile.gif


Thanks,
Mike
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EDIT: I'm going for a reef tank with a couple corals, inverts and fish with a lot of biological filtration.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
looks good, monkeyman, but one question: how would the water get to 100ºF. in your room? Aren't you going to use a heater for the fish? or are you just having the air warm the tank? what about in the winter?
undergravel filters are useless in saltwater aquaruims. you need to get live sand and and crushed dead coral for the 'gravel'.
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and don't use an underground fileter, they are useless (as i just stated, lol)
 
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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">how would the water get to 100ºF. in your room? [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

My room is upstairs, and my dad refuses to turn on the A/C. Today it was over 100 F in my room!

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Aren't you going to use a heater for the fish? or are you just having the air warm the tank?QUOTE]

I am going to use a heater.(The good kind)

what about in the winter?
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In winter, the temp in the computer room doesn't get below 70 F.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">undergravel filters are useless in saltwater aquaruims. you need to get live sand and and crushed dead coral for the 'gravel'. and don't use an underground fileter, they are useless (as i just stated, lol)[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

Strangely, I have read exactly the opposite. But I will take your word for it. Live sand was my second choice anyway. Do you have any reccomendations for sand sifting inverts/fish? Would a couple goby's do?


Mike
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Joined
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Messages
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Hi Mike,

Saltwater is not my forte, freshwater is, but I might be able to help you on your equipment purchases. Here goes.

Water Quality------------

Ph Increaser -- Do you really need this? Will you be using RO water to make your salt water or buying ready made salt water at the fishstore? You may not need this if you buy readymade water or even if you make your own as a good salt mix should take you where you need to go chemistry wise with the water. Double check the need before you waste money.

Ph Decreaser -- I can't imagine you needing this.

Chlorine & Heavy Metal Remover "Stress Coat" -- If you use RO water to make your mix as is best or buy ready made salt water you won't need a chlorine remover except for emergencies maybe.

Bacteria Additives "Stress Zyme" -- not really necessary.

Bio Wheel Filter 330 -- Ok, here I would buy a Marineland Emperor 280, 400 or an Eclipse 3 top with built in filter, bio-wheel and double lights. The 330 is not strong enough for problem free biological filtration as it lacks a spray bar to turn the wheel with water. The Emperor is the way to go for just a filter or the Eclipse hood for lights and filter.

Combo Test Kit "Hagen" -- cool, make sure it's for salt water.

Undergravel Filter "Lee's Premium" -- I agree with Spec here.

Air Pump "Penn Plax" -- cool.

Tubing & Connectors -- cool -- plastic only.

Airstone -- cool.

Siphon & Gravel Cleaver-- cool.


Protein Skimmer "Red Sea Prizm" -- cool, I guess.

live rock -- cool.

Temperature-------------

Heater "Ebo Jager" -- cool.

Thermometers "Hagen"-- cool.

Powerhead "Penguin" -- cool.

Specific Gravity----------

Artificial Sea Salt "Reef Crystals" -- I am told HW MarineMix and TropicMarin are the premeir salts.

Hydrometer "Precision" -- cool, I guess.


Other-------------------

Small & Large Nets -- cool.

Ick Treatment "Super Ick Cure" -- make sure it is for salt water ich, a whole different bug than freshwater ich.

Bacterial Treatment "Melafix" -- cool, if safe for saltwater.

Calcium "Reef Calcium" -- cool, I guess.

Aqua Gloves -- you might find something cheaper but cool.

Epoxy Stick -- cool, I guess.

Filter Brush Kit -- cool -- no exposed metal, all plastic is best.

I hope this helps. Where I put "I guess" I just didn't really know.

Bobby
 
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Hi Biggun,

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Will you be using RO water to make your salt water or buying ready made salt water at the fishstore? You may not need this if you buy readymade water or even if you make your own as a good salt mix should take you where you need to go chemistry wise with the water. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

I might or might not use tap water depending on it's quality. If my tap water turns out to be unfit for aquarium use then I'll use either distilled or R/O water. I will test the water after I have added the salt. If it turns out that I do need pH In/Decreaser then I'll get some. It isn't all that expensive anyway.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Chlorine & Heavy Metal Remover "Stress Coat" -- If you use RO water to make your mix as is best or buy ready made salt water you won't need a chlorine remover except for emergencies maybe.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

As I said before, I'm not sure whether or not I will use my tap water. If I don't use tap water then I won't buy any "Stress Coat". It all depends on quality.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Bio Wheel Filter 330 -- Ok, here I would buy a Marineland Emperor 280, 400 or an Eclipse 3 top with built in filter, bio-wheel and double lights. The 330 is not strong enough for problem free biological filtration as it lacks a spray bar to turn the wheel with water. The Emperor is the way to go for just a filter or the Eclipse hood for lights and filter.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

The Emperor 400 was my second choice because it is similar to the Penguin 330 except larger. I don't think the Eclipse 3 would provide enough light for the corals I plan on keeping, but I do like the fact that it hides the lighting and filtration from view.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Combo Test Kit "Hagen" -- cool, make sure it's for salt water.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

It's for both.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Artificial Sea Salt "Reef Crystals" -- I am told HW MarineMix and TropicMarin are the premeir salts.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

OK, that's good because Marinemix is only three bucks more for the same amount.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Ick Treatment "Super Ick Cure" -- make sure it is for salt water ich, a whole different bug than freshwater ich.
[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

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I didn't read the fine print. It doesn't work on saltwater ick. So I'll get "Probiotic Marine" instead.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Bacterial Treatment "Melafix" -- cool, if safe for saltwater.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

It is.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Aqua Gloves -- you might find something cheaper but cool.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

I did find something cheaper, but I couldn't remember the name.


Thanks,
Mike
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