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Discussion Starter #1
is there anything besides the salt added that i need to know about saltwater. Ive never had one or had anyone that i knoe have one so i have no clue on anything.

I would want a 6 gallon one.

1) Is it possible to have just nomral rocks in the saltwater tank instead of live ones? i would want live sand...unless of course you can buy fake sand. Would that make anything any easier?
2) How do you know how much of the aquarium salt to add?
3) I heard you need a skimmer? do i NEED one or is it just recomended?
4) Lets say all i wanted in my 6 gallon was 1 clown fish...what do i need to do?

Any help i will be thankfull for and im new here so if this is in the wrong forum im sorry.
 

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1) Is it possible to have just nomral rocks in the saltwater tank instead of live ones? i would want live sand...unless of course you can buy fake sand. Would that make anything any easier?

you dont HAVE to use live rock or sand it is just beneficial because it helps filter the water IMO it also makes it look much better but that is just me

2) How do you know how much of the aquarium salt to add?

when doing a water change i pre mix 1/2 cup per gallon of water then test the salinity to be sure it is where i want it (1.025%)

3) I heard you need a skimmer? do i NEED one or is it just recomended?
you wont need a skimmer if you dont have any corals, though people run them when they dont have corals because it keeps your water cleaner

4) Lets say all i wanted in my 6 gallon was 1 clown fish...what do i need to do?
hydrometer, a good filter, a good salt mix, test kit or a place you can have your water tested
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks
1)is there anything else i should know if i wanted that 6 gallon?
2)Whats the Hydometer for anyways?
3)Is there a salt mix you would recomend?
4)is there a hydrometer you would recomend?

Thanks

im going to send you a private message so you for sure get this.
 

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1) Is it possible to have just nomral rocks in the saltwater tank instead of live ones? i would want live sand...unless of course you can buy fake sand. Would that make anything any easier?
phil pl is right. You dont need live rock. It is beneficial though. You can use appropriate rock though and given that you desire to use live sand it will quickly be colonized with benifical bacteria. It might take a long, long time for coralline algae to start growing on it though if a few of the clean up crew has some coralline algae on thier shell. This can be remedied by adding a few nuggets of live rock purchased locally and added to the tank. The benefit of coralline algae is that where it grows its hard for algae to get a foot hold. It looks nice too.

2) How do you know how much of the aquarium salt to add?
Follow the directions on the Salt mix. They are usually pretty idiot proof, even I cant screw it up, and that says a lot right there! It may vary a bit as for the amount per a gallon but generaly its somewhere in the neighborhood of a half cup per a gallon as previously mentioned. Remember that the water temp will cause variations in specific garvity, so make sure you test the water at the required temp to get a accurate reading before adding to the tank. You will also want to let it set over night before using it as freshly mixed SW can be a bit on the caustic side when "just mixed".

3) I heard you need a skimmer? do i NEED one or is it just recomended?
In a tank under 20 gallons you wont need a Skimmer. You will need to do frequent small water changes. As a side note...Those who keep corals use skimmers to maintain pristine water quality due to corals intollerance of "dity" water, which can still appear gin clear. For those keeping fish only a Skimmer is highly recommended anyways depending on the bio-load in the tank to remove the heavy nutrient loads from feeding the fish in the tank and all of the watse the fish will in turn generate. This keeps the water within satisfactory parameters longer and it will hopefully remove enough nutrients from the water to prevent excessive algae growth in the tank. A 1 galon water change a week should be suffcient in a six gallon tank.

4) Lets say all i wanted in my 6 gallon was 1 clown fish...what do i need to do?
I would suggest a bigger tank. Thats a pretty small fsh but it wont stay small long even if its a False Perc/True Pec which I believe is the smallest of this species. It can attain a size of 3 inches in captivity and generally a 20 gallon or bigger tank is recomended. Now many reefers get away with one in a 10 gallon but trying that and being successful at it in the long term is something better attempted by a more experienced reefer. Thats not to say it cant be done as someone out there will always prove you wrong at least once, Im just suggesting that its not a good idea. There are some smaller more appropriate fish for a 6 gallon tank.

1)is there anything else i should know if i wanted that 6 gallon?
Im sure there is but we could all author a novel on all the possibilities. If you got some more specific questions please ask. Telling us what all you do have for your tank would help too.

2)Whats the Hydometer for anyways?
This is a device that you will need to use to measure the specific gravity of the SW. You have the swing arm type which are pretty cheap and reasonbly functional. You have a floating thermometer looking one thats probably some what more accurate consistently and a tad more expensive. Then there is the ultimate, a refractometer. These are a bit pricey and are the most accurate. With fish only, the cheaop swing arm type if rinsed after use will be plenty accurate enough as long as you make sure there are no air bubbles on the arm when testing the water.

3)Is there a salt mix you would recomend?
They are all about the same and most come from the same supplier and are just slightly different in composition depending on the brand. If you use one of the major brands you should be just fine in a FO tank. Now if you were keeping SPS corals or Clams I would suggest some of the higher end brands which contain a tad bit higher calcium and trace element levels.

4)is there a hydrometer you would recomend?
See the paragraph a couple of paragraphs above.

HTH's in getting you started. If you have any questions or any gray areas that need some clearing up please ask first! Im sure all of us here would much rather have you ask a gazillion questions than to have to respond to a "911 thread about" fish dying or some other nightmare. The way I see it, is...if you fail then we too have most likely failed as well. JMHO.
 

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i am new to the saltwater hobby but my opinion would be if you are going to do a saltwater tank, you should try to do a larger tank. you will be able to get more fish and its easier to maintain water conditions in larger tanks. at petco they have 29 gal tanks that come with almost all you need for a couple hundred, buying everything you will need for the 6 gallon may cost that much anyway. if its within your budget, this would be a good idea. best of luck with your setup. dont make my mistakes, let your tank cycle before you get fish.
 

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It is easier to do a larger tank but I sense that you are on a tight budget and want to get a small tank set up as economically as possible. A 6 gallon tank is really too small for even one clownfish. My suggestion would be to do at minimum a 20 gallon. A very safe rule of thumb for someone just starting out in salt water is 1" of full grown fish per 5 gallons of salt water. You can get away without a skimmer. A simple canister filter or better a bio wheel should be all you need. You don't need live rock if you are only doing a clownfish. YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY CORALS OR AN ANEMONE!!! You need a basic saltwater test kit and hydrometer. Plan on doing a 10% water change every weekend.
 

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i am new to the saltwater hobby but my opinion would be if you are going to do a saltwater tank, you should try to do a larger tank. <SNIP>if its within your budget, this would be a good idea. best of luck with your setup. dont make my mistakes, let your tank cycle before you get fish.
YES! awesome your new and you already know the basics that is awesome!

She is right, a bigger tank will make it a whole lot easier to control water parameters and tank measures in case anything may start to go bad.

For example i'm going to tell you a story that makes me sad.

I had a Green BTA (bubble tip anemone)

One day i woke up and he had completely denigrated and fowled my water. Because of this there was a large ammonia spike and killed my two beautiful orange linckiia's.

Now that was in a 150gallon.

If this where to happen in a 6 gallon (may I add if you have a 6 gallon don't even attempt to have an anemone) everything would be shocked so hard you could possible be forced to re-start your tank cycle from scratch.


Just a thought?
 

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IMHO you should start your first tank with macro algaes right from the start. Then do the rest.

I simple 10g tank with play sand, landscape type rocks, and $5 worth of macros can make a very impressive tank. for that type of setup I would recommend caulerpas which look like plants.

Just my .02
 

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Bob, I have to ask. Where would you suggest getting the macro's from? How about a couple of sources for your macro fans. All I have is Hallimeda. Probably not even spelling it right (Money plant). I do have a bunch of it all over my display. Fortunately my tangs and foxface don't like it or I wouldn't have any.
 

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Bob, I have to ask. Where would you suggest getting the macro's from? How about a couple of sources for your macro fans. All I have is Hallimeda. Probably not even spelling it right (Money plant). I do have a bunch of it all over my display. Fortunately my tangs and foxface don't like it or I wouldn't have any.
Fellow hobbists are the best. Followed by ebay and then some on line vendors (live-plants, reefcleaners)

Halimeda (which I can't spell either) is a good choice but I have had not success with as is require reef type calcium and lighting. So for a more simple fish only system I recommended the fast growing caulerpas. IMHO normal (low) lighting allowed caulpera profilera to do well but caulerpa racemosa (grape) required higher lighting.

Red grape did well when it was the only macro in the system and there was nothing in the tank but clownfish and simple corals.

and the cleaner crews (snails, crabs), and fish like tangs do consume those types. But just starting a "bare" with saltwater, sand, and rocks that does not apply. so you get the macros in charge then add fish slowly keeping the macros in charge.

just my .02
 
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