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Seriously, though, you'll need a high range ph test kit, a jar of marine buffer, a salinity meter, and synthetic salt (if you will be mixing your own water). As far as filters go, you can use the same filters as freshwater, but also consider a good protein skimmer. The skimmer foams the waste out of the water and puts much less of a load on the other filters. A 55 gallon tank has a good success rate with people that dont fall out of the hobby, it makes it easier to keep things stable vs having a very small tank. Basically you want to go with the biggest tank you can because the mistakes are mitigated and the temperature and other things don't fluctuate as often. A 75 gallon tank gives you a much better palette to create landscaping and stack rocks, etc. Go with a 180 if you can!
You can use the same maintenance tools as your freshwater systems, so you probably have most of what you need already. Same goes for dechlorinator and other simple things you already probably have laying around like nets and such.
Also consider getting some good bulbs to bring out the colors and perhaps paint the back of the tank blue or black (or use the film) if its going up against a wall.
Remember to start slow because when you are cycling the new filter, the slightest amount of ammonia is much more toxic in the saltwater (high ph magnifies the toxicity of ammonia) than in the freshwater you are used to. So don't overfeed and don't overstock the tank at first. Patience will be a virtue. Also ask a LFS for a dirty piece of their filter to seed your system with good bacteria once you get your cycle going, or use the commercial bacteria available on the shelf.
i cannot stress the importance of letting a marine tank mature, this meansthe proper organisms need to be in place! Generally live sand and some live rock left for one to three weeks is best. please dont rush it because this can cost fish thier lives and you alot of money. with marine tanks i suggest the bigger the better and do tonnes of research on the desired species. i recomend lionfish (warning these are potentially very dangerous especially if you have a week heart because of thier toxins, but are very hardy and interesting), damsels , clown fish (they look like nemo, but dont mix species as they can be quarrelsome) puffers (especially dog faced porcupine fish, though you need a good filter system as they are messy) also moray-eels are very cute and have plenty of personality ( watch which species though because some can grow in exess of 6-10meters!!! And some dodgy aquarium dealers dont warn customers)!. However always check which species are compatible, do you want corals and crusteacens or are you aiming for just fish at the moment (which is what i would suggest) Let me know and pm me, i would like to help if i can.Regards Alaric.
hey, i agree with Media in some cases but if you are jsut starting out and are not sure if you'll get INTO it, then start REAL small, maybe just a 5 gallon and see how much maintanence it is and based on that move u to the biggest you can get... Realize this, this hobby is addictive and you will be spending money, i have a 29g and investd over 2k into it and im not fully finished...take your time its worth it, let the water and live rock filter for aleast a month and add as much live rock as possible... any other q's hit me up
You will not enjoy a 5 gallon tank. Do yourself a favor and go at least 29 gallon. With an unstable 5 gallon tank and 1 or 2 tiny fish you will not be happy. I agree it is not a great idea to invest the money in a 55 gallon tank if your not sure if you will like it, but you will be way better off. Try finding a used tank with a little bit of size to it. Regardless of what size you go with good luck. If you go small make sure you have alot of live rock to help out.
I agree with all that has been posted... take your time go slow. a 5 gal is more work that a 55 gal. I keep a pico tank 1/2 gal size and it is a daily thing I have to look after. monitoring the salinity is the hardest thing ... keeping it stable. evaporating is a big problem as well as top of everyday.
55 gal is a nice size and will give you an idea of what all is involved...ie if you want fish only or maybe a reef tank. also you can get a handle on what parameters you need to monitor. it is also a nice size where you are not as restricted as to what size fish you can keep, also gives you room for aquascaping if you choose to do a reef tank.
So good luck and if I can help any further let me know I am here.
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