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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello
ok so i came up on this glass tank (idk the size imma post pics maby u expirianced people can tell), so anyways i wanna start a saltwater set up, i plan to use no sump, and i plan on having liverock and a protein skimmer,and when thats set up introduce a fish.
*i heard using filtered water is better than tap , but what about distilled ect?
*what other products you recoment other than a temp, should i buy? (i dont want the sales pople making na sucka outta me) but i do want a nice tank.,
*also whats would be the best "seafloor" material? i would like something colorful becuz i want a colorful tank with colorful fish.
i have used search but i didnt find the answers i was looking for
 

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get yourself a couple hydor koralia powerheads... they are fairly cheap... as for other equipment we would need to know the size of the tank to give you the best info... are you going to be running a 55g starting out or are you going larger? as for the substrate(seafloor material) go with a Caribsea Aragonite gravel... this is soft enough for burrowing creatures as well as large enough to see, then again Im just not too fond of fine grained substrates. If you are looking for something "finer" grab some fiji pink sand, its got a nice color too it and still has the natural look you should strive for.

Another question is do you plan on keeping coral? If so you will want to look into lighting... If you plan on keeping SPS, Clams, or Anemones then you should get a T5 or MH light setup for your tank size. If you plan on just keeping fish you dont need anything too special just a little bit to keep your coralline algae on your live rock will be enough. Power Compact lighting would be sufficient enough even on a large system to keep the life on your rock thriving.

Just to prevent a disaster make sure you are doing your homework, its quite an expensive hobby to get into so the last thing you need is things dying. Saltwater is not as hard as people make it out to be but it does require a certain amount of husbandry to keep it going steady. Learn about each and every fish you plan to keep. Also make sure you are learning about proper testing of your water parameters.

To answer the very important question about what kind of water to use... This is done many ways, including tap water. Now tap water is surely the worst thing you can use but many people do just fine using tap water. Distilled water is better than tap but still not as good. I would recommend using atleast a carbon filter for your water, dont just dump it in from the faucet. Over the long term bad water can ruin your tank especially if you are living in a urban area where there is chlorines and heavy metals in the water. If you live in a rural area a thing to keep an eye on is the farming industry, they use lots of poisonous things in their fields that will completely "pwn" your sw tank. The best route to go and this is agreed upon by 99.99% of people is RO/DI water... The RO/DI units are spendy but in the long term they will provide you the best possible water available. If you cannot afford the RO/DI unit right off the bat you can purchase RO/DI water to fill your tank and top off as well as water changes. Another route if you live on one of the coasts you can probably find Real Ocean water at one of your local fish stores. It can be spendy but its already got the salt mixed in and you can have the store test the parameters right in front of you.

I hope this information helps... Also I would like to say WELCOME ABOARD! We are glad to see new faces here at the Aquarium Forum, take advantage of all the information you get here, just make sure you pick an opinion try it and if it works stick to it, that old saying "If its not broke, dont fix it." Applys to sw aquariums as well!
 

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I agree with eagleANTH but will add a couple things. I am adding a link for you to figure your tank volume
Calculating Aquarium Volume - The First Tank Guide - How Can I Figure Out How Much Water My Fish Tank Holds?
I would like to suggest that you use your LR to cycle your tank and not a fish for a few reasons but mainly because it will be very difficult to get the fish back out after it is cycled. I agree with the water suggestions but will add you could use RO water if you dont setup a RO/DI system, the RO water you can get from the water machine at most grocery stores or a walmart. I would always use Argonite sand in any SW tank I setup and not any kind of colorfull gravel or crushed coral. I also suggest to think about what you might like your tank to look like a year from now as in your coral selection and whether you will want a canopy or if you will need a light fixture because buying the correct equipment the first time might cost more at setup but will be much cheaper in the long run. I agree to read as much as possible and then come here and ask questions before you buy any thing because most LFS's are just there to make a $ and dont care about your tank as longs as they can make $$$$$. I would like to know why you say no sump because if your tank is big enough they realy do make things easier and you can keep your heater and skimmer in it and it adds water volume and all evaporation happens there so you dont see it in your display and they are easy to set up. I really like it when someone asks questions before setting up a tank so ask us questions before you spend any money because we might be able to save you some $$$$.
 

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First of all don't forget to put salt in the water. (actual story from LFS):)


For a fish only tank

Play sand can be used for the seafloor.

Landscape rocks especially limestone and be used for decorations.

skimmer and filters are not needed.

I would put macro algaes like the various caulerpas in the tank right from the start. Protect them with an in tank partition. And insure they are growing that thriving before adding fish.

for a first fish I would use a male molly. And not add food the first week then a few more. Once those have lived a few weeks then start adding the pretty fish.

my .02
 

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Ok, Every one has the right suggestions so I don't need to ad anything but...*w2
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
ok so i just found out i have a 55 gallon tank, i just came back from petco and they didnt seem to know ****, thank for all the suggestions they really helped and answered my questions, i dont wanna put a sump (at first) during these next few weeks i wanted to set up water, i have already found suppluier for the live rock, i dont plan on having coral but maby some live seaplants and anenomes, ok so basicly all i have now is tank, what is the first thing u recomment buying (spec. bactira? start setting up the salt water? protein skimmer? i would like to get ready so i can put some live rock hopefully soon, and thanx for the welcome im glad to b here ans will continue reading on! i will put pics step by step so if any have any kool seggestions they might wanna try out on me ill b glad to post pics and keep a log!


oh btw i do live near thoses 25cent/gallon water dispensors they have at supermerkets, and i read it and says it goes thru a 7 step filtering progress including a carbon filter, but the lady at patco said tap water is best for sw fish, she says u cant have water thats "too clean", and i live near the beach could i just go and get water there? haha jk but what are the reasns for not using real saltwater other than it being dirty and totally not clear like we have here in socal
 

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well i wouldnt recommend grabbing water right off the beach but if you have a boat and you can go a few miles out its definately an option. but as far as the tap water comment, i would go back and tell the petco lady to read a book. any aquarist will tell you ro/di or even just ro or hell even carbon filtered water is better than using tap. some people use tap because its cheaper and they have a method to resolve the poor water quality. beaslbob has some really good info on macros that basically nullify "unwanted" elements from water, as he uses tap and he manages just fine, but he keeps a plentiful amt of macro algae to maintain his tanks. a really different but self sufficient set up if you like the greenery.
 

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OK to start with I wouldnt trust petco at all if they are telling you the best thing to use is tap water. I would suggest you to a sump in when you set up if you think you might want one later on because it is much easier to do before you are up and running and the really will make things much easier and they are simple to setup, OK I am done pushing you to do a sump :). Well if you want to keep Anemones then you need to setup your tank for keeping SPS's except for the flow part and what I mean by that is pristine water qaulity, quality skimmer, lighting as in MH or Quality T-5's and you will need to let your tank mature for what I recommend at least 6 months. I still recommend RO/DI water because you will have less problems down the road and you will be thankfull you did, I dont suggest that you use ocean water, I know most of these things are costly but they will all save you money and headaches down the road. I would also suggest that you get quality test kits before get started.
 

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RO/DI water gives you consistency you will not find with tap water. Buying water from a vending mcahine can be risky since you are at the mercy of the maintenance or more than likeley the lack of maintenance on the machine. If possible buy it from a staffed Water & Ice type store, they seem to be everywhere today and I have found if you teel them its for a reef system they bend over backwards to demosntrate to you how well their water is treated. All of them have a conductivity or TDS meter and will pull it out and show you the water condition. Unmanned vending machines don't have someone to do this so you must have your own TDS meter if you want to know how well is maintained and treated.

Do Not add anemones until your system has been established for at least 6 months and is stable. They are very sensitive to water conditions and often die right away if things are not to its liking.

There really are no colorful saltwater substrates, the fish and corals are the attraction not the gravel as in a freshwater tank.

My best advice is take your time, never buy anything as an impulse, always research and plan your purchases. You can start simple and grow from there.
 

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RO/DI water gives you consistency you will not find with tap water. Buying water from a vending mcahine can be risky since you are at the mercy of the maintenance or more than likeley the lack of maintenance on the machine. If possible buy it from a staffed Water & Ice type store, they seem to be everywhere today and I have found if you teel them its for a reef system they bend over backwards to demosntrate to you how well their water is treated. All of them have a conductivity or TDS meter and will pull it out and show you the water condition. Unmanned vending machines don't have someone to do this so you must have your own TDS meter if you want to know how well is maintained and treated.

Do Not add anemones until your system has been established for at least 6 months and is stable. They are very sensitive to water conditions and often die right away if things are not to its liking.

There really are no colorful saltwater substrates, the fish and corals are the attraction not the gravel as in a freshwater tank.

My best advice is take your time, never buy anything as an impulse, always research and plan your purchases. You can start simple and grow from there.
this is well put... i know they have plenty of these water places even in my area and i live in sioux city, iowa... not the largest city in the states if you know what i mean... alot of these water specialty places really do go out of their way to show you water quality... hell even the culligan folks i looked into didnt mind showing me the science of their water quality because i too may take this route with my 75g for top off etc instead of burning up a ton of waste water on an ro unit. i say go with the aragonite sand substrate as well it has a very natural look to it and its good for trace elements too.
 
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