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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am confused about what type of hood/light fixture to get for my tank. I don't want to break the bank buying a light fixture, but I would like a light that would allow me to raise a broad spectrum of corals. Should I buy a regular glass top for my tank? If anyone could recommend a specific hood/light fixture that would be great. I'm brand new to the saltwater aquarium world...actually to aquariums period...so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I would suggest that you start with at least a 29 gallon because there is very little you can do with a 10 gallon IMO and they are very difficult to maintain water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is it about a 10gal that makes it difficult to retain water quality? Is there equipment that would help with the problem such as using a protein skimmer? Does this mean the water simply requires frequent (weekly) 10% water changes? Thanks!
 

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Small amounts of evaporation can change your salinity rapidly so constant topping off is needed, nitrates can climb very rapidly, heat fluctuations happen fast, even 1 small PH for water movement takes up considerable space, probably only 1 small fish could be put into a 10 gallon and I would recomend 10% WC twice a week also any light that would grow corals would really heat the water up fast oh and I recomend a skimmer for anybody getting into the hobby and it would be tuff to get a good skimmer for that size tank. I am just giving you my opinion on this size tank and I can almost bet that if you have success you will be wanting to upgrade very soon so why not start with something easier and that gives you a little more room for live stock and potential problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm interesting...that's a very good point. If I didn't want to do an entire reef ecosystem...but just wanted live sand, 10lbs or so of live rock and 1 fish with a couple invertebrates...how would that alter my setup and chances of success with a small tank? Currently I have a heater, thermometer, penguin biowheel filter...would i need more equipment to just run a few chunks of live rock used for filtration? It seems like setting up a tank with an entire reef ecosystem is extremely expensive...especially a 30 gallon...the live sand alone would run a couple hundred dollars. I'm looking to do something slightly lower budget, as I already have a horse who "eats" all my money haha. Any advice for a 10 gallon fish only with live rock tank? What type of lighting would I need? Would I still need protein skimmer? Thanks alot...I'm still in the VERY early phases of planning this tank so I'm open to anything.
 

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I totaly understand the money part but let me suggest some things that will help bring the cost down and the enjoyment up I think. First DONT buy LS just get dry sand about $40 worth for a 29 gallon, buy 70% dry rock and the rest LR, dry rock should only be about 2/lb and LR about $7/lb about 35-40lbs total. This gets you started for a reef but you can go fish only and lighting is just for you to see the fish, now you can start picking up the rest as money permits and when you get a skimmer and good lighting you would be all set to add corals. This way you are looking at about $200 for sand and rock plus tank, light just the strip light that usually comes with a tank for now and 2 power heads like Koralia 2's or even Maxi Jet 1200's. I relize it seems like I am pushing you get a bigger tank and I guess I am but it will be much more enjoyable and a lot less work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So ok how about this for a setup:

29-30 gal tank
Marineland Penguin Bio-wheel filter
2 Maxi Jet 1200 power heads
marineland heater
digital thermometers
Can I add a fluorescent bulb to the regular 30 gallon fishtank hood?
45lbs of dry sand
32lbs dry rock
13lbs live rock

eventually get a protein skimmer

Is there anything else I'm forgetting? Will the live rock flourish with just regular lighting? Is that a big expense?

Can I just say you are AWESOME for giving me all this advice! It makes sense to get dry rock and sand in addition to a small amount of live rock...as the organisms living in the live rock will spread out to the dry rock and to the sand right?

Let me know what you think of my equipment...and if you can think of anything more I'll need. Thank you sosososo much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh oh also...how would I go about setting up the power heads? Do they just hang on the back of the tank or should I get one of those inexpensive undergravel filter apparatus things to hook it up to?
 

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Now your thinking yes the life on the LR will spread to the dry dock and sand. I dont think you will get alot of coraline with just one bulb but that would just be for looks and when you upgrade your lighting the coraline will start growing fast. I know all the freshwater guys and the LFS's push the bio wheel filters but there not good for SW I would get an AC 70 filter and just make sure you clean the sponge every week. I would say if you could put 2 regular flouresent bulbs over the tank you would get coraline growing on the rock and I would use a 6.5k bulb and a 10k bulb but if you just use 1 I would go with a 10k it will have a little nicer color. With what you have picked out with just a little adjustment from my suggestions you are all set for a FOWLR tank (fish only with live rock) and just some minor additions for a reef.
 

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Oh oh also...how would I go about setting up the power heads? Do they just hang on the back of the tank or should I get one of those inexpensive undergravel filter apparatus things to hook it up to?
DONT use an undergravel they are nothing but a nitemare you would use the suction cups or get the magnets, you know I think penguin makes PH's with hanging brackets, if they do just get 2 of them that are rated for about 300 GPH each so about 550-650 GPH total on the PH's
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Perfect!! So I'll exchange my bio-wheel for the Aqua Clear since I just bought it...and those Penguin 660's sound perfect. Since I'm saving a ton of money on the sand and rock, I can splurge on the lighting. So let's say this was your very own 30 gallon nano-reef...what light would you use for your really good coralline growth. I'm so excited you just made this so much easier for me! The Penguin 660's...they're perfect! And so cheap!
 

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If you go with a 30 gallon it will be longer and shallower than a 29 and will be easier to light and all the equipment will work for both and it looks like the light will be $1 cheaper and might give you even more options with live stock and higher light corals, clams and anemones if you decide to go that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks alot...do I figure out which hood I need based on the measurements of the tank? In which case I would want the 36" x 5 1/2"?
 

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Yes get the same length light as the tank is. When you need or want to buy things make sure you come back so we can help you out be it hardware or live stock so you dont make any mistakes as you see you are getting a larger setup for just about the same as what you thought you needed to spend on a smaller one. OH and have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks! I'll post pictures and stuff one it's put together. Right now i've only got filters and stuff and a 10 gallon tank...it'll be a month or two until I set it up. I'll check back...thanks again!
 

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Freakin bio wheels i hate those things.Have one on my daughters tank dang wheel never wants to spin right lol..
 
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