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new to the salt water game
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)9:14    Post subject: new to the salt water game Reply with quote

Hi guys, I've just got my 5 ftx2ft tank and I have filter/skimmer/heater and I am looking to set it up to be a tropical marine tank. I would eventually like to set it up as a reef tank but I think for now it is best to start with just the fish that may be a little easier to keep. I would be very thankful if anyone would be able to head me in the right direction as to what other things I will need to set my tank up, how to do this and what fish would be most appropriate, thanks in advance
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)9:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would do the opposite... the tank needs to run for a month for the live rock to age fully and cycle the tank. Then, why add fish 1st... the more mature the tank gets, the better it is for most fish and invertabrates.

I'd go with all the live rock for one month, watch for apistasia (glass anenome), use Joe's juice if you have to, then add your first corals followed by your first algae eating fishes. (Quarentine all additions of course). Last but not least you can add any fish or inverts that need a very mature tank like Mandarins and such.

What lighting do you plan to have? Your options generally boil down to T5, HO T5, HO T8 or T12, Metal Halide, or a mixture of these. There is some LED lighting available... but not readily available.
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than not having enough lighting, there's no reason you can't start setting up a reef tank. Ideally, you want to take your time with a reef tank anyway. I'm approaching my 5th month and I don't even have corals yet!
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)16:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thaykyou for the speedy replys Smile, I'm not too sure on the lighting but I am going to go to my local fish store that I trade with to see what he has as hes said he can order one suitable in for me. I have seen that I need a light that has 2 tubes rather than one, and that is about as far as my knowledge goes.

As for the live rock I thought it was much more difficult than just live rock...I was under the impression that the rock and coral need the fish and vise versa(they live together and need one another), although some fish do not need the rock or coral. Admittedly I was going more for the easy fish side because I would like something nice to look at, however if the live rock does not depend on the fish to survive and will eventually create a better environment for the fish I do keep, then maybe this is the way to go:).
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lighting for reef tanks is a topic unto itself. It's also quite expensive.

For your sized tank, I'd recommend 2 metal hallide bulbs (either 150, 175 or 250 watts depending on your tank depth), plus supplimentary blue actinic lighting from either T5/T8 fluorescents or power compact fluorescent tubes. That would give you enough lighting to grow most anything when it comes to corals.

Live rock and corals can do fine on their own without fish. As you said, the fish are there to have something to look at.

The approach I have taken is to try to establish a good biological base in my tank, before stocking it too heavily. I intially set up the tank with live rock and let it cycle for about a month. After that period, I added some live sand from a fellow reefer and some snails. The live sand helped seed the tank with some of the beneficial critters I needed.

Over the next couple months, algae took over my tank. I had hair algae literally covering the top of my reef right to the tank surface. Unfortunately, I failed to take a picture, but it was a mess.

At about the fourth month, the hair algae began to subside and I've noticed more calcerous algae (I.e. coralline, halimeda) starting to take over. I also added hermits, more snails and a lawnmower blenny to keep the hair algae in check.

I've also noticed various organisms (copepods, amphipods, various worms) appearing in the tank during this time.

Within a month or so, I'll begin the coral stocking, as well as slowly adding fish. By the end of the year, I hope to have my tank fully stocked.

So yeah, that's the ideal approach to a reef tank. You can do things faster, but I've been lauded by my local aquariasts for taking the patient approach. As they say, "only bad things happen quickly in reef tanks".
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

So. since my last post I have been looking around at some of the information and pictures available to me(awesome site you guys have btw) and I really like the idea of a blue(regal) tang, some of the nice blueish damselfish and a cleaner shrimp or 2, along maybe with a few algae eating fish(I think gobys do this?). Would be great to know if this is possible to set this up so they can all live in the same tank and what they depend on to live.
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.25(Tue)17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info on lighting, although it just totally means nothing to me at the moment I'm sure I will learn, and I'm going to write down recommendations before I have a look at some shops to see what I am going to purchase. As for the depth of my tank it is 1 and a half foot deep (around 46 cm), the other thing that worries me is that I live in Australia so maybe some of the products that are suggested will not be available to me, if there are any aussies out there that may be able to help id like to hear from you, or if people that have already replied are Australian that's even better lol.
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.27(Thu)9:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to flood the thread with all my own replies, but today I went to the fish store I deal with and was offered a deal on a light. The light was a hanging quad T5 but I don't think it was metal halide, this was priced at $900 aus. dollars, but $800 aus. for me as I am a regular customer, does this seem to be a good deal?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.07.27(Thu)20:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll find heaps of more specific info for aussies in the saltwater hobby on RTAW forums, great resource.
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ChAoZ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: 2006.07.27(Thu)20:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, ty very much I see you are also from Melbourne, I live in Hoppers Crossing to the west of melbourne Smile
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