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Thinking of first SW
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AquaticHamster
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Joined: 05 May 2008
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: 2008.08.14(Thu)17:22    Post subject: Thinking of first SW Reply with quote

Hello everyone, just recently I have become obsessed with SW tanks, mostly reefs. I first was looking into a nano but then learned that a beginner tank should be at least 30 gallons. So I decided to look into getting a 30 gal (I can't get anything bigger). I have decided to start with a FOWLR setup first and then turn it into a reef once I grasp all the concepts and learn how hard it is to maintain just a FOWLR. I will start with all the equipment I need for a reef at the beginning.

Here is my equipment list:
    30 Gallon Tank
    Nova Extreme T-5 156W 36"
    Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel Protein Skimmer
    Penguin Power Filter
    30 lbs arganite sand
    30 lbs live rock
    Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pumps (400 gph)
    Coralife Pure-Flo II RO Units (50 gpd 4-stage)

Do I need a sump because I would rather not spend another couple hundred on one if it wasn't absolutly neccisarry (spelling?).
I don't know my exact fish stock but I definatly want 2 Ocellaris Clowns and a type of goby. Can you please give me recommendations on corals and other fish. Iwill go for soft corals first as I hear they are good for beginners. ALL advie is GREAT appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.08.15(Fri)8:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good, I would suggest going with less sand, I prefer very thin substrates (less than 1 inch) in the display. In my opinion many, many marine systems go downhill due to 3 and 4 inch substrates which become nutrient sinks, again this is debatable and only my opinion.

Make sure you understand the importance of calcium and proper water chemistry for the corallines on your live rock---regular proper dosing of additives is usually required for reef sytems. Also consider the ASM line of skimmers as an option to the Coral Life. Sump is a great idea it will hold your skimmer, heater, provide more volume, etc. For a reef tank I usually suggest jumping up to a 40 gallon minimum if possible, it's really not that much more money for the bigger tank, but the 30 gal will certainly work for a FOWLR. Soft corals would be a great way to get your feet wet...

With planning and research you will be fine, See Myth No. 15 here:
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=24970

Soft corals may be a good choice for you. Here are a few articles to get you started, Scott Michael does a good job here of outlining the pros and cons associated with both softies and stony corals, notice the question is coming from a hobbyist who is converting a fish tank to a reef:
http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquariumfish/detail.aspx?aid=1894&cid=3790&search=

This article covers the soft corals that paved the way for today's reef tanks:
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-12/nftt/index.php

Here is a great book I often recommend, make this your first purchase:
http://www.amazon.com/Conscientious-Marine-Aquarist-Commonsense-Successful/dp/1890087025

It would be wise to purchase a couple of books dedicated to reef systems such as the works by Tullock and Sprung see here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1890087009?tag=theageofaquarium&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1890087009&adid=09E2BEMRMDQJHGDD2MN8&
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1883693128?tag=theageofaquarium&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1883693128&adid=0QNDXBQ5EQQ9CGE990Y2&
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Last edited by FloridaBoy on 2008.08.19(Tue)19:26; edited 1 time in total
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AquaticHamster
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Joined: 05 May 2008
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: 2008.08.15(Fri)11:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Florida Boy,
I will lower the sand to about 20 lbs(?). I will be dosing reguararly with all the proper supplements for my corals when and if I get my corals. For the skimmer, I was trying to get all my products from Drs. Foster and Smith as my LFS doesn't have all the products and you can get the same item for cheaper (this would be my Birthday/Christmas present as they are only 5 days apart). I will see if I can find some good books on my next visit to my bookstore.

I read the to articles on soft corals and I especially liked the one called Soft Corals: Corals That Paved the Way for Modern Day Reefkeeping It would help if you could reccomend some good looking yet easy to take care of corals.

I don't think I can upgrade to a 40 gal as space is the real issue (not so much money). Unless I can move my dresser over and fit it into my room then I will have to stick with the 30 gal.

Help still appreciated!
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.08.15(Fri)12:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

AquaticHamster wrote:
It would help if you could reccomend some good looking yet easy to take care of corals.


Sure, I would not describe any live corals as "easy" but these links will help you get started... your research will lead to success.

http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/coralcare/tp/easycorals.htm

http://www.aquacon.com/Begcorals.html

http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquariumfish/detail.aspx?aid=1894&cid=3790&search=
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AquaticHamster
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Joined: 05 May 2008
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: 2008.08.15(Fri)17:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links FloridaBoy

I searched around liveaquaria to see if I could find any good corals. I found some soft corals that I liked and I would like some input on whether or not the corals fit my beginner status and lighting needs. I will be dosing all supplements.
Here are the links to them:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+2341+2512+2614&pcatid=2614
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+600+673&pcatid=673
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+600+651&pcatid=651
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+2341+2512+2360&pcatid=2360
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+2341+2512+2405&pcatid=2405
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+2341+2512+2366&pcatid=2366
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+599+675&pcatid=675

If you could recommend any more corals from there that would be great.
Also, I was wondering if a filter (Penguin Power Filter) is necessary for my setup.
Also if someone could recommend some fish to keep. I definatly want 2 Ocellaris Clowns and a Goby.
Lastly since you said I should get less than one inch of sand would this http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+10741+7318&pcatid=7318 work?
Thanks in advance!
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.08.19(Tue)19:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

AquaticHamster wrote:
Thanks for the links FloridaBoy

Lastly since you said I should get less than one inch of sand would this http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+10741+7318&pcatid=7318 work?
Thanks in advance!


Yep that should work fine, I see several grades there... here's more on substrate choices:
http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/beginnerscorner/a/aa011504substra.htm
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