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Newbie, am I on the right track?
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seawitch0313
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Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)18:10    Post subject: Newbie, am I on the right track? Reply with quote

Hello, I've done freshwater for years and have yearned for saltwater. I'm not going to be starting tomorrow but in the near future I hope to have my first Marine tank going. Heres what I've got in mind:
I want to start small (to get my feet wet, lol) I know bigger is better, but I have a 20 gal long I can use for starters. I'm keeping my eye on the 30 and bigger sizes at the store in case of a sale Wink I was planning on having and undergravel filter, using dolomite substrate with a top layer of live sand (or carribean sand that will become live later), some live rock, a filter and heater of course, and a protein skimmer. I just want to start out with a couple of clownfish (my fav fish, they're so cute!!) then if all goes well maybe adding some smaller fish, some shrimp, I'd like a starfish, and an anemone for the clowns (I've heard those are tricky though) And maybe adding some nonlive or the artificial corals later. I'd like some seahorses but I've heard those suckers are fragile so I might do a small tank especially for them later if all goes well with my first tank.
Does this sound like a good plan? Any thing you pros would do different?
Then since I'm taking my time on this I thought of getting a subscription to a marine aquarium magazine, any suggestions? Thanks for any advice in advance!!
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Seahorses are quite hardy. Its the feeding that is the problem. 99% of seahorses will eat nothing but live food. In the form of small shrimp.

I have read articles about people weening them onto frozen mysis shrimp and vitamin soaked brine. They almost have to go fishing in there own tank to get them to eat it. Seahorses take a lot of care and a dedicated owner to survive. They are a very rewarding species if you ahve the dedication. Seahorses should only be kept in a species only tank.

Anenomes are always problematic. They too require hand feeding, Reef Lighting(4 watts per gallon in a 20L), and a good chunk of a tank to call there own. Also most Anenomes you buy are not in good shape and they don't travel well. I've been very lucky I've had a long tentacle anenome for several months now and he's doing very well. If you do get a Anenome your may be tempted to get a carpet anenome for there looks and color. DON'T Carpet Anenomes should not be removed from the ocean. There survival rate in a home aquarium is zero after a few months. Yes There are a few exceptions but they are very few and usually by experts.

If you do buy clownfish, get the tank raised. They are hardier and are not as dependant on anenomes. Remember Clownfish are not schooling fish. buy one or buy a mated pair. A small group will fight and end up damaging or killing each other.

Brutus my maroon clown and his Long tentacle

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Last edited by SoS on 2003.06.10(Tue)19:53; edited 1 time in total
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ophie
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Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)19:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you do buy clownfish, get the tank raised. They are hardier and are dependant on anenomes.

I'm sure SoS means that the tank raised are not dependent on anemones like wilds would be, and I thought I would just second the vote for tank-raised clowns. I especially like the black ocellaris, which are ORA (the people from whom the LFS would get tank-raised marine fish)available.

I would ditch the undergravel filter. Are you wanting to use it for any particular reason? You could use the skimmer alone, or add a HOB filter to be able to use special media, like carbon.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)19:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ophie. Your right I meant not as dependant.

Your also correct about the undergravel. A 2 - 2 1/2 inch sandbad would be good.
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seawitch0313
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Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)20:08    Post subject: re:undergravel filter Reply with quote

I was just going to use it because I had one and I read somewhere that they are good sources of biological filtration. I'm still 'equipment' dumb, thats for sure. Thats one area where my brain goes 'Ohhh.....ummmm....' ~makes a note that the pros say 'nay' to undergravel~

I hope I can find a mated pair of tank raised clowns that are my favorite species. I can't remember what kind but I think it starts with a 'P' and sounds like a name (Parkers maybe?) They're the bright orange with the black separating the white stripes and the very round fins.
Thanks for your advice. If anyone else has something to add I'd welcome it as well.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)20:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Percula Clowns

My local Fish store. http://www.absolutelyfish.com often has mated pairs. They do ship fish too. There in North New Jersey.
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seawitch0313
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Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.11(Wed)14:05    Post subject: re: opps Reply with quote

Opps, I majorly missed the mark on the clownfish species. Perculas are close to what I was wanting and thats probably where I got the 'p' from, but today I made a special trip to the closest fish store that sells marine tank stuff(which isnt all that close) and I saw the ones I liked and their name starts with an 'O'. I know if I try to spell it I'll get it wrong but it along the lines of "ocellia' or something. I feel real stupid now Sad
But I was cheered by going to the fish store, they had more marine stuff now than I remember since the last time I was there. I won't have to rely on only mail order now. I think last time they only had like 8 tanks and nothing other than fish, now they have like 2 dozen tanks, live rock, invertibraes, starfish, corals, and a good supply of dolomite and aragonite plus plenty of fake and non living corals. The even had a couple of anemones. And so many pretty fish, made me really wish for a couple of bigger tanks!!
I think I'm going to start by getting some dolomite, a saltwater test kit, a piece of nonliving coral, and some instant ocean(buy one get one free this month!) Then I can work on getting some of the hardware I don't have yet.

And now I have a new question. If I were to get all my equiptment and all my solutions could I get my tank started and run it for a while. I know its supposed to cycle for 24 hours before fish anyways but I'm talking for like a few weeks to a month? Reason I'm asking it with the price on live rock I'm not going to be able to buy all I want for my tank right away and was wondering if I would be able to add it like 5 lbs at a time then add my fish once I have all I want? Thanks again!!
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.06.11(Wed)17:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

24 hours? All tanks should be allowed to cycle for a few weeks.

if your going to have a protien skimmer and some filtration you won't need all your rock at once. So adding it slowly is not a problem. Just make sure the rock is cured rock. If its uncured it'll release all types of nasty ammonia and nitrates into your tank.


2 ocellaris would be nice in a 20L. I wouldn't add any other midwater fish than them though. It would be crampt and there would be fighting. You could add a bottom feeding goby and a blenny to the tank. Just make sure you have a good lid for them there jumpers.

To the untrained eye there is almost no differance between Ocellaris and Percula. Percula are smaller and have a darker bands.

Percula do stay smaller so I'd recommend them over ocellaris in a small tank.

Remember Ocellaris and Percula whichever you pick are the least hardy of the clownfish. So make sure your tank is well cycled and properly intruduce them to your tank.
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seawitch0313
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Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.11(Wed)22:47    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Thank you all very much, you've been a big help and I really appreciate the advice. I'm printing this out so I can refer back to it later when I'm activily setting up my tank.

I will definetly be needing to do another tank later if I maintain the first one well. Theres just too many fish I like!!
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2003.06.12(Thu)11:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Remember Ocellaris and Percula whichever you pick are the least hardy of the clownfish. So make sure your tank is well cycled and properly intruduce them to your tank.


What is the peferred method of salt fish acclimation?

<--- Just trying to absorb as much information as he can.
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