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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
so... i was going to use the search button... but there has been a crash so... if any one reads this. i need some help. thanks.

i want to do-up a salt water tank.

what is the most easy and basic way i can run a saltwater tank. pretty much saying " i have a saltwater tank at home"

or any web sites i can read that are pretty basic to get the stuff down.

most sites seem... like i dont know what there talking about.

i went to J&L's they told me.. if i want to make a basic simple one...

i would need skimmer, and refractometer told me hydrometer blows (besides a tank, and light, and salt water mix)
while some other lady there told me i didn't need one. and just need salt water mix and wait a day then i can get live rock. keep temp around 77
thanks.. hopes that made sense
 

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Do you know what you want to have in your tank? Planning that out ahead of time can save some headaches. FYI J&L like to oversell any time they get a chance.
 

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I dont have a salt water tank, but I do know that the requirements (and prices) vary drastically based on if you wanted a reef tank or a non-reef fish only tank.

reef tank can be visualized as a planted tank, only difference is that in fresh water planted tank, you can get away with low lights and no CO2 etc, but reef tanks MUST have appropriate lights and all the other stuff.

Other than the above, I have no idea :) if someone here can write up the uses and benefits for each of these different parts and why someone would use or not-use them, it would be great.
EG: Uses for:
Protien Skimmer: ?
Hydrometer: ?
Refractometer: ?
Canister vs Sump for salt-water: (any differences from fresh water?)

and other stuff I might have missed :)
 

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That lady in the store gave you bad advice.

You should use a refractometer (most hydrometers are inaccurate & need to be calibrated against a refractometer) to measure salinity. If you simply mix salt & water together without measuring, how would you know your salinity is on target?

Buying cured live rock (as opposed to dead dry rock - which will require months to properly become live again or newly imported live rock - which will need several weeks & a couple of water changes to cure) will save you time & effort. Make sure you transport any cured live rock wet or at least damp.

What size of tank are you planning?

Reef-ready or non-oveflowed tank? (Sump or sumpless?)

Reef or fish only?

What's your budget?

With sw tanks, getting good equipment (especially the right lights & skimmer) will save you a lot of time & aggravation since buying cheaper, underpowered equipment will mean an expensive upgrade in the future.

Make a list of your "MUST HAVE" species & that will let you know whether or not you are aiming for a fish only or reef. Many sw fish are non-reefsafe & if you want to keep those, then corals will have to be chosen carefully for compatibility.
 

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Do you know what you want to have in your tank? Planning that out ahead of time can save some headaches. FYI J&L like to oversell any time they get a chance.
They do sell some expensive equipment, you definitely need to know how high tech you want to go. But that being said, a refractometer and skimmer are essential as far as I am concerned.

I don't think I have ever been given absurd advise by any of their employees. If you tell them you are a budget reefer, trust me, they will tell you to go online and try to buy stuff used. Just know that they assume that everyone who walks in their store has cash to burn.

Try searching Reef-Central.com. That site has hundreds of hours of material.
 

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Kei,
There are a number of ways to set up a saltwater aquarium. Although I am a strong supporter of the use of live rock, dont feel pressured to necessarily go that way. There are benefits to it but when it comes to medicating, your options are limited. Many people who jump into saltwater really dont have a handle on all the potential future issues that may arise. There are a few low tech ways to enter the marine hobby and still have the piece of mind of being able to medicate. If you absolutely want to go with inverts, rock etc, then research that type of system. The best advice I can give is listing the livestock you most want to determine if saltwater is for you.:)
 

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Read, read, read and read some more. There are some good books at the public library that can get you started. I woulld also recommend the canreef forum which is saltwater focused and has alot of good information. In order to avoid expensive and frustrating mistakes you really should do your research and have some sort of plan as to where you want to end up and how to get there.

I spent 8 or 10 months reading and thinking before venturing into my first saltwater tank and even so I have encountered problems, expected and unexpected over that time. Most can be handled if you have some knowledge beforehand.

So my recommendation would be read alot and ask questions on the boards. While some stores are really good others will give you wrong information or sell you equipment and livestock you don't need or shouldn't have. MAybe after some interaction with others you might even be able to arrange to see a few experienced hobbyists tanks to get an idea about set up etc. Just don't rush into anything. Always remember this: nothing good in saltwater happens quickly.
 

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Search "nano lagoon" in youtube. There is a serie of video tutorials made by indo pacific searfarm on how to start a 10 gallon nano reef aquarium. Pretty much how I get into this hobby 8 months ago.
 

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I agree. Research, research, research. Try and keep it simple. Live rock, skimmer, and water changes. Other than that, don't worry about chemicals or mechanical (canister) filters for water quality.

As you search the boards, start writing down the most common elements of sucessful systems. That way you should start to get a consensus of what is working.

If you want to start small, Nano-reef.com is a great site.
 
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