Thinking about building a reef tank.. Need Help

Mindsgoneawol

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First .. Hello all..

I am thinking about plunging into saltwater aquaria.. I keep seeing all the beautiful and interesting aquariums. I would like to try and build my own reef to enjoy. I had many wonderful times with my freshwater tanks and now I want to venture into saltwater. If possible. Can I get some input on what to buy. I am thinking about a 55 gal setup to start and will hopefully get into larger once I get a better understanding from upkeep to adding new creatures.

any pointers would be apreciated. and yes. its gonna be alot of work but thats the fun of it for me. I will be able to enjoy the beauty of my work.

Thanx again.
 

fritz

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You're puttting the cart before the horse.... First you need to decide what you want to keep. Different corals/fish require VERY different things. First find a reef that you like and start from there.

www.wetwebmedia.com is a good resource for all types of reef knowledge.

Keep us posted!
Welcome to MR and enjoy!
 

jhale

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I would suggest not buying a 55 gallon tank. The shape is horrible for aquascaping. I started out with one and was never happy with the long skinny proportions. For a reef think about getting something shaped like a shorter rectangle, like a 65 gallon. When your ready check our selling forum, people are often selling used tanks at a fraction of the new cost.
 

House of Laughter

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A 75 would be a good start and many say a 90 is the best start for a reef - I say if you have the room, start with a 120, it will be more forgiving and will allow you more flexibility.

Welcome to MR and you are certainly welcome to come by for a review of the system on a larger scale.

House
 

Chiefmcfuz

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Welcome to MR. After you decide what kind of reef you want (fish type and coral type) get the biggest possible tank you can afford and your floor can support.
 

masterswimmer

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Howdy, and welcome to MR. You've done well already!!! You're asking questions BEFORE you buy. I'd say you're already on the road to success.

The links that Deano posted are great. Spend your time reading and understanding the nomenclature before diving in head first. It'll do a few things for you, guide you to success, save big $$$ and elevate your comfort level.....for starters.

The members here on MR are a great source of information as well. Good luck and join in on our discussions.

Russ
 

Mindsgoneawol

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I have found some creatures I would like to have. My daughters love the Nemo movie and I have always wanted a clown fish. I saw 3 different clown fish I like and am reading about them.. Hermit crabs are another favorite of mine. (got a softspot for those little buggers.. lol.)

The 3 Clowns I found are:

Citrinis Clown Goby
Ocellaris Clownfish
Green Clown Goby

I still haven't go to far into looking into them yet for temperment and such. I do know they need Anemones. But as I said. I haven't got that far. Its gonna take awhile for me to get capital for the aquarium. And time to get it up and running ready for the creatures. (gotta make sure the biology is right in the water)

Some other fish I have been looking at are:

Auriga Butterflyfish
Raccoon Butterflyfish
Pacific Blue Tang
Yellow Hawaiian Tang
Foxface Lo
Neon Gold Goby

Other tank mates:

Halloween Hermit Crab
Dwarf Red
Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab
Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab
The Electric Blue Hermit Crab


Eventually I will have several aquariums. One will be totally dedicated to a pair of Lionfish.. (I could watch just them for hours.. lol..)

Still researching to see what I have listed will behave together. I read someplace that those I listed are beginner fish. If so I am set. But I still have a long way to go. I am going to check into prices on aquarium glass. If its somewhat reasonable I may just build my aquarium and a custom cabinet. That way all the filters and such will fit where I can get to them.

Thanx for the warm welcome and all the great info.. Got alot of reading to do this weekend.. (and any time I can find around my work scedule)

Thanx again. :fish:
 

Chiefmcfuz

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The clowns you have listed Only the Osc is a clownfish the other 2 are goby's.

Hermits only get the scarlet hermits they are less likely to feast on your snails.

Butterfly fish and corals are a bad mix Foxface is venemous with its dorsal fins.

Blue tang needs a very large tank I'd say at least a 90 gallon.

The key is to start off slow and go very slow as you progress.
 

Chiefmcfuz

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Part 2. You need to decidce wether you are going to go bare bottom in the tank or use sand. That is your choice. Goby's aren't going to be happy bare bottom they like to burrow in the sand. Snails are a good addition to a cleanup crew and help keep algae down. Especially on the glass. The tank estimate on the Tang above is only an estimate I would go 125 or 120 gallon if you plan on keeping such large fish together. Read all you can about the minimum req's of all of the fish. And these invert's. Also most of us have made the mistakes so you don't have to so runn stuff by people here to save you a ton of heartache and cash.
 

fritz

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Also clowns don't need anemones. Anemones as a matter of fact are very difficult to keep successfully in captivity and unless you're ready to plunk down some serious ca$h on a setup, it's best left as something to try down the road once you've gathered some experience and get the hang of a Salt Water aquarium.

Clowns and damsel fish (clowns are a type of damsel fish) make very good beginner fish. As chief mentioned read up on Bare bottom and Sand beds. It's like religion, everyone has an opinion on which is "best" but it's really about what's best for you. They all have their ups and downs. Keeping a damsel tank with some live rock will allow you to keep some fish and some hermits with snails. Damsels are much more forgiving then some of the other fish that you listed. You can also keep them with more modest equipment then Tangs for example.

Keep reading....... :) It sounds like you are looking for a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock)
 

Chiefmcfuz

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I agree wth Fritz 100000000 % Clowns do not need anemone's to survive. Anemone's are very very very hard to keep trust me I have had my share of failures with them as have many here. My clowns host in a colt coral and nothing at all. They don't even need that as long as you take care of them with good food and good clean water they'll live forever. Osc Clowns are very easy and forgiving as well as damsels. Damsels grow up and get grumpy so keep that in mind. They are also very hard to take out of a tank with lots of live rock. I would buy tank bred fish for your first few critters after your tank has cycled.
 

Mindsgoneawol

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Most of the creatures are just a list of stuff I am considering. I know little of each if anything. They look neat to me. I have to sit down and really read up on them. Each fish have requirements and temperments. Gotta make sure everyone can get along. lol..

I do plan on covering the bottem with something. that something i need to look into. Just depends on what i finally decide on getting. I just may get some coral and Anemones to start. (and a clown fish for the Anemone) . Then build from there. I plan on getting some books to read at work and read what I can on the web when I get time.. Maybe visit some petshops that have the saltwater critters.. There is a really good one here in Jacksonville Florida not too far from where i am moving to.. ( i will be moving this weekend)

which is another process I have on my list.. How to move my tank when I buy a house in about 2 years.. lol..

Talk about education.. I am going to get notebook and start taking notes on everything. Hopefully from all the info on the critters I will be able to build up a care sheet and scedule. And with reading up on tank care .. a chore sheet for that too..

Thanx for all the great tips.. Its really helping me out.. Oh and Great Links.. I learned a few things scanning through them.. :)

Chat with ya all tommorow.. (i hate the night shift.. lol..) :bablefish


edit.. Bookmarked the the links.. thanx..
 
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Salesbig

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oh my

Maybe im wrong...
But take it slow.. Maybe try to keep some fish at first? reef safe ofcourse, just in case you want to get coral at later point and time

TAKE YOUR TIME !!!
And be prepared to take a loss of some live stock at first till you figure out what works for you.

Hey i know it took me a long while, but after you figure it out with the great help of these people on here you will be fine.

So slow and steady I guess is the best for any starter.

Maybe two cents probaly worth a lot less.. :biglaugh:

And good luck in what ever you decide.
 
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masterswimmer

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Mindsgoneawol said:
I just may get some coral and Anemones to start. (and a clown fish for the Anemone) . Then build from there.
Please do some reading on this ^^ before you buy an anemone. Anemone's are a difficult animal to keep. There is a lot of maturing your tank has to go through before it is even ready for an anemone. Many people will say that you should let your tank age (mature) for at least a year before adding one.

You're saying that you "just may get some coral and Anemones to start." as if this is the 'easy' way to go. :eek: And, anemones being plural! The last thing you want to do in this hobby is rush things. There is a saying in the hobby that the only things that happen fast, are problems. The good things take time.

fritz said:
It sounds like you are looking for a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock)
I agree wholeheartedly. Get your feet wet in the FOWLR game and you'll be heading down the reef road before you know it.

ms
 

Mindsgoneawol

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At the moment I am still learning the critters. I have to read up on the behavors and such. How to take care of them. How big/small they will get to be. I am starting to put a dream into reality (hopefully NOT a nightmare). And that's why I'm HERE... (ROTFLOL)
 

Sean

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Get what you want
If you like anemones then get anemones just do your research and buy some books. a good Book will give you much better advice then most websites. If you want anemones and you have a fish only system you wont enjoy the hobby as much.
A salt water aquarium is expensive. First realize that before you try and cut corners by buying inexpensive filters or equipment that is undersized. It would be better to by a smaller aquarium to fit your financial situation then compromise on a large one.
take all "advice" with a grain of salt. Look at the facts not the opinions. This hobby is very opinionated, everyone is wrong and right at the same time.

and most important
enjoy.
 

fritz

OG of this here reef game
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I couldn't agree more. If there is anything that this hobby has taught me it is to NOT cut corners. Trying to save a buck will cost you far more in the long run because you'll end up spending the money to do it the right way anyhow.
Melev has a nice 29 gallon tank with clowns and anemones http://www.melevsreef.com/
This is an inexpensive (relatively) means of reaching your goal. Don't skimp or you'll doom yourself to failure. Buy an RO/DI unit to treat your tap water etc.

Keep reading... and like Sean said buy what you want if you setup a tank that doesn't have what you want it'll cost you much more to change everything over to the type of tank that you wanted in the first place and GO SLOW! Just keep reminding yourself that the world's reefs took millions of years to get the way they are you aren't going to be able to do it quickly. If you were to buy everything that you needed and wanted today, your perfect tank is still one year away.
 

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