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Dearth
08-04-2012, 03:56 PM
I am a long time fresh water aquarist that is looking at setting up a salt water aquarium but have some questions.

-I have always been told to set up largest tank you could afford which has always stopped me cold from setting up a salt water but recently learned about nano aquariums And from reading various forums a lot of serious salt water aquarists dislike nano aquariums but I would rather take baby steps so what size of nano aquarium would you recommend 9, 10, 14 or 20 gallon?

-what kind of coral, rock, sand and bottom feeders/fish would you recommend for stabilizing tank and how many of each would you recommend?

-is darker setting better than having an aquarium in a bright area?

Thank you for any info you can provide

Proteus
08-04-2012, 04:17 PM
I think that the biggest issue with small tanks is water volume. Large tanks with more water can have a little more room for error.
I have a 26 gallon cube that I love. I down graded from a 250 gallon system and I'll tell you the smaller is cheaper to operate.

Find a tank suitable to what you want. And get the required equipment. Ie. skimmer lights sump

Live rock and sand. Then add water. It'll will be a month or so before you could add livestock. But research what kind of tank u want. Specimen or reef. Fowlr

This is a great site for info from much more experience reefers

mrhasan
08-04-2012, 07:17 PM
If 20 is your limit, I would suggest that you get a 20 long. Awesome footprint and should give you a bit more space for more corals and one or two more fishes. I have also being into freshwater for like 10 years and started saltwater about a month ago and its going great till now. Small is not bad as long as you have proper filtration and do regular maintenance. The only downside I would say is that it limits your livestock to a "huge" extend!

Lonster
08-04-2012, 10:19 PM
Think about using dry base rock if you want to make sure that there are no bad hitch hikers and save a bit if money. You'll have to wait a bit longer for the cycle to finish but then you can spend a bit more on your skimmer or lights.

reefwars
08-04-2012, 10:58 PM
Think about using dry base rock if you want to make sure that there are no bad hitch hikers and save a bit if money. You'll have to wait a bit longer for the cycle to finish but then you can spend a bit more on your skimmer or lights.


the price for dry rock and live these days is almost par so not saving that much def not enough for a simmer or lights and with not getting any pests also comes not getting any good things.


even if i had the choice to use free dry rock id still go majority live rock.

reefwars
08-04-2012, 10:58 PM
liverock for a 20g got to cost what $40 at most:P

claymax
08-04-2012, 11:33 PM
i cant seem to find live rock for less that 8$/lb....

mrhasan
08-04-2012, 11:56 PM
You can buy the aqua cultured live rock from ecoliverock. I use it and is happy with it. Costs around 4lb/pound with free shipping (but you have to buy min of 20 pounds).

Proteus
08-05-2012, 12:14 AM
Or post a thread on here :LF LIVE ROCK

Normally sells $3-$4 lb

mrhasan
08-05-2012, 12:16 AM
Or post a thread on here :LF LIVE ROCK

Normally sells $3-$4 lb

Yah that would be even better since there cycle will most probably take a day or two (or maybe no cycle at all).

Lonster
08-05-2012, 12:32 AM
Buying live rock from someone that is shutting down is pretty risky IMO. Especially with a new person not knowing what type of things to look out for. Paying $160 at the lfs vs. $50 gives you some decent extra money to spend, and can make a difference with a skimmer for a small system. He said he wanted to watch his spending so just throwing in my 2 cents.

I used all dry rock and I am happy with a pest free tank.

mrhasan
08-05-2012, 12:35 AM
Aqua cultured ones are pest free too.

Snaz
08-05-2012, 12:36 AM
Nano tanks are wonderful. A good size is 20 - 30 gallons, with a 29g Biocube a great tank for beginner or expert. Nano's offer a visual perspective that is not often available with a large tank and that is closeness. You can get your eyes within eight inches(or less) of every nook, cranny and growing thing in your tank.

My tank looks like a bit of a dog's breakfast from afar but I designed it to my viewing pleasure which is on a stool with my nose pressed up against the glass. So much life!

Smaller tanks are no more difficult than larger tanks in my opinion. In fact it is easier because maintenance is a breeze. My weekly 10% water change is half a bucket of water. You ask some of the big reefers around here how long it takes to prepare ro/di, mix and hump five buckets in and out of a system and it would be hella of lot longer than my half bucket. :) My additives? 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 20ml of water, simple.

Welcome to reefing and Nano!!
Keith

Enigma
08-05-2012, 12:41 AM
If 20 is your limit, I would suggest that you get a 20 long. Awesome footprint and should give you a bit more space for more corals and one or two more fishes. I have also being into freshwater for like 10 years and started saltwater about a month ago and its going great till now. Small is not bad as long as you have proper filtration and do regular maintenance. The only downside I would say is that it limits your livestock to a "huge" extend!

X2. 20 long tanks have very nice dimensions. Though I think 40 breeders have the "best" nano dimensions. ;)

mrhasan
08-05-2012, 12:56 AM
Can't agree more :D

Plus to me, smaller fishes are cuter than their larger counterparts. The other day I was a hardly 1/2" hippo tank and that's probably the cutest fish I have ever seen!

In my 20long, I haven't done any major water change in the last 1 month. Just did regular top offs.

I personally don't like cube aquariums because they actually give less place for the fishes to swim in straight.

Nano tanks are wonderful. A good size is 20 - 30 gallons, with a 29g Biocube a great tank for beginner or expert. Nano's offer a visual perspective that is not often available with a large tank and that is closeness. You can get your eyes within eight inches(or less) of every nook, cranny and growing thing in your tank.

My tank looks like a bit of a dog's breakfast from afar but I designed it to my viewing pleasure which is on a stool with my nose pressed up against the glass. So much life!

Smaller tanks are no more difficult than larger tanks in my opinion. In fact it is easier because maintenance is a breeze. My weekly 10% water change is half a bucket of water. You ask some of the big reefers around here how long it takes to prepare ro/di, mix and hump five buckets in and out of a system and it would be hella of lot longer than my half bucket. :) My additives? 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 20ml of water, simple.

Welcome to reefing and Nano!!
Keith

mrhasan
08-05-2012, 12:57 AM
X2. 20 long tanks have very nice dimensions. Though I think 40 breeders have the "best" nano dimensions. ;)

40 long is even more awesome. And I don't think 40g would be considered nano :P

Dearth
08-05-2012, 05:49 AM
Thank you for the information after reading some more I think I might use my 33 gallon tank standard glass rectangle shape and I do have some accessories that I can convert to salt water and will have to buy the rest and I already have rock I have 18 lbs of fake lava rock gifted to me for Xmas a few yrs ago but never used in my fresh water tanks.

One problem I do have is every room in my house is bright and always had algae issues because of the light are salt water aquariums affected in the same way? If so is there a light diffuser that I can use without spoiling the looks of the tank?

Another question I have is what is the best light medium to go with as all I have are the standard fluorescents but coloured (red,blue,yellow) are LEDs or halogen better to use?

Again thank you

mrhasan
08-05-2012, 06:03 AM
LED will definitely be more economical in the long run but the initial investment is going to be very high.

You can always use T5HO lights for moderate results but the best for SW (if you plan to keep delicate corals) would be metal halide lighting.

gregzz4
08-05-2012, 06:10 AM
Yah that would be even better since there cycle will most probably take a day or two (or maybe no cycle at all).
Any live rock will give you a cycle of some kind, no matter where it comes from, due to transfer / handling
Just saying don't expect it to be 'cycle free'

And I'll agree with reefwars ...
It will be inexpensive enough to buy LR for a tank that small, so don't bother with base rock
Some things shouldn't be skimped on, such as rock, skimmer, and if you want SPS, quality lights are important too

oyf709
08-15-2012, 10:22 PM
Just in case no one has suggested this yet, for a nano tank, you can even try bare bottom tank. A lot easier to manage as a smaller tank and give you a cleaner look. I would suggest this simply because in a nano tank, you can't really achieve DSB anyways.