Anything I should know about staring a saltwater tank.

lexuhrmann

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Hi, I’m looking to start a saltwater aquarium. The size I’m thinking to get is a 75 gallon tank. I really wanna have a starfish but I’ve read that you should have a tank for some time first so they have food. So I’m thinking of getting a strewberey dottyback 3in, red scooter bleny 3in, clownfish 5in, 2 cardinals 8in, green chromis 2in, and medium green mandarin goby 4in. Is 75 gallons enough space? I also wanna have corals. I was thinking pulsing Xenia coral, green star polyps, magician zoanthids, Skyrim zoa & dragon eye zoanthids. Can I also get and alps corals ? I was thinking to get a power head & Aqueon quiet flow 75 power filter. I was going to use Carib-sea alive Hawaiian black gravel. I was thinking a 300w heater but should I get multiple heaters and put them on either end of the tank ? What watt lights would you suggest for the tank? I was thinking of getting 2 NICREW 175w led reef lights. How much salt will I need for a 75 gallon tank? Should I use the Pacific Ocean water from pet I or can I just use tap ? Or brita filtered tap? What other additives do I need ? Conditioner ? Calcium ? Sorry for so many questions ! Thank you
 

Peace River

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Congratulations on the new tank! You may find this R2R article helpful:

 

Azedenkae

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Congratulations on the new tank! You may find this R2R article helpful:

+1, was gonna suggest the same thing. ^_^
 

New&no clue

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Hi, I’m looking to start a saltwater aquarium. The size I’m thinking to get is a 75 gallon tank. I really wanna have a starfish but I’ve read that you should have a tank for some time first so they have food. So I’m thinking of getting a strewberey dottyback 3in, red scooter bleny 3in, clownfish 5in, 2 cardinals 8in, green chromis 2in, and medium green mandarin goby 4in. Is 75 gallons enough space?
7 fish would be fine, however, add slowly. 1-2 a month while you build up your biofiltration. I would not add a mandarin until you have a well established pod population.

was thinking pulsing Xenia coral, green star polyps, magician zoanthids, Skyrim zoa & dragon eye zoanthids. Can I also get and alps corals ?
Those are all good corals for a beginner. Softies are typically easier to keep. They use less Cal, Alk, and Mag so a good water change schedule is typically all you need.

I was thinking to get a power head & Aqueon quiet flow 75 power filter.
Most people here will recommend a sump. It is not necessary, however, it is nice. I started with just and Aqueon filter, but then decided to go with a sump. I wish I had started with a sump as it was a pain to change everything after already started.

I was thinking a 300w heater but should I get multiple heaters and put them on either end of the tank ?
Two heaters is always good for redundancy. If one fails you have a backup.

What watt lights would you suggest for the tank? I was thinking of getting 2 NICREW 175w led reef lights.
I would see if you can find a PAR reading with those lights. For a softy tank you don't need crazy high powered lights. However, you also don't want something with high reds and greens as that will help algae grow. For corals you want blues, purples, whites. I personally like T5's over LED, but LED's are nice for their adjustability.

How much salt will I need for a 75 gallon tank? Should I use the Pacific Ocean water from pet I or can I just use tap ? Or brita filtered tap?
I would suggest buying a bucket of salt and a RODI unit.

What other additives do I need ? Conditioner ? Calcium ?
I wouldn't get anything right now. I would put the money into some good testing kits. Calcium, Alkalinity, Magnesium, Nitrates, and Phosphates.
 
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Tcook

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I also recommend a sump. You can store equipment like heaters, return pump, skimmer, probes etc. This is a learning process so starting out without a sump is perfectly fine.

Also, if that strawberry dottyback is a purple pseudochromis it will potentially be an aggressive fish and limit what you can add later.

No mandarin for a new tank.

Avoid the linkia and fromia starfish even though they look great. I have tried many times. If they don't sustain a minute injury and disintegrate they end up starving after a year. They require a huge aged aquarium with lots of biofilm to feed on. You can add interest to the tank with a shrimp or urchin that have a higher success rate.
 

Uncle99

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75g is fine, I’d use two Nicrew Hypereef 150w, three puck on that. They would grow anything. Nothing fancy, just on/off, 6 intensity settings on each of two channels.

Get your rock and or marine pure cycling as soon as possible.

Starfish, most don’t last 6 months as they can strip the substrate in weeks, then starve.

Mandarin is a good choice when the system is 6-9 months IMM.
 

Patman

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If I could give you one bit of advice from my mistakes, buy your lights once. I'd go for some T5's if budget is a concern. I could not even begin to name all the LED's I've gone through before realizing I should have just saved for them in the first place. My favorites (in order) AI prime/hydra, radions (only have g4 pros), ATI bulb t5's.

 

Biglew11

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If I could give you one bit of advice from my mistakes, buy your lights once. I'd go for some T5's if budget is a concern. I could not even begin to name all the LED's I've gone through before realizing I should have just saved for them in the first place. My favorites (in order) AI prime/hydra, radions (only have g4 pros), ATI bulb t5's.

+1 I wish I had purchased my t5 hybrid fixture first then added my kessils when they were needed. I ended up buying t5 fixtures twice, so not too bad but still extra spending.

+1 on starting out with a sump. Makes hiding heaters and filtration easier.
 

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Snookin

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Hi, I’m looking to start a saltwater aquarium. The size I’m thinking to get is a 75 gallon tank. I really wanna have a starfish but I’ve read that you should have a tank for some time first so they have food. So I’m thinking of getting a strewberey dottyback 3in, red scooter bleny 3in, clownfish 5in, 2 cardinals 8in, green chromis 2in, and medium green mandarin goby 4in. Is 75 gallons enough space? I also wanna have corals. I was thinking pulsing Xenia coral, green star polyps, magician zoanthids, Skyrim zoa & dragon eye zoanthids. Can I also get and alps corals ? I was thinking to get a power head & Aqueon quiet flow 75 power filter. I was going to use Carib-sea alive Hawaiian black gravel. I was thinking a 300w heater but should I get multiple heaters and put them on either end of the tank ? What watt lights would you suggest for the tank? I was thinking of getting 2 NICREW 175w led reef lights. How much salt will I need for a 75 gallon tank? Should I use the Pacific Ocean water from pet I or can I just use tap ? Or brita filtered tap? What other additives do I need ? Conditioner ? Calcium ? Sorry for so many questions ! Thank you
Did this post just come through via 1999 right before the Y2K meltdown?
 

Cory

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Dont put anything metal near your tank. Watch out for rusting things, hinges, algae magnets etc. Double check your alk test kit is accurate with a diy standard. Dont buy a swing arm hydrometer, buy a tropic marin floating glass one with glass thermometer. Leds are tricky, metal halides and t5s are proven to grow corals. Get an algae refugium going from day 1 or your tank will look like a swamp soon. Sea urchins control coral reef algae mostly nothing else. Limewater (calcium hydroxide) is the easiest way to maintain alkalinity and calcium with near proper levels when corals cosume them. Corraline loves t5 lighting. Dont buy any mean fish/predators like damsels, maroon clownfish, panther groupers, or lionfish unless you plan to house only mean fish/predators which will limit your fish selection. Good luck.
 
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Jilly92

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Hi, I’m looking to start a saltwater aquarium. The size I’m thinking to get is a 75 gallon tank. I really wanna have a starfish but I’ve read that you should have a tank for some time first so they have food. So I’m thinking of getting a strewberey dottyback 3in, red scooter bleny 3in, clownfish 5in, 2 cardinals 8in, green chromis 2in, and medium green mandarin goby 4in. Is 75 gallons enough space? I also wanna have corals. I was thinking pulsing Xenia coral, green star polyps, magician zoanthids, Skyrim zoa & dragon eye zoanthids. Can I also get and alps corals ? I was thinking to get a power head & Aqueon quiet flow 75 power filter. I was going to use Carib-sea alive Hawaiian black gravel. I was thinking a 300w heater but should I get multiple heaters and put them on either end of the tank ? What watt lights would you suggest for the tank? I was thinking of getting 2 NICREW 175w led reef lights. How much salt will I need for a 75 gallon tank? Should I use the Pacific Ocean water from pet I or can I just use tap ? Or brita filtered tap? What other additives do I need ? Conditioner ? Calcium ? Sorry for so many questions ! Thank you
Red scooter and mandarin won't last in a new tank, they will needetoxifies. Dottyback can be territorial so I would add him last. Green chromis might be schooling fish so add 2. Here's a video I did on mixing saltwater if you would like to watch. I used RODI water and instant ocean salt. People will advise against tap water but I know people who use it and you would have to use a dechlorinator and heavy metal detoxifier. There's so many additives. It really all depends on what you're going to have in your tank and whether you use rodi water or tap. Make sure to get a test kit and test biweekly and you full be fine. I also recommend getting a phosphate Tester and trace elements. You will need a refractometer to check salinity. The amount of salt will be determined by what point you want your salinity at like 1.025 and maybe the brand of salt as well. I learned alot from forums and YouTube!


 

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If you get ro buddy get the DI filter with it ,might as well get a TDS meter also . Di filter is only good for 100 gallons with city water.
 

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Welcome to the Community! Lots to consider:

You are talking about a Mixed Reef Tank. No Tap!, No Brita Filtered Water! You need RODI (there are reasons) - your LFS (Fish store) should have it. There are other options as well. Go Slow - nothing good in this hobby happens fast! Cycle your tank first. Make sure your Bio Filtration is adequate for your live stock as you slowly add fish (I added Clownfish to my tank first - why: they are hardy) Having said that you want to learn about the nitrogen cycle - and how to tell if you tank is ready for fish. Consider where you will put the tank. Sunlight, really impacted my tank. I did a 55 Gallon with Hang On Back Filters (2 75 Gallon Filters) with 2 AI Primes (Lighting - Full Spectrum LEDs). Also did regular Water Changes - Regular Testing - Still a Disaster - why - It was a learning tank - I did not Use RODI, I did not consider the impact of Sunlight. I could not control the algae. Ended up breaking down the tank - rehoming livestock to a 180 Gallon Peninsula tank. I would suggest you check a marine compatibility chart for the live stock - be careful with a starfish in a reef tank (I had a Cleaner Shrimp and introduced a few Hermit Crabs - I guess it was either compatibility or I did not get enough food to the hermit crabs - I happened to walk by at the "right" time and I saw my hermit crab feeding on my cleaner shrimp - not pretty)! Also consider flow and aquascaping (remember to keep space between your aquascaping and glass/acrylic of tank. If your tank is acrylic - care should be taken not to scratch it while cleaning it). Will the tank be large enough for your live stock when they grow - consider this for fish and corals. Also consider the position of corals in tank - Top Middle or Bottom of Tank. Corals can be Peaceful or Aggressive. You will need to consider lighting and the position of lighting - above tank (Distance off the water line - PAR). For instance I have a 29 in deep tank + 2 Inch sand bed (180 Gallon mentioned above) and my lights (two AP700's are mounted on a light rail 10 Inches off the water line). You will want to think about how long should I keep my lights on the necessary spectrum. You will also need to consider a Protein Skimmer as well as a water auto top off unit (you don't want to manually add water to your Tank every day - Evaporation which affects salinity) Another item to think about is when you go away (Vacation, travel for business) - how will you feed, top off water, etc.). Consider power outages - remember you have an active living environment here and a power failure can be bad for your tank and the critters that live in it. The pump is the most important thing to keep the water flowing (I have a UPS on my system). And don't forget to water test - Learn which elements to test for and the values you are looking for. I would suggest tracking the results of each water test. Remember your Clean Up Crew - Think of Substrate. It sounds like a lot, but you want to be successful. I did not add all this equipment at once - but its an ongoing thing. Having said all that, it is a fun hobby. Good Luck and remember there are lots of good resources here at Reef2Reef. Would enjoy seeing pictures of your build. Check out the various forums here - they will help. Sorry for the disorganized thoughts but I wanted to get this out there for you.
 
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As for the Salt Question, I use Reef Crystals - No Issues - They tell you on the Package - but for Reef Crystals - about half cup per Gallon. Don't quote me on that (I have to check the instructions every time - Remember you want to keep your Salinity in a very specific and narrow range - For a Mixed Reef Tank - I would say between 1.024 - 1.026 sg. You are probably going to want to do water changes about every 2 weeks to replenish critical elements and get rid of undesirable ones. As for how much Salt to buy - look at what you will need every 2 weeks, and go with what your budget will allow.

Remember Food for Your Corals and Frozen Food for Fish and Inverts! - They want to be fed a variety too. :)
 

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