Making the big change from freshwater to saltwater...need some help please..40 gallon breeder

James52

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so I'm making the big move to the real leagues and there's so many questions I have and need help with so if you guys could give me any tips or pointers or advice it would be greatly appreciated. So I have a 40gal breeder tank and I want to start with 2 ocellaris clownfish and eventually add a few more compatable tank mates and then some LPS corals. I want to do this the right way from the start because I'm not going to be getting the typical "nemo" clownfish I'm looking at frostbite clownfish and those are around 100$ a pop so I do not want to spend a good amount of money on stock and corals and kill my whole tank.. so first question and I see so many debates on it..protein skimmer...do I need one? I do not want to do a sump since I'm in a apartment and do not want to get that technical on my first tank so any suggestions on that would be awesome. I hear they have HOB but alot of them I see have overflow problems so if you know of any good reliable brands please make suggestions. Also what light fixtures would you guys suggest? I don't want to do t5s so any suggestions on latest LED setups would help. Also im a 24 year old single father with a 4 year old so the funds are very slim so remeber that when making suggestions for products..things i can get best bang for buck. And if there is anything else you guys can think of that would help me to a successful first reef tank pleaseee let me know. Thanks and happy reefing!!
 
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so I'm making the big move to the real leagues and there's so many questions I have and need help with so if you guys could give me any tips or pointers or advice it would be greatly appreciated. So I have a 40gal breeder tank and I want to start with 2 ocellaris clownfish and eventually add a few more compatable tank mates and then some LPS corals. I want to do this the right way from the start because I'm not going to be getting the typical "nemo" clownfish I'm looking at frostbite clownfish and those are around 100$ a pop so I do not want to spend a good amount of money on stock and corals and kill my whole tank.. so first question and I see so many debates on it..protein skimmer...do I need one? I do not want to do a sump since I'm in a apartment and do not want to get that technical on my first tank so any suggestions on that would be awesome. I hear they have HOB but alot of them I see have overflow problems so if you know of any good reliable brands please make suggestions. Also what light fixtures would you guys suggest? I don't want to do t5s so any suggestions on latest LED setups would help. Also im a 24 year old single father with a 4 year old so the funds are very slim so remeber that when making suggestions for products..things i can get best bang for buck. And if there is anything else you guys can think of that would help me to a successful first reef tank pleaseee let me know. Thanks and happy reefing!!
You don't need anything other than a vessel to hold water, some salt, a heater to maintain the right temp, a way to oxygenate the water (an air pump), and our friends nitrifying bacteria. Adding sand and rock will make the tank look nice obviously. Even natural sunlight works if you place the tank in the window. So there are no rules for equipment...just people discussing what has worked for them or what they have seen work for others.

I used to get cheap power compact daylight bulbs and a cheap silver dome fixture from home Depot to keep easy soft corals. So yea, just get the tank started and the rest will follow as you learn. I would start with a hermit crab or two, then corals and wait on the fish. Corals are so much easier than fish!
 
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Yes from doing alot of DD and research equipment and things like that is mostly preferences and opinions. Thanks for the tips! I will keep postings once I get the tank completely set up and running.
 
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I thought of somethings real quick if you don't mind me asking. I hVe 40 pds of live rock being shipped from Amazon and I believe its shrink wrapped.. how long do I have before it needs to be in saltwater from the time it arrives? Thanks again @dyno
 

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I thought of somethings real quick if you don't mind me asking. I hVe 40 pds of live rock being shipped from Amazon and I believe its shrink wrapped.. how long do I have before it needs to be in saltwater from the time it arrives? Thanks again @dyno

You probably ordered Life Rock. Not actual live rock. If so, it can sit dry until you are ready.
 

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Before you get too far down this rabbit hole, I'd make a list of everything you need and the cost. I'm not sure I'd recommend starting a reef tank to a 24 yr old single father to a 4 yr old on a tight budget. Even if you go cheap on everything, it will add up over time. Not to mention the extra time you will need to spend on the reef tank, compared to a freshwater. For most reefers it's also a bit of a learning curve which will take time and energy away other priorities, like a child.
 

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I thought of somethings real quick if you don't mind me asking. I hVe 40 pds of live rock being shipped from Amazon and I believe its shrink wrapped.. how long do I have before it needs to be in saltwater from the time it arrives? Thanks again @dyno
Like Cell mentioned, you just ordered reef rock online not live rock from some other persons aquarium right? Live rock from the wild is not available anymore. Reef rock turns into live rock eventually as it gains a bacterial population and other forms of life. So it doesn't matter how long you take...your rock isn't actually alive. PM me am glad to help anytime.
 

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I think "Life Rock" by Caribsea is a relatively new product. It supposedly has dormant bacteria that helps speed up cycling. No idea if it actually works or not.
Oh I see. Now I have heard it all @Cell, crazy how much things have changed since I started years ago. It really seems like complete BS to me. How can something have dormant bacteria on it that can live and survive through transport? I hope I am wrong, would be kind of cool actually :rolleyes:
 
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James52

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I think it is life rock @Cell its the purple looking stuff. Ok thanks for all the tips and advice guys. And yes thats the thing I don't want to buy the cheapest equipment because you get what you pay for. And I don't expect this tank to be up and running next week im buying the most important pieces I need each paycheck and once I have all that I will get it started. Again thanks guys for the help if there is anything else you can think of let me know. Even small things that will lead to big things.
 

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I think it is life rock @Cell its the purple looking stuff. Ok thanks for all the tips and advice guys. And yes thats the thing I don't want to buy the cheapest equipment because you get what you pay for. And I don't expect this tank to be up and running next week im buying the most important pieces I need each paycheck and once I have all that I will get it started. Again thanks guys for the help if there is anything else you can think of let me know. Even small things that will lead to big things.
Dont forget to check Craigslist, offer up, and facebook marketplace. Or the market place here. Can find someone getting rid of something they upgraded or never opened for a bargain.

For a Fowlr you do t need to spend a lot of money. Also it will be something you can do with your child, and something they will appreciate and remember when they get older.
 

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