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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm looking to start my first saltwater tank. I have a 6 gallon fluval edge black tank. My daughter loves finding nemo, so I was hoping that I could get a small clown with an anemone. Should I use a small coral or live rocks? Also looking for examples and opinions on all of the equipment I would need. Also tips and stuff on any processes or cycles and what to look for. Basically any and everything I should know. Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi scott! Welcome to TRT! First, I have some bad news, so we'll get that out of the way. Fluval Edges are a nightmare for saltwater. My boyfriends first salt tank was one of those and it was impossible to keep clean because of the shape and small opening. I'd really suggest trading it in for something easier to work in. And also larger - that brings me to the second piece of bad news. 6g is much too small for a clown and a nem. I strongly suggest you get something in the neighborhood of 20g minimum.

Not only does the fish need more room that 6g can provide, but the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep stable in saltwater. Anemones are very delicate - they need extremely clean and stable water parameters, which will be very, very difficult in that size and set up for you. It's not recommended to try one until your tank has been running for a year because of all the processes a tank goes through when it's young, it lacks the stability to safely keep one. Clowns will host in coral as well though - mine like frogspawn and alveopora, which is much easier to keep though and at least an option while your tank matures.

The most important parts of this hobby are patience and research. The next is water - you want pure water for your tank so either look into purchasing and RODI unit (I used the refurbished Spectrapure 90gpd unit) or purchasing it from an LFS (local fish store).

You'll need rock - about a pound per gallon is the standard but you can up it or lower it by personal preference. Live rock is more expensive and has the risk of unwanted hitchhikers but also has the bacteria in place so your cycle time is shorter, while dry rock takes longer because you have to build your biofilter from scratch but is cheaper and has no hitchhikers. And if you want sand, that's also a standard of a pound per gallon though not necessary (bare bottom tanks are easier to keep clean).

You'll need powerheads for water circulation and gas exchange. Heater and thermometers (two is better than one). Decent lighting if you want to keep coral or anemones in the future. And a test kit.

Once you get the tank set up with you'll throw a regular piece of table shrimp in there. This will provide an ammonia source for your cycle. This is where you build up enough bacteria to support a fish. The bacteria take ammonia from fish waste and excess food and turn it to nitrite and then to nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic so you want to make sure you have enough bacteria to handle any before your fish is exposed to it. By throwing a raw shrimp in there and letting it rot you're feeding this bacteria and letting it grow. Once it's able to take your ammonia and nitrites to 0 and you're left with nitrates you do your first water change and then can add one fish. Stocking should be slowly to give the bacteria a chance to grow with each addition - one fish every few weeks. And be aware that small tanks won't hold many fish - over stocking can lead to aggression and illness. www.liveaquaria.com is a great place to research fish you may be interested in.

Hope I helped some, I suggest a lot of reading before diving in. Nothing in this hobby happens fast which will be hard for your kid to understand, but rushing can be very, very bad. Best of luck and please don't hesitate to ask questions! There are tons of friendly and knowledgeable people here on TRT. :)
 

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Thank you for all that information, I appreciate it a ton. I was talking to a coworker today and he has a 46 gal tank that he said I could have. He says he has the filter and little stuff to go with it but if I do end up taking that, would I be better off buying a new filter and everything I need? He ran fresh water in it also but I don't know if that matters?
 

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Nice! That'll be much better than the Edge. :D You actually don't even need a filter for saltwater. Your rock has all your bacteria for biological filtration. It's nice to keep one handy for clearing up the water after a cleaning or if you need to run carbon, but running it constantly can cause problems if it's not diligently cleaned - more trouble than its worth. You do need powerheads for circulating though.
 

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+1
I'd use a soft coral after about 4 months like a Colt in a
20 or 30 long tank. You'll love the rewards using an ATO and RODI
filtre for your water, and this colt coral with the clown will give you
rewarding movement and intriquement. Best to lose the idea of the nem.
Welcome to TRT scotterill
 

· Hydro-Dynamic
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46 a bow front? I've had 2, both leaked at the bottom of the curve.
Minor and just salt creep, but it only can get worse.
Be sure never to tip the tank up on the curved front (like when cleaning empty)
The previous owner may have and not thought about it, I did.

Perfect size to run a sump filtre on continuously :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Might be a rookie question but do you put coral in with a live rock or is it one or the other? Also what are you guys favorite brands for all of your equipment? Also I was reading about water changes 10 to 25 percent every two weeks so that would be around 10-11 gallons every two weeks? Seems like a lot of water to replace. Would that much of a change affect your coral and livestock? Sorry about so many questions, I just want to get it right the first time and not have a disaster on my hands
 

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Might be a rookie question but do you put coral in with a live rock or is it one or the other?
Both. You do not need 1#/g of rock to water, less is better, and that much can actually work against care/export/husbandry.
But your tank should have the LR 1st for a few months

Also what are you guys favorite brands for all of your equipment?
Lifereef for me, but you'll have to be more specific.
I like the Fluval E series heaters

Also I was reading about water changes 10 to 25 percent every two weeks so that would be around 10-11 gallons every two weeks? Seems like a lot of water to replace. Would that much of a change affect your coral and livestock?
That only equates to 20-50%/month, not bad.
It does affect your coral, and inhabitants, hopefully in a good way
as per recipe of doing it right. If you use dechlorinated tap water
or a salt mix that's not good for your system (some are higher in elements
that you are not using at the rate of replenishment) then it would affect the livestock in a less than desirable way,
sooner for treated tap water (RODI water kept at or near 0ppm TDS is base line or fundamental and quite frankly
where you should begin. Do you have a RO DI filtre?
Sorry about so many questions, I just want to get it right the first time and not have a disaster on my hands
http://spectrapure.com/Refurbished-90-GPD-RODI-System
Start here^

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f362/reefkeeping-made-easy-what-was-not-explained-160389.html
and then here ^
 

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I do 10-20% a week. Water changes not only pull out waste/nitrates but they replace key elements that are used up by your coral. But, as Japonicus said, if you're using tap you could be adding more badness with your changes than you're taking out. Also, usually it's a good idea to wait a few months for corals. The first few months your tank will go through "the uglies" which is various stages of algae, as your tank stabilizes. This algae can at best irritate coral, at worst smother it. Better to wait and not risk the loss IMO.
 
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