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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->I have a 90 gallon tall tank that has always been fresh. I have always wanted to switch to salt but i am a little scared. I have heard it is a lot more work than fresh water. I stopped in to Petco the other day and talked to a guy there (sorry didn't catch his name) but he seemed pretty knowledgable and gave me this website.

So i guess what i'm leading to is .....HELP!!!!!!...i don't even know where to begin!

p.s. remember, i'm totally new at this and need everything in layman's terms...i.e. i have no idea what a frag is!!


Thanks Mel
 

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Welcome to The Reef Tank.


A good place to start, check out some of the stuff Tim has been editing for a FAQ section


btw, Tim, I guess I now have time to work on some of this stuff... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i would like a little of both. my 90g is so tall that i figure i could build a really cool reef. but i definitly want some fish too. i really was getting bored with my FW fish so i am excited to try something new.

any recommendations for a beginner would be great!
 

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conversion said:
i would like a little of both. my 90g is so tall that i figure i could build a really cool reef. but i definitly want some fish too. i really was getting bored with my FW fish so i am excited to try something new.

any recommendations for a beginner would be great!
I think the first thing is research, lots of it. Read up, Ask here, know exactly what you want before you start purchasing things. Otherwise you will be spending more later to fix what you did in the beginning.

Salt water really isn't any harder than FW, but it does take a little more maintenance. Don't let people tell you otherwise. I can pretty much guarantee you will run into a few problems, I am sure everyone here has, but fortunately there are a few people here that really know a lot and are always willing to share info to get you up to speed.


Good luck! Are you sure you are ready for a new addiction?:)
 

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Hi! :wavey:

I am just starting out too with my first salt tank, but I only have a 20 gallon. If you want simple terms from someone in the same boat, well that would definitely be me! You'll need a good filter (mechanical, biological and chemical) I use a HOB Whisper and I also have a sponge filter, a protein skimmer (I'm still trying to find one I can afford!), heater, good lighting, a power head for current, live rocks for the oh-so-cool things that happen! Some sand or gravel, a test kit and faith! lol!!! Well that's it in a nutshell anyways.

If you like to read then you may want to pick up the Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner. I'm also having fun reading Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies!

Oh, one last note that others will tell you... take your time! Do not rush this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i am definitly ready for a new addiction. As I said before, i was totally bored. I have been spending WAY too much time on this forum...more time then i actually have to spend!! I'm addicted to just reading about the reef world!

p.s. is it ok for your kids to watch movies all day, so you can veg. out on the computer??:read:
 

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If you're bored with freshwater, then I recommend you do a reef tank- you shouldn't get bored anytime soon.

You need to look into getting a sump hooked up. This is the hard part for me since I know nothing about plumbing, but I think you may need an overflow box- I'm assuming your tank is not reef ready with the overflow built in.

If you post pictures here of your current setup, people can give you step by step directions on how to do it.

The important things already mentioned were to get some books, the book I PMed you about or the other one suggested by robert fenner is supposed to be great too. Also patience is a must- if you are hoping to have a full setup in a few weeks- it just doesn't happen like that. You probably already know since you had a freshwater. Cycling a reef tank is real important (once you have your full setup going) plan to cycle the tank with live rock, sand, and a skimmer for about 12 weeks.

hope some of this helps,
gwen
 

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conversion said:
p.s. is it ok for your kids to watch movies all day, so you can veg. out on the computer??:read:
I don't know, I am at work, and I am supposed to be designing a subdivision right now, but due to lack of interest, here I am.:)



Have you medicated the tank you plan on converting with copper in the past?
 

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Well! a! big! Welcome! to T.R.T. First thing's first dont talk to pet-co. Get all your info here! I know out of all the member's @ this great site you will find any info on anything you could possibly run in to or even think of! & even if we dont have the info you need, We can send you in the right direction! or send you a link!
Brent.
 

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Here are some things are far as filtration goes,

There are 3 types as was already mentioned (mechanical, biological, & chemical). The main filtration in a reef tank should be biological- this is your live rock and sand. Also you will need the best skimmer you can afford- you get what you pay for. This was one of my mistakes- bought the one recommended by petland which they didn't have much to choose from and had to replace it within a year. I would recommend a Euroreef skimmer if you add a sump. The skimmer sits in your sump.
You will probably have mechanical filtration like some sponges to collect bigger 'stuff' floating in the tank.
With chemical filtration- you don't need this right now. You may later down the road however, but I didn't need any until after 2+ years. Chemical filtration would be like adding carbon to you system just like you did in your freshwater tank. I prefer to keep a reef all natural and avoid chemical filtration as much as possible, but eventually you get the point where you will need it. So you can skip this for now.

hope some of that helps too,
gwen
 

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Brent Cone said:
Well! a! big! Welcome! to T.R.T. First thing's first dont talk to pet-co. Get all your info here! I know out of all the member's @ this great site you will find any info on anything you could possibly run in to or even think of! & even if we dont have the info you need, We can send you in the right direction! or send you a link!
Brent.
Good advice- don't trust anything you hear from your local fish store (LFS). Verify EVERYTHING they tell you here- since the guy told you about TRT (thereeftank.com) and gave your great info right off the bat, then they might be a good place. If you see their advice consistent with what people say here, then you can probably trust them for the most part.

Even if you think it's a stupid question, ask here- may save you money in the long run. Never hurts to get more opinions. In the reef world you will see many different points of view on things, don't let if frustrate you.
 

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You could always start where I started...with books!!!

This site here has LOADS of information, but sometimes, it's random...hahha

for someone TOTALLY new, might be a good idea to pick up a book and start from the beginning!

I started with this book, and looking back...I'd still recommend it. It's got good info, nice beginner's book, and is correct on things (which, belive it or not, is rare!)

TRT also has some books we recommend. Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals (2nd book recommended) is a book that I just can NOT recommend enough! This book is very informative and talks about all kinds of different aspects and equipment, not just the standard ones you'll hear about all the time. He talks about all kinds of different approaches, and the pro's & con's of each. VERY good book. And also a great reference for later! I use this book at LEAST twice a week, and I bought it 7 months ago! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Welcome aboard!!! This is a hobby that you will never get bored with...I'm pretty sure of that!!
 

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I'd like to add some info on my first book recommendation.

(Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies)


The book IS fairly dated, and does talk about wet/dry and trickle filtration methods which are considered insufficent and generally not the best way to go about a reef. So if you do get that book, please read it only from an "Understanding of saltwater/reef basics" approach.

I only recommended the book because it does explain things like the Nitrogen Cycle, and what a skimmer is, and why it was important, talked about lighting...etc. I just figure it was a nice start for a beginner. Please do NOT use that book as a basis for what set-up you should go with, or what equipment to by. Consider it more an intro.

(a Sincere thanks to Gwen for making me realize I better elaborate on my recommendation! ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ok, after looking at some pics., i want a reef with fish. my tank is empty, so no pics to show. the equipment that i have is...


Rena Filstar XP2
Vista-Therm Heater 300W
TetraTec DeepWater dw24-2 air pump w/ a couple of air stones.

is all of this equipment null and void now that i want to switch? I am hoping that i can still use the filter?

Here is a pic of what my tank looked like before. Not a very good pic, but you get the just.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you medicated the tank you plan on converting with copper in the past?[/QUOTE]

my tank is empty, and i don't even know what that is???
 

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conversion said:
my tank is empty, and i don't even know what that is???
Have you ever treated your FW fish for Ick? MOST FW ick medications contain ?macurichrome? (spelling)? which contains copper.

If you've ever treated your FW tank with any medication containing copper, you will more than likely FAIL at any attempts to keep corals as copper is toxic to 99.99% of corals.

The copper gets absorbed into the silicone...and is VERY close to impossible to get out.

Hopefully you haven't....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
skeety said:
Have you ever treated your FW fish for Ick? MOST FW ick medications contain ?macurichrome? (spelling)? which contains copper.

If you've ever treated your FW tank with any medication containing copper, you will more than likely FAIL at any attempts to keep corals as copper is toxic to 99.99% of corals.

The copper gets absorbed into the silicone...and is VERY close to impossible to get out.

Hopefully you haven't....
i have used Super ICK Cure (contains Benzaldehyde Green & Nitrofurazone) and Copper power green (contains Coper Sulfate, Nickel Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate)
 

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:(

I don't think that is good news, maybe someone here knows a way to salvage your tank.

You will be fine with a fish only tank, but a reef looks out of the question. Hopefully I am wrong.
 
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