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Brand new to saltwater (1 Viewer)

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Good morning everyone. I am brand new to the saltwater scene. I’m looking for advice on how to do the water. I have just acquired a 40 gallon and a 55 gallon. I’m not going to use both. Would you use the smaller or bigger as your first attempt? How do you mix the water? I’m in the Galveston area so not a lot of options as far as pet stores go. Thanks in advance for your help.


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steveb

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I'm sure you will get many opinions - Really either will work so it really comes down to personal preference.

I would use the 40g. While the 55g will provide a little more length I personally prefer more front to back depth.

The only other advantage the 40g @ 648 sq inches vs. 55g @ 576 sq inches is more surface area for gas exchange.
 
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Thank you for the quick reply Steve. How would you mix the water?


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What are the dims on the 55? I agree with Steve, I like more space front to back unless you have a deeper not taller 55g.

As for water, are you going to keep corals or just fish? The salt choice would depend based on this info. I am not very anal about my salt mixing. I fill a clean (new) 5 gallon bucket with RODI water (a must) then I add salt to it & stir. I keep checking it until it is 1.025 sg.
 

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Hi Jeremey. are the tanks reef ready or HOB (Hang On the Back) Filter? You will need to do a little reading.. it will save a ton of money, time and frustration. some places to explore are

and this board to get connected to local people of course.

you might want to think about what you want to keep and research that a little. while all marine life share some fundamental requirements, some require very specific things
 

steveb

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ah sorry.

I'm assuming your long range goal is to have corals and fish.

My Preference:
1 - RO/DI
2 - Distilled

If its fish only you can get away with TAP in a pinch (or at least you used to could) - you want to make sure you get rid of chlorine/chloramine for sure , but there is still the possibility of other junk in our tap water that isn't necessarily good for aquatic life.


When I had a smaller tank I would mix water in a 5g bucket using a mj1200 pump. I would fill the bucket, put a heater in, let it warm to 78° or so and then slowly add salt until specific gravity got to 1.025 with the pump running. If you add all the salt at one time you can have the calcium and alkalinity in the salt form CaCO3 aka sand.
 

steveb

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Depending on what you want to keep really drives what you need for lighting and filtration. So let us know what you're thinking and then we can help with that.

Fish only you can get away with something as simple as a properly sized HOB filter and cheap daylight type led + pumps for circulation for example.
 

second_decimal

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the way it normally works is you go and buy a bunch of stuff only to realize somewhere down the road that you need much more sophisticated (and expensive) equipment than originally anticipated. the problem is, its already too late. you have been sucked in. not all the stuff you bought is useless so you don't want everything to go to waste and just bite the bullet, buy what you need and now your reefing.. except now you start running into the problems we all have like dinos, flatworms and all that stuff. welcome to the "reeflife" if you get it right, the reward is a beautiful tank with lots of colors and happy inhabitants.
 
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Thank you all so much. The 40 gal came drilled with a sump under the cabinet. I’m going to do fish and live rock. I want to do corals down the road but I want to make sure to start slow and easy.


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Thank you all so much. The 40 gal came drilled with a sump under the cabinet. I’m going to do fish and live rock. I want to do corals down the road but I want to make sure to start slow and easy.


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If the 40 is drilled & comes with a sump, run that, buy some Instant Ocean salt, and a RODI for making water & be done. Go fish only in the beginning. Buy some live sand in the bag from petsmart & some live rock (from this forum) and you can have fish in that tank in a week. If you go dry rock & dry sand you will need to cycle it and that (if you don't use the stuff out a bottle) can take weeks.

I have a 40g breeder in my office set us as a QT for some new fish, full of live rock & no sand I put fish in it the next day, no cycle. The rock came from one of my other tank. If you are buying some I would expect a small cycle of days due to transport.... just check your ammonia. Once it is at 0, ready for fish.
 
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Stickboy thanks much. I will definitely go with your recommendation. I know I want to do some clown fish and a trigger or 2. Any thoughts?


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steveb

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99% triggers with corals = no corals :)

Cross hatch and one other that escapes me being the exception but maybe when the others are small they are not so destructive.

Pygmy angels are beautiful but again bad for corals.
 
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So are there any triggers that would be ok in a 40 gal? I would rather have the trigger than the coral. Sorry for all the questions I just want to make sure I do this the right way.


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alright for a little while until he outgrows that 40. then you will either have to upsize or get a new fish
 

steveb

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So are there any triggers that would be ok in a 40 gal? I would rather have the trigger than the coral. Sorry for all the questions I just want to make sure I do this the right way.


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Any juvenile fish will fit, you just have to plan on trading them out as they mature. Also keep in mind that if you don’t QT new fish, sooner or later you will introduce a parasite so you need to add that into your risk/reward analysis.

I can’t tell you which juvenile trigger or not might be somewhat safe realizing that as they grow they will become less reef safe.

I used to keep a juvenile Picasso and Niger. Very curious fish and fun to watch. But I didn’t have corals.

I’m not trying to sway you one way or another. Just want you to be able to make informed decisions based on the risk you are willing to accept.

I struggle with very same issue. I absolutely love angelfish and butterflies. Problem is 99% of them are absolutely not reef safe.


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