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MonthOLDpickle

Black Sun
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
79
Location
Everett
Hey guys,
Hi I am a 19 year old that got really interested in having a saltwater tank. The only tank I can afford is a 55 gallon. I just need guidance on setting it up. from the gravel, plants, to what kind of fish can fit in a 55 gallon. So please help me! I just got the tank its not even set up, I haven't bought the gravel or anything. Thank you.

-Andee
 

Gina

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
54
Location
Maryland
Welcome!
There are some decisions that you will need to make first. Like to you want a FOWLR or a Reef Tank.

Alot of people seen to be going BB right now and some are choosing to have about an 1" or so of CC or sand.

The type of tank you choose to have will determine what type of lighting you will need. I would also suggest that you have a sump to add extra water volume and it's a good place to keep your heater, skimmer and other types of equiptment.

This is a start, could you tell us a little more about what you would like to do with this tank? What plans do you have for it?
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Awesome post Gina!!

MonthOLDpickle - WELCOME TO REEF FRONTIERS!!!! Glad you joined us. Gina's right, there are a lot of options, so let us know what you envision, and we will help steer you into the right direction.
 

Ray Pollett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
I hve to agree good post by Gina. You need to decide what you want to keep than set it up for that.

There are many options and many opinions of how to do it. none are wrong or right. I do mine simple and cheap where possible if it works. So before buying ANYTHING ELSE please talk to us about it.

A good start is always a good book, here are a few:

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner

Natural Reef Aquariums by John Tullock

And for picking fish for a 55 gallon tank:

A PocketExpert Guide Marine Fishes by Scott Michael
 

Gordo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Olympia, WA
BB = Bare Bottom (No sand or other substrate) CC = Crushed Coral

For someone new to saltwater there a couple of good places to do some reading. One is right here. http://www.thepsas.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=72 and the other is here http://saltaquarium.about.com/ Check out the Saltwater 101 class. It has some good info.

I echo everyone's hopes that you would check back here as you decide what you need. People on this board will give you the good, bad, and ugly on your choices. When I was setting up my tank over a year ago I did this and it helped a ton.

Good Luck~

~Gordo~
 

Witfull

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
647
Location
New Jersey
plan 20 times and spend once....as Gina said,,,,see what you want and where you want your tank to be,,,then make purchases,,,

i know,good advice... then wy do i have that pile of fishstuff in the corner ?
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Welcome MonthOldPickle! And might I add, that is one of the most interesting board nicks I've seen in awhile ;)

It sounds as though you're making the switch from Fresh Water to Salt Water? The concept is the same - keeping animals alive in a glass box - but SW will take you a few steps, and a turn or two, beyond most FW aquariums.

If I'm right about the FW, has the 55 you will be setting up previously been used for FW fish? If so, it's very important that you know whether or not that tank has ever had medication used in it. You may have some heavy duty cleaning to do if so.

Since you are on a budget, having a clear idea of what you'd like to keep in your aquarium is the only way to keep costs down and provide the best environment for the animals you choose. Fish Only, (FO) which in most cases is actually Fish Only With Live Rock (FOWLR), or reef set ups which can be a mix of fish, invertebrates (shrimp, crabs, snails) and corals, either soft or stoney. Stoney corals (SPS) and clams are going to cost the most money to keep, in most instances.

If you're handy, there are some great DIY projects to help with your budget.

Books! The old adage was "the first $200 you spend in this hobby should be on books." The internet has replaced some of that need but there is no subsitute for a good book. The above mentioned books are great; my personal favorites for beginners are the Tullock books.

Hold on tight, you're in for a wild ride. Welcome to the addictio...err, I mean hobby! :)

Alice
 

MonthOLDpickle

Black Sun
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
79
Location
Everett
Well the 55 is brand new so its never been used. I know that I want coral. I know what a sump is. Now the problem is setting up :p I have a stand for it and its going in my room. lol yeah I still live with my parents.....anywho yea keep on replying.

Thanks a lot.

-Andee :)
 

MCSInc

Reef Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
259
Location
Sedro Woolley, WA
Don't forget patience.......

Making good connections, like the people on this forum is a great start. Look in the free fish post for things like free sand (established with all kinds of good critters) also to get me over the original hump I started out with water from an established tank. It is cool to have generous people around.

There is also some discussion about maturing a tank with freshwater mollies converted to salt water (inexpensive). That way you have someone swimming around to feed for the first 3 months while you wait to get your nice expensive fish.

Let me know if I can help! I am 40 min or so North of you.

MCSInc~Jud & Candy
 

MarineDreamer

Est. April 2nd, 2005
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
492
Location
Granite Falls, Wa
Hey Pickle,

I too am a beginner, and know absolutely only one thing. And oddly enough when I stop to think about it, it’s the exact same thing that everyone here is saying, get books. I’ve got Paletta’s ‘New Marine Aquarium,’ Fenner’s “Conscientious Marine Aquarist,” Tullock’s “Natural Reef Aquariums,” and Borneman’s “Coral Husbandry.” The last one is and reads exactly like a text book. But being that I knew nothing about what a ‘coral’ is and what they need to live, I had be ed-u-ma-ca-ted.

There are two stores that I know off hand that you could stop in and take a look see at some SW tanks. The first is Jones & Pets in Marysville off of State St. The second is Bridge’s Pets in Frontier Village. I’m not plugging either of these stores, Ray Pollett (who is lucky enough to make a living putting together and maintaining SW tanks) is unimpressed with Jones & Pets, and Bridge’s employs students from Lake Stevens High School whose only interest in the SW arena seems to be which girl is working there today. But they do have fish, inverts, and some corals to which you could start thinking and dreaming upon.

If you have not thought about it, there is a PSAS (Puget Sound Aquarium Society) meeting on the 13th of next month. It will be my first time there. Seeing first hand and talking to people face to face about what they’ve done and what they would do differently if they had to do it all over again seems to me the perfect way to get information.

Good Luck!
Trevor

P.S. I would lend you my copy of Fenner’s book, but my 17 year old Brother has it now. I think that I’ve given him ‘the bug!’:razz:
 

jasontatro

Wiseguy
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
177
Location
West Seattle
MarineDreamer said:
If you have not thought about it, there is a PSAS (Puget Sound Aquarium Society) meeting on the 13th of next month.
Just wanted to point out that the meeting is the 13th of this month, March.
 
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