General Aquaria Discussion • Trying Saltwater Need Advice

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Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby mariaevinne » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:16 am

Hello. I am thinking about trying saltwater. I have a 22G tank that currently houses only 1 fish. That fish is easily replacable. I have been wanting to try something new with that tank. I thought of doing a saltwater tank. I shared this idea with my aunt who has experiance with saltwater. She said that 22G might be too small and reccommended that I convert my 73G. I am a little wary of this idea because it houses a full stock and some of the fish I have ordered online and invested in this tank. The 73G currently houses
1x Opaline Gourami
1x Bolivian Ram
20x Neon Tetras
8x Albino Cories
Would it be better to rehouse the fish in the 73G or try to start a small saltwater in the 22G.
Thank you for the help.
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby Mcdaphnia » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:03 am

Saltwater nano tanks are very difficult to maintain because of their intrinsic instability. Any tank under 120 gallons is likely to give you some negative experiences. The first tank saltwater hobbyists find positive, to overgeneralize, is a 120 gallon tank with a large sump and large refugium.

For What It's Worth... The Mayan cichlid is the only one I know that is capable of living in full saltwater.
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby dalto » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:31 pm

Nano reef tanks are all the rage these days. There is a lot of information and a whole art around how to make it work in a smaller tank. The advantage of a small tank is that the initial investment in lights, equipment and livestock is much lower.
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby Mcdaphnia » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm

Yes. Nano tanks are a rage. They are cheap compared to a proper salt aquarium. But everything in them is short lived. I was given a nanoreef. As I cleaned it I found layer upon layer of dead coral pieces. The previous owner kept stacking up new corals on the dead ones. So I could apologize for my opinion that nanotanks are bad, or I could back it up with more examples. If a person does not want to spend the time or money to do saltwater right, they should stick with cichlids.
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby caldwelldaniel26 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:24 pm

I agree with Mcdaphnia on this one, nano reefs are practically impossible for a newbie to keep all the water parameters on point because even a little bit of evaporation throws off the osmolarity in a big way. Slight changes are magnified greatly in a nano reef. Reef tanks of any size are only for an experienced saltwater aquarist and should not be attempted by a novice. Start out with a fish only saltwater tank, learn to keep nitrates below 2ppm and research, research, research.
...Surviving doesn't always mean they're thriving...
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby taz46 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:38 pm

I had a thriving reef tank that was a 37 gallon marineland cube. About the upper limits of nano. All it took was a one day power outage while I was away, and came home to a completely "crashed" tank (dead reef). If you're prepared to either absorb the losses, or have a back up to your back up to your back up plans, then you'll be mostly ok. If not, I would highly recommend starting with 50+ gallons for some flexibility. Do a LOT of research before you pull the trigger on it. There are dedicated nano reef forums that can help with this, be prepared to take some serious questions about what you plan to do.
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Re: Trying Saltwater Need Advice

Postby Mcdaphnia » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:13 am

Just my personal opinion, slanted through my experiences... My first saltwater aquarium was in 1970. Throughout the 1960's and 1970's there had been a learning curve as saltwater fish keeping evolved, included more invertebrates, marine plants, and became more aware of how they created a tank community. A limited number of marine fish species could be bred by hobbyists with access to the right fry foods. Then in the 1980's, sumps and refugiums, brighter lights and bilirubin lights made it possible to keep more kinds of marine life in an aquarium system. Techniques for keeping calcium and other rapidly depleting saltwater components made keeping coral and clams possible. Things became much better for marine tank inhabitants.

Nanotanks do not go in this direction. Instead of making an optimum habitat, they are a performance, showing off how the nanotanker can produce a marine display with the least investment of money and planning. The ones I've seen that seemed to work always belonged to someone with some huge reef systems in addition to their nanotanks. They can give an ailing nanotank a transfusion from a big tank, repopulate the nanotank and perhaps save some of the failing nano inhabitants in frag or refugium tanks attached to their systems.

Either be $erious (spelled with a $$$) about keeping $alt, or $pend that inadequate amount of money on cichlids and freshwater, where it will be more than sufficient.
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