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Brand New NEED HELP!

tylerf013

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
14
Location
Wentzville MO
#1
Hello everyone at TONMO! My name is Tyler, I'm brand new to this site and I'm already in love. The community here is great, the help I've seen is extraordinary, and can't wait to be apart of this great community. I currently have a 55g glass tank with some equipment for a freshwater set up. This is my first tank, I received it from my mother. but I've always been in love with Cephalopods and one day hope to own one I've been doing a lot of reading and I'm a little overwhelmed, I have been reading a lot of contradictions on how to first set up your saltwater aquirum, I'm looking for a credible source to help start this. A lot of people say,"I need this and that" but don't give reasons why or what it's actually doing. I want to do this the right way the first time around, so if there are any great books or articles or threads anyone could send my way I'd greatly appreciate it. This site seems to help its community a lot, I would love to show my progress from start to finish over the next year or so on here. So don't hesitate I read everything and love any help I can get.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,807
Location
Gainesville, GA
#2
There are likely twice as many ways to set up a marine tank as there are current aquarist (and probably 1/3 of them work). The hobby is still relatively new (commercial synthetic salt has been around for less than 60 years and for half that time we were lucky to be able to keep fish alive -- forget corals or the more sensitive invertebrates). Understanding an aquarium cycle is the first step (sometimes it feels like you are getting a biology degree along the way) and critical to a successful tank, regardless of what you will keep. Suggested reading: Marine Aquarium Handbook - Martin Moe (Martin has several new e-books out worth reading).

The newbie sticky I referenced in your other post has links to a couple of articles and discussions on setting up a ceph tank but you need a basic understanding of the marine environment before you jump into specific habitats. Many of the conflicting opinions you may read are not really in conflict but are biased toward keeping different animals. A FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) tank is a simpler environment than one needed to keep corals and keeping soft corals is different again than keeping hard corals. The common component is water quality but how to maintain the water for the animals varies for both type of tank and hobbyist preference.

Once you start getting your feet wet (and mind confused), try to formulate an understanding of how the equipment mentioned fits into the environment you are trying to create and then ask questions about that specific environment. We will try to give the best answer and the reasons for including or excluding hardware. Budgets, space and preferences are often limiting factors but don't make time part of your consideration. Patience and learning to enjoy the small changes you can observe will allow you to enjoy the hobby and its animals far more than quickly setting up a tank and failing repeatedly until you either give up or finally have success. Avoid quick start, quick fix and other magical solutions as they are more likely to do harm than anything positive. There are a couple of well known sayings in the hobby that emphasize the need for patience and learning the environment you are creating. Google, New Tank Syndrome for an understanding the problems of overloading a new tank, nothing good happens quickly in a saltwater tank for the awareness of the need for patience and Multi Tank Syndrome (more commonly achronymed as MTS) for what happens if you get hooked on the hobby and understand the need for different environments :grin:
 

tylerf013

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
14
Location
Wentzville MO
#3
Great, and yeah I totally get why it seems you need a biology dregree lol but I just find it all so fascinating I spent 10 hours last night reading about the nitrogen cycle,live rock,how to care for it, live sand and it seems like every time I click on something to learn there is a whole array of new things to learn that go hand in hand that I never knew, it's a lot of fun and I've always been interested in aquatic animals especially cephs, my only regret is not starting this a long time ago. Do you think live sand is a wrong choice for me?
 

tonmo

Titanites
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
9,137
Location
Pennsylvania
#4
Hello everyone at TONMO! My name is Tyler, I'm brand new to this site and I'm already in love. The community here is great, the help I've seen is extraordinary, and can't wait to be apart of this great community.
:welcome: to TONMO and thanks for joining!! Glad to have you here. Take your time (from what I've learned, it really takes time) and good luck!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,807
Location
Gainesville, GA
#5
I'll call "live sand" a personal choice item. Bottom substrate (sand or argonite -- helps maintain ph -- are the most common for marine environments and some people choose to go bare bottom) will become live as your tank matures, regardless of what you start with. I prefer to start with a thin layer of argonite that is not already cultured. If I had my choice (spouse vetos this because of asthetics) I would go bare bottom to avoid the maintenance and nitrate buildup.
 

tylerf013

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
14
Location
Wentzville MO
#6
I agree with your spouse on that lol, and being that I'll prolly only have live rock plus a couple crabs and what not for the first 6 months I really would like to have sand in there, Im currently doing the reading on how to maintain it, but I'm also glad this is a slow process I don't think I have the money to overstock my tank right away lol
 

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