I am a nebie at saltwater.

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#1
Hello fellow aquarium enthusiast. I am looking at getting into the saltwater side of aquariums. I have a couple of freshwater aquariums at the moment. What kind of systems is everyone running. Do you prefer a sump filter system or canister filter system. What are the reasons you prefer one from the other. Are you running an overflow or protein skimmer. Do you prefer a glass tank or acrylic tank. What size of tanks are preferred and why? How about lighting what is preferred and why. Not looking at getting into corals. Let's see some pictures of your tanks. Thanks for the feedback. Just want to get off on the right foot. Thank you everyone
 

jay0705

Well-Known Member
#2
Sumps are the best for sw. More water volume, ease of use, ect. If not a dump, a hang on the back filter is preferred over a canister filter. Skimmers are helpful, they remove alot of organic gunk. They are not needed tho, especially for a fowlr tank. Type of tank more personal preference. Acrylic comes in bigger sizes then glass. Glass won't scratch as easily as acrylic either.
Lighting , LEDs are the cheapest option to run. Tank size bigger is better.
For a newbie I would say go 75gal or better
This was and still is my original 75 gal
20140303_171416.jpg
 
#3
Sumps are the best for sw. More water volume, ease of use, ect. If not a dump, a hang on the back filter is preferred over a canister filter. Skimmers are helpful, they remove alot of organic gunk. They are not needed tho, especially for a fowlr tank. Type of tank more personal preference. Acrylic comes in bigger sizes then glass. Glass won't scratch as easily as acrylic either.
Lighting , LEDs are the cheapest option to run. Tank size bigger is better.
For a newbie I would say go 75gal or better
This was and still is my original 75 gal View attachment 3557
Thank you for replying to my thread. I know acrylic tanks retain heat better but then if an acrylic tank gets scratched you can fix it unlike glass. What fish do you have in your tank. How often do you vacuum the bottom or rinse out the filter media. How often do you test the water.
 

jay0705

Well-Known Member
#4
My fish lol depends which tank. I have 3 sw tanks now. My original 75 I started with a pair of clowns, one spot fox, sand sifting goby, clown goby and various snails.
Now I have tangs, clowns,puffer, dwarf lion, damsel, dwarf Angel's lol
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#6
I agree with Jay. My first SW tank was a 55. I had that one up and running for more tan 10 years with a canister filter. Canisters work fine just a lot more work. Weeky maintenance is necessary. I now have a 120 gallon with a 40 gallon sump (I’ve had others in between over the last 20+ years). The sump is plumbed to my basement. Because of the dimensions the 120 is my favorite.
The sump is essentially no maintenance and a great place to hide equipment like your skimmer.

I’d agree that 75 or 90 would be a good starting place. Big enough to dilute your mistakes yet stock sizes you can get at places like PetsMart. I love 125s (also a stock size) and had one for years but they have a huge footprint and didn’t work in my long thin living room.

I prefer glass tanks. Acrylic is more expensive and scratch really easily. Yes they can be buffed out but in reality that doesn’t happen because most of the scratches are inside regardless of material. It is east to prevent scratches in a glass tank, not in an acrylic. The pros to me aren’t significant. Light weight, only matters when you are installing it. Holds in heat,can be a negative in the summer. My heaters rarely come on in my tank even in the winter in Minnesota. I keep my house at 62 at night and during the day and 68 in the evenings when we are home. Tank is at 77 right now. The equipment creates heat. In the summer I am always fighting too high temps. Acrylic would make that worse.

Lighting is a personal choice. It is a good idea to figure out your ultimate plan because lighting is specific to that. If you want an anemone and clown (many do) you will need a lot of very intense light (as much light or more than for a #0# reef tank.. This can be very expensive. For a FOWLR any lighting will do. It is more of an aesthetic thing, what looks good to you. LEDs are cheapest as far as electricity goes.
 
#7
I agree with Jay. My first SW tank was a 55. I had that one up and running for more tan 10 years with a canister filter. Canisters work fine just a lot more work. Weeky maintenance is necessary. I now have a 120 gallon with a 40 gallon sump (I’ve had others in between over the last 20+ years). The sump is plumbed to my basement. Because of the dimensions the 120 is my favorite.
The sump is essentially no maintenance and a great place to hide equipment like your skimmer.

I’d agree that 75 or 90 would be a good starting place. Big enough to dilute your mistakes yet stock sizes you can get at places like PetsMart. I love 125s (also a stock size) and had one for years but they have a huge footprint and didn’t work in my long thin living room.

I prefer glass tanks. Acrylic is more expensive and scratch really easily. Yes they can be buffed out but in reality that doesn’t happen because most of the scratches are inside regardless of material. It is east to prevent scratches in a glass tank, not in an acrylic. The pros to me aren’t significant. Light weight, only matters when you are installing it. Holds in heat,can be a negative in the summer. My heaters rarely come on in my tank even in the winter in Minnesota. I keep my house at 62 at night and during the day and 68 in the evenings when we are home. Tank is at 77 right now. The equipment creates heat. In the summer I am always fighting too high temps. Acrylic would make that worse.

Lighting is a personal choice. It is a good idea to figure out your ultimate plan because lighting is specific to that. If you want an anemone and clown (many do) you will need a lot of very intense light (as much light or more than for a #0# reef tank.. This can be very expensive. For a FOWLR any lighting will do. It is more of an aesthetic thing, what looks good to you. LEDs are cheapest as far as electricity goes.[/QUO
Considering led lights what light output does everyone recommend for a tank that might in the future have some corals with a community tank. Looking to have cardinal, clowns, damsels, gobies, coral banded shrimp, starfish, crabs, maybe a wrasse, hawk fish, feather duster, anemone. Just to name a few. Looking at setting up a sump with a refugium. What kinds of sumps does everyone have. Just trying to get as much help on this as I can. Saltwater is way more expensive than freshwater aquariums. Thanks everyone.
 

lmforbis

Administrator
Staff member
#8
I use Kessils (360s). The output is hard to measure the same way for LEDS. I’d read reviews. BRS has at least one video where they tested several types of LEDs for ligh intensity.
 
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