Going to try a salt fish only tank

phishman1

New member
I originally wanted to do a reef tank but now believe I'll just try a fish only tank. I have a 46 gallon bow front. Do I need live sand for the substrate or can anything other than that do the job? I'm planning to just get rocks n cured coral from my local fish store for decorations. I understand the cycling process, patience, patience etc. The lights are a simple strip light that came with the tank so may upgrade that a little. I will need a larger hang on the back filter for it, thinking of a large whisper. Obviously in a 46 probably a few smaller fish of course, my wife wants a sea horse but I understand they might be too much for a semi beginner.
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
I'm in the camp for using live sand and using sand over a bare tank as there's a lot of biology going on with endoliths and lower pH micro environments that are probably beneficial. Sea horses are not an easy fish but a couple reasons is they easily get infections and really are a temporate fish water and should be kept in cooler waters than a typical reef is kept. One major issue I've seen with people who are successful keeping seahorses is what to do with all the babies produced, it can be pretty disheartening to see a couple dozen baby seahorses starve to death every month. Better choices in IMO are Royal Grammas (3), a lot more colorful and active especialyl with ther penchance for swimming on thier side, nose up or down or even upside down. Mix in one Azure Damsel and one Talboti damsel for more color (don't do more and avoid any bigger damsels to minimize aggression), a pair of clowns and a cherub dwarf angel and you'll have a nice mix of color and activity
 

phishman1

New member
Thanks Timfish, appreciate the info. looked those fish suggestions up, those are perfect honestly. Going with a hang on back biowheel, 3 pieces of live rock, live sand. However I do need at 36 inch light upgrade for sure but don't know where to get something like that....on line, maybe adjustable the kind that sit a few inches above the tank...
 

outssider

New member
fish only tank doesn't really need any light at all for the fish to survive. Fish only need a enough light to see food. If you intend to get coral eventually then do a lot of research cause there are a lot of options and some choices can be quite expensive.
 

phishman1

New member
I have another question, I've settled on a filter etc and a couple of other things, substrate type, watched a few youtube videos and that helped a lot with my confusion. I have found lights on Amazon, 36 inch type that "clip" on I guess to the tank. Most are in the range of $40 or less which fits my budget. Knowing that, is there any kind of lighting I should be looking at in case down the road if the tanks goes well I might want to try a coral or two again and obviously light will be factor them. Thinking of a " beam works" strip. Second do I really need a protein skimmer? I've seen many pros and cons. Going to have live sand, probably three pieces of smallish live rock, some cured coral or even the fake coral for decorations, or barring that maybe some dry rock to put in the tank for decorations. Settled right now on a maybe 4 clown fish after the cycle process. Plus maybe a Blennie or wrasse. If I used a damsel or two to aide in cycling do I keep them or discard after, many folks seem to discard as they get aggressive.?
 

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
You don't need fish to cycle a tank. A piece of shrimp from the supermarket will do but you will need test kits to find out when you are done. Protein skimmer optional but helpful. Careful not to overstock with minimal rockwork. Lighting is so subjective, take a look @ reviews of "black boxes" lighting. Many like Viparspectra, Ocean Revive T-247 is a good light if you can find it. Corals need light to survive so do your homework.
 
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