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1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 10/7/2007 5:56:38 PM EST
Anybody keep saltwater fish tanks?

Is it an expensive hobby?

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:27:41 PM EST
I've been considering it for awhile and yes it is very expensive. It's easy to spend 2-3 times as much as a freshwater tank.

I'm running a freshwater tank now to get into practice of maintaining a tank and have over $500 put into it. The freshwater fish are pretty cheap though $5-10. So when I lose one it's not a big deal. The marine critters are more expensive $20-100s. Get it wrong and your fish loss can be very expensive.

Saltwater tanks require a more delicate balance in water conditions = less margin for error. Also, extra equipment like a protein skimmer. For the expense, you might as well go with the biggest tank you have room for = BIG $$.

The bonus is Marine tanks are much more attractive.

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:31:00 PM EST
I have wanted one for a while but can't gather the money for one. But between the two (fresh water and salt water) salt water looks the best or at least has the possibility of looking the best.


My $0.02
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 12:21:45 PM EST
Start up costs are a big deal, but I don't see maintence as being that expensive.
My wife keeps 2 tanks. A 105 and a 120. Had them for over 8 years. Only had one die off. Due to ick and a dead puffer fish.
Mostly water and salt every couple of months and a reef cleaning package of fish, snail's etc.. once every year or two.
Probably could have bought a nice new bmw for the price of the two tanks, rocks, fish and corals, but up keep is proabaly less than 200 or so a year.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 1:38:10 PM EST
I have some freshwater tanks.

What about a saltwater tank that is not a reef tank?

Like just some sand, gravel and hard bottom.

Are reef tanks much more $$$ and maintenance than other saltwater types?

Visited a public aquarium with lots of saltwater tanks and it got me interested in them.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 2:01:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 2:10:42 PM EST by manowar669]
My fiance and I have 8 tanks going right now. 2 are salt tanks, 2 are brackish, the rest are freshwater. Salt can be expensive, but doesn't have to be. You can run a pico (under 3 gallon) or nano (under 30 gallon) tank much cheaper. You just have to do a partial water change (30% or more) once a week, but it's not a hassle in a tank this small.
3G pico

Closeup of 3G pico tank.

Pisto shrimp and Goby symbionts
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 2:34:51 PM EST
Sweet nano tank.

What kind of salwater do you use for water changes?

I see Instant Ocean at the local pet store
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 2:56:46 PM EST
I have a 190gal custom built in. Have run salt tanks for 7 years now or so. I never had any luck with the hard corals. It was always a pain to keep alk and calcium levels in check. had a reactor it broke down etc. I could keep them for a while then they would bite it. I know other people who are good with this. it is all about the alk and calc being in the right range and stable. I am not as anal as I need to be.

But softy tanks and fish are where its at for me. I have had some of the same fish since I started. the soft corals are just as cool as the hard ones and are so easy to keep.

recommendations are to buy good equipment especially pumps. I have had No long term luck with cheap pumps. I run a very large Sequence pump now and that is all I will run. $$ but they move alot of water. Streams and the like are cool. I have some. they are $$. and I am probably going to sell them and run a larger pump with more eductors. but I have dual 2" drains that will pretty much drain anything I can pump into my tank.

I have all my stuff in the basement plumbed through the floor which is nice. no water on the house floor. I can do most everything downstairs but clean.

It is expensive to get running when you do something as big as mine. But I think the smallest tank I would consider for the long haul is a 120. cover it with two metal halides and you are good to go. Get cheap dead rock. fill your sump and tank with it and use like 1/4 or so good live rock to seed it.

cooling is a bitch. but with softies it doesn't really matter they can get hot ~84. If you live some where relatively cool. you can use fans and have a shutoff on your lights if the tank gets too hot. Or just run a good house ac. thats where the basement sump comes in handy. and fans.

if you want to pick my brain just shoot me some emails. I havent looked at any saltwater forums recently so I dunno if I am super current but it really doesn't matter.

tom

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:00:04 PM EST
Thanks

I was looking at settng up a 10 gallon SW for some hardy killifishes.

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:03:17 PM EST
www.sea-monkeys.com/





But seriously its alot of work compared to a fresh water... my gf cousin has one and i see him check his damn tank 4-5 times a day.. but if u have time... its really a beautifull thing to have in your home.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:08:59 PM EST
$$$$$$ and a little more $$$$$$ top it off with some $$$$$ and you get something like this...





These are really old pics when I first set up the tank... At current the tank is down after a remodel and in the process of being set back up.

The main display tank is a glass 220 gallon that is fed by a basement sump. In the basement there is a 100 gallon tank used as a fuge, a 90 gallon tank that holds the skimmer (ASM G6 set up to recerc), a 100 gallon tank for the sump and 2x 250 gallon storage tanks. One for fresh top-off water and one for water changes. Also help downstairs is a 30 gallon quarantine tank, a 15 gallon frag tank, a calcium reactor, auto top-off, kalk reactor, ozone generator, the ballasts for the 2x 400 watt MH 250 watt MH and 2 96 watt PC lights. The total system is ~700 gallons. The more water the better.. The more water the longer it takes for things to go wrong...

The amount of money and upkeep is very high. Water changes should be done as often as possable. (IMO 25% a month or better yet 10% a week.) Crap needs to be sucked out before it breaks down and adds to the problem...

Visit Reefcentral.com for info... The guys over there know there shit and the threads can get worse than our GD!!!!

A few tips of the saltwater reef tank...
-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!! 99.9% are total retards and give bad info.. Think of your local Walmart gun department and remove 85% of the brain cells.

-When "cycling" a new tank DO NOT USE FISH!!! Buy uncured live rock or use a few shrimp from the local supermarket. The fish, usually Damsels are very agresive and a PITA to remove from the tank.

-Live rock is your friend, bio-balls are not.. Bio-balls will do nothing but add to your nitrate problems. Buy more liverock rather spend money on a expensive bio-ball sump...

-Filter pads and canister filters are NOT your friend.. Unless the are cleaned DAILY all they do is trap crap and let it break down into the water. Buy more liverock...

-Protein skimmers ARE your friend!!! Buy the best and biggest you can afford and fit on your tank.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!

Water changes ARE your friend. Do as many as you can.. In a closed system minerals are depleated quickly and crap builds up just as fast.. The BEST way to removed said crap and replenish the minerals is to do water changes.. You will have to add different chemicals to the wather but you can keep this to a min by doing water changes..

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!

-ICK is the most common thing that will kill your fish.. 95% of the fish at your local fish store will have it.. Cleated copper and freshwater dips are the ONLY proven method to kill ICK on living fish.. Chemicals that use pepper extracts and other gimick crap will only prolong the time it takes for your fish to die... Set up and use a quarantine tank. You CAN NOT use copper in your main tank as it will KILL all the bacteria needed to filter the water as well as everything on and in your liverock, corals, shrimp, snails. ect.. DO NOT USE COPPER IN THE DISPLAY TANK!!!!!! If your tank does get ICK the ONLY way to get rid of it is to move all FISH to a quarantine tank and treat with copper and freshwater dips. The display tank must be left without fish or fallow for 7-10 weeks as the ICK completes its life cycle and dies off... Without a fish host it will die in 7-10 weeks...

-Never add fish or fish store water directly to your tank.. All fish should go in quarantine before they enter the display and checked for 3 weeks for signs of disese.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!!


All this info and MUCH more can be found at reef central... I suggest you READ EVERYTHING before you take the plunge...They also have a wonderful EE that really helps keep costs down..

Good luck, ask questions!!!
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:09:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 3:17:49 PM EST by palmer]
I have no problem answering questions, but wanted to direct you to a great website. REEF CENTRAL....they helped me when I started up and throughout my reef keeping. In fact, I was logged on their more than here.

As far as salt, I used Instant Ocean and than switched to Reef Crystals, you can't go wrong with either. Dr. Fosters and Smiths(online pet store) runs specials throughout the year on salt, which included free shipping. At those times, I would buy three buckets at once, UPS driver were not happy with me. If it wasn't cases of ammo, it was salt.

ETA; I was a little late, just saw that NwG recommended Reef Central. However, I hot linked it


If your really serious about starting one up, read, read, read, then get the credit card ready


Oh yeah, and DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:14:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By NwG:
$$$$$$ and a little more $$$$$$ top it off with some $$$$$ and you get something like this...

w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49755-2/IM002995.JPG
w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49769-2/IM002997.JPG
w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49774-2/CIMG0207.JPG

These are really old pics when I first set up the tank... At current the tank is down after a remodel and in the process of being set back up.

The main display tank is a glass 220 gallon that is fed by a basement sump. In the basement there is a 100 gallon tank used as a fuge, a 90 gallon tank that holds the skimmer (ASM G6 set up to recerc), a 100 gallon tank for the sump and 2x 250 gallon storage tanks. One for fresh top-off water and one for water changes. Also help downstairs is a 30 gallon quarantine tank, a 15 gallon frag tank, a calcium reactor, auto top-off, kalk reactor, ozone generator, the ballasts for the 2x 400 watt MH 250 watt MH and 2 96 watt PC lights. The total system is ~700 gallons. The more water the better.. The more water the longer it takes for things to go wrong...

The amount of money and upkeep is very high. Water changes should be done as often as possable. (IMO 25% a month or better yet 10% a week.) Crap needs to be sucked out before it breaks down and adds to the problem...

Visit Reefcentral.com for info... The guys over there know there shit and the threads can get worse than our GD!!!!

A few tips of the saltwater reef tank...
-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!! 99.9% are total retards and give bad info.. Think of your local Walmart gun department and remove 85% of the brain cells.

-When "cycling" a new tank DO NOT USE FISH!!! Buy uncured live rock or use a few shrimp from the local supermarket. The fish, usually Damsels are very agresive and a PITA to remove from the tank.

-Live rock is your friend, bio-balls are not.. Bio-balls will do nothing but add to your nitrate problems. Buy more liverock rather spend money on a expensive bio-ball sump...

-Filter pads and canister filters are NOT your friend.. Unless the are cleaned DAILY all they do is trap crap and let it break down into the water. Buy more liverock...

-Protein skimmers ARE your friend!!! Buy the best and biggest you can afford and fit on your tank.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!

Water changes ARE your friend. Do as many as you can.. In a closed system minerals are depleated quickly and crap builds up just as fast.. The BEST way to removed said crap and replenish the minerals is to do water changes.. You will have to add different chemicals to the wather but you can keep this to a min by doing water changes..

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!

-ICK is the most common thing that will kill your fish.. 95% of the fish at your local fish store will have it.. Cleated copper and freshwater dips are the ONLY proven method to kill ICK on living fish.. Chemicals that use pepper extracts and other gimick crap will only prolong the time it takes for your fish to die... Set up and use a quarantine tank. You CAN NOT use copper in your main tank as it will KILL all the bacteria needed to filter the water as well as everything on and in your liverock, corals, shrimp, snails. ect.. DO NOT USE COPPER IN THE DISPLAY TANK!!!!!! If your tank does get ICK the ONLY way to get rid of it is to move all FISH to a quarantine tank and treat with copper and freshwater dips. The display tank must be left without fish or fallow for 7-10 weeks as the ICK completes its life cycle and dies off... Without a fish host it will die in 7-10 weeks...

-Never add fish or fish store water directly to your tank.. All fish should go in quarantine before they enter the display and checked for 3 weeks for signs of disese.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!!


All this info and MUCH more can be found at reef central... I suggest you READ EVERYTHING before you take the plunge...They also have a wonderful EE that really helps keep costs down..

Good luck, ask questions!!!


WOW!!!
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:23:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 3:30:11 PM EST by theskuh]
I kept a 5.5 for a while. I had a little fish in it and some hardy corals. relatively do able. but just don't put crazy amounts of fish in it. keep it to one. if that. If you have fish you have to feed. adding food to water is what fouls it.

As I remember the 5.5 was totally fun. I had a crazy power head in it and it made the water swirl. I would do a small acyrlic if you could. that way you could drill it and put your pump outside. it might scratch though.

have fun

tom

this is my old 65, my new tank got taken over by crazy red brushy algae so I sold all of the coral off and it has been lights out on it for a while. It is almost ready to be resurrected.

http://www.preska.net/palbum/coral/slides/leftside.JPG
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:26:18 PM EST
Starting up can be expensive... All depends on what quality equipment you buy... more expensive the better in the long run... If you get you own saltwater from the beach it's not that difficult at all or expensive... Just run Ph, Ammonia, Nitrate, and nitrite tests about once a week. Make sure you don't exceed your biomass capacity and check the salinity once a week. Make sure it is the right temperature and out of sunlight. Make sure the mechanical filter is working properly and that you rinse the biobag weekly and replace the carbon once a month. Also change 1/4 water change every month. Other than that it is simple and failr inexpensive. Screw tropical fish... Get a Crab... A BIG mean one and watch them prey on the other fish and attack you through the glass. I suggest using artificial plants real ones are a hassle.

hope it helped,
just a load of useless info stored in my brain,
j0hn
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:28:49 PM EST
The coral is what wipes out any budget you might think you have


oh yeah .... coral maintenance is out of this world.



I have live rock, live sand and damsels (clown, black yellowtail damsel and blue damsel).

Minimal maintenance. Who knows what these fish have had to endure in terms of water quality.



They're still there
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:28:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 3:30:46 PM EST by crashburnrepeat]
yes they can be expensive, but I kept a 10 and 20 gallon going for a while for about 100 bucks.

course they didn't look like those ones in the doctors offices but they had shrimp and stuff.


edited to add: I already had some or most of the equipment from running freshwater tanks so just getting salt and an additional filter was most of my cost.

you can do aquariums pretty cheap if you are willing to work. I bought an 80 gallon freshwater off a local classified add for 40 bucks, built my own stand, build my own protein skimmer etc.


if you are handy and have a net connections you can get it done much cheaper than off the shelf stuff.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:40:09 PM EST
WWW.saltwaterfish.com is pretty good too.

As NWG said, the local fish store is not your friend. They are in the biz to sell you their stuff.

I checked my local pennysaver and bought my tank for $425. The guy had it full of live rock, a few fish, and sump/pump and a crappy hood. 125 gal.

I have sunk over the years maybe another $750 in equipment. Skimmer, home made MH lighting, retrofit PC lights and a kick ass refugium.

I have had my oldest anemone for longer than two of my kids.

Livestock can get pricey, I one put a $50 butterfly fish in that decided to play with my 12" diameter Green Carpet anemone. One trip across the tank was all I got to see that fish.

I love my tank and do not think that it is very expensive to maintain, no too expensive a hobby to get into.

Compared to shooting, I spend a ton more money on bullets than I do my tank.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 1:44:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
Anybody keep saltwater fish tanks?

Is it an expensive hobby?




Very expensive..

Link Posted: 10/9/2007 1:50:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By palmer:
Yes, it's expensive and a lot of maintenance. I just broke one down. I had it running for two years. Your looking at about 5G's for a 58gallon, to get one up and running. You can do it cheaper with used equipment.

i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/sheba106/Aquarium055.jpg


i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/sheba106/Aquarium068.jpg


i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/sheba106/Aquarium065.jpg


i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/sheba106/Aquarium067.jpg


i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/sheba106/Aquarium074.jpg


WOW!!

Those coral rocks are beautiful..

No wonder it cost you 5Gs..

Nice job..



Link Posted: 10/9/2007 1:56:34 AM EST
Had one when I was a kid, now I want a pico one
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 1:58:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By bdgenz:
I've had a SW tank around for 15 years now.



I gave up 17 years ago when came home from vacation to find out we lost power during a storm and it tripped the breakers in the house.

The SW Tank was turned into a sewer tank. I lost everything on it.

I still have all the equipment.

Link Posted: 10/9/2007 2:00:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By manowar669:
My fiance and I have 8 tanks going right now. 2 are salt tanks, 2 are brackish, the rest are freshwater. Salt can be expensive, but doesn't have to be. You can run a pico (under 3 gallon) or nano (under 30 gallon) tank much cheaper. You just have to do a partial water change (30% or more) once a week, but it's not a hassle in a tank this small.
3G pico
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0686.jpg
Closeup of 3G pico tank.
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0685.jpg
Pisto shrimp and Goby symbionts
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0660.jpg

Hey where did you get that pico tank and how much do they run thats bad ass?
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 2:13:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By NwG:
$$$$$$ and a little more $$$$$$ top it off with some $$$$$ and you get something like this...

w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49755-2/IM002995.JPG
w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49769-2/IM002997.JPG
w-a-w.net/gallery/d/49774-2/CIMG0207.JPG

These are really old pics when I first set up the tank... At current the tank is down after a remodel and in the process of being set back up.

The main display tank is a glass 220 gallon that is fed by a basement sump. In the basement there is a 100 gallon tank used as a fuge, a 90 gallon tank that holds the skimmer (ASM G6 set up to recerc), a 100 gallon tank for the sump and 2x 250 gallon storage tanks. One for fresh top-off water and one for water changes. Also help downstairs is a 30 gallon quarantine tank, a 15 gallon frag tank, a calcium reactor, auto top-off, kalk reactor, ozone generator, the ballasts for the 2x 400 watt MH 250 watt MH and 2 96 watt PC lights. The total system is ~700 gallons. The more water the better.. The more water the longer it takes for things to go wrong...

The amount of money and upkeep is very high. Water changes should be done as often as possable. (IMO 25% a month or better yet 10% a week.) Crap needs to be sucked out before it breaks down and adds to the problem...

Visit Reefcentral.com for info... The guys over there know there shit and the threads can get worse than our GD!!!!

A few tips of the saltwater reef tank...
-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!! 99.9% are total retards and give bad info.. Think of your local Walmart gun department and remove 85% of the brain cells.

-When "cycling" a new tank DO NOT USE FISH!!! Buy uncured live rock or use a few shrimp from the local supermarket. The fish, usually Damsels are very agresive and a PITA to remove from the tank.

-Live rock is your friend, bio-balls are not.. Bio-balls will do nothing but add to your nitrate problems. Buy more liverock rather spend money on a expensive bio-ball sump...

-Filter pads and canister filters are NOT your friend.. Unless the are cleaned DAILY all they do is trap crap and let it break down into the water. Buy more liverock...

-Protein skimmers ARE your friend!!! Buy the best and biggest you can afford and fit on your tank.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!

Water changes ARE your friend. Do as many as you can.. In a closed system minerals are depleated quickly and crap builds up just as fast.. The BEST way to removed said crap and replenish the minerals is to do water changes.. You will have to add different chemicals to the wather but you can keep this to a min by doing water changes..

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!

-ICK is the most common thing that will kill your fish.. 95% of the fish at your local fish store will have it.. Cleated copper and freshwater dips are the ONLY proven method to kill ICK on living fish.. Chemicals that use pepper extracts and other gimick crap will only prolong the time it takes for your fish to die... Set up and use a quarantine tank. You CAN NOT use copper in your main tank as it will KILL all the bacteria needed to filter the water as well as everything on and in your liverock, corals, shrimp, snails. ect.. DO NOT USE COPPER IN THE DISPLAY TANK!!!!!! If your tank does get ICK the ONLY way to get rid of it is to move all FISH to a quarantine tank and treat with copper and freshwater dips. The display tank must be left without fish or fallow for 7-10 weeks as the ICK completes its life cycle and dies off... Without a fish host it will die in 7-10 weeks...

-Never add fish or fish store water directly to your tank.. All fish should go in quarantine before they enter the display and checked for 3 weeks for signs of disese.

-DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!!!!!!


All this info and MUCH more can be found at reef central... I suggest you READ EVERYTHING before you take the plunge...They also have a wonderful EE that really helps keep costs down..

Good luck, ask questions!!!


Just curious why no substrate??
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 2:44:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2007 2:44:41 AM EST by manowar669]

Originally Posted By justinwb:

Originally Posted By manowar669:
My fiance and I have 8 tanks going right now. 2 are salt tanks, 2 are brackish, the rest are freshwater. Salt can be expensive, but doesn't have to be. You can run a pico (under 3 gallon) or nano (under 30 gallon) tank much cheaper. You just have to do a partial water change (30% or more) once a week, but it's not a hassle in a tank this small.
3G pico
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0686.jpg
Closeup of 3G pico tank.
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0685.jpg
Pisto shrimp and Goby symbionts
img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/ManOwaR669/100_0660.jpg

Hey where did you get that pico tank and how much do they run thats bad ass?

You can get them online for like $40. I got mine at thatpetplace.com which is 15min away, so I just drive there about once every week or two.
I started it with saltwater (use distilled water when making your saltwater, NOT tap water) livesand and a decent piece of liverock for about $25. Let it run for like a month to cycle (before adding any fish etc.). Then add your "cleanup crew". Small hermit crabs, snails etc. Then go from there. I bought the pulsing xenia frag for like $12. The candycane coral, and few zoanthid corals popped up from the liverock (freebies, sort of). Later the pistol shrimp and banded hi-fin goby pair was like $40. I don't really feed them much, since there's a decent indigenous population of amphipods.
aquariacentral.com
nano-reef.com
etc. will help you.

ETA welcome to page two!
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