For shark or other aquarium folks here.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by voodoocat, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    The wife and I are thinking of getting an aquarium and some fish. We want to do saltwater since fish are cooler and there is coral. Where should I get started? I was thinking we should maybe get a book. Can you recommend one?

    Thanks
     
  2. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    hey voodoo.

    how big do you want to start off? saltwater aquariums are hella hard to maintain. my roommate is a manager of a fish store. any q's i can relate to him?


    md
     
  3. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well I want to have saltwater due to more colorful fish and coral. What would be a good size to start with? I was thinking a 20 gallon tank maybe. We're going to need to gato proof the thing.
     
  4. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    djmiko will be interested for about 34 and a half minutes. 20 is ok, but if you have the money go big. and if you have the room. this is almost as ecpensive a hobby as photography. the coral and fish are pretty, and expensive. you have to check salinity a jillion times a day, or so ive heard...

    details on the way.


    md
     
  5. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Don't do it man!

    Most people fail to be able to properly set up and maintain a saltwater tank, and eventually (if not very quickly) end up killing off most of what you put in. I completely agree that they are much prettier and so forth, but chances are they will end up dead in a relatively short period of time :(

    If you do decide to do it, do a lot of reading up on it first and talk to different people that have them (or have had them). From my experience with it all, it takes a lot more work than most people realize...and even then, it is tough to get it right.

    Good luck!
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I've heard of how involved saltwater is. I don't care. When I do something, I don't do it half assed. I'm prepared for the challenge of such an undertaking. I'm also all about research before doing something. I'm sure I'll spend endless hours at work researching while i'm working :D

    So you say 20 would be too small? I think for our apartment it might be a good starting size for some coral and a few fish. Then when we get a house I can get a 55 gal or something depending on what I've aquired.
     
  7. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    For fresh water 20 gallons is great but for salt water you will prolly want at least a 55 gallon. As for how many fish to put in a good rule of thumb is to have an inch of fish for every gallon in your tank. Ex. if you have a 55 gallon tank then 55 inches of fish is about the maximum capacity. if each fish is approx. 5 inches then you can put 11 fish in it before it gets overpopulated. Fish are great. they are (relatively) little hassle and they are great to just watch when your stressed out....
     
  8. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    bump since Shark wasn't around when I posted this.
     
  9. graigdavis

    graigdavis TPF Noob!

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    I have a 55gallon with fresh water rite now. I have 6 cichlids in it rite now. Its not as colorfull as saltwater but I love to watch them.

    I would love to go saltwater in the future. But I cant afford it and dont have the time for it either. Someday when Im old and rich Ill have one.
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for letting me know 'bout this thread. I haven't had much time to keep up on the other forums as much as I'd like lately.

    I've kept saltwater tanks for upwards of 10 years now, have worked in the trade before, and currently run the photography forum at reefs.org, a great online resource for the hobby.

    Let me first give you some bare-basic info, and then we can go from there.


    First, let me dispel a couple of rumors. There's no real magic to keeping a saltwater tank. They are not more difficult than freshwater, it just takes a lot more learning to understand all the biological interactions that are going on in the system, not only between the various animals (fish, coral, etc.), but also at a microscopic and chemical level.

    A 20 gallon is a decent size to start with, but there are a couple reasons why I"d lead you away from a 20.
    1. Bigger is better. As water evaporates from the tank, it's only water that leaves, not salt or other chemicals. Lose a gallon of freshwater from a 75 gallon tank, not that big a deal. Lose a gallon of freshwater from a 20 gallon tank, that's a substantial portion of your water volume.
    2. 20 gallons may look big, but you'll outgrow it very soon. In a freshwater 20 gallon, you can pack 20 inches of fish into it. In a saltwater 20 gallon, you can have two, maybe three small fish.


    Next big thing is to decide what you want to do--fish only (FO), fish only with live rock (FOWLR), or a full-blown reef tank. There are some slight, some major differences between the different types of setup.

    Most notable difference is in lighting. Corals need massive amounts of light. A decent lighting setup for a FO tank can be had for under a hundred bucks. A decent lighting setup for a reef tank of the same size could very well set you back a grand or more.

    The best advice I can give you is to read, read, read. That's your best defence against failure. I'll point you to a couple of really good websites here, and feel free to post here or email me with more questions. :)

    www.reefs.org [Great online web community, set up with the same php software as this site, so it'll look very familiar. There's also a 'new reefkeepers forum' for basic info, plus lots of other discussion areas (and the photo forum!! :D ]

    http://portfolio.iu.edu/jwikman/finalsite/index.htm [This is a site I built for a college class a couple years ago. It's a good all-in-one reference for people wanting to get into the saltwater aquarium hobby. Tons of info about every aspect of keeping saltwater systems, as well as links to good books.]

    www.advancedaquarist.com [This is an online magazine devoted to keeping saltwater aquarium systems. Some of the articles are pretty high-end, but you can learn tons reading it.]
     

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