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Old 07-14-2017, 08:32 AM   #401
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Location: Evans, CO
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My parents always had a small tank and stand growing up. Never really knew what was in it, lol, but it was at the time that you just added water gravel and fish and forgot about it other than feeding the fish. Several years ago my husband's cousin brought us a 30g with stand and light. It came with the filter and I didn't bother with substrate. Went to Petco and got about 50 feeders, ugh. No one told me they were dirty and that was too much but at only about ten cents a piece, I did it and that was a mistake. After a half a day went by the tank was completely cloudy and smelly. After that, I tore the tank down and gave up for a while. A SW tank was always in the back of my mind but I was always intimidated by it. The beginning of last year I decided to try it again. My 30 gallon was cracked so I found a 55g on CL with the light, filter, and heater included for $50. My husband gave me the go ahead if it doesn't end up like the last time. After reading up on it for about a year, I set it up and got it cycled and added African Malawi's, and plecos. I read up on the cycling and keeping, not the fish. So, I started looking for a larger tank. Found a 125g with the works for $250 and got that and transferred the cichlids over to that. I don't know exactly when I started wanting a reef tank but it has been for years but I do remember the 2 things that triggered it. 1 was when I'd watch shows about the reefs and the fish that inhabited them and 2 was when I'd go snorkeling in Florida and being in Colorado didn't have access to that anymore. To say the least, I got rid of the intimidation and took the plunge with my 55 gallon. In my mind it'd be a 55 with a bunch of nano peaceful fish, inverts and corals, but little did I know that even with some of the fish I wanted, even though small would need more space.
While I was cycling the SW tank the cichlid tank started getting very cloudy I couldn't get it cleared up and saw a video of a diy pvc overflow system, so I went to home Depot and put it together and got it going. After about 12 hours the water was crystal clear and that's when I decided to convert the 125g to the SW with the help of my LFS homing my FW fish. I've been hooked ever since. I'm still working on getting my tank where I need it so I can get the main focal point of my tank. (Christmas tree rock, and green mandarin pair).

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