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Old 07-13-2006, 03:08 AM   #1
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Wild-Caught SW Tank?

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and was just wondering about having a wild-caught aquarium.

My mom was talking to me the other night about how she went fishing and she caught an octopus and other very interesting-sounding fish. I thought of having an aqurium where I could go fishing for all my pets.

I'm not new to doing a bunch of research before getting animals. I currently own 4 reptiles with an ever-expanding collection, so I do a fair amount of research. It would be months before I started the aquarium, so I have plenty of time.

So my question is: Can I possibly have a wild-caught saltwater aquarium? I live in Clearwater, Florida so I can go down to the beach, measure the water temps over a few nights, test the pH, everything. There's live rock and everything.

Can I do it?
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:08 AM   #2
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you could do it no reason why you cant the only problem is they would out grow your tank.
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:23 AM   #3
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So its possible... I'll probably research the fish native around my area and only keep the ones that stay a reasonable size.

Or if they got too big couldn't I just let them go back into the water? That's where they came from
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:40 AM   #4
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You might also want to check with fish and wildlife to make sure the fish you are takin are legal, other than that its a thumbsup, wild fish come with wild critters to though so you should quarantine like usual.
I have a wild caught freshwater tank with bluegill, crappie, some crawdads, and a bass fingerling, its feasable, just dont spread bugs lol.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:12 AM   #5
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Cool yeah I'll check all the wildlife laws and stuff before I take the fish.

So now I have a few questions...

1. Would it be okay to use the 'store-bought' salt for the water or should I use actual ocean water? I know it would be a pain to transport all that water, but I could do it cuz I live close.

2. If I use actual ocean water do I need to acclimate the tank or could I just toss a fish in there (as long as all the pH levels and everything stays normal)?

3. Should I use the 55 gallon I have or go for a larger aquarium (probably 100 gallon)? I'm going to use a sump, so I'll have a decent amount of water even with the 55 gallon.

4. I'm a complete n00b, so this may be kind of a dumb question, but what do you guys actually feed the fish? Is there a type or 'saltwater fish food'? Or do you feed them veggies and some type of meat?

5. If some of the fish I catch get too big can I just let them go?

6. One more. Can I mix the fish I catch with store bought saltwater fish?

Sorry for so many questions. I appreciate the help?
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:35 AM   #6
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just a few more things to add b4 you dive into this, collecting form the beaches and such is an iffy game. pollution, ppl, and all kinds of things have a big factor in our oceans water quality, not to mention the beaches. ive read that its best to get on a boat and go about 5 miles out to collect lr, sand, and/or water. this could be done, you just goin to have to be extra carefull as to the wildlife involved and the tank itself. i dont personally think its best to use ocean water, you have no idea what your getting (parasites, pollution, etc). youre taking these animals out of their homes, so the biggest tank possible would be best. there are tons of saltwater foods available, altho it might take awhile for wild caught to take to it... anyways, just my .02
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:04 AM   #7
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. Like others said, there is no telling what you will introduce to your tank. I would tend to think, they might have a short lifespan. I imagine it could be done.

Quote:
1. Would it be okay to use the 'store-bought' salt for the water or should I use actual ocean water? I know it would be a pain to transport all that water, but I could do it cuz I live close.
Here is the pollution problem.

Quote:
3. Should I use the 55 gallon I have or go for a larger aquarium (probably 100 gallon)? I'm going to use a sump, so I'll have a decent amount of water even with the 55 gallon.
In most cases in SW bigger is better. It gives your tank a better survival rate. If you are determined to do it that way, I would go for as big a tank as you can afford to keep.

Quote:
4. I'm a complete n00b, so this may be kind of a dumb question, but what do you guys actually feed the fish? Is there a type or 'saltwater fish food'? Or do you feed them veggies and some type of meat?
As said before, there is plenty of different kinds of foods, remember, variety is good for the fish's health.

Quote:
5. If some of the fish I catch get too big can I just let them go?
I imagine so, if you could re-acclimate them to the ocean conditions, otherwise they might suffer and die.

Quote:
6. One more. Can I mix the fish I catch with store bought saltwater fish?
Depending on the agressiveness of the fish. If they would get along.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:48 AM   #8
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Ive actually kept up a succesfull 55gal sw tank for 3 years, the only thing store bought is the salt and some of the food. I got sand from a unpopulated beach, and rinsed it real good before adding it, all the rocks ive gotten from the beach, unfortunatley it is illegal to take live rock or coral from hawaiian waters so I have a lot of dead coral and lava rock, ive got tons of hermit crabs and urchins, a mated pair of banded shrimps, a puffer, some squirrel fish and some damsels, I had a yellow head morray that would eat whatever fit in its mouth, usually he wouldnt touch my residents cause of their size and speed, but if he did I would just catch another one, I had to finally release him back where I got him cause he was getting too big.....

So yes I would reccomend it, it is virtually cost free...and another plus is it is fun catching the fish, I never used a pole (only for dinner fish) but we would go at night time (sometimes day time) when the tide is real low, and walk along the reefs and tide pools and just scoop whatever we wanted, evry once once in a while we would see a different fish that would forget to go out with the tide and we would get lucky but for the most part its pretty much the same ol fish....

With that being said I have a question...what is the best and safest method of collecting reef fish under water i.e. using scoop nets and plexiglass, a bait bag, suction type of catcher....Im not sure so if anyone knows that would be helpfull, because tide pool fish are only a small drop in the bucket compared to the open ocean.......thanks in advance
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:41 AM   #9
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Its iffy on the ocean thing. I personally wouldn't do it just for the fact that you are taking an animal used to living in certain (ie: huge) water conditions and then putting it in something much smaller. It's not something I'd do but that is just my opinion of course. Guess I have too much love for the ocean and stuff like that.

Anyways, it's likely illegal as well. Getting caught would be a hefty fine or jail time. Definitley check before you attempt anything. If you do, I would run fresh activated carbon for a while just to be safe.

Roka pretty much summed up your other questions.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:29 PM   #10
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NO don't do it! Imagine if everyone just took from the ocean whenever they wanted and not give anything back! Just grow your own reef with frags and captive bred fish.
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