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Old 11-24-2004, 11:19 AM   #1
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Fresh or Saltwater Tank

Everytime we go to a LFS and mention that we might be getting a larger tank within the year, the salespeople always mention that we should consider a saltwater tank.

For those who have had experience with both types of tanks, which one do you prefer. I know the saltwater fish are more expensive and absolutely striking but overall, which tank is more fun.
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:33 AM   #2
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No question that salt is more fun, IMO (I've had both), but salt in also unquestionably expensive and requires careful attention at all times.

I had a 45 gallon FW tank with about 8 silver dollars. I don't think I did any maintenance for about a year. Cost was very small.
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:40 AM   #3
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Dont go salt unless you really want. The sales person is clearly loooking at the commision or has some kind of idea that large tanks should only be salt.

Neither is better than the other. They are both going to be as good as you make them.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:14 PM   #4
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I am just so torn. The saltwater fish are beautiful but ithe whole idea of saltwater care scares me. If I go fresh, I want a semi-agressive tank and those fish look so cool. We do travel occassionally on weekends so how difficult is it to leave the saltwater fish for a couple of days?
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:37 PM   #5
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No more difficult than fresh. Just top off the tank and leave. No need to feed them every single day like many think.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:38 PM   #6
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If your thinking salt then I would avocate first a few books to just get some ideas on setups and general care.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:42 PM   #7
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Yes, I plan to do that. I am in no rush as I am still learning about fresh and trying to conquer that. This is why I am posting my question so I have plenty of time to get prepared if I decide to go the saltwater route.
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:48 PM   #8
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Maybe its just me, but I find that freshwater can be just as stunning as saltwater. A carefully designed planted tank can be breathtaking. Check out anything by Takashi Amano and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:52 PM   #9
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I agree with fish freek. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and a sw, or fw tank is what you make of it, and how you appreciate it. I would say the fresh is less work, and the sw is more expensive, but it really depends on what you truley want.
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Old 11-24-2004, 02:48 PM   #10
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Freshwater planted tanks aren't cheap either, if you go the high light route...but they are still cheaper than a reef setup.
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Old 11-24-2004, 02:52 PM   #11
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Saltwater all the way...much more interesting critters to discover!
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:27 PM   #12
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You can get a very large African cichlid setup with rocks and sand and vividly colored fish, with all the aggression you want , and it will be relatively inexpensive and extremely easy to maintain - my high light, heavily planted tank needs constant adjusting and attention to keep it thriving, so, like Malkore suggested, just because it is FW does not mean it is a cinch. I guess if FW was so simple and cheap there would be no FW set of forums on AA, lol!
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Freshwater planted tanks aren't cheap either
Very true, but they sure are beautiful!! When I do a fw set up, this is what I will do!!
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:49 PM   #14
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It's really a matter of what you want and can afford (both time and money).

I've kept both SW and FW and truly find the FW more rewarding. I can honestly say that I haven't mastered either the breeding of discus, or gotten that look of Amano perfection in my planted 125. Whatever you decide, accept it as a challenge and make the most of it. I find I get the most satisfaction from things I've given my best effort.
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:09 PM   #15
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Brian, what is it about your FW that you find more rewarding? This may be a stupid question but do the Saltwater fish have as much personality as the Freshwater?
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:43 PM   #16
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JMO blang. My FW aquariums are always a work in progress. I keep getting further and further with my discus spawns. Watching fish go from juvenile to adult because of the effort you put in. The planted tanks are awesome and are always under cultivation. The learning never stops and the rewards keep coming. I'm an aquarist, not a hobbyist.

Nothing against the SW tanks. They are magnificent but bring with it a different sort of satisfaction. I found what I'm doing to be more rewarding than when I kept SW. Check out my gallery.
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:44 PM   #17
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How small is the tank you are upgrading? If it is a 40 Gallon or higher, you could aways do what I am doing. Make the new Big one the FW, and use the old one to try your hand at SW.

I just did a cost analysis of my 90 Gallon soon-to-be planted tank. When I get the CO2 and Plants...cost will have been $2300 (livestock and original purchase mistakes included). Not cheap, that is for sure.

The cost of my 40 Gallon Breeder I will be setting up soon is estimated at $1100 (without livestock). I am sure the actual cost will be higher...as there are always things you need that you don't plan for at first.

Good luck with your decision

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Old 11-24-2004, 04:46 PM   #18
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wow the cost estimates are just scary.
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Old 11-24-2004, 08:19 PM   #19
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I really try not to think about what I have spent. Scary is right!

The other day I saw a tiny planaria worm squiggling in my crawdad tank and I pointed it out to my husband - who replied, "Okay, how much did THAT cost you, including shipping." I about died laughing! I am almost positive he was kidding....
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Old 11-24-2004, 09:27 PM   #20
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Right now my daughter has a 15 gallon and I have a 10 which will be used as a Quarentine tank for incoming fish. We've had so many problems with her tank that I thought it would be best that they don't become her fish until I know they are healthy.

Just out of curiosity, what is the smallest SW tank you could have. That might be the way to go before I invest in the tank my husband wants to get. He is up to 125 gallon from the original 75 gallon we discussed. I guess dragging him to all the different fish stores influenced him! It's funny, at first, he didn't even want a QT.
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