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Old 09-14-2002, 11:06 AM   #1
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Am I ready for a reef aquarium?


I'm considering buying a tank to start a reef aquarium. I'm reading my first book (Saltwater aquariums for dummies) -- and plan to read others. I've started going to stores in New York to find information on tanks, fish available, etc. Basically, I'm doing my research before buying.

The manager of a petstore told me yesterday that I might be a bit too ambitious to start with a reef aquarium that will include fish and invertebrates since I've never had an aquarium (except when I was a child but my parents took care of it...). He suggested that I start with a freshwater tank and graduate to salt water when I have some experience. The problem is I'm only interested in salt water species (I also do scuba diving)!

Can I succeed as a beginner with a reef tank? Should I start with a fish only tank and add invertebrates later on? Is that possible and a good idea? I'm willing to commit the time necessary to make this work (since a reef tank is really what I want) but I also want to be realistic.

I started looking at 55G tanks but after a bit of research it seems like I would have more room in a 75G for the reef so I may go with that.

Also, how does one move an established aquarium? I don't plan on moving anytime soon but I'd rather consider this possibility ahead of time instead of when it arises.

Many thanks for your help!!

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Old 09-14-2002, 12:01 PM   #2
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Hi Jean,

Here is one opinion for you:

May I assure you, with your enthusiasm and the dedication in time you plan to spend with this hobby, there is no way I could say anything but... GO FOR IT. You will do wonderfully. And go all the way... coral reef and fish!

There is much to learn with fishkeeping (and all the accoutrements)! And, while getting up to speed, there no doubt will be some problems to face; but, this is the way each of us has progressed to the place we are now.

You are very wise to do a lot of research up front. Hang around SW fish stores, and ask lots of questions to everyone willing to discuss her/his tank. You will begin to hear contradictions,; invariably there are two ways to do something. At this point, you will find yourself researching more and more. The internet if full of info; of course, aquaria books are plentiful.

My suggestion to you is to purchase at least a 75g and get it cycling. This process will psych you up and allow you the 4 - 6 weeks time the process takes to read more, learn more.

Plan on going slowly. I think most anyone would offer this tip to you. Something this exciting, maintaining a coral reef, does not happen after one trip to the fish store. It takes lots of time (which makes the challenge that much more exciting)!

Gracious, go for it! And, if you are able, depending upon how big the stars are in your eyes, possibly have the tank you purchase drilled and a wet/dry added, or purchase one already designed as a reef tank. Or, look for one used. Many folks begin this way. (Be sure to see the tank you purchase used filled with water.)

Good success, and I cannot wait to hear your excitement as you proceed. You will love it all.


180g fish n' coral reef
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Old 09-14-2002, 01:41 PM   #3
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Excellent advice sue...

A 75 gal would be a great size but should that be a bit to much for your budget by the bigest tank you can afford with the tank being no smaller than 30.

The reason to get the largest tank possible is that the larger the water volume the more stable the water is to change. Changing water conditions is one of your worst enemies in an aquarium. Many people thing the smaller the tank the easer it it to maintain. That could not be any more false. The truth is The larger the tank the easier it is to maintain.

I must say I am very supprised to hear a LFS owner tell you to start with freshwater first. Usually LFS managers and owners are all to happy to let a customer dive way in over their head in anticipation that they will then be back many many times to buy products and fish.

If you put forth your research and study study study you will have great sucess. Just remember that this is one time that a the turtle does win the race. Dive in to quickly and its a setup for failure. Go slow and you will be successful.

Both of you get kudos....
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

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Old 09-15-2002, 12:05 AM   #4
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Reef Tank

I agree with Caligal Go for it you sound as if you are not lazy and are willing to do the research needed to start.
I can not add much more then Caligal & FishFreek have already told you except Don't buy cheap hardware (Protien skimmer, Power heads, Etc) in the long run it will cost you much more. Learn from my mistakes .
This site has much to offer, The members are friendly and willing to help.
Just remember we all started with little or no knowledge, ask questions. The only dumb questions are the ones not asked.
Good luck with your reef.
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Old 09-15-2002, 06:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for your encouragement!

I'll keep you posted on my progress...!
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Old 09-15-2002, 10:36 PM   #6
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Your Posts

Hi Sue.
My UVS has been operating for over 1 year now. My Tangs Ich looks asif it is beginning to go away (I hope).

The picture of the reef tank setup was very nice indeed.
I have been following your replies to questions asked on the site. You sound as you have been in this hobby for a while. Your enthusiasm is a great morale booster keep up the great work.


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reef, reef aquarium

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