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Old 11-04-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
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Getting ready to make a purchase on a new tank....

Hey everyone,

First post for me here....looks like a great forum! I use to have several tanks in my old house but they were all large fresh water tanks. It's been probably 6-7 years since I've had a tank and I am now considering salt water. I went to a local fish shop(one known for it's reputation for salt water) and got some info on a tank. I am looking at a 180 gallon tank that I am wanting to do a fish only tank with. They told me that there is alot less maintenance with a f/o tank in saltwater opposed to inverts etc. From what I've read online that is correct.

They also explained the advancements on filtration with sumps instead of using alot of hang on filters on the rear of the tank. I am wanting to mount this tank behind a couch in our den and I will have to make an iron frame for it to sit on because of how high it will need to be to clear the back of the couch.

My main question is: They told me that with everything from flourescent lights/tank/glass tops/sumps/etc that I should expect to spend between $2000-2400 does that sound about right. That includes all the interior structure, rocks, initial chemicals and everything. My wife and I have adopted 2 boys from Russia(4 and 5 years old) this year and they are just fascinated with fish. I want to get this so we will all have something very nice to look at. Plus I kind of miss having a tank.

Also I explained to the lady that I have always liked to have yellow tangs/naso tangs/clownfish/wrasse/lion fish/panther grouper. Would these fish be able to co-habitate in a tank this large with enough structure or am I asking for trouble? The lady said I could possible have trouble with the lion fish/grouper getting along as they matured. Does this sound right?

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.


-lee-
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Old 11-04-2004, 08:43 PM   #2
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If you want ant small fish the Lion and grouper are out, as soon as they get big enough the clowns are food. The grouper can get up to 17" thats a hugh fish and that size the tang and wrasse would be food also. Sounds like a good LFS telling you about a problem rather then selling them to you knowing it could be a problem.

If that price includes everything that is a real good price. What do you mean by interior structure? Rock is that live rock or base(dead) rock. LR runs around $6-9 per pound so for that price I don't think its LR.
180 a very nice tank is that going to be a drilled /reef ready tank or are they selling you a over flow box. How big is the sump?

Less work for FO compaired to reef, not sure I agree with this in my reef I have a clean up crew that does it all snails, crabs, shrimps sand sifting stars. My 55 FOWLR I have some crabs and a cucumber right now but when my puffer gets bigger they will become food so that means that I will on occasion have to vacuum the Sand bed of waste to keep the nitrates in check. Inverts are a plus for any tank IMO and they are fun to watch also.
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Old 11-04-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
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seaham....

I'm not set on the lion fish or grouper. I'ld much rather have a nice selection of tangs and other colorfish but I was just wondering how they'ld all get along. If I can't have them then it's fine.....heck if this works out well then I may end up with another one

The interior structure I was talking about includes base rock. I didn't talk to them about live rock. I've read that live rock requires more maintenance with water quality and chemicals....is that right? Also I have read about how much quicker it cycles the tank and I like the sound of that but I don't want to spend a lot of money on live rock and expensive lighting if it's going to be alot more maintenance.

Also as far as cycling goes: the store menitoned there is a new product on the market that was just released that claims to prepare the tank for fish in under a day. Has anyone heard to used this product? I've done a search and didn't find any information on it.

Thanks again.....


-lee-
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Old 11-05-2004, 08:32 AM   #4
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Old 11-05-2004, 08:46 AM   #5
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Oops. Didn't mean hit the submit button yet. I gotta spew a bit first.

If you got kids that you're gonna do some fascinating to, I'd suggest a more peacefult ank. You're already sold on tangs. Check out tang, clown, goby, wrasse, and some degree of a reef tank. 'Course lighting'll cost more, but In terms of fascination, I think you'll get more for the buck. And like Seaham 358 said, the cleanup up crews bring a bit of fascination also, and do just that, clean up.

Rock aids in filtering water also, and can be anohter source of fascination as living thing either come with it or get established on it.

Oh yeah, the cost of this stuff might make you go one way or another. Have you read Robert Fenner's book? Good start to figure out where you'd like to end up.

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:22 AM   #6
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austinsdad.....thanks for the help on the fish selection. I'm not just set against using live rock but I just don't know how much additional upkeep it would be. Guess I need to ask that question when we go back down there to look at the tank again.

I haven't read any books on salt water. To be honest I don't have a ton of time to read books. I run a business and have 2 small kids but I'll try to if I get a chance. I have gotten a lot of information online about salt tanks and I think we are probably leaning this way. Thanks.


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Old 11-05-2004, 11:54 AM   #7
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The hermit crabs and snails would keep your rock cleaned - as clean as ocean rocks could be I guess. I believe no one ever really cleans rock. There are peaceful fish selections too that will help keep the algae grow down too - in addition to the right water w/no phosphates. I didn't mention before that another fascination factor is a variety of shrimps, feather dusters, and other neat things if you went with the more peaceful tank inhabitants. I've never kept any, but I believe lions and groupers are biggger waste producers anyway and will make more work for you.

Yeah, I know, I'm biased on reef and more peaceful tanks. 1/2 hour or so whenever you get chances to read that book I mentioned would really help with your decision making and may save you more time in the long run.

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2004, 12:02 PM   #8
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Hi,

This is a little off track, but I would just like to say that it is my three year old who got me back into fish. I don't know how your children are, but I put my son off of the aquarium a little bit by not quite including him enough in the care and maintenance of it. He realised (correctly even) that this was dad's aquarium. I was a little disappointed until I found out that he would take all his friends down to see it and started naming the fish after his play-school mates, all in my absence. I am not saying that your four year olds can do the water changes, but see how much you can get them involved through the choice of silly ornaments, taking them to the store, etc. Once I figured out that he had thought I was hogging his aquarium, everything has worked grand. We've had a lot of fun so far. The only traumatic bit came when the aquarium crashed -- due to too big a water change and chloramines in the water here -- and I had to lie and say the fish were at the vet, which he never believed.

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Old 11-05-2004, 12:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help guys.

My wife and I are going to look at the tank and I want to show her around to look at what the opportunities are. She knows nothing about tanks at all and I'm only familiar with fresh water tanks so this is a large switch. Thanks again.


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