Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-06-2011, 01:03 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 67
Question How much harder is saltwater vs fresh

Ive had a freshwater tank for about 2 years now and am thinking of making the switch. Money is not an issue right now for me.

Just want to know what more you have to do in terms of maintenance when keeping a saltwater tank.

Also would you advise against a reef setup for a beginner?

If not what are the complications and maintenance duties of a reef tank?

I am either planning on converting my 47 gallon column tank to saltwater, or buying a new tank thats no more than 30 gallons.

Thanks in advance
__________________

__________________
Matman1110 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
slitherbomb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Beach, FL
Posts: 2,191
For me, it's not really much harder. The only daily maintenance I do is add top off water to my tanks, to maintain a stable salinity.
__________________

__________________
Lalala
slitherbomb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:45 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin,tx
Posts: 1,699
Honestly, now that I do sw I have more trouble with fw.
__________________
Bige is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 09:22 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mr_X's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fairless Hills, Pa.
Posts: 17,895
Send a message via MSN to mr_X
i would not go with the column tank. you want a tank with the largest footprint as possible for a reef. if it's no more than 30 gallons, i would do a 30 breeder.
reef tanks are a bit more work than just a salt tank, but the difference between salt and fresh is the salt.
__________________
thanks,
Doug
mr_X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 09:45 AM   #5
member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,667
Honestly I would a three foot 50 gallon tank. It will give you a great 36x18 footprint but still be in your general range. I agree with the breeder tank to give you the 18" width, but I think a 30breeder would be too short to work with.

The difference is that sw requires a little more precise planning, but runs a lot easier and more stable. SW is a more complete system, it is better balanced than FW. Most people enjoy the planning and researching all the options (how to setup filtration, which skimmer to use, how to setup a sump, etc.).
__________________
Fishguy2727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
carey's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 20,962
I find my FW tanks run themselves. As far as my altwater setups, the hardest ones or most time consuming are the smaller tanks. After Igot my 125g reef all up and running its pretty much doing what it needs to do with just me doing water changes. Finally got my nitrtates down to 0 in it yesterday.

The smaller the tank the more work invloved in my opinion. Any swings can wreak havoc and it's alot easier to overstock a smaller tank and have parameter issues.

just my opinion, but my tanks run the gamut from 4g to 125g. I spent more time on my 4g than the 125g. lol
__________________
180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
carey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mr_X's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fairless Hills, Pa.
Posts: 17,895
Send a message via MSN to mr_X
a 30 breeder is easy as pie to light!
__________________
thanks,
Doug
mr_X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rutrag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,133
As Mr. X said, you want a tank that has as large of a foot print as possible.

As far as whether or not it's harder, that's more a function of your personality than the animals or the tank. You cannot rush things and you are likely to be looking at an unstocked tank for anywhere from a week to six weeks while the bacteria bed establishes itself. This is where I found that most people lose control, stock too soon or stock with aggressive fish (i.e. damsels) and end up hosing themselves.

You cannot stock a saltwater tank as heavily as you can a freshwater tank.

Generally speaking, the animals in a saltwater tank are more expensive than their freshwater counterparts, so you tend to feel a loss in your wallet a loit harder. You will of course have to spend money on salt. If you do not invest in an RO/DI unit or but RO/DI water, you are likely to spend a lot of time fighting cyanobacteria, which most of us will tell you is absolutely no fun at all.

If you want to go reef, then you will also need to invest in a good lighting system. Than single bulb fluorescent that came with the tank isn't going to do much good for any photsynthetic corals or anemones. I think this is the single most expensive startup cost in a reef tank.

I have been able to get away without running any tests on my freshwater tanks for years. (I'll admit here that I am not keeping any sensitve species.) However, you will want to invest in at least pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate kits, along with a hydrometer or better yet a refractometer. Saltwater animals are not as forgiving of fluctuations as freshwater fish. If you don't keep an eye on the parameters, by the time you decide something's wrong, you're way behind the 8 ball.

In summary, I don't think it's hard, but it will cost you more in terms of maintenance, and likely in initial startup as well. I'd also advise that before you take the plunge, you get some advice from forum members regarding what you specifically want to do with your saltwater tank regarding size of tank required, compatibility, etc. You don't want to go theough the work of gettign everything up and going to find out that you're unlikely keep that clown trigger with a mandarin dragonet successfully. Let us know where you want to go, and we'll help you get there.
__________________
It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labelling.
Rutrag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 3,287
The biggest difference to me is taking it slower doing a saltwater tank, some animals need to have an established tank before you can add them. The larger the tank the less maintenance a couple of things that I wouldn't do without is a refractometer, test kit, and an ATO {it is easier to keep it stable).

One thing to think about when choosing the size of tank pick your fish out first then decide if they will work in your tank.
__________________
joy13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
i would not go with the column tank. you want a tank with the largest footprint as possible for a reef. if it's no more than 30 gallons, i would do a 30 breeder.
reef tanks are a bit more work than just a salt tank, but the difference between salt and fresh is the salt.

If i were to do just a salt tank (no reef), would the column tank be ok?
__________________

__________________
Matman1110 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fresh, freshwater, reef, salt, saltwater, tank, versus

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Salt or Fresh Water? Galligak Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 97 09-20-2011 10:03 PM
saltwater fishless cycling Gunk Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 08-09-2011 01:59 PM
Saltwater Tank Dream/Journey Hatterz Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 11 07-15-2011 11:40 PM
New to Saltwater Tracie6283 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 07-05-2011 10:25 PM
protien skimmer in fresh water? user404 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 6 06-29-2011 11:03 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.