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Old 12-24-2007, 06:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Phoenixphire55
I haven't done a saltwater tank, and I assume its significantly more time consuming than a freshwater tank. JW, if this is your first attempt at aquariums I'd really suggest starting with freshwater cuz they're easier and tons of fun.
I've heard this often, but have to disagree. If you haven't had aquariums, and you want corals and saltwater fish, then do a saltwater tank. If you want a planted tank and freshwater fish, then do a freshwater tank. I don't think there's any reason or natural progression to go from freshwater to saltwater - it just depends on what your goal is.

I went straight to saltwater with no aquarium experience and if freshwater is easier, then I wouldn't know it. Never had the experience. But then I didn't want a freshwater tank!

Maybe I should assume that you have aquarium experience because if not, I would definetely not suggest starting with a 72 gallon saltwater tank.
If you're going saltwater, get as big of a tank you can afford and fit in your living space. The $/gallon of setting up a tank go down as the tank size goes up. In addition, you have a much larger water volume to play with and the water parameters won't vary as much as a smaller tank. Nano tanks are NOT a beginner's tank, in my opinion.

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Old 12-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #12
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Re: How much work is a SW Tank

Originally Posted by jw
I'm really trying to decide if I want to get into this. I'd be purchasing 72 gallon bowfront. My question, how much of a time commitment it this? Is this something that takes a whole lot of time. Also, how likely is some sort of leak or glass breakage? I'd hate to flood my basement.

The first thing you did right was asking a question on this forum. I thought at first I could just figure it out on my own. I was wrong. After making some mistakes and blowing some hard earned cash that I didn't have to I found AA and I am glad I did I have learned a lot about this hobby. I never thought there would be so much involved in a fish tank. My girlfriend thinks I am crazy. I have become addicted to this hobby it is more fun and excitement than I could have ever imagined. The only thing I would ask you before you start this hobby is are you financially secure enough to spend money to do it right. You can not take shortcuts I learned that quick and gave in to the idea of spending thousands of dollars to make a ocean inside my house.

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Old 12-24-2007, 10:34 PM   #13
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Fishkeeping is an art, not some kind of rocketscience. Don't hold yourself to all these minutes and hours. Find what is comfortable for you and your tank. With my 29 gallon, I change water once every 2 weeks. I don't have alot of livestock though-just 2 clowns, a blenny, a pajama cardinal, and a few inverts. It takes me about 15 minutes to change the water.

You don't really need to vacuum, except when you think the sand is mucking up. You actually want all the nice bacteria to be floating around in there. Keeps the pollution to a minimum. I run the mag float through the glass once every 2-3 days. And every few months or so, I'll just do a 1/3 tank water change for the heck of it. You can do all of these things, none of these, or only some. But in the end, find what works for your schedule and what keeps your fish healthy. Some would think I'm crazy, but I've never EVER tested my water except for the specific gravity when mixing it up!

Just have fun! But, remember to respect the fish. Make sure you get the best equipment you can afford. Always ask questions. You can never go wrong, except when Murphy strikes.
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:43 PM   #14
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While i don't have the experience in salt water to comment, but i always thought the problem with salt was the start-up cost and water parameters.

Start-up isn't more then a planted tank, but the skimmer and lighting will cost more then the basics on a non-planted freshwater. The filters/powerheads can be more complex but are normal about the same.

With water parameters, you have such a small amount of salt water and it's hard to deal with the salinity, trace minerals, and general parameters, where you don't have to worry about much beyond the cycle and oxygen on a base freshwater.

As far as time, i'd imagine they are about the same. You gotta mix water for the salt, but beyond that it's the same water changes, cleaning and feeding.

I suppose FOWLR or FO is about the same as normal freshwater, with corals more like planted.

I dunno, if i had a 55g tank around i'd go saltwater, but smaller i think freshwater is much better.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-25-2007, 12:19 PM   #15
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Well I have had FW tanks for many many years. When I decided to go SW I went with the same tank you are looking at. Work is a dirty word in this "hobby". If you look at getting a SW tank as "work" then don't do it. You will always look at it as work and wont enjoy what you are doing. I spend time infront of my tank either cleaning glass or just looking at it every day. I love tinkering and checking things on the tank. I'm always looking at ways to improve my water quality and overall health of my tank. There are so many things you can do!


Do a lot of research before you get started! Ask as many questions as you can think of! Take your time, make good informed decisions about what equipment to buy. DO NOT let any LFS talk you into anything that you aren't sure of. Always take the time to research before you buy. MOST LFSs are out to make money not help you with your tank.

A comment above said not to start with a 72g tank. I disagree completely! The larger the tank the easier it is to care for. As for the 72g Bow, I love mine I just wish I had gotten the one with the internal overflow!

Goodluck and welcome to AA!!! We are all here to help!
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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my estimation of 10 hrs a wk may be high, lately thats what its been setting up a new tank and maintaining the old one. Its closer to 20-30 min a day and then a couple hours on weekends. 4-5hrs maybe more the norm. And I agree with most, i dont concider it work.. except for water changes... I hate doing them mainly because I have to drive 15min both ways to LFS to buy RO, one of these days I will buy my own RO/DI unit.

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