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Old 12-24-2007, 12:18 AM   #1
jw
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How much work is a SW Tank

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.

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Old 12-24-2007, 01:29 AM   #2
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I probably spend about 8-10hrs a week on my tank, 2hrs a week at the LFS... and 10 hrs a week on this site! Im sure thats a fraction of what some do. So yes it can be time consuming. it is a very enjoyable hobby and worth the time IMO. As far as leaks or breaks go up until recently I would have said that it is rare, however one of my tanks just broke. It was a cheap tank though and I dont think it was properly leveled. Whatever you do make sure you buy good equipment and take your time setting it up(make sure its level)
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Erok7620
I probably spend about 8-10hrs a week on my tank, 2hrs a week at the LFS... and 10 hrs a week on this site! Im sure thats a fraction of what some do. So yes it can be time consuming.
8O

Wow... just curious where all that time is spent on your tank? I don't think those are typical numbers, so don't run away yet "jw"! (I can understand the 2 hrs/week at a LFS! Especially when you're in "stocking" mode!)

For me (46g), I spend about 5 minutes every other day cleaning the glass, and about 10 minutes a day feeding/observing. I also do a 10% water change every weekend. The water change along with filter/skimmer maintenance takes at most and hour. Mixing up salt water and doing water tests during the week might take up an hour a week.

There's no denying that any aquarium is a time commitment, so it's just really how much time are you willing to invest?

Regarding breakage... that's always a concern, and was a big one for me. Stuff does happen, but tanks breaking on their own are pretty rare. I think many cases of breakage are like Erok mentions - tanks that aren't leveled properly, or not on a solid base. At least you're in a basement, if something happens! Mine is in my living room on the 2nd floor!
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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It all really depends on how you do it. If you work on it everyday like most do then it will be like 15-20 mins a day. If you do it once a week then it could be a couple hrs on that day. Either do it all at one time or break it up into every day. The choice is yours.
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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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 have 4 tanks (10, 10, 15, and 20 long), and I'd say I spend at least 3 hours a week on observing, feeding, cleaning etc. If you're looking for a hobby that doesnt involve a ton of your time aquariums may not be the best fit. From what I know most people who do this hobby are glad to spend a lot of time on it. Maybe I should assume that you have aquarium experience because if not, I would definetely not suggest starting with a 72 gallon saltwater tank.
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
First off...it is not really "work" if you enjoy it. Diligence and patience in the beginning will be the hardest part. Once a tank is established the work decreases. I spend maybe four hours a week doing tank stuff. I spend a lot more time then that enjoying my tanks. To me, it all pays off.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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Welcome to AA!

I agree, I have never had a FW tank and started straight with the SW. The main key, other than PWCs and testing your water is asking tons of questions and taking the awesome advice of the folks around here. I think you will find it quite fun (especially after a few months, when new critters seem to show up out of nowhere). The initial set up can be a little on the costly side, but one the growing pains are over the cost is minimal.
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:43 PM   #8
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Depends on what you consider work. The actual work ( I have a 125 gallon tank)
Daily, 5 minutes cleaning the glass with a magnetic cleaner
Daily, 5 minutes to ??? checking on the tank inhabitants (not really work)
Every 2 -3 days 10 minutes preparing food (remove from freezer, thaw in tank water)
Feeding time is also observation time to check on those that don't normally come out.
Every 2 weeks, 2 hours aprox. to prepare and complete a PWC of 20-25 gallons
This includes doing water tests, cleaning the skimmer, checking all the hoses, cleaning PH's that may need it, etc.
Every 3-4 weeks 1 hour spent setting up and taking down the RODI unit to make a 45 gallon drum of top off water. One of the PWCs is done at this time too so all I have to do is move the output hose from 1 container to another.

I'm sure I spend a lot more time than that, like when I notice that the clam or a coral was knocked on its side by a large turbo snail, and I then place it upright again.

Family and friends will tell you I spend a lot more time than that, but it's not work. There's also the time I spend here.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lando
First off...it is not really "work" if you enjoy it.
I agree. Seems like fun to me.
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Old 12-24-2007, 06:26 PM   #10
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I find that the time involved in having a reef tank is similar to having a fw planted tank. You change the water once a week, clean the glass, feed the fish, trim the plants. I think they are about equal. I use to have a 10 gallon, 20 gallon, and 5 gallon planted setup but I combined them all into a 54 gallon corner planted tank and now I have that and a 10 gallon nano reef and a 20 gallon nano reef. It's maybe 10 minutes a day and about two hours on the weekend.
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