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Old 02-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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Important information for anyone new.. please read :)

I was bored, so I figured I would share some good information to anyone new out there. Let me start out by saying I've only been in the saltwater aquarium hobby for about 2 years, but i've done a lot of reasearch and have been through a lot in that tme and have learned a lot. I am also a registered Veterinary techician with 8+ years experience with dogs and cats.

Most important rule of anything ( especially pet ownership) : Research!!
with tanks:

Research what will work best for you and your budget. Bigger is better to a certain degree because theres less fluctuation in water parameters. a 55 gallon will be better tha na 8 gallon biocube to start out with because of salinity flucuations and the fact that a small amt. of something can throw it out of wack. A bigger tank 75 gallon + is also good of course! Of course you can start with a small tank, but be prepared in knowing it will be a bit harder .

Quarantine tanks are something every tank owner needs to have! Even if it is a simple 10 gallon set up. Please please QT any new fish! From my experience personally, I can show the value of a QT. My very first two fish ( two clowns) I put directly into my 55 gallon when I started the tank - two days later they both developed Ich. One died, the other survived.. but I had to go through the agony of catching the remaining fish, putting it in the QT after the fact, treating it and leaving my main tank fishless for 8 weeks.. a big pain! On the subject, please dont ever use any medicatons in your main tank, especially copper ( you can never have inverts) and be careful with antibioics.. they can destroy your good bacteria, cause an ammonia spike and kill fish ( unfortunatly, I did this, too..) please research any treatments and follow directions!!!

Use Ro/DI water if you can. It will save a lot of frustration with nucience algae!

Researching fish can save lives, money and frustration. a beautiful little tang does not belong in a biocube or 10 gallon. A lion fish will eat clownfish, certain inverts will eat your coral. Knowing what lives well with what and how big of a tank they need will really save a lot in the long run. Dont do impulse buys - go home and research first. Please be aware you can only fit so many fish in a tank as well. Too many fsh = fish deaths through fighting or too big of a bioload with ammonia spikes etc.

Know how to run a tank before you even set it up. Know there are water changes involved, weekly testing, topping off ( with fresh water!!) suppliments etc. There are many things that you can choose to add / not add. Find out what type of filtration works better for you.

Cycle your tank without any fish. You need to get a nitrogren cycle up and running properly before adding any. Cycling with fish is considered cruel and ca cost you a lot of fishie lives. It may take a few weeks, but your tank and fish will be a lot happier in the long run. Theres many good links on the subject.

Check your equipment often. A small leak can cause a lot of major problems very quickly as well as a electric 'leak' by equipment in the tank.

Do some research on a good LFS. Be wary of LFS - they can and often do provide good advice, but be sure to do your own research before buying anything. After all they're there to sell things. It could save you a lot of money. Also, see if a LFS can hold a fish for you. I've seen some very pretty expensive fish look wondeful one day, and be deathly sick the next. A lot of stress comes from shipping, acclimating etc.

If you're unsure about anything.. ask!! Its better to get some advice before ( pardon the pun) 'diving' into anything head first. There are many times I wish I would have asked about something before I did it.

Lastly - dont do anything if you're unprepared to follow through with itand do it as you're intended to. If you're unwilling to do water changes 2 x weekly for 10+ years ( as long as some fish live.. even longer) dont bother with a tank. But, same goes for things with a tank as well.. I've seen good reviews about vodka dosing, dosing suppliments, using certain equipment etc. These things will only work well if you follow directions and keep up with it. A lapse can cause death in your lifestock.. weither it be over dosing something, or neglecting to clean a filter etc.

I was going to add general pet stuff to this, but its long enough already LOL... I hope this helps. Feel free to add on with any other good info.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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Very impressive. Now that`s putting time to good use. Thank you Melinda. Reputation points coming.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:56 PM   #3
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also... dont forget that nothing good happens fast. A lot of patience will be required for any aquarium, whether fresh or salt
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:33 AM   #4
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Couldn't have said it any better Melinda!
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:33 AM   #5
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This is a good read before anyone starts preparing for a fish tank. I started reading up sometime in November. Purchasing parts began in December. I still don't have everything I think I need (and obviously those things that I don't know I need yet). On that point - if you research like you should, nothing should be a surprise.

When my wife and I came to the agreement to start a saltwater tank, neither one of us had any idea how much time/money/work would be involved. My wife quickly abandoned the idea, but after seeing all the pictures of the beautiful tanks, I became obsessed with the creation of a tank equally as beautiful.

I think that planning is something that a lot of people also fail to do. I'm in the middle of trying to figure out the easiest way to do water changes without flooding downstairs. I've been trying to plan everything out, so far I have an entire page worth of equipment that I'm slowly purchasing, a page worth of fish I'd like to put in my tank (I still need to see which ones are compatible), and another page worth of what I call "tank tips", which is nothing more than basic information that I've picked up in one or two places and said "Gee, that's good to know."

No matter how many sites I've visited, there are good "Start-up" articles, but I have yet to find a comprehensive "How-to" that even outlines one example of how it could be done.

Wow.... I wrote all that (and threadjacked I'm thinking) to say, good read.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
If you're unwilling to do water changes 2 x weekly for 10+ years ( as long as some fish live.. even longer
I think you meant MONTH, 2x/week is a lot of PWCs.


Quote:
Check your equipment often. A small leak can cause a lot of major problems very quickly as well as a electric 'leak' by equipment in the tank.
Oh did that one bite a couple of weeks ago. I was setting up my new Ranco heater controller in the sump area. I must have loosened the sump retun line from the T connector cause an hour later I heard the rush of water and ran over to find water shooting everywhere. Got my TV cable DVR box too.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
I think you meant MONTH, 2x/week is a lot of PWCs.

.
err... roughly every two weeks is what I meant
Glad I could be of help!
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #8
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Vodka?
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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How do thiink CLOWNfish were named. Someone dumped a case of vodka overboard. The bottles broke and when they went overboard to retreive them they saw all these oranage fish doing the shimmy!

Seriously thoogh, dosing vodka is one way of reducing nutirents in the tank (lowering nitrates). It's dangerous though.

Vodka Dosing by 'Genetics' and 'Stony_Corals' - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:47 PM   #10
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You'd think the vermouth and olives would only add to the problem.
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