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Old 09-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
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Exclamation Is Keeping A Saltwater Tank Really That Hard Like People Say It Is?

I really want a saltwater tank!!! The Colors are nice the fish and corals are beautiful..... But Someone was telling my mom that its to expensive and hard to keep it alive So my mom told me that I should do and if I do shes dont putting nothing into it I want to show them that I can do it... I'm not the type of person that wants to do something and just put it all together....I DO MY RESEARCH AND I LEARN WHAT I NEED TO KNOW... I know its expensive but I got that uncontrolled...So how hard is it?
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:43 PM   #2
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Is Keeping A Saltwater Tank Really That Hard Like People Say It Is?

If you take your time and do it correctly, it's really no different than maintaining a freshwater tank aside from premixing your saltwater.

Weekly water changes like usual

FISHLESS cycling is highly recommended for the obvious reasons like salt+water changes throughout the cycle in a Fish-in would get expensive.

Like freshwater, the bigger the tank, the easier it is to keep levels stable. I have a 10g and one time my salinity jumped to 1.029. So get the biggest tank you can, this also opens up more stocking options.

Reef keeping is where it can get complicated and things get more sensitive. Though there is plenty of soft corals that are forgiving of beginner mistakes.


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Old 09-19-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamonte View Post
I really want a saltwater tank!!! The Colors are nice the fish and corals are beautiful..... But Someone was telling my mom that its to expensive and hard to keep it alive So my mom told me that I should do and if I do shes dont putting nothing into it I want to show them that I can do it... I'm not the type of person that wants to do something and just put it all together....I DO MY RESEARCH AND I LEARN WHAT I NEED TO KNOW... I know its expensive but I got that uncontrolled...So how hard is it?


I can understand you want a saltwater tank , it's not that they are hard to keep it's the cost , your mom was telling you the truth , salt water tanks take lots of money just getting all the stuff to set up can cost a lot , from what I read I assume you're still young , have you ever had a freshwater tank there are many colorful fish , you can start a freshwater tank for under a $100

I was young once if I wanted something I would collect cans for the 5 cent refund , another thing I would do was rake leaves or mow lawns to make some money ,

no it wasn't overnight but it showed that I was determined , once I made so much my parents would match it . soon I had enough to start getting what I wanted , not only did it make me proud to buy things on my own it helped me understand the true value of a dollar,

Think you can tell after my last sentence I am old lol . maybe you can't get a saltwater tank now , but remember one day you will , Than next time you can be the old one telling the young one that the dream is never over , save your allowance save all your money and one day your dream can come true,

Ask your mom if you can do extra chores than start a small freshwater tank
show your mom you can take care of it than maybe Santa will bring all you all that is needed to start a saltwater tank ,

you may not be able to have one now just follow your dream one day it will come true ,
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:34 PM   #4
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It is more work, it is harder, and it does cost more. I was given a free 55 gal tank and stand and it still ended up costing me around $800 to get my tank going. Live rock (if you buy it for a reef tank) is expensive. Lighting sufficient to keep coral alive is expensive. There are a lot more parameters to track with a saltwater tank - which means more tests that cost more money. Whereas freshwater fish cost $5-$20 each and generally are a shoe in to survive if your local fish store is any good - saltwater fish are generally $20-$70 for the more common ones and are not nearly as certain to survive (both because they're more sensitive and your local chain pet store doesn't know how to take care of them). Petco has a 15 day guarantee on their freshwater fish but no guarantee at all on saltwater fish. That should tell you something.

All that aside, if you are willing to do your research and make responsible decisions on what you put in the tank there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out - you just need to be willing to figure this stuff out. If you are able to overcome the money obstacle I'd say go ahead and do it. Just make sure to research and take your time. I also wouldn't start of with any tank less than 30 gallons - as the smaller the tank the harder it will be to maintain water parameters. There's always someone leaving the hobby for one reason or another that is willing to dump their tank and supplies for next to nothing. Keep any eye out on craigslist for good deals. Petco often has a $1 per gallon sale on their tanks (but I think only up to 30 gallons) that you might take advantage of.

If you don't have a genuine interest in saltwater fish, their habitat, and how everything interacts in their ecosystem you may tire of your colorful fish. Make sure this is a hobby you are genuinely interested in and will hold you interest for a long time - because the startup cost is a lot to pour down the drain if you're going to lose interest or be too discouraged when something doesn't work out (which will happen).

No to dissuade you, but if you've never kept fish a freshwater tank is an excellent alternative. It will run you 1/4 of the cost and is a lot easier to keep. And there are some amazing freshwater fish that rival anything in the saltwater realm. Discus, rams, killifish, rainbows, gouramis etc are all gorgeous fish (however discuss will run you in the $40 range and are more difficult to keep).

Anyway, I've rambled enough. If you do decide to get a tank - be it sw or fresh - please keep up posted on your progress.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:39 PM   #5
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No, its not hard at all. Matter of fact, most fresh water guys do more to their tank than I do to mine in a month.
I have a Skimmer, and a mechanical filter, and 3 power heads. I vodka dose, so I don't have to do regular water changes. I change my water like maybe twice a year. I run SeaKlear also, so I don't have any phosphates either. The skimmer takes care of the vodka dosing, and the mechanical filter takes care of the SeaKlear.
I clean my collection cup and filter once a week, and wipe the glass once a week. Thats it. I have the El Cheapo E-Bay LEDs and Power Heads, so I don't have a ton of $$ in my tank either. So for a 240g tank, I run a pretty simple set up.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:01 PM   #6
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I have a 92 gal freshwater tank and a 55 gal sw. I find the split between the fw and sw to be about 20/80 in terms of upkeep. If you have a planted fw tank, that's a different story.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:18 PM   #7
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No, its not hard at all. Matter of fact, most fresh water guys do more to their tank than I do to mine in a month.
I have a Skimmer, and a mechanical filter, and 3 power heads. I vodka dose, so I don't have to do regular water changes. I change my water like maybe twice a year. I run SeaKlear also, so I don't have any phosphates either. The skimmer takes care of the vodka dosing, and the mechanical filter takes care of the SeaKlear.
I clean my collection cup and filter once a week, and wipe the glass once a week. Thats it. I have the El Cheapo E-Bay LEDs and Power Heads, so I don't have a ton of $$ in my tank either. So for a 240g tank, I run a pretty simple set up.
^^THIS^^

I spend way more time on my freshwater tanks and basically can get away with ignoring my marine tanks in comparison.
For fish only with proper equipment and knowledge(vodka dosing and seakleer) waterchanges are going to be needed so much less(twice a year like RM mentioned may be heavy!!).
Knowledge is the key.
There are so many advances in marine keeping compared to fresh water it is sickening.
Really!
To aid in success for marine tank be prepared to use quality water(ro/di or distilled) as this is the first largest hurdle most new marine keepers suffer from.
It is not needed for fish but will make all better in the long run IMO.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #8
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I'm not saying it's crazy difficult to maintain a sw tank, but I can't fathom how sw would be easier having had both.

My 92 gal Freshwater tank:
For my FW tank I monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Actually, I don't monitor any of them consistently as I know that if I do a water change weekly (I have an Oscar tank - a notoriously dirty fish ... otherwise once a month would do) all those parameters will be within acceptable limits. I have a canister filter that I clean monthly. I feed my fish once or twice a day. I've never had any issues with algae with this tank.

Saltwater:
On my saltwater tank I monitor ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, calcium, phosphates, ph, alkalinity, and specific gravity. I've been told recently I should monitor magnesium as well. Unlike my fw tank which I use tap water treated with prime, I have to us an RODI filter to produce water for my sw tank. I have a canister filter that I clean monthly on my sw tank. I have a finicky protein skimmer that I have to keep adjusting to get it to work right (I guess buying the $280 model may have eliminated this nuisance). I have a phosphate reactor to keep phosphates in check. I dose calcium and buffer to keep my calcium levels up (guess a little more dough for a calcium reactor would solve this problem too?). I do weekly water changes of about 10%. I feed the fish once a day to every other day and put a drop or two of plankton in weekly. I also dose manganese and iron for the macroalgae. Green hair algae is an ongoing battle and I recently turned the lights out for three days to eliminate a cyanobacteria outbreak.

Technology has improved a lot. You can buy automatic dosing pumps, digital read water testers ... you can even have all your water specs beemed to a computer based app and charted automatically. .... but you may want to buy a new car someday.

Again, I'm not saying that a sw tank is prohibitively difficult to maintain. I had a 30 gal reef tank for about 7 years before I moved and went to FW. My current 55 gal is not my first go at it. I'm just baffled how anyone can suggest that a SW tank is easier. Again, a planted fw tank or a tank for a demanding fish like discus might be a different story.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:24 PM   #9
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In terms of planted vs reef tanks, I would definitely say a hi tech planted would take top as far as maintenance goes. It's a daily commitment.

Many people on here have managed reef tanks not dosing anything. Just water changes. Including keeping things like SPS. I believe it was Mr_X just as one example?

Having planted and a reef, (both were 10g) (10g planted is now tore down) the planted required 3x more work from me easily than my reef does. I had to scrub algae, trim plants, etc.

Now if we are comparing a basic saltwater tank(FOWLR) to a bare basic freshwater tank then yes freshwater is easier. Obviously there is no premixing saltwater involved.

In terms of "harder"? There's nothing hard about them if you research and learn. Planted and reef tanks can be hard, but it's manageable and those they take that dive are prepared for that challenge.


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