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Old 07-21-2004, 01:44 AM   #1
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Saltwater claims another Freshwater Aquarist.

Well, not yet. I guess i'll take the time to introduce myself to everyone as well as get a few questions out of the way, all at the same time, for convenience sake. I'm Jake. Hi everyone.

Good, now that's out of the way. I've seriously been keeping fish now for a couple of years. I got into the hobby when I got a job at one of those dreaded chain pet stores, and was hired into the fishroom with absolutely no experience in fish. I mean, I thought goldfish liked bowls. Anyway, that experience set me out on a long and rewarding road.

I eventually started learning quite a bit about the hobby after spending some time in the store, and understanding that there was a lot more to it that water, feed, and enjoy. I read the books we sold, watched the fish we kept and talked to real enthusiasts that came in to look at the stock. I really got into it. So much that I started missing the fish when I was away, and wanted to go back to work.

I often found myself standing in front of our 100g salt display tank in complete awe, wanting one of my own. But I knew that that takes skill, money and patience. Why not start small and build myself up?

I ended up buying a 33 Gallon and stocked it with Tiger Barbs. They were great, but never really had the personality I wanted. So after a year of those I started researching Cichlids. We had a number of cichlid keepers in our store to help me, along with all the books so I ended up with a stock of Yellow Labs and an 80 Gallon tank. Love them to death.

So here I am, no longer at the fishstore and still reading and extending my knowledge of fish. But I never did get that saltreef I originally wanted. But now that I know my share of chemistry, parameters, health and husbandry I think it's time to start (being the keyword) getting myself geared up for a salttank.

When I say start, I wont even be considering cycling the tank for probably a year or two. (which goes by faster than you think) But I plan to get everything prepared and ready for when that day comes. I'd like to have a reef tank with LS and LR and some inverts as well as fish.

My main concern is time. Next September i'm going back to school to take a Primary Care Paramedicine course that will put me into a very time demanding medical career. 8-12 Hour days average. When I used to talk to salt keepers they'd say be prepared for an hour or so a day for maintenance. Is that true or false? What's an average schedule for maintenance?

Secondly, my equipment I have now is geared towards freshwater.
I'm running an 80g all-glass frameless tank, on a cheap storebrand stand. Not much room for sumps underneath, a 10g just fits in one side. Also, I have a twin strip fluorescent canopy rated at 40w a piece. Obviously that would have to go. Should I just have a stand made with room underneath and a canopy that would have better lighting?

I have a Fluval 404 and 204 (which I despise). Would a fair sized sump system be enough to filter the tank so I can do away with the canister filters? I dont plan to drill the tank, so i'll use an HOB prefilter.

I guess that's it for now. Sorry it's so long. I'm just one of those people.

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Old 07-21-2004, 01:57 AM   #2
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First of all, welcome to AA!!!
An hour a day is a decent estimate, once you are set up and running smoothly. Now if you follow procedure by the book this is possible, but if you run into any problems, I can/will take up much more of your time.
If you follow proper set up procedure, qt all new arrivals and set up a good maintainance regiment , it is most definitely possible.
I'm not trying to scare you away, just being honest....it may take up more of your time to do it right.

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Old 07-21-2004, 01:59 AM   #3
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BTW, love NS, have been there on business several times..wonderful place.
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Old 07-21-2004, 02:19 AM   #4
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What's an average daily schedule consist of?

Thanks, I love it here. If you took the ferry across (as opposed to flying) then you'd have gone through Yarmouth, where I am. Not much here.
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:14 AM   #5
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IME, after a few months (3-6) things will have stabalized (and your fish are added) you can expect to do:

daily (~10 min): feed fish, check all livestock, check temp, top off water level w/ RO, make sure pumps / ph are running, check skimmer collection cup

biweekly (~1hr): make tub of RO, mix tub of sw, clean algae off viewing panels, check water parameters and adjust if needed

biweekly (~1hr) change ~20% water, clean algae off viewing panels, check water parameters and adjust if needed

this may take more or less time depending on tank size and inhabitants, but once you are set up with a healthy stable system most of the work is done...
hey half the fun is dreaming it up!
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:03 PM   #6
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i too am new to SW and i want to say hey to everyone...

the tank i am going to start with is a 110 tall maybe? its about 28" tall...

i have a 55 gal chiclid tank now.. but have always wanted SW... i have read tons of websites, books magazines, visited my local specilty stores... i think i have a pretty good amout of starting knowledge..

i do have a few questions off the top of my head and i am sure many more to come....

first Q what are some good saltwater magizines that review equiptment and stuff, something that would be good to subscribe too?

second i plan on buying this stuff in this order, a RO unit with deionization canister, a plastic 55 gal drum or rubbermade brute, for filter i was going to use a auqaclear pro 300... that will probally be my fist few purcases...

now my Q is on the pro 300 it doesnt come with a pump, so do i need to buy a pump or a powerhead?

anyhow GREAT site and i am sure i will be a regular here...

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Old 07-21-2004, 07:25 PM   #7
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Again...to both of you...welcome to the hobby.

IME...there are two paths...time or money. You can either invest a lot of money into the equipment to significantly reduce your work load, or you can save the money and do more work. A good example is CA. Your tank will need Ca...You can do it one of three ways. You can dose it 3 times a week, you can mix kalk and drip it at night, or you can purchase and run a Calc reactor. Those are in order of least desirable to most desirable.

As far as a magazine, there is a monthly online mag that is free that I have found to be an excellent resource. You can go back into their archives and read any article that has been published. We have several of these articles (with the proper recognition on the page) on our web site and organized into a "user friendly" format.
The mag's link is http://www.reefkeeping.com/

Our web site is www.reef-aquarium.net We have articles on there for the novice up to advanced level hobbyist. I would suggest that as a good starting point for you.

You can also purchase a book called "The conscientious Marine Aquarist." I personally have not read it, but it is highly recommended on every major message board I have been a member of.

The biggest resource for any one....are the members of this and one or two other great message boards. We have been where you are...we are not making money off of you (unlike your friendly LFS). Just ask a lot of questions.

175gallon reef

5,100 gal pond

Fish are people too!
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:34 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum! You found the best spot on the web for great advice. I like the field you have choosen to go into. I am a full-time carreer Paramedic and work 24 hour shifts. I do not find it hard at all to maintain my reef tank with this schedule. An hour a day is pretty steep. I spend 10 to fifteen minutes every other day. Maybe twenty if I do a water change. Just starting you may need to spend a bit more time on it. Even with a demanding schedule I am sure you will have the time to devote to your tank. Once again...Welcome to AA and good luck! Lando
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:09 PM   #9
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The amount of time spent on maintenance is miniscule compared to the amount of time spent sat infront of the tank just watching the little world you've created

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
- Rodney Dangerfield.

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