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Old 01-31-2006, 06:30 PM   #1
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I just realized...

i thought i knew something.. but i know NOTHING.. i have not even yet to begin to dabble in the world of aquaria! I have had my 55 gallon for over a year now and thought i had become a master... but there is still soooo much to learn!

For my Graduation from RN school (May 5!!!) I am going to be giving myself a gift.. this gift is a new tank. I saw an 80 gallon bowfront tank today and fell in love with it.. and it already comes with a canopy, wet/dry filter setup (however that works) and compact florescent lights and an option to upgrade (more lights!!!)

so they tell me the tank can be for freshwater or saltwater and so far i have a 55 gallon cichlid tank and a 10 gallon planted lowlight tank. I love my little 10 gallon aquarium.. but my 55 gallon is.. well its old and not very attractive. The lights are cheap and generic, the stand is pressed wood.. and i absolutely hate the wood trim on this tank (i much prefer the black trim tanks or the ones with real wood)

So heres the deal.. to i get this AWESOME tank and convert my cichlids over to it and attempt to do a PLANTED african cichlid tank? IM talking HIGH light, CO2.. Ferts.. the works. then just sell the old 55 gallon. I know it can be done... but then again.... heres my other option

i could spend the cash to fix up my 55 gallon.. get a new lighting fixtures, canopy, and new stand and keep it as my cichlid tank and maybe add a sump and start doing medium light plants, co2, fertz.. etc..
and if i buy the 80 gallon i could start my first SALTWATER tank. I plan on starting with liverock and fish if i do this... but i DO want corals and well... i plan on getting the light that i need ahead of time for that.

Now... i know a TINY bit about saltwater, ive read all the articles here.. but i want to buy a book.. a GOOD book so waht do yall recommend??? and hey.. any suggestions on what i should do or maybe what you would do in my situation. Lets just ASSUME i have the cash to get pretty much all the equipment to do either option (hey im saving for this.. lol)
Old 01-31-2006, 06:41 PM   #2
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It depends on how much money you wanna spend. For a FOWLR tank for my 65 gallon im spending $1500 to get it started. Thats what everything to get it started though... I really had no idea how expensive it was going to be, but I knew I'd be spending a lot of money. If you're willing to do the same then go SALT. I can't wait!

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Old 01-31-2006, 06:44 PM   #3
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Indeed with this you only get out of is as much as you put in. It can be boring and not very technical if thats all you want or it can seem like it requires a chemistry and water dynamics degree.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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The saltwater book everyone seems to recommend is:

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner

You will probably have to order it online or get at the library since I had no luck finding it in stores.

One thing to keep in mind is Saltwater is very expensive!!!!!! Everyone tells you this but you don't really realize how expensive it really is till you get started. I recently started a saltwater tank and while I enjoy it I still enjoy my freshwater tanks much better. I think if I had more $$$$ at my disposal I could enjoy the saltwater tank even more. Also the saltwater tank is very "sensitive" and it's taking me awhile to get the hang of things. The fish are also very sensitive and more costly. I honestly now wish I just made my new tank another freshwater tank....there are still so many freshwater fish I have yet to try. But I refuse to give up now when I have already invested so much money in live rock and what not..... However I know lots of people who go saltwater and never go back so to speak....

Just some things to consider......
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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ok.. i know it is EXPENSIVE but i am willing to put the $$$ into ... thats what i meant to say.. i don't want to hear "it depends on what you want to spend.." LOL.. thats what everyone says.

I just want to get input on if it would really be worth my while to go saltwater? Im really eager to learn more about the hobby and i would like to turn my 55 into a decent planted tank and do a bigger SW tank.
If i start wiht just a FOWLR can i add corals later? I really want a reef tank .. i want it all. lol.

Fishfreek.. i love chemestry and microbiology ... although my major is nursing i am very tempted to get my masters in microbiology becuase i love it so much. I have SOOO Much to learn and really the only way to cement it is to delv into the hobby big time so i want to go all the way and do it right the first time.. i know i am bound to make tons of mistakes but i know it will be worth it to have the final outcome.

thanks everyone for all your tips.. im gonna look on amazon.com for that book.
Old 01-31-2006, 08:07 PM   #6
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just wanted to add to give yall an idea.. i want to save up at least 5000 to get started.. that will of course include the tank and all. So far ive got about 1500 put away so its gonna be a while. That'll barely cover the new tank!!! But i want this to be AMAZING.. i want people to walk in and go "wow". ... if it was just gonna be anotehr freshwater i could go ahead and get it now.. lol. But it is going to be my graduation gift to myself.
Talloulou.. what size tank are you starting with?
Old 01-31-2006, 08:17 PM   #7
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My tank is 29 gallon 8O Perhaps part of my problem? It's actually not going bad it's just I'm used to really stocking my freshwater tanks and the saltwater tank always looks so empty to me. I do have tons of live rock. When I get an itch to put more stuff in I buy hermit crabs and snails. The live rock was alot of fun. I don't have lights that would suit most coral. I do have mushrooms that are quite cool and spreading around the tank. I have already killed a linkia star and a scooter blenny. Also my feather dusters seem to last a few weeks and then blow their heads. So I'm still working on getting things right and the tank has a real empty feel. When I get more money I will get better lights and then try to add more cool stuff. I have a clownfish that has been with me since the beginning and that is doing well. My cleaner shrimp is doing great. I recently added 4 pajama cardinal fish and one disappeared completely. Its not in the filter, not on the floor. Just gone. The other three are doing great but the biggest thing is the tank looks empty to me and I think I'm stocked as far as fish go.

I would definitely try to start with enough money to get better lights and the biggest tank I could get my hands on if I had to do it all again.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:43 PM   #8
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If I may make a suggestion, Ashley.

Take the time you have to scour locally for a used tank. LOTS of people out there looking for someone to take their tank and all the stuff that comes with it, off their hands. This is what I did, and saved hundreds of dollars in the process. Even in the little rinky dink town I live in, within a 40 minute drive I could have had numerous 125 gallon, 90 gallon, 100 gallon, etc. tanks w/ equipment, for less than $100 a piece. Definitley worth looking. Who knows, that 80 gallon bowfront may be on someone's junk list. 8)

You can also find Fenner's book on Half.com for $23.99 right now. A lil better than $39.99 it is on Amazon.

If you start with FOWLR, yes, you can add corals later. Just depends on lighting. You will get the corals to suit your lighting. So research what kinds you like first, and then decides on how many WPG you need, etc.

Best of luck. Congrats on the RN.

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Old 01-31-2006, 09:44 PM   #9
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well turtles that is a good deal but i want something new and sparkly if you know what i mean. I got my 55 for free and used but..... im very specific, i want a new design an NICE tank. ANd if someone is giving something away its usually an older model. Don't get me wrong..i ALWAYS keep my eyes peeled for tanks.. lol.
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