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Old 09-14-2014, 11:59 PM   #1
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Wink Liza's Intro into Aquarium Ownership- A 36 Gal Bow Front FOWLR!

Hi!

I guess this will be my "diary"of sorts. My birthday was on August 3. I told my hubby that I would like to get an aquarium since I've always wanted one. I am a dually- certified teacher who has spent a good chunk of my 15 years of experience teaching Science (I am certified in General sciences Grades 5- 9 and Elementary Ed Grades K- 6; my BA is in Secondary Ed in Biology and my M. Ed is going to be in Special Ed). I have had 2 aquariums in the past; however, (1) they were classroom aquarium setups, and (2) my students did the planning, stocking and maintenance each time. I just watched and enjoyed.... It's time to venture into the world on my own!

At first, we wanted a freshwater tank. My hubby wanted a sorority of bettas and I wanted cory catfish (I think the're fascinating creatures!). My hubby bought me a 36- gallon bow front with its stand. Last week I bought its first deco- a vase. Yesterday, we ventured into a local fish store. I didn't know they specialized in saltwater only.... The owner was the one that greeted us. While my hubby went off to see the fishes and corals, I spoke to Sandy. She said, 'I am going to try to convince you to do a saltwater tank instead." By the time we left, we were convinced that saltwater is the way to go!

So the new plan is a FOWLR tank. We both liked the variety of clown fish that we saw in the store. I am looking forward to setting up and learning about my new tank in the next few weeks. This week, the plan is to buy the live rock, sand and water and put the tank to finally cycle! Sandy said that, in a year, I can get into upgrading my system and growing corals. I think it would be quite awesome to do that!

I am glad I found this forum and I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you and gaining some valuable advice from you as well.... God bless!
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:06 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

And welcome to the salty side too. Its definitely different from fresh but in a way almost as easy. Just gotta keep to maintenance on the tank and it will be a mostly smooth ride.

Good luck, and when those inevitable questions come up feel free to post a thread, there are a TON of great people on this site who really know their stuff.

For the record I have 6 tanks, but I have four salt setups so my true love lies with saltwater. lol
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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Thanks, Carey! I'll definitely be asking for advice when I need it!
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #4
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welcome remember go slow rushing never gets you anywhere fast
read up on cycling and start up of your tank
we have many good write ups in the archive
dont be shy ask questions thats how we learn you as a teacher know that lol
never trust most fish store advise there out to sell
always get a second opinion
you will get the most straight forward answers here as we are not here to sell but to help you succeed
we all were beginners once if your not sure about something ask we want you to have a tank you can be proud of
look forward to follow your build
this was my 37g bowfront before I upgraded
the tank was a 7 months old when these picts were taken and won totm 2013
follow link below
February 2013 Tank of the Month: 54seaweed's 37 Gallon Mixed Reef

and this was the same tank a 7 months earlier



love and dedication and i wont lie a big pocket book lol

best of luck to you
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:05 PM   #5
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54seaweed:

Oh, you have made me laugh, smile, and look forward to my creation, all with your post!

"don't be shy ask questions that's how we learn you as a teacher know that lol
never trust most fish store advise there out to sell
always get a second opinion"

Oh, I am not shy! I ask lots of questions and do my research before I get involved in something. I used to be a judge for the Science Olympiad and did that for 5 years straight. I became an "expert" for "The Wright Stuff"; kids built model airplanes and competed to see which plane would stay flying the longest.

As for the fish stores- I know you are right. I always knew that I want to get my fishies from a reputable breeder/ seller, even if it means paying a bit more for them. I ask for advice when I don't know something and I never settle for the "cheapest" of anything out there. There is a saying in Spanish- "Lo barato sale caro." Translation- what is cheap turns out to be (more) expensive.

Which brings me to the pocket book- LOL! I know that this is going to cost a bit. God blessed us last year with our own truck and company. My hubby is a flatbedder and he brings home lots of loose change. The water bottle jar was going to be for a vacation (a cruise!) but, with me wanting an aquarium and now looking into saltwater and, eventually, a reef, he said it was now my "aquarium fund"! (I still hope we get to go on a cruise once that baby of his is paid off. Don't even get me started on truckers/ owner- operators' expenses!!!)

By the way- what an amazing tank you have! If I accomplish half of what you have going on there, I'll be one proud aquarium momma.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:14 PM   #6
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Welcome, and glad you didn't go for the sorority of bettas! They would have killed each other with merciless ferocity.
I would buy a reef ready tank right off the bat. This simply means it's drilled so you can implement a sump (another remote container of water). It will make life easier down the road. This way, when it's time for corals, which will be much sooner than you think, all you will need to upgrade is lighting.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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Hello Doug!

You said, "I would buy a reef ready tank right off the bat. This simply means it's drilled so you can implement a sump (another remote container of water). It will make life easier down the road. This way, when it's time for corals, which will be much sooner than you think, all you will need to upgrade is lighting." I believe my tank is a reef- ready aquarium. It says it is good for both freshwater and saltwater setups. It is an Aqueon 36- gallon bow front. There are some pre- drilled sections on its top so does this mean it is indeed reef- ready? I can only hope so! If not, the aquarium fund will eventually have to get me another tank- LOL!!!

Sometime this week, I will be purchasing the sand, God willing. I was going to purchase the sand with the rock and the water but something unexpected came up with the truck. Aquarium fund money to the rescue!!!

(I, too, am glad I am not building a freshwater aquarium with the bettas. I continue reading and educating myself on the subject.... Feisty ladies those are!)
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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Talking

A funny anecdote.... My car needed gas. I picked my hubby up from the truck stop and stopped at the gas station on our way home.

"Do you have cash?" he asked.

"Yes. I have the money I pulled out for the 4 bills that I have to take care of this week," I answered. (There is one trucking account which is separate and not linked to the bank business account. Sometimes, when his loads get factored, they use that account to deposit the payment to us. I had just pulled some money for bills from there.)

I gave him $40. He went and paid for $35 of gas. It got filled and I noticed the $35 on the pump. AS SOON AS HE CAME INTO THE CAR, I silently put my hand out and gave him the "pass it up" signal. He was in shock and said that he hoped I hadn't noticed that! "You know me better than that," I said. "Besides- what doesn't go into the bills will go into my AQUARIUM FUND!"

"Woman! This new hobby is costing me some serious money!" I smiled.... If he only knew that it's just the beginning- LOL!
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:02 AM   #9
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sounds like you did your homework , a pict would tell for sure
i wish my 90 had them , i use hob overflows just very bulky hanging off the back
and it makes it harder since the hobs cant be hard plumbed
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:09 AM   #10
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Doug:

You said, "sounds like you did your homework , a pict would tell for sure." I'll take a pic tomorrow for you.

A saltwater setup was NOT the original plan. Therefore, if it's reef ready, it was definitely meant to be!!!
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