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Old 01-17-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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New with lots to learn


During the 90's I lived on the island of Kwajalein (thus the email name) in the Marshall Islands where I had a 70 gallon salt water tank with live rock and bio filters that I built myself. It was really easy to do there mainly because the toilets used salt water and with a little plumbing I was able to do a partial water changes whenever I needed to with no hassles. I caught all my own fish and really enjoyed the hobby. Flame angels were particularly hard to catch, but worth the challenge. We moved to Georgia 9 years ago and last week my wife surprised me on my birthday with a 70 gallon reef aquarium all set up and running with live rock. She had it done by a local marine store. I'm excited to get back into this hobby, although catching the fish was a big part of the fun for me and my kids. I've got a lot to learn now that I'm land locked and I'm a little aprehensive. I'm sure I'll need a lot of advice.

Here is what is currently sitting in my living room up and running (minus fish):
Perfecto 70 gallon corner aquarium
Hagen T5 HO w bulb lighting system (2-24" and 2-36") Marine-glo and Power-glo bulbs and reflectors.
Custom wet/dry filter
supreme Mag 7 pump
Marineland 100 protein skimmer
Sera 200w heater
Caribsea Aragalive Fiji Pink sand substrate
15 lbs of live rock.

I'm going to make my first trip to the store today.

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Old 01-17-2009, 12:05 PM   #2
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Wow, plumbed saltwater, that's pretty sweet!

Welcome to AA!

What are your plans for the tank this time around? Fish only and rock, corals, full blown reef?

In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA. That`s quite a story.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA!
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone,

I'm planning on having fish and soft corals but not taking on the challenge of hard corals and clams, calcium and HA lighting. Right now I'm thinking a flame angel, lemon peel, a clown fish and a host Anemone, a wrass or two and maybe a blenny and a few other soft corals. That should take me few months to get settled.

I've found a few people with live rock in my area on craigs list for $2.50lb and I'm going to take a look. I've also seen Fiji live rock a little over $3lb shipped at this link:
Fiji Live Rock 50 lbs Premium Grade Walt Smith (Cured!)

Is this a "too good to be true" thing?

At this point all I've got is water substrate and 15lbs or live rock and I figure I need at least another 50lbs, maybe more. Then two more weeks and I can start adding things.

This is going to be fun.

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Old 01-17-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
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Wow.. very very kewl. I would love to sit down over a few beers and talk about your past experience! If the economy hadn't ruined my retirement plans I'd be on an island trying to make a go of it in the relative near future.

Look forward to hearing (and seeing) more!

BTW: If you haven't already figured it out, the wife is a keeper !!!
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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I knew that the year she asked for a power washer for her birthday.

I'll let you know how things are going and when I inevitably screw something up.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
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Welcome to AA! Do you have any pictures of the old and the new setups?
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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A HUGE welcome to you Kwajatrader....how extraordinary to find someone that actually lived where I did as a girl...I trust the lagoon and reef were as fascinating and wonderful as they were in the late 50's...oops....really dating myself now...

Good luck on your tank...just started a 75 myself and there are lots of tips and great articles here for the reading...


I wish I could walk my fish ....
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #10
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I've been gone for almost 10 years but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss it. The lagoon and reef were beautiful and the lifestyle was great. Our best friends that we spend Thanksgiving with almost every year were also from Kwaj. My kids were snorkeling at 4 yrs old and helping me pick out new fish for my aquarium.

It was great.

Yesterday I bought 168lbs of live rock from a person on Craigslist and added it to the 15lbs that I already had. It came straight out of a healthy tank and had a half dozen or so small polyps of several species of soft coral. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know which types they are although he called at least one a "mushroom". He also gave me a hermit crab to help kick things off. Hopefully I haven't honked things up by moving too quickly. I need to pick up a test kit today to see if If things are still okay.

Sorry for the long winded post

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