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Old 08-01-2004, 08:45 PM   #1
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Interested

Hi, I am realyl interested in getting a SW tank. IT started out as me gettinga fish for my moms birthday and after doing resaearch and looking at stuff im really interested

I have some pretty basic questions I guess....

Should I start out w/ SW tank, or freshwater (I heard fw is easier).

Im thinking of buying a house next summer (I live w/ my parents right now) and i cant get a huge aquarium, so if I decided to get one, should I get something small (40g?) or just wait and save till i get my house and buy what I realyl want (100+ gallon?)

Well, thats all for now. Ill probually have more questions if i decide to get one.

-Al
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Old 08-01-2004, 08:52 PM   #2
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hi al researching can take a year if i was you i would wait if want saltwater is much easier to keep stable water with more volume.you can poor a year into research and planning start getting the little things slowly that are not a pain to move but can add up part of the fun is in the planning anyway you can change your mind many times without wasting a dime...if i was you i would hang around here ask bunches of questions read as much as you can start a wish list or a hundred and know that good things come to those that wait...that is just my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:15 PM   #3
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IMO you should start out with the largest tank you can afford and have space for. 55 gal is a good starter size but if you need to you could go with a 40 or 45.

I would also suggest a few books to use as reference. This site is great and the web in general is great for learning but IMO nothing beats a few good books. In our saltwater library you will find the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner. This is what I consiter one of the books that should be in everyones home libarary.

If you have not kept an aquarium before it wont mater if you go direct to salt or if you start with fresh and migrate to salt later on. Be aware that saltwater tanks are somewhat expensive not only to setup but also to operate. I only bring this up as I hate to see folks having to give up on saltwater due to the expenses that they was not prepaired for.

What kind of saltwater tank interests you the most? A fish only setup? Or a reef setup?
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:44 PM   #4
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well i love the live reefs and plants, but they are a little expenive for me right now. But what I owuld like to do is when I get my house (I say that bc I dont want ot buy now and have to move lol) Id love to set it up with some live plants/reefs and some fish.

This is like the tank I would love ot have one day

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...sort=1&cat=542
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:36 AM   #5
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Other books of interest then would be Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman
and Reef Invertebrates by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner.

Most of the life on the reef is acutally an animal vs a plant. You could say the only thing close to a plan on the reef is algae.

Holding off till you move into your house is a good idea as it will not only aid in that you wont have to move the setup you will have time to focus on planning the size of setup and how you want it setup as well as the equipoment list.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:48 AM   #6
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Zidion,
one thing to consider...u can always start with a smaller tank now, and when you move, that tank becomes your sump for the larger, permanent tank.

By doin that, you could start learning hands-on now, and you'd have a good portion of live rock to move to the 100+ tank in a year.
Just a thought.

Also, you keep saying 'plants/reef' but I think the plants you're speaking of are corals. marine plants are mostly macro algae (like kelp, seaweed, etc)
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:11 PM   #7
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A year is a pretty long time. I think you could do worse than start with FW right now. It's a good inexpensive way to learn the basics and at the same time get practical experience. By the time you get your house you will feel a lot more confident about taking the plunge into SW.
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:47 PM   #8
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yea, i meant coral.


so waht if i got a small tank, and like some small things of coral so that I could grow them for my bigger one, and maybe just like a fish or 2 in it. does taht work?
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Old 08-02-2004, 05:42 PM   #9
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unfortunately you need a fairly stable tank for corals...people are telling me to wait about 6 months before messign with corals.

I kind of like atari's idea, of going freshwater first. basically it's cheaper and will teach you a LOT about fishkeeping. none of the 20gallon SW equip would really work on a 100+ gallon tank..so you'd spend a couple hundred on a 20gallon, and then a small fortune again in a year.
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Old 08-02-2004, 06:50 PM   #10
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Hmmm

yea, FW does make more sence, but then im kinda losting money out on it, and if I get a big aquarium, im still stiuck with the small one.
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:53 PM   #11
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If you got a 20-30 gallon, you could use it later as the sump (as Malkore said above) or as a quarantine tank. You could use the FW filter on the QT, as well--so you really would be able to recycle most of the stuff. As someone with (some) FW experience going to SW, I can back up what people are saying about getting your feet wet (heh) with FW. It's really helpful to have experience with tank cycles and fish maintenance and behavior and all that stuff. I'm kinda scared as is--if I didn't have any fish practice, I'd be REALLY scared.
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:53 PM   #12
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I went with fw to start with, then switched over to sw after a couple years. It really helps to have some experience with the general behavior of an aquarium as a whole, before diving in to sw (which is hugely more complicated!). Also the set-up is much cheaper, the chemistry is less complicated, maintenance is less (do not underestimate how easy it is for a noobie to get burned out on sw maintenance, as they didn't; have an understanding of the level of maintnece a fw tank takes) the fish are somewhat hardier (no offence to any fw fanatics!) and in the worse case, a total tank wipe out might set you back 50-60 bucks for a large tank of tetras.... You might lose the same amount of money with the death of a single sw fish!
Having said all that, if you are determined to do the reseach and put the time and effort into it you can make sw work!
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:09 PM   #13
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Actually SW is as easy if you get good advice from the start, buy the right equipment and have patience. Certain fish like damsels, clowns and alot of others make for a colorful display but are also very easy to keep! Stick with the members of AA.com and you will be almost garunteed success!!
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:46 PM   #14
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The main reason I suggested FW first, other than experience, was costs. Even a small SW tank can get surprisingly expensive, and if you're gonna be moving and getting a big tank in a year then I think FW would be more practical right now.

If you've got a few hundred to spend then by all means go for the SW now.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:38 PM   #15
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Ok, if I wanted to small SW, whats a good size? Could I get away with a 20-30gal? or is that just too small?
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Old 08-03-2004, 02:28 PM   #16
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ok ive talked it over w/ my mom and she really likes the SW ones. shes gona do soem reading up on em also, bc she would really like to have one. IF I have any questions (which I know i will ) Ill be back to ask
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