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IS it hard setting up a salt water fish tank
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PostPosted: 2003.05.11(Sun)5:16    Post subject: IS it hard setting up a salt water fish tank Reply with quote

hi I have a 3ft fish tank and my fish are african cichilids it is very easy keeping it clean .I was wondering if I wanted to get a salt water vfish tank what routines would I have to be doing

I have no idea about salt water fish tanks!

thank you for your help
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)0:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrape the glass weekly or you can't see your fish. Dosing, preping salt water, filtering tap water, Checking water parameters.

If you want easy don't get a salt tank.
Don't buy the fish before you know the fish.
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PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)13:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have w 30 gallon tanks and they are really easy to keep clean. it depends on how big you want to go if you want to go 50 gallon or bigger things start getting more complicated you would have to spen about 200 or 300 more too. I have my 2 30 gallon and all I do is a monthly water change in both at the first of the month and I've been set up sence christmas scraped my sides of the one tank once!!! that guy doesn't know what he is talking about and doesn't have good enough filtration my guess, people in here got me all worried about the nitrate and nitrite don't even listin all you really need is a once a month water change and don't go buying fish all the time that will make your nitrates go up a lot just buy a couple damsels for like 2 months then get a nother fish its simple not hard its way easier then fresh water. frewsh water smells too, salt water doesn't stink at all. yeah all you need is 300. 500 dollars depends on how much detail you want in the tank its so much easier then fresh water
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The Old Salt

Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)14:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tyler is right about one thing; we saltwater guys like to keep it a secret, but saltwater really is easier than freshwater in a lot of ways:

-- the ocean is about the same worldwide, so there's no hassles with water preferences between species

-- there are only a small handful of diseases to contend with, and they're easy to cure

-- skimmers and other specialized equipment make life a lot easier

Ah, but there's a catch. You have to set everything up correctly and maintain everything correctly. There is much less room for error, and you can't get away with cutting too many corners.

I like to compare freshwater & saltwater to softball & baseball. Basically the same with just a few small, yet fundamental differences.
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)16:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have experience with both FW and SW, and I would have to say that SW is definately more difficult. With my freshwater, I could pretty much do anything I wanted, and the fish were practically indestructable. You could slack off on maintenance, and everything seemed to still be fine.

SW is not so difficult in terms of maintenance or set up, anyone can do it. It definately doesn't take a genius, but gathering information so that you do it right was the most time consuming. Once you get the basics down, its a piece of cake. Well maybe not a piece of cake, it does take time and care, but not as difficult as it may seem. My advice before you start, is to read all you can, and get several opinions. There is definately more than one way to do it right, you just have to find the way that suits you. There is a lot of research to be done in terms of what equipment you need to get, which fish are compatible with which, and what you should be keeping and what you should not, but I think the research and time is part of the fun. It is a hobby after all.

In terms of regular maintenance, you'll be doing a little glass scraping, weekly cleaning out of equipment, daily additions of topoff water, regular feedings, some testing of water paramenters, and monthly or so water changes. Depending on what time of things you decide to put in your tank, maybe some target feeding once a week or so. I may have missed some stuff...but I'm sure others can chime in.

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New Members

Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.11(Wed)23:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

listen to helen. I work at a LFS and I say exactly what helen told you on a daily basis. It all comes down to the more you know before you start the better luck you'll have, and the more you talk to people and the more you read, the more you know, and so forth. Tylere is correct to a point. If you have a fundamental understanding of what to expect and what's going on in your tank, it really is pretty hassle-free. Trying to jump in without that knowledge is an invitation for disaster. My advice? Live rock, live sand, protien skimmer, and powerheads. Get hermit crabs and snails, don't overfeed, and don't overstock. Do not under any circumstances(and I cannot stress this enough) buy anything on a whim. Know what you are getting into with anything you buy. In fact my aproach is to know exactly what I want to have as far as livestock before I even set the tank up. This might seem a little too fundamentalist for some people, but it works for me. If you do some research you might dig up the name Lee Eng. (I think his first name was lee) He was the first guy that really knew what was up with keeping stuff alive in a saltwater tank. At the time, he wasn't given much credit, but his method later became known as the Berlin style, and later still, the modified Berlin style with the availability of live sand. (See my advice for a basic modified Berlin system)
That's probably more than you really wanted to know, but use it as you see fit. Good luck anyhow!
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The Old Salt

Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.06.12(Thu)21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh....not quite.

Lee Chen Eng did not invent the Berlin Style. There was scarcely any such thing as a skimmer back then, and even if there was, he barely had enough reliable electricity to run one.

He invented something close to what we now call the Natural method. Actually, we call it the Eng method.

Mr. Eng was indeed one of the first pioneers who was truly successful at home marine tank keeping, and his methods were extraordinarily low-tech. Live rock, sand beds, natural sunlight, and daily water changes were the key to his success. All he had for circulation was an airstone in the corner.

His tanks were mostly outdoors, and I should point out that Mr. Eng lived on the beach, which made his daily water changing cheap & easy.

After he started seeing some real success, others started studying the factors behind that success. The rest is history, and now it's a lot easier to get the benefits of his methods without having to go to so much trouble.
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.16(Mon)7:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

With saltwater I do agree on research it can save you a lot of money in the long run. At first it may seem overwhelming but its not so bad once you get the hang of it. The biggest mistake people make with saltwater is they think they can just throw it together but it takes patience and time. A rushed tank never makes it, a tank that takes time to put together can be awesome and well worth the effort. Also if done right it can be fairly easy to take care of.

You said about the size of the tank a general rule the bigger the tank the better. It allows for more errors than a tiny tank. For tanks 55 - 75 gallons are probably the most popular for sw to start. Anything 20 and under is considered a nano. The tanks in between 25 - 50 can be decent starters.

For routine water changes it actually can vary from tank to tank. Every tank is different and need someting another doesn't. Theres 3 ways most people do water changes once a week (which I do), once every 2 weeks, or once a month. You just have to figure out which one works best for your tank. For people that do it monthly they do about 25% at a time but you should NEVER go over that. If you choose one of the other 2 you can do around 5-10% at a time. You should premix all change water.

There are some things you should test for but its the same as fresh water ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, alkalinity, you need the saltwater kits though because the ranges are different. The major differences are calcium and salinity where you don't have them in fresh water. Ammonia and nitrites are mainly watched during the cycle once the tanks established it should remain 0 unless someting drastic happens. Regular water changes help maintain your parameters as far as nitrates, pH, and alkalinity. Helenjc coverd some good stuff also. Also agree with Old salt don't cut corners.

For example I do this once a week water change , clean my skimmer, and wash the salt creep off the hood. Also test pH, alk, salt, and calcium. Add any additives needed.

Once every 2 weeks I check my ammonia, nitrite (just for reasurance), scrape my glass (mostly coraline) which is a good sign

At least once a month change my carbon, trim my halmedia plant (not everybody has). And at 6 mths its a good idea to change your bulbs. Thats my routine anyway. Tanks been set up for 2 years

Actually the smaller the tank the more complicated they get not bigger the tank. Your tank has been set up since christmas. Its about 6 months old then your tank is just starting to mature it takes 6mths to a year to consider a tank mature. I do have to disagree with you that guy does know what he is talking about and he has some very good points. You mention nitrites and nitrates. Nitrites are actually the toxic part of the nitrogen cycle and can kill everything in your tank probably more toxic then the ammonia. Nitrates are the non toxic nitrogen. Fish have been known to survive and be healthy in high nitrates yes but it has a detrimental effect on corals and inverts over time. Just don't go out and buy any fish do the research even with damsels. You would be better off getting the fish you want in the first place. Why spend money for someting you don't want, also why put more stress on a fish than you have to. Have you ever smelled a tank cycling with uncured lr ya it stinks pretty bad. As far as what you spend depends on what you want in your tank and what equipment you want for it. Also on how you set it up.

As far as
don't go buying fish all the time that will make your nitrates go up a lot
Yes overstocking will cause nitrates but the reason you don't overstock is because there is less oxygen in saltwater. That is why it cannot support the same amount of fish as a fresh water tank can support. I know I've disagreed with about everything you said but if you have the time check it out.

Heres some good beginner sites

creating understanding and maintaining a marine aquarium

reef keeping 101

live rock faq

sand bed faq

starting marines
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