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Saltwater Aquarium/Marine tank/Reef Tank/etc etc

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Alicia, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    So, my boyfriend has decided to start up a salt water aquarium and I've decided to help him on this crazy adventure. Learning is fun!

    Tons and tons of research and reading and video's basically lead us to believe that each tank experience is different and that it's almost a trial and error of what works for you for what you want.

    Does anybody here have any experience with Saltwater tanks that wouldn't mind me occasionally picking their brain?
     
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  2. Xantheis

    Xantheis Member JFF Member

    Points:
    0
    None of my experience would be helpful I'm afraid. I love a good salt water tank but, it's been years (25ish) since we had one... i was a kid so, not a lot of setup experience.

    THat said, keep us posted, I'd be interested in hearing how it goes
     
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  3. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    Thanks anyways Xan :) I'm probably going to post pictures as things progress here. Just cause.
     
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  4. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    View attachment 376 The beginning. 75 Gallon tank. Dog Tax included(Pitbull in his bed in the background.)
     
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  5. Icenfyre

    Icenfyre ArcheAge Guild Master JFF Member

    Points:
    0
    Gratz!

    If you were setting up a Discus tank or community freshwater, I could help, but saltwater is something I never got into...

    Are you sure you wouldn't like to go BB and get a half dozen discus? :cool:
     
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  6. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    I've actually been trying to talk him out of salt water but he's all in at this point. I really wanted Discus too :D I have at least a bit of experience with Freshwater tanks. And Discus are so cool! He wants a lion fish though. He's building the whole thing around wanting at least one lion fish. Which really limits what other fish you can have as the lion's eat whatever fits in their gob haha so...we'll see what ends up in there, fish-wise.
     
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  7. complexmath

    complexmath JFF Administrator Staff Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    7
    Lionfish? Man he isn't kidding around. Those things are expensive and, from what little I know, tricky to keep alive.

    The one person I know who's super into saltwater basically has her tank set up as an aqua-garden that just happens to also have fish in it. As I'm sure you know, with any tank, fresh or saltwater, you want things set up in a way that they're self-sustaining. Plants or something to consume spare CO2 to prevent algae from growing, and some bottom feeders to take care of the gunk. In my experience, getting this right is /really/ tricky, but if you don't then you're changing the water and cleaning the tank by hand constantly, which is literally the worst job in the world.

    Good luck with your adventure! I'm really interested to see how this goes.
     
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  8. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    All I do is try to talk him out of it but he's gung-ho. He's just like that. Gets an idea in his head and just does it. He's doing a ton of research daily on it. It's a "hobby" now. Has almost everything needed for it minus an RO/DI unit and decorations. The RO/DI is for the cycling of the tank, like you mentioned.

    And yeah, I know what you mean about the aqua garden. Live coral is it's own entity, have their own requirements, and actually can cost more than fish lol so your friend must be rich and/or not have kids haha
     
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  9. Icenfyre

    Icenfyre ArcheAge Guild Master JFF Member

    Points:
    0
    Well, if he's gung ho on lionfish, tell him that h needs to get "locally" harvested fish, and not "native habitat" fish. They're an invasive species in the gulf and are killing off local fish, so that'w where you want them from. Help rid us of some unwanted pests... lol

    Also, make sure your local ER can handle their toxins. Even a small prick can be horribly debilitating.

    If you change your mind, I have a bunch of discus info for you. They're not difficult, but time consuming.

    (P.S.... Lionfish make great filets!)
     
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  10. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    View attachment 377

    ""Tank update #2. Featured here we've installed two circulation/wave pumps, the water heater, the tank over-flow, and a small thermometer. Also some of the other goodies: an extra heater, substrate cleaner, salt water master testing kit, and nitrifying bacteria. Got the sand, too, but didn't want to place 60lbs. worth of sand bags onto the glass for a picture.

    Not loving all the visible cordage that can be seen in the back of the tank. Until I put it all together I didn't realize how many electrical devices were gonna go into this thing. Considering a black background to help hide it all. A tank "wall paper" of sorts. If the paper looks tacky I'll have to consider other options.

    Hoping to share some decorative rocks and my water making station in the next update!""
     
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  11. complexmath

    complexmath JFF Administrator Staff Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    7
    Cord management isn't too hard. Get some of that spiral cord wrapping and make one tight bundle, run it down one edge maybe with suction cups with hooks on the to keep it in place. Pretend you're building an uber-computer :)
     
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  12. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    The cord issue is all my b/f. He hates cords and doesn't want any showing anywhere ever in his house. I'm leaving it up to him how he's going to hide them completely lol I'm so not getting involved in that conversation. He doesn't even want the one single bundle of cord to show anywhere. Haha
     
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  13. SlipWraith

    SlipWraith Member JFF Member

    Points:
    25
    Cycling the tank before you put fish in is key. Get quality sand and maybe a small feature in inside and make sure the salinity is correct then let it run for several weeks. Then slowly start introducing fish.

    Realize that Lion fish will eat most other fish...

    If you are going with live coral eventually you will need a full spectrum lighting system.

    Good Luck, if I would leave you with one word of advice especially if you don't have experience keeping an aquarium, go freshwater and go with hearty fish that are harder to kill like tetras...
     
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  14. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    So kinda forgot to update this thread as we went along. But, basically, four months later and some serious progress has been made. First, the rocks were arranged and placed. 12814080_10205738488716713_3115235103027517639_n.jpg


    Then we added the sand. Turns out "live sand" still has the water in it and it smells like the beach. And also pewp.
    9157_10205738489196725_8051698587298258227_n.jpg

    There was a slight accident where a game of LOL went longer than expected and the water jugs were forgotten about, leading to quite the massive spill. This was remedied by putting the jugs in a giant plastic bin to catch overfill next time.
    12794375_10205668441005564_4308964136296475523_n.jpg


    And finally, this weekend the first fish were placed.
    12042715_10205857754818291_7758767256829203527_n.jpg



    They survived the night so they were named. Jean and Logan, for the Marvel romance that everyone really wanted. Apparently these guys are so young that they are, in fact, guys. But with just two of them in there, one will turn female as they get a bit older. Fascinating.
    1909700_10205857754658287_6607789347536610100_n.jpg

    Thanks for reading! And thanks for the tips early on :D
     
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  15. Trekkan

    Trekkan JFF Administrator Staff Member

    Points:
    1,272
    Very cool Lisha! And we all know how those gaming sessions can happen. =)
     
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  16. Rawrr

    Rawrr Active Member JFF Member

    Points:
    125
    Awh cute little Clown fish!

    I've seen a wild Lion fish while scuba diving before, it didn't look very small and they're poisonous aren't they? xD

    Awesome thread though, keep up with photo updates :D

    Bannerfish are awesome btw ;]
     
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  17. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    They are venomous, indeed. And he wants one lol they have a huge wild caught one here in a store but it would literally eat everything else in the tanks so...that's not going to happen. They do come in much smaller varieties so that's a possibility. But for now, just these little guys to start :) Also, bannerfish are awesome as they're not as mean as the fish they look like haha but I haven't actually seen one in the stores here yet so...maybe an online purchase at some point.
     
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  18. Deuce

    Deuce Member JFF Member

    Points:
    35
    If you have a saltwater you can get sharks.
     
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  19. Alicia

    Alicia Well-Known Member JFF Member JFF Supporter

    Points:
    109
    With a much bigger saltwater tank, that's true! This one is only 75 gal and I think the smallest sharks require double that o.o
     
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