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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Saltwater Fish

I know this is a cat forum, but I also know quite a few members here have fish. Since I donít belong to a fish forum, I figured Iíd post this here. Iím not looking for advice per se, just any experiences people might have.

I used to own a house with a large pond in the backyard, and I kept various pond fish, primarily shubunkins. Since moving a few years back, I have missed my fish. So, I recently got a small freshwater aquarium. Iím very much enjoying my little fish, as are the girls! Iíve learned a lot, although I had a bit of a start from my knowledge of the pond (water quality, etc.), and my brother has a lot of experience with freshwater aquariums, so heís been helping me.

All that said, every time I go into the fish store, I canít help but wander over to the marine side and marvel at the saltwater fish Ė the tangs, the clownfish and many others. They are just soooo beautiful. Anyway, to cut to the chase, and in case you havenít already guessed, Iím very seriously considering getting a saltwater tank. Does anyone here have saltwater fish? If so, Iíd love to hear about your experiences.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Susan View Post
...Does anyone here have saltwater fish? If so, Iíd love to hear about your experiences.
Not any more and likely not in the future. They're beautiful, but a LOT of work.

AC
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 08:55 PM
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A lot of work! You're supposed to do water changes every other day or so, rather than just once a week. Test the water EVERY day to make sure all levels are safe. Marine fish are VERY sensitive!
Also, you need a huge tank and still can only keep maybe half a dozen fish. Those things are used to the ocean, then get snatched from home and stuffed in a little box... I know they're "just fish", but I figure they have SOME way of knowing the difference of such a change in space.

It's also very expensive, for the initial purchase of equipment, and the upkeep. They need better lights, filtration, and then the continuous buying of salt and stabilizing chemicals. The water is not supposed to be just tap water with conditioner, I always got told you should get a stand-alone filter system like Reverse Osmosis or Deionizer, or something like that.

I love the look of saltwater fish and tanks. Even considered getting a nano-tank (figured it might be a little less work). But finally decided that overall, I'm still too poor and/or lazy to really get into it and do it properly.

So if you like the challenge, go for it. If you just want it cuz it's pretty, I say just keep going to look at the pet shop and let THEM do all the work LOL
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:18 AM
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Marine tanks are hideously complicated and very time consuming. There's a fabulous marine tank in the foyer of my work, which is used for research and teaching. It looks incredible, but considering it has live corals, and some seriously nice anemones (with clown fish!) it's obviously taken a long time.

Unless you have plenty of money, plenty of time and a 5+year attention span, I wouldn't recommend it. If you have all that, then go for it, but we want to see pics when it's thriving.

When I get home I'll stick a couple of decent links up which explains what you need to do.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. SoÖcost, time and hideously complicated...well, you guys are really inspiring me!

The cost part I was aware of and, although I spent many days counting pennies when I was younger, Iím now fortunate enough to be at a point in my life where cost is not a concern. That also solves the complicated part and the time issues somewhat, since if I decide to proceed with this, I would have the tank and equipment professionally installed. I would also have it professionally maintained for the first few months, until such time as I felt comfortable doing things myself.

As for the work/time aspect, Iíd be interested in hearing more about that. On average, the pond used to take me about a half hour to an hour each day, plus 3-4 hours on the weekend. Iíve been doing a lot of reading, which suggests a saltwater tank might require about the same amount of time. If so, thatís fine, since I would view this as a hobbyÖbut if weíre talking a lot more time than that, I might have to think twice.

Thanks in advance for the links, Hugh. Iím currently working with a company that installs aquariums made by a company called Living Color Aquariums. They make synthetic coral reefs that are extremely realistic, not the gawdy plastic things you see in stores. That will help to reduce some of the complexity and the work, although if I want, I can also add some live coral to the mix over time. Now, when I say ďworking withĒ, I mean Iíve had a few phone calls with the company and Iíve checked out Living Colorís website (which is absolutely incredible!). I donít want to go too much further with the company until I know Iím going to proceed, so I will check out your links once you have a chance to post them, since Iím definitely at the research stage right now.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:54 AM
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Sorry if I seemed like I was trying to put you off. I just know people who have tried marine tanks and gone through massive cost and killed a lot of fish because they could look after a couple of guppies. I also assumed you were talking marine tropical rather than coldwater.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry if I seemed like I was trying to put you off. I just know people who have tried marine tanks and gone through massive cost and killed a lot of fish because they could look after a couple of guppies. I also assumed you were talking marine tropical rather than coldwater.
No apologies necessary, and I didn't think you were trying to put me off. In fact, quite the opposite! I thought you were being very helpful. I also fully agree with your comment about killing fish because one is able to look after a couple of guppies, which is why I won't make a final decision until I'm convinced I can do this and why, even then, I would involve professionals until such time as I'm sure I know what I'm doing.

BTW, I am talking about marine tropical. Why did you think coldwater?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 11:51 AM
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Suddenly had an image of a huge marine tank with couple of dozen tuna in it
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 01:45 PM
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I didn't mean to put you off either. As I said, if you're up to the challenge, go for it. I would think an hour every day and a couple every week sounds about right (not that I've actually done it...but just testing my freshwater stuff took a good 20 minutes, and small water changes another 15 minutes for a 60 gallon tank).
I would love to be able to afford somebody to come do the stuff for me... but the cheapest place around here is $65 each visit, and I think they have to visit at least once a week... and then of course, I'd have to do little stuff every day myself, like feeding (some fish need LIVE food...which doesn't gross me out, I think it would be pretty fun!)

All this being said, they may be expensive/work, but certainly worth it! Not that freshwater tanks can't be pretty, but for some reason marines always seem fascinatingly beautiful!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hugh: LOL...no tuna planned for the tank! Clown fish and anemones are definitely more like what I had in mind.

Vivid Dawn: You didn't put me off either, at least not until you mentioned feeding LIVE food...ick! I shall have to stick with fish that will be happy with flakes or frozen. Either that or get over my squeamishness.

I shall continue my research and keep you posted.
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