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Thread: Saltwater Intimidating ?
10-04-2012, 06:15 AM #1
Saltwater Intimidating ?
When first getting into the hobby freshwater always seems like the stepping stone to salt water am i right or wrong on that ? Some take that bold leap and just skip freshwater and eventually the serious or dedicated hobbyist eventually do a split or completely convert. When that jump or convert happens they swear salt water is so simple but to people like me who haven't yet feel intimidating. Do people like me have the right to be intimidated by salt water? Just want to start a convo on this topic to get peoples opinions so feel free to say something. Me myself i feel intimidated by all the extra equipment extra water perams the whole sump thing.110g All Male Peacock/Hap Tank
10-04-2012, 06:30 AM #2
It wasen't that hard when I did the "jump" 26 yrs ago so it should be easier now. My only problem was not sticking to a reputable dealer. I had my 65 gal running with no problems for 10 months untill I could not wait to get a Lemon Peel Angel and bought one from a place I had never delt with before and it brought something into the tank it wiped everything out. None of the medications I tried would help. I lost a three butterfly fish, two dwarf Angel fish, not counting the Lemon Peel and a Blue Tang.
You just have to keep up on your water changes like freshwater and keep an eye on the saltinity level's.
I'm sure thier are more members out there that give you newer and better advice because I havent tried saltwater in the last 24 years. Because of thier colors and personality it's well worth the try.
10-04-2012, 07:00 AM #3
I was very intimidated by saltwater setups for the longest time. thought you needed to be a mad scientist to get it all right. then I dove in and have been running a 55g reef for 4-5 months now. there are ALOT of similarities between running fw/sw. nitrogen cycle is the same, temps are the same, pH, etc. I run my reef with a heater, powerhead, and protein skimmer, thats it (for now).
with fw, the beneficial bacteria live in the biomedia of your filters mostly. in sw, the live rock in the tank houses your coraline so no need for external filters really. but the liverock needs water flowing around it, so powerheads acheive this in sw setups. add on a skimmer to remove dissolved organics and that is basically all the filtration you need to get started.
in saltwater you need to premix your clean water for water changes. RO water works best because it does not contain phosphates (which algae thrives on). premixing requires a bucket, heater, and powerhead. 24 hours in advance is the general rule of thumb for premixing sw. match the temp and salinity as close as possible and you should have perfect wcs. most will only change 10-20% per week whereas I change much more % on my fw tanks.
running a sump is easy. I've ran one on my fw tank for years and will eventually install one on my reef. tons of info out there on setting up a sump. while it is not 100% necessary to run a sump, it is always a great way to help keep things stable and add extra filtration/water volume to the setup.
initial startup costs are usually the biggest setback of sw. a seperate quarantine tank is a must. lighting can be as simple as a dual T5 for simple soft and lps corals or you can get into LEDs and dimmers, metal halides, etc. other equipment such as reactors are not necessary until you keep sps, clams, other calcium dependant creatures.
I guess in a nutshell, it is not hard to startup a basic sw tank and I've found it to be very rewarding. you can keep it basic or constantly expand after that depending on what you want to keep. the biggest part of keeping the setup running flawlessly is redundancy. have a backup for the backup! something like a faulty heater can crash the balance of the tank very quickly.
Cliff's stickies in the saltwater subforums really helped me understand how to do things properly and saved me alot of headache. with all the info on the net these days you can really learn alot in a short period of time.
hope my little rant helped!
Last edited by Crispy; 10-04-2012 at 07:03 AM.your friendly neighbourhood arowanaman!
10-04-2012, 08:56 PM #4Member Swordtails
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
- Philadelphia Suburbs
Don't be intimidated, but absolutely do your homework before jumping in. I read about half a dozen books and a ton of posts before diving in, and it went fine. Get good equipment (especially the skimmer). Use RO/DI. Absolutely use a sump. I would also recomend starting with FOWLR, then once you're comfortable, and if you're inclined, step up to a reef.
There are ways you can cut costs, but anyway you slice it, SW is going to cost more to set up and maintain than FW. And there are a few more things you need to know and test for.
That said, I absolutely loved my reef. As soon as I get done paying for my kids education, I'll be moving back to one. Just bigger.
10-04-2012, 10:04 PM #5
Lol Blak, you have a right to be intimidated by whatever you choose to be intimidated by. I have done quite a bit of research into saltwater and it doesn't seem all that difficult to be honest, and my friends who are experienced in SW tell me the same. Research is the key! <---this is where I currently am in my SW adventure. Do a lot of reading and talk to as many people who will give you answers to your questions, then read some more. Eventually it will all click into place and you wont be intimidated anymore.When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.
I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me
10-05-2012, 05:11 AM #6
I totally understand your trepidation, but I think a lot of the hurdle is for me I am a visual person. I can read a ton of info on a piece of equipment and talk to people till I am blue in the gills, but until I get that equipment in my hands I just won't completely understand it. With freshwater I was able to talk to people a little and then run out and buy some equipment. Then I went home a tinkered with it without any fish till it made sense. This made understanding super simple.
With SW tho buying a 55g wet/dry filter or a $300 skimmer isn't just as simple as "heck I'm gonna go do it today" usually. So it becomes a lot more of a monetary commitment to really grasp what I am getting into. I think once I can actually do that and get them home and set up tho it will all make perfect sense and I won't remember what was so scary about it.
We are buying our first tank for a salt setup tomorrow. Just went and looked at it and pulled the trigger today. 120g, and the filter that is on it is just a fluval 405, so I'm moving the fluval over to my new 55g freshwater, and going to go ahead and buy a skimmer and a 40g tank to use as a refugium. Is it a little nerve wracking? Sure. But after tomorrow night I will have a good idea what I am doing.
10-05-2012, 10:00 AM #7
IME, marine aquariums are no harder to keep or learn about than any other type of aquarium set-up. You just have to research before setting up the tank, just as with any other type of set-up
As we are talking about a saltwater topic here, I have moved your thread to the correct section of the forumIf you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]