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Old 01-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
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Saltwater / Reef Aquariums

Does anyone have experience with them?

I've been looking at getting into the hobby and starting a saltwater aquarium for quite a while, but it seems like a lot of variables.

Figured I'd throw this out there to see if any fellow VNers had any previous experience or expertise.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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I've never had one but several of my friends have and my uncle had one for years. None of them would do it again. Tifwiw.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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My BIL had one for a long time and they are a lot of work. He told me the work was not worth the enjoyment he got out of watching the tank grow.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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They are a lot of work, but can be managed if set up right. My father in law had one for years and had it set up that he only had to do about an hour's worth of maintenance every two weeks. But, he had a very elaborate set up and put a lot of money into it. Bottom line is it will take some work and money to get it up and running, but after that it can be manageable. Also note the fish and other aquarium life are significantly more expensive than freshwater.

That said, I've had several fresh water tanks and they are far easier to manage by comparison.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:25 PM   #5
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All valid points, thanks. Most of the people I've known in my lifetime that have had reef aquariums have given them up eventually for a variety of reasons - downsizing, cost, time, over it, etc.

I've done some pricing, and am well aware of not only the astronomical start-up costs, but also the on-going maintenance. This is mostly the reason I've only researched and not dived in. I've considered a freshwater tank, but that doesn't pique my interest like the marine aquaria do.

I guess that's my biggest hurdle. I don't really know where to start, and I don't want to end up spending money on something I don't need, or in the end, don't really want.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:28 PM   #6
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All valid points, thanks. Most of the people I've known in my lifetime that have had reef aquariums have given them up eventually for a variety of reasons - downsizing, cost, time, over it, etc.

I've done some pricing, and am well aware of not only the astronomical start-up costs, but also the on-going maintenance. This is mostly the reason I've only researched and not dived in. I've considered a freshwater tank, but that doesn't pique my interest like the marine aquaria do.

I guess that's my biggest hurdle. I don't really know where to start, and I don't want to end up spending money on something I don't need, or in the end, don't really want.
My BIL started his tank out small (can't remember the gallon size of the tank) and grew it into a larger tank. I think when he finally got rid of his he was at a 60 gallon tank. He did a lot of trading with a local place to get fish he wanted. But he still spent a fair amount of money get his larger tanks the way he wanted.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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Havent got into salt yet but have been dealing with fresh for several years and love it. Pic of my 125 gallon 6'x2'x2'. fish range from 5" to almost 18"
Attachment 72623
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #8
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There are lots of interesting freshwater fish you do not see at petsmart...
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:15 PM   #9
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Havent got into salt yet but have been dealing with fresh for several years and love it. Pic of my 125 gallon 6'x2'x2'. fish range from 5" to almost 18"
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Very nice!

I bet those fish recognize you?
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:17 PM   #10
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OP if you live near a body of salt water by all means go to the trouble of catching your own pets...
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:30 AM   #11
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@ Keith - yes, I'm aware there are other fish outside of petsmart or petco, or even the local mom & pop shop. I've done extensive research, and I just like the science and allure of corals and anemones, plus my kids have been begging for Nemo, so outside of cost, it's a no-brainier for me.

And as a matter a fact I do live about 4 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, however I'm not interested in housing blue crabs or jellyfish.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:31 AM   #12
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Jay, that's a very good looking tank! Did you build the stand?
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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Jay, that's a very good looking tank! Did you build the stand?
thanks and yes I built the stand
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
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Coming from experience, if you do saltwater, be prepared to spend the first 6-12 months with nothing in your tank other than water, rock and sand. Most new tanks fail due to fish and corals being added during the "unacclimated" period.
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