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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 AM  
Silock Silock is offline
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Any fishkeepers here? Saltwater or freshwater

I'm looking at starting up a saltwater tank. Is there a good fish store in the KC area without driving out to Lawrence?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Heaters can work, but a good saltwater tank is going to need quite a bit more water flow to keep the algae down. And no, you don't want to use the plants and rock because it is unlikely to be a healthy setup.

A healthy saltwater tank needs to have a great deal of live rock (porous rock) to allow bacteria, etc... to grow and certain types of algae for most attractive reef fish to graze on. If you don't have good water flow, that algae will get a little out of hand (as will things like cyanobacteria).
First, thanks for the long reply! I was just thinking about a heater in terms of keeping the water at the appropriate temperature. When you say "can work" does that mean it isn't needed?

I had actually looked at the live rock a little bit and done some research on that. I do like the way it looks but hadn't thought of the benefits to the fish. It sounds like it isn't a must but is certainly better. And it sounds like the pumps are definitely much different than the typical biowheel hanging on the back which I would have to get.

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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Freshwater can be done pretty well with a couple of Penguin bio-wheel pumps and little else. For saltwater you're going to probably want a sump setup to allow for plenty of water movement and a haven for bacteria. You'll definitely need a protein skimmer as well; it's the most critical element of a decent saltwater setup.

Oh, and the light is absolutely critical in a saltwater setup whereas I never noticed a huge difference with my cichlid tanks.

A slightly cheaper marine setup would be a FOWLR setup (fish only with live rock). You don't need the high intensity lights because you aren't growing corals. You can have some of the larger angel-fish and more predatory fish like puffers, etc..., but you can't have most of those little reef fish that look so pretty in the fish store. And ultimately the reef tanks are just more attractive than the FOWLR setups.

Your question is a little too broad to give you the best advise, but ultimately I wouldn't use any of the rock from a freshwater setup because it's not going to be porous enough to act as good seed rock. Frankly, you'll want to go to a store and buy 'live rock' first anyway...lots of it; in a 65 gallon tank I'd go with about 100 lbs of live rock and a deep sand bottom. Alternatively, get 10 lbs of live rock and 90 lbs of good, porous seed rock and the seed rock will eventually go 'live' when the critters living in the live rock move in. Don't use the plants because they look tacky in a marine aquarium, IMO. But hey, that's ultimately your call.
So I just did a quick search of protein skimmers and those don't come cheap. I am glad you and htismaqe mentioned that because it is one of those things I may have tried to skip on if I deemed it through my inexperience to be unnecessary. So a sump pump is different than the protein skimmer? Is a sump pump the one that is usually under the main tank and always looks like it is filled with algae and calcium build up?

I have seen the aquariums that are essentially set up to look just like a freshwater aquarium as far as design and features and they don't look quite as good for sure without the corals. It seems like those aren't as versatile either as far as what can live in them. What do you mean by seed rock going 'live'?

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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
The fish are much more expensive. A 'cheap' saltwater fish that's not an evil-ass damsel is going to cost you $20; something like a Royal Gramma or a clown (though a clown is a damsel, so realize that it might turn into an asshole). A 'normal' priced fish like a Coral Beauty or a Foxface would be in the 30-40 range. A mid-range fish like nice hippo or Kole tang would be 40-60. The most I've ever spent on a fish was $80 on a big Naso and about the same on a tiny little mystery wrasse when they were damn expensive.

Something like a Hawaiin black tang or an achilles tang can run you in the $300+ range. At 65 gallons, they aren't a good idea.

A saltwater tank requires some homework that a freshwater doesn't. You need to know more about how big the fish will get because they're much more likely to outgrow the tank. They are more prone to stress-related diseases if you don't have a decent sized tank as well.

If you want to go saltwater, do it right. I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 90 and ultimately I think a 125 or better is the way to go because that's when you get to the 6 foot wide tanks that give ample swimming room. Moreover, the more tank volume you have, the less prone the tank is to spikes in levels and therefore the more healthy it is.
I wasn't aware that the fish were that expensive. I was thinking I could get most of what I wanted for under $40. I know I definitely would need to do a lot of homework prior but this is a great overview as far as realistic needs and expectations. I really want a saltwater tank but it certainly sounds like I would be better off waiting to buy a full blown saltwater specific setup in a larger size. I don't want to invest in a tank that isn't adequate just to have a $60 fish die on me.

I am perfectly happy to do freshwater again but I was curious as to what to expect if I wanted to transition and judging by the responses, there is much more to it than I would have thought. This is a great place to start though. Knowing what I need is the most confusing part for a beginner saltwater but I think I have a pretty good idea now.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #467
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My recommendation would be to cruise Craigslist until you come onto a turnkey system from someone getting out of the hobby.

It will cost you about 1/3 as much, most of the parts will be complementary and you'll have someone that will talk you through how they used what they used and why. Oftentimes they'll even be selling off their livestock.

Rock going 'live' means that it populates with the beneficial bacterias, etc... that make it live rock. You can start with porous 'dead' rocks and include just a few hunks of live rock around it. Whatever is living in that rock will spread into the seed rock and turn it into live rock.

The term 'live rock' is something of a misnomer - the rock itself is no more live than it's ever been, it just has a lot of nitrifying bacteria and beneficial pods, etc... that are extremely helpful for the health of a reef tank.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #468
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Not to step on any toes but most hang-over-back filters are fairly overrated, particularly the Marineland setups with a bio-wheel.

Setups using porous rock (ie. lava rock), fluidized sand, or even a cheap sponge filter, are WAY more effective at bio-filtration. And a good canister filter will mechanically outperform even the best HOB by a WIDE margin.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Not to step on any toes but most hang-over-back filters are fairly overrated, particularly the Marineland setups with a bio-wheel.

Setups using porous rock (ie. lava rock), fluidized sand, or even a cheap sponge filter, are WAY more effective at bio-filtration. And a good canister filter will mechanically outperform even the best HOB by a WIDE margin.
My 90 gallon ran 2 Emperor 400's and 2 Magnum 350 canisters.

The HOBs were great because they offered good mechanical filtration and an easy medium to clean/replace with the carbon inserts. If I used exclusively canisters, changing out that sleeve repeatedly would be a pain in the ass.

Instead of having to shut off my plumbing and take the pump apart, I could just pull the inserts and replace them. While the Magnums did a better job, the Emperors were easily more convenient to use.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #470
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
My 90 gallon ran 2 Emperor 400's and 2 Magnum 350 canisters.

The HOBs were great because they offered good mechanical filtration and an easy medium to clean/replace with the carbon inserts. If I used exclusively canisters, changing out that sleeve repeatedly would be a pain in the ass.

Instead of having to shut off my plumbing and take the pump apart, I could just pull the inserts and replace them. While the Magnums did a better job, the Emperors were easily more convenient to use.
I get that but it's the job they do.

My Rena XP3, one tray loaded with nothing but Seachem Matrix, is like have six Emporer 400's on my 55G.

I clean mine every 30 days - it takes about 30 minutes and bypassing it is a cinch, just lift a lever and pull the off the head.

But I would actually like to put in a plug for a Hydrosponge. I single Hydrosponge 3 with all the tubing is like $10. Attach an airstone to it and it has the bio-filtration of all of your and my filters put together.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:14 PM   #471
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Well after 9 months of having an empty tank at the office, I've re-started my cichlid tank at work.



It's my first time trying a heavily rock-scaped freshwater tank. I stole a few lessons I've learned from my reef at home and tried to apply them to this setup. The cichlids seem to really enjoy the crevices and I think it's doing well to keep their aggression to a dull roar.

Front view:



Profile:



Long view:



That long view is probably my favorite from a pure 'fishkeeping' standpoint. From the front it looks a little bit cramped, but down that long view you can see that they have a very nice water column to motor around in and then dive down in the rocks if need be. It also cuts back hard towards the center of the tank to open it up even more through there.

I'm excited about it, it seems like it's working quite nicely.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #472
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Nice. I just picked up a 55g at Petco ($1/gallon sale rocks!) and I'm going to do a Demasoni and Yellow Lab tank. Trying to find enough stackable limestone is a pain in the ass, though.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:06 PM   #473
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Columbia has such hard water that I need a little limestone as a buffer, but not a ton. My PH is sitting dead red at 8.2 with only about 40 lbs of limestone in there.
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Last edited by DJ's left nut; 04-02-2013 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #474
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Keeping them clean is the biggest pain. I despise red algae.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #475
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That tank doesn't look nearly large enough to house a family of barracuda, IMO.



But please leave the lid open once you decide to stock it. Ocelots are excellent fishermen.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:38 AM   #476
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Couple of my peacock cichlids...





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Old 04-21-2013, 04:15 AM   #477
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That tank doesn't look nearly large enough to house a family of barracuda, IMO.



But please leave the lid open once you decide to stock it. Ocelots are excellent fishermen.
Really? What kind of poles do they use?
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #478
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I'm selling a brand new drilled (with bulkheads) 125g tank with stand and a brand new in box canister filter. $500 obo.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:12 AM   #479
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I'm selling a brand new drilled (with bulkheads) 125g tank with stand and a brand new in box canister filter. $500 obo.
while i'd love to have it (and honestly can't afford that) pics or gtfo!!!!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:58 PM   #480
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