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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Marine aquarium start up

I currently have tropical freshwater fish and i've just purchased a new tank. I'd like to now turn my new tank into a marine aquarium instead of carrying on with tropical, how do i make the transition?
I have 5 tropical fish left and they can go to a new home so they won't get killed off in the process incase anyones wondering lol.
Any tips will be appreciated as i don't really know where to start.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 08:44 AM
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if its a small tank i have heard not to bother unless it is at least a 30 gal. Its really pricey and thats all i know haha. good luck!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know exactly how many litres my tank is so i'll need to measure my tank up and find out that way, i wouldn't call my tank small though, it's slightly bigger than my old one.
Yeah it is pricey but it seems like the best time to go up a level because i've bought a new tank
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
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if its a small tank i have heard not to bother unless it is at least a 30 gal. Its really pricey and thats all i know haha. good luck!
Tell that to my saltwater nano tanks .

Nano aquariums are almost as easy to set up as larger reef tanks now thanks to ready access to liverock, the idea of refugiums, improved equipment, etc.

Anyways, first figure out how large your aquarium is and we can figure out something from there . A marine aquarium really needs to be planned out in advance, you can't just randomly stick in fish like with a basic freshwater community. While reef aquariums are gorgeous, I would recommend sticking to a FOWLR (fish only with live rock) set-up. Then, if you decide in the future to try keeping corals, the transition will be easy. Just google fish only with live rock tanks and you should get plenty of info.

Also remember that marine aquariums must be very, very lightly stocked compared to freshwater aquariums. An example would be my smallest FOWLR tank, a 10-gallon. It contains just one fish. My other 10-gallon, a freshwater planted tank, contains eight fish. You'll probably only be able to keep one or two small, hardy fish.

It's true that saltwater aquariums are expensive to set up but a simple FOWLR tank isn't THAT bad. You don't need a ton of equipment and the main expense is the liverock itself (depending on where you live and can get it, it goes for $5 a pound to $10 a pound...maybe even more). And you'll want about a pound per gallon.

Useful websites:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm
http://www.liveaquaria.com

The first website is considered the best for marine aquarium information. It's not the easiest website to navigate but just start reading and you'll learn a ton. The second website is actually an online store where you can buy live animals. But you'll find it useful for getting info at a glance for specific species (such as tank size, diet, compatibility, cost, etc.).

Useful books:
"The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner
"The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael Paletta
"Marine Fishes" by Scott Michael
"What Fish?" (marine version)




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 07:57 PM
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Just food for thought...

Almost all saltwater livestock, and corals are wild caught, ...adding to the damage that coral reefs and ecosystems are already suffering from pollution and over fishing.

Almost all freshwater livestock is captive bred.

Your choice.

Bob



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 08:32 PM
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Just food for thought...

Almost all saltwater livestock, and corals are wild caught, ...adding to the damage that coral reefs and ecosystems are already suffering from pollution and over fishing.

Almost all freshwater livestock is captive bred.

Your choice.

Bob
^ Agreed! We have a family-run fish store near us, who has a bunch of salt water, and fresh water fish. The tanks are neat - especially the salt water ones, but I could never imagine personally taking salt water critters away from their massive, natural homes into tiny little tanks for people to oggle at. :/
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 09:44 PM
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There are many captive bred marine animals available now. Liveaquaria.com offers a bunch, in fact (that's where I buy my fish which is why I linked to it).

At the same time, plenty of freshwater fish are wild-caught. I can understand making the choice not to purchase wild-caught animals but it's definitely possible to have an "eco-friendly" marine set-up.




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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sasami View Post
There are many captive bred marine animals available now. Liveaquaria.com offers a bunch, in fact (that's where I buy my fish which is why I linked to it).

At the same time, plenty of freshwater fish are wild-caught. I can understand making the choice not to purchase wild-caught animals but it's definitely possible to have an "eco-friendly" marine set-up.
I agree with Stephanie. You can, if you try, buy a few species of captive bred marine fish. However, the majority of the big, showy species, like eels, sharks, angels and wrasses are all wild caught. If those are the kind of fish you are looking to get into, then you'll be buying wild caught fish.



You should be aware that even if you make the effort to look for captive bred, you're unlikely to find them in your local pet store. Few places, even on the internet, consistently have them in stock. Part of the reason is that the definition of captive bred is a bit murky. Gravid females taken from the wild that give birth in captivity are the source of some of these "tank bred" fish. Other times, I've seen shark egg cases collected from the wild. After they hatch, the sharks are called captive bred or tank bred. It's only a small step better than buying wild caught fish, but it's better than nothing.



Tropical (freshwater) are probably better than 95% captive bred. In most pet stores, it will be closer to 100% captive bred, unless they deal in very exotic and expensive species.



Sometimes the price of a fish can give you a hint as to whether it is captive bred or wild caught. In most cases, the captive bred marine fish will be the more expensive, whereas the wild caught tropical fish will be the more expensive.



The reason is that there are so few captive bred marine fish, that the breeders have very little competition from other breeders. They can command top dollar for their fish.



Captive bred tropical fish are the standard in the pet industry, so prices have to be kept low in order to stay competitive with other breeders. There are literally hundreds of tropical fish farms within a hundred miles of Tampa Florida. Only rare and high dollar fish are worth the trouble of catching in the wild. Some species of discus are a good example.



If you are looking to keep you costs low and to reduce your negative impact on the environment, captive bred tropicals are the way to go.

As far as marine invertebrates and corals, you can't be sure where it comes from. Even if they say it's cultured, it could be coral taken from the the wild. There is a significant amount of black market involving live corals (and the accompanying destruction of living coral reefs). It's very difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys in that area, in fact, many dealers/importers could be dabbling on both sides of the law.


Sorry didn't mean to get so long winded, but I deal with fish importers/exporters on a regular basis. The numbers of wild caught marine fish and invertebrates that come into this country are incredible ...and alarming.


Bob



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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Well i've worked out my tank is roughly 24 gallons/90 litres. As much as i would love to keep marine fish i've decided right now that i wont. Right now i'll just have a bigger and better tropical tank and carry on with that until i'm more prepared for a marine tank. I would start out with FOWLR but then eventually proceed to corals etc.
Thanks for the links though Sasami i will get reading on those
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