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View Poll Results: Which is better (oppinion) and why
Fresh water 7 100.00%
Salt water 0 0%
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Salt or Fresh

I was thinking about starting up a fish tank... i was wondering for normal maintenence (i asume the salt water is much more expensive at first) which is easier to keep up... do you have to clean salt waters often... what is a good starting size for a tank?

any good sites on starting a fish tank either salt or fresh... ?

I think i like the oppertunity for the difference in fish for salt waters but do you think it is alot more to handle??

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 09:25 PM
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I'm not an expert at this but I can tell you some stuff from second hand experience. My mom has both types of fish...2 fresh water tanks and 1 salt water. I think the time frame for cleaning is the same for both. I'm pretty sure she does them all on the same days. I think she spends a little more time on the salt water tank because it seems to get more algae and she said it's more time consuming cleaning the sand and coral rocks on the bottom.

For as much time as she spends fretting about the salt water tank, checking ph and salinity it seems her salt water fish die sooner than the fresh water. She has tons of books and spends most of her time looking for more information and her salt water fish still don't seem to live as long as they should. I know her Angel fish in the 55 gallon fresh water tank have to be at least 5 years old now and they're HUGE! She also has a 150 gallon tank with one Oscar in it and he's also about 5 years old and twice the size of my hand. Her salt water fish seem to die after a year. Like I said, I'm no expert but I would think life expectancy would be similar.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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hm i always thought that quite a few salt water fish live longer than fresh... i really like the sea anenamiea's and pencil urchins those are what i really want... plus the puffer fish at petco although it looked like it wasnt forsale

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 09:50 PM
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I think they're supposed to live as long, if not longer than fresh water. I think my mother just has bad luck with them.

I'm sure someone with actual hands on experience will be posting to help you more than I can. All I have is second hand experience in the fish department.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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me too!

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:26 PM
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If this is your first aquarium it's definatly better to start with freshwater so you can learn all the basics such as cycling.

I mean, you could set up a saltwater aquarium but you might find it overwhelming at first. You'd also have to do a TON of research.

I can't answer the poll as I love both my saltwater and freshwater tanks . Though I will vote freshwater only because I think that would be a better choice for someone new to fish .

Some things to consider if you want a saltwater tank:

1. Everything is way more expensive...the lighting (unless you do a fish only set-up), the filteration, the livestock, etc. Things like liverock and salt mix can really start to add up. You also need more equipment then a freshwater aquarium.

2. The fish/inverts are much more sensitive. Saltwater fish aren't very forgiving and the slightest newbie mistake could kill them or at least make them very sick. Some fish are hardier but they still will not do well in the wrong kind of enviroment. Remember that most saltwater fish are wild-caught. They are used to living in the ocean where the temperature, salinity, and other water parameters are stable. And in an aquarium you are trying to duplicate this which isn't always easy. Freshwater fish are often captive-bred and even if they aren't most live in streams or lakes where things are still not as stable as the ocean.

3. You need a larger tank then freshwater. Since I highly suggest not trying a nano-reef yet you'll need a good-size aquarium. It's recommended you start with at least a 55-gallon. The larger the tank the better for all fish. For a freshwater tank you can easily start with a 20-gallon or a 29-gallon. So keep that in mind.

4. Saltwater tanks do indeed require a bit more maintenance. They aren't as time-consuming as people think (unless you have a very small tank) but you'll still need to carry out regular water changes (usually more often then in a freshwater tank to keep nitrates down), scrape off the algae on the glass, test the water (you need to test more things in a saltwater tank...especially if you have inverts), add any reef supplements you need, top off the tank with freshwater daily, clean out the protein skimmer and any filters...Even feeding takes longer since marine fish need a wide variety of food.

5. You'll need to get a second job because everything is so expensive LOL.

That being said, I'm not trying to scare you out of doing a saltwater tank. I love mine . But you need to understand that it's a big undertaking.

The absolute best website for starting any kind of aquarium is Wetwebmedia, Aquarium, Pond, Marine and Freshwater Fish, reef tanks, and Aquatics Information. And of course if you have any specific questions on anything aquarium-related just ask .




~Stephanie

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:30 PM
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Oh, and a pufferfish would eat your urchin . So don't get both.




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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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i thought it was too i just have fallen for the puffer fish at petco and pencil urchins heh aw... i didnt know it would eat it.. thats sad.. hmm my dream spikes wont work out...

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:33 PM
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To be honest, I would avoid urchins and anemones until you get more experience. They need nearly perfect water conditions (especially anemones), strong lighting, and supplements/foods.

I would start out with a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) set-up .




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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:38 PM
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I personally would go with fresh water just because I've had one before. Salt water aquariums offer a lot more brighter fish and to me, look a lot nicer, but they seem like a lot more work then it's worth.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikko
Salt water aquariums offer a lot more brighter fish and to me, look a lot nicer, but they seem like a lot more work then it's worth.
I think it's totally worth it . But I also think someone newer to fish might be overwhelmed by all the testing and everything.

My favorite thing about saltwater aquariums is that every time you look closely at the tank you'll see something you've never noticed before. Just today I saw a new little tubeworm creature . The diversity of life on just a small piece of live rock is absolutely amazing.




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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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thats what i find amazing too... maybe ill get some fresh water puffer fish

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:49 PM
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Good info Stephanie. I was hoping you would jump in.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendalle
thats what i find amazing too... maybe ill get some fresh water puffer fish
I like the Indian Dwarf Puffers. They are really small (only one inch long) so they don't need a big tank.

Most freshwater pufferfish aren't supposed to be incredibly hard to care for but they have special diets. They need to eat animals with shells to wear down their teeth (similar to giving chew sticks to a mouse, lol). Most owners feed live snails plus a variety of other live/frozen foods. If the thought of feeding live foods doesn't appeal to you I would look into something else .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlette
Good info Stephanie. I was hoping you would jump in.
Haha, thanks.




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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 07:28 AM
 
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Actually the "freshwater" puffers that we looked preferred brackish water.

I agree with Steph if this is your first tank start with fresh. Salt is a TON of work and even more money. Just a large bag of salt to mix your water with is almost $30. And that may only last you a month or so. Not to mention filtration at least $100 and that would be cheap. Lighting--the best deal we found was $250.

We just tore our salt down because we just don't have the time. Not to mention the expense in upkeep. A salt tank could be a wonderful thing for you in the future when you have experience under your belt. Someday we will set ours up again when we have more time. Until then we get just as much enjoyment out of our fresh tanks and it is alot less maintenance!!
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