How hard is it to maintain a saltwater tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-19-2010, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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How hard is it to maintain a saltwater tank?

Hey everyone,
I have had freshwater tank for a few years now and I want to move up and try a saltwater tank. My question is, is how hard is it to maintain a saltwater tank? Like how much more maintaince is it than a freshwater? Where should i start? Basically what do i need to know about saltwater tanks and fish to start one?
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-20-2010, 10:26 AM
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I would read these two articles by pasfur:

Saltwater Filtration 101, How it Differs from Freshwater and
Alkalinity and Calcium testing - important for every marine aquarium

Although a lot of reading, very informativee.

I have both a freshwater Pleco tank and a 150 gallon reef tank. My freshwater tank needs the filter pad to be cleaned/changed every week, weekly 50% water changes, testing, cleaning the get the idea.

My 150 gallon reef requires I test & dose with Calcium and Alkalinty weekly, empty the Protein Skimmer every so often and scrape the glass once a week. I change under 10% of the water once a week, but its not necassary; I do it for piece of mind.

I would say that caring for my reef tank is far easier than my fw tank.

Nothing good happens fast in an Aquarium

My 30 Gallon Long Marine Tank
My son's 20 gallon FW Community
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-03-2010, 01:27 AM
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It seems to me that a reef tank is a lot more independent than a Freshwater tank. It is an entire eco system enclosed in some glass. To me maintaining my 30 gal reef isn't that hard at all. You just have to read a lot of stuff and get educated like wake49 said. I have 5 fish, 4 SPS 1 LPS and a bunch of softies over 130 watts of PC lighting all thriving and growing. I don't even have a skimmer. A HOB and thats it. All I do as far as maintenance is scrub the glass once a week and do a 3 gallon water change along with it. After you get your cycle complete and your stuff figured out it will get stable and be a breeze. ipsfdotcom on youtube have a beginners guide to setting up a 10 gallon reef tank. They are great vids. The guy is very knowledgeable. WATCH THEM!!!!!
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-04-2010, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by outpost View Post
I don't even have a skimmer. A HOB and thats it. All I do as far as maintenance is scrub the glass once a week and do a 3 gallon water change along with it.
I have to point out that everything you said here applies. It is great that your system is running well and I wish you continued success, but for most people the practice of changing 10% of the water weekly and using a HOB filter has proven to be a disaster. This has been attempted thousands and thousands of times in the early stages of reef systems and is extremely well documented in the hobby literature. Over the long run, phosphates tend to build up causing pH and alkalinity issues. Simply replacing the hang on with a skimmer increases the stability of the system tremendously, as the skimmer removes contaminants, which is vital in an enclosed system. The hang on does not remove organic waste from the water flow, it simply traps organics causing them to break down biologically.

Again, it is important that you read everything I just said. I am not saying your system can not work. I am not doubting your success. I am saying that your success is much more difficult to duplicate than when a skimmer is used.
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