Salt water vs. fresh water tank for a beginner - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-16-2007, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Salt water vs. fresh water tank for a beginner

Hi all fish lovers,
I am a beginner, and i bought a 80gal used tank. im still having a hard time in deciding to go with fresh or salt water tank. offcourse SW fishes look great, but i am worry about the cost vs. fresh water.
start up cost, maintenance cost, etc. Any advices?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-16-2007, 03:36 PM
I am by no means an expert at all this, but here's a couple thoughts... I'm about to start up my first saltwater, after keeping several freshwater aquariums. When I was starting my first freshwater, I was suprised by the initial cost.... and now I'm learning that the saltwater aquariums start in price where freshwaters end. If it's your first aquarium, I would start with freshwater, or talk to someone who has plenty of SW experience. Saltwater are much more difficult to maintain, and the prices will far exceed a the price of a freshwater setup, but if you're willing to put a lot of time into researching it (and are willing to spend a lot), then go for it!

Saltwater fish sure are neat, but there are some amazing freshwater fish out there also, especially since you have such a large aquarium to house them!

Good luck with whichever you choose!
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-16-2007, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. I actually have the same thought as yours. Just wanted some sort of supports/ convincing from others :)
Happy holiday!
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-16-2007, 10:58 PM
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Honestly brother, start out with a FW tank. Not only is it cheaper, but it is definitely the easier place to start out if you are new to fishkeeping. James hit the nail on the head, saltwater costs start, where freshwater costs end! Hahaha!

After you feel you've reached your peak with FW keeping, then start a saltwater tank if you feel you can handle the responsibility and the costs.

Good luck!!

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-22-2007, 06:12 AM
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A fish only or FOWLR system is not too different then starting up FW. Just a bit more expensive. Now if youre thinking about a Reef System, well then my advice would be to start out with the FW system. Cycle the tank properly, then get yourself into a religious maintenance schedule (monthly water change, regular testing, and routine equipment cleaning) and save up your money in the meanwhile. If you can stay on that maintenance schedule for 2 years without stray, and you have a few grand to spare to sink into the proper equipment and lighting, then think about starting the SW Reef. In the meantime do alot of reading (books and internet) on the care, equipment, and maintenance involved in maintaining a reef system. Ask lots of questions in the SW forums. And get yourself a solid gameplan (ie what corals, inverts, and fishes you would like to keep) and make sure to check compatabilities.

If you follow this advice, when the time comes to go reef, you will be ready to do it right the first time, and you will find that it's really not any "harder" than keeping FW. It just requires more money, a bit more time, and a lot more commitment.

Take pride in what you do, for it is a reflection of who you are.

The Haunting Grounds - SKAustin's Reef Diary - Part 2 (the 75g upgrade)
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-23-2007, 09:13 AM
While it may be true that the initial start up is a little higher with marine tanks, that being that you must buy salt mix, it is not really any more difficult. As was mentioned a fish only set up is quite simple. Look at most LFS and compare their marine fish selling set ups to that which they use for their freshwater, they are very similar. Of course the more you spend the easier it can all be. I say the same thing about freshwater. Most fresh set ups I see are plain boring and on the iffy side. My 125g freshwater set up includes 4x Eheim 2217 cans and an Eheim 2260 can for mechanical, a giant sump set up with an Eheim 1262 return pump for mech and bio, an auto top-off set up to replace evaporated water coming direct from a RO/DI storage tank, and the lighting consists of a 250w halide and 4x 65w PC lighting. That's almost a nice marine tank. It's just that freshwater does not include sensitive corals and invertebrates. If you don't include them in your salt tank it makes it much easier. Master a salt tank and the rest is easy. I'd say decide what type of marine tank you want first and then figure out what fits best for your budget.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 09:32 PM
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I would do a fresh water aquarium. I would go around maybe a 20gal. i have a 55 gallon aquarium. so far the fish in it have been there for maybe a week with no problems. it doesn't take as much effort to do a freshwater aquarium as to a salt water aquarium. but a salt water aquarium has better looking fish and can have better fish.

55 Gallon Aquarium
1 Black Kuhli Loach
3 Black Skirt Tetras
4 Angelfish (3 Marble, 1 Gold)
1 Glass Fish
2 Blue Sunset Gourami
3 African Dwarf Frog
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