Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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andulrich4all 11-20-2008 09:21 PM

Need your opinion!
Hello everyone, First Post!

Awesome forum here :-D

Let me tell you what I have in mind then I want to hear your feedback on what you think!

I currently own 2 freshwater aquariums. 1 is just a 10 gallon gold fish tank. The other is a 29 gallon, fully planted aquarium with all assortments of fish.

I have had these tanks for a while and love them. I initially started out with freshwater aquariums to make sure aquariums are right for me. It has turned out that I love everything about it and I feel like I am ready to move on and expand my fish tank hobby.

I want to venture into the great world of saltwater tanks!
I think the tank I want to go with is the Oceanic BioCube 29 gallon.

What do you think????

I really would like to know if you think there is a better choice out there or not. I really like the all-in-one unit. The price is also very appealing. My goal is to have a reef aquarium and some fish (not really sure what kind of fish or don't know much yet about reefs).

Is this a good choice for me? If so, I have heard people say they like to get the biocube and use a different protein skimmer and what not. Please give me your knowledge on what you think. I really would like to do this around Christmas time, I want to research what kind of tank I should get, and also want to learn about different aspects of the whole new world of saltwater tanks.

Thank you so much!

dallops_of_polyps 11-20-2008 10:27 PM

its a great tank i would also look at aquapods and nano cubes. as for skimmers the biocube has its own for the 29 gallon and its around 35 bucks. good luck for your tanks!

Kellsindell 11-20-2008 10:51 PM

First off, welcome to Fish Forum!

I've never used a small system that was all in one, but dallops is right about your options.

When you think about the reef you want consider flow, lighting, rockwork, substrate, and fish. this link will give you a good idea of the lighting you'll need. it's very basic in it's information.

Give us a list of fish you would like to keep. if you want any ideas check you and just look at the saltwater choices you have and the parameters you'll need. also, don't get a tank for a small tank and don't get a dragonette for your first fish, and wait for the cycle to complete. Those are rookie mistakes.

Good luck and happy reefing.

onefish2fish 11-21-2008 12:01 AM


i dont know much about the all in ones (AIO) but i do know they run ya $500-800
my opinion would be to buy a 40 breeder tank and and 20gallon long tank (for a sump), good t5 lights, and a good skimmer. youll be under the price tag of what the all in one cost, and i believe they only come with PC lights (unless its the one that comes with MHs but then your looking at buying a chiller) and i hear the skimmers are not the best. im not trying to steer you away, i just think there are other options to consider.
i HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend doing hours of research on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that has to do with saltwater, as well as look for a local reefing club close to you. these are good to obtain knowledge, deals and meet some great people.
i also would not rush it. i cannot stress this enough. speeding by to get things done is just going to burn a hole in your pocket, give you a headache, and more then likely leave you misreable with the hobby. slow it down, and enjoy it.

also, a 10gal for a goldfish is too small.

andulrich4all 11-21-2008 11:47 AM

Thanks for the replies!

Well, I looked on that site, I don't know exactly what fish but some that seem to interest me are Clownfish, Blue Tang, Yellow Tang, and I'm not sure what else. Are these kind of fish ones I should be looking at? Are there certain fish that would be better for that type of environment? And as far as coral, I am looking for a website where I can learn about it. I basically know nothing so if anybody knows a good website that pretty much teaches everything you need to know about coral that would be great. Even if there is a site that has something like that for the whole saltwater aquarium. I have been looking around on this forum and finding stuff that is pretty helpful.

Thank you so much for the help! Glad I found this site and signed up!!

dallops_of_polyps 11-21-2008 03:08 PM

first off tangs need about 50 gallons to keep them happy unless you get babies which will quickly outgrow the tank. do some research at Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums clowns make great fish especially for beginners. i would recommend some ocellaris, percula, skunk, and tomato clowns. you must buy clownfish as a pair or they will go at eachother.

Kellsindell 11-21-2008 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by dallops_of_polyps (Post 153713)
you must buy clownfish as a pair or they will go at eachother.

Not true. I have a clown that i bought 7mo after the first and they have mated well. I got a smaller clown to ensure that it would still be a male and allow the bigger male turn to a female.

Tangs are more of a diff fish to keep. If you get one then you'll need at least a 55g tank for a smaller tang, and the rule if 6x the size of the fish when it comes to tangs. when you have a 10inch tang you need a 60in tank. you have a 2in tang you'll need a 12in tank. Granted if you do that then you're causing harm to the fish.

Clowns would be great, a six line wrasse, firefish, goby, damsel, just do your research and look at all the fish.

dallops_of_polyps 11-21-2008 05:50 PM

I am doing the very same thing but Goethe begginer saltwater keeper I think it would be better.

ajmckay 11-22-2008 12:01 AM

Andulrich... I was in your same situation...

In July/August my interest in saltwater peaked and I decided to "go marine" after 16 years of successful freshwater setups. Like you I compared several of the so called "AIO Nano tanks" and analyzed their pro's and con's. I needed to keep the whole thing small because I live in a townhouse, and beside that I will probably be moving again in a year.

As for the types of tank you are researching I found the Current USA Aquapod to be a stellar deal... You can get up to a 24 gallon, and it seems a little more customizable, and specifically its the cheapest if you want metal halide lighting, which I think would be good if you want a reef system. They're fan cooled, and you can run them without the lid.

I made up a spreadsheet in excel listing all the parts and options for each system (which maybe you should do?) and I found that they are both expensive... But in the end I went with what I had to save some money (Granted it's not always the best idea to go "cheapest" in this hobby, but I decided I would rather learn first without making a significant investment... Plus I figured it would help teach me patience?). I decided to move the 4 freshwater fish I had left (all over 4 years old) and move them from the 29 gallon to a 20 gallon long tank in the basement. A 20 would fit my existing fluorescent light, which I was going to have to upgrade for saltwater, I also transfered over the filter, heater, etc. So I went with the tank I already had, cleaned it out, and that way I had a little more money to spend on live rock, sand, and other things... Essentially $90 later I had a tank that was in the process of cycling... This forced me to leave it alone for a few weeks while I saved more $$ for other things.

Well, after all is said and done, I figure my total investment so far has been about $450 or so and that is without buying a new tank or fish!!! (Well, I did buy the 20 long... but that was only $20...) So unless you have some serious cheese lying around, I would suggest not getting a "cube"... Granted that's just my opinion, and I was super super close to ordering one when the aquapod went on sale at ! Even if you did what someone else said and pruchased a 45 breeder and a 20 for a sump you would spend only about $100 for the tanks and depending on your resourcefulness you could probably get a stand for cheap or build one for under $50....

Now... My last piece of advice... and possibly the most important one... Who lives with you? Those that live with you will have to deal with your new hobby/obsession... If you live with a slightly nonsupporting wife (as in my case), or maybe your parents aren't too fond of the idea, then I would probably suggest getting a nanocube/aquapod/biocube because they are simple, self contained, and well... they seem to look good with relatively little effort... And if someone has already offered to buy you one for Christmas, I'd say go for it... You'll still enjoy it, and better yet, once THEY enjoy it as much (I caught my wife taking to her mom about my tank yesterday and she was really getting into it!! YAY!) they'll be more tolerant of a larger, more "resource consuming" (never say expensive) tank.

ajmckay 11-22-2008 12:19 AM

One more thing...
Sorry I was thinking this, but I didn't type it...

Try to not get an eclipse system for saltwater... I'm sure you can get tons of people here to go on and on about it... I'm sure it can be done, but I think most would argue it will eventually lead to problems (i.e. insufficient lighting, poor filtration, tanks are too deep, etc...)

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