getting a "professional" to set up a new saltwater
Hi, I have been learning a lot of stuff online regarding saltwater tanks, and I am so glad I found this forum and thanks in advance for taking my questions. I found out how hard it is to start a saltwater tank especially somebody like me with no experience at all regarding fish tanks. So, I went to a pet store and found somebody that wil set up my 50 gallon tank for live rocks, fish and annemones(not sure if that's how you say it) and monthly maintenance for a reasonable price. I will eventually learn how to do the monthly maintenance myself. He said he will let the tank cycle for a week then add the damsels and then the live rocks and bigger fish in 3 weeks after doing some test, then do a 30% water change and test once a month afterwards.
My question for you is that an acceptable practice, getting somebody to setup the tank and do a few monthly maintenance? Is the once a month check enough? Doesn't it need to be done more frequent? What is your view on this?
Hi and welcome aboard Shie,
The time cycling takes may actually vary, not one week or anything specific. I'd do daily maintenance rather than monthly. Monthly is too far. You'd imagine the accummulation of muck and anything else which will increase ammonia level which is very toxic especially when marine tanks require very high pH.
Live rocks will do the cycling for you.:wink2: Damsels are good choices for starters.:thumbsup: They will easily survive cycling process.
Depending on your stocking level, your tank maintenance may vary but frequent maintenance is better than occassional after all.
I will leave the rest to the others as what I posted are basically ideas but some were based on what I had experienced.:)
Good luck with keeping marine.:thumbsup:
I hadn't kept fish for many years, and never kept saltwater fish, when I went to a chain petstore and bought a "saltwater setup" several months ago. It turns out I was sold some of the wrong equipment, which I suspsect was because the clerk wanted me to make the expensive investment but didn't think I would spring for what I truly needed. He was probably right at the time, but knowing what I know now I would have bought everything I needed to begin with, instead of things I only have to replace now.
Anyhow, I went from not knowing anything about fish to keeping a 55 gallon saltwater tank. By myself. You will read here I have had my share of losses but I attribute them mostly to a lack of patience and the wrong equipment.
I don't know how much this professional is charging you, but I think that you can really do it by yourself. Others may argue that I am oversimplifying it, but I think it is really only a matter of buying the proper equipment, setting it up (which may seem daunting but when you read the instructions it really isn't rocket science), filling it with water, cured live rock, and damsels, and waiting. You will want to test the water every few days to see how it is doing, but they sell test kits that make it easy... you can test for everything in under 10 minutes and it is essentially a matter of filling a small tube, squirting in a few drops meant for this or that test, shaking, waiting, and color matching.
I look at our tank and I think it feels much more rewarding knowing that I've been maintaining it myself... not that you can't feel similarly happy or have the same pride in a tank you pay a professional to maintain, but I think you might find that doing it yourself is easier than you expected, more rewarding, and certainly less expensive!
At the same time, the fish I started with may be here today if knew exactly what I was doing from the getgo, but I do believe that with the free help available here could have made the difference.
Good luck whichever you choose and keep us posted!
Well michael stated everything I would say on that subject. When I first started out I didn't know what I was doing but I figured out very quickly on my own how to maintain a beatiful tank. I lost a few fish but I moved on. I have been into saltwater for a couple of years now and I will still loose a fish every now and then. We are here to guide you through it step by step.
Blue, daily maintenance? :shock: This is really very intimidating, now I am not sure if I would do the saltwater. Maybe I should try a freshwater first. I have to do one or the other since I have the 50 gallon tank already.
Is it really easier to set up a freshwater tank? Is the maintenance not as frequent as saltwater?
Why are you intimidated?:question: But that's our policy when it comes to fishkeeping.:tongue: :bluelaugh:
Depending on your stocking level, maintenance may vary. Well, to be honest, I do daily water changes on my community tank as it contains several sensitive species like rams.:dunno:
Can't get away from the policy because bad water quality often kills your fish.:wink2:
For marine, it is often suggested that daily maintenance is best but weekly will do(unless Usmc objects :mrgreen: ). Well, you want the more challenging type I guess.:mrgreen: Every time you do water changes, you have to add salt to replace the salt you lost during water changes. That spells cash for a hydrometer.:tongue: And other equipments like protein skimmers, sump(not really necessary but it's up to you), etc. :blueshake:
In my case, I'd rather stay in freshwater than venturing out to marine again.:brow: It's up to you which one you prefer.:thumbsup: Or I'd rather tempt you to the lighter side(freshwater).:devil: :wink2:
IMO, freshwater is the lesser of the two evils.:mrgreen: :crazy:
The cost of of the initial startup of a saltwater tank is allot more for a freshwater tank.
Maintenance in saltwater setups is similar to freshwater...
1. Clean filters
2. Water change
3. Clean substrate
4. Add nutrients in water (for those who use water from RO units)
Maintenance is usually commonly done weekly, but it can be performed daily. Monthly maybe too long for saltwater tanks.
Having a saltwater setup/maintenance consultant can help you as long as they are a reputable company. If you still feel unconfortable about maintenance, you can still do freshwater, so you can understand what is required.
Eddie, the person that's going to help me setup and maintain a saltwater tank is an employee of a LFS, now I don't know if this is a good idea since he's the one that mentioned the once a month maintenance.
I'd do the maintenance myself rather than a "professional".
Blue, what exactly do you do daily for a saltwater and a freshwater tank. I don't have a problem investing on the necessary equipments for a saltwater, however I'm hesistant about all the physical labor that goes into it, don't get me wrong, I will do what I have to do but I just don't know how extensive the daily routine is.
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