08-13-2009, 12:14 AM
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I'm just gonna touch on what OneFish2Fish wrote....
I am experienced in keeping temperate-water aquariums/fish (i.e. cold water tanks) I have done it successfully in the past many years, and I'm currently planning to set another one up (after my $$wedding$$ in December LOL). I live in Los Angeles .. sunny ol' California, and even though the region is hot and shiney and sunny; and the beaches are flocking with vacationers, the fact is that the wildlife off the coast of Southern California live in a Temperate water region(avg. 59*-69* F).... not Tropical. Also know that 99% of the aquarium livestock that you purchase at your LFS are ALL from Tropical water regions (avg. 74*-82*)
Temperate water tanks always incorporate a Chiller unit to keep the water at the proper temp as opposed to a heating sytem in a standard tropical tank. I say all of this because depending on where you live will depend on whether or not you can incorporate wild caught fish from your region, and those fish found in your LFS. (where are you located?) In very few scenarios (such as the one OF2F described) you may find fish that would acclimate to your "tropical tank" (if you live in a temperate water region.... which is most of the U.S. east and west coasts)... Gulf region is a different story as well as the Floridian east coast and possibly the Georgian east coast. Anywhoo, even here in Southern California, when we get the "El Nino" surge (which is a warm water surge up from the Pacific coast of South America), it's not enough to turn temperate water fish/inverts into tropical fish, persay.
The cool thing that I'm thankful for, is that I live right on the coast of an 8 island achepelago called the Channel Islands (San Clemente Is., Santa Catalina Is.<populated>, San Nicolas Is., Santa Barbara Is., Anacapa Is., San Miguel Is.<military>, Santa Rosa Is., Santa Cruz Is.). The live stock that is available off the coast of So Cal. and these islands, rivals the beauty of many of the Tropical species that you find at your LFS.
If you have a minute goggle "Fish and/or invrtaebrates of the California pacific coast" and see what you can find. Now I'm all amped up to start my Temperate tank!!