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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been keeping freshwater fish for over 7 years now and haven't really stepped into the world of saltwater other then having a look at them at the aquarium, but now I have an empty 29g and a multitude of possibilities.

I have been thinking about trying marine for the first time but the more I research the more I wonder if its worth all the hassle.

-More expensive (although the fish aren't that much more expensive)
-So much more equipment
-The water parameters (calcium, phosphate etc)
-Quarantine tank
-The overall maintenance
-Algae all over the place (I HATE algae, makes me cringe)

With my freshwater fish (discus) all I have to do is a 50% water change a week and a clean out of the canister every couple of months, the tank stays crystal clean; no algae, no debris, very clear. Its not that simple with marine? Is the weekly maintenance really that much more then fresh? I've had times where I just couldn't be stuffed cleaning the tank and left it for a couple of weeks, is that a bad idea with a marine tank?

If I go ahead and set up a marine tank would I get away with... a canister filter, heater, power head, light, live rock and a nitrate remover? I don't want a protein skimmer because I wouldn't be able to put the hood on. The only fish I would have would be a couple of clowns and a Dotti-back (name?) tops 4 fish.

I just don't know if it's worth it :roll:
 

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i agree with austin, and just to clarify for the sake of anyone reading this thread, a canister filter will cause problems on a marine tank. any filtration of that sort, bio balls, filter floss, hang on filters ... anything that can collect debris and detritus will increase the nutrients in your tank unless very frequently kept clean. not worth a hassle IMO.

anyways a good idea would be to start a jar of money for the tank funds, start reading and learning, look for a reefing club, ask questions and then make your choice.
fish may not be much more money in aus but you cant tell me a gem tang is cheap :wink:
 

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i agree with austin, and just to clarify for the sake of anyone reading this thread, a canister filter will cause problems on a marine tank. any filtration of that sort, bio balls, filter floss, hang on filters ... anything that can collect debris and detritus will increase the nutrients in your tank unless very frequently kept clean. not worth a hassle IMO.
And by "frequently" he means just about every other day. The basics of filtration in a marine system are Live Rock, Live Sand and a protein skimmer. IMO you can't successfully run the system without these three aspects of filtration.

I agree with SK and Of2f. And the expense is all based on how intricate a system you like to keep. Fish Only tanks are less expensive than a full reef tank, if you take the lighting, dosing and cost of the coral and inverts into account.
 

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To answer your basic question, yes it is worth it...... I have not even got my fish in yet, but a saltwater aquarium is a nice change and is beautiful.... you dont have to get everything at once..... just get it piece by piece, and when you have everything you need, you can start! It will be about 500 bucks, no cheaper than that unless you just find a good deal on craigslist, but I would look at a minimum of 500 for everything to get started...... and if you are planning on going for more than a 29 gallon obviously it will be more. Craigslist shopping is your best bet for a cheap set up! Or, join a local club, and yuou can get some great deals.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i agree with austin, and just to clarify for the sake of anyone reading this thread, a canister filter will cause problems on a marine tank. any filtration of that sort, bio balls, filter floss, hang on filters ... anything that can collect debris and detritus will increase the nutrients in your tank unless very frequently kept clean. not worth a hassle IMO.

anyways a good idea would be to start a jar of money for the tank funds, start reading and learning, look for a reefing club, ask questions and then make your choice.
fish may not be much more money in aus but you cant tell me a gem tang is cheap :wink:

When did I say I couldn't afford it?

That's the whole point of a canister filter, and that's why you clean it :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To answer your basic question, yes it is worth it...... I have not even got my fish in yet, but a saltwater aquarium is a nice change and is beautiful.... you dont have to get everything at once..... just get it piece by piece, and when you have everything you need, you can start! It will be about 500 bucks, no cheaper than that unless you just find a good deal on craigslist, but I would look at a minimum of 500 for everything to get started...... and if you are planning on going for more than a 29 gallon obviously it will be more. Craigslist shopping is your best bet for a cheap set up! Or, join a local club, and yuou can get some great deals.

I have had a look through craigslist but it's not that well known over here yet so there's not really much on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And by "frequently" he means just about every other day. The basics of filtration in a marine system are Live Rock, Live Sand and a protein skimmer. IMO you can't successfully run the system without these three aspects of filtration.

I agree with SK and Of2f. And the expense is all based on how intricate a system you like to keep. Fish Only tanks are less expensive than a full reef tank, if you take the lighting, dosing and cost of the coral and inverts into account.
I would only stick to fish, I'm not really fascinated by the corals and inverts. The colours and patterns of the fish never cease to amaze me, stunning!


~~Thanks for the fast replies
 

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i never said you couldnt afford it. i suggested saving money for the plunge while you take your time to learn about marine aquariums. prior setting up a tank there should be a few months research and planning and asking questions IMO and i can vouch for others saying the same thing. finding a local reefing club would be a good idea to learn things, pick up equipment cheaper and meet new people.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've researched until my eyes have bled (well almost lol)

I think the only knowledge I could gain now is from actually starting up a salty and maintaining it. I just don't want to make a mistake and found out its not for me once I've gone through the process... The rewards have to out-weigh the cons.

argh! Why can't I make decisions xD
 

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I disagree with the premise of this thread. I do not find marine aquariums to be more time consuming that freshwater. In fact, the time it takes to do your 50% water change is far greater than the time I spend maintaining both my 58 reef and 180 FOWLR combined. Additionally, I do not find the maintaining of calcium or phosphates to be difficult, and I do not find that algae growth is any different than freshwater. Also, for a FOWLR tank, you will actually have less equipment than a freshwater tank.

The key is a proper setup and knowledge. Unfortunately, this does include a protein skimmer, so you would be better off sticking with freshwater.
 

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With my freshwater fish (discus) all I have to do is a 50% water change a week and a clean out of the canister every couple of months, the tank stays crystal clean; no algae, no debris, very clear. Its not that simple with marine? Is the weekly maintenance really that much more then fresh? I've had times where I just couldn't be stuffed cleaning the tank and left it for a couple of weeks, is that a bad idea with a marine tank?
The canister filter has to be cleaned every couple of days. It can't be left for a week (nevermind a couple of weeks), otherwise the algae that you despise will overtake your tank.

+1 to Pasfur and Of2f. Protein skimmer and no canister.
 

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i should also stress a quality skimmer, one that you read online reviews on, ask around about and invest into. a skimmer is prob. the most important thing shy of lighting and flow in a reef tank. finding a reefing club might help you get an even better skimmer used for the price of something sub-par new.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I disagree with the premise of this thread. I do not find marine aquariums to be more time consuming that freshwater. In fact, the time it takes to do your 50% water change is far greater than the time I spend maintaining both my 58 reef and 180 FOWLR combined. Additionally, I do not find the maintaining of calcium or phosphates to be difficult, and I do not find that algae growth is any different than freshwater. Also, for a FOWLR tank, you will actually have less equipment than a freshwater tank.

The key is a proper setup and knowledge. Unfortunately, this does include a protein skimmer, so you would be better off sticking with freshwater.

That's the kind of reply I'm looking for ;-)

OK so I have taken the hood off to see whether a skimmer would work and have decided the tank looks better without the hood lol it doesn't look so bulky and also seems more illuminated.

I do read skimmers are a vital part so would not go without one.

Pasfur what sort of maintenance regime do you have on your FOWLR? Emptying the skimmer (weekly, daily, or does it fill up or something?) I'm a bit confused with water changes, I read 10% weekly then others say 20% weekly even 30% monthly. Do saltwater fish need trace minerals you can only get from water changes?

(Don't think I'm a lazy bad fish keeper by this thread, I just like to keep things as simple as possible, lifes a big enough stress)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The canister filter has to be cleaned every couple of days. It can't be left for a week (nevermind a couple of weeks), otherwise the algae that you despise will overtake your tank.

+1 to Pasfur and Of2f. Protein skimmer and no canister.
Really? why does a canister filter have such a negative effect on a saltwater tank? All it does is filter the water? I never have a problem with mine on my discus tank, I don't get any abnormal nitrate readings.

There is no light in a canister filter so how does the canister promote algae?
 

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When did I say I couldn't afford it?

That's the whole point of a canister filter, and that's why you clean it :shock:

By afford it, I did not indicate the costs as the sole barrier. You indicated a space restraint, and a concern about the increased mainetnance.

Personally, I do not feel that any increase in maintenance is "worth it" in respects to a Marine Fish Only system. If the brightly colored fishes are what attract you, then with no extra effort and less headaches, you could house Malawi Cichlids. Again, this is MY PERSONAL OPINION, so please don feel as though I am shooting down your preferences. I do however, feel that a marine reef system is well worth the added efforts of time, money, space, and all the aggrivations that come with them.

As for the Canister Filter question, in a marine system, the canister filter would need cleaning several times a week. While you may have some success with a canister filter on a FO system, the Canister filter does not remove DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds) If you are keeping a FOWLR system, much of the detritus that builds in your system is broken down by various worms, snails, bugs and crustaceans to the point that a Canister filter will do little to remove. These DOCs are removed by a process where they are attracted to the surface of a bubble and are removed in a sort of sea foam. This process can only be completed with the use of a Skimmer. This is also how the ocean cleans itself.

So, in short; Is it worth it? Well the answer to that question is variably dependent on the person asking it. I do not feel a switch to Marine FO would be worth it. But you may well feel differently after having made the switch.

Can it be done with a Caniter Filter? Perhaps; but likely wih limited success dependent on many factors, some of which you can control, and some you cannot.

My suggestion... Go for broke and set up a system capable of sustaining a nice reef, then start out with FOWLR. If you decide later down the road that you want to add corals, you have little added requirements.
 

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I disagree with the premise of this thread. I do not find marine aquariums to be more time consuming that freshwater. In fact, the time it takes to do your 50% water change is far greater than the time I spend maintaining both my 58 reef and 180 FOWLR combined. Additionally, I do not find the maintaining of calcium or phosphates to be difficult, and I do not find that algae growth is any different than freshwater. Also, for a FOWLR tank, you will actually have less equipment than a freshwater tank.

The key is a proper setup and knowledge. Unfortunately, this does include a protein skimmer, so you would be better off sticking with freshwater.

Mark, with all due respect, I feel it a bit misleading to suggest that any marine system is less involved than a FW system. A good FW maintenance schedule would be ridiculed as a poor effort on an equally sized marine system. A 20% monthly water change wih a quick gravel vac, clean out a canister every month or so, and an occasional PH and Nitrate Test. There is literally nothing to keeping a FW system (at least in comparison).Also remember that you have had several years of experience with these type of systems. Of course you have no problems with supplementation and maintenance. To someone with little or no experience in the marine side of the hobby, it can be much more involved until they understand what it is that they are doing.
 

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You could put a flame angel in a 29 gallon, but if you ever want to invite corals there could be a problem. I would not go with just a fish only system though ( never really thought of it before; it would not be worth it in my opinion). If you are going to invest in a nice protein skimmer, I would go ahead and do live rock,too. And if you do that, you need to think about the substrate you are going to use (if any), and the depth in which you will have it at.
 
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