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View Full Version : Anyone keep fish: fresh/salt water?



Chris Padilla
03-22-2010, 6:10 PM
I used to have several tanks as a kid/teenager until I went to college, met a girl, got married, had a kid. I've never done saltwater but had several freshwater tanks.

Now all my tanks/equipment are still at my parent's house and as they've come to visit over the years (CO to CA), they've been slowly bringing me BACK all my fish stuff.

Dad made a nice stand out of some butcher block maple and we currently have a 10-gallon tank set up for my daughter. Notice the italics, there?

So now dear old Dad has been bitten by the fish bug. I'm having the parents bring out the 29-gallon tank (it'll fit nicely on the maple tank stand) and I'm now dreaming of the ultimate tank...a dream I had when I was deep into keeping fish in my teens:

A nicely planted 180-gallon tank full of Discus and smaller fish (Neons, Cardinals, etc.)

Of course, I will make the stand to hold this behemouth (she wants it out of walnut). I'm hoping to pick up a used acrylic tank locally. The wife is cool with it but she pulled the ultimate trick on me: I must get the Entertainment Center done before I'm allowed to dive deep back into my ultimate tank dream. sigh...I know...I know...this EC has been on hold for about 5-6 years now :o but I keep telling her I get side-tracked with the honey-do list too much.

Anyway, motivation! I do need it....

Mitchell Andrus
03-22-2010, 6:32 PM
Fish are cool. Been there, done that. Never again. Too many died.

Hint #1: To those who don't know.... don't put any carnivorous fish in the tank with teeny-tiny Neons. A school of 20 or 30 Neons looks cool but Neons taste great and are easy to catch apparently.

Hint #2: All fish will turn carnivorous, 'cept maybe the algae suckers. See hint #1.

And don't put crayfish in with anything no matter the size difference. Everything tastes great to these guys and like the terminator, they never stop.

Hint #3: Plastic fish last the longest 'cause they almost never get eaten and rarely die. If you don't have a great relation$hip with the guy at the fi$h $tore, buy plastic fish.

I lost the bug long before going marine. Now THAT'S an expensive hobby.
.

Roger Newby
03-22-2010, 6:57 PM
Get some guppies.....and stand back.....they're the fish equivalent to rabbits:D Also any other member of the Gambusia group. Live bearers and easy to take care of. Also CHEAP!

Bruce Page
03-22-2010, 8:05 PM
Chris, I started at 15 years old and have had a tank going ever since. I did saltwater for several years, got hit with some bug and lost several hundred bucks worth of fish. I concluded that saltwater was too much money & too much work.
I have had a 110 gallon freshwater setup for about the last 15 years.

Chris Padilla
03-22-2010, 9:28 PM
Deets, Bruce, what are the details?! Any pics?

Matt Meiser
03-22-2010, 9:38 PM
We were told a Beta is super easy to take care of.

May they rest in peace.

And yes, we only had one at a time.

Bruce Page
03-22-2010, 9:54 PM
It's not a very good pic.

Bill Geyer
03-22-2010, 10:01 PM
Wow Bruce. Beautiful tank.
Here's my set-up. 36 gallons is all i can keep up with, plus it gave me a good excuse to build another cabinet for the living room.

Bryan Morgan
03-23-2010, 12:49 AM
I have a 60 gallon reef tank. Various corals and fish with other little critters running around. Other than feeding and some cleaning I haven't spent too much time with it lately because I've been working in the garage. Been spending money on tools and not fish or corals. :) We have a giant bean bag chair in the middle of our fish room/library. Its nice to plop in there with a book and read and listen to the water and watch the fish/sea creatures. Contrary to popular belief salt water is very easy to maintain. I had a slightly smaller (40 gallon) fresh water tank but I just couldn't keep the water clear. It was always cloudy even after adding filters and whatnot. If you setup your salt water tank right it kind of takes care of itself other than feeding and basic cleaning, maybe throw in some chemicals once a week.

Lee Schierer
03-23-2010, 8:05 AM
Discus + 180 gallons = neons for lunch.....

Fish will grow to the size of their environment and food supply. Discus in a tank that large will get bigger than Bluegills.

Paul Mullan
03-23-2010, 8:17 AM
here is a pic of my 400 gallon saltwater tank.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/muligan/IMG_0528.jpg

glenn bradley
03-23-2010, 8:32 AM
I don't keep fish as I never acquired the taste. I do have plenty of other meats in the fridge and in the garage freezer. Does that help?

Richard Chan
03-23-2010, 9:45 AM
I've keep a SPS reef tank for 14yrs and I usually do not add any chemical is all possible. Go over to one of many reef forums and ask questions. I belong to this one for over 10yrs it's a good one for information.http://www.bostonreefers.org/forums/.
I do biweekly water changes with RO/DI, top off with RO DI water and run a large skimmer.

Nice tank Paul.

Mitchell Andrus
03-23-2010, 9:53 AM
I don't keep fish as I never acquired the taste. I do have plenty of other meats in the fridge and in the garage freezer. Does that help?

You name any Wanda?

You are a bad, bad man.
.

Bruce Page
03-23-2010, 10:19 AM
here is a pic of my 400 gallon saltwater tank.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/muligan/IMG_0528.jpg

Very Nice!! Do you have something in the wall too?

Pat Germain
03-23-2010, 11:29 AM
Mrs. Patrick had a freshwater tank for many years. It was nice, but required much maintenance. Before giving it up altogether, she was talking about going saltwater because it was less maintenance. She knew several people with saltwater tanks and they confirmed it involved less maintenance.

Thus, I recommend looking closer at a saltwater tank solution before assuming it would involve more maintenance than a freshwater tank. There are many good fish aquarium forums online.

Dave Johnson29
03-23-2010, 12:06 PM
plus it gave me a good excuse to build another cabinet for the living room.

I am a metalworker. :eek:

WOW Bill, beautiful cupboard ... but, you built that cupboard and all the wires an tank-fixins are outside it? Shame on you. ;):D

Oh, in my 20s a looong time back I had salt water, can't recall the size but around 100 gallons. I used to do a lot of scuba diving so got to catch my own. Made a really nifty spring loaded catch-net.

Belinda Williamson
03-23-2010, 3:43 PM
Just a comment to say very nice tanks, guys! I've always wanted a salt water aquarium.

Back when Betas were all the rage an employee gave one to me to keep on my desk. I couldn't stand the thought of the poor thing living in that small space just staring at me all day. So, I got it (him?) a nice large tank with all the fixins'. After several years of happy fish contentment I came home one day and Leonardo da Fishy had disappeared. :eek: I couldn't find him anywhere. Turns out that, unknown to me, he had developed some type of disease, became very bloated, and got stuck in the upper portion of his castle and couldn't get back down. So, basically, as I understand it . . . Leonardo de Fishy drowned. :( I buried him under my prized miniature rose. I then ended up with two of those sucker/cleaning fish because I'm the worst person in the world at keeping a tank clean (probably what happened to Leonardo). One day I found a little fishy skeleton resting on a branch of the plastic plant in the tank. Apparently I had a cannibal fish.

Bascially, I can't give you any advice, but I wish you the best and hope to see pics of actual live fish! :)

Dave Johnson29
03-23-2010, 3:59 PM
Nice anecdotes Belinda.

Leonard De Carprio might have been a good name too. ;):)

Mitchell Andrus
03-23-2010, 4:07 PM
One day I found a little fishy skeleton resting on a branch of the plastic plant in the tank. Apparenlty I had a cannibal fish.



Halibut Lechter?
.

Dave Verstraete
03-23-2010, 5:14 PM
The only fish I keep are the TASTY ones. All others go back in the water:D

Belinda Williamson
03-23-2010, 7:23 PM
Nice anecdotes Belinda.

Leonard De Carprio might have been a good name too. ;):)

His colors were so beautiful I couldn't help but go with da Vinci. He was rather handsome, . . . nah de Caprio isn't that pretty. :D

Dave Johnson29
03-23-2010, 8:24 PM
Caprio isn't that pretty. :D

Ahhh, OK, I didn't know what "Betas" was so I assumed it was a fish of some kind and thought it might be of the Carp family.

Actually when I started to read your post, I thought you were going to launch into a story about losing a goldfish in a VCR.

Now Beta I **do** know about. I had a beta VCR long after you could still buy the tapes.

Sorry about the thread hijack guys, but I did say "launch" so it is sort of related. :D:D

Bryan Morgan
03-23-2010, 10:40 PM
I've keep a SPS reef tank for 14yrs and I usually do not add any chemical is all possible. Go over to one of many reef forums and ask questions. I belong to this one for over 10yrs it's a good one for information.http://www.bostonreefers.org/forums/.
I do biweekly water changes with RO/DI, top off with RO DI water and run a large skimmer.

Nice tank Paul.

I used to do water changes all the time (I have a built in RO/DI system) but my xenia corals hated it. Now I just top off and do a water change when I get around to it or something isn't right with the chemicals... I think the last one I did was over a year ago.

Chris Padilla
03-24-2010, 2:58 PM
here is a pic of my 400 gallon saltwater tank.

Wow, that is gorgeous, Paul! I'd love to hear about more details...maybe some shot of the "undercarriage"? :)

Chris Padilla
03-24-2010, 3:00 PM
Discus + 180 gallons = neons for lunch.....

Fish will grow to the size of their environment and food supply. Discus in a tank that large will get bigger than Bluegills.

Lee,

You are correct, of course, but it'll take a while for that to happen as I plan to get very juvenile discus (lots cheaper that way) and we'll see how it goes....

Belinda Williamson
03-24-2010, 5:32 PM
Lee,

You are correct, of course, but it'll take a while for that to happen as I plan to get very juvenile discus (lots cheaper that way) and we'll see how it goes....



MAD Sciiiientist. . . :p The Aquarium of Dr. Moreau. (sp? too lazy to check)

Chris Padilla
03-25-2010, 2:56 PM
MAD Sciiiientist. . . :p The Aquarium of Dr. Moreau. (sp? too lazy to check)

Yeah, sumthin' like that, Belinda! ;)

Karl Card
03-27-2010, 1:39 AM
My first and only tank was a 135 gallon saltwater tank... I want to get another one now that I own my house instead of renting.

After having saltwater I do not have the want for a freshwater tank at all.. The saltwater was very easy to take care of and never did have problems. The thing to having good water though is having either a filter on the water supply or as I did having a water softener. If you have good water and a good water supply you NEVER have to do water changes, just top it off due to evaporation.

When I get another one it will be built into a wall on the end of our living room.

Jeffrey Makiel
03-27-2010, 9:00 AM
Back to the original post...

Discus fish are beautiful, but a bit more difficult to keep than 'regular' tropical fish. I've never had any luck with them, mostly because they should be kept by themselves as they have some special pH and filtration needs.

If you're considering a salt tank, you have two choices: fish only or a reef tank. A 'fish only' tank is about the same difficulty to maintain as a freshwater tropical tank although a bit more expensive to set up and maintain. A reef tank contains living corals which require very stable, clean and well lit conditions. A reef tank can not tolerate maintenance neglect to almost any degree.

Another option you may want to consider is ornamental goldfish like orandas, bubble eyes, lion head, calicos and pom-poms. They are very peaceful, never hide and always move about the tank. However, don't confuse ornamental goldfish with common goldfish like fantails, moores or comets. Ornamental goldfish are prone to disease borne by poor water conditions. And, they poop and pee a lot making frequent water changes imperative. That is, you can not rely on biological filtration as much as you could with tropical fish.

On a personal note, I maintain a fish only marine tank, but I kind of miss the ornamental goldfish.

-Jeff :)