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Thread: any aquarium homies out there?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by William Cannon
    I kept a couple of plants in there, but the cichlids ended up eating them so I removed the log and built "limestone condos" in the back to give the fish more hiding places. I'll post pictures of the new setup with the additional cave condos in a couple of days.
    Haha. I was looking at your last two pics and was about to ask how you kept your cichlids from eating the plants. I'm down to 3 of my original 6 cichlids (and the dominant one looks determined to go Highlander on the rest), so I will probably be up for a tank shuffle is a month or so. How difficult is a lagoon tank to maintain relative to salt water?

  • #52
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    well, that's the last time i buy fish from aquatek. every one of my new fish is dead. the shrimp is still alive.

    mother.$#@!er.

  • #53
    damn dude that sucks. my last go round with amazonia ended up like that... $#@!ing bull$#@!.

  • #54
    bunghole Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night.
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    Yeah that sucks man...but a lot can kill fish when they're moved from one tank to another obviously. How long did you have them before they died? At amazonia we would give people a 24hr window to get their money back if the fish dies. But obviously the fish could have died for any number of reasons completely unrelated to the store.

    Right after college when I moved out of Austin I sold my entire Malawi Pea$#@! collection to one family. They had a brand new tank so I also gave them my filters and we transported about 50g of water (they had a bad ass 180 bow front). Anyway -- we move the fish and we do everything perfect....and I get a call about 2hrs later that the fish were starting to die. Just like that. I had these guys for about 3yrs and all of a sudden they're just dying.

    Well, the best we can figure is that something was in their water supply. They had a brand new house and we used the outside faucet for the firs time (I did not know this). So we think something was in there.

    Moral of the story is -- the fish died but not because they were sick or something when I sold them. $1500 in fish dead. The people were very nice and we agreed to just each lose 750 on the deal.

    Anyway -- I dislike the dudes at Aquatek, but if the fish look healthy in the tanks then 9/10 the fish death is unrelated to the store.

  • #55
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    tank has been up and running for over 8 years in it's current setup w/ the live rock, live sand, sump and protein skimmer. the blenny and clown that were already in the tank are just fine. one of the firefish died almost immediately - w/i 24-36 hours. the rest of the fish were alive on thursday. i find it hard to believe that all of the fish i bought dying w/i 5 days of purchase and the "incumbents" still living isn't an indictment of the store. i've had bad luck buying from them in the past as well. honestly don't remember if i've ever had a fish from there last. i'll be going back to gallery of pets or checking out aquadome.

    to add to my bad news, i've got bristle worms again. big ones. i walked by the tank after the lights had shut off last night and saw two 5-6"ers. that six line wrasse would have been LOVING them. as it is, my hermit crab is getting fat as $#@! eating all the carcasses. i have only seen one, and he was munching away at it about an hour later.

  • #56
    bunghole Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Bevo5 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night.
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    This sounds like a really bad idea but I've actually had some decent results buying SW fish at Petco...or Petsmart (I always get confused which one has SW) I went in once and they had 'assorted butterfly fish' for like 19.99 each. I got a bad ass blue cheek and it lasted a long time. They also used to do a 7day warranty on them.

    Only thing -- you have to look at the entire section of fish to make sure nothing is weird or sick. Unless they've changed how they do things, they had all of their tanks hooked up to one massive filter. So anything wrong in one tank would go wrong in the others quickly.

    And I have no problem blaming it on Aquatek -- like I said, those dudes are jack asses. I never understood how people could be arrogant about their knowledge of aquariums. Oh well.

  • #57
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    went to aquadome today and damn, i really liked it! the guy was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. also, their prices weren't ridiculous like aquatek's - cleaner shrimp is $30 at aquatek, $20 at aquadome. i did get a canary wrasse to handle the bristle worms. they have a killer assortment of corals there too. goddamn if i'm not wanting to get all hardcore back into this hobby...i can feel my wallet getting ligher already.

  • #58
    Can anyone give me some insight and support for getting into the hobby? I have been lurking and reading about Salt Water aquariums for a while and when I see one, I can't stop staring at it- but I'm still hesistant to start my own and I can't put my finger on it. I don't know if it's b/c so many people have told me how hard it is, how much work it is, etc.... or if I'm just being lazy but I need that push of support that will drive me to go out and just do it. Can someone who has SW aquariums give me their input?

  • #59
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    what questions do you have? i love preaching sw aquariums.

    you need a tank, some sand, a light, a filter, some saltwater, and a couple of cheap, disposable fish (damsels are perfect for this) to start w/.

    get specific w/ questions and i'll answer all day long.

  • #60
    Thanks jt. So I guess my basic question is: Is it as hard as everyone makes it out to be. Anyone that I tell that I am thinking about doing a SW tank immediately tells me it's hard and too much of a hassle. I don't want to get thousands of dollars into a hobby to learn that it sucks and it's too much of a pain in the ass for an every day guy to keep up with.

  • #61
    disposable fish, damn that's harsh jt.

  • #62
    It's not hard. Visit Austin reef club and buy used. Spend some kash or it will be hard.

  • #63
    the austin reef club link that was posted earlier saved me a ton of money --http://www.austinreefclub.com/ -- and i've met a bunch of members who are offering free frags to get me started as soon as my water finally settles.

    still doing a 10g nano but the nitrates are dropping so i should add some new creatures beyond the peppermint shrimp in there now sometime next week.

    already planning out the bigger one i want to do, but i'm gonna do the stand / canopy on my own, and build a sump so with all of that i am taking my time, probably 6 months out .

    thinking about 2 green chromis next week, and then a ocellaris clown if those adapt well, but haven't really decided if i'm going SPS LPS or softies yet.

  • #64
    Quote Originally Posted by the real PRONG HORN
    It's not hard. Visit MAAST and buy used. Spend some kash or it will be hard.
    i've heard bad things about MAAST - any idea why? i haven't even looked into the site, but from more than one source i've heard negs.

  • #65
    oh and just a heads up, i haven't bought any fish from there yet, (and looks like JT has trouble) but next weekend is their big summer sale


    10% OFF Tunze
    15% OFF Most Other Dry goods
    20% OFF Reef Octopus Line (Limited to on-hand merchandise only)
    25% OFF Tanks and Stands
    25% OFF Freshwater Fish and Plants
    30% OFF Koralia Pumps (limited to on-hand merchandise only)
    15% OFF Saltwater Fish and Inverts
    40% OFF Books (not magazines)
    35% OFF Remora Skimmers (Limited to on-hand merchandise only)
    Kent Supplements Buy 2, Get one FREE! (Equal or lesser value)
    SeaChem Supplements Buy 2, Get one FREE! (Equal or lesser value)

  • #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropheus
    disposable fish, damn that's harsh jt.
    damsels are just that. they are small, hardy fish that don't get along w/ anyone else and they are cheap. get 2 to cycle your tank and then buy a trigger to eat their asses.

    that's what i did, but that's not really what you should do...unless you are building an aggressive tank.



    i'd have no problem buying equipment at aquatek. that isn't going to die on me in a week!

    fyi - there's a tank i've had my eye on, but i'm not going to buy it :( nice 72g bowfront for $150 at the petco in the arboretum. matter of fact, they have 4 or 5 55g and above tanks on sale there - looks like they are trying to blow them out.

    pretty sure i'm the one that linked the austin reef club and while i haven't been on there in a while, that is an awesome resource. they even have meetings once a month at member homes and you can ask a million questions w/o feeling like an idiot - truly hobbyists looking to help others. highly recommend that site.

    cap - badass that you are looking to build your own sump. i made mine out of rubbermaid bins, but the next one is going to be acrylic and awesome.

    nonbryan - it's not hard at all. there's a learning curve, and you need to be patient, and prepared for failure (i killed a LOT of fish getting it right). but - if you educate yourself, and take a lot longer than you want to (add 1 fish a month, not 4 fish at once), it will be a lot better for you in the long run.

    what sized tank are you looking to get?
    what type of filtration?
    what type of lighting?
    what kind of fish do you want?

  • #67
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    Damn I haven't had an aquarium since my childhood (freshwater, mostly guppies and tetras), but all this talk makes me want to start up again. It's a lot of maintenance though.

  • #68
    yeah, austin reef club, i went to the meeting last month and probably will this one, (though its in georgetown) its where i got some pretty cheap Live rock -- its a broad swatch of people, some youngins like me and then some old guys who know more about sw aquariums then really should be known.

    woke up this morning and thought i had 5 peppermints instead of my 3.... wondering how the hell that happened... 2 of them were the shells left over from molting but all 5 were sittign in a line, and the molted shell was in perfect condition.

  • #69
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    haha! i remember the first time my cleaner shrimp molted and i thought he had died! my little coral banded is doing awesome and i'm going to add a cleaner soon.

  • #70
    i've heard bad things about MAAST - any idea why? i haven't even looked into the site, but from more than one source i've heard negs.


    I don't know. You don't need to be a member to buy from other people on their site.

  • #71
    Another very good site.

    Nano-Reef.com

  • #72
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    When I was in college, my roommate set up a 75-gallon saltwater tank. None of his starter fish died. This was before the Internet, so he learned everything about setting one up from books. He didn't even have a car, so he would bring the fish home on the city bus. The banded coral shrimp he had would sometimes catch and eat small fish.

  • #73
    Quote Originally Posted by jt
    what sized tank are you looking to get?
    what type of filtration?
    what type of lighting?
    what kind of fish do you want?
    I saw a 110 gal the other day that I freakin' loved so I was thinking that size. Is that too agressive?

    As far as filtration and lighting, hell, I wouldn't even know where to start or answer. I am going to put this inside my house like in the living room or my office so I am definitely going to have to keep it in a nice stand and have it presentable so my wife doesn't bitch. She told me already that if I do it that it better look nice so it doesn't junk the house up. That actually is probably the biggest cause of my hesitation. I don't want to get started and then have her jump on my ass and say hell no, that crap is an eyesore.


    On the fish that I want, I want colorful fish, clowne's etc..... I love the coral's and anemone's and all of the live reef stuff. I really like AustinVines tank on the first page of this thread. What do you think?

  • #74
    It's a detail intensive hobby. Without a good knowledge base you may lose interest. A little studying will mean the difference between a cool tank and a crappy one. Do you want in because you want a cool looking tank or because you have an interest and want to learn more?

  • #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Nonbryan
    I saw a 110 gal the other day that I freakin' loved so I was thinking that size. Is that too agressive?

    As far as filtration and lighting, hell, I wouldn't even know where to start or answer. I am going to put this inside my house like in the living room or my office so I am definitely going to have to keep it in a nice stand and have it presentable so my wife doesn't bitch. She told me already that if I do it that it better look nice so it doesn't junk the house up. That actually is probably the biggest cause of my hesitation. I don't want to get started and then have her jump on my ass and say hell no, that crap is an eyesore.


    On the fish that I want, I want colorful fish, clowne's etc..... I love the coral's and anemone's and all of the live reef stuff. I really like AustinVines tank on the first page of this thread. What do you think?
    with saltwater the bigger the better. 110 is great. 55 is like a minimal they suggest you start with. i'm being way out of the ordinary on my starter tank.

    the reason is because with a 110 it takes a lot more things to go wrong to affect the whole tank, in a 10 g the chemical composition could be thrown off in a day.

    anemone's are hard to keep (real hard from what i'm told), you work yourself way up to that, but i'm dropping some starter corals in my tank soon.

    i would check out reefcentral.com which was mentioned before, go to the beginner forum, and then one of the posted topics is a great walkthrough :

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...readid=1031074

  • #76
    jt, with my cichlid tank, I had a casualty once per month on average which meant a fish didn't make it two years on average. fish are by their nature very disposable.

  • #77
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    if a fish makes it past 2 weeks in my tank, it lives forever. crabs and snails will die off after a while, but the fish are money once they get acclimated.

    nonbryan - i'll answer your post in a bit. short on time right now and i want to put some thought into it.

  • #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by balakris
    Damn I haven't had an aquarium since my childhood (freshwater, mostly guppies and tetras), but all this talk makes me want to start up again. It's a lot of maintenance though.
    freshwater is pretty easy once u get it setup, i clean my tank like every 2 weeks or so.

  • #79
    jt, with my cichlid tank, I had a casualty once per month on average which meant a fish didn't make it two years on average.

    With cichlids this is not a badge of honor. You are a rookie.

  • #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nonbryan
    I saw a 110 gal the other day that I freakin' loved so I was thinking that size. Is that too agressive?
    not at all - that's a great tank to start w/ for the reasons mentioned above. more volume = more stability. now you need to worry about a stand for it.

    first question: is it reef ready? if you don't know what that means - does it have something like this built in:




    if not, don't sweat it. you still have several options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonbryan
    As far as filtration and lighting, hell, I wouldn't even know where to start or answer. I am going to put this inside my house like in the living room or my office so I am definitely going to have to keep it in a nice stand and have it presentable so my wife doesn't bitch. She told me already that if I do it that it better look nice so it doesn't junk the house up. That actually is probably the biggest cause of my hesitation. I don't want to get started and then have her jump on my ass and say hell no, that crap is an eyesore.
    second question: how much $$$ are you looking to spend right off the bat. i'm guessing you are like most of us and are looking to get into the hobby and upgrade.

    if that's the case, we need to see what kind of filter options you have... going w/ live sand and live rock right off the bat is super expensive and i wouldn't do it w/ a tank that isn't really set up and stable. i'm thinking something along the lines of a fluval 405.

    eventually you are going to need a protein skimmer and a sump tank. but you can get started for a year or so w/ just a good canister filter while you ramp up.

    lighting - there have been some recent advancements in flourescents and you can get some really powerful lights for $300 and under at any local shop. can't recall the name brand right now. DO NOT buy a package deal and take a single, large diameter fluorescent. there are so much better lighting options out there right now.

    all of at will fit under the tank in the stand, so don't sweat it being an eyesore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonbryan
    On the fish that I want, I want colorful fish, clowne's etc..... I love the coral's and anemone's and all of the live reef stuff. I really like AustinVines tank on the first page of this thread. What do you think?
    there's a $#@!load of good, hardy, colorful fish you can get w/ the setup above. you won't be ready for corals and anemones for a good two years unless you just have a giant budget and are looking to hit that learning curve full blast running. you need to gradually upgrade to a ton of live rock - at least 100 lbs - before getting corals. you need killer lighting (metal halide$$) for both corals and anemones. you need SUPER clean water for anemones (good protein skimmer - i wouldn't even try it w/ mine).

    keep asking questions and i'll keep answering. i know there's a ton of stuff i'm forgetting. plus, there's a million different ways to do this, so i know someone else will have different opinions - which is good for you to see.

  • #81
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  • #82
    Damn. If they can do that, I surely can do this too right?

  • #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropheus
    disposable fish, damn that's harsh jt.
    Jt helping another "friend" out with his aquarium.


  • #84
    Quote Originally Posted by the real PRONG HORN
    jt, with my cichlid tank, I had a casualty once per month on average which meant a fish didn't make it two years on average.

    With cichlids this is not a badge of honor. You are a rookie.
    I overstated my casualty rate to make a point. fish are disposable. but I pushed the envelope anyway mixing as many varieties as I could.

  • #85
    O.k. good. Everything is disposable really unless someone views them as more than just decoration.

  • #86
    Good news. I was talking to my brother about tanks and he has an old 55 gal. acrylic in his garage he said he will give me with a stand. He said that it had some scratches but that it would be good to start with.

    I headed over to Fishy Business over by the Domain and continued my education. The owner seemed pretty knowledgable. He said DON"T do live sand. He said only crushed coral bottoms. He gave me some prices to set up my tank. How do these compare?

    20 gal sump=$250
    Mag 700 Pump=$100
    30 lbs. crushed coral=$36
    85 lbs. of live rock=$595
    60 gal SW=$60
    If I want to do Skimmer and a Light for reefs=approx $600

    Man I love looking at these things. I'm still not confident that I can have the same good looking tank that I see in the shops. There has to be a catch, right?

  • #87
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    live sand is somewhat polarizing in the sw world. some people think it's just a bomb waiting to happen. i've had a 4" dsb (deep sand bed) for 8 years and it's never once blown up on me. i really value it as a natural biological filter. my chem levels haven't changed one iota over that time and i am ridiculously neglectful at times. i probably changed my water 4 times in 3 years at one point.

    i wouldn't pay $250 for a sump. make one yourself out of rubbermaid bins for $30. all it's doing is some physical filtering, adding volume and giving you a place to stick your heater, pump and skimmer to keep them out of sight.

    i see a mag 700, and a sump, but no overflow box, tubing or fittings. if that tank doesn't have built in overflows like the ones i showed above, you will need to buy an overflow box that hangs over the back of the tank.

    price on crushed coral and live rock looks pretty good. i'm leery of any of the live rock i've seen in the local stores around here, but that's an excellent price/lb and if your tank is healthy, that stuff will be an awesome purple color fairly quickly.

    i think you should make your own saltwater the first year or so. it's a right of passage and makes you appreciate the art of the hobby a bit more. but that could just me being overly old school.

    you aren't going to get enough lighting for reefs for $600, much less a good skimmer too. for a reef you need metal halide and that's going to start at $300 for a 250W that will only cover 1/2 a tank that size.

    you can absolutely have a killer reef tank man! it's just about patience and learning before doing.

  • #88
    20 gal sump=$250
    Mag 700 Pump=$100
    30 lbs. crushed coral=$36
    85 lbs. of live rock=$595
    60 gal SW=$60
    If I want to do Skimmer and a Light for reefs=approx $600
    That's a rip-off any way you look at it. over 1200$ for a 55? if you don't know what a rip-off is in your particular hobby don't listen to a retailer. Get on a message board and educate yourself. Reefcentral.com, Nano-reef.com among others.

    Dude. Get a used set-up from Marine society Houston,Austin Reef Club

    here's an example of not getting ripped off.
    40 gal 400$

  • #89
    BTW if you get the 55 you need to put an overflow on it. Don't settle for over the back overflow. It's acrylic so just do it.

    http://glass-holes.com/product.sc?pr...5&categoryId=3

  • #90
    dropping my first coral in the tank tomorrow, a green birdnest. lets see how fast i can kill it

  • #91
    Where did you get it.

  • #92
    asshat Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nonbryan
    I headed over to Fishy Business over by the Domain and continued my education. The owner seemed pretty knowledgable. He said DON"T do live sand. He said only crushed coral bottoms. He gave me some prices to set up my tank. How do these compare?
    If this is the extent of his knowledge, run away. If he had suggested going bare-bottom I would have maybe thought he knew what was up but crushed coral is a detritus trap waiting to happen. I have a shallow sand bed and it has been perfect. Live sand especially is good to get your tank cycled.

    I disagree with using fish to cycle your tank, regardless of the cost of the fish. Get some live rock and let it sit. I know it is impossible to go slow but it will save you some money if you just wait it out, plus you will learn some early lessons (and you won't have an aggressive fish in the tank that could keep you from some really cool fish like fairy wrasses).

    Those prices are full retail which is way too much to pay. Check the for sale forums from ARC, MAAST, DFWMAS and the Houston site. I bought a mag 7 for $20 and there are more people leaving the hobby all the time.

  • #93
    asshat Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines Shaggy Bronze Club Austinvines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capty99
    dropping my first coral in the tank tomorrow, a green birdnest. lets see how fast i can kill it
    SPS for your first coral? You are bold. Shoot me a PM and I can set you up with some zoanthids and once your tank is stable, I have a head of a hammer hybrid available to a good home.

  • #94
    thanks obama jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt Definitely Shaggy upper class jt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the real PRONG HORN
    Don't settle for over the back overflow
    why? other than the cool factor? i've had one for 8 years and it's been flawless.

  • #95
    @nonbryan - i haven't heard much about fishybusiness yet because they are brand new to the area (like the last month) so they are still stocking up i think on everything. the one thing i heard is that prices are slightly higher than some of the other places in the area, nothing extreme, but you might be paying off some of his cost right now i don't know.

  • #96
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    looking at this thread, i've determined SW is not as simple or inexpensive as FW... which is where "SW is hard" comes from.

  • #97
    looking at this thread, i've determined SW is not as simple or inexpensive as FW... which is where "SW is hard" comes from.

    winner

  • #98
    why? other than the cool factor? i've had one for 8 years and it's been flawless.

    Because the 55 is acrylic. Over the back is acceptable for glass.

  • #99
    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHorn
    looking at this thread, i've determined SW is not as simple or inexpensive as FW... which is where "SW is hard" comes from.
    I have had both. My current fresh water tank I do maintenance on every 2 weeks to a month and it's perfect. My salt water tank required me to check the pH/salinity and add chemicals every day. Furthermore, when a salt water tank goes bad, it's not as simple as doing a total water change. The level of maintenance is about 10 times that of fresh water. Basically, you need to be committed to doing about 30 minutes of work on your tank everyday, which is a lot more commitment than a lot of people are capable of. Furthermore, for a reef tank, it takes 2-3 years before the tank really takes hold.

  • #100


    i had to do it.

    name : sergio

    (if he dies i will posthumously change his name to bradford)

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