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Old 10-05-2006, 12:44 AM
Ace1875 Ace1875 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 10
Default A question about Aquarium

Well my parents wedding anniversary is approaching close (Beginning of next month), me and my sisters thought it would be nice if we buy them an aquarium tank, well it might give my mom something to do.

Well we thought about it and decided it would be best if we gave them a 70Gallon Fresh water fish tank, since its easier to maintain.

We have a aquatic store in my town, but i don't trust the 17 yr old's working in it. We all chipped in and have a budget of just under $5000. I want to go in the store and tell them what i want (from your help ) and get it without any further "input" from them.

Well what i can't decide is
  1. Do i want a glass or acrylic?
  2. Will the acrylic scratch up quicker?
  3. Do i want Marine Filtration or is the standard one ok?
  4. ^^whats the difference? which one is quieter?
  5. What type of filter(s) would i need?
  6. What type of plants would i need?
  7. What type of aquatic plants, etc should i buy for it?

I do fish but...when i catch a fish.... ahem....i go..."Look i caught a...fish!!".

I have no idea about fish names and their types. So any input is surely appreciated. I want small fishes that are not very very hard to maintain.

Jonn No puffing dwarfs

We liked these tanks

^^^70Gallon Acrylic

^^115Gallon Glass

Once again Thank You so much in advance
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:20 AM
merrillizer's Avatar
merrillizer merrillizer is offline
The Poacher Poacher - I poach poachers
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hampton, NH Marshland
Posts: 4,759

A budget of 5k, holy hussnads. And you're not doing a marine tank??? Especially if you're lookin to get that bowed acrylic tank. Yes thats a beautiful tank, its like 2k or so I think. But ya, acrylic will scratch way easier than tempered glass. Glass is much easier to care for and to clean, because you dont have to worry about what you are using for tools to scrap off algae etc. I have a 72 gallon bowfront All-Glass, and I love it. Anything bigger than that and you're really moving into "too much time spent on it" territory. Freshwater tanks might be a bit easier to care for, but not as much as people may anticipate or be told, especially if you have lots of Live Rock in a marine aquarium. Once your Live Rock is fully cured and sprouting with all sorts of marine life and organisms, it pretty much makes the tank self-reliant except for the usual water change every few weeks. A marine tank with plenty of LIve Rock will eventually become stable and "heal" itself, it keeps itself balanced very well, as opposed to tanks without Live Rock. I am at the point now where I only do water changes ever 3 or 4 weeks, like 20-25 gallons. And I've had some of my fish, like my Puffer, for almost 2 years. Yeah, mixing the salt over night and then siphoning the water out and putting in the new water can take an hour or so, but what the hell, it's way worth it. And the type of stuff you can get now really makes it easier to care for, for instance I dont even use buckets to remove water while doing a water change anymore, I use a Python hose and out the window the water drains. No spills, no mess. To be honest, I wouldnt by that beautiful bowfront tank and just put freshwater fish in it. NO offense to the freshwater hobby out there, but that would be like buying a Ferrari and putting milk crates in it for seats. Such a nice tank should have marine life in it. With 5k to spare, you have more than enough for the essentials....

The tank/stand etc.

A good light setup (I have an Orbit compact flourescent 48", 4X65W setup, 2 Actinic PC's and 2 10k Daylight PC's, plus 4 moonlights for night time, looks incredible!)

A Penguin or Emperor Bio-Wheel filter

A Protein Skimmer

Between 100 and 150 pounds of Live Rock

Live sand

A few Maxi-Jet 1200 powerheads (for water movement)

Then ofcourse the salt, a hydrometer, and a marine test kit. Then you're pretty much on your way. Its a great hobby. And the type of marine animals you can get just far exceeds that of freshwater, especially if you like a broad spectrum of color. but if you really want to do freshwater, get some game fish lol, like some LArgemouth Bass or Striped Bass fingerlings, and raise them. But if you need specifics, let me know and I will give you all the links to everything you need, right from the places where I get my own stuff :)

Marine is the way to go!!!!

This is KooKoo Kat sittin on top of the chair watchin' the tank lol...

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Old 10-05-2006, 01:42 AM
Ace1875 Ace1875 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 10

See Jonn that's it. i have no idea about fish aquatic life...

OK you talked me into a Marine tank. But we are talking about a 58yr old retired woman taking care of it. I will drop in once in a while to clean it.

Is the salt you are talking about is iodized as epson or something specially made for Marine aquariums?

I saw this complete unit. is it worth it?

5K is also including fish, rock, plants, whatever else i need to complete it.

Edit: you can give me link for your supplier
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:04 AM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 4,316

Originally Posted by Ace
have no idea about fish aquatic life
IMHO I wouldnt start with a marine tank. If the system crashes and it will, you will needlessly kill some very expensive animals. Live plants and naturally occurring algea will aid in oxygenation but will will greatly add to the decaying matter and ultimate bio load of the tank. It is crucially important to understand how to cycle a tank and the principles behind filtration before you set it up for her. Its simple enough but crucial. 3 types of filtration must be present. Mechanical: Some type of mesh filters to trap larger waste products and detritus. Chemical filtration in the form of carbon in the filter system to purify or trap poisons and lastly and most importantly biological. The emporer 400 filter with the dual bio-wheels will provide all three types of filtration for any system. Jonny touched on this concept (biological filtration) in the form of live rock and live sand in a salt system. In a fresh system this can be established in the gravel bottom and or via bio wheels and additive balls inside the filter system. The good bacteria adheres to the rock and filter mesh and allows for more nitrification and waste removal. In any system this is nitrifying bacteria or (Good bacteria) and takes ~ 90 days to establish. This can be done by seeding the tank. (Small bits of food decaying a bit at a time). No more than 1 inch of fish per galllon and in Salt 4 inches per gallon is the ratio of water / fish. The by products Nitrates and ammonia are broken down (nitrites and ammonium) and must be removed via water changes. 10% monthly. Water evaporates pure so evaporation will not remove the impurities.
You can get a 90 gallon glass tank stand, hood and inexpensive fresh water lighting and filtration set for less than 900 bucks. Let her keep some docile non agressive fish first in the tank you can always retool it for salt down the line. The pimple faced kids in the pet store generally know which fish are agressive which are docile, etc etc. It is important you dont have aggressive fish that will either kill or harass the rest of the fish.
Do some reading and get a basic book on aquariums first. Otherwise you will kill a lot of fish by trial and error and possibly sour on the hobby.
This is just my opinion.
It is not impossible to start out with salt. like John said you mix the salt and the hydrometer tells you the specific gravity. Ocean salt sells pre mixed packages that make it very easy but I would want to master the fresh water and understand the waste products and the water quality markers first.
I used to get a lot of stuff from Big Als Online.

Absolutely Fish
This is where I bought my 90 gallon tank and most of my fish. They have awesome stuff and they are located in Clifton New Jersey on route 46 west. There are also some good articles at the web site on the nitrogen cycle. The articles are a must read especially if you want to get into saltwater tanks. Fresh water is much more forgiving.

Happy fishkeeping.
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:43 AM
merrillizer's Avatar
merrillizer merrillizer is offline
The Poacher Poacher - I poach poachers
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hampton, NH Marshland
Posts: 4,759

Drrr, I forgot to add heater to the list above lol. Jim brought up some great points about establishing the tank. If you do go marine, you have to "cycle" it. I did this by getting about 45 pounds of live rock, and using Bactra-Vital. The live rock, even though shipped over-night, will still have some "die off" occur. I cycled my tank for about 4 weeks, with the Bactra-Vital, the cycle was over. What happens is the die-off creates an ammonia spike, then Nitrites spike, then Nitrates. This is Biological Cycle. Once all those levels then drop, your "cycle" is over. Even during the cycle, a marine tank can be enjoyable. But once the cycle is done, you can then add some fish. When my cycle was over, I got a Goby as my first fish....he's a bottom-dweller that takes care of the sand. I have had him almost 2 years, so my approach at cycling a tank works.

I get most of my stuff from Drs. Foster & Smith and their Live Aquaria store....

Dry Goods:

Live stuff (live rock, corals, even fish if you want)

As far as sand goes, its a special mix. There are different brands. I usually use Reef Crystals. You can buy it online from the Drs. site for 50 bux shipped to your door. They want 80 dollars a bucket at the LFS (LFS = Local Fish Store). So you can see why I get stuff online. Another instance of ridiculous retail mark-up is most dry goods......the same heater I got from the Drs. online is almost 40 dollars at the LFS. I got it for 20 online. I have come to realize that almost EVERYTHING will be almost TWICE as much at the LFS.

I guess if you just need something simple and dont really want to get into the hobby, then fresh is the way to go. But with a budget of 5k, I personally cant see why anyone wouldnt get into the hobby That 85 kit would suffice. I got my 72 gallon bowfront AGA w/ stand, and glass tops for like 550 I think. Then I got the Orbit light system on sale from the Drs. for about $245 shipped.


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Old 10-05-2006, 09:37 PM
Ace1875 Ace1875 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 10

I appreciate it so much... you guys gave me more info then i can absorb.

I think mom would be better of with a Marine aquarium, my sister and me have decided to help her out till the rock heals. this decision was made because it requires less cleaning in the future. We will buy her some reef and algae cleaning snails..etc which will help a lot.

Now all we have to do is select the fish and we are done.

We decided to go with this unit with the marine kit. Since it matches my parents furniture.

Last task....convincing dad that he can't eat them.

BTW Jonn i send you a reply back on Cabi.
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