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Old 05-04-2003, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Madison, WI
Any aquarium hobbyists out there?

Not sure this is the proper place to start this thread but I didn't see a Tilted Hobbies section, so I started it here.

I have a 29 gal. saltwater aquarium right now. Had it for a few months and I love it. Probably will be upgrading to a 75 gal. in a few weeks. I usually watch the fish more than the TV. I will have some pictures of the tank soon, but have to find a place to host them. Don't think picture attachments are allowed in the Gen. Discussion.

Just wanted to see if any other TFPers were also into this hobby...
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
I have a 31 gallon tank...But the house we have now is unfortunately too small to set it up.
When I did have it set up it was a freshwater fish tank. I loved it.
I had it set up in my bedroom. The sound of the water bubbles and the filter trickling is actually very relaxing. I can't wait till I'm able to set the tank back up.

Saltwater tank. Is that hard to keep up? Cleaning and maintenance ? I've always loved the look of saltwater tanks but have worried about the maintenance of all of it.
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Tucson, AZ
50 gallon freshwater tank. Three huge (6 inch) goldfish, one angelfish and two algae eaters.
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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20 gallon and 10 gallon planted freshwater tanks. Looking to possibly to getting 120 gallon tank, but that might be too expensive and to much maintenance
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Old 05-05-2003, 05:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Columbia Falls, MT
All I have is a 10 gallon freshwater, which I've had for about two years now. I would love to get a bigger one, somewhere around 50 gallons when I get the money.

I have a question though. How much more maintenance is required for a saltwater tank? The only thing that keeps me from starting one is that it seems like alot of work.
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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39gal reef tank, skimmerless. 3 years old
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Old 05-05-2003, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Madison, WI
Quote:
Originally posted by Atropos4
Saltwater tank. Is that hard to keep up? Cleaning and maintenance ? I've always loved the look of saltwater tanks but have worried about the maintenance of all of it.
If you understand the Nitrogen Cycle, which is also present in a freshwater setup, then a saltwater tank isn't to much different really. If you keep only fish, then it's a little easier. Having a true reef tank with corals takes a bit more dedication though. Have to have the correct lighting conditions and water quality is paramount. If you like keeping a fish tank and don't neglect water changes and the day to day stuff, then a saltwater tank isn't that hard. Best thing you can do is read, read, and read some more. Knowing what to expect is a big part of preventing issues when you are starting a saltwater tank.

Here is a link to an awesome forum/information resource:
Reef Aquarium Guide

That is the best place I have found to get started.
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Old 05-05-2003, 02:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: USA
yes.
years ago I did the whole bit, big tanks, saltwater reef, etc.
That was a lot of work.
Now I keep a 20 gal and 10 gal with goldfish
and Koi in the backyard pond.
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Canada eh?
I've presently got a 20L tank. just enough to keep the habit going. Now that I've finally moved someplace I'll be for several years I building a 45 Imp Gallon corner tank. And looking forward to it in a big way.
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
I've got a 20 gal community tank, and I'm building up a 50 gal tank for some cichlids. It's a great hobby!
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Old 05-24-2003, 05:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: In beautiful (YOUR AREA)
I just bought me a new AGA 120g for my new reef, will be lighted by 2 250watt metal halides with pc actinics for the photosynths. Just drilled the glass to hook up a closed loop system, also have a 30g clam lagoon, and a 20g that houses all of my frags.
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Old 05-24-2003, 05:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: In beautiful (YOUR AREA)
Quote:
Originally posted by Atropos4
Saltwater tank. Is that hard to keep up? Cleaning and maintenance ? I've always loved the look of saltwater tanks but have worried about the maintenance of all of it.
For your interest, a couple links that will answer all your qustions, and them some.

Reefs

ReefCentral
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Old 05-25-2003, 02:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Heh, I'm bitten by the reef bug. Been lurking on RDO, RC and www.nano-reef.com. Read some books. Read them again. Unfortunately for me, the college student, it's not a cheap hobby. By a longshot. I'm about to set up my 29g, once I finish staining my stand. Patience is supremely frustrating sometimes.


Oh yeah, my g/f keeps FW. Best place for show quality goldfish is from Rick Hess at www.goldfishconnection.com. Sometimes pricey but always worth it. We have a beauty of a black moor whose body is as big as my fist.
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've got a 75g reef tank that has been up for three years, moved into froma 50g tank that was up two years before that. It's been a lot of fun with some highligts and lowlights.

It really isn't that hard to keep a 55g+ reef tank, as long as you pay attention to things and act on signs as soon as they are noticed.

I think it's important to be aware of the environmental affects of what you collect for your tank. Learn what the requirements are for things before you buy them, and only buy them if you think you can keep them alive. Also try to avoid things that are endangered, or that collecting damages the reef.

There are some plusses to keeping reef tanks. For people to get behind conserving something, they have to be able to see it in person. The more people are aware of how beautiful reefs are, the more dedicated they will be to preserve them. If we can contribute to this while minimizing the damage we cause the the reef then the hobby is a good thing. TM
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Pennsytuckia
55 gallon fresh water tank with 5 goldfish. Had 6 but one got old and died. I have had it up for 5 years with the same fish. I tell ya these babies are tough. For the first 3 years I was very good at keeping the water clean every week and checking the PH and stuff. Now I think I change it when the water level drops down an inch or two .
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Old 08-01-2003, 12:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: RI
My fiancee loves fish stuff, hell, she's going to school for Aquaculture and Fishery Technologies. Right now at her house, she's got a 35 gallon saltwater tank which she is using to help out her local elementary school. At the elementary school, she's setting up a 90 gallon saltwater tank because all the little kids want a Nemo tank.
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
I've been in this cool hobby for the past 20+ years and working in various areas for the past 12. I presently have a 33 gal skimmerless reef with soft corals. No hard corals as I don't have too much time to do the maintenance they need to thrive. I'll post a pic in the photography area with specs and maint regimin.

I have a 2' cube aquarium that I'm going full planted after the g/f and I get our place all painted and stuff (going through a re-decor phase ).
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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actinic: sweet if your username reflects your hobby.

If you've been doing saltwater that long, I'm sure you've seen some amazing advancements in the hobby. I think at 20 years ago the best cure for hair algea was still taking a tooth brush to all the rock in your tank. Lighting was crap, and keeping coral for a few months was a major accomplishment.
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Old 08-02-2003, 03:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
Yup...you guessed it obediah .

IMO the basic advancements we have come up up with are:
1. the WWW in the sharing of information
2 Understanding of the requirements of these animals
3.Better understanding of an enclosed aquatic environment
4. Technological methods to manufacture products for #1 and aid in #2
5. Compared to the 80's, increase in international trade

This leads to (no specific order of importance):
1. Proper handling and transportation
2. Expedient export/import
3. Lighting
4. Supplements (nutritional and chemical) to help the animals thrive
5. Importance of partial water changes

It's a great hobby that many enjoy. It keeps me out of trouble and a great substitute for TV .
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: In the shadow of The Rat
I've had aquaria since 1970 and have kept pretty much everything but goldfish during that time. I enjoyed my stint at saltwater and reef tanks, but I moved on for ethical reasons. I currently have discus tanks (largest 130 gallons) and numerous small tanks for breeding guppy strains. I find it difficult to imagine living without an aquarium!
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:11 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Good luck with the salt water.
I had to ditch the salt water fish in my 75 gallon tank for fresh water. I was just to hard to keep the fish alive and keep a job.
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: Home
I just got rid of my 250 gal, it was taking up too much of my day. Now I have a 29 gal tetra tank in my bedroom and an african frog in a goldfish bowl in my kitchen.
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
I have a 55gal tank, still filled with water and filters running but devoid of fish now for about two weeks since my beloved Central American cichlid died after 6 years. I'm considering finally making a reef tank out of this and it will be my first venture into a salt water tank.

I also have a 29gal Hi, I think that's the size, with many guppies that used to be food for other fish a few years ago but they outlived the eaters and looked nice so I let em settle in; lots of nice plants, underwater tree trunk, rocks in this tank too since guppies don't dig and ruin underwater landscaping like the cichlid did. I also dropped two green newts in there but they hide so good under rocks I rarely see them.

And last year my most talented son won a goldfish prize at a local fair by accurately tossing a ping pong ball about 10 inches exactly thru an 8ft wide opening, what an aim! Now that guy lives in a 10gal tank by himself and is about 7 inches long already with some nice veily fins like most Comet goldfish.

While the type of fish have changed over the years, my 55gal and 29gal tanks have been running for over 10 years with no tear-down, just occasional water changes and plant additions/deletions. IMO, it pays to research, set it up right and spring $ for good filtration.
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Old 08-04-2003, 04:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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BadNick:

Good luck with the saltwater setup, 55 gal should be enough water to get a pretty stable reef going, and will be a lot easier to keep than a 30 gal or smaller. If you've got the equipment to put a little sump on it, that would be even better, but that opens up flooding issues (that can mostly be mitigated with good design).

Your experiences with research and buying high quality stuff will pay off even more with saltwater. There is a lot of stuff you can buy to help, and it takes a lot of research to figure out how much is worth it - i.e. a lot of stuff makes a lot more sense for a 200G+ setup than a 55 gallon setup.
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Old 08-04-2003, 05:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: DC
I just bought an Eclipse System 12 for my townhouse. Can't fit much more than that in there....Haven't kept fish in years, hoping to get back into it...
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:43 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: New York, NY
The environmental aspects of your aqurium should definatley be in consideration. The vast majority of our oceans and especially coral reefs are extremely threatened by among other things, ovcer fishing and the pet trade. There are plenty of good ways to go about having a great aqurium without damaging these fragile ecosystems.

For info on coral reefs:

http://www.coralreefalliance.org/

And more on conservation friendly aquariums here:

http://www.aquariumcouncil.org/
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
The issue of conservation is a VERY important in this day and age. There are conscientious aquarium hobbyists, retailers, distributors and collectors out there but IMHO they are few and far in between.

To generalize, we are a consumer society and like to get "our bang for the buck"and what we want when we want, but also raise the question, "at what cost?"

Like it or not, the bottom line is the all mighty $$$. Years ago captive raised animals were anywhere from 10-200% more expensive than wild caught/collected. Today I've seen captive raised on par to 50% more.

I know of at least 4 reputable North American companies that captive raise/farm fish and coral. They are, when they get to the retail level, are more expensive but IMHO are very well worth the extra $$$ as the animals themselves do not undergo improper handling or lengthy waits during shipping. Other avenues of obtaining captive raised fish and coral frags are through aquarium clubs and fellow hobbyists.

The difficulty today with “farming” marine animals, for the most part, is the complex egg to larval stage of development. There are a handful of species of fish that hobbyists can “captive” raise. Most corals, hard and soft, can be cultured by asexual and physical means.

Think of the freshwater fish in general. Many of the species that are seen in the retail shops are farmed in the orient. Cheap labour, resources, ease of rearing and “pack rate*” make it to what it is today. Also small sizes are imported for grow out into marketable sizes. If the early development of the freshwater hobby were here today, we would be facing the same issues as the marine hobby today.

*amount that can be put into the box and overall weight per box.

I personally am for sharing information of captive rearing and propagation to save what we have in the oceans. It’s a philosophy that has to be spread and it’s not a difficult one. The difficult part is making a positive choice and knowing what going on within the 5 panes of glass.
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Old 08-05-2003, 04:38 PM   #28 (permalink)
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90 Gallon Malawi Chiclid tank
55 Gallon Planted Tank, with lots of fish in there
29 Gallon tank with some fish that i havent gotten rid of
250 Gallon Pond that a heron keeps eating some of my fish
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:22 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Location: Lost Angeles
I got into the Aquarium faze awhile ago and glad I quit. It started with a small 20 gal, and that moved up to a forty because I wanted more fish, then that moved up to a 60 gal because I wanted bigger fish. Well I had one whole wall covered in tanks so that just did not seem right I had two empty walls to fill.

So off I went and bought a 100 and 210 gal tank, now it looked really cool, had 2 nice recliners and would sit there smoke some good bud have a drink and watch the fish for hours(they really loved Pink Floyd).

Well one day while browsing through the classifieds I saw it.......yes.....that was it......it was meant to be mine.........ALL MINE.......a 400 gal tank complete with stand......yeeesssssss!!

I made the call and the guy sold everything but the tank and stand, it seemed nobody wanted it because it was too big 4x4x8 he said if you come get it you can have it........I DID

Well, after filling that up buying pumps,filters, fish my front room was complete.......just an awesome sight to behold, my friends were amazed and just loved smoking the bud and watching my fish for hours.

Then it hit me two months later, Oh my god, I have to clean all of those tanks,pay that HUGE electric bill, buy all those feeder fish, monitor the tanks,and god forbid one of my fish get ICK, so after 6 months of all those beautiful tanks I sold fish and all, except the 400 gal tank which nobody wanted because it was too big

So if you get the urge to step up to a bigger tank, which you will......BE CAREFUL........it's ADDICTIVE!
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Old 08-06-2003, 10:43 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
How about making your own tank? I have a pass thru (basically an interior window) between my dining room and living room that I've always thought would be perfect for a custom tank. I'm an avid scuba diver so it certainly seems fitting. Any info appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:28 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Hawaii
20 Gal saltwater tank. Right now I just have a hermit crab, a couple gobys and a damselfish but I am planning to head back out to the beach soon and see if I am able to add to it. Wouldn't mind a small puffer or a humu humu.
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Old 08-06-2003, 12:07 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
Hey onetime2, it all depends on the dimensions. I've have a few services where the aquarium is used as a room divider within a wall. I wasn't involved in any of the consultaion/construction phase and I'll tell ya, it was a nightmare when I took it on.

If you're not familliar with the intricacies of aquariums, I suggest taking the time to get in touch with someone in your area that can help you with this project. Always ask for referrals, see a portfolio and make sure that they are insured and the work guaranteed. Also discuss your idea of what you want it to look like and they can better give you an idea of what you need, space requirements, equipment, etc.

One of my clients spent thousands of $$$ for a room divider aquarium. When I took it on, it leaked and the day after my consult, all I did was look at the overall set-up...didn't touch a bloody thing...the tank split and ruined his entertainment system and the walk in humidor in the room below it. You don't want to know the damages.

IMHO, when it comes to water and you have "nice stuff" in your house, it's worth spending the extra $$$ and time to have the work done right.
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Old 08-06-2003, 04:43 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by actinic
IMHO, when it comes to water and you have "nice stuff" in your house, it's worth spending the extra $$$ and time to have the work done right.
I am a big time do it yourselfer and find there isn't much of anything I can't tackle. Of course, I end up putting a lot of time into researching the project and if you equate it to dollars I'm sure you're right, but it's just not the same if you know what I mean.
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Old 08-06-2003, 04:52 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Location: Gastonia NC
I feel left out because all I have is a goldfish and a beta in different tanks.

At some point I'd love an aquarium though.
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:10 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Location: ontario
I have a 108G tank, loved it, but it has been neglected with school. During those years I only got real cheapy fish so I wasn't too concerned, but now I don't have the cash to get some more filler fish so I have a pretty empty tank.

Earlier I did get a lobster, stupid thing laid eggs and I had a lot of mouths to feed
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:47 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
onetime2: I know whatcha mean...can't get any more satisfaction than doing it yourself.

keyser: it definitely is a hobby with a steep and slippery slope if you don't tread carefully. I know, before I moved from home I had the basement wall to wall with aquariums

remeil: if their happy,healthy and thriving that's what it's all about

cyder: my old room-mate set a marine tank for a lobster that he bought from the market...all battered and sad looking. A few months later when it's color came back, regrew it's antennae and missing legs, puttering around the tank without a care in the world...he ate it for dinner. Go figure.
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Old 08-08-2003, 10:13 AM   #37 (permalink)
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On the environmental impact of aquarium keeping:

I think the key is to build as many reef aquariums as possible, but to build them as non-intrusively as possible. Buying cultured rock and coral is of course a great way to do this. Some corals can also safely be harvested in a controlled manner from the reef. It's the responsibility of the hobbyist to learn these distinctions and minimize the effect of their hobby.

But increasing the number of aquariums is important (both large show aquariums and home aquariums). People are only interested in preserving what they know and familiarizing people to reefs is an important step in saving the reefs.

The reefs are delicate, and it is (unfortunately) conceivable that many reef species could one day exist primarily in captivity. The more experince and understanding we have with reef husbandry the more likely we'll be able to keep these amazing things alive.

I have the luck of living close to Inland Aquatics one of the larger culture sites and it's great to go wonder through their tanks, seeing how corals have grown, and saying hi to fish I've known for 5+ years.

A lot of interesting corals do well in captivity with the right settings. A lot of trading goes on between hobbyists which helps everyone.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:09 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Boston area
currently running 3 freshwater tanks. a 10, 29 and 50.
the 50 has convict cichlids, the other two an assortment of tetras and gouramis. havent tackled a saltwater tank yet. i've dumped enough money for the freshwater stuff. i shudder at the thought of how much i might spend with a salt water tank.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:45 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
funny this thread should get bumped up now... I just got a 30 gallon aquarium... have yet to put any fish in it tho.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:54 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I've got a 100 gallon with rummynose tetras, brilliant rasboras, 2 bristlenose plecos and a few kuhlii loaches. I used to have congo tetras, but they got too stressed (tank is in a high-traffic area)
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