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Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

Posted By Message


Member since 5/05

19403 total posts


Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

My kids have been begging for a tank with fancy fish, since there is one in the lobby of one of their schools that we see every day. How hard are they to maintain, especially for someone who has NO idea what to do?

Are there services that come to maintain the tank and monitor the water and all that? I'm really afraid I'd screw it up and kill them all.

TIA for any advice!

Posted 2/8/11 4:01 PM
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LIF Toddler

Member since 1/11

446 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

From what I understand, saltwater tanks are very difficult and expensive to maintain.

I used to take music lessons from a woman who had a saltwater tank in her home. She did have a professional come in to moniter the tank. It seemed as though he was there every week at the same time I was.

ETA: I'm sure if you research there are probably some pretty cool looking, low maintence freshwater fish that your kids would enjoy.

Message edited 2/8/2011 4:07:46 PM.

Posted 2/8/11 4:06 PM

LIF Adult

Member since 12/10

3797 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

Growing up, we had a 90 gallon tank and a 75 gallon tank. As PP mentioned, they are a lot of work and expensive to maintain. The levels need to be checked all the time and adjusted if needed.

They are so pretty when maintained. We had live coral, anemones, clown fish, and all sorts of colorful gorgeous fish.

Posted 2/8/11 7:21 PM


Member since 7/06

11472 total posts

Völlig losgelöst

Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

I've never had a saltwater, but thy are difficult to maintain and very time consuming.

Why don't you try a freshwater first and if they maintain that, think about moving onto a saltwater.

Posted 2/9/11 10:22 AM

Oh boys

Member since 6/08

1388 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

I used to have a salt water tank. It was very expensive to start up. We used live rock in our tank and the recommendation is 1-1.5 lbs/gallon of water.

The larger the tank, the more self sufficient the tank is. Once the tank is established, the maintenance drops down considerably. You do need to measure chemical levels, but that is relatively simple and to adjust the levels is not really that difficult. The products nowadays are pretty user friendly. You can hire a company to monitor the tank levels and do water changes, but from what I remember, it was pretty expensive.

Fish are also very expensive and many do not get along, so you have to pick 1 fish you absolutely love and then choose other fish based on what works with that fish.

I can't tell you how many $100s-1000s I've literally flushed down the toilet because fish die.

The tank was beautiful and I loved looking at it, but I'll never do it again!

Posted 2/9/11 10:55 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 10/09

929 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

We have a 150 gallon salt water reef tank it is very expensive/difficult to run. In order to have corals you need special lights, chiller, chemicals ect and can be hard to maintain.

There are companies that will maintain tan but we were never thrilled with them.

a regular salt water tank with just fish may be easier but still requires a lot of maintance.

I also have a regular tropical tank with pretty fish and a red and blue lobster. they are fun to watch and pretty low maintance. easy to do water changes and filter cleaning. we have a fluval canister filter which does a great job.

i"d be happy to answer question about either tank

Posted 2/9/11 1:14 PM

LIF Toddler

Member since 9/10

494 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

I've had both. IMO- a coral tank was MUCH easier than fish only. Essentially, the corals helped maintain the water levels. They're both tough and time consuming but worth it. You might want to look into a Nano cube. Everything that you need is all in one piece. Obviously you can't put big fish in there, but you can definitely stick a small clown fish and 2-3 other small fish depending on the size you get. Good luck!

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Posted 2/9/11 8:27 PM


Member since 5/05

19403 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

Thanks everyone! I'll look into all these suggestions.

Posted 2/9/11 8:55 PM


Member since 5/05

12810 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

I had fish tanks all my life but only fresh water... when I started a salt water one a few years ago, I didnt find the upkeep too difficult but the fish are so Chat Icon When a 20 cent guppy dies, its sad but not a big deal price-wise but the salt water fish are so expensive. That was my biggest gripe.

Posted 2/11/11 9:18 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 5/10

935 total posts


Re: Anyone have a salt water fish tank?

IMO I think that fish are the MOST difficult to maintain. You ahve to make sure the ph levels are correct, that the tank is clean, that it's a certain tempurature.
My FIL built a pond in their yard and has fish in it, the MAINTENENCE on something you just look at and don't interact with is ridiculous. I would get my kids a cat first, but again that's from my experience. Check out a pet store, see if they have someone knowledgeable who can educate you, OR better yet if it's for your kids and they are of the reading age, bring them to the library check out a few books and make them learn about it Chat Icon (I'm going to be a really mean mom)

Posted 2/11/11 10:48 AM

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