So I did some searching through the threads here and couldn't find anything... which means it needs to exist lol. I did find some talk about this, but no dedicated thread so I figured I would get one started!
I am fairly new to the hobby. I got into it in March. My first tank is my 60 Gallon. Everything they tell you when you are first starting out about: be patient, don't rush things, don't add too many things to the tank at once, etc. It is all true. I started my tank, tested the water constantly, and waited for the cycle. I was using a product that helped the tank cycle as well as adding in a raw shrimp to get the cycle started. Testing the water for a couple weeks and finally had results in the tests that indicated that the cycle had completed. I started to add fish. One at a time. I got a couple from online and a couple from some local places. In Pittsburgh we are lucky to have at least 4 stores that are pretty well dedicated to SW fish and are employed, obviously, by other hobbyists.
**If you would just like to share and skip over my long winded story, I marked below where to pick up lol. I figured that I could save those of you who aren’t all that interested some time lol.**
I am going to make a long story short here. I was running a pretty successful tank for a good month or so, and one of my fish ended up with Ich... and it was REALLY bad. I had coral in the tank at the time, but I decided that the lives of the fish were worth more than the corals. So I dosed the tank with a product to help eradicate the parasite. I now know that it is always present in SW aquariums regardless but I wanted to save them and didn’t have a quarantine option. Ich is another topic/conversation in and of itself. Anyways, So I dosed the tank really early morning. My dad and his girlfriend were in town visiting us and we were taking them to Cedar Point that day. I had dosed the tank once before, but it states to only dose the tank once every 24 hours. Anyways, So dosed the tank in the am, then off to CP. When we got home that night, had been about 12 hours, friend decided it was a good idea to dose the tank again. I said to him, “it says to only dose once every 24 hours and no more. The corals are already going to die. If you really think it’s a good idea though, you can do what you think is right.” So he did. Keep in mind, he has been helping me with this from the beginning, doing research of his own as well as along side of me, and really getting and understanding the same information that I was.
The next morning when we woke up, we came downstairs. Everything had died. Two clown fish, a coral beauty, a cleaner shrimp, two snails, a diamond goby, and 3 Emerald Crabs. It was absolutely devastating to me. I waited a little while before trying anything else. I ended up getting another clown fish a couple weeks later to try to keep the bacteria in the tank alive so I wouldn’t have to cycle it again. I tried a couple other fish with it, and lost them just as quickly as I added them. With the clown fish still doing ok, eating, and acting just fine, I decided… I really need to do this right. I’m going to take everything living out of the tank, quarantine the clown(there are a lot of people that believe you should always quarantine your fish for at least a month until introducing them into your main tank. Other people think that it is actually ok to add the fish directly to your tank).
I knew what my mistakes were and I was determined to make things right. The tank kept its appropriate levers for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. My goal was to quarantine for 3 weeks(the lifespan of the Ich parasite), and then bring the clown fish back into the main tank. On day 20 out of 21; the clown died.
At this point I was done. Drained the tank, posted it on CL to sell it and everything I owned. I was dead set on being done until recently.
I drive for Uber and was actually taking a break near a really cool fish store in our area. It is called Wet Pets and Friends for anyone in the Western PA area. I don’t know if I should have stopped in or not, but it reignited the spark for me.
Today, My tank is up and running, and it has been for a little while now. My vow at this point is to ONLY do what I am told to do. I have a really awesome place down the street from my house, and the lady I work with has been doing SW tanks successfully for, I believe she told me, seventeen years. Needless to say, I trust what she is telling me.
At this point I have only one fish in there that I added today. A little Yellow tail Damsel (pictured below).
I did decide that I also wanted to have a Nano-Tank in my room. So I have a little Fluval Evo 12 doing a fish-less cycle. I have the temp right and the salinity right in it, so I am getting ready as we speak to aquascape and get the rock in there. I am literally starting this tank with all fresh stuff. I have an RODI filter so I mixed brand new salt water, added brand new live sand, and i ordered brand new dry rock. I really wanted this thing to start from the very beginning. As soon as the rock goes in tonight I will be adding the Nitrifying bacteria.
So anyways, I just wanted to get a thread started for anyone else who might be in this hobby so we had a little piece of TPR to come and chat about our tanks; both Fresh and Salt. I am definitely hopeful that there is at least one other person on here that is into this as well lol.
Share pictures and tell us how and why you got started. What have your successes been? Downfalls along the way? Really interested to hear your experiences! Regardless of however many other forums are out there, I figured we could also use this thread to help each other out as things maybe come up. Who knows, maybe we can even inspire others to get into the hobby. I got started in SW on a budget. I know you can be successful whether you have thousands to spend or if you have to save up for a couple months. It is a really fun and rewarding hobby.
We have both a 50 gallon fresh water tank, and a 100 gallon Saltwater tank that we started in February. Sadly, it still has no fish in it. It has a few hermit crabs that just recently got added. Still two more weeks of cycling to go before we can add any fish.
Waiting is the hardest part. I only have two Yellow Tail Chromis in my 60 Gallon SW tank right now and I am still in the early stages of cycling my nano upstairs. been running for a couple weeks yet and still haven't had any spikes yet lol.
My first spike didn't come until the tank had been cycling for about 2-3 weeks. It's a whole lot of "hurry up and wait."
I thankfully recovered from my Diatom bloom, and my algae bloom's!! I just got to add my first two fish (clownfish) this past weekend!! Also, apparently I under stocked my cleanup crew, so now I have 127 new cleanup crew on the way (which is sadly still way less than I need!!) Looking at adding a Sand Sifting Starfish, and 5 Banggai Cardinal's next month!!
You are definitely going to have to post some pictures of them!! I just got in a fairly large order I will share pics tomorrow or Monday. I have now added a coral to my nano tank upstairs with the clowns. and in my 60 gallon downstairs I have added (all juveniles) a sailfin tang, Red Mandarin, Flame angel, a cleaner shrimp, and a couple thousand tisbe copepods for the mandarin. I also got a couple thousand for breeding in hopes to keep a supply going for the mandarin. I set up a gallon jug for them and have macro algae coming in so they will have food, a hiding place, and something to hold on to lol.
I swear the fish get taken better care of than I take care of myself lol.
I had an entire breeding tank set up for amphophods and copepods as food for the mandrin. It worked great for a few weeks. There were thousands upon thousands. And then overnight they all died. Not sure what happened. But I'm going to re-evaluate the situation. We just took our first "vacation" after having fish in the tank. We get home tonight and they haven't been fed since Friday at 4am. . . So I'm hoping they will still be okay!!
I've also had to put the anemone on hold due to an algae issue. . . I'm with you, I'm pretty sure this aquarium gets better taken care of than I do!!
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