I had them for years but gave it up after I caught a marine bacterial infection related to TB. After the local docs finally diagnosed the problem which isn't all that common in Ohio I was on anti-tuberculosis drugs for about half a year. They are beautiful but not worth it in my opinion.
I have a 100 gallon built in wall tank. It was a wonderful hobby till I tried to get into the reef and vertibray guys...
Stick with a moderate size tank until you feel all your killing is over. I have some fish now for over 5 years and they are worth over $400 each. I would hate to do something to injur them at this point. At the start I had trouble keeping fish happy and alive now its easy with a little TLC..
As mentioned above do a search, learn a lot, and find a great local vendor. Sorry I too have nothing to swap.
If your going to start with a big tank (over 75 gallons) do a lot of homework on what you want in it for fish and how your going to filter and maintain it. Its a lot of water to be lugging through the house if it is no where near a sink!
We have a setup 37 gal it costs about as much as the cobra also I have to fight with my kids for internet time they are always on their forum at http://www.saltwaterfish.com/index_message.html
There's alot of varibility in fish suppliers stay away from the chains. If you are in eastern Mass we have a few good independant stores around here. Unfortunately the set up isn't the most expensive part it gets real pricy with the bio filter system corals and other live stuff.
Email me if I can help.
My twins have a couple of real nice smaller aquariums they don't use anymore. You can have one, as I will probably need at least one for the new baby. Not really that expensive if you wait for the C batteries to go on sale.
There was a time, many moons ago, when I had over 500 gallons of aquariums thriving. I even "babysat" specimens from New England Aquarium. It was so long ago, and the technology has advanced so much, that I'm really not qualified to offer any advice, other than to find yourself a good forum and a few good books and become an expert before you spend a dime. Marine environments aren't for the faint of heart, or wallet. Become very familiar with the water chemistry you'll be dealing with, or the body count just keeps on climbing. Other than that, go for it.
Oh yeah! I have a 240 gallon reef tank. Metal Halide lighting for a reef tank will set you way back. For a fish only lighting doesn't need to be as intense and much less work than a full blown reef. WAY more money than I ever thought it would be. Almost as much into it as in the car! Check out www.reefcentral.com - Good message board site with lots of info.
Makes me laugh. When I was little we had a large aquarium. I think it was a 50-75gal. I was too young to care for the fish but I do remember lots of them dying from all sorts of nasty things.
Finally one day my parents got fed up and converted the tank into... get this... a high desert environment with natural lighting and a whole bunch of varieties of cactus.
The cactus did really well, they lived and thrived for years and years. Low maintenance too. Just change the bulb, monitor the heat, and water very infrequently. Stress levels dropped dramatically when we stopped flushing fish.
I have a 180 gallon reef setup on the Northshore. I get all of my stuff from Little Shop of Pets up in Portsmouth, NH. Worth the drive. Call up Randy and ask him what he has available. 1-603-433-7387
The Want Advertiser has a lot of equipment available. I bought a lot of extra equipment so that the maintainence is reduced. (Auto-water changes, Octopus Controller, RO/DI filter, Calcium Reactor) Like everyone said, this can get expensive. There are certain tank size that you want to stay away from. Get a 24" deep by 24" tall by however long tank to give you the right volume to surface area ratio and to give you more room to add features which will allow your fish to hide.
I have about 15 books to recommend but it all depends on if you want fish only, reef only or mixed.
The key is to use live rock, put in a good sand bed and buy a good skimmer, then wait (a while) until your system gets established. Then you will need to decide on your lighting and corals at the same time.
I have a lot of red mushroom corals on my live rock and they are growing too quickly. I have an anenome which has split over 5 times. Plan on that happening over time and don't overcrowd your tank or you will end up with something which looks like most suburban front yard landscaping.
Stang8s, I wish you posted this a month ago. I threw out a bunch of stuff I had left over from a project I did for the New England Aquarium. In 1984.I built the reef in the giant ocean tank. Started with a block of foam roughly 40' high by 40' round. Sculptured the outer surface, cut into three layers, then cut the layers into pie shapped pieces, chopper gunned the sculptured sides, sand blasted the foam out from the inside, & reasembled all pieces in the tank. The job took about three months with 75 people working around the clock & $700,000.00. I had some great people working for me. I'll never do it again...too many reasons to list! You might want to call the Aquarium, ask for Peter Bradey if he is still there, he could point you in the right direction. Good luck! Cobras are easy compared to aquariums!
Wow sounds like you guys are alot more hardcore then i plan on being! For starters (unless i find a bigger tank for cheap) I am going with a 55 gallon i already have. I am buying a wet/dry good for 135gal and a protein skimmer. I plan on fish only, not reef. I may put some live rock in, possible an anonome. I was planning on crushed coral for the bed, about 1".
Grok- Your tank sounds amazing! I will have to check out that store.
Bill- Wow i need a job like that. Sounds much more fun then sitting behind this computer all day.
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