3rd time considering joining the salty side!


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Dec 1, 2019
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Oh my goodness, this picture reminds me of some wall tapestries I use to have! (Still regret getting rid of them, the interior design folks on another forum shamed me for them.) I also had a cool octopus and manatee tapestry as well, and a seal? sea lion shower curtain! Bright side they were super cheap! Side note, almost miss the CA studio apartment life!

I have seahorse shower curtain// poop with the seahorses


Dr. Dendrostein

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Nov 8, 2017
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Fullerton, California
Hi everyone!

I have kept freshwater aquariums for over 12 years (ranging from 5 gallon betta tanks to 30 gallon fancy goldfish to 55 gallon planted communities to a 75 gallon mini-monster tank with senegal bichirs, blood parrots, peacock eel, and african brown knife), but never a saltwater one. My boyfriends parents had a little biocube with a clownfish and scooter blenny that I was envious of.

My first introduction to saltwater fish was when I went with my Grandpa at around 8 or so to a fish store to help stock his 29 gallon FOWLR. I chose a clown triggerfish, my sister seahorses.I know the trigger went in the 29, I think he put the seahorses in a 5 gallon. Knowing what I do now, I am SHOCKED that the store sold him a clown trigger for a 29 gallon. As an adult, they also make me feel a bit trypophobic, so also surprised I chose that fish.

Currently, I only have a 20 gallon long, planted betta tank that I recently set up. I tried to do a SE Asian biotope, using only PFS substrate, live plants from Asia, driftwood, and round rocks. A couple plants might actually be a species that is from Africa, so not the strictest biotope. I am only allowed 20 gallons in my apartment, which certainly limits which fish I can have!

Like my post says, I have attempted a saltwater aquarium several times. By attempt, I mean buy all/some of the equipment, but not actually fill with water.

1st time: 19 years old. Just moved into my 1st ever apartment (one that had NO LIMIT ON TANK SIZE!), found someone selling a 55 gallon with stand saltwater set up (came with lots of dry rock and had dried saltwater on it) for really cheap. Went to my LFS, bought the aqua C remora skimmer recommended, and a couple other things to do a FOWLR tank. Chickened out, turned it into a community tank with cories, coolies, platies, gouramis, and tetras.

2nd time: 22 years old. New apt with 10 gallon limit. Got the desire for a saltwater aquarium again. Having done more research, settled on wanting to do a softie reef. Got a 20 gallon long with stand (spent 5 hours assembling it). Ordered 30lbs dry rock from reefcleaners (felt so bad for the mailman that I gave him some drinks and snacks as a thank you), the saltwater API kit, and some salt as well. Decide that I am no longer okay pushing the 10 gallon limit, and sell it. Found a 15 gallon high, filled it with water, but it had a crack. End up scrapping the saltwater idea, and started 2 10 gallon planted aquariums instead for rescued male bettas.

3rd time (couple months ago, 27 years old)- Got 2 20 gallon longs, with the plan to set up a softie reef (pom pom xenia, GSP, blue striped mushrooms, leather corals such as toadstool and hairy, blue snowflake polyps, clove, maybe one LPS. Basically, I want a bunch of pretty pink/blue corals and also to have a bunch that the clownfish could choose to be hosted by as a surrogate anemone. Currently wanting 2 occy clowns, either A) 2 blue neon gobies, B) a yellow watchman goby, or C) CB Orchid dottyback or D) no other fish, possibly with 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp) and freshwater tank at same time. The 2nd tank is sitting in my closet, while I decide if I want to commit again to trying a reef :p I also want to get my betta tank established before I attempt setting up a 2nd.

I also recently discovered that there is a thing such as a $200 22 gallon 36" long aquarium. The only concerns I have (other than the fact that is it $200) that it is rimless, so using a lid would be difficult.

Oddly enough, the fish/inverts I am interested in has not changed over the 8 years- ocellaris clownfish, skunk clownfish, brown scooter blennies (why can't they be easy to feed!), sixline wrasse, blue green chromis, blue damsel, orchid dottyback, longnose hawkfish, lawnmower blenny (they are so adorable!) falco hawkfish, fox face, neon blue goby, bicolor blenny, yellow watchman goby + pistol shrimp, scarlet cleaner shrimp, royal grammas, and RBT nems. Of course, most of them need a MUCH larger tank or specialized care.

I've joined a couple other saltwater forums in the past, but this one seems a lot friendlier! I have some slight alternative views when it comes to fish keeping (only rescue fish and won't buy, want to have corals before fish so I can get a handle on it without harming a fish, only want to adopt captive bred fish (since my tank is so small, wouldn't want to keep a wild caught fish in there, unless it is a fish that is recommended for a 10 gallon, such as a small yellow watchman goby) and purchase aquacultured corals), which was not accepted some places.

Everyone here seems great though! :D
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