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SaltynNice

Vote SaltynNice On or Off the Island  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Should SaltynNice stay or go?

    • Stay, everyone makes mistakes, particularly when it comes to their children
      27
    • Go, this girl is irresponsible and has no business being around a saltwater tank
      4


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It all started when my then 4 year old son won a goldfish at the church carnival. I was not happy, and immediately commanded him to not play the game again. There were several boys running around with as many as 6-8 fish. I knew nothing about fish and to be completely honest, I thought they were kind of dumb. However, I love animals and believe that children should learn as much as they can about the things that interest them. So begins the adventure with our new fish Nemo. I am usually the geek who will research every little thing to great lengths, but I was deeply resenting this fish and somewhat hoping for an early death. *Save all judgments till the end of the story, please*

 

We went out and bought a goldfish bowl, some pretty rocks and some goldfish food. Filled the bowl up with some good quality tap water and put Nemo in his new home. Yep, I told you, I knew nothing about fish. After 24 hours, I knew something was wrong. Nemo was not looking good at all. He was swimming at all sorts of weird angles. He kept going to the surface gasping for air as if he was trying to yell obscenities at me. I then decided that maybe I should do some research. And what do you know, fish will die in regular tap water. Crap! My kid was staying at grandma and grandpa's house for a couple of days and calling everyday to see how Nemo was doing. I quickly ran to Petsmart and bought all the necesssary chemicals to make tap water safe. I dump some into the fishbowl, cross my fingers, and say a quick prayer.

 

Nemo lasted 3 days, may he RIP. While he was struggling to live I discovered I should have a real tank, with a filter, and some aquascaping and the tank is suppose to "cycle" first. . .not entirely sure what that was all about, but I know the tank should run for a few days before putting new fish in the tank. Now, I am feeling so very guilty and decide to act quickly while my son is still at grandma and grandpas. I call him and let him know that Nemo was sick and I had to take him to the fish doctor. Now here wass where the parental guilt went off the deep end.

 

I told him that he had to stay at the fish doctor's until he got better. The fish doctor said Nemo needed a bigger home and he also needed a friend. So I went out and bought a 10 gallon fish tank with all the appropriate equipment, set it up and let it run for a few days. I brought Nemo Jr. home after a few days of the tank running on its own. Nemo Jr was bought at Petsmart for approximately 20 cents. I passed him off as the original Nemo, fresh back from the fish doctor and miraculously healed. My son was none the wiser.

 

Still feeling guilty, I let my son go to the fish store and pick out a friend for Nemo. He picked out a white and gold fancy fantailed goldfished which he named Pikachu. I affectionately referred to him as "the guilt fish". I had become the owner of not one, but two goldfish. And the original "free" goldfish had now cost me a little over $100. I was determined those little buggers were going to live forever.

 

In the summer when the water started getting too warm I would rush to the freezer to place ice packs in the aquarium in an effort to lower the temperature. Thinking the ice packs may not be enough, I also placed a fan blowing on the highest speed directly at the fish tank. What fish doesn't like a good breeze?

 

I cleaned their tank so well that Mr. Clean would be jealous. I would completely break down the tank and clean everything about once a month with some diluted bleach. Sometimes I would even buy all new gravel and aquascaping because the old stuff was looking a little shabby to me. I fed them 3 times a day.

 

And what do you know, they not only lived, but they actually started to get pretty darn big. Now, I am assuming everyone here knows that I was still a complete idiot and doing just about everything wrong even after doing some limited research. I was unaware of such a thing as "good bacteria". Heck, we live in a world where bacteria is suppose to be BAD! We have anti-bacterial options for nearly everything. I never acclimated the fish before dumping them back into the their extra clean, ice cold tank. And I didn't know that goldfish could get as big as 18 inches. That is just plain wrong! I didn't know that they are not really compatible with any other fish. And some types of goldfish shouldn't be mixed with other types of goldfish. In fact, I picked the two worst kinds to mix.

 

But if I learned anything from all of this, it is this:

 

Parental guilt is a bigger beast than we give it credit

 

4 year olds can't clean fish tanks. Yeah, I know, shocker, right? He can barely clean his own booty.

 

Aside from straight tap water and clubbing them over the head with a wooden mallet, goldfish are darn hard to kill! And despite my earlier resentment, I was truly trying to keep them alive.

 

And finally, I actually like fish and love looking at aquariums. We have just set up our first tropical tank. It is in the process of completing a real cycle. My son, who is now 6 years old, is researching with me all the ways we could possibly stock it. We are doing real research this time, not a quick glance or knee jerk reaction. We are beginning to be pulled into the saltwater world. . .it is fascinating!

 

But I believe in being fair and just, given my hugely disasterous beginning, should I even stick around to see how to correctly set up a nano-reef? As a note, I have no aspirations of setting one up for at least a couple of months. I have been reading a lot already and will continue to study.

 

Having said that, I think it is only fair that the community votes on whether or not I can stay on the island.

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Don't feel too bad about the first fish, it probably would have died in the hands of one of those boys anyways. At least you took it as an opportunity to learn. I'd say stick around, but first try some freshwater species and learn how the nitrogen cycle works. At least that way the livestock is alot cheaper, maybe move to planted from there, and then possibly FOWLR and reef. If your kid is 4, he has plenty of time to appreciate all types of aquariums :)

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It all started when my then 4 year old son won a goldfish at the church carnival. I was not happy, and immediately commanded him to not play the game again. There were several boys running around with as many as 6-8 fish. I knew nothing about fish and to be completely honest, I thought they were kind of dumb. However, I love animals and believe that children should learn as much as they can about the things that interest them. So begins the adventure with our new fish Nemo. I am usually the geek who will research every little thing to great lengths, but I was deeply resenting this fish and somewhat hoping for an early death. *Save all judgments till the end of the story, please*

 

We went out and bought a goldfish bowl, some pretty rocks and some goldfish food. Filled the bowl up with some good quality tap water and put Nemo in his new home. Yep, I told you, I knew nothing about fish. After 24 hours, I knew something was wrong. Nemo was not looking good at all. He was swimming at all sorts of weird angles. He kept going to the surface gasping for air as if he was trying to yell obscenities at me. I then decided that maybe I should do some research. And what do you know, fish will die in regular tap water. Crap! My kid was staying at grandma and grandpa's house for a couple of days and calling everyday to see how Nemo was doing. I quickly ran to Petsmart and bought all the necesssary chemicals to make tap water safe. I dump some into the fishbowl, cross my fingers, and say a quick prayer.

 

Nemo lasted 3 days, may he RIP. While he was struggling to live I discovered I should have a real tank, with a filter, and some aquascaping and the tank is suppose to "cycle" first. . .not entirely sure what that was all about, but I know the tank should run for a few days before putting new fish in the tank. Now, I am feeling so very guilty and decide to act quickly while my son is still at grandma and grandpas. I call him and let him know that Nemo was sick and I had to take him to the fish doctor. Now here wass where the parental guilt went off the deep end.

 

I told him that he had to stay at the fish doctor's until he got better. The fish doctor said Nemo needed a bigger home and he also needed a friend. So I went out and bought a 10 gallon fish tank with all the appropriate equipment, set it up and let it run for a few days. I brought Nemo Jr. home after a few days of the tank running on its own. Nemo Jr was bought at Petsmart for approximately 20 cents. I passed him off as the original Nemo, fresh back from the fish doctor and miraculously healed. My son was none the wiser.

 

Still feeling guilty, I let my son go to the fish store and pick out a friend for Nemo. He picked out a white and gold fancy fantailed goldfished which he named Pikachu. I affectionately referred to him as "the guilt fish". I had become the owner of not one, but two goldfish. And the original "free" goldfish had now cost me a little over $100. I was determined those little buggers were going to live forever.

 

In the summer when the water started getting too warm I would rush to the freezer to place ice packs in the aquarium in an effort to lower the temperature. Thinking the ice packs may not be enough, I also placed a fan blowing on the highest speed directly at the fish tank. What fish doesn't like a good breeze?

 

I cleaned their tank so well that Mr. Clean would be jealous. I would completely break down the tank and clean everything about once a month with some diluted bleach. Sometimes I would even buy all new gravel and aquascaping because the old stuff was looking a little shabby to me. I fed them 3 times a day.

 

And what do you know, they not only lived, but they actually started to get pretty darn big. Now, I am assuming everyone here knows that I was still a complete idiot and doing just about everything wrong even after doing some limited research. I was unaware of such a thing as "good bacteria". Heck, we live in a world where bacteria is suppose to be BAD! We have anti-bacterial options for nearly everything. I never acclimated the fish before dumping them back into the their extra clean, ice cold tank. And I didn't know that goldfish could get as big as 18 inches. That is just plain wrong! I didn't know that they are not really compatible with any other fish. And some types of goldfish shouldn't be mixed with other types of goldfish. In fact, I picked the two worst kinds to mix.

 

But if I learned anything from all of this, it is this:

 

Parental guilt is a bigger beast than we give it credit

 

4 year olds can't clean fish tanks. Yeah, I know, shocker, right? He can barely clean his own booty.

 

Aside from straight tap water and clubbing them over the head with a wooden mallet, goldfish are darn hard to kill! And despite my earlier resentment, I was truly trying to keep them alive.

 

And finally, I actually like fish and love looking at aquariums. We have just set up our first tropical tank. It is in the process of completing a real cycle. My son, who is now 6 years old, is researching with me all the ways we could possibly stock it. We are doing real research this time, not a quick glance or knee jerk reaction. We are beginning to be pulled into the saltwater world. . .it is fascinating!

 

But I believe in being fair and just, given my hugely disasterous beginning, should I even stick around to see how to correctly set up a nano-reef? As a note, I have no aspirations of setting one up for at least a couple of months. I have been reading a lot already and will continue to study.

 

Having said that, I think it is only fair that the community votes on whether or not I can stay on the island.

 

learn how to properly run a freshwater tank first. it will save you a lot of time trouble, and moneys!

 

not to mention all the little querks fish tanks (and bacteria) have....theres about 1,000 things you'll learn (the hard way). its all trial and error, unforunately lots of errors....freshwater livestock iswaaaay cheaper to lose.

 

oh and :welcome: to NR....

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Don't feel too bad about the first fish, it probably would have died in the hands of one of those boys anyways. At least you took it as an opportunity to learn. I'd say stick around, but first try some freshwater species and learn how the nitrogen cycle works. At least that way the livestock is alot cheaper, maybe move to planted from there, and then possibly FOWLR and reef. If your kid is 4, he has plenty of time to appreciate all types of aquariums :)

 

Thanks for the motivation. I am sure I will need it in the future. My son is now 6. I think we have both been bitten pretty hard by the fish keeping bug. There is soooo much to learn. I love it! Everything I am reading tends to lie towards your advice in the levels of difficulty to try. I am going to start a saltwater fund for our future adventure. However, it will be a quite a while before I give it a go. Let's see if I can keep a tropical fish tank going first.

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I like the suggestion of a trying FW as well. I would suggest progressing to a planted tank. Lighting and chemistry come more into play with a planted FW but keep looking into saltwater.

 

Given your background, I would suggest checking out Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine. It will cover FW, planted, salt and so on so might be good reading for you. You can actually get a PDF copy online each month by using the link on their home page http://www.fishchannel.com/fama_portal.aspx . You can even save the PDF locally. Neat trick is you can actually change the issue information on the web link (FAMA0812 is teh current copy) and get older copies. FAMA0811 is last months and so on. You can even change to last year FAMA0711, for example. There is a couple of years reading right there.

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My son is now 6. I think we have both been bitten pretty hard by the fish keeping bug.

 

It's a potent bite, and unfortunately the only cure is a catastrophic crash, and even that doesn't do the trick most of the time :D

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learn how to properly run a freshwater tank first. it will save you a lot of time trouble, and moneys!

 

not to mention all the little querks fish tanks (and bacteria) have....theres about 1,000 things you'll learn (the hard way). its all trial and error, unforunately lots of errors....freshwater livestock iswaaaay cheaper to lose.

 

oh and :welcome: to NR....

 

Hey, this advice sort of sounds like advice I would give in raising kids, "Lots of quirks, 1,000 things to learn, and LOTS of trial and error." Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a cheaper avenue for raising children. :lol:

 

I voted stay but let's be honest....it's only because you said you were of the female sex....

 

Ah honesty! So refreshing in this day and age.

 

I like the suggestion of a trying FW as well. I would suggest progressing to a planted tank. Lighting and chemistry come more into play with a planted FW but keep looking into saltwater.

 

Given your background, I would suggest checking out Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine. It will cover FW, planted, salt and so on so might be good reading for you. You can actually get a PDF copy online each month by using the link on their home page http://www.fishchannel.com/fama_portal.aspx . You can even save the PDF locally. Neat trick is you can actually change the issue information on the web link (FAMA0812 is teh current copy) and get older copies. FAMA0811 is last months and so on. You can even change to last year FAMA0711, for example. There is a couple of years reading right there.

 

Thanks for the info! This is exactly the kind of stuff I need. I really appreciate it. I will definitely start reading this. I wanted to make our tropical tank a planted tank as well, but I wanted to be sure, as much as possible, of success. Also, I was afraid to buy plants from Petco.

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+ 1 on FW start. But you would be amazed at what you can do w/ saltwater one day being a member of this forum. I tried saltwater on my own few years back and it was impossible.... :welcome:

 

I voted go but didn't really mean it!

 

 

Good Luck!

 

 

????? LMAO

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It's a potent bite, and unfortunately the only cure is a catastrophic crash, and even that doesn't do the trick most of the time :D

 

So there is the very real possibility of no cure? Well, it is good to know these things upfront. It will be a good defense when my friends and family think I have lost my mind investing all my money in fish versus the a sound financial investment.

 

I voted go but didn't really mean it!

 

 

Good Luck!

 

I need all the luck I can get! Thanks! And I am thinking that maybe I should shut the poll down now while I am slightly ahead.

 

+ 1 on FW start. But you would be amazed at what you can do w/ saltwater one day being a member of this forum. I tried saltwater on my own few years back and it was impossible.... :welcome:

 

 

 

 

????? LMAO

 

Thanks. This site is amazing. I can not believe the tanks people have created here. I was originally convinced that I would have to buy at least a 55-gallon tank to even start a saltwater tank, but then I came across this site.

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A 55 might be a better start, larger tanks are more expensive up front, but easier to maintain, this goes for both FW and SW.

 

It is still early in the game, but location and initial expense are somewhat of the issue. But mostly, I just love the nanos, the look, the challenge, and the fact that I could get another one later. . . if I completely lose my mind. I am thinking about dropping in at the Saltwater Enthusiasts Association of St. Louis for more information and just to see what there is to see.

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I started the same way...... sort of.....

 

Wife decided that my daughter (roughly same age) HAD to have a fish tank for christmas. So after going to a LFS we had a 10 gallon tank, over priced stand and 5 goldfish and a spongebob pineapple house. needless to say, it went real bad real quick! So being pissed, i too starteed to research because i felt i was smart enough to keep a friggin goldfish alive! the goldfish tank became a tropical tank, then came the 55 g cichlid tank, then the nano reef after about 5 years.

 

The reccomendation to try your hand in fresh water first is sound! Not all of the chemistry and husbandry is exactly the same, but it will teach you patience, which is perhaps the most important aspect of this hobby!

 

Eventually, your son won't give two craps about the tank, but you'll be telling your husband that you NEED one more frag!

 

Good luck!

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Bah. If the fresh water tank/fish are gone or even if they are not jump in with both feet! Moderation is for monks!

 

I am serious by the way. Start by reading the articles here as well as on reef central. And you don't have to start with fresh then move to salt. Thats like saying start by riding a big wheel then after you master the big wheel jump on over to a motorcycle. There are gross similarities but there is allot more to deal with on the salt side that running a fresh tank will not expose you to. The only way to learn them is to do them.

 

Once you have an understanding of how things work and why consider picking up one of these to start with Finnex 30 gallon M with 150w MH & T5 with the understanding that over time you will most likely move to a larger/more custom tank.

 

For example the tank I reference above gives you everything you need to have just about any corals out there today and interesting as well as pretty fish. I would start with it, some live rock, and a couple of clownfish. Then pick up a nice small toadstool leather with green tips or the like or some mushrooms or zoanthids. After about 6 months and if you feel comfortable and everything tests out ok you could add a nice maxima clam and after a year SPS corals.

 

My overall point since I am from the department of the redundancy department today is that while salt is harder then fresh it isn't rocket science as long as you are patient, move accordingly, and keep up on your education. Plus its allot more rewarding than fresh in my opinion. Others milage may vary.

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welcome to NR. Yup it is like an addiction.

I vote stay. Fresh water or you could do a FOWLR which is salt water Fish Only With Live Rock. I think a fowlr is as easy or maybe easier than a planted tank. There is plenty of information on this site as well as books, other sites. we have people that can help you from start to finish. Every one does not always agree but if you check how long they have been a member and check out their tanks you can usually sort out who is offering good sound advice. Yes a local club is one of the best ways to start.

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I started the same way...... sort of.....

 

Wife decided that my daughter (roughly same age) HAD to have a fish tank for christmas. So after going to a LFS we had a 10 gallon tank, over priced stand and 5 goldfish and a spongebob pineapple house. needless to say, it went real bad real quick! So being pissed, i too starteed to research because i felt i was smart enough to keep a friggin goldfish alive! the goldfish tank became a tropical tank, then came the 55 g cichlid tank, then the nano reef after about 5 years.

 

The reccomendation to try your hand in fresh water first is sound! Not all of the chemistry and husbandry is exactly the same, but it will teach you patience, which is perhaps the most important aspect of this hobby!

 

Eventually, your son won't give two craps about the tank, but you'll be telling your husband that you NEED one more frag!

 

Good luck!

 

Finally! A person who gets the whole goldfish beginning! I originally bought our new 29 gallon tank to give the 2 goldfish a bigger home, but that is when I started thinking about the tropical fish. I am curious how it will turn out.

 

And, I do think you are probably right about my son losing interest. I will probably end up being the weird lady with all the fish instead of cats. And fortunately/unfortunately I will have no censorship over what I buy since it is just me and my boys. Husband is now an "ex". It is nice to be able to buy what I want when I want, but then again, this can also be very, very bad! ;)

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Bah. If the fresh water tank/fish are gone or even if they are not jump in with both feet! Moderation is for monks!

 

I am serious by the way. Start by reading the articles here as well as on reef central. And you don't have to start with fresh then move to salt. Thats like saying start by riding a big wheel then after you master the big wheel jump on over to a motorcycle. There are gross similarities but there is allot more to deal with on the salt side that running a fresh tank will not expose you to. The only way to learn them is to do them.

 

Once you have an understanding of how things work and why consider picking up one of these to start with Finnex 30 gallon M with 150w MH & T5 with the understanding that over time you will most likely move to a larger/more custom tank.

 

For example the tank I reference above gives you everything you need to have just about any corals out there today and interesting as well as pretty fish. I would start with it, some live rock, and a couple of clownfish. Then pick up a nice small toadstool leather with green tips or the like or some mushrooms or zoanthids. After about 6 months and if you feel comfortable and everything tests out ok you could add a nice maxima clam and after a year SPS corals.

 

My overall point since I am from the department of the redundancy department today is that while salt is harder then fresh it isn't rocket science as long as you are patient, move accordingly, and keep up on your education. Plus its allot more rewarding than fresh in my opinion. Others milage may vary.

 

I love the way you think! I must admit, moderation is not my strong suit. I am ordering books to get as much info as possible. I saw on this site that the books by Sprung & Delbeek are good, so that will be my next purchase. And I was hoping to be able to figure out what kind of tank to get, so that I could start gathering the equipment. That tank you referenced looks incredible.

 

I am willing to go slowly with the tank. I just want to actually start the process in the near future. Thanks for the advice!

 

welcome to NR. Yup it is like an addiction.

I vote stay. Fresh water or you could do a FOWLR which is salt water Fish Only With Live Rock. I think a fowlr is as easy or maybe easier than a planted tank. There is plenty of information on this site as well as books, other sites. we have people that can help you from start to finish. Every one does not always agree but if you check how long they have been a member and check out their tanks you can usually sort out who is offering good sound advice. Yes a local club is one of the best ways to start.

 

I am already seeing the need to be around people who like fish and are genuinely interested in them. I went to dinner with two of my girlfriends and I started talking about all the stuff I was reading on Marine aquariums and to see the glazed look in their eyes was more than a subtle hint. I do have one friend who has a degree in biology and loves all things in the water, so he is a lot of fun to chat with, but I need more! This forum is also a great way to fill the need.

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reefman225gal

:welcome: I love the story, and how its brought you to the world of aquarium keeping. Still lots to learn but I bet before its done and over your going to be the one thats going to stay in the hobby and your son losing interest, hoping I'm wrong about the latter. There are alot of good books about aquarium keeping that really will give you lots of good info to help you get off to a great start. Success Starts With a Good Foundation.

Good luck :happydance:

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:welcome: I love the story, and how its brought you to the world of aquarium keeping. Still lots to learn but I bet before its done and over your going to be the one thats going to stay in the hobby and your son losing interest, hoping I'm wrong about the latter. There are alot of good books about aquarium keeping that really will give you lots of good info to help you get off to a great start. Success Starts With a Good Foundation.

Good luck :happydance:

 

Thanks for the welcome! Just out of curiosity, has anyone got fired from their job due to their saltwater habit, I mean hobby????

 

Productivity is darn near nonexistent today as I continue to read all the info on this site.

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bigger tank is the way to go for a first tank. small nice fish that are hardy + big tank + no corals for awhile = easy enough.

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reefman225gal
Thanks for the welcome! Just out of curiosity, has anyone got fired from their job due to their saltwater habit, I mean hobby????

 

Productivity is darn near nonexistent today as I continue to read all the info on this site.

Not sure about that :lol: But I wouldnt doubt that sooner or latter there is going to be a R.A.A. Reef Aquarium Anonymous :P This hobby is just that addicting, with patience and the right know how this is a very rewarding hobby, but you can have days that will make you wanna pull your hair out. :lol:

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