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It’s about time... Ive grown up with animals, specifically cats, dogs anddddd FISH! My family started with the obvious goldfish from a carnival. Suddenly that turned into a 20 gallon freshwater tank. It’s had mollies, sharks, tetras, who knows what else (honestly i never loveeeed it because freshwater fish are a little bland). Anyway because I live on the coast, i have an extreme love for the ocean so i decided it’s time to up my freshwater tank and get a reef tank. Now i’ll be real, i’m using all my dads money so i tried doing everything at a low cost. I’ve had this reef tank for many 2 months now and short as that may sound, ive learned a lot. and yes saltwater tanks are way harder than freshwater. i never had anyyyy problems with my freshies. anyway i’ll get into what i purchased on my first trip to the tropical store. First trip/ necessities i first purchased a 5 gallon tank. long rather than square. it surprisingly hold way more than i would have expected. i always read or hear about how 5 gallons shouldn’t hold many creatures but mine seem to love it. i got 6 pieces of live rock (something i didn’t know beforehand was dip it in revive, ill get into it below) when choosing these make sure to get multi sized ones and it’s better to have small but more than one big one unless that’s the style you’re going for. these help start up the process of setting up your tank. yeah i don’t know how to explain it but it like gets bacteria and lil microbes around in the water making it homier does your fish. get some sand. when i bought mine i think it was called “live sand”? they suggested white but looking at my tank now, i think black would look really cool. at your local shop you should be able to find saltwater by the gallons. this is easier than buying a mix. once you set up the tank, sand, rock and water, you’ll want to let the filter run for a week. i was hesitant about this part because I WANT MY FISH NOW buttt in the long run it’s better for your fishies n invertebrates sooo it’s a must. to go along with the sand and live rock, i would suggest just adding little things, i went to the beach and got some shells, rocks, etc. if you live in the middle of nowhere then i’m sure a local fish store sells hermit crab shells which can be used for decor. or even the dollar store. thats everything you need for the first trip to za store. finally the fishies when buying my first first set of creatures I bought a pajama cardinal and a purple linckia starfish. i was hoping the starfish would work as good enough of a cleanup crew but it wasn’t and unfortunately died. i was devastated. The sole reason i bought a tank was a for a star but hey, lesson learned and next time i will take the best care of my star. Clean up crew 🤤 from my mistake, i suggest getting a solid clean up crew to being with. i got a monster trochus snail. he’s an absolute unit and my 4 tegula snails like to ride on him sometimes. it’s hilarious to watch him flick them off. these 5 bad boys get the job done! to tie up my cleanup crew, we have 2 red legged hermit crabs. they’re the fiery red ones not the scarlett ones. adorable to watch them pick up singular pieces of sand and clean them off. lets add a lil more so here’s the list so far *rip starfish* one pj cardinal 5 snails 2 crabs pretty plain as you can read soo i got another pj cardinal. why? i don’t know. honestly they don’t do much. oh also i think my shop only has female because all their dorsal fins are short. which sucks because i want babies. to add to those mellow girls, i got a pretty clown fish. he’s cute n like to nibble my finger when i’m being calm. he also. LOVES food so i have to be sure that the cardinals get their fair share. it’s pretty easy to selectively feed them. many people see food loving fish as aggressive and that’s why you can’t put certain fish with certain fish but really if you give them extra love, it’ll work out ( what a cliche) to add some flare to my tank, i got 2 soft corals and one hard coral corals are expensive so i’m hoping these $10-20 frags grow quickly. today I got a purple dottyback, he loves hiding under rocks and kind of plays hide n seem with me. FOOD all i can say is, frozen shrimp. you can find it at the shop. so much better than flakes. my parents have almost eaten it on multiple occasions because it’s just thAt real. I forgot to talk about ReVive and it’s importance so my starfish has a chunk missing and i’m like welp this guys done for, but i look at ways to heal sick starfish anyway. i go on youtube and i see this starfish that looks just like mine! fleshy muscusy stuff coming out of it. in the video literally all they said was “this is a sick starfish! dip it in revive” i go crazy looking for revive but turns out it’s a coral dip? it did help my starfish but i think it was past saving. now the reason i think it’s important is because no one told me i should be dipping my live rock and coral in this stuff. there was so much weird algae bacteria stuff that first got in my tank and these are called HITCHHIKERS! revive gets rid of them. now i can talk about my freshy boyssss i love marine tanks but freshwater tanks are beautiful, the leafy green is just like fairyland to me. So in my family’s 20 gallon tank, there are mollies which had babies, 15 of them! the males will eat the babies so i transferred them to their own special tank. heres how i set it up! i got a 3 gallon acrylic tank from petco with a filter and so many colors of lights. for a week or so they were in a plastic fish bowl with an airpump so this was quite the upgrade. i wasn’t a fan of acrylic because glass just seems better but i actually love it??! its a pentagon so i can see through everywhere and it’s nice because with glass there would be a reflection but on the acrylic i can see all the way through it to my other tank. i think my fish can see each other too because i catch them staring at each other. acrylic is also easier to wipe down than glass, leaves no streaks or anything the best part about fresh tanks... the plants! i have no idea the types of plants i have but i have a moss globe, some patches of rica moss, floating water lettuce, and a long potted plant. my guppies love it in here and they love being pet and played with. that’s my favorite thing about mollies, they love attention. rare for a fish. because there are plants and light there is bound to be algae so i got two snail, one tiny horned black and red one and one giant gold one. i don’t know the names. with fresh tanks, i care more about the plants than creatures 🤭 i love how i have a salty tank and a leafy tank, now i want another tank (i want like a room full of tanks) with half water half earth, i think it’s called a palendram ANYWAYYSSSSS i just love my creature and this website because it’s helped me sooo much so feel free to comment or suggest creatures or decor for me and my existing or soon to be existing tanks. i tried uploading my sick videos of my moving invertebrates and such but they’re too big so 🤕😓