Pros and Cons of Saltwater?

stillmefromtheotherworld

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Hello

OK, This is terrifying, I'm out here in the ocean...all alone.

The biotechnician in our lab is giving away a 20 gallon saltwater tank and is offering to let me have! After I find somewhere to fit it and convince a few people 'round her, I'll need some help.

What are the pros and cons of a saltwater tank?

Thank you,
Stillme (well not really, because I've only ever had freshwater!)
 

LyleB

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Been a while since I kept a marine tank, but I'm sure the following hasn't changed:

- Salt is more expensive - both equipment and critters.
- More equipment is needed.
- Salt forces you to learn more about and monitor closer your water parameters - is less forgiving.
- Salt requires more maintenance to keep the tank and equipment looking good - salt residue needs to be cleaned regularly.
- Fewer critters are bred in captivity, so need to resolve the environmental issues involved in your own mind.
- Spilled/leaking salt water can cause more damage to your home.
- Salt critters are AMAZING looking, wide variety of corals and invertebrates to concentrate on.

It's worth it if you have the time and money to invest, but research is essential. Mistakes can be very costly.
 

Fashooga

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If you do get one I suggest maybe calling a fish store and see if they'll do service and teach you how to maintain it since salt water tanks are much tougher than freshwater.

I would love to do saltwater, but the set up is very expensive.
 

ryanr

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Hi,
IMO, the pro's and con's all depend on the setup, I've listed a few of the Pros and Cons of the different setups in Post #3 https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/starting-a-saltwater-aquarium-part-1-where-to-start-research.118422/

SW in general, is not as difficult as it used to be, and to be honest, I think many people are 'scared' of SW because historically, SW was very difficult. I truly believe that those who still believe SW is too hard haven't updated their knowledge of what's out there.

As time has progressed, technology and equipment has made the hobby a lot easier for aquarists. Granted, reef setups with SPS corals require a fair level of diligence from the aquarist, but a simple FO / FOWLR is relatively easy and well within the abilities of anyone currently running a freshwater tank. My planted freshwater tank requires more from me than my reef tank.

There's some daily maintenance on a SW tank that differs from FW; evaporation top-off, emptying the skimmer cup - but other than that, it's no different to a FW. Reef keepers will likely dose the tank daily or every other day depending on what they're keeping.

I think the biggest pro of a SW tank is the versatility - so many corals, so many colours, critters to keep. If you prepare yourself well (research), there is no reason why you can't have a successful SW setup.
 
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stillmefromtheotherworld

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Thank you. I am currently seriously considering taking the biotechnichian up on her offer, after oodles of research of course. I monitor my FW tanks extensively and a saltwater would not be much harder.
 
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