Hi everyone


Hi, I’m Jen. I just have a simple setup in my living room. I know a lot of people have huge tanks with stuff hidden in the back that automatically tops up the water and cleans out surplus nutrients, but I do all of that myself. I feel like testing and changing the water myself gives me a closer relationship to the fish and the corals. If I automate it all, then it would still be pretty and all, but I worry I’d be less attached to it. On the other hand, maybe it wouldn’t suck so hard when one of the corals dies, or a fish decides to jump out of the tank. What does everyone else think?


Welcome to the page. I’m really new to all of this, but I did see a video in which they mentioned Purple or Red Firefish being jumpers, and said not to keep them in uncovered tanks. Were the fish that jumped out Firefish by any chance? I’m still firmly in the research stages, but the fact that you have a simple setup is reassuring. The possibilities and options seem overwhelming. However, I have a feeling my wife won;t want to top the water up herself, or change it. I’ll have to do all the maintenance.


Welcome Jen. I understand the desire to keep it small and affordable. The advantage of having systems that top up the water levels for you and maintain a balanced environment is twofold. Having feeders, auto-toppers, sump-tanks, a skimmer, etc. mean that you can afford to be away from home for a few days (perhaps at a reefer convention) and your beloved fish and coral won’t suffer for it. It also means that you can cut down on human interference, which is a good thing. The more you can keep out of the tank, the better. You don’t want to stress them out.


Hello, I’m Ann and iv’e had saltwater tanks for over 10 years now and i totally agree … nothing on my systems is automated … i have a 125 gallon 120 gallon 75 gallon 46 gallon and a 40 gallon plus two small bio-cubes 3 gallon and 18 gallon in which i’m trying to raise the baby sea horses my mommy and daddy have been having… whether you use automation or do it all yourself it still sucks as bad when something dies… my hat is off to you for doing your tank the personal hands on way …


Welcome Jen! I think that’s amazing you are doing it by hand. Im a web developer by profession so I kind of geek out on automation equipment and programming etc.

Im definitely what Mr.Saltwater Tank would probably call a reef junky. I would recommend reading his Tank Personalities Report available on that page.


WOW! you must be crazy busy! I would love to hear and see more about your tanks.


LOL yes there are days I have to mark on my calendar as fish maintenance days lol… I’m scheduled to scrape the glass walls on them all tomorrow … id be happy to send you pics after that lol and do some tank talking … :blush:


Please do! I suggest Tank Journals & Builds


awesome …ill get some pics of all my tanks and post little bios about them


Wow Ann, that’s a lot to take care of with no automation. I figured I had to go automated since I had so many. I have to admit, I still need to change the water and I sometimes wonder if all the sump tanks and skimmers were worth it. Especially since I now have to maintain the refugium for each tank as well. Maybe I’ll keep my next tank simple. It would certainly make it cheaper to set up. If it works out and turns out to be less work than I thought, I may go back to basics on my other tanks.


Hi Frank, i had skimmers but found i didn’t need them… now for sure as i have all soft corals …no lps or sps …i ran them when i had the lps and sps but not sure really if they were needed … i have a refugium on the 75 gallon and the 125 gallon …but not sure if that was necessary either …lol to me all the refugium did was allow me to add macro without the tangs eating them and alittle more water volume …to me macro is the key …if you have macro -not cheato the macro absorbs all the bad stuff from the water better … i dont vacuum out my tanks or the refugiums …i feel the tank can sustain itself and doing that only changes the balance of the things growing in it such as pods and mysis and can cause a slight bio-load in the water from stirring it up … i run the 120 gallon and the 40 gallon and the 46 gallon on canaster filters which people seem so negative about but with proper cleaning they dont pose an issue … the 2 small bio-cubes with the sea horse babies have no filtration just an airstone bar and some macro and water changes every other day ( the bio-cubes being so small the water changes aren’t much of a hassle )

the livestock i have in my tanks are
sea horses
saltwater mollies
sailfin tang
scopas tang
picassa trigger
Columbian shark
carpet nem
rock nems
misc kinds of urchins
misc kinds of starfish
engineer gobies

for corals i have
red sea pulsing xenias
waving hand xenias
kenya trees
some green polyps
yellow polyps
blue cloves
assorted cabbage leathers
green star polyps
pink star polyps (not sure of the exact name)
assorted macros