First Time Marine Keeper

A saltwater journey


Saltwater Tank 16th March 2020

Saltwater Tank 16th March 2020

This page has been set up as a blog for my first marine tank. You can follow my journey from start to finish on the set up & progression of my first attempt at a marine/reef tank, along with updates of my established tropical tank. You will find information about the fish I keep along with reviews on all of the equipment I use for both my tropical & marine tank.

I’d like to add at this point that all reviews are my own opinions & I receive no benefits from running this site. I do not receive free products or products at a reduced cost from any suppliers.

The tank has been set up since January 2019.

My Marine Tank

The chosen tank is a second hand 6 foot x 2 foot x 2 foot display tank with a 3 foot sump. It has been pre-drilled so no hang on equipment will be used. It will hold just under 1000L of water in total. The tank is encased in a false wood style surround, complete with cupboards and hood.

My Fish History

Like many of you out there, my interest in fishkeeping started a long time ago with a goldfish (Fred), who was won at a local fair as a prize for knocking over all the bottles with a ball. Fred was not won by myself, my little brother won him. My parents then had to rush around to buy a tank and the equipment required to house Fred.

Fred, like many other fair-ground fish, was neglected by my younger brother.

About 2 years passed, and I had all but forgotten poor Fred, as had everyone else in our household, until we had to move house. As we were lifting and shifting, to our amazement, behind the solid green glass, Fred was still alive! We took him with us to our new home and Fred moved in with me into my room.

I looked after him happily for the next few years.

Eventually, after months and months of begging at the age of 13, my parents let me get my first tropical tank. I kept it alongside Fred in my room. It housed basic tropical fish, Neons, Guppies, Platies, that sort of thing, until my next door neighbour, unfortunately, lost her husband. He also kept tropical fish, but his were a little more exotic than mine, mainly Angelfish.

My neighbour kindly gave me her husbands’ treasured Angelfish, and my passion for the more exotic was born. But more exotic meant bigger tanks, and no room to put them!

From the Angels I went on to Cichlids and Rams, from them I went on to Discus. At the time I had my Discus tank, I was lucky enough to be working for my Dad, and he allowed me to keep the tank in our shared office, the tank was too big for my little flat.

A new career opportunity meant I had to leave my beloved tank in the capable hands of my Dad, he had taught me everything I knew about fish keeping… I had nothing to worry about! Wrong! Within a year he had managed to lose all but 6 Clown Loaches from the tank. I was gutted, to say the least.

Eventually, he sold the tank to another Discus enthusiast and for the first time in a long time, I was fishless!

Fast forward another 6 years and I find myself in the unenviable position of begging my partner to let me get another tropical tank. He did eventually let me get tank!

Tropical Fish Tank Progression
Tropical Fish Tank Progression

Fast forward another 6 months of begging, and he eventually caves again and lets me get my first ever marine tank. I ran the marine tank and the freshwater tank simultaneously for about 4 months, but life and work got busy, and I decided the best thing to do was to give one of them up. So I said goodbye to my Tropical fish.

The marine tank has been running since January 2019. They aim is for it to be a mixed reef tank, but I am taking it incredibly slowly! I do have plenty of fish and coral in the tank now, so it is a case of waiting for some of it to grow out a bit more before I start adding more bits and pieces.

The journey so far has been a mixed one to say the least. I have had some real low points, including a seemingly never-ending battle with Dino’s, a mass loss of livestock & a generally steep learning curve.

The tank is now running nicely & is stable. Long may thank continue!!

Fred, eventually outgrew his tank and had to be moved to the pond. He spent his days swimming around outdoors annoying my Mum & Dad’s Coy. He lived to the ripe old age of 18.

About me

I am a 30 something year old female. I live in the deepest depths of Devon with my partner, our two dogs (Jack & Bramble), our two horses (Dude & Scooby) and of course our fish.

I have a habit of collecting rescues, both of our horses are ex-racehorses & both of our dogs are also rescues. The horses are mainly used as happy hacks & the dogs are gundogs, used for pick-up.

I am trained as a mechanical engineer and work for a mid-sized, family run firm in the engineering world.