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The Atlantic Ocean is only about ten minutes from my house, and I was wondering if anybody has ever setup a saltwater aquarium strictly out of the ocean. I have been scouting out some areas and have found some nice already established pieces of live rock that would be perfect for the 50 gallon tank that I have. The live rock that I have seen are small enough pieces that it would not disturb the existing rock around it. I just wonder if anyone has ever set up a tank this way and how did it work out? Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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i wouldnt-u never know if there is water pollution in your area, or if there might be parasites in the water near u.
 

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I'm pretty sure its "illegal". You need a permit to take stuff out of the ocean... And coral removal is for sure illegal without permit, and even with one, they are only allowed to remove stuff that has "broken off"... the reef.


But, I know it happens. I "know" a guy who took some sand out of the ocean to put in his tank, (nothing better to cycle a tank than some "live" sand in with your substrate). Same "dude" also found some barnicles that came off a pier during a storm. Everything worked fine. You are just saving the steps the stuff would take going to a distributer, then your fish store, then your house... Much less stress, and in my opinion, less chance to pick up disease... (typically most disease comes from sick fish along the way).

If you have the money, (since you'll be saving so much without buying from stores) get a uv sterilize and run the water sloooowww through it to kill any bad stuff you may pick up.) I'd bet your water would be fine though.
 

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First of all its illegal to take live rock from the ocean. No big deal if you dont get caught, but if you do get caught by a game warden they can confiscate your vehicle and all kinda of other stuff. That would score pretty high on the "Top 10 Suxs List" to be sure.Its much cheaper and less risky to just get on line and order some live rock or purchase it from the LFS.

The other aspect with this is potential pest being introduced to your tank. In nature there are usually things that keep such pest in check, but in your tank under the best circumstances your not going to have a fraction of the diversity your local waters contain and therefore you will not have the natrual controls that keep such pest in check.

On top of that while the water may look clean there is hardly a stretch of US shore line that is not contaminated in some one to one extend or another with pollution of one sort or another. This is why its not recommended to use "fresh" Sea Water in your SW tank for water changes. By the time you factor in wear and tear on your vehicle not to mention your time you could have bought salt and made your own SW and had SW that contians appropriate levels of the elements you need as locally collected SW will likely be lacking in some of these and have a lower SG. Some of the SW I have collected and tested has been WAY low on salt levels, go figure?

Doing what you suggested in the OP looks good on paper and in theory but trust me, its not as good an idea as one might think.
 

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Besides the fact that taking rock/coral/animals/etc. is illegal except in designated areas, Imaexpat2 makes a very important point re: taking ocean water for use in your tank. State, city aquariums get their water from as far out in the ocean as they can pipe to so they can avoid the polluted waters close to shore.
 

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I have seen some companies that offer dive trips that allow you to harvest live rock and some livestock that they are farming. These are legal and established organizations that are helping to maintain reefs and human harvesting of fish. Hit up Google and you should find some in your area. If you are interested I have the name of one somewhere, that I was really wanting to visit and just have not found the time or money yet.
 

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I think it is best to get your fish from the store. You are not suppose to take things out of the ocean and it could harm your tank
 
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