For many couples, the unique trials and triumphs of marine aquarium keeping can truly be a bonding experience. In some of these cases, as relationships grow to include marriage and sharing a home together, this shared interest can expand to manifest itself as a well-manicured centerpiece aquarium system.
The family that Cades together…
CADE community member Ali can certainly attest to this! As she explains, “I’ve grown up with freshwater tanks all my life and when I talked my husband into getting one.” It wasn’t very long before he too “fell in love with the hobby.” After some time, and after gaining increased confidence in their skills as aquarists, they wanted to take on new challenges together. “We decided to try saltwater and fell in love with the hobby even more! I personally love the science behind it all–and he just likes the ‘cool fish’ LOL.”
The couple went small with their first attempt, opting for a 16-gallon Biocube (not an uncommon way to enter the marine side of the hobby these days). But as interests and confidence grow, and tastes change, quite a few hobbyists start looking for a bigger (and better!) aquarium system. For starters, they were happy to stick with glass construction. “The glass vs acrylic thing wasn’t really a thought for us; I’ve always grown up with glass and have never experienced acrylic.” Their ‘aha’ moment came from a not-so-unexpected source. “We have been buying from AlgaeBarn for a while and saw that the CADE tank was coming to the US. We looked over the price and the specs and knew we wanted to go bigger and better than the we started with.” And undoubtedly, they immediately recognized CADE (for its quality of materials and smart design) as a clear upgrade. As Ali recalls, “The CADE was an all-in-one system which we loved. We didn’t have to buy extra supplies to make the sump and return and everything.”
Aside from simply being bigger, they are clearly pleased with how much nicer this tank is compared to others. “We were so excited! And defining underestimated the size! We have the 1200 and the size is perfect for where we put it. It’s definitely a statement piece and we always get compliments on how cool and epic this tank is.”
Not only does their CADE tank and stand have a great look worthy of display in their living space, they feel also that the system performs superbly. “The tank runs really great! We have had no issues. There is a bit of salt creep that we have to address every so often around the doors, but with it being as open (as it is underneath) it’s to be expected.” According to Ali, general compatibility of ‘extra’ equipment has not posed any problems. “Other equipment we have works well with the CADE.” Even so, recognizing that anything can be ‘perfected more,’ she points out that there could be some small functional improvements in future versions. “The only thing I would change is making the grates for the water intake to be removable for some cleaning if need be.” She would also suggest making some custom options for extra tight-fitting lids available. “We have the lid fall in sometimes when we lift it to feed the fish.”
Sea anemone heaven
With a roomy, easy-to-care-for, fully integrated aquarium system, Ali and her husband can spend more of their time focusing on the exhibit itself. “Our aquascape had a bunch of arches and individual islands to put certain corals so they wouldn’t take over all the other live rock. We have nine anemones, and three of them are the size of dinner plates; our pair of clowns live in them. I think we have a nice diverse group of fish with colors that really pop. But I would like to get my hammer garden bigger!”
Ali’s tank is definitely a looker! We especially love the diversity of EXTREMELY active fish, which spend much of their time showing off in the ample swimming space to the fore of the rockwork. We also like the hardscape itself, which is almost reminiscent of a temple with its tall stacks of flat-cut rocks; this should look better and better as the hardscape matures and ‘fills in.’ Finally, we like that it is different from the average reef tank in that it is anemone-dominated rather than coral-dominated (always cool to see something unusual, right?).
In terms of overall satisfaction, Ali says, “I think the value was good.” If anything, she’d only like to see more work done towards improving access to customer service. As she adds, “I would consider CADE for another build, it seems like a solid tank.”
We are certainly grateful that you’ve welcomed CADE into your home and we look forward to seeing that hammer garden get HUGE! Thank you, Ali, and happy reefing!
If you’re a CADE owner and would like to share your CADE experiences with the aquarium community in an article such as this, please reach out to [email protected]. We’d all love to hear from you!