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Old 03-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #11
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And how deep is that tank by the way because for a successful reef you need to be able to provide adequate light which is gonna almost always gonna be one of your most expensive items...needless to say deeper the tank stronger the light needed which means more $
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #12
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You have a fantastic start with equipment, but I didn’t know that at first so:

Lights: You will NEED a better light. Want SPS – AquaticLife 6 bulb t5 = $470 or go LED’s – stick with Chinese panels, probably need 3 * 125 = $375. Or go high end like AI sols – at least 2 at $500 = $1000. Or (2) Radions for $1500.

Sump - $250 for Aqueon Proflex Model 3

Pump – Danner or Quiet one - $100-150

Plumbing - $50

Powerheads – Koralia’s – you will need about 3800gph total for a reef. (2) 1400’s and (2) 750’s placed strategically throughout the tank. $170. Or high end – (2) Vortech MP40W ES - $930.

Heater - $30-50

Salt Mix – 200 gallon box for $53

FULL Live Rock – 76 * 1.5lbs = 114 lbs – *2 = 152. * $6/lb = ($684 - $912)

COMBO: Base Rock – 76 * 90% = 68.4 lbs * 1.5 = 102.6 * 2.50/ lb = $256 + shipping = $300 + 10% Live = 11.4 * 6.00 = $68 up to $91 + shipping for 2lbs per gallon.

Basically $350-400 for Rock. Sand is another $30.

In a big tank like that frags, or tiny coral you grow out will basically get lost. If you want the impact of a full grown coral, you’re looking at $35-$100+ for each coral. In my 54 gallon I have 24 full grown corals and (2) frags. The full grown average at $25 on the conservative, side.

So I’ve got $600 in corals in my 54 gallon corner, and I’m pretty full, but not completely.

Livestock:

Clean Up Crew (CUC) - $50

No CUC inverts - $20 each

Fish:

Depends on what you get, but average for SW fish is about $20. For example my fish are, (2) B/W clowns - $80, Midas Blenny $40, Purple Firefish $25, and Pink Spot watchman goby $25.
I’ve got (5) fish at $170. I’ve lost several fish due to rookie mistakes, miscellaneous mistakes, unknown reason. That adds up to another $100+.

RO/DI unit to make your own water – TAP water is out for a REEF. $100 for a nice one.

REEF test kits - $30 for main ones and $25-30 for each specific test – Magnesium, calcium, etc. High end – Hannah checkers - $50 each.

Algae scrapers, cleaning cloths, dedicated towels, - $50

Brute trash cans to store water - $32 plus an extra Koralia 750 for mixing - $30.

Powerstrip / GFCI outlet – $40

ATO – DIY - $35 – Good one - $80 + pump = $95 total

Refractometer (A MUST)- $35

Skimmer - $250

Food – Want a variety – Flake $6, Frozen $8, Nori $4

Feeding clips - $10

Epoxy for rocks - $15

Thermometer - $4

APPROXIMATE TOTAL: $3200

Subtract your equipment and your still looking at around $2800.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:08 AM   #13
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+1 Must say you broke that down pretty good lol but I would say that is even on the conservative side (take into consideration rookie mistakes for purchases too, I know I made them haha)
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:30 AM   #14
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Absolutely - that's at the low end of the spectrum. Easily add another 5-600 misc. and another $2000 for high-end lights and PH's.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:39 AM   #15
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WOW....that's the kind of list I've been looking for. Thanks!

And thanks for helping me decide that the Livingstonii will love there new home! Haha. I'll still start piecing this list together but I actually thought I had gotten the most expensive part out of the way. It'll take me awhile but I like working towards something. I guess that's why we don't all have a 500 gallon tank in the middle of our living rooms....yet!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #16
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That breakdown was on point. I stopped thinking about what ive spent on my tank...and i still have another radion to buy! Id highly suggest the chinese leds that were mentioned. Id have gone that route, but the radions offer what i need with my odd work schedule and one cord.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #17
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Thanks - I'm quite happy that I came up with that list so quickly. I've never actually done a breakdown of my own tank, so it was interesting to see. To the OP, I hope you consider down the road taking a chance at saltwater. I've never done fresh, so I am biased, but the word on the street is Saltwater is a whole new experience. Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions!

One last thing, if you decide to make the 54 corner a SW tank, here is my build thread - Its very long, but a lot of questions were answered along the way.

Hope this helps: Tim's 54 Gallon Corner -> Going Reef
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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Oh I will definitely work towards SW. I have always loved all the varieties of corals. They are amazing. It hard to believe they are not as fragile as they appear in water. I will say though, that if you do ever try a freshwater, go with Africans Cichlids. Livingstonii are my favorites so far. They are all very active and aggressive. It is so enjoyable to watch them chase after one another, piss each other off, and then ignore each other. The activity is almost constant. They come in hundreds of variety and often sport coloring as magnificent as saltwater fish.


Thanks again and when I get that build goin, I'll be sure to share.
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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Well I went ahead and set it up tonight for African cichlids. I have a question though you all may be able to help me with. After filling the sump, I filled the tank up to the point that it barely started into the overflow box. I then turned on the pump. As soon as it began to circulate and fill the overflow box, I noticed a leak on the underside of the tank coming from around the plastic nut holding in the intake bulkhead. I tried to tighten the nut but I couldn't get it to stop dripping. Fortunately, it is dripping over and into the sump. How can I fix it without completely draining the tank? If I do have to drain it, how do I empty the overflow box?
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:03 PM   #20
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This is the setup.
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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