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Old 05-15-2003, 02:52 PM   #1
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questions about startup costs

Ok, I've been posting for my freshwater tank, and looking at all the saltwater tanks, and admiring all the saltwater tanks...Well, I'm starting to think about wanting a saltwater tank. I'm not ready for one just yet, but if I successfully breed my cardinal tetras (which is a chore) I really want to try. Questions:

1. What is the minimum recommended tank size?

2. I know saltwater is more expensive than freshwater, but how much more? Twice? Three times?
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. What is the minimum recommended tank size?

2. I know saltwater is more expensive than freshwater, but how much more? Twice? Three times?

1. I would recommend nothing smaller than a 55 gal tank for any one looking to get into the hobby. Really the best thing to do is to buy the largest tank you can afford. I know that sounds funny but the larger the tank the slower your water conditions will change and it will be easier to keep a higher quality water in a larger volume than a smaller. With that said yes you can keep a smaller size. I satarted my saltwater adventure with a 20 gal tank. 3 years later I still have that saltwater tank.

2. Well. THis is a hard question to answer with any difinitiveness. The reason is simple. The more you get into it the more it costs. If you want to simply add up the costs of the bare essencals like salt, skimmer and saltwater testkits then its just a little more expensive. I would say less than twice. (excpet for the fish). If you get into it seriously then it would be SIGNIFICANLY more expensive. I think people have been known to spend several THOUSAND dollers on their tanks. These are those who choise to go into a REEF tank setup that requires high power lights, very high quality water, etc.
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Old 05-15-2003, 05:10 PM   #3
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IMHO.

I agree with FF on the 55gal min for beginners.

With a FO tank then cost of maintenance is about 2 times that of FW. Fish are closer to 3 or 4 times more expensive for the common ones.

Reef well that is just that is just a world of its own. It's kinda like if you have to ask the price on it, it's too much


SW is not that hard really. You just have to make sure to test more often and for more things and also make sure the salinity/temp stays the same during water changes. Everything else is just like FW.
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Old 05-15-2003, 05:13 PM   #4
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I went for a 90 gallon to start...I would agree that 55 gal is sufficient...I mean...I see them all sizes... Nano-reefs as small as 10 gallons... but the bigger the better..

I am doign a FO and will tell you... I spent over $3000 already...not including livestock.

http://www.marks-aquaticlife.com/page1.html

I have all my equipment there...
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Old 05-15-2003, 05:20 PM   #5
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If i were you i would say "i have this much money to spend: what can i get." That would probably be a safer bet. There are going to be many unexpected costs so set aside about 25-30% of your budget for unexpected costs after you get your tank and may have it partially set up(PM me if you want a horror story). You don't want your spending to get out of hand so have a budget ahead of time, i really can't stress that enough. Its so easy to be like i want this this this this and this. And at this point you've racked up bills you can't pay.

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Old 05-15-2003, 05:47 PM   #6
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While I agree that bigger is better, I believe that a 29 gal tank is the smallest size I would recommend. This is because may people do not have the space to accomodate a 4 foot tank. The smaller tank only means that it will require more constant attention. As long as your dedicated enough to do top offs every 1 or 2 days, and can limit feeding, you will be ok with a smaller tank.
I started a reef tank after keeping FW planted tanks for years. I still can't believe, about a year later, how much easier a reef tank is for me than a FW planted tank. The weekly maintenance is much less, water changes are less frequent, and tank cleaning is easier(except for coraline algae). I know a lot of people say that SW is difficult, but IMHO if you do your research, are on top of your tank parameters and have lots of patience, you will be a fine reefkeeper.

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Old 05-15-2003, 06:19 PM   #7
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Note:

the number of fish you can keep is much lower in sw. For example the common rule for stocking freshwater is 1" per gal of adult fish. where as saltwater its more like 1" per 5 gal of adult fish.

regardless of tank size topping off every one or two days is essenal. I do bi weekly or weekly water changes.
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Old 05-15-2003, 06:31 PM   #8
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I would say you could go good with $30 per gallon complete for a 55 with good stand, good canopy, good lights, LR, LS, PowerHeads, Pretty much everything you need to get it going and use the balance when it is ready for fish and get a couple..
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