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Old 06-01-2009, 11:00 PM   #11
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I think you could try to pull it off, but I'll tell you I have a lot more than $300 in my 12g! To be honest the cost of the tank is small compared with the money your going to end up spending on the critters inside and your corals. I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up spending more on lighting than you did on the tank itself. I went with the small setup too to get a lower start up cost and I can tell you it is a lot more work.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:01 PM   #12
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Also one thing I didn't think about at the time which would have saved money would have been just to buy cheap base rock and made it in to LR myself over time, you can save quite a lot doing that
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #13
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If you went with a 20 gallon tank you really don't need a skimmer as a weekly pwc will accomplish the same thing. For a powerhead I think you will be able to get by with a Koralia 1. For substrate, if you go sand get dry aragonite intsead of live sand because IMO live sand isn't "live" and many others will say the same. For salt brands everybody has a favorite. for lighting if you get a deluxe full hood or a strip-light with the tank, I think you can get by with that for fish and live rock. For a test kit a lot of people use an API saltwater master test kit. Since you're getting live rock you won't need a filter. Heater, a 100 watt would work great. For thermometers, I just use temp tape which is cheap but not the most accurate. Get a refractometer, much better than a hydrometer. I think that's about all I can remember.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:10 AM   #14
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If he has live rock he won't need a filter? Is this only for smaller tanks? I haven't heard this before. How do you turn the base rock into live rock?
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:21 AM   #15
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live rock is a natural filter...to turn base rock into live rock you just purchase it and wait for nature to take its course..in time the base rock will eventually have things living on it... maybe buy mostly base rock and one piece of live...live rock is live because of the bacteria living in and on it
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:42 AM   #16
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Hello guys,
Thanks for the tips! So I can do away with a protein skimmer and a filter. (Once the live rock has established.) So that leaves me with lights, power head, heater+thermometer, and water testing kit.

So my plan will be to get the 20gallon (or I may go up to the 28 gallon one they have) acrylic hexagonal tank, a light, power head, heater+thermometer, and water testing kit. I will mix up the salt water, put some sand down, and then set up the lights and heater. I think a few places around me may sell live rock. How much would I need to start? How long before something like a hermit crab could live in it?

So let me get some things straight. In order to stock the tank safely, I would want to make small additions and constantly check the water quality. As long as the toxins are low (within limits) animals can be added. No? Eventually, I would reach the system's limit and thats it. Right? I plan for small fish like clowns and some hermit crabs and whatnot.

So assuming I can get a couple pounds of live rock, how long might a 20 gallon tank need to be ready for larger forms of life? (Small hermit crabs and shrimp). I assume inverts. produce the least waste? Several stores around here sell salt water fish and crabs. But the people that work in the stores seem to know very little.

What kind of light should I be looking for? I assume 100W is a good start. No?

Thanks much!
Matt
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:09 AM   #17
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i do not know if i would toss the idea of a filter and skimmer...i think you would have to do many water changes without..but i am no expert on that. i do know however that crabs and shrimp need iodine to help them shed. so if the salt you use does not have enough you may need to get an additive..i made that mistake when i first set up a tank and couldnt figure out why they kept dying on me. and for how much rock i have been told about a 1/2 a pound per gallon
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:49 AM   #18
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Hmmm....Maybe I will skip the protein skimmer and filter and keep an eye on the water quality. If it stays fine, I will just stay with the live rock. If it begins to dip, I will get a filter and then a protein skimmer. Im guessing I better start with crabs and then slowly move up to some clown fish and other small guys?

So how does the lighting work? Ive seen some places say 2 watts per gallon. That would be HARD to fit into the tank I have in mind. The tank comes with a hood and fixture, but it looks like the kind that uses a small mini fluorescent bulb. I am going with a tall type tank, as I have little space in my townhome.

I think I am about ready to begin! I need to figure out the lighting issue and then I will order my tank. (Found a place in my state that sells them cheaper than the pet stores). I will then head to the pet stores for the other things. (Salt mix, light bulbs, heater/thermometer and sand). After that I will secure some live rock and then get it all going. No?

EDIT: How does acrylic respond to the lighting that these tanks need? I know that glass will filter out UV light. I really dont know how the tanks I am looking at are configured as far as lighting goes, but I could just get a fixture and set it on top with some bulbs. Would the top need to be open or can these lights pass right through the plastic?

Matt
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:38 AM   #19
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Be patient with Craigslist. Some weeks there's nothing, but I've picked up a 55 and a 60 gallon tank in the last month for $250 total, including a hang on back sump setup for the 60. People seem to be asking more for their saltwater tanks because they cost more new, but if you put up an ad offering lowball prices for equipment I bet you'd get some hits. I got 9 calls from some lady in two days trying to sell me a nice filter (Rena XP2) for $50. The desperate ones are out there.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:15 AM   #20
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Best to stay away from the hexagon tank. Better to have a shorter long tank than a tall one.
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