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Old 08-24-2005, 03:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pueblo CO
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Brand new guy

Hello all I am brand new to SW stuff.
Me and my wife have wanted to get a SW tank going for years but we waited till we bought our 1st house so we would not have to worry about moving around.

I am looking for a 29 (or so gal) I want to start real slow and low cost. I know it will take time and that is great for me as I want to spread to cost of the tank out over time.

Now for the questions....

1) where is a good online resource to see what all equipment i will need to get started with.
2) Is live sand a requirement to start?

As a afterthought, I am wanting to do a LR, fish, and maybe some soft coral later.

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Old 08-24-2005, 03:53 PM   #2
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Instead of an online resource I would suggest a good book or two to start with. The reason I suggest a book is that it allows you to go reference something you might not be clear on fairly quickly. Websites like ours is great for clarifying what you read and expanding on that.

The book The New Marine Aquarium by Michael S. Paletta or The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner are two great books for all hobbists starting out. You can find links to these book in our book library link above.

There are so many options on how you could setup the tank there isnt really a difinitive list of equipment needed. We can all give you a list of equipment we would recommend but you will find that that list will include some things for others while it will exclude those exact same things for others.

Live sand is not a requirement.

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Old 08-24-2005, 07:53 PM   #3
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Location: Oregon
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I aggree with Fishfreek on the live sand not being a requirement but for me it is one of those things that will save you a big headache by starting with. I wanted to go as inexpensive as possible but found that crushed coral was not the way to go and was causing some problems with nitrates and general cleanliness. So I swapped over to LS and havent looked back. My recommendation in the LS area is to use regular dry aragonite sand for 75% of your LS needs (1lb per gallon?) and "seed" it with 25% live sand (comes wet). In a few months all your sand will become live sand as the critters spread THe dry aragonite sand should go for 1$ per pound for a good deal and the LS should go for about 1.50-2 $ for a good deal.
As far as basic setup, I got my sand all figured out and started the cycle with a heater and power head then started adding LR as my budget permitted. I like to pick out the best pieces from the LFS when they get a new shipment in and usually only get about 5 lbs or so at a time. (finish with about 1-1.5 lbs per gal)
As the cycle progressed I figured I would need some lights and an RO/DI unit. So I started watching ebay for some power compacts (not nearly as expensive as metal halide) and an ro/di unit for around a hundred bucks.
I took this light and cut it in half (be careful to re route the wires accordingly) And an Aqua Safe 6 stage Ro/Di unit. (the Ro/di was 122$ including 30$ shipping.)
The power heads and Skimmer I got off of ebay. If you watch long enough you can find what you are looking for at about half what you get retail. Just be sure the seller has a good rating and if they have negative feedback check to see why. Some people give negative feedbacks for no reason.
Ok thats my two cents. Oh and welcome to the SW world
39 gallon (2yrs) 40lbs live sand. 23 lbs LR (still collecting) , 1 turbo snail, 5 Nasarius snails, 10 blue knuckle hermits, 1 zebra hermit, 1 scarlet hermit, 5 red tip hermits, 1 Green Chromis, 1 Blue Damsel, ? Ricordia, candy cane coral.

135gallon (2 months)
125lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock, 2 175W Metal Halide, 1 175W VHO Actinic (so far). Berlin Protein Skimmer in 40 Gallon Sump. 2 Maxi Jet 1200's. 10 Nassarius, 10 mexican turbos, 10 astreas, 20 Blue Leg Hermits, 20 Scarlet Hermits, 5 Emerald crabs, 5 peppermint shrimp. 1 Copper Band butterfly, 2 False Perculas, 1 Javanese Damsel.
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