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Old 08-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
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I would never use live rock. Most live rock is just dead rock that is wet. I have started 2 tanks with dry base rock and Dr Tims one and Only Nitrifying bacteria. That alone will save you hundreds of dollars and guarantee no pest. You can buy lights on ebay that would work just fine. Buy 2 hydor powerheads at least 1050 gph. Make your own sump for less then $30. Buy a heater and return pump a few pieces of plumping material and your good. Reefrocks.net has #50 of dry rock for $85 shipped and you can get dead sand there too. I believe you would be under $500 total
There are a lot of interesting life forms on live rock. When I bought mine I spent hours watching the tank for new things to emerge.

Live rock is expensive but dry rock can be bought for $2 - $4 a pound which is as good a deal as you can find.


Breakdown of basics for the tank:
Dry rock - 55lbs - $165
Caribsea Aragonite substrate - 60lbs - $80 ish
Ehein Jager heater - $20 (My personal fav. heater to date)
Hydor Koralia Evolution 850 x2 - $60
ro/di system - 162
API Salt master test kit - $16
Lights - ??
Total: 503
That's the absolute basic essentials for running a salt water tank. The light can run as low as $50 and go much much much higher.

If you want a refugium / sump you can expect to pay at minimum $100

A protein skimmer is also highly recommended and will probably run in the range of $150 - $200

None of this is taking into consideration any shipping costs from buying it online but there are usually bulk purchase deals that give free shipping.

All equipment was found at either Bulk Reef Supply or Big Als Pets
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #12
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I set up my 55 for about $1500 (including the tank) I loved buying all live (cured) rock, even though it was more expensive. It came covered with coralline, loads of fun little hitchhikers and little to no cycle. Each to their own tho, it comes down to personal taste (and budget) of course you can do it cheaper, pick up second hand deals etc.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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I set up my 55 for about $1500 (including the tank) I loved buying all live (cured) rock, even though it was more expensive. It came covered with coralline, loads of fun little hitchhikers and little to no cycle. Each to their own tho, it comes down to personal taste (and budget) of course you can do it cheaper, pick up second hand deals etc.
Agreed. I tried to find deals on new items and I built my own stand. Amazon really is a good place for new equipment at good prices. I agree about the rock. I liked getting the LR, but I trusted the LFS, too.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:06 PM   #14
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Everyone has there own way of doing it. It's whatever works for each. I just want to point out that you can go multiple routes. And if you listen to most people on here they would have you buying Radion lights and Vortec pumps ($1500) which a PC or T5 lights and some Hydor pumps ($150) would do the same. To each his own.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:08 PM   #15
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Everyone has there own way of doing it. It's whatever works for each. I just want to point out that you can go multiple routes. And if you listen to most people on here they would have you buying Radion lights and Vortec pumps ($1500) which a PC or T5 lights and some Hydor pumps ($150) would do the same. To each his own.
True. I'm new to SW, but have found very quickly there are a lot of ways to do it "right." It's pretty amazing.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
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And if you listen to most people on here they would have you buying Radion lights and Vortec pumps ($1500) which a PC or T5 lights and some Hydor pumps ($150) would do the same. To each his own.
Why would you even bother saying this? You act as though theres hardcore members that do nothing but suggest the top notch, first class products.... A quick look by anybody with Google can see that vortechs and radion are companies associated with dedicated hobbyists with the extra mpney to spend on their tanks. Just about every time ive asked for input on equipment on AA, ive gotten straightforward, affordable options... Not these highly-priced convenience items
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #17
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You said it correctly "just about". There is more good information then bad on here i agree. I've seen post all over the place when asked the simple question "What is the best skimmer for my tank" and you get the wide range of answers. For someone that is thinking about starting the hobby they may easily be scared away. As I pointed out in my earlier post on the thread you can do things cheaper.
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