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Old 08-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Equipment brands

Hi everyone

I'm starting my FIRST fish tank (50 gallon saltwater fowlr) and was wondering what brands you would recommend of equipment and the total cost.
I'm planning on getting:

Heater
Lighting and hood
2 powerheads
Protien skimmer
Air pump
Sump( what would you put in a sump?)

Also, do you recommend any other equipment?

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hello there. Welcome to AA. I'm new to the saltwater world myself, but have gained a bit of experience in the FW world. I've also done a lot of research to get my SW put together. Here are my recommendations.

For a 50 gallon tank, your biggest hit will probably come from live rock and your skimmer. You will need 60 to 80 pounds of live rock. At about $7 to $9 dollars per pound, this is going to be the big one! However, if you are patient, you can get "dry" rock instead. It is less expensive, but it takes more time and may create an odor as it cures.

Heater - Eheim (Maybe $50)
Lighting and hood - If you aren't doing coral, then whatever you can find in your budget will work. I use T5s on both our tanks, but am leaning toward LED
2 powerheads- Hydor was highly recommended to me. These aren't too terribly expensive, but you should do some research as to how many and how powerful you need for that tank.
Protien skimmer - This will probably be one of your big ticket items for sure! I recommend Reef Octopus or Eshopps ($300... maybe more)
Air pump - Do you mean water pump? I got a "Quiet One" for about $60, but the price depends on the pump. How far will your water be traveling from your sump to your tank? That is something to consider.
Sump( what would you put in a sump?) I just used a 10 gallon tank I had for my sump. It is split into 3 sections. The first section has my skimmer, the second is full of live sand, live rock, and rubble. The 3rd section has my pump to move water back to the display.

Also, do you recommend any other equipment? I am assuming you have a drilled tank, but if not I would recommend getting it drilled. Otherwise, you will need an overflow box.

Check Amazon for some of this equimpent. You can save a ton of money on aquarium equipment there.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Check Craigslist for deals. Also see if there is a reef/saltwater club in your area. Often members have used and sometimes new stuff lying around that you can get a good deal on.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Check Craigslist for deals. Also see if there is a reef/saltwater club in your area. Often members have used and sometimes new stuff lying around that you can get a good deal on.
That's true. I had a friend offer me a nice skimmer, it just wouldn't fit in my sump. He has about a 300 gallon tank... should've known better .
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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So what do you think would be the total cost?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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Better question. What is your budget?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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So what do you think would be the total cost?
Assuming you only have the tank, you would be looking at as muck as $700 to $900 more dollars. Half of that is rock and sand, though. Do you have a stand, too?

Don't be discouraged by that number... It can be done cheaper... Can be done for more. But that's a good expectation to have, I think.

A couple of tips.... You can get by without a skimmer for a while. Some folks don't use them at all. Also, don't over-complicate your sump. I would recommend a 25 to 40 gallon tank as your sump. I have a friend using a rubber made container!
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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I think you can do it for under $500.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #9
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I think you can do it for under $500.
How? Won't the live rock and sand alone be nearly that much? I'm not saying you're wrong... Please don't misunderstand. I could use the help myself.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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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
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