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Old 06-13-2011, 06:43 AM   #101
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I am also just starting my first marine tank and am therefore starting from scratch. I am comparison shopping across vendors but not waiting for big sales, so I am sure that with a little patience you can get a lot of these items at a lower price.

I am not done yet but here's what I have so far. My tank is 75 gallons with a 30 gallon sump/refugium and you can probably go a size smaller in most items.


Product Price
Aqueon sump model 4 $299.99
Reef Octopus Extreme skimmer 160 $254.99
GFCI 15 amp adapter $22.74
Eheim Jager 250w heater $25.04
Nova Extreme Pro T5 6 bulb light $349.99
ro.di unit $144.00
3 titanium heaters $75.00
CPR overflow cs100 800 gph $118.00
2 battery air pumps $42.00
TDS meter $18.00
API saltwater master test kit $21.00
29 and 10 gallon quarantine tanks $30.00
sponge filter for qt tank $12.00
sealant for securing live rock
pvc piping/plumbing
book: Conscientious Marine Aquarist $43.00
Tunze nanostream 6045 powerheads x 2 $95.00
50 lb eco-friendly live rock $250.00
50 lb eco-frienly base rock $150.00
portable gas powered generator $200.00
Tunze 1073.020 silence return pump $90.00

Total investment so far = $2,340.75
...and I haven't bought a single fish!
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #102
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That's A lot of money. Are those ones the best that you can get? I heard the octopus skimmer is great. I just paid off my car. So that should give me extra money for this
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:14 PM   #103
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Also I'm not sure if anyone told you after the first page, but... you cannot cycle base rock alone with an ammonia source. You must introduce the benefitial bacteria as well via a single piece of live rock or the less preferred way "bacteria in a bottle".
this is false. yes you can cycle with just base rock and ammonia source. the beneficial bacteria live everywhere, in the air, and on everything. now it will take longer to cycle but you can cycle with just base rock and ammonia.

as far as making your own rock its totally up to you. i did it because i was tight on cash and had about 2 - 3 months worth of buying stuff. every two weeks i would go out and purchase a item for my tank. for me it was well worth spending $30 for 60 -70 lbs of rock as compared to over $100 on dry base rock. look at it this way.... you will need about 80 lbs of rock. if you get it all dry base rock at $2.. that's $160 just for the base rock.. liverock is anywhere from $5 a lb to $10 a lb. i figure more money on fish and coral just my two cents worth
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #104
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this is false. yes you can cycle with just base rock and ammonia source. the beneficial bacteria live everywhere, in the air, and on everything. now it will take longer to cycle but you can cycle with just base rock and ammonia.

as far as making your own rock its totally up to you. i did it because i was tight on cash and had about 2 - 3 months worth of buying stuff. every two weeks i would go out and purchase a item for my tank. for me it was well worth spending $30 for 60 -70 lbs of rock as compared to over $100 on dry base rock. look at it this way.... you will need about 80 lbs of rock. if you get it all dry base rock at $2.. that's $160 just for the base rock.. liverock is anywhere from $5 a lb to $10 a lb. i figure more money on fish and coral just my two cents worth
That's good to know. I was still planning to buy LR and LR to speed up the cycle like what you did. It will also take me at least 2 months to get everything I need so I'll be making my own rocks and have enough time for the cement to cure
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #105
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What you need is . Portland cement,rock salt, and crushed coral... Pea gravel... Etc, the mix is 2 part rock( your gravel or whatever 1 part cement. Mix this together then add water. Just enough so you have a dry chunky like oat meal mix. Then mix in 3 parts rock salt.. In a large tub fill it with sand to make your mold. Pour the mixture into the mold and cover with a fine layer of sand. After 48 hours remove the rocks and let air dry for another 24 hours. Take all your rocks and place them in large bins full of water . For the next 3 weeks you will need to change the water every other day. On your last week add half water and half vinegar solution to the water that the rocks will sit in. This will neutralize the lime in the cement. Rinse the rocks then let them sit in fresh water for about 2 days every three days you will want to test your ph. Once the ph of the water reaches whatever you tap water is they are safe to put in. I made about 70 lbs of base rock or about $30... Way cheaper then the $7 a lb for live rock. And plus it will all become live in time.
Did you use pea gravel and crushed corals with yours or just pea gravel? How can you make a mold using the sand? Isn't the sand going to crumble when you add the cement? Some of the sand will stick to the rock? Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:03 PM   #106
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GreenMaster did a great DIY on making your own rock with video. Making your own will allow you to customize to a degree to make what you want but it does take MONTHS to get it to cure.

Here is his thread on making it: DIY rock with VIDEO tutorial and Q/A

It is a great view even if you don't make the rock. I love a part where he says he needs to edit this section out. lol
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:07 PM   #107
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GreenMaster did a great DIY on making your own rock with video. Making your own will allow you to customize to a degree to make what you want but it does take MONTHS to get it to cure.

Here is his thread on making it: DIY rock with VIDEO tutorial and Q/A

It is a great view even if you don't make the rock. I love a part where he says he needs to edit this section out. lol
Oh yea, i remember these videos. I've seen these a few months ago. Thanks for reminding me

Edit: different videos but still a lot of help. I thought these were the ones in his build thread.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #108
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I thought they were too! I haven't seen these but remembered him posting about them. Guess I should watch these too.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:35 PM   #109
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lol just follow the videos and you will be set. i just watched them and this is pretty much exactly how i did it.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:17 PM   #110
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Why are you using three heaters? Two powerheads will easily circulate the water if you want a heater at both ends but one heater in the center back will also work with the two powerheads.

I had the one heater in the center, a 300 watt, with two powerheads and the temp stayed consistent throughout.

Or..is that one heater for each of the three tanks?
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