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Old 08-24-2003, 02:16 AM   #1
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I really want a saltwater aquarium......

Hey, thanks for looking at this topic. First off, I'm 15 years old and I have an interest in a saltwater tank. I have a couple problems, however...

1- I have no job, therefor I don't have much money. I'm looking at about $400 total.
2-Protein skimmer? What is it? I heard that it isn't neccesary, and it's pricey.
3-How much would a 75 gallon aquarium cost? My Uncle is a builder so I think I could build a stand for it by myself.
4-Blue Tang and Tank bred Clown-My two favorite fish, could I have them both in the 75 gal? If so, how many other fish could I put inside?
5-Live rock-I really want to stack these up towards the back of the tank so I can't see through the tank, and so the fish have holes to hide in. How much is live rock if I bought it at a regular fish store?
6-I always see Clownfish hiding in live seaweed/coral. Would I need to purchase some of that to have my Clownfish happy? I would love to buy some as long as I don't have to change my lighting and it isn't too expensive.

Last question...I would love for someone to give me a checklist of everything I would NEED. (Filters, lights, hood... etc.) I'm on a VERY tight budget.

Lastley, am I crazy??? Am I out of my mind that I could get a 75 gallon aquarium with live rock and about 5 fish for about $400?

I think I am, but I hope that I can get around this issue. BTW, my parents will chip in , so I might be able to go around 600. Plus, I would get some stuff for Christmas if i asked for it.

THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!

my AIM is bennerkla, MSN is bennerkla11@msn.com
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to our website.

Protein skimmer is used to help remove disolved organic compounds from the water by interaction with air and water. They might not be a requirment to run a tank but will help keep water quality high expecially for those who are new to the hobby and might tend to overfeed or over stock. They dont have to be expensive. In fact you can build one yourself for very little money.

A 75 gal aqaurium with just the tank and no stand would probably run you $150 or so. Thats my guess as prices for aquariums can differ widly depending on where in the country you are. WHen building a stand remember that a 75 gal aquairum will probably end up weighing over 1,000lbs when its full of water, rock, sand, etc.

The blue tang your refering to. Is this the same tang as in finding nemo? If so you would be refering to a hippo tang. Yes a hippo tang and a clown would have plenty of room in a 75. The general rule of thumb that we give most beginners is 5" of ADULT fish per gal of water capacity in the tank. WIth that said a 75 gal tank gives you 15" of adult fish size. If the fish are selected properly you could probably have 5 fish in a 75 gal tank and not be overcrowded. Notice the part that is in bold. For example 5 tangs would not be good in a 75 but 5 chromis would be fine. Its all in what fish you want and how big they can get as they grow and how they interact.

Live rock. Once again prices of live rock can be widly different even in the same town or city depending on what stores you go to. Usually you can get LR online for $3 or less per lb. When placing rock in the tank its good to leave room on all sides so you can clean the rock free of dirt and fish waste. Its also important not to stack the rock in such a way like your building a rock wall. As you mentioned having several holes and spots where fish can swim in and around the rock is good as this will help keep water flwoing in and around the rocks.

Clowns most commonly host in anenomes. This is because in the wild clowns are very easily caught by larger fish because they are not the best swimmers. By having a relationship with an aneome the clown can hide in the anenome's stinging tenticles away from larger preditors. The clowns relationship also extends to helping feed the anenome. Anenomes are not needed in the home aquarium to keep a clown alive and happy. Anenomes will most definatly require high end lighting that itself can easily approach $400.

The bugdet of $400 or even $600 is going to be tight. It can be done if your careful and only buy what is needed and not a bunch of extra equipment. The problem is the amount of rock that is usually suggested for biological filtration is 1 to 1.5lbs per gal. Now if you go with all live rock that in itself is over 1/2 your budget. If you get say dry base rock and top it with some live rock that can save you some $ upfront but will also require some additonal patience down the road.

If your budget is rather firm at $400-600 it might be of benifit to look at a tank a little smaller than a 75.
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: I really want a saltwater aquarium......

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennerkla
Hey, thanks for looking at this topic. First off, I'm 15 years old and I have an interest in a saltwater tank. I have a couple problems, however...
Welcome to Aquarium Advice :!: :mrgreen:

Quote:
1- I have no job, therefor I don't have much money. I'm looking at about $400 total.
:? could be tight... you'll need to be frugal. check local classifieds and or ebay to try and stretch your dollar as far as possible.

Quote:
2-Protein skimmer? What is it? I heard that it isn't neccesary, and it's pricey.
Many go without them, many others swear by them. IMO going without one simply means you will need to be more diligant with your water quality. IE, don't overfeed/overstock, keep up on your water changes, etc.

Quote:
3-How much would a 75 gallon aquarium cost? My Uncle is a builder so I think I could build a stand for it by myself.
Lots of folks build their own stand and can deffinitly save you a few hundred. The tank itself can cost a couple hundred, this would be a good place to be ffrugal, see if you can find a used one in your local classifieds, shop around.

Quote:
4-Blue Tang and Tank bred Clown-My two favorite fish, could I have them both in the 75 gal? If so, how many other fish could I put inside?
Tangs of any sort, need a lot of room to swim. Most will suggest at a bare minimum 4 feet of horizontal tank length (others say even that is too small). That aside, tangs and clowns I believe will do fine together. On average, people suggest a stocking limit of one inch of adult fish (their size when mature, not when purchased) per 4-5 gallons of tank space.


Quote:
5-Live rock-I really want to stack these up towards the back of the tank so I can't see through the tank, and so the fish have holes to hide in. How much is live rock if I bought it at a regular fish store?
I purchased my LR for about $5 a pound. If you are going for a reef style tank you're looking for about 2 pounds per gallon. However, you can use base rock which is much cheaper, to build up the majority of the rock and top it off with about 30-40 pounds of LR.


Quote:
6-I always see Clownfish hiding in live seaweed/coral. Would I need to purchase some of that to have my Clownfish happy? I would love to buy some as long as I don't have to change my lighting and it isn't too expensive.
Clown's don't require an anenome to "be happy" it's simply a natural instinct for them to hide in one as they offer protection. Anenomes are difficult to keep and do require much more intense lighting. IMO, I would suggest holding off on the anenomes for now.

Quote:
Last question...I would love for someone to give me a checklist of everything I would NEED. (Filters, lights, hood... etc.) I'm on a VERY tight budget.
There was actualy a recent discussion on that same topic. Give it a read, there are lots of replies and you'll see in there some folks can be, shall we say, passionate, about this hobby :wink:

Quote:
Lastley, am I crazy??? Am I out of my mind that I could get a 75 gallon aquarium with live rock and about 5 fish for about $400?
as I stated up top, $400 will be difficult... but you can do as suggested in the link above... buy your parts over time, get some stuff for xmass, look for deals and especialy check out the DIY sections on ours and other sites for places to save a few bucks.


Quote:
my AIM is bennerkla, MSN is bennerkla11@msn.com
You can set these up in your profile and they will appear as icons under each of your posts.

once again, welcome!
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:37 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys, that helped me out. I was looking at a 55 gallon aquarium, but I don't think that would be enough room for my Tang to run around. And yes, the Tang that I want is in Finding Nemo. If I were to base with regular rock, and put live rock on top, would it filter down so that the regular rock would be live rock?

I'm obviously a

lol thanks for your help!
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:39 PM   #5
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Most salt water tanks 60 gallons and up can cost $1,000 to get the proper equipment. You would be able to afford a 20 gallon why 20 because that is the lowest size I recommend for saltwater you can put 4'' of fish in. this is rally good for a beginner.
FYI a 75 gallon tank can cost $200-$500
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:58 PM   #6
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I found a brand new 55 gallon for $139.99 8) I think i'm going to buy alot of the stuff off of Ebay and make my own stand. Can a Tang live in a 55 gallon? I think i'm going to start off with 1 clown, a few live rock and all the things that I [B]NEED[B], then I'll get much more live rock, protein skimmer etc. once Christmas rolls around or I have enough money to buy it.
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:18 PM   #7
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a 55 should be ok for a tang that does not get to big.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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lol, my html didn't work at all. what about that tang in Finding Nemo? I think it's a blue Tang. How big does it get?
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:39 PM   #9
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also, what about lights? this aquarium is going to be in my bedroom, and if i wanted to go to a reef system would i have to leave that bright light on 24/7? Also, if i have a have fish and Live rock tank, what lights would i need and how often are they on?
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:15 PM   #10
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Can a Tang live in a 55 gallon?
Sure a Tang can live in a 55 gallon. Can you live in a bathroom? Sure you could......but youd be much more happier in a bigger house. I would look on ebay and in the newspaper for something bigger then a 55 IF you have your heart set on a Tang......They really like to swim around.

If you have a petco nearby you can go sign up to be a P.A.L. and occasionally they sell New tanks for $1.00 a Gallon.......It all depends on how fast you want to set this tank up....In Saltwater......Nothing Ever comes fast except trouble........Patience will bring lots of enjoyment.........

Quote:
also, what about lights? this aquarium is going to be in my bedroom, and if i wanted to go to a reef system would i have to leave that bright light on 24/7? Also, if i have a have fish and Live rock tank, what lights would i need and how often are they on?
This depends on what you want to keep. If you want a Fish only with live rock(FOWLR) then a normal flourescent light strip will suffice. However, if you want a full blown reef with corals then you need to upgrade your lighting significantly. I personally have 400w MHs on my 180g tank. These arent cheap, the cheapest I found is about 225 bux new PER LIGHT...I have 3. Plus it raises your electric bill quite a bit. Then their are Power Compact lights. These are cheaper then MH, the bulbs last longer and not as expensive on the electricity bill. VHOs are Very High Output Flourescent lights. They are prettier to the eye then PCs In my opinion. Check out www.hellolights.com for more lights. And you can see what all Im talking about.

Lighting cycles are also dependant upon what your keeping. For a Fish Only with Live Rock(FOWLR) I wouldnt keep the lights on more then 4 hours a day....as any more your going to have algae problems which will make your tank look ugly. Your Fish really dont need light to survive. They feel more comfortable in the dark anyway. If you go to a reef, the lighting cycle is usually between 10-12 hours a day.

HTH and Good Luck...
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