I have a 10g s/w tank that I inherited from someone who moved away. It's overstocked with 1 clown, 1 yellow-tail damsel, 1 three stripe damsel and 1 coral banded shrimp.
This setup cost virtually nothing to start and maintenance is cheap due to it's small size.
Get rid of the sand and rocks you got from the pond if you plan on s/w. Either buy sand specific for aquarium use (I used silicate free Old Castle play sand from the local hardware stores when it was around) or go bare bottom. I don't have protein skimmer for this setup as it is FOWLR
. The most expensive part will probably be liverock. You will need about 10-20lbs of live rock. See if you can buy some from local reefers for cheaper than lfs
Buy a couple powerheads for water movement. I'm using 2 maxijet 400s.
And a HOB
filter for mechanical filtration. Your regular NO
lights will do fine and a heater.
As for maintenance, I do 2gs every week or two. But every week would be ideal for my bioload. You would need salt mix, a hydrometer or refractometer and either RO
or Distilled water.
Of course, the freshwater tank will be much simpler, but where's the fun in that???
edit: "Virtually nothing to start" is subjective. Let me clarify. It cost virtually nothing to start compared to my 72g s/w tank, but will cost a lot more than starting a 10g freshwater tank.