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Old 08-09-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
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Need help, new to salt water

Hi,

After a while of keeping freshwater fish an idea popped into my mind, what about saltwater?
So i did some research about costs and found that it wouldn't cost as much as i thought.
How much would it cost to setup a basic reef tank (20 gallons.) what fish/ inverts could i keep in it? I don't want to spend too much on fish but i want color. What should i get? I dont want to spend over like 150 for the whole setup but i know it will be hard to stay on budget. if you could recomend a filter,fish,inverts, ect that would be great.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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$150?? Won't get you anywhere
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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I hate to say it but you are probably looking at at least double $150 and that doesn't include livestock. :-(

if you don't want any corals you can save a bit of money as you won't need powerful lights.

You'll probably go through the $150 just for the tank, filter, powerheads, heater and light plus a small bag of salt. Then you have to consider sand, a hydrometer to test salinity, test kit, rock both live and dead. ( you could save a few bucks here too if you used all dead rock but it would take a bit longer to cycle and you wouldnt have any neat hitchhikers)
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:59 AM   #4
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$150 is out of the question two nice fish and a coral will cost you that much
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:11 AM   #5
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Agreed. Clownfish alone are often $70+ each for example. Or a protein skimmer itself can run $100-200 depending on the brand
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamFishKid View Post
So i did some research about costs and found that it wouldn't cost as much as i thought.
Yeah. That idea fades quickly once you walk in a fish store .

The least expensive tank setup would be:
used/on sale 20 gallon-$20
DIY stand (wook & paint)-$50ish (free if you already have furni to support it)
filter rated at least double tank size (say AquaClear 50)- $38+$5 shipping
AquaClear 50 Power Filter - Up to 50 gal. | thatpetplace.com
Glass heater (titanium is preferred, but not necessary) -$21
Submersible Aquarium Heater - 50W - 9 in. - up to 20 Gallon
25 (might want 50) lbs sand-$20-24
30 lbs dry rock usually at least $2.5/lb-$75 BRS Reef Saver Dry Aquarium Live Rock - Bulk Reef Supply
light (largest investment), say 120 watt ebay LED -$120
hydrometer-$10
5 gal salt mix-$60-70
RO/DI filter=$200 or buy RO/DI water from LFS or RO from grocery store
Then there's maintenance & food

You're looking at minimum $349 not including livestock! Sounds expensive, but compared to other systems, it's fairly cheap. If you can find a used system you'll save a lot. Most saltwater fish are $20 ea. Coral frags are usually $10-30. It really adds up fast!

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/a....cfm?c=15+2124
Love the midas blenny, purple firefish, & gobies are always great.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Well i already have a 20 gallon tank, and a filter, i also have a hood, but not lights meant for coral(dont want coral).
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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And for fish i was just going to get some shrimp and damsels.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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you would need live, rock dry rock is cheeper and with a proper cycle it becomes loaded with bacteria, i would skip the damsels and go with clown fish. get the rock,salt,sand, and powerheads set the tank up let it cycle. once cycled add a couple fish, let the bacteria catch up, add the shrimp,
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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If you don't need lighting for corals then most of the cost is removed from the setup. I would still go with a fairly robust lighting system just for the visual aspect. Maybe a dual t5ho or t5he. I had a dual t5ho over my 20g tank and it was just about the minimum amount of light I would want over a reef tank. It also let me keep soft corals if you decide to change your mind down the road.

As for the dry rock / live rock I would skip the live and go with dry. The live rock is unnecessary.

Other than that the figures are a fairly good ballpark average.
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