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Old 09-23-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
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New tank setup advice

Hi all,

I am looking to setup a new tank, to replace my current 20 Gallon tank. The size is probably going to be around 55 Gallon, and went into the LFS today to see what's avaliable. They do have one that's 36"x18"x20" if i remembered correctly, and after chatting with the owner for a little while, he did suggest me to get a Sump setup with a reefrigium, Protein skimmer and few other things setup below the tank for filtration.

We did come to a final price of approx. $1500CAD with everything, and unfortuneately i don't have the exact break down of the cost on hand (left it in the car, will get it later on tonight). However as far as I remember, it's something like that:

Tank - $115
Lights - $650
Sump - $300
Protein skimmer - $150
Cutting of the glass + setting the hoses up - $125

...and the rest are just made up of all the other stuff that I dont' recall off the top of my head.

My question is - Does it sound normal? Am I better off just get the tank from the LFS (since it'd probably be more expensive to get it shipped over from online retailer), and get all the other pieces from ebay? (Especially USD = CAD now)

If you have $1000CAD or so to spend on the new setup, how would you do it? (Excluding the LR, Sand) I would not mind getting the items from ebay other than the actual tank.

THanks for any advice in advance, i will update with the exact breakdown of the cost in a bit.


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Old 09-23-2007, 11:56 PM   #2
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umm... those prices are in CAD I understand?
Looks somewhat out of proportion to me, but the total is probably more or less reasonable. $650 for 36'' lighting is definately too much... you can find a cheaper sump also. Not sure why they need to cut the glass and charge for it. You can definately save doing DIY installation, its not all that hard.

Personally, it really doesnt matter if I had a $1000 or $10000 to spend on a set up. Stuff needs to be of a good quality and as cost effective as possible. Hence, everything I bought (see my thread here on a 95gl tank) exluding the tank and the stand, came from online sources. It sure requires more research, but you would have many more options to choose from.
This is not to say that you cant get stuff cheaper at LFS, but it all depends. In my case even salt and sand was cheaper online, delivered...

good luck.

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Old 09-24-2007, 12:15 AM   #3
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Exact breakdown:

Tank $115 (36" x 18" x 19" - 50G)
Hole $25
Box $125 (Box running in the display tank to flow the water into the sump)
Bulk Head $25 x 2
Hose $25
Sump $300 (Approx. 30G)
Light (Sump) $70
Skimmer $150
BioBall $15
Light $650
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:48 AM   #4
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A 50G has a nice footprint. I would ditch the bioballs, you can use rock (which, I think, works better).
What kind of lighting are we talking about?
What are your plans for the tank? FOWLR, FO, Reef?
I agree with Pitt, some equipment you really need to get the better brands, like a skimmer.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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It is harder to to, but you can def. get a bterrer setup setting it up yourself. And as roka64 said, you really need to consider what you wanna do with this tank down the road. If all you want is fish, then you don't need any more than basic lighting. If you don't want a used tank, that price is probobly ok, but you could fo a FIY sump and save a ton, def. spend the savings on your skimmer, especially in that tank size. The overflow sounds a bit expensive, but hey, sometimes you have to pay for what you want.

Woo Hoo, PAYDAY! Time to pay the LFS rent (even before I pay mine )

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Old 09-24-2007, 11:57 AM   #6
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I would have to agree that $650 for a 36" light fixture seems like a lot. I am assuming that it is a MH/PC light combo.

The way I see it, Metal Hilide light fixtures for 36" tanks aren't worth it unless you are going to be keeping very high light species, SPS corals, clams, certain annenome's.

Most of the 36" MH light fixtures only use 1 bulb. MH bulbs have a light spread of 24", so 6" on each end of the tank will not be efficiently lit.

If you want to save a bit of $, why don't you check out a T5 of Powercompact lightfixture. You should be able to keel most zoo's, sofies and some LPS corals under the right fixture.

Something like this would offer plenty of light, almost 8wpg and cover the entire length of the tank


Good luck

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75lbs Live Rock
40lbs Live Rock
AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer
Marineland penguin HOB Filter
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1 - Percula, 1 - Blue-Yellowtail Damsel, 3 - Green reef Chromis

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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I will be getting this up to keep fishes and corals. I figure eventually I will be adding in more corals, and I don't want to be limiting myself in that nature if I decide to go with a not-so-good light.

I did look at the link in the stickies in regards to the DIY Sump, and doesn't seem very hard. I am actually looking for a little more comprehensive guide (more like a dummies guide) for building the sump and getting it up and runnning with the tank as well. Can anyone direct me to one?

THanks in advance!

How are these:

Sump: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...ME:X:RTQ:CA:11
Coralife light: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ME:X:AAQ:US:11

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