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Old 06-08-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
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Noob Considering a Saltwater Tank

Considering a saltwater tank, but have zero experience/knowledge in the area. I've only kept freshwater. I'd like to budget first before I seriously consider. What ballpark cost would it take to start a small tank and a couple of inexpensive, readily available, newbie fish? I know there are a million options. Let's say a couple garden variety clownfish and the very basics.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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You'll need a 30 gallon tank or bigger, filter, heater, thermometer, 2 circulation pumps, and salt, test kits, and a hydrometer/refractometer (preferred).
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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Are you interested in corals at all? The lighting necessary for them is usually a BIG chunk of the budget when doing saltwater. If you dont want corals then you could get away with a couple hundred bucks easy.

A good option is also the biocube or nano cube setups. they have 29g tanks that have everything you need pretty much and have the lighting that can support some corals too. The only thing you'd need other than the cube setup is another powerhead, maybe a heater and a refractometer to test salinity.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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You can start with fish only with live rock and then move / upgrade to full reef as your budget allows. You wont be dissappointed if you go with a saltwater tank. A fish only live rock setup say a 30 gallon would probably cost around $150 more than a freshwater setup, you would need around 20-35lbs of live rock/base rock that is 6.99/lb (live) and around 3.99/lb (base), then salt around $25 for a bag that would do 50g, and a powerhead to circulate more water (price varies but generally $25-$65 can go up to $300+). The rest would be the same stuff you'd use on a freshwater tank. Of course there is plenty of upgrades availible that would be beneficial to a salt tank that are not really applicable to freshwater.

Once you get the FOWLR set up then work on buying a protein skimmer, then maybe a RO/DI filter, 4 bulb t5ho or led light, then possible a better filtration set up like a sump or a cannister filter. Then you would be ready for a reef setup, and you would have a good feeling for how to take care of the tank because the saltwater tank will require a little more maintence.
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