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Old 03-14-2009, 01:14 AM   #1
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Oceanic biocube 29 package. Good deal?

I'm considering my first saltwater setup, and I'd like to keep things as simple (and inexpensive) as possible. To that end, there's a package that I've got my eye on. An Oceanic biocube 29, with the following included:

150w heater
Skimmer (fits in the back and is rather small, I know)
API marine test kit set
Water conditioner
Buffering chemicals
Hydrometer
Bag of salt
Some marine flake food (dunno if this is any good)

All of this for $516. The stand is an additional $175. I'm not sure if this is worth it. What do you all think? And I'm not looking for a reef setup here, just FOWLER. I guess the live rock would be the most expensive thing not included.

To make my life more complicated, another store near me is offering the biocube AND stand for about $450, with %10 off "related fish supplies". I'm inclined to think that this would probably cost me more, but... I really don't know. I guess what it boils down to is, are the things I listed above worth the approximatly $200 over the base price of the biocube itself?
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniflea84 View Post
... I guess what it boils down to is, are the things I listed above worth the approximatly $200 over the base price of the biocube itself?
In short... no.

To elaborate...

The skimmer - it's most likely not the greatest in the world, and most folks that keep this size of tank don't go with a skimmer. With the smaller water capacity, frequent water changes are your best bet at keeping water parameters good.

The heater - you'll need one, but most likely it can be purchased for cheaper, AND you can get the brand YOU want and not just the one the LFS is trying to get rid of.

Test kit - you'll need that, and API is a good one to start off with.

Water Conditioner - if you plan on using tap water, then you'll need a dechlorinator. But just as with the heater, you can probably do better. If you're going to use RO/DI water or pure water... you won't need it.

Buffering Chemicals - if you're not going reef, you don't need them. Even if you DO go reef, you may or may not need them, depending on your salt mix.

Hydrometer - you need something to measure salinity, but 99% of the folks (unscientific poll!) that buy hydrometers probably throw them out within 6 months and buy a refractometer in the end. Best to just start with a refractometer ($50) and not waste the money in the beginning.

Bag of salt - See comments on heater. Buy in bulk, and the brand you want.

Marine Flake food - frozen is best, but this is a minuscule piece of the puzzle. Say $3 for a thing of flake. Big deal.

So... you can spend $691 for a tank+stand and a bunch of stuff that you'll end up replacing within 6 months or never use, or spend $450 for a tank+stand and have $241 left over to buy the stuff YOU really want to go in the tank. You can definitely pick up the stuff listed for less than $241... even at a LFS. Getting it online you can get it for even cheaper.

Just my opinion, of course. (If you haven't guessed, I'm not a real fan of "package deals.")
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #3
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Thanks a bunch for your detailed reply. I guess I was leaning towards the package just because I thought it would make things easier, this being my first saltwater setup, but I think you are right.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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flea, I have a 29 biocube and i love it. There are some things you will need to do right off the bat. 1) cut the wall between chamber 1 and 2 that will let more water flow through. 2) find you piece of flexible plastic like what you would attach 2 pieces of glass together, it would make the glass hinge. you will want to put that on the back on the wall that separates the water and the back chambers. This will keep anyone of your fish from jumping to the death. I saw this at the LFS (best one in Indiana). I i would have asked them about it sooner it would have not lost 2 little clowns and been up $80
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