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Old 09-05-2004, 11:48 AM   #1
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Reef Tank Recommendation for SW Newbie

Please recommend a tank size and setup for me, Here are my parameters:

$2000. maximum first year cash outlay.
Buy a complete setup or assemble components, no DIY.
No SW experience, 15 year FW experience.
Prefer Reef Tank, corals, inverts with minimal fish.
Self Maintenance
Goals: self-education, personal pleasure and enjoyment.
Bought 3 good books and will read and research for 2-3 months before buying.

How far should I go with my planning and design before I buy a tank? Should I be comfortable with just the big picture idea of my reef, or should I have a complete concept, down to every last critter in the tank?
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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Hi, WELCOME TO AA!!! The research phase of putting a tank together is a lot of fun. Take advantage of thetime and learn as much as you can. You have already decided to eventually have a reef so that is one questioned answered. Next decide what type of filtration you want, size of tank, andy type of lighting. Most importantly, keep coming back here for answers to your questions. You do not need a detailed list of every fish, critter, and coral you would like to have. Only a general idea. the initial cost of a reef tank is large (and depressing) but like any other hobby, money well spent if you enjoy it. Source out your tank and stand locally and turn to the internet for your accessories and components. Visit some of the sponsors of this site an you can save a bundle of money. Next step is to determine tank size and filtration, let us know what you are thinking and we can help. Good luck and have fun! Lando
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:30 PM   #3
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I've laid out 2 grand easy this first year and I only have an 90 gallon tank with diy canopy, and diy metal halide. But I do have all my fish and some of my corals and anemone. This isn't cheap but you may need to rethink your no diy ideas. And also remember that everyone has their own opinion of what is required and what the best equipment should be. If you are going to go reef then if you get enough live rock you can save on filtration and spend more on lighting. Don't skimp on lighting or you will want to upgrade very soon.(I started with NO and had to upgrade to mh cause I wanted corals and clams).
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:09 PM   #4
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it all does depend on what u want to do with ur tank to.... do u want a monster sized tank? or how i started (money was very limited) with a 32 gallon that i am very pleased with. (*note : in smaller tanks more exotic inverts are more easily seen) since u wanted alot of inverts but not too many fish something in the range of like 30-60 gallons might be for you? remember shrimp dont add to your bioload so as long as u dont add way too many (leave enough territory for each) you can have a tank loaded with life with cation.... also with mid size tank or smaller tanks youll save ALOT on lighting tho be prepared its still gonna be expensive... since you arent buying everything right away i would suggest shopping like crazy looking for good deals
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:10 PM   #5
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I'm setting up a 75 FOWLR and I'm about $2000 into it, without MH. That's with some DIY--sump and stand, no canopy. So I'd guess that 75-90 would be as big as you'd want to go if you want to be reef-ready right away.

You're in the fun, impatient part now--it's fun to learn about everything, but hard to not be impatient to start buying stuff!
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I will rethink doing some DIY after I reach some conclusions on the lighting and filter system.

From my cost estimate and window shopping exercise, I am thinking about a 50 to 60 gal rectangular glass tank, proportions that will provide the greatest surface area.
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:17 AM   #7
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Once thing to bear in mind is even though you want minimal fish you should still try to get some sort of idea as to what fish you want... this will impact the size of the tank you need more than anything else.
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