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Old 04-21-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Saltwater kits?

Since I live in Ohio I live around a few Jacks aquariums & pets. My question being has anyone ever bought one of their 'saltwater pro' kits when starting up? For any size aquarium / stand that you buy they offer either a freshwater, saltwater basic or pro saltwater kit. Its a bit pricey about 600-700 for a pro kit with 55 gal + stand. I was wondering if you guys think this is a good way to get started with a saltwater setup ( eg: good stuff they offer or not in the kit? too expensive or really a good deal?) or is it better to search around for the different items eg: filter, heater, protein skimmer etc from online / other pet stores etc. I use to live in Columbus, ohio but living in a small town called Findlay I'm a bit limited on my choices. Any info would be great!

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Old 04-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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Being from relatively the same area I frequent Jacks stores often. I wouldnt buy one of there setups, I think you can use the online vendors and save alot of money. I would buy a tank and stand from them but thats about it. I know a store in northern kentucky,(I dont know how close you are to that area) that sells a 75 gallon tank, stand, and cheap lights for 300 bucks. As far as the equipment you need goes, I would look at the online vendors such as drfostersmith.com, petsolutions.com, and marinedepot.com just to name a few. Hope that helps you get started.

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Old 04-21-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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I never heard of Jacks, so I don't really know what they offer. Check what stuff they give with their package. Type of lights, brand of skimmer, filtration if any, pump, overflow, etc. What do you get, specifically, for $700.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:50 AM   #4
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Hey Catmel. Ohio State fan here. LOL. I`m not familiar with Jack`s But as mentioned there are some good deals online. I would consider starting as big as possible. That 55 was a good size to start. Here is a good link on what you`ll need

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Old 04-22-2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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I agree, check online for better deals. I like drsfosterandsmith.com and thatpetplace.com, saltwaterfish.com I have heard is good as well. The drs is great because they don't charge extra based on weight. If you are looking to buy a tank and stand, get your LFS to special order them and you might get a better price.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
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I am a big fan of Craigslist having bought a full setup from someone moving and see great deals in my area everyday. I also agree with others that say to buy the tank and stand from the LFS, then see what they recommend buying or see what is recommended through reaading this site and then order the same equipment online. I recently placed my first order via bigalsonline.com and found them to be the cheapest for the items I purchased. A little research goes a long way. Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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I am always leary of buying a "package" deal from any LFS. I would much rather talk with people on this site and see what has worked for them and use some of their ideas. Trying to put the SW tank into a "box" just doesn't work. There are so many things that may or may not work for your application. You really have to decide first how large a tank you can afford and accomidate (space) then you need to figure out what you want to house in it. Just fish? Fish with live rock? Do you want a full blown reef? Know what you want in your tank will help you to figure out what kind of equipment you will need.

I say ask lots of questions here, and read through the article section on this site. We are here to help you as much as we can.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:54 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for all your help guys! The tank deals at jacks seem like a good price for the tank/ stand, but I was sure I could get a better deal on all the other stuff. I was thinking a FOWLR setup with some small fish eg: a pair of clowns, cleaner shrimp, and maybe a goby / blenny to start out with. Coral is sure nice, but I know at this stage, even with lotsof research I dont want to start with coral, i'd rather get some experience first.

What do you guys think is the best site for start up items? I saw the ones listed and haven't had a chance to check them out yet. I have enough money to afford a 55 gal set up, but would like to get the best I can for the best deal. I'm running on a vet tech salary which isnt the greatest LOL.. I want to save money but offer the best I can to keep my fish alive & well.

Im also reading its best not to get live sand from a bag at a pet store ( sounds like a bad idea anyway ).. best to order this online too? since chain pet stores are all I have around?

I also recently found out my water PH where I am is 8.8-9.2 is this going to be a problem for my tank? Apparently it can work out somehow.. since the pet stores have fish.

last question for now hah.. what do you think is the best forum of filtration besides live rock? ( Since I am planning on buying live rock already). I dont think I can afford a sump, how about power filter ... wet /dry? I heard those worked well. I'm just wondering what the best would be for now for a fowlr system.

btw Roka, I like your 'catfish' picture thanks again so much for everyones help and putting up with all my questions
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:33 AM   #9
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I'm not familiar at all with Jack's but I do know that many of the big chains offer matching prices. Petco and Petsmart (I know - they are terrible places but can have good deals on tanks) will both price match if you bring in a printed price from the internet. I assume Jack's might do the same. Ask to talk to the store manager and bargain away. In today's economy, you just never know. Obviously, you could save on shipping. All they can do is say "no." I would look at stand construction carefully. Some advertise that they are made to hold a certain size tank but I have my doubts when you look at how they are put together. Imagine if the tank stand didn't hold - YIKES. Water is about 8 lbs a gallon, plus live rock and other equipment. You have a lot of weight. Happy shopping.

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