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Old 01-11-2008, 06:59 PM   #11
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I struggled with the same question when I started for cost reasons but knew I wouldnt be satisfied with FW when what I always wanted was SW. I started out with a 28g. I may not have done everything right but I still have my first chromis, damsel, clown, starfish, and emerald crab. I had very little loss. I didnt even have a skimmer for the first 4 months,just a HOB filter. I did 10-20% water changes every week though. I cycled with "live" sand and had the tank up for two months before I got any rock, then it was only about 10 lbs or so at a time. I added and upgraded slowly and now have a 90 gal with 130 lbs of live rock. I guess my point is I started slow and added things a little at a time. The tank, stand, crap lighting, filter, heater, thermometer, test kit, salt, hydrometer, sand, powerhead, cost me around 400-450. I know your looking at a bigger tank but it can be done. Start slow, add a little at a time. You're going to have to have it set up and cycling for 4-6 wks before you can add any livestock anyway. Then you can save for more rock, a skimmer, etc. This hobby isnt cheap though, Ive been very lucky to find some great deals on used equipment and live rock thankfully. I would have to say if I had it to do over again I would have done more research and started with a bigger tank. It cost more in the long run if you buy the wrong equipment ( or too small of a tank) and want to upgrade later. Sorry about the ramblin.. im in a talkative mood i guess. Hope I didnt bore anyone.

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Old 01-11-2008, 07:31 PM   #12
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Good post Erok. This hobby does not need to break the bank (although it can if you fail to plan). Start out slow with a detailed plan. Research, research, research. Also, check into local reefing clubs. You can pick up some used equipment and livestock/LR for cheap. As mentioned, Craigslist is another great option.

Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:13 PM   #13
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Thank you guys for all of your input and help, I was really surprised to see the length of feedback (but I read it all, I swear!). Anyway, what I figured I'd do is get a decent, used tank and stand, and start off with a FW tank. I know I really want SW, but I will be graduating college next year and it would be a real pain to get everything setup in a SW and then move to "who-knows-where." I am also not one to skimp out on a cheaper item, I like everything to be of good quality so I don't have to worry about future problems, so I am going to have to have a solid income for that. Thanks again everyone!

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