Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-10-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
uscamaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 861
Serious Decision (FW vs. SW)

Ok guys, I have been back and forth between FW and SW setups and have done weeks of research on both. About a week ago I figured I would start with a FW even though I would rather have a SW. So I need any help or input on the pros and cons.

My main problem is price. How much would a 40+ gallon tank cost, including all of the bells and whistles? (without skimping out on quality to save a few $) Also, how much would the liverock, sand, a few popular-choiced fish, and algea-controllers cost?

Basically, I am looking to spend $500 (give or take) on the whole setup.

If that is not going to be enough, or if I am going to go over by a lot, is there any equipment that I should get that would work well for both SW and FW? That way I won't be spending a lot if/when I switch to the other.
__________________

__________________
uscamaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
fijiwigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 1,726
I have a 46 gallon saltwater tank and have spent about 2000 dollars so far and still do not have a sump my cleanup crew any corals or fish really. Saltwater is extremely expensive if you are not ready to lay down some money I would not recommend it. After the initial cost you still have to pay for Salt/Corals/Snails etc.... The first year costs are about 100 dollars per gallon when you do the math. You would be lucky to do a Freshwater setup right with 500 dollars.. The tank and accessories alone can cost that much to get setup.
__________________

__________________
fijiwigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 11:52 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 250
honestl I dont know if 100 dollars per gallon is a good estimate but I do know that you will need well over 500 dollars to set up a SW tank imo unless your seting up a ten or 20 gallon nano type set up which I think you could do for 500 or less. I am a SW guy so if money is an issue I would still continue starting out small with a nano set up. As far as equipment, heaters, powerheads and a powerfilter are about the only things that you could switch from a fw to sw set up
__________________
JoshsReef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 09:40 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Wizzard~Of~Ozz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,039
Send a message via MSN to Wizzard~Of~Ozz
My FW planted 120 Gal tank cost me almost 2000$ (probably more) (Lighting, Co2, The tank, ferts, PH Controller and filters..)

The biggest expense in SW that I can see is LR, you can remove this and go with Fish Only, with water changes, you could probably get the cost down to just below 500$ (keep in mind, this is probably without a skimmer or anything fancy). I know they had SW kits at the LFS here that was about 350$ for a 55Gal. There are fish in SW that can cost you close to 500$ (most are 100$ or less), Also you have the upkeep which is higher then FW, but the choices on which way to go is more diverse with SW.

After playing with FW for a few years, I'm in to process of setting up my 120Gal for SW.

Probably didn't help much with your decision, but hopefully pointed out that both can be expensive, both can be relatively cheap (FW of course being cheaper). It just depends on what you are looking for, FO is ~ the same price (less salt)
__________________
120 Gal SW, 150lbs Prem. Fiji, 23Gal Sump, 2x250w 15K MH, 4x65w Actinic
3 x Halichoeres Chrysus (1 surfed), 3 x Nemateleotris magnifica, 1 x Centropyge bicolor, 11 x Scarlet Hermits, 6 x Zebra Hermits, 40 x Astrea Snails, 6 x Nassarius Snails, 3 x Cerith Snails
Wizzard~Of~Ozz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:29 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
I can't speak much for FW, but Wizzard is right, FW planted can be as costly as a SW setup. One thing to consider is it should take about 4-6 weeks to cycle, so you have some extra time to save some cash. There are a few things you don't need at first, like lights, sump/fuge (if you plan on using one at all), skimmer (again, if you plan on using one, I don't but lots of folks do). You can save a bunch of money by mixing base rock (very cheap and will become live) with some cured or uncured rock. Don't pay the extra money for "live" sand. You can even use aragonite playsand from Lowes or HD. Shop around and find good prices, ebay is good. I bought a $300 filter for $200 shipped, at the time, that filter was a little more expensive. Another thing, check on shipping costs. Drsfosterandsmith.com don't charge extra for weight. I bought 270Lbs of sand a 6 foot lighting system and some other stuff, and shipping was only $15.99. I usually only buy live stock from my LFS and not dry goods. My dry goods come from online purchases (a heck of a lot cheaper that way).
Ask around, and check the barter trade and classifieds for good deals. Craigslist is a great place too. Check your area for auctions, I use auctionzip.com and bought my 55G and stand for $67. If you can get your LFS to special order a tank and stand, they may only charge you the price of the shipping and tank and stand. You can also look at DIY projects to save even more money.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
Hmmm....Unless you can find a complete system from someone that is wanting to get out of the hobby and willing to sell for that amount you could easily spend $500 on the tank and stand alone. Do a little more research! Check some prices online and then you will have a better idea of how much money you are looking at. I know people that have spent well over $500 on a 29g tank. I have $3000+ in 72g tank. I'm not trying to scare you away from SW but you are going to put $$$$ into it no matter how large or small your tank.
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 03:09 PM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
I forgot to mention, the start up costs are high. The monthly cost after start up is not bad at all.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 04:40 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Agree with the others... unless you happen to find someone getting out of the hobby, $500 for a 40+g tank ready to go just isn't going to happen. You'd probably be hard pressed to make that happen even for a 20+ gallon.

I've never done FW, so I can't compare.

I think the $/gal rule is pretty wide open. A trusted building contractor told me one time that kitchen remodels are kind of like buying a new car. You can go out and buy a brand new model for $15,000 or you can buy one for $25,000, or you can throw caution to the wind and get that Ferrari... it all just depends on what you want. I think that rule applies to tanks also - $100/gallon is pretty easy to do if you don't skimp and get good quality stuff and high quality cured live rock right from the beginning. Do you need to start out like that? No... you can do it in stages. But just know that in the end, many of the bargain buys you made early on will probably have to a rebought again.

Personally... I'd say if you want a SW tank - go saltwater. Just research and find ways to do it on a budget. Nothing like looking at your tank everyday and thinking to yourself, "Sheesh... I really wanted a SW tank." My wife and I wanted one for years, and after 15 years we finally justified it when out daughter wanted a goldfish! Honestly though, I wish I'd done it sooner because it is such a cool (and educational!) hobby.
__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 05:57 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
Well said Kurt!
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
lando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Savage, MN
Posts: 7,889
All great advice. I agree with Kurt in that if you want SW then go with SW. Start up costs can be expensive but if you plan things out you can ease the financial burden a bit. I suggest buying your tank/stand locally and then looking to the internet for your for most of the rest of your supplies. Dry goods tend to be a lot less online, even with shipping. Decide what type of SW tank you want. You can use dry aragonite sand and some base rock to save some money. Just add a few pounds of LR and some LS from an established system to help seed the rest of your rock and substrate. There are lots of ways to save money and still do things right. It may just take a bit longer to get the tank cycled and then stocked. But hey...nothing happens fast in this hobby anyways.
__________________

__________________
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
lando is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rio

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stocking decision chval Cichlid Discussion 6 12-30-2008 08:00 AM
Lighting decision majolo Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 10-11-2007 03:26 PM
Decision Help!? boxxmann Saltwater Reef Aquaria 3 02-01-2007 01:24 PM
tank decision manny09 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 01-31-2007 11:48 AM
help my decision!! kmlong Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 7 08-28-2004 11:14 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.