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Old 12-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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Starting from scratch

Hey everyone! To those who know me, it has been a long time since I've posted. I'm back to get some help starting a saltwater aquarium!

Firstly, I've been thinking about starting with a 50-55 gallon long tank (Based on the fact that there is more room for error and more fish choices). Is this a good size? Should I go bigger? Smaller? Different shape?

I'm looking for a good quality filtering system, but not one that is excessively expensive or overly bad. Would you recommend a sump? Does that mean a hole would need to be drilled? Total cost of a good sump?

Should I look into live rock? I know it only adds to the cost, but it sounds like it would complete the "ocean" look I'm going for. Your thoughts?

Fish ideas. I want a Flame Angel, and I will do anything to make that happen. Of course, I'm not getting it anytime soon, but I do want it eventually. Anything that can coexist with that? Is this the dream of a lunatic?

What total cost range would I be looking at? I don't really want an extremely high-tech tank, but I don't wanna be the cheap-o that can hardly keep his tank together, know what I mean?

I will probably come up with more questions later, but I think I gave you enough of them for now.

Thank you so much! This means a lot!
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixkiller View Post
Hey everyone! To those who know me, it has been a long time since I've posted. I'm back to get some help starting a saltwater aquarium!

Firstly, I've been thinking about starting with a 50-55 gallon long tank (Based on the fact that there is more room for error and more fish choices). Is this a good size? Should I go bigger? Smaller? Different shape?

I'm looking for a good quality filtering system, but not one that is excessively expensive or overly bad. Would you recommend a sump? Does that mean a hole would need to be drilled? Total cost of a good sump?

Should I look into live rock? I know it only adds to the cost, but it sounds like it would complete the "ocean" look I'm going for. Your thoughts?

Fish ideas. I want a Flame Angel, and I will do anything to make that happen. Of course, I'm not getting it anytime soon, but I do want it eventually. Anything that can coexist with that? Is this the dream of a lunatic?

What total cost range would I be looking at? I don't really want an extremely high-tech tank, but I don't wanna be the cheap-o that can hardly keep his tank together, know what I mean?

I will probably come up with more questions later, but I think I gave you enough of them for now.

Thank you so much! This means a lot!
A 55 is a great size tank to start with IMO. Lots of possibilities and a good amount of water to work with.
In terms of a sump, just DIY one to save $$. I made one out of a 20 long, precut glass from Lowes, and silicone...but you can even get brute/rubbermaid containers to do one as well. If it holds water you can make one from it really. You don't really HAVE to drill a tank, as they make HOB overflows, but I think it is best to have a drilled tank. I run a HOB with success, but hate the thought of it failing while I'm away. There are some cheap drill kits out there to get, with the diamond tipped bit and all.
In terms of live rock, you can go the live rock route or just get macro/base rock. When you cycle your tank, the bacteria that grows on the rock and sand makes the rock and sand "live". This is what consumes the ammonia and nitrite in the nitrate cycle so your livestock doesn't die.
In terms of a flame angel, there are several things that can live with one. Liveaquaria.com has a nice compatability chart that can help you plan things out.
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