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Old 07-31-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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SW or Not?

So i have been looking at these beautiful sw tanks on here since i joined... i have no experience at all with saltwater, i have only had freshwater for 2 months now. I have become extremely addicted to the hobby in the last 2 months and now i want a sw tank. I love the look of coral and my fiance' loves (and i mean LOVES) clownfish... she also wants a starfish that she found on craigslist. How much money will i need to splurge on a saltwater setup? i have three 55gal tanks, i have several types of hob filters and a fluval 305 and 405... what would you guys recommend doing? i know i want to convert one of the 55's, so what all will i need to get? would it be better to wait and get some more experience or will i be ok with the knowledge i have picked up so far? just curious, probably will be a month or 2 before i will even have the money, etc... i may possibly getting a 75gal so if i get it, ill have to set it up as a sw... any help guys?
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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It cost me about $50 per gallon when I started my saltwater tanks. I got most everything off craigslist and forums. Live rock is usually $7 at the LFS I paid $3 a pound. Most of the sand I used was gotten when someone was taking down their tank. I would have been able to stock my tank for free since someone on craigslist was giving away fish.

I spent about 6 months researching before I started.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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Go for it!!! I am also a FW to SW convert and I can;t believe how awesome SW Reef tanks are to own.

Get the 75gal and use one of your other tanks as a sump/refugium. I figure 75+55G is a nice amount of water to keep an extremely stable ecosystem!

Some expensive needs will be:

Live Rock - I started with 50lbs of LR for aorund $200 online. I've since added another 50lbs of BaseRock (much cheaper). This will become your MAIN source of filtration in your tank.

Good lighting - essential if you desire corals. My lighting is a mid level T5 setup for a 36inch tank and it ran me upwards of $300. It's perfect for all the SoftCorals and Polyps I have. I have NOT tried any Hard Corals yet though.

A Good Protein Skimmer - I believe it is essential. However, some do not use one. I have 3 kids (and 1 on the way) so Monthly PWC's seems to be the best I can achieve and I believe the skimmer helps keep my water conditions in check.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Here we go..... again

Live Rock : Not needed, optional. You have filters; you can use those to start
A Good Protein Skimmer: Not needed, optional.. same as above.

Minimum you could use what you have. Bare bones: Your Fluval's or HOB are enough ( I would use the can's). A powerhead or two in the 55 along w/ the canister return. Sand (optional), LR (optional), Skimmer (optional), sump (optional), expensive lighting (optional).

One step up. Sand bottom , a few LR for looks
One step up. Lotsa rock for filtration, consider ditching the can's ..or keep em
One step up. High end lighting for inverts and coral
One step up. Overflow/Sump/Ref

Pick your price point and go from there...

There are 3 gotta haves. Water, filtration and heat.. EVERYTHING else is optional

So bare bones getting started you have everything you need. If you want to dip your toes in the water.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CaptainAhab View Post
Here we go..... again

LOL - sorry ..I got a little excited... I should have said.. NOT Essential.. But maybe some like - THIS IS WHERE I SPENT MY MONEY...
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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ok great... so my aunt has this thing (please excuse my lack of knowledge) that is made out of acrylic, it is about 4 feet long, 2 feet high, has 3 chambers, and all kinds of hoses and pipes... just curious as to if that is what you all call a refugium and what it does... from what you all have said, i could do a basic setup with not much cost involved, and expand from there? that would be awesome... im not familiar with the types of rock and coral and whatnot but i do know that i want some that grow, have colors, and are fairly easy to maintain.. not real sure what do to... if that acrylic "thing" is a refugium, would that be something i should go for, considering she said i could have it?
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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No problem.. Wasn't directed at you, I just get frustrated with the costly laundry lists that scare the 'newbies' off. I believe in positive husbandry education over bells and whistles.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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That's a multichamber sump which you could use a chamber for a refugium.

Start of slow, learn the basics, successfully take care of a couple fish/critters then decide how 'big time' you want to go. It'll save you lots of frustration, time and money and IMO make your experience a better; more knowledgeable one.

IMO
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:38 PM   #10
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I say go for it, make use of what you have but trust me when I say (FW to SW convert as well) that it is so rewarding in the end. If you have the xtra money though, get some nice pieces of LR and get it going real nice.

Good Luck!
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