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Old 09-05-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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The temptation is real-a 29 gallon for $80?

Well, I was checking craigslist for free fish and came across an ad for a saltwater tank setup with heater, HOB filter, stand, hood, light, aerator, thermometer, and live sand for $80.

I've been keeping fish for 11 years, and I've always wanted to do saltwater but never had the money. I've done plenty of research. I know I would need an RO system or distilled water, marine salt mix, live rock, and... maybe a protein skimmer? Saltwater test kits, etc.

I'm not looking for corals, just a FOWLR. Probably just a pair of clownfish or a few small peaceful fish. For those of you with a similar setup, I have some questions.
First, what's the water cost from doing water changes, and how many and how often do you do them?
Second, I've been reading that in smaller tanks, protein skimmers are optional. Would you agree with this, and if so, what's the "catch"?
Third, would live sand potentially make up for a lack of live rock? Or would I still at least need to buy some "dead" rock to be seeded?
Finally, what's your average time commitment to the tank? Is it around the same as a similar-sized freshwater tank or is it significantly more?

Overall, is this a deal you would take? I'm really tempted, and even if I don't get it for saltwater I'm very likely to buy it and convert it to freshwater. But I've never quite had a chance like this to try a saltwater aquarium.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:10 AM   #2
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Not sure how much on the water bill, but the cost in salt will be almost nothing because one bag of 15lb salt can last you at least a couple months. The "catch" with no skimmer making sure you're keeping up with water changes and siphoning up any left over food at best. I would def do at least half life rock and half dry rock or anything that will get seeded. Mainly to have a nice aquascape and for fish hiding/territory spaces.
Not sure what you mean about commitment time.


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Old 09-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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Also the more rock you have, the better filtration you'll have over time


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Old 09-22-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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The temptation is real-a 29 gallon for $80?

As far as commitment time goes, for a 29g aquarium you'd probably want to do 5g water changes every week if you don't have a skimmer. That takes about 15 minutes at most, if your siphon is slow lol. Feeding and observing fish health once a day takes about 5-10 mins. Doing monthly filter and powerhead cleaning will probably take about 30 mins to an hour.
I'd say go for it! Sounds like an awesome deal.

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