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Old 09-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #1
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Thinking about a sw tank

Recently got back into the aquarium hobby and have become super interested. Got my community tank running and now my puffer tank almost cycled. Starting to think now that owning oh marine tank can become a realist for me. Have done a lot of reading and going over what I need to buy and what it will cost. If I do it, I wanna do it right.

Plan is to get a tank size between 30 & 40g. Don't want to have to get a sump tank. So I guess limit might be 30g.

Just making a list if what I need. Let me know if I am missing anything

Light strong enough to eventually get lower light corals

Protein skimmer. (Do I need for a 30g)
Heater

POwer head for flow

About 30-40 lbs of rock. What percent of that needs to be Live rock.

30lbs of marine sAnd

Test kit

Salt

Do I need a RO machine or since a smaller tank just buy when I need to do water changes

And of course stock


Am I missing anything? About how much what this setup cost before I stock. Just trying to put a bit of money away each month so I can afford to do this soon.


Ty for all answers


Wanna make it a FOWLR but have the ability to upgrade at some point to lower light corals.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mcgolg76 View Post
Recently got back into the aquarium hobby and have become super interested. Got my community tank running and now my puffer tank almost cycled. Starting to think now that owning oh marine tank can become a realist for me. Have done a lot of reading and going over what I need to buy and what it will cost. If I do it, I wanna do it right.

Plan is to get a tank size between 30 & 40g. Don't want to have to get a sump tank. So I guess limit might be 30g.

Just making a list if what I need. Let me know if I am missing anything

Light strong enough to eventually get lower light corals

Protein skimmer. (Do I need for a 30g)
Heater

POwer head for flow

About 30-40 lbs of rock. What percent of that needs to be Live rock.

30lbs of marine sAnd

Test kit

Salt

Do I need a RO machine or since a smaller tank just buy when I need to do water changes

And of course stock


Am I missing anything? About how much what this setup cost before I stock. Just trying to put a bit of money away each month so I can afford to do this soon.


Ty for all answers


Wanna make it a FOWLR but have the ability to upgrade at some point to lower light corals.
Go with a 40 breeder if you choose anything. No tanks need a refugium / sump but they are highly recommended

1. Light - A low powered light is fine and all. I would however look into a taotronics 120w LED. A light strong enough to keep low light corals will run you $100 and that light fixture will cost you $130. It will also save you money if you decide that you want other corals as well as lower costs for bulb replacement.

2. Skimmmer - You don't need one but they are recommended. They will really make your life easier in maintaining nutrient levels.

3. Heater - This is one of the few things I would advise that you not go cheap on for a reef tank. If something goes terribly wrong with a heater it can kill everything in your tank.

4. Power head. I would go with multiple powerheads rather than just one. It will give you a more dynamic flow pattern to remove dead spots. If you want a wave maker a Jaebo wp25 is a nice choice. Otherwise go with hydor koralias.

5. Live Rock - You don't need any live rock at all but it will speed up your cycle. I would probably go with 10%-20% if you wanted to seed dry rock.

6. A ro/di unit is very important. It will work if you buy from your LFS but that costs more over time. I would look into a unit from bulk reef supply.


As for cost it's hard to tell. Probably $1 / lb on the sand. $3-$4 / lb for the live rock. 150+ for both the skimmer and ro/di unit. 100+ for the lights. 50 for the salt mix. 30 for the heater. 100 ish for power heads.

It all really depends on how high up you want to go. These figures really are base line guesstimate numbers.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:37 PM   #3
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If I do this project I wanna do it correctly and not on the cheap. Rather just slowly save up and if i have to wait a year then so be it.

The reason I don't want a sump tank is space issues. Would put tank on a long low dresser.

Plus I am not the most mechanically competent person and the sump tank just seems to really Add even more complexity. Figure with a 30g I can get away with no sump tank
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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If I do this project I wanna do it correctly and not on the cheap. Rather just slowly save up and if i have to wait a year then so be it.

The reason I don't want a sump tank is space issues. Would put tank on a long low dresser.

Plus I am not the most mechanically competent person and the sump tank just seems to really Add even more complexity. Figure with a 30g I can get away with no sump tank
I wouldn't put a reef tank on a dresser. A 30g tank will weight 300lbs plus and even if it's a sturdy dresser it's not worth it to have a catastrophic failure and lose the entire tank.

Doing things on "the cheap" you can still get quality equipment. The taotronics leds as well as the hydor koralia power heads are used by some of the most successful reefers on this forum. The Jaebo wp25 is a new wave maker that everyone is going crazy for. Its highly recommended BUT it's not time tested. It does what it's designed to do very well but nobody knows how long they last under normal usage. Just look around at reviews for different pieces of equipment. You will find a good balance between cost and effectiveness, especially since you are taking things slowly.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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As much as I want to get started now I know I am not ready. Want everything planned and researched before I make any purchases. Everything budgeted out and have the money saved. Made a few minor mistakes when putting together my community tank that cost me time and money. Want to limit my mistakes this time around. Thankfully I have these great forums to help me start this time around


Guess I need to buy a stand too. Think I am gonna avoid Craigslist except maybe for the stand.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
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I don't know why people shy away from Craigslist so much... I've gotten a lot of REALLY good deals on there... Also find a reef club in your area they may have stuff for sale... People are always upgrading/changing things and resale on this stuff is almost non existant. I got a perfectly good (no scratches). 175g Oceanic bowfront with sump, skimmer... The whole shebang for 300 bucks.... Just keep your eyes open and inspect what you plan on purchasing.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:41 AM   #7
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Reason why I am a bit scared of Craigslist is because I am far from an expert. Hard for me to determine whAt the condition is.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:08 AM   #8
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Reason why I am a bit scared of Craigslist is because I am far from an expert. Hard for me to determine whAt the condition is.
Craigslist for used tank is pretty safe, I would ask them to fill the tank to check for leaks before buying it. A long as the silicone looks to be in good condition (no algae underneath and not cracking / peeling away) then it should be a safe bet to buy a tank.

Using craigslist for other equipment however is hit or miss. If you buy lights it is likely that you will have to replace bulbs as well. You have no idea how long any water pumps have been running or how badly they have been abused.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:21 AM   #9
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Tank is like the cheapest part lol. Really hoping to find a tank stand in Craig's list. Don't trust pumps or anything mechanical.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:22 AM   #10
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I am doing a 20g Long and my total cost so far is 162.00 for salt, 2 koralia pumps, test kit, hydrometer and another 120.00 for the light (high light coral capable) and live rock is gonna be 80.00 for 20lbs so thats 362.00 and I still need an awesome heater and a skimmer. Another 150.00 - 250.00
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