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Old 06-18-2009, 12:38 AM   #1
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thinking about starting a SW tank.

I've saved up my money and have around 300 bucks. I've done a ton of research on SW tanks and I think I can handle it. (FOWLR or fish only most likely)

Anyway, I was thinking of buying a 55G and a stand but itll cost me about 300 bucks .

Should I just invest in the big tank? or get a smaller one and buy some of the supplies?

Will I have success with a smaller tank (say 29G)?

I want to do SW I'm just afraid of blowing a ton of money and end up having everything die.

The stand is on clearance so I want to decide by tomorow night atleast.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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#1 - If you plan things up front, and take the time to research before doing, you won't have everything die. Well... maybe a few things, but not everything!

#2 - The tank and stand are the cheapest aspect of the whole setup, in the long run.

Really... they are.

By the time you get a protein skimmer in there, live rock (even just base rock), and lighting, you're easily going to be in over a grand, including the tank.

If you want it to work, you can do a SW tank... no problem. But if you're tight on money, just be aware of the total cost before taking the plunge.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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Yea I realize its a tad bit expensive.. That's not my MAIN issue but it is a large one.

I've been doing research for a few years now and I know what it takes and what needs to happen to make it work. I've never done a SW before so It'll be a new experience. (FW is great but I want a new challange)

My main plan is to start with the tank and stand, then set up the filtration (wet/dry hopefully) then fill and add salt. then get LR and sand, then let it cycle for a while till I can buy the fish.

(the entire process will move as the money becomes available. I'm ok with taking it slow. I want to do it right the first time )
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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Kurt's points are very valid. It does get expensive, but there are things you can do to reduce startup costs. Don't buy live sand, buy aragonite. Use minimal LR and the bulk in base rock. That said... the potential savings between a 29 and a 55 really aren't that significant IMO. Have you checked out craigslist or your local reef club for possible setups? I found a 120 for $150 with stand and routinely see 55s with stands for $100 or less.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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I looked on craigs list and found some pretty good deals. But as always, my parents find something wrong with it and say no. (In this case they are scared the tanks are either broken or they leak or something catastrophic will happen if I buy a used one. Mainly because my aunt did the same thing and the tank flooded her house )

And like I said, I'm not in a rush to get fish in there. I want to set it all up right then let it cycle completely then worry about the fish and stuff.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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The right tank will come along. Be patient. I got my 55G and my 84G off craigslist and they are perfect. A lady at work gave me the 115G for free. Dont worry, when the time is right the oppurtunity will present itself and you will be happy you waited. If your parents are worried about tanks leaking, you fill it in the garage or the front yard and prove that it doesnt leak before you move it into the house.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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I'll keep looking on craigs list. Theres no sense in buying a brand new tank if I can get a used one for cheaper.

a 115g for FREE?!?!?!

:O

lucky..


Ok one other question. If I did a FO setup would it be a lot harder to keep things stable than a FOWLR setup? and with a FOWLER setup do I need to monitor calcium and stuff? Which would have more success for a beginner? (ok that was three questions )
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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I've never kept a FO or FOWLR so this is in part speculation. The FOWLR will provide you with a more natural filtration option than the FO so it should help with the stability. There will be no need to worry about Calcium, Mag, etc. if you do not have corals so no worries there. Basically you'll just need to test pH, NO2, NO3, and NH4.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
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Ah okay I'm just making sure. I saw something about LR needing calcium and all sorts of stuff. I was like "HUHH?" xD

I don't plan on having corals for a while. I want to just see how this new adventure goes first.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #10
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Any coraline algae that develops on the rock would, but it should get plenty from the salt mix and PWCs.
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