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Old 03-26-2004, 01:01 AM   #1
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Thinking of getting into Saltwater Aquariums....

and wondering what suggestions anyone has on starting out. Roughly how much would you be looking at putting aside for a saltwater aquarium, starting from scratch! Any ideas or suggestions on tank sizes and possibly cost saving ideas would be great. I really want to do the research before diving in, not going to do this on an inpusle.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!!!
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:10 AM   #2
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Do you want this tank to be Fish Only or Reef? Plus what kind of fish were you looking into?
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:28 AM   #3
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I'm fairly new at this and have found this forum really helpful. I'd continue searching/browsing the Getting Started forum. As gotz_potential mentioned, a big question is to decide fish only (FO), fish only with live rock (FOWLR), or reef. That decision controls much of the cost. For size, bigger is better. I've seen at least 30, 45, or 55 gal recommended. I'd start there, and then come back with more questions. One thing is for sure, the people here are ready to help with good, friendly advice.

Good luck,

45 gal AGA
Sand substrate
304 Fluval
2 Maxijet 900 PHs
60# LR
1 Blue Damsel
1 Yellow Tail Damsel
2 Percula Clown
1 Yellow Tang (Small)
1 Peppermint Shrimp
3 Astrea, 3 Cerith, and Unknown Nassarius (LR hitch hikers Snails
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:36 AM   #4
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Buy this book,The Conscientious Marine Aquarist
by Robert M. Fenner, Christopher Turk

Read it and then read it again.

Good Luck
150 gal inwall reef tank, DIY everything except the tank and skimmer, MAG-24 return, 3 1200 Maxi-jets, Turboflotor 1000 Skimmer, 100qt Igloo Cooler sump.


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Old 03-26-2004, 10:41 AM   #5
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I have 4 SW now, some are cheaper than others, but I will list what I have in my "first" SW tank which is a 55 and has no sump or fuge. Prices include shipping, all are from memory

Used 55 with oak stand $200
Remora skimmer $160
CSL power compact lites 96x4 $270
aragonite substrate $40
65lbs LR (still not enough) $300
WON heater $45
mechanical filter (hob) $45
misc salt and additives and etc $50 and then $20/mo thereafter
maxijet powerheads x2 $45
misc mushrooms and corals $165
refractometer $50
test kits basic $50

That's $1420. Scares me. 8O Not to mention you should have an RO/DI filter, I paid only $90 for mine and instead of a pressure tank I rigged up a cattle trough float valve into a new garbage bucket (elegantly I might add)

I don't want to add up my other tanks now... ack

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Old 03-26-2004, 05:11 PM   #6
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My 55g reef is at about 3500.00 complete with 100#s LR 40#s Live Base Rock, LS, Pumps, Skimmers, Ca Reactor, tank, Mh lights, livestock, sump, ro filter, ph meter, heaters and all... If i were to do it all again I would go with a bigger tank and research EVERYTHING before I bought it.. LOL I bought many unneeded things..

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Old 03-26-2004, 05:39 PM   #7
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A good reef tank is wider than deep. Think of the dimensions of a 20L or a 40 breeder. A 40 breeder is harder to find and you will need a custom hood (cheaper than store bought anyway) but it is an excellent size for a reef.
If you are diligent about maintenance - water changes, prudent feeding, consistant specific gravity, stuff like that - than a 20 long makes a great mini reef. Ask reefrunner.
If you are thinking 4' long get a 75 rather than a 55. Or go all the way and get a 120 - the perfect size for a reef tank IMO (in the 4 foot size).
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:42 PM   #8
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Welcome to the dark side Puffer Girl

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Old 03-26-2004, 07:52 PM   #9
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Funny, I'm thinking about setting up a brackish water puffer tank...maybe we can trade information

Tank size would depend on what you want to keep and how comfortable you are with the extra care that can go into a small tank. I have a 20 gallon long which is my first saltwater tank. I do weekly water changes and test water once or twice a week, and I've never had any problems. I would recommend the book mentioned above and that you stick with simple natural filtration via LR and LS. IMO any tank with a sand bed and 1-2lbs LR per gallon with good flow will have better chances at success, require little maintenance be cheaper in the long run. Good luck HTH
Brad C.
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:52 PM   #10
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Wow thanks for all of the fast responses! When I say im new to the salt water world, I mean new, as for the fish only or reef tank, what are the differences? By reef I assume you mean live rocks, corals and anenemies and some fish. I'm not quite sure yet, I'm going to purchase that book and do lots of reading till I understand everything.
As for fish I really like those box fish, cow fish, and of course those spiney puffers!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!!!
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