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Old 09-03-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
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totally new from saltwater, need to know what i need

i have a 30 gallons freshwater tank, but i really want to move all the fish to my 20 gallons and start saltwater in the 30. ok now, what do i need to buy to start up? 1 thing i know is the LR, which is more than $200. but i dont' want to spend that much.....is there a way to start a saltwater tank around $100 with the tank, hood, light that i have? please help me with step by step here, thank you so much

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Old 09-03-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
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lp26kwan, Welcome to AA! (Even though I'm new, too.) I'll just be totally honest: this is an expensive hobby. I'm going to be $2000 into my 75 gallon tank soon, and I'm not done yet. If you want to do SW, the first thing most people will probably recommend is that you do some serious reading. Two books that helped me a great deal: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner and The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta.

I'm having a lot of fun figuring out what I want to do, but it does take some $. It's probably possible to put a small system together for $100 if you've got some stuff already, but I don't know if you would be happy or successful with that kind of set up in the long run. The best basic advice I've gotten here is "don't scrimp on your equipment to save a few bucks--you'll pay more in the long run in frustration and aquatic lives."

75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:49 PM   #3
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You could have a few fish, in a fish-only SW setup, for $100 or less. A pair of clowns would work.
YOu'll need to get argonite based sand, and if you can't find Southdown or OldCastle sand at the Home Depot/Lowe's, then you'll be stuck spending about $1 per pound at the fish store, and in a 30gallon you want about 60lbs.
(my PC is crashing so I'll have to finish my post later...)
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 09-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #4
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Right now, Dr. Fosster's & Smith is running a special on live rock. I ordered 45lbs of Fiji Premium and it will be here tomorrow. They had a special running on it 2 weeks ago and I managed to slip in under the gun on getting it ordered. The special now is on Lalo rock. Here is a link Lalo Rock. It's a 30lb box, so that should at least get you started.

The guys at my LFS told me that you don't want to skimp on 2 things, the filter and the light. If you are just going to get a FO tank, I wouldn't think you need a super powerful light. Corals and Inverts need more light. I bought an Eheim 2215 filter for my 75 gal tank. I was told that it was one of the best filters you could get. I know that opinions are subjective, but I took that one.

I know that a lot of people on here have had pretty good success with ordering LR from liverocks.com. I don't have any experience with it, so I can't give an opinion.



P.S. It is an expensive hobby, but I am getting a lot of enjoyment out of it so far.

75 gal SW tank, Eheim 2215 Filter, 45lb Figi Premium LR, 2 Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump Model 900

5 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs, 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs, 3 Emerald Mithrax Crabs, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, 10 Cerith Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 6 Bumble Bee Snails, 16 Turbo Snails, 1 Brittle Sea Star

Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Foxface Lo, Coral Beauty Angelfish, Sailfin Tang, Scooter Blenny
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Old 09-04-2004, 01:27 AM   #5
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You'll need about 45lbs of LR, enough aragonite sand to give you at least a 1" sandbed, and a good skimmer to start with. You can use mostly base rock and just a few pieces of LR to seed it if you're patient enough to wait for the base rock to mature into LR. There will be some algae battles with this method as pest algae colonizes base rock more easily than LR. You'll want to upgrade the lighting as soon as you can afford to. I would go with one of the Currents PC fixtures...I believe they offer the best value available right now. Or, if you're handy, you could easily build a 96w PC fixture using a ballast from Lowes/Home Depot. I would recommend buying an Aqua C Remora skimmer. I realize this is going to put you over budget, but it will be worth every penny you spend on it. A pair of ocellaris clowns, a small goby of some sort, and maybe a bangaii cardinal would make a nice community for a 30 gal tank. You could have some inverts that have low light requirements as soon as you can get the lighting upgraded. JMHO.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
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