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Old 01-27-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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What do I need first?

I'm trying to plan on how I will go about buying my essentials. I'm 15 years old and on a tight budget. Right now, I'm in need of a good lighting system, an RO/DI unit (I'm using tap water now unfortunately), an overflow box/sump/return pump, and a protein skimmer. My 60 G is up and running with 60 lbs. of LR, 40 lbs. of Live Sand, a half a dozen snails, HOB Whisper Filter, and a small power head. My water parameters are set and I'm probably going to add a Yellow watchmen goby very soon. The thing is, I need to know what I should get after I get the fish. The RO/SI system, sump and skimmer, or lighting. My plan as of now is to get the lighting last. I have a small light that'll work for now. So my question, should I get the RO/DI or skimmer/sump/overflow box/return pump.

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated


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Old 01-27-2011, 11:51 PM   #2
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i personally use distilled water over RO/DI water. its basically water vapor so all the impurities are boiled out. you can get 5 gllon jugs of them at your local grocery store for like $4 plus the deposit on the jug (when you get back when you return it).

this method is just more of an inconveniance since it requires a few trips to the grocery store, but then again you don't have to wait as long to fill.

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Old 01-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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I would agree and say the first thing you should do is stop putting tap water in before you put your fish in, I also use distilled water but the store is right next to my house. Unless you plan to quickly fill you tank with corals and all that good stuff you could probably stick to the light you have now for while, or at least until you get your sump running. Just my opinion though.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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I agree with fixing your water issue. How long has your tank been running? Has it cycled? Before you put any fish in, you should plan your clean up crew around what you are planning to keep fish-wise. Add some of the clean up crew first (it's cheap).

As for the sump.... If you are on a budget, I would suggest building a DIY one out of a glass aquarium with a few baffles before buying an actual pre made sump. This takes some planning as well as you pretty much need to build the sump around the skimmer if it's an internal one. Do your research on DIY sumps. Its easier than it sounds.

Remember, patience goes a long way in this hobby. Don't rush and things will be alot easier in the long run.
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Wet/dry converted into sump with a Bubble Magus NAC7 cone skimmer, MAG7 return, 200 micron filter socks, Vortech MP40w + two returns for flow. Current Sundial T5 + two retro Icecap T5's (6 bulbs),
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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I would get the RO/DI filter. In the long run it will be cheaper plus you wont have to carry water. A long time back I use to use distilled but then I got my own RO/DI and I`m saving money and free from water labor.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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Get the RO/DI filter from Ebay - $90 - 50 G Aquarium Reef RO DI 5stage Reverse Osmosis Water - eBay (item 110619193307 end time Jan-30-11 18:51:03 PST)

Then do a DIY sump. Craigslist is your best bet for a used tank for cheap. With a 60g, a 20 g would be good or a 29 depending on your stand size and skimmer. You buy lexan from Lowes and have them cut it to the dimensions for free, some silicone - $6 (aquarium safe). Depending on whether you have a submersible return pump or an external, you may need to get the tank drilled. Your LFS will probably do it for cheap. Mine charged $15.

Compare this to like $125 on Ebay. You should be able to do all this for $70-$80.

If you're just keeping fish, your lighting will be fine till you want to do more like corals.

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