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Old 12-02-2003, 09:56 PM   #1
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How much does it cost

To start a SW tank? Average cost for a 30g/55g
Are the tanks different than your average aquarium?
Whats a reef tank?
Are these 2 the same?
I have browsed this site and discovered how beautiful SW tank fish are(and also expensive)
Are they hard to keep up?
Who know's...maybe someday I'd try one. ")
TIA!!
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:11 PM   #2
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That is a very broad question. First you must decide what it is you would like to keep. Fish, soft corals and mushrooms, Large polyp stony (LPS) corals, small polyp stony (SPS) corals, clams etc. Fish only will be the cheapest way to go and the most forgiving of mistakes (in most cases), but i definately recommend that you read, read, and read some more before you buy anything. In general I think SW fish are no harder to keep than FW, but you will have to keep up with routine maintenance. Good luck
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:20 PM   #3
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It will be sometime before I would ever do SW. I know all about research as I did this in my pond building(and I'm still learning 2 years later)
As for what I'd want....fish!! no doubt about it
They are such beautiful creatures with many characteristics.
So~ I guess I'd go the basic/cheapest route.
Thanks for the quick reply!!
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:35 PM   #4
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Ill start by answering your questions. Then give some basic hints.

Quote:
Are the tanks different than your average aquarium?
Nope. Same tanks as you use in freshwater.

Quote:
Whats a reef tank?
A reef tank describes a tank that has been setup to simulate the apperance of a coral reef. Reef tanks include fish, corals and other invertribrates like shrimp, crabs etc. A reef tank often has a sandy bottom and has a fair amount of live rock aswell.

Quote:
Are these 2 the same?
By this question im thinking maybe you ment to ask above what a 'reef ready' tank was. A reef ready tank is simply an aquarium that has built in overflows and drains as well as often times built in returns for the use of a sump or wet/dry. Freshwater folks can use a reef ready tank and benifit from its design as much as a salty person.

Quote:
Are they hard to keep up?
I have seen photos of your ponds and I would go as far as so they are no harder to keep than that pond is or your 100+ gal freshwater tank. Once you develop a good schedule you can probably get buy with 15-20min worth of work a day or maybe 2-3hours a week.

Now as you know with any new venture something that you should do is plenty of research. This post is obvously the first step in such research. There are three main types of saltwater setups. You have a Fish Only setup, a Fish Only with Live Rock and a Reef. As you progress thru the setups the costs of the setup increases.

I would be willing to venture if you had to buy everything new i would say a 55 gal tank from beginning to setup would run you $1500+ for a reef tank $750 or so for a FOWLR and $400-500 for a FO setup.
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:51 PM   #5
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I will have almost 500 dollars invested in my 55 gal before I even put one fish in it. I only spent 850 dollars for my 135 gal FW setup. But, I was able to get away with the stock lighting on the 135 and didn't have to spend 3-5 dollars a pound for live rock for it either. I hope the SW tank I am currently getting ready to start will be half as beautiful as my 135. HTH
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Old 12-03-2003, 05:58 PM   #6
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As for cost, I'm at $36 a gallon for my 10G-working-at-becoming-a-nano-reef tank. Lighting and live rock are probably going to be your two biggest costs, ironically enough. A good protein skimmer will also be up there. No idea how hard the fish are to keep but I was surprised when I went home for lunch. Glance in the tank only to find the outer skeleton of one of my peppermint shrimp. After not finding the crabs and convicting them of 1st degree murder I ended up finding both shrimp. Turns out the one had molted sometime between 8 am and 1:30 this afternoon.
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:53 PM   #7
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Great info Thanks!!
I will definetly do some major research before ever plunging into that kind of $$.
But for now~ I'm going to enjoy my indoor koi pond and keep working on more fish for my 125gal FW.

I have to say, this site is AWESOME~
Pondmom
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
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I am at $18 a gallon for my 225. This does not include a stand. It will be an in wall tank. Things I still have to buy

Sand
More Live rock (currently have 150 lbs)
RO/DI unit

Things to buy later when converting to reef

Calcium Reactor
MH Lighting


I figure about anothe million dollars outta cover it
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:27 PM   #9
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haha I just started my own tank.. and just today (at 3 am) completed my DIY lighting (130 watta of compact Flo for about 70 bucks!). the sand.. I couldn't find anything in the sand department (cheap version at Lowes) so I got credit for some items and just made the trade for regular aquarium sand, but it was about 10 bucks per 25 pounds.. and I got 50 pounds total (so about 24 bucks total). I bought and overkill filter (a filstar XP3 at 107 bucks). The tank I got used and got it at a steal for 50 bucks.. it came with another 20 gallon, a ghetto stand, two air pumps, two crummy filters, decent heater, flo hoods (semi chipped), and lots of other extras. I also got the salt for 14 bucks.. for a 50 gallon tank. By the way IMO thats what people who want saltwater should do.. or anyone for that matter just look in your papers and get your set up cheap and go from there! I did a DIY hood as well as the lights. and the hood caught me for about 30 bucks. So in total for my set up thus far (mind you I still have to get rocks and my fish!) it has cost me about 300 bucks or so... and I still haven't gotten the skimmer either.. may be another DIY project
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Old 12-04-2003, 08:10 PM   #10
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I am going 55 gallon reef.. with stand and the whole nine. Spent about $1200 so far, cycling now.. but I think (other than I want to already replace the skimmer that I bought) I have everything but fish food and stuff..


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