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Old 03-22-2011, 07:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ramtin View Post
really? it's going to be cheaper? cause if you actually add up the filter, sand, rock, salt mix, and the list goes on! i think (or i thought) that it would be more expensive to buy separate... because i do have a 20g tank already that is empty! you think i should do that? now for a tank that size, what would i actually need to buy... i mean the list up there is pretty much all i know... cause i've never done saltwater so is there any special filter? can someone list everything i need separate please? i would really appreciate it!
It will be a lot cheaper, in my experience. I have set up everything from 3 gallon picos to 150 gallon tanks. 20 gallons will be plenty of room, I'm sure, for a pair of clownfish and possibly a 3rd fish. Water quality will be easier to manage than an 8 gallon, but I would say its about the same if you do it right ( I started with a 3 gallon for my first saltwater tank).

The easy route is to buy a HOB filter (Aquaclear 50 or 70 should do, roughly $50), get a Hydor Theo heater ( 100 watt is enough, about $20), the new maxi jet power head pro (400 pro, rated at 110gph powerhead, and 500gph circulation pump, $20), now head over to Marco Rocks for 15lbs of dry nano rocks ($42) and 20lbs of dry sand ($30), go to a LFS and get 5 pounds of live rock (~$30 assuming its around $6/lbs).

That's less than $200. I didn't add salt mix or anything because you can probably find a LFS that can sell you saltwater, I wouldn't bother making my own for a tank this size. For lights I would probably go with

Aquarium Lighting: Coralife Aqualight Quad Tube Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights

That would bring you up to around $300. Close to the price of one 8 gallon Biocube. You can also cut the HOB filter buy making your own over flow chamber if you are handy with silicone :p and cut the cost by $50.

I go to TCU, $40,000 a year and 2 saltwater tanks in my room. I am pretty good with conserving money without cutting corners and risking a major disaster.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:47 PM   #22
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Maybe I'm just a party pooper but you really shouldn't be starting a nano reef if you "don't have the time to take care of a saltwater tank," Biocube or not.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #23
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You can do a 20 gallon for about $300. That's close to the cost of a Biocube 8
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:09 PM   #24
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Maybe I'm just a party pooper but you really shouldn't be starting a nano reef if you "don't have the time to take care of a saltwater tank," Biocube or not.
you ARE a party pooper.. if you have read everything i said,,, you would understand... i have no problem with water changes weekly... and it's very easy for a small tank PLUS this is for my GIRLFRIEND not me... and she loves clownfish so much that she is ready to do anything! she is a very active person .. changing water of a small tank is nothing for her. we've been together for 5 years i know her!
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #25
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I did read the whole thread. It was never clear who would do maintenance and what your girlfriend knew about fishkeeping and saltwater tanks/reefs.
If she is willing to do consistent maintenance and knows how to properly care for the system then fine; I was just going by what was stated. It was unclear.
Didn't intend to offend, I'm just making sure all the inhabitants will be in good hands.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #26
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It will be a lot cheaper, in my experience. I have set up everything from 3 gallon picos to 150 gallon tanks. 20 gallons will be plenty of room, I'm sure, for a pair of clownfish and possibly a 3rd fish. Water quality will be easier to manage than an 8 gallon, but I would say its about the same if you do it right ( I started with a 3 gallon for my first saltwater tank).

The easy route is to buy a HOB filter (Aquaclear 50 or 70 should do, roughly $50), get a Hydor Theo heater ( 100 watt is enough, about $20), the new maxi jet power head pro (400 pro, rated at 110gph powerhead, and 500gph circulation pump, $20), now head over to Marco Rocks for 15lbs of dry nano rocks ($42) and 20lbs of dry sand ($30), go to a LFS and get 5 pounds of live rock (~$30 assuming its around $6/lbs).

That's less than $200. I didn't add salt mix or anything because you can probably find a LFS that can sell you saltwater, I wouldn't bother making my own for a tank this size. For lights I would probably go with

Aquarium Lighting: Coralife Aqualight Quad Tube Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights

That would bring you up to around $300. Close to the price of one 8 gallon Biocube. You can also cut the HOB filter buy making your own over flow chamber if you are handy with silicone :p and cut the cost by $50.

I go to TCU, $40,000 a year and 2 saltwater tanks in my room. I am pretty good with conserving money without cutting corners and risking a major disaster.
that's very helpful man thanks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by jenatronQT3.14159 View Post
I did read the whole thread. It was never clear who would do maintenance and what your girlfriend knew about fishkeeping and saltwater tanks/reefs.
If she is willing to do consistent maintenance and knows how to properly care for the system then fine; I was just going by what was stated. It was unclear.
Didn't intend to offend, I'm just making sure all the inhabitants will be in good hands.
not offended...
so here is the story.... long story short, she is in love with clownfish! and she is willing to take care of it... all i have to do is teach her what she needs to do and she will do it... we live together and i can always help her too... now i don't even think my tank is 20... i think it's only 15! it's just an old tank of mine... i just figured, adding water to a tank that big is VERY easy... besides having to buy salt mixes and water changes, and filter changes, what else is there? i mean i'm learning here myself but that should be about it... i know a lot of people say that at the beginning and then they stop caring but i don;t think i am like that.... i've always been passionate about aquariums all my life... so i think with the help of 2 of us, it shouldn't be a big deal! but if there is anything else beside the water+filter change, please do let me know cause like i said i'm still learning.. thanks dude!
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:46 PM   #28
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I think the #1 thing is understanding the Nitrogen cycle. Kelsey's post on page 1 mentioned it. That post covers a whole lot.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:55 PM   #29
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yes Kelsey's been very helpful. Thanks guys!
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:12 PM   #30
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not offended...
so here is the story.... long story short, she is in love with clownfish! and she is willing to take care of it... all i have to do is teach her what she needs to do and she will do it... we live together and i can always help her too... now i don't even think my tank is 20... i think it's only 15! it's just an old tank of mine... i just figured, adding water to a tank that big is VERY easy... besides having to buy salt mixes and water changes, and filter changes, what else is there? i mean i'm learning here myself but that should be about it... i know a lot of people say that at the beginning and then they stop caring but i don;t think i am like that.... i've always been passionate about aquariums all my life... so i think with the help of 2 of us, it shouldn't be a big deal! but if there is anything else beside the water+filter change, please do let me know cause like i said i'm still learning.. thanks dude!
A 15 gallon would be fine as well. I think the things I listed would be fine for a tank that size. Gives you more wiggle room than an 8 gallon. I think everyone here has given enough answers to begin. Just gather your materials and let the cycle begin. Water changes I would do maybe 5 gallons a week, maybe every other week, that's just me though. Water mixes I would just start off with LFS water, unless you want to mix it yourself than a pump, ro/di unit, a bucket, and a refractometer is needed. Daily water top off is also something you should do, I'd recommend a DIY auto top off (did mine for about $10) and only have to refill the top off water bucket every few months.

Looking forward to see pictures if you ever get it started
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