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Old 08-03-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
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5 or 10 gallon nano reef, first saltwater

looking to make a 5 or 10 gallon sw tank, i have never donae any saltwater before. what would i need to do this, and how much would it cost, i want to keep the price to a minimum.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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I'm about to start my first too , since it's your first I would say ten instead of five because the less water you have the harder it is on your ecosystem / fish . Like I said I'm new so look up some sw builds they have everything you could possibly wonder . Sorry I couldn't be more of a help .
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:35 PM   #3
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looking to make a 5 or 10 gallon sw tank, i have never donae any saltwater before. what would i need to do this, and how much would it cost, i want to keep the price to a minimum.
I'm a freshie but I can tell you what I know in my limited knowledge in salt. Generally a setup costs around 200-300 dollars for bigger tanks but smaller it is less money. Usually you need a skimmer, good lighting, a sump, and live rock to start your cycle.

For that small of a tank I'd recommend a goby or two with various inverts. Some easy corals (of you're looking into them) are mushrooms and zoas.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:45 PM   #4
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ok, any saltwater people wish to chime in?
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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I think you could only keep shrimp in a 5gallon. And a ten could only have a couple and some shrimp/inverts
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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I would go with a 10g only cause it's easier than 5g and will let you get more things like fish and inverts. You really can't put too much in a 10g but it might be a good starter, though the bigger the better ( and easier).

Are you planning on corals at all? That will be your biggest expense, lighting. A skimmer isnt needed on such a small tank if you do your water changes every week.

If possible I would recommend a 20g or 29g, much easier to take care of and will allow you to actually have some fish. You cant put a pair of clowns in a 10g and thats a real popular fish.

Depending on your budget a biocube or nano cube might be the way to go. You get everything needed pretty much in one package. Plus the lights can support most easy corals.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:55 PM   #7
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i cant really do a 20 gallon, too big, my parents wont allow another tank of that size. so im stuck with 10 gallons. i would like to do corals and a fish or 2, maybe a shrimp. what would i need for the tank?
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
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You'd need live rock/base rock, sand, heater, filter and lights. You also should use ro/di water which you can buy at a lfs or at the supermarket water machines. You would need about 2-4 g a week, depending on how much you change out and accounting for adding water due to evaporation.

A powerhead would also be good, get the flow going to make sure nothing can build up in dead spots.

As far as fish though, youre kinda limited. here's a link with nano fish listed, might be able to find something thats cool there.

Nano Fish

Clown goby's are quite small so you could get one of them and maybe another small fish. You could have a few shrimp and snails and hermits too.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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what type of light and filter, could i do a firefish with the goby, what type of shrimp and inverts, what about corals?
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #10
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You could do a firefish and the goby. You could add a fire shrimp, peppermints or maybe some golden coral banded, they stay kinda small. They have sexy shrimp too, but I find them way too tiny, even for my 4g pico LOL

Any regular filter will do, an aquaclear 30 would be fine.

As far as corals though, it depends on the lighting. Better brighter light means more selection. Some easy corals are zooanthids, mushrooms and leathers.

Most lighting comes in 24" sizes though and the 10g is 20" so you might have to search a bit for cheap lights.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:13 PM   #11
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i want to keep this entire setup - fish and lr for under 50 usd.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #12
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You might be able to find something used, but $50 is barely enough to cover the rock let alone lights, filter and other stuff. I'm thinking for a coral able tank youre looking at over $200 with everything. Rock can range from 2.50 a lb for base and up to 5.99 a lb for live rock and youll need at least 10lbs of rock. :-(
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:19 PM   #13
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well is anyone one the forums selling the stuff i will need used?
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:39 PM   #14
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is there anyway i can do this cheaper?
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
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is there anyway i can do this cheaper?
I hate to break it to you, but there is no cheap in saltwater. Because the fish are more delicate and the tank harder to take care of, the more costly it is to maintain because you must keep everything constant. In freshwater it's easy because things fluctuate all the time due to the seasons and changes in the rivers. In an ocean it is constant year round, which is why it's important that it's the same in the tank.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:43 AM   #16
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I hate to break it to you, but there is no cheap in saltwater. Because the fish are more delicate and the tank harder to take care of, the more costly it is to maintain because you must keep everything constant. In freshwater it's easy because things fluctuate all the time due to the seasons and changes in the rivers. In an ocean it is constant year round, which is why it's important that it's the same in the tank.
Bruin is right. Sw is not cheap. In a 5-10 gal nano you should be able to get away without a skimmer if you are doing coral. But that means more water changes!! Honestly, doing smaller tanks are harder for beginners than larger ones. Fish and coral will grow. In a 5 gal tank, your live stock could out grow the tank in 2-4 months. You could do a diy led light for the tank, but your still looking at a cost over what you want to spend.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:04 PM   #17
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even if buy used? where could i get used supplies?
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:07 PM   #18
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:18 PM   #19
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even if buy used? where could i get used supplies?
Start with C's -list look at your LFS most have a board with stuff for sale.join a local reef club the best deals are there IMO what lights do you have now? Filter? Go with base rock you'll save a lot by not paying for water weight, use pool filter sand 50lbs for $4 get the biggest can of salt you can it will cost less when bought in bulk
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:36 PM   #20
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i dont have anything needed, and dont know of any clubs, my lfs is far away.
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