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Old 10-30-2005, 05:02 PM   #1
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First ever post and first ever tank.

Hey guys!! This is my first post and I am getting ready for my first tank. I have researced all kinds of fish. I first started off wanting a shark tank or a stingray tank but founf out quick that they were to much for a first timer as well as too big, costly, and not to mention time consuming.

I have now decided that I want a tank from 55-100 gallons. I want a good looking community tank that can be enjoyed by everyohne that enters my house.

The fish that I like are clowns, tangs, damsels so far. These are just what I have seen that are colorful and I think would go well together from what I have read.

My questions are below and any advice would be much appreciated.

1) What size tank can I get fully set up with everything I need to house these fish for around $500? This would not include the fish or live rock but it would include the pumps, tank, stand, heater, sand or rock surface, filter, and stuff like that.

2) How many fish can I fit in a tank from your answer above?

3) How can I make the tank fairly maintence free? I don't mind putting in a hour or 2 a week but more than that on cleaning would be a pain to find time for.

4) Is there anything I am forgetting to think about before I dive into this investment?

Thanks for the help.

T
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:00 PM   #2
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Are you going to add lr at all? That'll certainly make your bill go way up for a tank 55 gallons or up.

There isn't really a cheap sw tank. My 10 gallon cost over 200 dollars, after a while I just lost track.

There's filters, some people are really into it and will spend hundreds of dollars. Then lighting, for reefs it can go from 100-1000 dollars in most cases if your keeping corals or certain clams. Then salt, substrate,the tank itself, and all the other little stuff like medications and skimmers and stuff.

If you want fish most cost 20 dollars for the cheapest ones except for stuff like damsels. A lot of tangs run up to 40 dollars in some cases.

So unless your willing to pay a little more than 500 ecspecially in a tank like 100 gallons I don't think this is something you should do, well not yet anyways. If you buy just the basics you might get 500 dollars or less in expenses but that is still very unlikely.
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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Make sure to use ro/di water or you will be scraping alage off all the time.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:13 PM   #4
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If you look around you can find tanks at a low price. I got my 55 gal with the stand and canopy for $125. I got all my powerheads for free from a guy I knew was taking his tank down. Another guy I know is taking some lr out of his tank to make room for more corals, so I even got about 25 lbs of lr for free. It's not impossible to start a tank for that amount of money, but you have to look around. In about 9 months, I have almost $2000 invested in my tank with lr, the tank and equipment, fish and inverts, and the basics like salt and foods. It's not a cheap hobby, but is worth while.
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:46 PM   #5
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I like what flaminghot said about losing track of the costs. I always tell my wife the same thing. LOL. Seriously though, you can start out good for $500, especially if you can find someone taking their setup down (or selling it complete). Then as time goes by, add some rock here, fish there, and before you know it youve got quite a system going.
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:23 PM   #6
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thanks all

Andy I think you grasped best what I was trying to say but thanks for everyone advice.

I am not trying to get everything for $500. I know it will cost a lot and over time I am willing to sepend that money on it. What I do want to get for $500 is the tank and the basics. Then later I will add fish and LR and stuff like that. I think I explained that in my first message but maybe I did not.

Does anyone know a a good place onlie to start looking for stuff that I can buy like a tank or a stand?

What filters, skimmers, powerhead, stuff like that do you reccommend?

I am pretty much sure I am just going to go with a 55 gallon so how many of the different types of fish can I get in there?

Thanks for the help.

T
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:27 PM   #7
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I'm very new to this, but everything I've read says that a 55 is much too small for a tang, because they really like a lot of swimming room. Just something to consider.

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Old 10-31-2005, 11:17 PM   #8
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55 is small for a tang. clowns, gobies, firefish, are all good options. I like the flame hawkfish. You have lots of options with a 55 that have not been mentioned yet.
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:02 PM   #9
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What options are you talking about brendon? What about a puffer? Will it get along with a clown and some of the other fish? What about a trigger? How much room does it need.

I really just want 6 to 10 colorful fish that will look good in a tank that I don't have to do more than an hour of maintenance on a week.

I know it will take more than that when I first set it up but after that period an hour is all I really have time for.

What are some of your suggestions?
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:29 PM   #10
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my tank is a 55, when I first started I was upgrading from a 29, I thought the 55 was a "BIG" Tank....I now wish For the extra hundred bucks I went with the 90 gallon tank....anyways 55 is a good starter, but trust me you will probably very fast outgrow the tank and want bigger.....so maybe go 75 or 90 right off the bat.
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:31 PM   #11
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I have a 120 as my show tank and I love the size of it. It is perfect for aquascaping, nice selection of fish to fit in there and you can get a decent number of fish as well. If you were to follow the guideline of 1" of fish per 5g of water a 55 would be looking at 11" of fish. At 3-4" a piece you're looking at 3 to 4 fish in your tank. Fewer if you've got messy fish (triggers, lions, puffers). Messy fish also require more frequent and diligent maintenance than some of the less messy fish. I would start out with at least a 90. Try the sale forums on various boards, find your local reef club and see what board they frequent. The local community is full of people up- and (surprisingly) down-grading. You're sure to find someone local who's getting rid of just the setup you're looking for! With any luck it falls into your budget as well!
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:00 PM   #12
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There are different kinds of triggers, but they are all big fish, and almost all are mean. (And one of the smaller ones --the orange-lined trigger-- is reputed to be the meanest.) They definitely aren't good for a low-maintenance tank. Even the gentler ones are likely to eat any sort of cleaner crew like shrimps and crabs.

I'd really like a trigger, but my impression is that they'll create extra work, since you can't keep some of the helpful, tank-cleaning critters in there with them.

I don't know a lot about puffers, but I do know that they are also aggressive.
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:43 PM   #13
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http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=700232

Just in case you're willing to drive to Jacksonville!
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:43 PM   #14
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Skip looking online for tanks and stands.

1. Tanks can't be shipped, only acrylic in some cases.
2.You can make your own stand if necessary,if you do get it online it'll seem kind of cheap but the weight charges will get you in the long run.

Try looking in walmart. I've onlty been to about 3 different ones in my area but they all have cheap starter tank kits. They have one with a 55 gallon tank, flourescent lighting, thermometer, a filter, and other little stuff. They also have stands if you don't want to make one. The kit runs about 150 dollars and the stand is about 70 or something close to that..... You might have to buy additional things like upgrade the filter or something if you want to but i'd say it's really cheap. I got my 30 gallon starter kit from there and it's pretty good.

A 55 gallon is too small for a tang. I think 75 would be aminimum in most cases.
And i'll tell you this right now. Unless you buy small fish you won't get 10 fish in that, even in a 55 gallon. .....Most triggers are too small for a 55 gallon. And it depends on what kind of puffer you want. Sharpnoses are usually around 4 inches or less so they would be able to be kept in a 55 as long as you choose tankmates wisely. Dogfaces are usually kept in 55's too but all the ones i've seen still look kind of cramped. I've seen the golden variety and it seemed crowded in this one stores 150 gallon. It was pretty huge.

The choice on fish is basicly depending on what you like. So get an idea and ask it here and we'll make suggestions or change things.

HTH
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:53 PM   #15
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thanks a lot for the help

Thanks to everyone for helping me out. I will probably go with a bigger tank now. More like a 90 to a 125 gallon tank. That way I can get the type and number of fish.

As for the tank in jacksonville I would normally make a drive like that but we are still dealing with Katrina in MIssissippi and I am working 12 to 16 hours a day 7 days a week.

Thanks for the help and I will keep everyone posted on what I buy.
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