10-28-2008, 02:16 PM
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Setting up a 125g reef would be a huge investment, whereas you could do a pretty cool FW tank for much cheaper. Like Tyyrlym said, the lighting is *very* expensive, especially for a tank that size. Metal halide lighting required for some of the stony corals would be even worse. Then, you'd also probably need to do things like build an overflow and a sump/refugium, buy a protein skimmer, buy live rock, buy a CUC, buy expensive SW fish and inverts, then buy coral. Even starting out with the everything this guy has for sale, you're still probably looking at thousands of dollars spent before you have a good looking reef. Just ask some of the SW people on here about how much they've spent on their tanks.
You could also spend a truckload of cash planting that thing and stocking it with a lot of small fish. Big fish are a lot cheaper of an initial investment, but they might end up costing you more in terms of feeding them. If I got my hands on that tank and cost *was* an issue, I'd do one of these two options:
1) A single big New World cichlid, like a Jaguar. These fish have *tons* of personality and are extremely cool pets. You could probably get away with a pleco and maybe even a school of something like silver dollars, although it's not a guarantee. You wouldn't be able to have live plants in a tank like that, but you could decorate with just sand, rocks, and lots of driftwood and have a great looking tank.
2) African cichlids - you'd probably want to get aragonite sand or crushed coral substrate, but then decoration would be as simple as setting up some big rock heaps and maybe some shell piles (if you decide to get shelldwellers). The initial stocking would be somewhat on the expensive side, but less so if you bought your fish as juveniles. You could do a really cool mbuna tank in 125g.
Either of these ideas would need heavy filtration, but neither would have live plants so costs could be kept pretty low. I'm not trying to discourage you from saltwater, but if you're on a budget keep in mind that pretty much any saltwater tank is going to be substantially more expensive than the ideas I listed.