This is my first post and if you don't need the background, please feel free to skip below to my questions, I appreciate any and all ideas and feedback.
I'm a newB that's interested in getting into saltwater. I've been reading a lot in books and on-line and pretty sure that I would like to start with a 75g (maybe 90 or 100) FOWLR tank. Then, as I'm sure most of the people in this hobby have done, I went to the fish store to get an idea of prices and got a fair amount of sticker shock!
First off, am I right that a beginning budget for a 75g FOWLR should be about 2k? By beginning, I mean tank with all the right accessories, the appropriate amount of live rock (I'm thinking 70-100 pounds) and, eventually, even a few fish.
Second off, I was looking around on Craig's list to see if I could find the tank used and found that most people selling tanks were also looking to sell the whole set-up (including live rock and fish). Obviously, I would love to start my own environment and do it slowly and build it up, but with some of the prices I'm seeing ($500-$800 for 75g tanks with the works and established rock and fish) are very temping (less than I'd pay for just the tank set-up new).
Obviously, the other appeal of getting a set-up used is just spending less before I'm positive that I'm going to love the hobby as much as I think that I will and enjoy the time spent maintaining it. It seems the only way to know is to actually care for a tank for a year or so and I'd hate to be desperately trying to sell the whole system that I got for 2k (or more) new for a few hundred bucks a year from now.
So, allow me to ask you all the following questions:
1. Is it a horrible idea to purchase an existing FOWLR tank used (I mean including live rock and some fish). Assuming, of course, that the tank and fish are in great shape and health in their current environment. I imagine that moving the whole set-up could be stressful to the whole system. Despite the obvious (missing out on the experience and fun of setting it up yourself), are the significant financial savings not worth the risk of moving the unit?
2. If not the whole set-up, which necessary pieces (tanks, plumbing, skimmer, etc.) are generally "safe" to buy used (either locally or on ebay).
3. Buying all new - what should a starting budget be for a 75g FOWLR set-up. I realize that it depends on what you want, but I mean just the initial cost to get the tank running with the appropriate amount of live rock.
Thanks for your time and input.