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You do not need a skimmer right away unless you will have sps corals, then it is a must. Also the amount of rock that most people say you can be detrimental to the tank unless you have massive water flow by trapping too much detritus in the rock. A salt water tank can be set up relativly cheapif you want soft corals and some lps. Research and find the BEST lighting set up for your tank bcause you will want more different types of corals and it beats going through a couple of different lights. Look into a refugium to grow out different types of algea to either feed your herbavores and also for filtration.THE NUMBER ONE THING IS TO TAKE IT SLOW.
Originally Posted by bruno View Post
Yes, it's cheaper. I'd think about what you want it to look like. Do you want a natural look of sand? Playsand is very cheap (Home depot) but it does require lots and lots of rinsing. The look is nice though. If you do gravel, I'd recommend a pea size gravel, keeping substrate as natural for fish as possible. Recommended amount if one lb. per gallon of tank. So, a 20 gal tank, would need about 20 lbs of gravel. If you want plants, you need to make sure you have a good florescent bulb. They aren't that expensive, and if you post in the planted tank section, you'll get help with that. Or read stickys on the forum about starting a planted tank. You can buy plants slowly, they aren't that expensive ($2.99-8.99 a piece or less, depending where you get them etc). You need a filter, a heater and rocks or driftwood, which again, if you find your own rocks and rinse them well over boiling water, there is no cost for that :) You need to be careful with some rocks, as they can change your water ph etc. I used slate that I stacked, and it is fine in tanks.
You need a good declohrinator (Prime) and a 5 gal clean bucket, a siphon to do water changes ($10.00). There are always other little things to pick up, but you could easily get started with just that.
Did I miss anything, anyone?
Just because animals can't talk, does not mean they should not be heard