01-01-2010, 10:39 AM
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Ok, so here is the deal. I spend a ton of time on here preaching about live rock, aragonite sand, and a protein skimmer. For 99% of the world this is what they need to maintain a successful system. However, it is POSSIBLE to have a saltwater system without all these added costs.
The key is to recognize the limits of the system. For example, if you said to me "I only have $20. Is it possible to have a freshwater aquarium?" The answer would be yes, you can have a Betta bowl.
The same principle applies here. You can keep a marine system using a Penguin 200 on a 38 gallon tank. You will need to do a 5 gallon water change every week, without failure. You will be limited to keeping 2 or 3 fish at the most, and you can ONLY keep Damselfish or Clownfish. There are NO other options that give you a reasonable chance at success.
Hear me loud and clear. You would not attempt to keep anything in a Betta bowl other than a Betta. This is the same situation. You should not attempt to keep any other fish. Zip. None. Nothing else. ONLY Damselfish and Clownfish. Every other fish you can name would be overly sensitive to nitrate buildup and the stress from the frequent water changes and unnatural environment would cause issues with their health.
So, if you are willing to stick with only 2 or 3 fish, Damsels and Clownfish only, then we can talk about how to convert on a $100 budget.