04-13-2009, 08:21 PM
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Hey, I will throw something at you because I was in your footsteps only weeks ago. Whatever your budget is, multiply it by three.
I was thinking I could get away with 4, 5 hundred bucks. I have spent well over a grand.
Here is what I purchased, and from what i've read, for a marine tank, is the minimum to have water parameters at their best, almost.
Protein skimmer - Cost me 180 for a Tunze 9002 rated up to 50 gallons and to tell you the truth, I am going to buy another larger one as I am looking to upgrade my tank, do yourself a favour, plan and THEN buy. Now i'm gonna have to get another skimmer, well soon enough.
Tank - I already had one but thats not a very big expense if you find a local classified
Light - If you want coral, you're looking at around 5 hundred, for a proper T5 set up.
Powerheads - I spent a little more than necessary maybe but those cost me 40 each and I have 4 (two would have done but I got a good deal on the additional two so I took it)
Live rock - I paid 6.50 lb for 50 lbs. (like 300ish?)
Sand - 20 lbs bag was like 30 bucks
Test kits - 80 bucks for master marine and salt water kits for all tests (and I still don't have a magnesium test kit)
Thermometer - Not much, I had one, but can be like 5 to 20 for a good one
Heater - 150 watt was 40 bucks
Salt - another like 40 or 50 bucks for a largeish pale
Hydrometer - 10, but people will suggest a refractometer (I may get one soon)
Phosban Reactor - I had phosphate issues with the original tap water accident, but I would have got this anyway. Cost me 60 with a pump
Other random accessories - $50 +
and thats with no fish...
Plan ahead, way ahead, and patience is key..I have learned this over a months time, I was completely new at this
And I still want more and more..lighting is my next thing but that is because I want to keep coral, and its one big expense!! And a tough one to boot.
Good luck my friend.