Aquarium "kit" suggestions
I am thinking about breaking into the saltwater community and have started some planning. I don't have space for a large operation but I can afford a "kit" type aquarium. A couple types I have come across are the Aquapod and the Nano Cube. I am not looking for anything larger than 29g.
Do any of you have a tank like these or would anyone want to make a suggestion for a particular brand over another one?
Perhaps I would be making a huge mistake to buy into the saltwater hobby with a "kit" tank.
Any and all advice is welcome.
Thanks in advance to you salty aquarist. (any Navy people will get that pun)
AIO's (All in ones) are ok IMO. I mean, they look great, but you need to change the whole filtration so its like just getting the tank (even though the filtration changing is cheap).
First question to decide is, do you want FOWLR or reef?
I can explain all the modifications needed for a reef. FOWLR is easier.
But, in general, the best AIO is the 24G Aquapod with 150W MH Sunpod if you want to spend less than $400, because the stock lighting is the very minimum for keeping easy softies.
Thanks for the quick reply Cody. I think I best stick with the FOWLR tank for now. I do want to stay under $400 and a 24G is just about right for me. I was leaning toward the Aquapod look myself.
What do you mean I'll have to change the whole filtration? Do you say this because the one included in the AIO tanks are not good enough?
Thanks again for your assistance. btw, helping me is like helping two people because I am looking into this for a friend too. (If that matters to anyone, heh)
IMO i would look on www.craigslist.com (or even petco for a brand new) reg. old rectangular tank. a 40 breeder would be nice. AIO tanks i feel are overpriced for what? the lighting is sub-par, the skimmer sucks.. i personally would rather spend $50 on a used or even new tank. $200 -300 on lighting and $100-200 on a good protein skimmer and be right where i would be with the AIO except with better equiptment that im happy with and possibly a slightly bigger tank .. your still going to have to buy powerheads and salt and a refractometer and everything in-between but if im not mistaken you'd have to when buying the AIO as well.
if i was in your shoes i would take the next couple months saving money and researching EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that has to do with saltwater so your prepared for success.
I mean that the stock filtration that comes with the AIO's include bioballs, a false floor in the first(?) compartment, a sponge, and a bad return pump. These (besides the powerhead) all are nitrate factories which are terrible in a reef system, but can be handled in a FOWLR. If you do ever want to go reef, then you may want to do the mods right off the bat. If you would like to know, just say. :-)
You can easily get a stock kit then. Check this out:
Aquarium Kits: JBJ Lighting 24 gallon Nano Cube Deluxe Aquarium w/FREE Nano Cube Stand
A very, very good deal. Shipping will only be $19 (I think at most), and if anything comes broken or damaged, Drs. Foster and Smith will replace it, no questions asked.
If you dont need a stand, then this is the same:
Nano Cube Reef Aquarium Kits: 6, 12 & 24 Gallon Nano Cube Aquariums
Desktop Aquarium Kits: AquaPod 12 & 24 Gallon Nano Aquarium Systems
Or even a 29:
Nano Aquarium Systems & Aquarium Kits: Oceanic BioCube Aquarium System
As to using a protein skimmer on your tank, I think this is not needed in a tank this size if you have the time to do weekly to every other week water changes.
I agree with Cody on the tank. If you're looking for something more "turn-key" then it's going to be the tank he's suggestion. Skimmers in a small tank are kind of a waste of money and waterchanges 10% will do the job if not better.
I do agrea with OneFish though, Read, reaserch and ask questions please before you even buy a dry good. You need a good handle on things before you start buying the fish and then wonder why it didn't live. You're on the right path by coming here. There are many strong aquarist here Such as Cody, Onefish, Pasfur, and SKAustin... just to name a few.
Thanks for being direct about that. I have considered doing that but to be honest I am attracted right now to the compact space the AIO offers. I already have a 40g freshwater and a 10g freshwater in my apartment. ;-)
I like that first link you sent me. That does seem to be a pretty good deal. Thanks for the links with the options.
Reef seems very tempting to me but I am nervous. If your offer to explain more in detail, or give direction to a source of reading, about the modification you mentioned I'm interested.
So, say I buy the 24G Nano Cube. What modifications would you personally make to that AIO to make it a capable machine?
I will learn before I buy. If for no other reason than saltwater fish are expensive! That is not the primary reason for me though. I enjoy keeping aquariums in my home, it is my new found hobby of the past several months. Everyone wants to be good at what they call their hobby, or at least I certainly do.
I may decide in the next couple weeks which tank to buy and then we'll get to the care of the water... then we'll talk about adding some life to the tank. I have a checklist see. :-)
I am actually looking for some material to read. I was just about to sign off after looking at your tank, which is very nice, and thought I'd ask if you wanted to suggest anything.
Is there a particular book you read about on the topic you would suggest to me?
for the most part i surf the net. i do have a book on corals though.
here are 2 pretty good reads, there is also one on lighting somewhere by kell that i cant seem to find.
i dont know if your considering a sump but they are great for adding additional water volume to a tank making it more stable.
theres lots to read up on not including stocking. like what kind of salt your going to use, how to properly mix it, how to dose/test,flow rates, sandbeds, natural filtration (consisting of sand and liverock + flow) and much much more
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