$400 on Tank Setup
Hey Everyone I have a budget of $400 to spend this weekend to start. I want a Saltwater Fish tank Set up! I want this for a 55 gallon though! I will be able to put another $500 in the tank in 2 weeks. But I want to start now!
Please help me putting a great tank together.
I have no idea about salt water, so please tell me what everything I need to start and prices if you have any off hands and or where to buy them would be great!
Everything in the tank will be live.
I would really appreciate any help I can get!
I am also available on AIM
You are no where near ready. You know nothing about this. You need to research for at least 5 more months.
You do realize that $400 will be enough for lights alone? I spent twice that on my 10G reef. I can't imagine what this is.
That being said, I will take the risk on my own.. Excluding Lighting, Stand, and the Tank,fish,corals. What should I start with. Remember its a small tank 55 Gallon only!
Why? I would like three good reasons as to why you are starting this without knowing anything about the hobby. I cannot stress enough how delicate a reef environment is. You CANNOT get into this without researching. Don't start this because you are impatient.
Why don't you tell us what you know anyways?
I understand that salt water tank is very sensitive and is much different and harder to maintain than fresh water. I have been around fresh water for 12 years, I have breed them I have had a great time with them and now I want to move on to Salt water.
I understand that you have been around the forum for a while and you are probably 100 times more educated on salt water tanks and fish and so on. If you want to give me some advice on filters, pumps, heaters and so forth than I would really appreciate it. Otherwise I dont wish to be hassled on why im doing this and reasons why I want to begin a saltwater tank.
You don't seem to understand that reefs are complete opposites from a FW tank.
And I don't want to offer anything when the tank is a path to failure. When I see you taking the needed steps to actually have a reef, then I can help. Better to save all the lives now.
OK buddy and that's why I am here on this forum! to ask questions and to get to know from people that are here to help one another.
Ok folks, lets find a happy medium. Obviously, Cody has his heart in the right place. We have seen this song and dance 1,000 times. It is so rare that anyone begins the hobby in this fashion and has success, that Cody is trying to save the lives of the animals that he thinks you will kill.
However, we can certainly guide you in the right direction. If you commit yourself to reading and learning, you can be successful, IF YOU ARE PATIENT!! :-)
So lets get started. The basics of a marine aquarium are live rock, a protein skimmer, and aragonite sand. The sand needs to be at least 4'' deep, or less than 1'' deep. You need between 55 and 100 pounds of live rock, depending on density. You need at minimum a large hang on protein skimmer model, such as the Coralife or Rea Sea Berlin. The skimmer should be your most expensive piece of equipment, and by far your most important. These are all non-negotiables in the marine hobby. I suggest you spend a lot of time learing the function of each so that you can make an educated buying decision.
The problem with this approach is simple. In this hobby it is not enough to know WHAT to do. You have to know WHY you are doing it. If you don't know WHY, you will quickly have a problem that you do not recognize as a problem. Without this type of knowledge, you won't even know there is something wrong to ask us about.
You also need test kits. At minimum you need ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, and calcium. You need a buffer for alkalnity and a supplement for calcium. You need to learn the relationship of pH to alkalinity and calcium and how to correctly interpret the test results and what actions to take.
You will need to learn how to recognize the stages of an aquarium as it matures, so that you can identiy problems. You need to recoginze a diatom bloom, copepods & amphipods, coraline algae, aptasia vs tube worms. You should understand the relationship of the sand bed to nitrate reduction and how it differs from the bacteria bed that cause your cycle (similar to freshwater).
You need to set up a quarantine tank and decide on quarantine procedures. Will you medicate your Q tank or use hyposalinity. Will you acclimate? How long will the fish remain in Q? This requires you to choose your fish in advance so that you can buy them at the appropriate time when Q is empty. This leads to aggression and territorial tendencies to help decide which fish to buy first. Which fish are easy to keep? Which are nearly impossible?
Will you use activated carbon? Do you have an opinion on the risks? Were you aware there are risks? How will you ground the tank? What will you feed? How will you store the frozen foods? Will your fish have special feeding requirements, such as multiple daily feedings? This could require a refugium, depending on species you select.
You know what, come to think of it, we can't find common ground. You can't just throw this tank together as you plan and make adjustments as you go along. It doesn't work that way in the marine hobby.
For the record, keep marine fish has nothing to do with freshwater. If you have a pet elephant will it help you keep a reef tank? No. Same with freshwater. They are completely different hobbies with nothing in common.
Thank You for your response. I am not wanting to jump into this, I know it will take a long time, I just wanted to know what I should begin to purchase. I just wanted to buy the correct things lighting,filters,skimmers, what is best and where to start. Is what I would like to know! Eventually I want to have a coral reef with fish and live corals. I just wanted a guideline to what to do so i know I dont over jump or skip steps and what not.
Thank You Again
Thank you for keeping this civil. The clarification is very helpful.
For your $400 I would suggest buying live rock and a protein skimmer. I would check out Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock and pick up 50 pounds of fiji dry rock. You could get the Berlin Red Sea X2 Venturi protein skimmer, a hang on, for about $200 at Aquarium Supplies, Pet Supplies and Pond Supplies by That Fish Place - That Pet Place. This will leave you $75 or so to buy the test kits I mentioned. This would be an excellent start to your project.
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