Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RandallW20 08-13-2009 04:47 PM

BioCube 29 & Marineland Eclipse 37 Tanks
I'm a current freshwater owner and I'm wanting to add a small salt tank to my collection. I'm torn at what setup to get. I'm looking at the BioCube 29 & Marineland Eclipse 37 Tanks, and I was needing some opinions from people who have used or know of these tanks.
Here's what i want to do. I want a natural looking reef setup with lots of live rock and coral that I can grow in the system without having to do alot of work on the lighting (such as switching it out). I plan on creating my live rock and corals first (as I want that to be the focus point) before adding the fish. The fish I'd like to add are your basic clown's, gobies, and jawfishes. I hope this can be done with either of these systems.

They both have pro's and con's to me.

The BioCube 29:
Pro's: It has compact florescent lighting and a "sump" type filter that I'd add live rock to instead of bio balls. 316gph built in lunar lights
Con's: A little more pricey. Its smaller. And it appears it would be hard to add stuff to; ie: protein skimmer and additional powerhead.

Eclipse 37:
Pro's: Cheaper. More water capacity. It has a Bio Wheel (I like these for freshwater, don't know how good they are for salt though). Easy to place additional equipment in.
Con's: Regular fluorescent light, no "sump" for live rock (that I know of). 250gph. No lunar lights.

Or would I be better off buying a 30 gal tank and building it all piece by piece? If so, what type of filter and lighting (except for HQI) should I look at. I'm needing to keep this reasonably cheap because the fiance is already not happy about me adding another fish tank....:roll::lol:

I do have one more request. Does anyone know if either of the systems make much noise? As I will be placeing this tank right next to the couch (I'm already hard of hearing so I dont need to crank up the tv anymore to hear over the tank)

Thanks Guys, this would be a tremendous help to me.

Pasfur 08-13-2009 06:38 PM

You don't want either of these systems. You would be much better off building this setup one piece at a time. In a reef tank you want live rock, live sand, and a protein skimmer as your filtration. The systems above do not make this an easy process at all. Without going into a long winded post, each of these systems presents unique problems that make them undesirable.

I would suggest you first work out the details of tank size and sump, then we can recommend a skimmer. You can save a lot of money by purchasing online, and I would be happy to provide you with some internet sites that i've good experience with personally.

RandallW20 08-13-2009 07:04 PM

If you dont mind, I'd love to have those sites.

Also, may I ask your opinion of what you would get for a 30gal reef on a budget?

Thank You!!!! :)

Pasfur 08-13-2009 07:54 PM

How much money do you plan to spend on the reef project?

I use Aquarium Supplies, Pet Supplies and Pond Supplies by That Fish Place - That Pet Place for almost all of my dry goods and equipment. I also have ordered 3 shipments of dry rock from and have been very happy with the quality. Within 4 months the dry rock is full of life and indistinguishable from the original live rock. These 2 sites alone will save you hundreds of dollars.

RandallW20 08-13-2009 10:16 PM

Is it possible to get a 30 gal set up with $300 or under with a build it yourself? I'm talking about just the aquarium, lights, filter, and possibly the protein skimmer. I'm not including the livestock or decor with that $300, thats additional.
I plan on doing this slow, theres a few things I want to put in the aquarium before I even add the water. Such as a rock/foam background wall.

Also, do I really need to look at getting a sump for a nano reef? I'm assuming you are referring to one of the larger sumps that go under your tank in the tank stand right?

Thanks Again! I appreciate the help.

mullinsd2 08-13-2009 11:13 PM

I would say get a sump still. The sump itself can be had for cheap, but the transferring if water to it will cost you some money. You will have to buy a return pump as well if you use a sump. It is more than worth it imo. I have saw a few reef ready tank and stand for about 300. Idk about lights.

Pasfur 08-14-2009 05:52 AM

A sump provides many benefits, but if you are honestly on a $300 budget, then the sump will probably need to be skipped, unless you can find a reef system for sale in your area on Craigs List.

If you were to skip the sump, you could pick up a used aquarium for about $30. You can build your own stand. Marine salt, test kits (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, calcium), buffers & supplements, a power head, a heater and hydrometer will set you back another $150 or so. You can order 25 pounds of dry rock for $75 on Add 5 pounds of live rock, $45. Total $300.

You have reached the $300 range without buying a protein skimmer or lighting. This is ok, because you will want to allow the system time to mature. You can hold off 4 to 6 weeks on the lighting purchase, and 2 or 3 months on purchasing a protein skimmer. The lighting and skimmer are going to be your biggest expenses, so be prepared.

Honestly, on a $300 budget you may be better doing a FOWLR aquarium.

RandallW20 08-14-2009 09:19 AM

Hmmmmm, maybe I need to look into this some more and hold off a little longer to spend more $$$

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