new 60 gallon tank..NEW
hi there everyone... i am competely new to saltwater... i have a 30g cichlid tank but when it comes to saltwater im a rookie.
i have a 60 gallon tank and planned to have aFOWLR set up.
please... any hints or tips that i may need and whats the basic equipment.. i have a pretty low budget.. so no extreme wild set ups
If i were you i would do a lot of reading and checking out others build threads here and on the net and get a lot of books. Get as much info befor you jump into it. I would hate to see you wast alot of time and money. All i could say is good luck I hope the best.... Dont get me wrong we just dont want to see you loose your walet to a tank. lol
Saltwater is NOTHING like freshwater. You say your budget is pretty small, how small? You will need at least 60lbs of rock, a skimmer, pumps, lighting, sand. Not sure if this is a must but you may or may not need a reverse osmosis unit. These are costly in my opinion, but what may be costly to me may not be costly to you. There are some very experienced people on here, wait for them to give you some very helpful advice. If you are serious about starting a saltwater tank, I'd start doing a lot of reading.
A 60 gallon tank can make a nice beginner size, so long as you are aware of the limits of your system. 60 gallons is small by marine standards, so realize that most fish which you see at the LFS are not going to be options for you. You will need to restrict yourself to fish with an adult size of 6'' or less, and at the same time take behavior into consideration.
As for equipment, the tank does not have to be overly expensive, but there are common traits for all marine systems that you will need to be successful. Your filtration system will consist of a protein skimmer, live rock, and aragonite sand. For more information on this filtration method, as compared to what you have used previously on freshwater systems, check out this link: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...shwater-31955/
For a 60 gallon tank, assuming you go fish-only for your first attempt at saltwater, here are some basic options. For a protein skimmer to cut back on costs, I would consider a hang on skimmer. The AquaC Remora is the best option for this purpose. It will cost you about $250 mail order, including skimmer and prefilter box:
AquaC Remora Pro Protein Skimmer with Rio 1400 Pump
AquaC Surface Prefilter Box
Trust me, $250 is NOT a lot of money. The skimmer is BY FAR the more important piece of equipment you will have on your tank. If you are not willing to spend $250 on a skimmer, then just forget about saltwater. If you read the article above on marine filtration systems, then you understand how important it is to have a high quality protein skimmer.
Moving on to live rock. This is an area where a lot of people become intimidated because the price of the live rock at the LFS is extremely high. You only need to "seed" the tank with actual live rock. The rest can be dry rock. I purchase my dry rock from 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. You can order 40 pounds of dry rock and 40 pounds of aragonite sand for $109. You will need 2 times this amount for a 60 gallon tank, meaning 80 pounds of dry rock and 80 pounds of sand. This rock will quickly become "live" when you place it into your aquarium, seeded with about 10 pounds of live rock from the LFS. Lets assume $80 on live rock + $218 dry rock & sand = $289 total on rock and sand.
So, you have about $540 to spend on the guts of your system. This isn't much money at all for a marine conversion and you will have a VERY good setup that is capable of providing an outstanding life support system to your marine livestock. You will obviously have some small add ons, such as salt mix, test kits, etc. But the actual filtration system will be complete.
Also, you may have a few pieces of freshwater equipment that we can use. The filtration system will be 100% USELESS, but we may be able to use some power heads or hang on filters simply for the purpose of water movement, which is extremely important in a marine system. Your heater may also be adequate. Also, the lighting can be used for now, until such times as you decide to add corals to the tank.
^ Not to go against what Pasfur says, but a skimmer really depends on the quality of the product, not just the price -- though another thought is that the price wouldn't be that high if the quality wasn't great either. ehh I think all in all, just becareful of what you buy and remember that there's never such a thing as over-filtration
But trust me, if you have a low budget it'll not be worth it purchasing equipment that will eventually hurt more than help.
I have a 30 gallon biocube, and my spending has already cost me over 700 dollars. This is live stock, premixed water (since it's my 1st fill), live rock, live sand (though I have 1 extra 20 lb bag at home), protein skimmer, and power head.
and my tank is 1/2 the size of your projected tank. It's already gone over my budget of the projected 500 bucks and it's now even heading closer to 800 as we speak.
This is all on only a 30 gallon tank. Of course if you're buying a standard size tank the cost might be offset by a little, but even then for a large tank you'll need a large sump. I do hope, in all honesty, that you can put as much money into your tank as possible if you're going to get something large. I'm thinking with a 55-60 gallon tank, you're going to need at least a 30-40 gallon sump if you're doing overflow.
There's a lot to think about too, with a sump with a skimmer, refugium, etc it was just overwhelming -- do a bit more research and then probably come up with a plan of attack to get all the parts you need before you fill with live stock. you can always get live rock, live sand, tank 1st, and wait a bit to gather live stock and other stuff since you can cycle your tank without much money -- when you decide to get fish and other live stock, you should have replenished partially what you've spent and you can estimate how much you can invest in your setup.
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