so i'm remodeling my room and doing so, i'll have to get rid of my 60 gallon freshwater aquarium. i've decided i wanted to remodel it into a saltwater reef tank. how much does it cost to do the change? Please give me any advice you can. thank you.
Im going to say around 1000-1500
Youll need Sand, Live Rock, a protein skimmer, better lighting depending on if you want corals, test kits, salt mix, powerheads, heater and PATIENCE.
It is tough to assign a cost to a tank until we know a little about you and what you are looking to do. When you say reef, do you mean Live Rock, Fish and inverts? You can also mean that you are planning on doing just softies. Or maybe you are real gung-ho and will settle for nothing short of a SPS dominant tank.
The care level and affordability are very different at the different levels.
If you are planning on just Live Rock, Fish and Inverts, then a really good protein skimmer, Live Rock and Live Sand will be your biggest costs. I would say that the AquaC Urchin Pro would be a good fit for a 60 gallon tank (I believe they sell a surface skimmer for this, Pasfur help me out...). For Rock and Sand, a lot of people on this site use Marco Rocks. You should buy about 80% of your rock dry, and leave the last 20% to be Live Rock bought at your Local Fish Store (LFS). For lights you can probably go with a twin bulb Compact Fluorescent, like the Coralife Aqualight. This should be enough to showcase a few Fish and Shrimp...
If you are going the Softies route, you will need to upgrade the lighting, probably to the Nova Extreme T5. This would leave the spectrum open to introduce a few LPS and SPS if you got the itch... you will probably want to install a sump with a refugium and an in-sump skimmer. This will also require you either drill the tank, or install a hang-on overflow.
If you go SPS dominant (which I wouldn't suggest until you get a good amount of experience in saltwater care), then you would upgrade the light then again to Metal Halide, or any other gas discharge lamp.
Either way, we will need to know what your plans on stocking are, and the overall direction of the tank to give you more precise info...
I was planning on a reef tank. anemone's, 2 clown fish, a dwarf angel, those neone blue cleaner wrasses, ect.
I know the filter/protein skimmer is $200.
I ask what the tank is because cost is different. Lights are more expensive, you want a better skimmer if you have no sump and inverts and corals add to the cost of the system.
When do you plan on dismantling the FW tank and starting the SW tank? You will need some time for the system to mature as a small cycle might happen, but more importantly, other certain stages come and pass. First, you will want Ammonia and Nitrite to reach 0. Next, as Nitrate first rises than starts to fall, a Diatom Bloom will begin. This will look like rust colored algae covering the sand and rocks. After that you will see the presence of microfauna on the glass, such as copepods and amphipods. The former of the two look like fleas, and the latter look like miniature shrimp. If at this time the Alkalinity and Calcium have stabalized (Alkalinity should be between 8-12 dKH and the Calcium should be between 400-450), then you can add your first fish.
With this stocking list, I think the "Neon Blue Cleaner Wrasses" might be "Neon Blue Cleaner Gobies". My reccommendation would be the Gobies, The Clownfish and then the Dwarf Angel. If they are indeed Cleaner Wrasse, I might switch the order of them and the clowns. Quaratine each fish for an appropriate period of time before adding to the Dsiplay. And what do you mean by "etc?"
As far as the anenome goes, this may take some time for you. You will want to become experienced is Marine Husbandry, and have steady Alkalinity and Calcium readings for at least a year.
If you take this step-by-step, we shouldn't have a problem getting you set up...
It'll be another 3 weeks before i can even start this, but im gonna make a list over the next few days of what i want in the tank. i'll post it on here asap. thanks.
I'm planning on
Green Chromis X5
Ocellaris Clownfish X2
Pink Tip Anemone X1
Flame angelfish X1
Neon Goby X3
Pajama Cardinal X3
Regal Tang X1
Emerald Crab X2
Cleaner shrimp X2
dwarf seahorse X3
and maybe some snails.
How does that sound? i intend to take things VERY slow. I'll have to if i'm gonna afford these fish.
any suggestion on the starfish?
I found out today, its gonna be 2 months before i even take the fw tank apart. :/
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