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pretzelsz 06-03-2010 05:36 PM

Is It Smart To Downgrade In My Case?
I have a 55 gallon tank with just a skimmer and a power head(circulating the salt mix) and I am wondering if it would be smart to downgrade the tank since I don't have the $800 I need to start it(light and rock i have everything else I would possibly need. I was thinking to like a 20-30 gallon tank so the lighting i need would be cheaper than $400....and the live rock to start it would be only $150 compared to $400 right now.

Is it a smart idea to downgrade to a 20-30 gallon tank?

Could I use the 55 gallon as a quarantine(probably half full with the sponge filter)?

How much would lighting cost for it?(I want Zoas, Hammers, mushrooms, maybe others when I see them)

Would I be able to have Jawfish, 2 clownfish, and a blenny or firefish?

And don't worry I have all the test kits I need, 80 pounds of sand, 60 pounds of dry rock(prob use 20 at most over the amount of time), Power head, Protein skimmer, a heater(I would keep it in the 55 gallon and use the tank as quarantine and then turn it into a fresh water), and a bunch of other stuff.

Anything I missed please point out to me and I know the difficulty of this like water evaporation and I am ready for the work.

bearwithfish 06-03-2010 07:26 PM

this is really up to you .. keep in mind that you can build the 55 slowly and you dont have to do it all at once... get some rock (not all of it).. wait a bit.. get some more... etc... just take it easy and slow.. however if yo want instant results and can afford to do it all at once go for the down grade.. IMHO you will be happier with the 55 done at a slower rate.. it keeps the interest high and yo have the ability to change pans a little as you see it all come together....

pretzelsz 06-03-2010 08:24 PM

Yes I might be happier with the 55 gallon but I need $400 for the lights alone and I don't get alot since I do not have a job(Highschool) If I can just get like a link to a light system able to handle the corals maybe some extra watts(260ish is the $400 one) for less maybe. From all my reading I didn't know I could add more every once in awhile(before adding fish I take it) but it would be like $100 for 1 pounds and that takes me like 3 weeks to get(more acually 30 a week maybe more). So if that would work but I am leaning towards the smaller tank but if that works then I'll think about it.

trukgirl 06-03-2010 08:52 PM

If you're in High School, can your Dad or someone else you trust help you DIY some lighting??

My Hubby and I are slowly, slowly getting the live rock in our 65g.

We are going to DIY our lighting using some parts from Lowe's.... shouldn't even cost $50-60! We have 1 - 32" T8 light right now, and going to build our own 2-bulb T5 fixture. The biggest cost will be the bulbs themselves! Then you can get LED's for moon lights from all kinds of places! If we eventually need to install a cooling fan, we can wire in one of those as well. Its really pretty easy for someone that knows how to do it!! (AND CHEAP!!!)

I know I am new to saltwater as well, but I have kept fish for years. Every tank I've had I always wished I had a bigger one instead! I don't think I could ever downgrade, LOL. Even if it takes me a year to get all the live rock in there, I think it will be worth the wait. I started it up pretty fast because I super-bargain-shopped for all the starting equipment.

pretzelsz 06-03-2010 09:02 PM

I would have to look into how to make the light and the cost of the bulbs. that sounds good because i could start building really fast and my Father will know how to make it and wire it. Any links?

also how long can i wait in between putting in live rock?

thank you

trukgirl 06-03-2010 09:19 PM

I'm not sure how long you're "supposed" to wait in between putting in live rock, I've just been putting a rock or two in every payday. (every 2 wks) Its working fine!

I don't have any DIY lighting links on hand... look in the DIY section here, and Reef Central's DIY section. Google DIY reef lighting as well, it will come up with all kinds of stuff. (my hubby just knows how to do it without plans, he is EXTREMELY handy!)

trukgirl 06-03-2010 09:26 PM

Also if you were curious about my tank, look at this thread.

pretzelsz 06-03-2010 09:33 PM

thank you I will check it out this has helped me alot and I will keep the 55 gallon going.

trukgirl 06-03-2010 09:39 PM

Yeah if I even thought about paying $400 for lighting I think I would just FAINT!

I think you will be much happier keeping the 55g. :)

outpost 06-04-2010 12:24 PM

You don't need $400 dollars for lights. Check out they have some good stuff. You could get a MH fixture for about $200 that would fit the tank and let you grow any type of coral. The only thing you would be paying more for on the $400 dollar light is a name.
Also 60 lbs of dry rock would be fine for the 55. Aquascapes look a lot better when you don't have a solid rock wall. That's the ugliest thing ever. If yu keep the aquascape open and let the coral fill in the spaces it would look great and your fish will have a lot more swimming space .
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