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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I have two tanks full of fish already, a 10g and a 20g, both completely freshwater, and down the road, when I'm in a bigger place and not having to deal with a restrictive lease agreement, I would like to get a third tank, but not sure what I would like to do with it. Right now I have four options: Make it another freshwater, either tropical or subtropical, or try something new, which would be either brackish, saltwater or something different all together like say turtles or bearded dragons. It probably won't be until about a year or two, yet since it's never too early to do your homework, and this is the saltwater section, I might as well ask my questions now:

1. Is there a tank minimum? Like for example can a 10g tank be used for a saltwater tank or is 50g the lowest you can go?
2. Is it something that can be done on a small, or tight, budget?
3. What would be the best critters for a beginner, both fish and invertebrate? And which ones are easy on the wallet and won't cost half as much as my rent just to buy one or two
4. What's the best minimal setup for one? Mainly equipment and decorations?

For those who would answer the questions and give good enough advice without jumping down my throat, thank you. As for a quick overview about the questions, especially the last one, the kind if critters I'm looking for will be for a community type tank, meaning that I don't want anybody to become a meal for another, and for decorations, I try to keep it minimal at best. The main decoration would be live plants, since they are more useful then fake ones, and any other decoration would be pots, rocks, things that would be used for a hiding place for any critter needing one.
While I'm approaching 20 years of experience in this hobby, it's all mainly freshwater, with about a year, year and a half, spent on raising amphibians in a small tank, I don't want to jump into anything that's going to end up being more trouble then it's worth. Plus my main concern is when I clean out the tanks, is that when I refurnish the water, I end up accidentally putting fresh saltwater in my freshwater tank and freshwater into the saltwater tank, and making a huge mess.
Anyway, like I said, this probably won't take place for quite some time, so please don't make it sound like a rush job.
 

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1: No but in general larger volumes of water are much more stable as far as parameters go. I usually would recommend 20 gallons or larger.

2: It would be dependent on What would be a "Tight" budget. But I would say not unless there is a inexpensive second hand turn key setup without too many passed on problems,a large amount of patience with much research and some DIY ability, or you have a friend in the hobby to pass down equipment and knowledge.

3: Damsels and hermit crabs are the go to animals for a hardy disposition,some of the psuedochromis are tough and not too expensive.Many of these fish can become problematic in a smaller tank unless tank mates are chosen wisely but you want to keep stocking at a minimum anyways.

4: I would say a all in one such as a bio cube type or aqua medic. If you put together one yourself you will want to always overshoot the filter by roughly twice of the claimed filtration, like running a 55 gallon filter on a 29 gallon tank and running a circulation pump.Good live rock is you friend and if you can get a sump do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tight budget as in have enough for bills and barely enough groceries, (and who doesn't these days), yet I don't want to break the bank by buying fish. Anyway, is there any big difference in keeping a saltwater tank running when compared to a freshwater tank? And where would be the best place to find a place to find saltwater fish? Since Walmart never seems to sell saltwater fish, nearly dead or alive, although the same can be said about any fish, and I'm not sure if PetSmart or Petco would carry them, and when compared to freshwater, a pain in the butt to find in a small city.
 

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Many places can order things in for you if you are interested. I know many petco stores carry saltwater animals but of what quality tou will have to see. Make sure to see them being fed and eating in the store and quarantine your new arrivals.

Don't forget that you will need a means to measure the salt content and to purchase marine salt for all your water changes. As far as being more difficult that fresh water, generally speaking , yes salt water presents different methods and can become as complex as you want it anemones, corals and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right now the best solution for me is ordering online through either Petsolutions or LiveAquaria because the nearest PetSmart and Petco are at least a couple of hours away. Anyway, if I want to do a tank that has both fish and inverts, what would be a good mix. Live rocks and coral I might do, but only time would tell what were to happen in the future.
 

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There are a few hardy inverts,I usually recommend types of hermits as there are many types available that leave fish alone. Emerald crabs are another good one,maybe a coral banded shrimp or sally lite foot crab.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Like I said, it won't be until about a year or two before I start for the third tank, and by then, I should be able to figure out which direction I would like to go.
 
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