Questions on beginning a reef tank

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Discuss all topics related to saltwater / reef tanks.

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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:15 pm

Questions on beginning a reef tank

by adamcore

Being new to anything dealing with reef tanks, I have a couple of questions. On a students budget what type of equipment do I -need- to buy to begin a small reef setting in a 30 gallon tank? Any particular filter that isn't too expensive I should be looking at, protein skimmer, etc... And how do you actually start putting together a reef? I have a local fish store that has a really big section for saltwater fish and they sell corals by the fingers.

thanks a lot. :)

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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:45 am

by jweb

Well, if you tell me exactly how much money your talking about spending I might be able to help you out a little better. I don't think there is such a thing as a cheap reef tank. Everything about them is expensive. If you really get into it nothing can stop you from spending money on it either. It's an addictive hobby and not for the poor man. However, I am a student as well and don't even have a job. The money I invest is mainly scholarship money and such. For a decent setup on a 30 gallon your looking at around $300 atleast (bare minimum) for your lights, filter, etc, etc.

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by puffedupseagull


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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:12 pm

by newbie916

I would agree with the guys. Look on craigslist for a good deal. Search under reef, saltwater, corals, nano tanks, bio cubes, etc. I found a 29 gallon with MH lights, Live rock, fish, anenomes, and corals for $425. Without the corals I could have gotten it for $300, but the corals alone were worth over $1,000 in the LFS. You could always post what you find and ask us to take a look.

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by blueshoes2208

my answer.....ebay....... bought my remora pro, which IMO works great and needs no sump, for about half the cost of a brand new one, plus AquaC has the BEST customer service hands down, and i bought my brand new FX5 for 200, which at the time they were going for 300. My lighting is the best deal though, they still have them too, i bought the oddessyea (sp?) 380 watt pc/ mh combo with 4 led moon lights and a fan for like idk 250 or something, in which name brand from marine depot would be like 700............ heres a link to a light that would do good for you, just something to htink about ... 7C294%3A50

alot of people are anti-pc lighitng so this has T5 and then the MH combo....

other words of advice, unless youre jumping right into sps or lps, my kent salt, which is really cheap, worked just fine, i just recently switched over to red sea coral pro.

Take your time, set up is arguably the most important step......... i set up my tank in aug of 08', didnt have a single fish until december of 08', didnt have a single coral until february or so. Just get down the rutine (sp????) of water changes, watching your levels... yatta yatta yatta.

Ill give advise on the budget but i would ask boss, fihsboy or puffedupseagull on set up.... theyre still 1000X more knowledgable than me

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by fihsboy

agreed with blue. I too am a student like him and you. paying for college with a part time job and having a reef tank at the same time is very tough. But very rewarding. I bought everything I have now used. EVERYTHING. Thats the only way to do it. I bought tank stand canopy filter powerheads and overflow for 50 bucks......spent 250 on lighting......60 on a good skimmer.......20 on an auto top off.........100 on rock..........40 or sand.....So about 600 after water etc etc. Thats squeezing your pennies though. And take your time. :) Nothing good happens fast.

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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:22 am

by saltwaterpimp

"It's an addictive hobby and not for the poor man" Not true...But money does help for all the bells and whistles..There is DIY project everywhere covering every aspect of reef keeping, could save you hundreds of dollars , If thats not your cup of tea, i would defanitly look into craigslist for a bio cube ect, +1 to take your time.

Questions on beginning a reef tank

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