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  1. #1
    Senior Member nbreau's Avatar
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    Reef Tank on a Budget

    Does anybody have any advice for those looking at jumping into the reef keeping hobby without breaking the bank ? I'm looking at setting up a 54 or 67 gallon 36 inch wide tank and was wondering what you all suggest for hardware.... so far I've figured that it'll probably be cheaper to build my own stand and use a sump with built in filter media....  anybody else got any tips or suggestions ? I've also been watching for a used tank for about 2 months now with no success...

    thanks,
    Nick.
    ======================
    sold the 77gallon back in 2005, looking to setup a nano

  2. #2
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    Reflecting on my previous 6 months of keeping a marine tank, the biggest money waste comes from buying bad, inadequate, and/or unnecessary equipment that you regret buying in the first place. You could save a little money by building things yourself, but you could save a lot by buying the right equipment, by doing a lot of reading and research.

    Oh, and for that built-in media in the sump, I'd leave that out. It will become a detrius trap and cause nitrate to accumulate in the tank water. Just let live rocks and your protein skimmer do the filtration.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

  3. #3
    ijo
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    A few points to consider when starting a new marine setup:
    [list][*]Build your own stand and canopy (plan for MH in your canopy)[*]Go with a Workhorse 7 ballast for Lighting (You'll be able to add MH to this when you decide to house more light demanding corals)[*]Don't skimp on tank size, you'll end up buying what you really wanted in the first place later on (90 gallon is a good start)[*]If your looking for live sand, purchase 1 pound of live sand per 10 gallons... of water... fill the rest with whatever else you want.[*]Purchase base rock instead of liverock and seed it with a few pounds per 10 gallons of liverock.[*]The skimmer can wait till the 6-8 month mark[*]Buy your aquarium predrilled.[*]Go with a sump... [*]Stay away from additives that claim to help your tank cycle.[*]No need to buy everything at once... take your time.. let the tank mature on its own.[*]READ READ READ.. mistakes cost you money and this hobby is not cheap [/list:u]

    Hope this helps.

    IJO

  4. #4
    Senior Member nbreau's Avatar
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    A couple of questions....

    1 - If using live rock for filtration, would a skimmer be needed before the 6-8 month period ? Is 1-1.5lbs/gallon a suitable amount or rock to take care of all filtration needs ?

    2 - Is a pump required to get the water down to the sump or could plain old reliable gravity be used ?
    ======================
    sold the 77gallon back in 2005, looking to setup a nano

  5. #5
    ijo
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    1.5 should be fine... The sump is also a filter... you pump the water from your sump to the tank, the water will reach the overflow and gravity will let the water fall back into the sump.  The water gets filtered as it goes through the various chambers of the sump(this is where you could add your filter media, heaters, liverock, refugium etc etc).

    IJO

  6. #6
    ijo
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    On the skimmer questions... in my opinion. Since a skimmer removes organic waste and other inpurities from the water, you wouldn't need one until your tank has matured.  Others may think different.. but to me it would be like filtering clean water.  If you take your time adding livestock to your aquarium... the skimmer can wait.

    IJO


  7. #7
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    Re: Reef Tank on a Budget

    I agree with IJO about the skimmer.  Take the months without a skimmer to save up for a good one.  They're worth every penny you put into it.  You also IMO won't need 1.5 pounds of LR per gallon is you are combining base rock.  base Rock is cheap and can be seeded with good LR.  Go 50/50 base rock to LR.  It may take a bit longer to get the rock wall looking the way you want it, but that time will fly by.  I would just add simple additives to the tank in the first while, like Stontium, iodine, and calcium.  that should get your macro algae growing for you.  See if you can get some really developed LR full of coraline algae from someone.  Place this in a high current part of your rock wall, and the spores will spread through the tank.  Good Luck.  

    Just don't get ahead of yourself.  take your time, and stay on budget.  I think even an empty tank with LR is beautiful.

    Good Luck
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

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