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Is it possible?


pillow

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Can you have a nice saltwater tank without spending a lot of money? I'm not asking about a SPS or LPS tank, or a tank full of beautiful, exotic, espsensive fish, just a small (10-20g) FOWLR with maybe a few soft corals and simple fish and clean-up crew.

 

Every time I try to price one it escalates to the $400-$500 range, and frankly, I'm not able to do that.

 

Barring some miraculous classified ad, do I have any hope?

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Can you have a nice saltwater tank without spending a lot of money? I'm not asking about a SPS or LPS tank, or a tank full of beautiful, exotic, espsensive fish, just a small (10-20g) FOWLR with maybe a few soft corals and simple fish and clean-up crew.

 

Every time I try to price one it escalates to the $400-$500 range, and frankly, I'm not able to do that.

 

Barring some miraculous classified ad, do I have any hope?

Possibly.....but inevitably its going to get expensive.....

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most people sell liverock on here for dirt cheap like 2-5 $ per pound ... they also sell equipment light , frags etc but I am not trying to be rude if you don't have a lot of money right now I wouldn't start up a tank ,... a lot of unexpected things and costs can pop up and if you are on a limited budget you may not be able to afford it . I was in the same boat as you when i wanted to start my tank I wanted to spend only 500$ but by the time i priced everything out it wasn't going to be that cheap. My budget fell through and now that I have some more $ I can easily say I have invested easily 1500$ into my tank

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Well, honestly, it's not that I can't do it - I just don't want to. I'm honestly not comfortable spending that much money on something which really won't do anything but look good or help me relax. It's kind of hard to spend that much on a want, not a need.

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Honestly.... any "good" nano will wind up as a thousand dollar box of water in a years time or less.

More with upgades and week to week upkeep. Regardless if its an all in one 12 gallon or a 30 gallon "DIY" job.

 

Be willing to accept that or stick to FW.

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Its going to Add up eventually, just like any hobbie it pays off, knowing that everything in that tank is living.

kinda still weirds me out. all in all if your looking at 25 gallons or less you wont spend 400, eventually yes.. i would say by month 3 when everything is cycling. but if you look at it that way.. thats like 130 every month..

i know friends that spends that much on drinks alone in one night.

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Honestly.... any "good" nano will wind up as a thousand dollar box of water in a years time or less.

More with upgades and week to week upkeep. Regardless if its an all in one 12 gallon or a 30 gallon "DIY" job.

 

Be willing to accept that or stick to FW.

 

...but not FW planted tanks. I've easily put a thousand bucks into a FW planted tank.

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I have a 12 gallon Eclipse system that I set up as a FOLWR. It is completely stock, and all that I have done to it is remove the biowheel because they are supposed to be nitrate factories. I already had the tank/filter combo, so that made it a little cheaper, but I would think that you could probably find a used one for a reasonable price. You would have to upgrade the lighting in order to keep any corals, but it is fine for fish and a cuc.

 

It ended up costing (to date):

20lbs live sand- $30

10lbs live rock- $40

heater- $20

API test kit- $30

hydrometer- $7

salt- $13

distilled water- $.64 per gallon

new filters- $10 (for 3)

mag-float- $8

in-tank fuge- $5 (a $3 soap holder for a shower and a $2 piece of chaeto)

fish food- $20 (I really like varying foods so I get almost every kind that I can)

CUC of 4 hermits, one cerith and one margarita snail- $15

 

So I have spent a little under $200 so far and I am planning on spending another $40 or so for fish once the tank is fully matured. I may eventually upgrade some of the tank, but I am happy with what I have now. Some of the extras like a protein skimmer and uv sterilizer are really nice, but I am not convinced that they are required unless you get really lazy with water changes or overstock the tank.

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Softies are generally cheaper by a lot! Try get those huge species, and you need just 2-3 corals. Hairy mushroom, toadstool leather are good choices. To cover the bare spots, use xenia and green star polyps as fillers.

 

Fish-wise, stick with damsels. They are hardy and extremely adaptable to any condition. And they are CUTE!

 

Since softies don't need the high-end lightings, just some normal PC lights will do.

 

FLow-wise, a simple cheapo powerhead in the corner generating low flow is more than sufficient for your softies.

 

Heck, you don't even need aquaclear hob with the chaeto. Just go natural, I've been running my tanks through natural filtration for 6 months plus without a hic-cup. Just make sure your corals are compatible and the bio-load is not exceeded. Ya, don't go for the deep sand look. You will regret in 3 months time. Just a fine layer will do. Get some carbon to hang in a corner of the tank if you need extra help in removing nutrients. That won't cost much.

 

This setup can be done within 500 bucks. The only real expenses I can think of are the salt, the ro/di water which I afraid you gotta go for the best in the market.

 

Really, you can have a nice-looking reef without buying tonnes of expensive corals. It's how you aquascape which determines the look of your reef.

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very true ^ what epic fish said ... or a discus tank ... 50$ a piece x6 = 300$ ... 55 gallon starter kit 300$ .... assorted plants and drift wood easily = 200$ other fish and ebo jager heater = 150-200$ right there you have a thousand dollars without amazing lights for higher light plants and without the extra cost of food, python other filter etc. That is what I invested into my fw tank + at least a few hunndred more lmao ... the addiction is so expensive :D

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Honestly.... any "good" nano will wind up as a thousand dollar box of water in a years time or less.

More with upgades and week to week upkeep. Regardless if its an all in one 12 gallon or a 30 gallon "DIY" job.

 

Be willing to accept that or stick to FW.

 

I had a 75 gallon planted discus tank that I easily had $1500 in by the end of its first year of operation, and I got the tank for free! FW isn't always cheaper than SW, it just depends on what all you put in them.

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Its going to Add up eventually, just like any hobbie it pays off, .

 

 

Just one comment on the "cost" of the hobby as a whole... I have had not one but literally over a dozen reefers stand over my tank and say the same exact words verbetum "it is so worth it, isnt it" .

Not kidding, not one or three people spoke those same exact words, but that many more. The key point is that all of them are fellow reef keepers.

 

These are people that have for the most part known what trials (and costs) our reef has suffered in addition to their own experience to be standing in front of such a pretty box of water. .......my only response has been "yep"

 

 

 

 

 

I had a 75 gallon planted discus tank that I easily had $1500 in by the end of its first year of operation, and I got the tank for free! FW isn't always cheaper than SW, it just depends on what all you put in them.

 

 

OK.. discus keeping can be one of the few exceptions to FW costs in general being less than SW.

 

...but that was not a nano discus system...lol.

 

:P

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in-tank fuge- $5 (a $3 soap holder for a shower and a $2 piece of chaeto)

 

 

DUDE!! very good ideal.. where did you get this $3 dolla soap holder? and what does it look like?

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in-tank fuge- $5 (a $3 soap holder for a shower and a $2 piece of chaeto)

DUDE!! very good ideal.. where did you get this $3 dolla soap holder? and what does it look like?

 

I got the soap holder at Target. It is clear plastic rectangular box with holes drilled on the front and the bottom and two suction cups on the back, and then I drilled a few on the sides just to get more flow. They were a little hard to find (they were by the home improvements section, instead of the bath section which would of made more sense to me). I directed the output of the filter to go over the box so it would be getting enough flow, and I mounted it in the front of the tank so that it would get more light (directly under the Eclipse lighting). It is a bit of a eye sore, but if the chaeto does its job I won't have a problem with it. I think that it is going to work okay, but it has only been in the tank for a few days so I'll just have to wait and see.

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If you go with all new stuff, this is about as cheap as it gets:

 

10 gal standard glass tank - $10

AC 20 HOB filter - $25

Mini Jet powerhead - $15

40w Satalte PC - $60

50 watt heater-$15

glass thermometer - $3

Test kit - $30

Hydrometer - $10

Salt mix - $15

Distilled water - .75/gal X 10 = $7.5

10lb agralive sand - $15

10lb cheap LR @ $5/lb - $50

CUC - $15

A few small frags of zoas, mushrooms, softies - $50

1 yellowtailed damsel -$5

 

Total - $460.50

 

Of course used systems are readily available, but its all the little stuff that you MUST buy to maintain the system that cost over the long haul.

 

BTW anyone interested in the soap dish fuge, take a look at this: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;hl=soap+dish

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but its all the little stuff that you MUST buy to maintain the system that cost over the long haul.

 

Yeah. That's what worries me.

 

That and vacations. Every now and then we go on looong vacations, like 2-3 weeks, and I don't know how a SW Nano would stand up for that long. And I can't ask people to come into my home and do anything.

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Well, I'd say that you can definitely do a small sw tank on the cheap, as long as you're patient and willing to compromise a bit.

 

First things first, join a local reef club if you haven't already. You'll get lots of stuff for free usually from helpful members, and people are usually willing to give away beginner frags like xeni, gsp, kenya trees, etc. You can return the favor months later by giving away frags when yours grow out.

 

Look through enough classifieds on your reef club forum or craigslist and you'll eventually stumble on a killer deal for a complete setup.

 

Keep everything simple and it shouldn't cost too much, and if you keep your costs down initially you'll have money left over to pay for the ongoing costs of the tank.

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Yeah. That's what worries me.

 

That and vacations. Every now and then we go on looong vacations, like 2-3 weeks, and I don't know how a SW Nano would stand up for that long. And I can't ask people to come into my home and do anything.

 

 

Ultimately... this hobby as AWESOME as it is... isn't for everyone. It requires commitment.

 

Time and Financial. If it where easy and cheap - everyone would have one and it wouldn't be nearly as interesting as it is.

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For me its always the lighting that kills me.

 

If you go with all new stuff, this is about as cheap as it gets:

 

10 gal standard glass tank - $10

AC 20 HOB filter - $25

Mini Jet powerhead - $15

40w Satalte PC - $60

50 watt heater-$15

glass thermometer - $3

Test kit - $30

Hydrometer - $10

Salt mix - $15

Distilled water - .75/gal X 10 = $7.5

10lb agralive sand - $15

10lb cheap LR @ $5/lb - $50

CUC - $15

A few small frags of zoas, mushrooms, softies - $50

1 yellowtailed damsel -$5

 

Total - $460.50

 

Of course used systems are readily available, but its all the little stuff that you MUST buy to maintain the system that cost over the long haul.

 

BTW anyone interested in the soap dish fuge, take a look at this: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...mp;hl=soap+dish

 

When I added that up it was only 325.5

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travisurfer

keep checking craigslist for used setups or rock, or buy new

10g tank: $10 at wallyworld

150gph powerhead: $15 online

whisper 10: $15

25w heater: $15

40w satellite: $60

sandwich bag of sand from the lfs: free

8-10lbs of liverock @ $7 a lb: ~ $65

total before stocking: $180

 

but then you need to buy testing supplies, saltwater, a thermometer, cuc, your fish, any corals, fish food, and other miscellaneous crap. even if you try, this hobby just isn't cheap.

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keep checking craigslist for used setups or rock, or buy new

10g tank: $10 at wallyworld

150gph powerhead: $15 online

whisper 10: $15

25w heater: $15

40w satellite: $60

sandwich bag of sand from the lfs: free

8-10lbs of liverock @ $7 a lb: ~ $65

total before stocking: $180

 

but then you need to buy testing supplies, saltwater, a thermometer, cuc, your fish, any corals, fish food, and other miscellaneous crap. even if you try, this hobby just isn't cheap.

 

Wow, I'm liking that setup. I could convert the Whisper to a fuge, right?

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