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Brand new to Fish in general, much help needed with setup


mrbutter27

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Hi,

 

I'm new and just recently ventured into this hobby that i did not even know existed. Everytime i saw fish i always tapped the glass and found it kind of chilling as it established a connection in my brain with my horrid dental experiences. Anyway, i started reading into it and it is truly fascinating. My gf keeps telling me to hint at what i want for my bday coming up in a few days so i decided maybe a nano setup or some sort of aquarium setup. Im definitely going to buy one.

 

I did basic readings and read much of the stickies but istill have lots of unanswered questions.

 

1) First off, how much of a price difference is there in the wallet between different tank sizes? If you're running a 20 gal or a 24g Nano cube vs a 60 gallon, how much more money are you spending on things monthly for maintenance? I don't even know what it would be other than water, salt and food. Anything I'm missing?

(Keep in mind less than 24 hours ago I was against keeping fish because i thought you had to drain the entire 20 gallons of water and refill it every week haha)

 

2) I've also read differences between freshwater and saltwater and from what i can understand, saltwater is marginally more expensive cause it requires extra parts like a powerhead, salt, and a protein skimmer but other than that, it is generally the same? more options i think in terms of live fish and invertebrates though.

 

 

3) Are there any health risks to owning an aquarium? I never thought of this but as i was readin the seahorse guide i saw that some carry parasites and stuff. I do not want ANYTHING to do with parasites or anything that can cause me to get sick. Part of the reason why im looking intot th ehobby is because im sick at home for a while and need something to do. Definitely dont want to contract something.

 

4) As someone who never owned fish ever, what are the pros and cons of owning a 20-24g, 40g, or 60g tank? I'm asking because i found a few great deals on craigslist but i do not know what i'm looking for and do not want to venture into something and throw a whole bunch of $ into it. Basically the 20-24g tanks come with everything including the protein skimmers, etc. ready for salt water. The 40g is afreshwater setup and the 60g is a freshwater setup but also has gravel, 2 filters, rocks and stuff.

 

5) How hard is it to keep a tank with corals, some seahorses and a few fish and starfish or something? Tank requirement?

 

Im so overwhelmed by all the info out there. I'm doing the best i can but im pressed for time to make a decision. Any help appreciated!

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This is gonna be a quick answer, but it might be helpful.

If you could post links to the craigslist listings we could tell you if they're good or not.

Don't keep seahorses, they're difficult.

Your biggest cost is likely to be Live Rock in starting it up, and the lighting.

Live Rock and lighting are significantly more expensive the larger the tank is, so keep that in mind.

DO NOT give in to the temptation to skimp on lighting-- you will regret it and upgrade as soon as it really sinks in what you've done, which will cost more in the long run.

24g nanocubes and 40 Breeder tanks are good options.

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This is gonna be a quick answer, but it might be helpful.

If you could post links to the craigslist listings we could tell you if they're good or not.

Don't keep seahorses, they're difficult.

Your biggest cost is likely to be Live Rock in starting it up, and the lighting.

Live Rock and lighting are significantly more expensive the larger the tank is, so keep that in mind.

DO NOT give in to the temptation to skimp on lighting-- you will regret it and upgrade as soon as it really sinks in what you've done, which will cost more in the long run.

24g nanocubes and 40 Breeder tanks are good options.

 

Thanks for the advice. I dont have access to the ad right now it's bookmarked on the other compu but basically what it said was its a 60 gallon long tank, has a 250 watt heater, 60 pounds of river gravel, ABS piping and rocks, lights with brand new bulb, a 450 emperor w/biowheel + 330 penguin w biowheel , a bubbler, oakstand, net and medicines.

 

Then there's a 40gal tank that just looks really clean with a built in stand made of wood and has room for filters and whatnot. It has a filter/light hood combo and a canister filter.

I really dont know what this means.

 

Finally the 24g is an aquapod standard in like new condition but for about $150. throwing in a net.

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Not sure if that's a good price on the Aquapod, but it's a good starter aquarium.

 

Odds are extremely high that the only things you would practically be able to use on the other setups are the tanks, stands, heaters and nets.

Unless you live in SoCal, the lighting that is sold with craigslist tanks typically is NOT good enough or adequate for a reef tank.

I guess you could use Bio wheels if you took the wheel out.

Freshwater gravel and rocks are useless.

Canister filters are no good.

Airpumps/bubblers are useless.

Can't comment on the rest without a linky.

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polarblair2000
Hi,

 

4) As someone who never owned fish ever, what are the pros and cons of owning a 20-24g, 40g, or 60g tank? I'm asking because i found a few great deals on craigslist but i do not know what i'm looking for and do not want to venture into something and throw a whole bunch of $ into it. Basically the 20-24g tanks come with everything including the protein skimmers, etc. ready for salt water. The 40g is afreshwater setup and the 60g is a freshwater setup but also has gravel, 2 filters, rocks and stuff.

 

 

Im so overwhelmed by all the info out there. I'm doing the best i can but im pressed for time to make a decision. Any help appreciated!

 

IF your looking at a 20-24G all in one tank most of the stock equipment wont be that good, many people here swap out the skimmer for better models, replace lighting ect...

 

A smaller tank may be cheaper but generally harder to keep for beginners as they conditions in the tank can change much quicker than a larger thank and you could have problems.

 

I would say get as big a tank as you can afford. Also with a bigger tank you can do more, larger choice in livestock ect...

 

JMO :)

 

Also about the health risks, I wouldn't worry about that unless you would say strange obsessive behaviour, constant day dreaming, many hours searching through forums an illness :P

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Yeah you're right Polarblair2000. i was reading some stuff on the nano and what not and it seems they change out the stuff so i might as well stick to the bigger tank. And it appears based on recent searches, larger tanks aren't usually much more expensive.

 

My budget.. i'm looking to spend initially about 100-150 give or take to get SOMETHING started. and continually add things. But the initial 100-150 would be a bday thing to start.

 

 

I'm kind of starting to wrap my head around the components.

 

- Tank (universal)

- Stand (universal)

- Filters (not sure about this. the 450 emperor and 330 pengiun w biowheels.. not sure whta that means or if its usable for SW setups with coral, etc)

- Lighting (correct me if i'm wrong but the standard florescent lights will be okay for FW and SW but not for reef and coral?)

- Substrate (sand for SW/reef, gravel for FW)

- Decorations (cant use fake FW stuff for SW)

- Test kits, sea salt kit, and hydrometer (unique to SW)

- Thermometer (universal)

- powerhead (SW/reef)

- additional small powerhead and heater for water change (SW/reef)

- Protein skimmer

 

Am i missing anything here? Based on this info, I can get the 60 gal tank w stand, a 300w heater, the filters (if usable for SW), and whatever else FW stuff i can use) for about $75.

I would still need to get.. a 2 powerheads, 1 additional heater, protein skimmer, substrate and live rock (and test kit stuff) ... which gives me about an additional 75 bucks in my budget? Give or take

 

 

EDIT:

 

Why are most reef and SW setups a Cube? what is the purpose of a cube and not a long tank? or a hexagon or corner tank?

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lakshwadeep

Note that for a new reef tank, you will need an initial investment of at least a few hundred dollars, most of which go to external equipment.

 

Use live rock and live sand as the basis of your biological filtration. External biological filtration like biowheels/bioballs are unnecessary. These coupled with regular water changes are what many members use for their sole filtration. Chemical filtration (like phosphate sponges) or mechanical filtration (filter floss) are optional and need to be researched.

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Just get what you would like. The 40B would be nice. But the lights and live rock would go way over your budget. I would say get t5 lights or a fishneedit.com metal halide light. If you want to run a 40B with no sump then get a good skimmer and a huge hob (hang on back) filter. (not biowheel, they raise nitrates, which are bad) then comes your rock. My LFS sells it for $4.50 per lb and if you get 20+ lbs its $3.50 per lb. I would say at least 35 lbs of rock in a 40B. There are tons of 40's on this website. Venture out, save your money, don't rush, learn a little first. :) GL

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Just get what you would like. The 40B would be nice. But the lights and live rock would go way over your budget. I would say get t5 lights or a fishneedit.com metal halide light. If you want to run a 40B with no sump then get a good skimmer and a huge hob (hang on back) filter. (not biowheel, they raise nitrates, which are bad) then comes your rock. My LFS sells it for $4.50 per lb and if you get 20+ lbs its $3.50 per lb. I would say at least 35 lbs of rock in a 40B. There are tons of 40's on this website. Venture out, save your money, don't rush, learn a little first. :) GL

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

That was very informative.

I took a trip down to my pet store and really did some math. The 60 gallon is way too big in size, cost and responsiblity esp for trying to get my first reef tank going. The 40 would be ideal so i'm still looking into that but with that the cost of getting all that stuff you just mentioned, esp the live rock and the lighting would probably put my budget over the edge.

 

i think to start, i will settle with the 24g or 29g biocube/nanocube type all-in-one systems to get my feet wet a little and learn a little about the reef tank stuff.

 

Thanks for all the help!

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