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n00b questions


rulethirty

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Looking to start a nano after i close on my new house, nanocube looks like its a pretty good starter kit.

 

any one have suggestions on other tanks? I'm really just looking to do some live rock/etc and maybe a clown (i hear they're pretty hardy?)

 

Also, any input on what kinda budget should I set aside for this? I'd like to remain as cost concious as humanly possible.

 

Anyway.. back to researching..

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Reefs are expensive. Period. That being said..lol...your budget really will be determined by the organisms you want to keep. Don't set your sights too low, however, as on occassion this hobby can be easier than it looks around here, and you may want to move on to something a bit more advanced. Get the best you can afford....in every aspect of the setup, otherwise, you may just end up spending double by upgrading later. The best advice is, continue your research, study things that strike your fancy, and read about things you may not even fully understand right now..because they'll make sense in the future. When you finally have what you really and truly WANT to keep nailed down...look at what others who keep similar organisms have for their setups. Price things out online....set up a budget...and have fun!

 

Cheers,

Fred

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Haha yeah, I can tell ;) It seems to me though, I can put something small/relatively basic together for a few hundred. I think what I'm most concerned about is starting something I can't finish at this point..

 

I don't mind dropping say, $400 or so, on a decent looking setup and a single clown. I'll be living in a really small condo, so I don't have the space for much. 10-12 gallon seems to me to be about the highest I'll be able to go given the space.

 

I've always had freshwaters until I moved here (Washington DC). I really want to get another tank, but I'm ready for a new challenge with it all.

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If there is one thing I have learned in this hobby, it is to never get the cheapest goods. When considering different equipment, take the advice offered here seriously, it will save you a lot of money and anger in the long run. Cheap salt, heaters etc etc are no bargian, they will end up being a problem. I have heard a lot of good things about the nanocubes. I wish I started with one of those instead.

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Definately second crab's idea- never go cheap, it will burn you in the long run. However, instead of a nanocube, have you thought of the Via Aqua tanks? My lfs has one, and they look swet.

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Via Aquas are kinda pricy considering you will probably replace the stock lighting, filtration system (for those that include em), so you end up paying a hefty price just for the tank itself...

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As far as the actual tank goes...I've never seen the point in splurging on anything overly fancy when I get get a nice AGA for comparatively cheap and install my preferred lighting and filtration as I see fit. Go out and invest in a nice 15 or 20 for $25 or so and then get what you want/think you are going to need for what you want to keep. Again..without knowing the types of corals/fish (apart from the clown)/inverts you WANT to keep, it's really hard to say what you need/should have. Once you determine what you want...then start pricing things out. Having said that mouthful..lol...$400 will get you a fairly nice little nano, without a doubt.

 

Cheers,

Fred

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A little aside on pricing..here's what's gone into my 15gal setup to date:

 

15gal tank: $20

DIY Canopy: $15

130w PC's: $80 (retrofit kit plus bulbs purchased on eBay)

Sand: $6

Bak-Pak 2R Skimmer: $120 new (had it lying around)

Powerheads: $20 ea new (had them lying around too)

150w heater: $20 (lying around)

Tonga rock: estimating $100-$120..although may find it cheaper

 

Total cost new: $440.00

Total cost for me: $241.00

 

 

Just an example...YMMV (your mileage may vary)

 

Cheers,

Fred

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My 2.5G has so far cost me:

 

10$ for AGA tank

 

10$ for single bulb screw-in strip light ( later upgraded to two bulb with what I had lying around)

 

15$ for Azoo palm filter (when they had just come out)

 

11$ for two bulbs (dollar store 13w 9700k and coralife 10w 5/50)

 

4$ for black sand (only used half the bag)

 

4$ for 5 gallons of already mixed water (from LFS)

 

20$ (approximate) for 4~5lbs cured fiji LR

 

5$ for zoo frags (6~10 polyps)

 

2$ for bumblebee snail

 

2$ for blue legged hermit (he died due to improper acclimation)

 

7$ for blue computer actinic fluorescent light (for inside fancy windowed computers) which I use as a moonlight

 

and maybe when I get some more money:Better lighting, maybe a canopy, and possibly a miniture (half-sized) Undertheradar skimmer.

 

Currently the butcher's bill is 80$.

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If you are close to closing you own house why not go big, really big. If you have a one level house and sits on a flat ground, I say go 100gallons. That's an awsome size for your own house.

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Thanks for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it. I've been reading my ass off online the last couple of days and I think I'm starting to get a better idea.. It'd help if I could find a LFS somewhere around these parts, which I'm sure there is, just haven't had the time as of late to explore.

 

Originally posted by Cesar

If you are close to closing you own house why not go big, really big. If you have a one level house and sits on a flat ground, I say go 100gallons. That's an awsome size for your own house.

 

Hehe, unfortunately I mispoke -- its more of a "home" than a "house" ;) I bought a one bedroom condo in downtown DC. I could probably get away with a 30g, but thinking I'd rather stay around 20.. I thought I saw some 16g bows at some point? I just haven't been able to find anything like that for sale online.. Nanocube's seem cool in that they're built to be compact, just sucks that you have to upgrade so much of it. A 10g or 15g AGA might be the most economical/bang-for-buck though, thank you guys for mentioning it.. Some of the DIY lighting I've seen members on this forum pull off is pretty cool.

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My bill so far for my 20g AGA....

 

Tank - $40 (long live California pricing schemes....ugh)

2x65W lighting by coralife, used - $75 shipped (what a deal!)

Prizm deluxe skimmer - $50, shipped in the same box as the light

Light upgrade to 175W MH from jmt - $160 shipped

LED moonlights, heater, powerheads, thermometer, algae scraper, nets, test kits, etc - $100

10 lbs of live sand - $20

45 lbs fiji premium rock from reefermadness.us - $190 shipped

 

That's it so far. A cool $650+

 

Jeez.

 

--B

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I agree...tank is the least expensive long-term equipment for your system...so save the money and buy better skimmer, lights, etc than spending a huge load on the tank and having to skimp on the rest.

 

Besides, the tank is replaceable and when you upgrade to a new tank, you can still use your expensive equipment. The skimmer and lights, etc will be more constant while the tank itself will be constantly upgraded thru time.

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I went to a petsmart out in crystal city the other day and saw some of the glass tanks they had out there. Gave me a better idea size/price wise.. I've seen some photos in the gallery of 20g longs -- do those work out well? I kinda like the way they look. I figure it might be easier for lighting and such than say a bow front -- more standard shape and such.. Or does it not matter?

 

It also occurs to me that it might be best to keep it FOWLR for the time being, then slowly upgrade to the things I need for coral. Does it shock the system to much upgrading the lights and things once you already have an active tank?

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If the system doesn't yet have photosynthetic organisms (other than the incedentals on the live rock), then no, it's not going to "shock it" to upgrade the lighting. However..if you do things incrementally like that, apart from the fact that you'll end up spending WAY more cash in the long run, you'll have to start adjusting the sytem to more intense lighting (i.e.--you start off now with NO fluorescents, decide you want to keep your first corals and upgrade to PC's...then decide you want to keep SPS and upgrade to a halide..between the PC's and the halide..you're going to have to do some serious photoacclimation). It sounds like you've already made up your mind...and far be it from me to talk you out of anything...but I'd open yourself up one more time to considering only spending money on components that don't need a lot of upgrading in the future. (i.e.--dual strip PC's or halides). Once the reefing bug bites you, it sticks around (for most of us at least..lol). That's one of the reasons I didn't sell off any of the components of my old 29 gal system when it crashed. And I'm glad I didn't..because I could use a lot of them on the new 15. I knew that eventually (after both my pysche and my bank account healed..lol) I'd start another system. And here I am. lol. This really is one of those hobbies that, once you're in, you're in...and it can become a life-long pursuit....leading you to meet some really great folks (and get some really weird looks from friends when you start telling them exactly what something like you have in your livingroom actuallly COSTS..lol), and have some really good times. Anyway..just more of my buck fiddy..lol.

 

Cheers,

Fred

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Just ordered my rock...25lbs of Tonga deepwater. Total bill on that was $110 with overnight shipping from Jeff's Exoticfish.com. (something or other like that website..lol) $2.99/lb plus about $40 in shipping charges...:) lol. Now I just hope my lighting gets here before my rock...but we'll see about that..lol.

 

Cheers,

Fred

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