120 gallon salt water fish tank set up $$$ ?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Setup' started by maxx56dog, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. maxx56dogNew MemberMember

    hello my name is maxx and i am relatively new to the salt water world. my goal is to set up and maintain a 120 gallon salt water aquarium. if you would be oh so kind and help me with the items i need and the prices of these items that would be great. i am going to be buying everything new and i need a list of items that i need to get and their prices thanks.
  2. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Hi maxx and welcome to FL! :)

    I have a couple of suggestions for you to get you started.

    First of all, would you like to have a FOWLR, fish only, or reef tank? Once you decide on that, it is much easier to choose equipment. Reef is going to be the most expensive, by far.

    Second of all, are you really set on buying everything new? That's going to be very very expensive. If you have a local reef club, I would suggest joining up as there are often A TON of great deals to be found on used equipment.

    Just like everything else, equipment prices vary widely according to quality and brand name. It's important IMO to not cheap out on equipment, but at the same time I do not feel it's necessary to buy the most expensive brands to be successful. For example, my reef tank is doing well although I don't use an $800 bubble king skimmer or a $400 Vortech pump. LOL.

    Just to give you a vague idea of cost, my largest reef tank right now is a 50 gallon with a 20 gallon sump. I run 6x 39W T5 HO lighting and use Koralias for powerheads and much of my equipment was bought used from club members. Even though I've saved a ton buying used, I'd say that hubby and I have easily $3500 in the setup so far. Once you start adding corals and other livestock, the price gets high very quickly! If you're looking to go reef, a 120 is probably going to cost a lot more than my 50. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  3. maxx56dogNew MemberMember

    fowlr. i think what exactly is a reef tank ?
  4. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    FOWLR = fish only with live rock. These setups are great for keeping fish that are not reef-safe (fish that eat corals and/or inverts), or if you just don't want to take the plunge into keeping corals.

    Reef tank would mean that you want to keep corals in your tank. This means better lighting and more equipment than what you would need for a FOWLR, and thus, more expense.

    If you want to start out with a FOWLR, you can always upgrade later to a reef system as long as you keep reef safe fish. One thing I would strongly suggest if you think you might ever want corals is to purchase a RO/DI unit right off the bat. Tap water can cause all kinds of problems in SW systems IMO, and even if things are fine for a while your tap water quality may not be consistent and you may run into issues down the road. When you put reef lighting onto a tank that's been using tap water, I'd expect an algae explosion. Just a thought. ;)