29 setup cost

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by kidster9700, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Okay, this is just a thought I'm having. I want to get back in to saltwater, and I have a 29 gallon tank stand. The tank itself is cheap. $30. BUT how much is it going to cost me to fill it up with everything I need? I just want to know what you guys think because if it's too much then I'm going to hold off until I can afford it. So, what's the start up cost on a 29 saltwater? (Reef or just live rock)

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  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Brandon has a 29 SW reef tank so he'd probably have an idea.

  3. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I love the reef tanks but I know they can be really difficult. I've had one saltwater tank before. I think it was in a five gallon hex. Only had it less than a year because my mom insisted it be near a window (one that was always closed even the blinds but still let it a ton of heat) so the water always evaporated and left salt deposits everywhere. She hated it and I had to take it down.

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  4. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Lol she wanted it by a window but then hated it...

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  5. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I know. I tried telling her that it was because she wanted it there... Oh well. That actually wasn't a huge investment. And she paid for a lot of it because it was technically her tank (I still did the maintenance because that was her learning tank)
    I was just thinking if a 5 saltwater wasn't much more than a 5 freshwater, does it grow exponentially when you move up?

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  6. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Well differences would be you would need live rock, protein skimmer and maybe a sump.

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  7. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Well live rock isn't that expensive since I'm used to spending excess money on plants and driftwood in large amounts. How much is a sump? Would that be cheaper than a canister filter?
    And the protein skimmer... Ah yes. Something not needed for a small 5gal. Those are like $100 aren't they?

    EDIT: when I say the live rock isn't that expensive, I just mean in comparison to how much i spend on freshwater aquarium set up already. Not including tank and stand, (but including the cost of the driftwood that I already owned) my 38 probably has $400 invested in it.

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  8. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

  9. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    A 29 gallon is a good size. A FOWLR tank is cheaper than a reef. I'm gonna add up the basic stuff that you need. How much are you willing to spend? Like what's your budget? This will make it easier. Live rock usually runs about $6-$10 per pound, you will need 29 or 30 pounds of live rock. But I found found that starting off with some dry rock from BRS is cheaper and easier. Usually with live rock you get unwanted hitchhikers. Live sand $35 bucks I think for a 40 pound bag. Also, most importantly an RODI unit. This unit runs about $80+ depending on which one you buy. You can use RO water from the grocery store which I use and works very well. I fill up a 5 gallon jug for $2.50. For a 29 gallon tank, you will not need a protein skimmer although its recommend, but not needed for a tank this size. With enough water changes you should be good.
    Tank: $30
    Light: $70 finnex marine
    Salt : $54 (160g bucket)
    Powerheads: 2 hydor koralia 425: $40
    Dry rock: BRS reef saver rock 30lbs-$67
    Live sand: Carib sea 40 pounds $35
    Filter: aquaclear 50 $32
    Total runs about $328 dollars (not including shipping on most of these items) I'm guessing you already have the other stuff needed for SW like test kits, hydrometers, etc right?

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  10. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I do have all the other stuff, but I haven't been able to figure out where it all went. It's really weird. So I guess I would have to buy a new test kit and hydrometer and that's a bummer.
    I actually have RO water at my house. So that's pretty nice. And what exactly is dry rock? What's the difference?

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  11. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Dry rock is just dead Rock, it's not live rock. It eventually turns into live rock. Here is a link to the dry rock

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  12. SlugWell Known MemberMember

    I'm scared to add up the cost of my 15gal all together. Easily over $1000, wouldn't be surprised if it pushed or surpassed $2000.
  13. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Are you doing a reef?!?? That seems like so much

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  14. SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Yes SPS dominate reef with bells and whistles. I tried doing the cheap route the tank before this and it didn't work, this one has been running smooth for almost 2 years now I guess. Learned my lesson and you don't always have to go full expensive, but you do get what you pay for and it saves you money in the long run not cutting corners. That goes for FOWLR or reef IMO.

    Lights - $400
    Tank - ~$200? Don't exactly remember
    Skimmer - $135
    Apex Controller - $675
    Dosing Pump - $100
    Heater - $40
    HOB Fuge/Filter - $140
    Probe holder - $32
    Fish - $100
    Rock - ? $50 estimate
    Coral - To much, easily $500
    Powerhead - $250-300
    ATO - $100

    So thats roughly $2757 before adding in consumables like food, salt, two part dosing, kalk, etc as well as testing reagents and kits. I underestimated lol. This isn't to scare people it's to make them see that it's not cheap and its definitely not cheap when you go the cheapest route and fail where you have to constantly fix your mistakes. Needs to be an investment you save and plan for. This is just on my 15gal. Sure a lot of the equipment would transfer to a larger tank without a problem but going for a small tank is no escape from big prices.

    FOWLR you are still going to need rock, still going to need a skimmer, food, salt, powerheads, heaters or chillers, etc. About the only escape price wise you will be saving yourself from vs a reef are lighting costs and coral costs. Coral costs is about the only place you can skimp because you can get a bunch of $5 frags here and there. That can vary a bunch. You'll probably be making some of the light savings up in fish costs though.
  15. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah... This is something a few months out. If at all. I guess I just needed a reminder of all the money and equipment that goes into saltwater tanks. I'll still think about it though.

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