Approximate cost of starting marine tank??

Sam Livingston

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I have long been a keeper of freshwater fish, but have been leaning towards saltwater though I'm sure will be too pricey for me at the moment. I have a tall 29 or 30 gallon tank can't remember which it is, but either way about how much do you all think turning this into a saltwater tank would cost? I have sand in there, but it needs saltwater sand correct? Just looking for ballpark figure here doesn't need to be exact.
 

au01st

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Saltwater sand is just live sand. If you have live rock, your sand will become live over time. My 75 is going to run just over $700 for everything, not including the tank, stand, heater, and fish. $200 on rock, which will be about $50 for you. My lighting will run about $250, and should be around $100-$150 for you. Then you need salt mix. I found my skimmer for $118, so you should be able to get one for under $100. I would estimate just under $400 or so.
 
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Sam Livingston

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Ouch yea was afraid of that, guess I better go with my original plan and throw a couple cichlids in there, there just about only Freshwater fish I haven't had (besides Angelfish but I consider them there own category.
 

clinton1621

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You could start out small with a nano tank, that would be much much cheaper, and it will give you a better feel for how to take care of a saltwater setup... we would all be glad to help with any questions you may have as well =)
 

Hypnox

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I've got a 10 gallon and i've already stuffed $250 into it without even getting into fish or corals.

I'm actually looking at a 30 gallon that I would acquire pieces for over time. I'm getting new powerheads, skimmer, T-5 Lights, pump, RO/DI unit and heater. Then try to get a used tank/stand and a used 10 gallon into the sump for the whole setup.

The tank and its peripherals alone i'm looking at about $600. After live rock at $8 a pound and what I would like to stock it with, close to $1k.
 
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Sam Livingston

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Wow can't I just pour table salt into my tank and call it a day? (don't worry just kidding) Yea I think I'll probably turn my 30 gallon into a cichlid tank and keep checking craigslist for a cheaper saltwater tank. It's amazing the deals on there when someone needs to get rid of a tank, got my complete 75 gallon set up for $100 on there.
 

Hypnox

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Sam Livingston said:
Wow can't I just pour table salt into my tank and call it a day? (don't worry just kidding) Yea I think I'll probably turn my 30 gallon into a cichlid tank and keep checking craigslist for a cheaper saltwater tank. It's amazing the deals on there when someone needs to get rid of a tank, got my complete 75 gallon set up for $100 on there.
Yea, craigslist is great for finding cheap tanks. My issue is that I don't trust the used equipment.
 
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Sam Livingston

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I've had good luck with them. There was a couple times I bought a tank and the equipment was too dirty to even bother with but luckily I had spares. But I've yet to have someone clean one out good, but for the price I don't mind throughly cleaning them out.
 

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Hypnox said:
Yea, craigslist is great for finding cheap tanks. My issue is that I don't trust the used equipment.
We never had any problems with used equipment and that's mostly what we have/had. Use tanks should be re siliconed and tested to be sure they hold water anyway.
 

au01st

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I bought a 55 and a 75 on Craigslist. Both still had water when I got there so I knew they held water. Some of the equipment was dirty, but only needed a scrubbing and was good to go. My 55 was $100 for tank stand, lids, gravel, plants, visitherm stealth heater, penguin biowheel 350 and whisper 60 filters, so that was a deal. The 75 was $150 for tank, stand, lids, light (which went to my 55), visitherm deluxe heater, 2 whisper 60 filters, gravel, live plants, fish, and a boat load of chemicals and test kits.
 

galvatron3000

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Your cost will be affected by the size you go with. Will it be glass or acrylic? Will you use Live Rock? Marine or Fresh water, of course. Sump or no sump? Heaters, circulation, skimmers and lighting? Live Rock only or Reef?

Fish you want to keep will greatly or atleast mostly affect the decisions of some of the above, but if you get a marine, get a skimmer and live rock.
 
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Sam Livingston

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Yeah it's just too pricey for me now, I'm still a poor college student >.< One day though I will get one for sure.
 

au01st

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I am too. Watch Craigslist in your town and nearby towns. Got a job? If not, get a part time job. I work 30-35 hours a week, take 18 hours of class, and have time for the g/f and to go out on weekends. Drink or smoke? Quit! (or switch to cheaper beer...I prefer Guinness, but at $9 a six pack, it's a lot. I switched to "cheap" beer, Budweiser Select, and save a lot of money that way). Go out to eat much? Eat at home and splurge once in a while on fast food. I used to eat out every day for lunch, now I'm lucky if I get fast food 2x a week. Drink Coke? Switch to water, or at least off-brand stuff, it's about 1/2 the price. I started doing all these things to save money for gas for my 15mpg Explorer, now I do them all to save money...
 

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