Good 50g Setups For A Family Reef Aquarium?

Alexolotl
  • #1
So I’m considering getting a large-ish marine aquarium (that would technically be the whole family’s) with corals and everything, emulating a freshwater aquarium from my childhood that pretty much started my aquarium passion. I’ve been researching saltwater aquariums for over a year now, and I have gotten positive feedback from my mom about this idea, so I want to go ahead and do it (I’m probably moving next summer so it would be after that, of course)
(The freshwater family tank was a 30-60 gallon aquarium whose actual size I could not remember due to it feeling a lot bigger when I was little, that had several gorgeous rocks and fake plants and everyone in the family had a fish. I don’t remember most, but I had a neon tetra and my sister had some other stocky looking tetra with red fins she named Captain America, and numerous mollies, which are my mom’s favorite) I was hoping to do the same thing except with saltwater, where we all pick out fish from time to time (after doing our research and making sure the fish is safe and will fit in the aquarium) and add them to a large reef tank (preferably with corals) that we all take care of. Any ideas for setups I could do, what shape/size of aquarium that are big but within a reasonable price range, should I get, what area should I focus on geographically (I’m thinking Indo-pacific type reefs, but I don’t plan to be too strict about it, there’s gonna be a few things from different places in it, and I don’t mind that much) Also, What fish/inverts should I not get, and which would you recommend? I’ve been researching saltwater aquariums for over a year (as I have said before) but advice from experienced keepers is always best in my opinion, as books cannot tell me exactly what to do for an aquarium like this (I know convict fish are generally a bad idea with corals, but what if I put the live rock in before the sand, and had plenty of open space for it, things like that)
TLDR: What is a good setup idea for a family saltwater aquarium that can keep a decently large reef but won’t cost insane amounts of money?

EDIT: I found the perfect aquarium at my LFS and I have decided to simply emulate it as best I can, so a mod can just delete this thread.
 
Nart
  • #2
Depends what you would consider big aquarium and reasonable price range.
Just from first hand experience with corals, a 'large reef tank' and 'won't cost insane amounts of money' does not go hand in hand.

For instance:
If you went with a 75 Gallon tank. Typically for bigger tanks, it will require better lighting to be able to light the tank and provide enough light to the corals throughout the tank. The tank itself generally isn't the most expensive item in the reef hobby. It's the lights and pumps.
To properly light a 75 gallon, you'll need at least 2-3 AI Prime HDs. So that's about $400-$600.
Depending if you are going to properly drill and sump the tank, etc.. will be additional.

Certainly you can shop around to buy used or buy things on sale... so it really depends what you are looking for.
Since you've been doing researching for awhile. You need to decide on the size of the tank first, then the set-up type. Are you going to have a plain tank with hang on back equipment on it? Or are you going for all-in-one set-ups? or are you going with a bottom sump set-up. Then determine your budget.

Also - with a family tank set-up and having family members pick the fishes from time to time. You'll most definitely want to set-up a QT tank as well. Otherwise it could be a never ending headache with introducing new fishes and diseases/parasites to the entire tank.

As for corals, you can narrow to having corals just from a specific region, but I'm almost sure you'll be dabbling around regions for the most interesting looking corals.
 
Alexolotl
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Ok, I will definitely get a QT tank set up, it won’t be hard to find an old spare tank on eBay I could use. I THINK I’m doing a hang-on-back or a sump, but I plan to try and emulate one at my LFS if it isn’t too ridiculously expensive, so I will probably just do whatever they did. Thanks for your help!
 
Nart
  • #4
For a QT tank set-up. Just go into Petco during their $1/gallon sale on tanks. I think they'll have one in December and buy like a 10 gallon or 20 gallon long for QT.
 
Alexolotl
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
That’s a great idea, I never knew they had a dollar per gallon sale. Great to know, thanks for your help!
 
Jesterrace
  • #6
If you don't mind doing some work, I would recommend trying to get a used setup from your LFS. One of the big issues you will run into is that it makes a world of difference whether or not your tank is pre-drilled for a sump and many tanks in regular stores are simply not setup for this and drilling a tank after the fact IS NOT a good idea. Just make sure you sanitize the equipment completely by letting it run with distilled white vinegar and tap water (this will help kill and remove any remaining nasty bacteria. I ended up getting a stand for a 90 gallon tank, return pump, 29 gallon sump tank and protein skimmer for $250. Just make sure you shine a light on the tank to make sure it isn't all scratched up before you buy. I found that one out the hard way:

 
Alexolotl
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Yeah, I’ve read that drilling an existing aquarium is a bad idea. I will ask my LFS if they have any used setups I can buy.
 
JR. Reefer
  • #8
That’s a great idea, I never knew they had a dollar per gallon sale. Great to know, thanks for your help!

don't get a regular aquarium cause than all your equipment hangs on the back (unless you have sump) the easiest way to start a reef is buy an all in one tank which comes with everything but lights and heater which looks really clean. its worth the extra money and makes the tank so much nicer
 
Alexolotl
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Yeah, I was planning on asking if they have any used setups at my LFS next time I went (which should be soonish, once I finish treating this piece of driftwood, I’m going to order a mudskipper from them and also grab some TSS and TSS+, and some java ferns/Moss)
 

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