How To, Cheaply


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Chillin

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Well i just found a (3f x 15in x 12in) tank getting tossed out yesterday!
is it possible to set up a self containing saltwater tank like a fresh water tank?
what kind of equipment should i at least have, with out adding extra options/features
 

Reeferxbetta

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What do you mean by self containing? When I plug those dimensions into a water volume calculator (assuming this tank is a standard rectangle) it says about 28 gallons, meaning you should be able to get by without a sump and maybe even a skimmer if you're good on upkeep and don't overstock. For a simple setup, I'd use the tank, some sand, about 20-30 pounds of live rock, a modified aquaclear, and a hang on skimmer (not 100% needed, but ideal imo), lighting will be determined after you decide on reef or no reef, if you don't want a reef, any cheap LED will work. My recommendation would be researching and asking specific questions, as it's really difficult to put all info in one post, I believe @Nart has a guide to the beginner tank, I just don't have a link to it. In all honesty, I would recommend going with quality equipment to start out and not trying to cheap out on stuff, I'm on my third tank now, and I'm finally successful with this one because I put in the 3k-4K to get the correct equipment. Don't let that intimidate you though!!! My tank is a 100 gallon system, so you will likely spend a lot less as equipment is more pricey for larger tanks. I also had some bad used experiences so my only piece of used equipment is my chiller, if you're careful about it and clean used equipment well before use, you can definitely save big going used.
 

Chillin

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28gallons seems reasonable
sand yes
Live rock, i see a lot of diffrent ones from cured, dry, non cement, ect... what should i look for?
id like to get coral but id also like to have a stable tank first heh
uv sterilizer power filter?
hang on skimmer is a maybe
so heater or a chiller?
~
LED light bars that go over the top of the tank? or?
 
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Reeferxbetta

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For live rock you have the option of live rock (basically the stuff that's wet) some are advertised as "cured" but I wouldn't trust that, cured basically means the rock is no longer producing ammonia from things in the rock dying off, the issue is, you get die off when the rock is transported, unless it's going a very short distance (ex: you buy it at a lfs and it goes from lfs to your tank in like 15 minutes) this shouldn't be an issue anyways as your live rock will be in the tank long before the tank is ready for fish, if rock is shipped though, expect a decent amount of die off. You can check out bulk reef supply for rock, I hear people recommend them quite a bit, although I have no personal experience there because I've bought all my rock from local fish stores near me. You also have the option of dry rock, if you go this way the caribsea or any other truly dry rock is the way to go, other types of dry rock may be live rock that was literally left to dry out and this type of rock will be disgusting as it cures. Just a side note, caribsea does a couple different dry rocks, a purple one that I believe needs curing, and a white rock that doesn't need curing (mine didn't, but I only bought like 9 pounds) I know of these two kinds of rock by them, not sure if they have anything else. Both fish and coral require a stable tank, typically FOWLRs are easier to maintain than reefs though. You'll only need a filter if you don't want a sump, and a HOB aquaclear (probably the 70 or 110) would be your best option, do some searching on modifying them for a refugium, you may be interested in doing this. You can make different filters work, but aquaclears tend to be the most easily modifiable, just stay away from canister filters and most typical bio ball filter inserts you see for freshwater, too many nitrates for saltwater. As for a UV sterilizer, I've never used one and I've never personally seen any real benefit to using one. You'll need a heater, chillers are not a necessity, most people use small fans blowing over the tank, I unfortunately live in a climate that has summers up to 120+ degrees, so it's become a necessity, I consider chillers a last resort if nothing else works, as your starting point (new) for a decent chiller is around $500-$600. Lighting is really up to you, you have the option of LEDs, t5s, metal halides, etc. I personally use a current orbit LED, it grows softies and lps corals, not sps though, which in my case is fine, as I'm not super interested in keeping them at this time, just to give an idea this light was just shy of $300 I believe. If you just want a light simply for lighting up a FOWLR tank, a cheap LED bar can be found online for like $50. I would do some research and determine what kinds of fish and corals (if any) you'd like to keep, from there, I'd start determining what kinds of equipment you'll need.

Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners Here is that thread I mentioned earlier, this may help you start your research and answer some questions.
 
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Jesterrace

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Well i just found a (3f x 15in x 12in) tank getting tossed out yesterday!
is it possible to set up a self containing saltwater tank like a fresh water tank?
what kind of equipment should i at least have, with out adding extra options/features
Does the tank hold water? Double check that first and foremost and make sure it doesn't reveal a bunch of scratches under light. Make sure you sanitize it completely (distilled white vinegar and tap water is fine for the cleaning stage) and if you are really worried you could do a bleach water/tap water mix and then after rinsing out and drying completely going with the distilled white vinegar and tap water mix. For smaller tanks in terms of mechanical equipment for the tank itself all you really need is a good HOB Filter (ie Fluval 50 or 70) , a powerhead, tank heater and some form of LED light. You will also want a cover for the tank as all fish will jump at some point.
 
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