Is This A Saltwater Deal?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Culprit, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    I'm starting to look into slowly collection equipment for a saltwater tank. I won't set it up for a year or two, but if I could start collecting used or diy equipment I'd be set. I found this on craigslist. Would any of this be good equipment?

    Refractometer $10 each
    20 gallon long aquarium $10 each
    Hang on back filter with refugium $20
    Hydor Nano powerhead $10 each
    Large Kalk Stirrer $150
    Small RODI filter $30
    Larger RODI filter 5 stage $100
    80 gallon frag tank with stand, sump, return pump, skimmer $500
    5 gallon all in one tank with light $50

    also he has a 66 gallon tank that he is selling all of it, with Kessil 360 WE light.

    I'm thinking the powerheads and small Ro/Di filter would be best, I don't know if the 5 gallon kit would be too small to start with saltwater, or if it would be perfect but $50 and all I need is a pound or two of live rock and some sand plus stocking....
    @NART @grantm91 @stella1979

  2. NartWell Known MemberMember

    I can't view the link from my work computer... but here's some of my recommendations on the listed items of what to do and buy

    Refractometer - that's 50% off, decent price, make sure you look at the glass and see that it does not have scratches. Scratches on the glass can skew the results when reading the specific gravity. Most refracto's will also say ATC (automatic temp control, that's what you want)

    20g long for $10. As long as it looks good with no cracks and silicone looks good why not?

    HOB refuge - what kind of HOB? I only like AquaClears as HOB, they have the most space and are like work-horses that don't break.

    Pass on the hydor power-head. Depending on how the owner upkept it, it's very well sub-par efficiency.
    Pass on Kalk stirrer - you don't need it. not yet

    Small RODI filter - what's the GPH? brand?
    Large RODI - whats the GPH and brand? I would pass on both of these. it's hard to tell what condition they are in, like you might need to replace carbon filter, sediment filter, DI resin, O-rings.. too much work. and then you have to make sure you have enough pressure to utilize the RODI efficiently. I would pass on RODI unit as your initial set-up and just buy RODI from your LFS and mix your own salt mix, especially if you have a small set-up.

    Pass on that 80g tank sump skimmer for $500. I've seen brand new ones with a nice tank, brand new stand, plumped for around that price. $500 isn't cheap.

    What kind of 5 gallon AIO? and what light? $50 might be worth it. He might even sell to you or $40

    Honestly Culprit, I could walk you through to start a simple 5 gallon set-up. You'll just be limited in fish stocking.

  3. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

  4. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah - probably start off with easy ones till you get the hang of it and the tank has a stable and stronger bio-diversity. Then you'll probably be able to keep some more challenging ones. It's just about being patient and not panicking.
  5. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    So I could keep corals? What about my fish selections?
  6. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Fish... you would be very limited. In the realms of a small goby. A Yasha goby and randall pistol shrimp would work perfectly in a 5 gallon.

    Like - if I had a chance to start a fresh 5G, that would probably be my stocking along with a few snails. Yasha goby and randall pistol shrimp don't swim around much. They'll dig a cave/hole between your rock and sand and they'll just guard it and come out for food. So it's perfect for a nano size tank. Not to mention they are beautiful as well.
  7. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Well, you got a great answer above.... @NART is the best.;) That said, I might only argue with one or two points.

    Marine Depot and BRS have good deals on RODI systems and I went ahead and installed one before I set up my tank.

    Also, I wouldn't go with a 5g if you can help it. I think you'll catch the coral bug as I have and just run out of room too quickly. Maybe pick up one of the cheap 20g's, or take advantage of the $1 per gallon sale that's happening now at Petco and pick up a 10g or 20g. Nano reefs are awesome and imo you'd still be running a nano system with the 10 or 20.
  8. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    How much would it cost roughly, to set up a 20g reef?
    What I would need.

    Lights (EXPENSIVE!!)
    tank (cheap)
    dry rock/live rock
    HOB for refugium, probably would just use my AC 50.
    What else? For now I would just buy premade saltwater from my LFS.. Eventually I would get a Ro/Di unless I save enough on everything else.
  9. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Hahaha... I completely agree with Stella with the running out of space in a 5G.
    We all could use more space... the want of a larger tank never ends.

    Though Culprit seems pretty tight on budget.... so yeah, 5-20 gallon tank would work perfectly.

    @Culprit like..... are you talking about kid living at home cheap route to set-up a SW tank?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2017
  10. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, but I make $75 to $100 a month regularly, and usually an extra $30 to $40. I do want a reef tank. This is why I think I might want to start gathering equipment while I still continue to save for other things. That way in a few (6+ months to a year) I have the equipment and can set it up. This way I get quality equipment and aren't trying to skip.
  11. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Lights can = very expensive.

    Now, I haven't been running my SW tank long but I am perfectly happy with my T5 4 bulb fixture. LED's are great but pricey and people have run excellent tanks on T5's alone. My mistake with it was to get CoralLife bulbs in the beginning and they just didn't provide the color temperature you want for corals... If you go the T5 route go ahead and pick up ATI brand bulbs from Marine Depot or BRS. Here's a few good videos on the benefits of and comparing color temps with T5's...

  12. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Quality equipment route.... lights is the most expensive. Though, I might sell you my Current Orbit Marine's if you'll be interested in the future it's within the mid-range in terms of lights. Cheaper ones are the ones from China... mid-range is Current Orbit Marine's... mid-upper range are like AI Prime HDs and Kessils... upper range would be things like Radion XRs.

    Say if you set-up a 20 gallon long.... this is what I would recommend for a nice build.

    Equipment you'll need to run the tank:
    Heater: Colbalt Neo-therm 75W
    HOB: AQ 50 - use it as a chaeo fuge
    Powerhead: Jebao SW-2
    Lights: Current Marine Orbit or AI Prime HDs (huge price difference between the two)

    Red Sea Coral Pro Salt
    Refractometer calibration fluid
    RODI - if your LFS is close... just buy the RODI for your first few months. Save up for a RODI unit.
    5 gallon bucket - extra heater and power-head to mix salt

    Start the tank with Pukani rock. IMO. It is really nice dry rock and take your time scaping it. 10-15lbs will be plenty
    Sand - CaribSea, 10-20lbs is enough... depends if you like a thick or thin layer of sad.

    That's pretty much all you'll need. Price those stuff out and you'll get your cost.
    If you're interested in my Current Marine Orbit lights PM me. I'll give you a pretty good deal, like under $100 deal with mount and shipped.
  13. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    +1 on the Pukani rock... I wish I had gone with that. Also, be sure to ask for smaller pieces. I did not, figuring we could smash them up if they were large. My rocks came and I had 2 large and 5-6 smaller. As it turned out, I didn't want to smash the big ones because it would've ruined the natural look. Pukani breaks up 'prettier' (for lack of a better word) and easier, plus the benefits @NART has mentioned. I would go that route if starting over.
  14. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    I actually have some live rock that I have sitting in water because I do not have room for it, I would give it to you, especially seeing as you are not that far from me, I could drive it and meet half way. It is Fiji Tukani Live Rock and I have probably 15-30 lbs. @Culprit
  15. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Where do you live? Because that would be amazing!! However, it might be a little while before I can take it.

    So, the two things you really want really good quality on is your powerhead and heater. : Jebao/Jecod SW Series(SW-2 SW-4 SW-8 SW-15) Propeller Water Pump Wave Maker with Controller and Magnet Mount for Marine Reef Aquarium Fish Tank (SW-2) : Pet Supplies - $50

    AC 50 - already have

    @Stella , how long do t5s last before you have to replace them? Becuase if I have to replace 6 t5 bulbs every year it might just be cheaper to go with Narts current USA. Especially if I get a good price.

    There are lots of options on salt... how much salt should I get? Would 55 gallons be enough? How much water do you change? 5 gallons once a week?

    refractometer -$10, that guys looks good, no scratches.

    refractometer calibration fluid - $7

    RODI, how big of one would I need? i can just get water from my LFS for a few weeks.

    @Tragic13 would you want me to pay you?

    Do I really need another heater and powerhead to mix the salt? Can you not mix it by hand? What type of heater? Just a decent one thats relatively cheap? What kind of powerhead?
  16. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Hmm, well, you're right there @Culprit . It is recommended to replace T5's every 9-12 months. In the long run it is not the most cost efficient way to go. I will likely upgrade to an LED or LED/t5 combo at some point, but it wasn't affordable with the rest of the build and I was impatient to get going. If you can get a good deal on a good LED, I'd say go for it. I'm just a little leary of LED's too... I've seen some reviews on inexpensive or mid-range ones that said they don't last long either. The dream is a Radion of course.:D

    The extra powerhead and heater really are necessary.:( Mixing by hand would take hours! You'd end up like Popeye... even with a good powerhead in my mix bucket, it takes a little while to mix up all the way. As for the heater... it's needed unless you have another way to make sure replacement water temp. is the same as tank temp. SW inhabitants are not known to be hardy to temperature swings.

    Water changes - I change 4 gallons at a time on my 20. How often will depend on nutrient levels. There is debate on what's best but I've read a lot about keeping nitrates between 5 - 10 for your average softie or LPS dominated reef tank. Corals use these nutrients to grow and many have reported that they grow faster at 5-10 nitrates, rather than <5, which is often touted as what's best for a reef.

    Keep in mind, I'm a beginner too and am just starting to get personal experience. What I've said about nitrates is debatable of course, but I'm going with keeping them close to 5ppm for now. This has me doing a water change once every 7-10 days. If you make a fuge in your AQ, (something I want to do), you will probably need to do wc's even less than I do.
  17. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    @Culprit You can have it for free. I just don't want it to dry out and I have it sitting in front of my aquarium right now, if you could meet half way I wouldn't mind driving to pass to you, can ever have the container with water from my tank to keep it going, just needs to be aired briefly and some fresh water soon. I would go with the Current for now to save some money and Nart is giving you a steal of a deal. As for salt, I would just buy a 5 gallon bucket of it, I use reef crystals myself and it calls for half a cup per gallon I do believe.(can't remember off the top of my head as of right this moment) I would definitely recommend a powerhead for mixing, or you will have Popeye the Sailorman arms in no time LOL. I have a 35gallon trash bin (plastic) with a 950gph powerhead that i use for mixing, then I have a separate 500gph powerhead attached to plumbing to pull the water from the bin into my tank. I do not use a heater, but where I mix it stays around 75-80 degrees.

    EDIT: Sorry I forgot to mention that I live in Ardmore, AL. Ardmore TN is literally across the road from my house. One side of the road is AL, the other is TN. Anderson is about 3 1/2 hours away. But halfway wouldn't be a bad Saturday or Sunday stroll for me.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  18. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Very cool of you @Tragic13.... would the live rock keep for a good while as long as fresh water and flow were provided? I think BB would be fine without light, though any photosynthetic life on the rock would die if not provided with at least a few hours a day. Please correct me if I'm wrong.;)
  19. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    It should be ok, the water is cycled water and I try to do weekly water changes. It is still covered in Corraline so it is doing ok, but I hate having stuff just go to waste and if someone else could use it, I am always down to help!
  20. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Wow @Tragic13 thats amazing!!!! Thank you soooo much, that will save me I'm sure a lot of money, plus I won't have to cycle as long! How long do you want to keep it? Because it may take me a little while to get the money to get everything...

    In that case I will probably take the current USA. Nart, PM incoming!

    So this for salt? : Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon : Aquarium Treatments : Pet Supplies

    Do I need a saltwater test kit or will my freshwater API master work for now?

    How good of a powerhead do I need for mixing the salt? Will something like this work or will it just tear up... Theres a 500 gph and 800 gph. : SUN JVP-101A Submersible Circulation Powerhead Pump, 800 Gph : Pet Supplies

    would a 15 gallon or a 20 long/high be better?

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