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Old 01/10/2008, 12:59 PM   #1
ir0n_ma1den
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Question pricing

This being my first post, I'll tell you a little about myself:

I live in Northern Virginia and have been keeping planted aquariums for about a year now and love it. Recently, I have been lurking around various reef forums and am amazed by the beautiful reef aquariums, especially ones on this forum.

I would really like to start a 12 gallon reef, but after looking around and getting a feeling for things, pricing is a big concern.

I know that in this hobby you cannot afford to cheap out on things especially in a nano setup.

I want to know a basic estimate of how much the tank and all of the equipment will cost. Also, another estimate on coral and rock.

thanks


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:03 PM   #2
nmhs2
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I know your asking about a cube but i have a 55 gallon with 20 gallon sump. This little fortune has cost me over $3,000. I could have brought it down a great deal if I handt bought useless equiptment and not properly QT fish etc expensive test kits etc. Be wise I learnt the expensive way.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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Another thing you may want to consider, even though it will be a little bit more expensive, is staying away from the nano/pico tanks for your first reef. Smaller tanks demand much more attention to maintain stability and are far less forgiving when something bad goes wrong.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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I'd say about 3000.00 for a 55 is about right.

On a nano, one of the best deals in some ways is the aquapod or its like [see our sponsors]...or a used aquapod. THere you're talking about 150-300.00 for about 20-odd gallons, complete with all the gear you need to make a marine tank work. Range depends on lighting choice: capacity to keep stony corals depends on lights; soft corals ok with lesser lights.

The good part of this deal is that it will work pretty well for a few fish, a nice little set of corals, and what you're left buying is sand, rock, water, and your test kits.

The bad part of this deal is that the day you want a larger tank you have to start completely over and sell off your 'pod for a new tank, because none of the gear will fit anything else.

Of course, you might just as well have the new tank in the living room and the pod in your bedroom...lol----many reefers end up this way.

But if you're just starting out and don't want to get taken with too much tank or things that won't go together, it's a good deal.

OTOH, look in the Used Equipment forum and see if you can't find somebody selling theirs instead of setting up a second tank. Running white vinegar through a used system can make it sparkle again in 24 hours. Best pick somebody who doesn't have to ship so you can go there and look at it and make sure you have all the pipes and hoses.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/10/2008, 01:16 PM   #5
ir0n_ma1den
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what I really need is a pricing estimate, then I can go from their.

I understand that a smaller tank is not easier to maintain than a larger tank, but pricing is the biggest concern right now.

What size tank would you see fit for a first reef? And how much including tank and equipment costs?


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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See my post above: but while, as a new member, you can't SELL something until you've gotten quite a few posts, I don't think there's any reg against putting out a WTB post [want to buy] and seeing if there's anybody got a system gathering dust that they haven't offered for sale yet.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/10/2008, 01:19 PM   #7
ir0n_ma1den
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sk8r
I'd say about 3000.00 for a 55 is about right.

On a nano, one of the best deals in some ways is the aquapod or its like [see our sponsors]...or a used aquapod. THere you're talking about 150-300.00 for about 20-odd gallons, complete with all the gear you need to make a marine tank work. Range depends on lighting choice: capacity to keep stony corals depends on lights; soft corals ok with lesser lights.

The good part of this deal is that it will work pretty well for a few fish, a nice little set of corals, and what you're left buying is sand, rock, water, and your test kits.

The bad part of this deal is that the day you want a larger tank you have to start completely over and sell off your 'pod for a new tank, because none of the gear will fit anything else.

Of course, you might just as well have the new tank in the living room and the pod in your bedroom...lol----many reefers end up this way.

But if you're just starting out and don't want to get taken with too much tank or things that won't go together, it's a good deal.

OTOH, look in the Used Equipment forum and see if you can't find somebody selling theirs instead of setting up a second tank. Running white vinegar through a used system can make it sparkle again in 24 hours. Best pick somebody who doesn't have to ship so you can go there and look at it and make sure you have all the pipes and hoses.
So the aquapod or the JBJ 12 gallon kit comes with all the neccesary equipment?

I thought you still needed to buy stuff? well in that case, if its only $150 total for all the equipment then setting up a reef tank just became much more feasible.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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My first tank was a 24 gallon nanocube. I now still have that original tank, plus a 24 gallon aquapod, a 65 gallon tank and I just got a 12 gallon up and going in my daughters bedroom. So you can start out small, yes it's harder to keep parameters in check but it will make you very dilligent (at least it did for me) in the care of your tank, which hopefully carries over if you go on to bigger and better.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ir0n_ma1den
So the aquapod or the JBJ 12 gallon kit comes with all the neccesary equipment?

I thought you still needed to buy stuff? well in that case, if its only $150 total for all the equipment then setting up a reef tank just became much more feasible.
You will need a heater, thermometer, stuff like that. Which 12 gallon are you looking at? I would go with the increased lights. I don't run skimmers on my smaller tanks but you will need to do regular, frequent water changes.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:25 PM   #10
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If you like reeftank and stuff believe me your probably going to like a little bigger tank. I mean your going to pay a couple hundred more for live rock but too me its worth it 55 is a great size for starters i think? THe expesive part is corals and stuff but w/e, sorry lol i still have no idea how much nano cost around $1000 with a ref and stocked maybe? maybe more


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:25 PM   #11
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in nano i mean 20-30 gallon


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:25 PM   #12
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check it out, but I believe it has all the gear. You might have to supply a little hose, but yes, it's got everything.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...6&pcatid=13976
Just kind of shop around, check the used stuff, go to the mfg company and look the specs over, but a lot of people start with these and a lot of people stay with them.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/10/2008, 01:25 PM   #13
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I bought a JBJ 12 Gal on Ebay for $89 + shipping. That included a (WEAK) pump, sponges, bio-balls (which I threw out), and a PC light.

The live rock cost more more than the tank did!


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:28 PM   #14
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i would do a 40gal breeder tank it has a nice footprint @ 36x18


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:29 PM   #15
ir0n_ma1den
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sk8r
check it out, but I believe it has all the gear. You might have to supply a little hose, but yes, it's got everything.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...6&pcatid=13976
Just kind of shop around, check the used stuff, go to the mfg company and look the specs over, but a lot of people start with these and a lot of people stay with them.
Ya, that was the exact one i was looking at (used the same website too). Compared to the JBJ, it is a better deal for only $30 more you get more than double the lighting and its a complete kit.

If I did purchase this, the only stuff left to buy would be sand, rock, coral, and fish, right?


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:34 PM   #16
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And your test kits: priciest item: refractometer, up to 80.00 can be cheaper, worth its weight in gold when you need it. [Draw a line on your tank to indicate optimal fill line [as it evaporates out, you keep having to put freshwater in: there is an automation for this, but the 'pods evap less.] PH meter 20.00, good idea but not too critical. For the rest, if you keep softie coral, you need the alkalinity test, about 20.00 and the nitrate/ammonia test strips, under 10.00: faithfully keeping a little logbook of your tests and changes---priceless.
Outside of that---what you said.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/10/2008, 01:37 PM   #17
ir0n_ma1den
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on fosters and smith, they have a refractometer for only $42.

is there a test kit that has everything in it?

slatwater master test kit only $15

would this work?

will I also need an RO/DI unit or will tap water sufice?



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Old 01/10/2008, 01:48 PM   #18
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ive heard of people using tap water and being fine using dechlorinators... i wouldnt suggest it really ro/di from filterguys would be a good bet 135$ get you very good water...

if your good at dyi you can definately go cheaper on stuff....also best thing you can do is look on craigslist or local reef clubs or what not for used equipment..

get a 55gal from petco durin a 1$ gallon sale for 63(tax)
i got 60lbs of live rock from a local reefer for 2$/lbs vs the 5-9$ at LFS (guy i bought the rock from bought a complete setup stand 60gal light sump/skimmer for 1k......so the deals are out there just have to really look)

so you have to look for deals i know people bash the oddysea stuff but the MH and skimmer i got from them is working like a top with no problems.

if i was to guess i bet you can get in under 2k if you look hard enough or get cheaper stuff and upgrade later when you really have a need...


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:52 PM   #19
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refractometers don't use electricity and if you treat them right don't wear out, as a rule---42.00 could do it.

Sincerely, either go to a walmart and buy water from the ro kiosk, or get your own ro/di. Not using it just means an endless algae battle and the possibility of evaporation concentrating lethal metals in your tank.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/10/2008, 02:02 PM   #20
ir0n_ma1den
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with the 12g AP lights, can I grow most corals and other living organisms (zoas, shrooms etc)


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:03 PM   #21
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Nanos are alot more manageble than a larger system telling people that a large tank is easier is crap. This way of thinking is a way of the past. This was the train of thought years ago when nanos were widely unexcepded in the world of reef. Check around for used stuff locally. If close to north ga. PM me and I could give you some great deals on some used equiptment rimmless finnex nano,175W MH lighting ,skimmer, LR and coral for a very reasonable price


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:25 PM   #22
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Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I think the All In One Nano tanks are great for beginners-- especially because they require a bit more attention and are less intimidating for someone who's not a professional plumber or electrician. You'll learn quicker with a smaller tank as well-- wax on, wax off, paint fence....

I would suggest going for something other a little larger than the 12 gallon, though. If you can possibly afford it, the 28 gal NC HQI is a really nice system that will allow you to go in just about any direction you want and it'll allow you some room to grow. As everyone here can attest to, if you start with a 12 gallon you'll be looking to buy a another, larger setup within a year or less. If that's out of your price range, the 24 gallon systems without the Metal Halide will give you the extra space for less money, but you'll probably soon find you want stronger lights. It's usually the first thing people sacrifice to save money and the first thing on a tank they become dissatisfied with. Upgrading lighting on an exisiting tank can be expensive, complicated, and downright dangerous for the non-electrician if you go the DIY route.

As far as cost goes, it really depends on what your "passion" is and becomes. It's also cumulative over time. Reef tanks aren't set up and stocked in a single day. Some people are fascinated and satisfied with inexpensive and easy to find mushrooms and soft corals while others won't waste space on anything but the rarest most expensive SPS corals. It can be a good idea to do the tank in phases-- buy the tank, sand and rocks and set it up and let it cycle for a month or two while you save money and decide what you want to keep. Taking your time can allow you to spread the costs out and is generally considered a key to long term success.

Good luck!


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:32 PM   #23
ir0n_ma1den
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I would love to buy the 24g metal halide AP, but its $400, not including an RO/DI unit, sand, coral, living organisms,refractometer, test kit, heater, etc, etc.

If there is a way that I can take the plunge into reefs that costs only $300- $400 for everything than I would totally do it.

It's really not a money problem, but more of a problem convincing my parents to allow me to buy around $600 in reef equipment.


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:41 PM   #24
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Ok, I'm definitely a beginner and have the BioCube 29. That is an all in one tank and it's my first reef.

The tank basically came with everything I needed to get started, outside of heater, thermometer, power head & skimmer.

I paid $260 I believe for the tank and another $140 for a stand to put it on. Heater and thermometer were very inexpensive.

Power head and skimmer were probably about $30 each and I ran the tank for a bit without these.

Basically, I would say that you could easily take the plunge, with an "all in one" tank for that price. The difference is going to be the cost of the rock and sandbed.

And, you could always just get a few pieces of live rock and seed them with "not live" rock. That would be a cheaper way to do it.

Good luck!


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Current Tank Info: 90g w/30g sump; skimmer; 2x175w MH & 2x super white actinic...3g w/.5g fuge 1x150w MH Viper
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Old 01/10/2008, 03:04 PM   #25
ir0n_ma1den
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do you have a journal i can see?

the bio cube seems pretty good, and its pretty big too. But, i'd still have to buy an RO/DI unit and other stuff which would total to about ~$400.


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