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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening everyone! I apologize if I am in the wrong thread area. I have been debating purchasing my first saltwater set up and need help. I have been doing research on this for well over a month and trying to get my ducks (fish) in a row. I am currently looking at purchasing a 75 - 92 gallon tank and I want to run reef and fish. I have found a couple on craigslist that come with lights, sumps,live rock and live sand, that seem reasonably priced. I am trying to figure out if I should purchase a full up and running tank or if I should start over from scratch. I think starting over from scratch would be the more fulfilling/expensive/difficult but not opposed to purchasing up and running. I am not in a hurry to get up and running, and don't have an unlimited pocketbook (which from what I have seen might be necessary.) So if you could, please let me know what is important right off the bat, what I can wait on, and anything else that you feel would be good for someone new to know. Thanking you in advance and look forward to hearing from you!

Jeff
 

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If I was you I would start from scratch go with a 75 or a 90 gallon tank and than I would do a sump it just makes everything easier in the long run and have you decided if you want to do a reef tank or a fish only tank?
 

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Hi jeff, Welcome to TRT, glad you asked before buying something blind. As you have figured out the salt water side of the aqurium hobby is not cheap, and reef tanks cost more than tanks set up for just salt water fish.
Buying used can be a way to cut start up costs if you are familiar with what it takes to have a successful tank, but in all honesty, if you search past threads you find a boat load of" bought a used tank, ready to go what is happening" threads. although no and again you can find someone with a nice tank that has had some life changing episode that causes them to abandon a perfectly good reef tank, in my experience those folks usually have a network of reef friends that get first dibs, so think of a used aquarium like a used car, If it's such a great car why get rid of it? lot of people get into the hobby and sink a ton of $$$$ on stuff that turns out to be junk(because they impulse buy and don't ask here or on any one of several reef boards)
The problem with buying off Craigs list or similar is feeling like it might be a good deal and not wanting to miss out, once you plunck down the cash, it's all yours good bad or otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dane, I would like to have reef with some fish. Thanks Doug! There is one tank that I have been going back and forth on, I spoke with the owner and said that there is a sump, sounded like it might be about a 30 gallon. I know that the guy just moved and left the tank at his parents and needed to get rid of it. From what I have read, it sounds like the biggest cost are going to be the LR and LS and lights. Is this accurate? I think my LSF said that I would need around 150 lbs of LR for a 92 gallon and about the same with LS.
 

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Up and running is very difficult in my opinion because you have to take it down and get it set back back up fast, typically, unless you have a holding tank...which it doesn't sound like you do. Starting from scratch allows you to take your time, do it the way you want to do it, and when you want to do it. And it is more fulfilling.

I had the opportunity to buy a perfectly good Red Sea Max 250 with expensive fish and corals for $1500. If I bought these things new, all the included stuff would have been twice that. I passed on it because I would have to rush rush rush to get it up and going...otherwise, the corals and fish would have been living in buckets. Just wasn't right for me. Plus, part of the fun is picking out the things that you like.

But, on the other hand, a deal is a deal, and if you're willing to be inconvenienced slightly, then buy an up and running tank. Just make sure you have a plan for the livestock until you get the tank up and going and realize it could easily take at least a week, if you're lucky, to get the tank going and cycled...and yes, you will still have a cycle.
 

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Personally, I like to either buy a new tank or see the tank with creatures in it. Because I have read several accounts of people buying used tanks that have bad stuff in the such as copper and end up losing everything because they didnt know they was copper in the tank previously. But thats just me, so many other people buy used tanks. JMO
 

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The trick on a "deal" if it passes muster here is to get rid of any fish, or adopt them out, dump most of the sand and be ready to start over. It helps if you know that Skimmer X or Super light 7000 they have on the tank are junk.
When setting up an aquarium, you are NEVER gonna get what you paid for everything, but everyone is going to try.
I would bet that 90% of us that have been in the hobby 5 or more years has a collection of "had to have, wish it would dissapear" stuff we bought back in the day.
 

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The trick on a "deal" if it passes muster here is to get rid of any fish, or adopt them out, dump most of the sand and be ready to start over. It helps if you know that Skimmer X or Super light 7000 they have on the tank are junk.
When setting up an aquarium, you are NEVER gonna get what you paid for everything, but everyone is going to try.
I would bet that 90% of us that have been in the hobby 5 or more years has a collection of "had to have, wish it would dissapear" stuff we bought back in the day.
As in livestock or equipment?:thumbup:
 

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The trick on a "deal" if it passes muster here is to get rid of any fish, or adopt them out, dump most of the sand and be ready to start over. It helps if you know that Skimmer X or Super light 7000 they have on the tank are junk.
When setting up an aquarium, you are NEVER gonna get what you paid for everything, but everyone is going to try.
I would bet that 90% of us that have been in the hobby 5 or more years has a collection of "had to have, wish it would dissapear" stuff we bought back in the day.
As in livestock or equipment?:thumbup:
Must be talking about equipment, i have loved every damsel, camel shrimp, crab and whatnot that I talked myself into buying ;)
 

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Must be talking about equipment, i have loved every damsel, camel shrimp, crab and whatnot that I talked myself into buying ;)
Sounds like some sarcasm there... the words "damsel" and "loved" in the same sentence is a good indicator of that...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info. Sounds like buying without livestock is the way to go. Thanks Nate. Doug, I was speaking more on the equipment side. Once I purchase a tank and have it cycled and running, I am sure I will be on here with another 100 questions about livestock. I think as far as buying used or new, I am going to have to go (for the tank) I believe that I have enough to get the tank up and running and can add the livestock as money allows. As I state before, I am more worried about having the right equipment and knowledge rather than try and get something into my house and start shoving livestock in there and hope for the best.
 

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Sounds like some sarcasm there... the words "damsel" and "loved" in the same sentence is a good indicator of that...;)
I dont have a sarcatic bone in my body ;)

Thanks for the info. Sounds like buying without livestock is the way to go. Thanks Nate. Doug, I was speaking more on the equipment side. Once I purchase a tank and have it cycled and running, I am sure I will be on here with another 100 questions about livestock. I think as far as buying used or new, I am going to have to go (for the tank) I believe that I have enough to get the tank up and running and can add the livestock as money allows. As I state before, I am more worried about having the right equipment and knowledge rather than try and get something into my house and start shoving livestock in there and hope for the best.
Not saying you can't save a lot on used stuff, just that it helps to know what works and doesn't. The other thing I wan't to reinforce is try to come up with a list of gotta have critters then figger out what it takes to support them and plan aound it after you check compatability issues.
 

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hello, i saw you asked about a biocube before. i would recommend not getting it. that was my 1st tank and i grw out of it in 2 months. wish i would have just got a bigger tank from the start. also i have a 90 gallon tank i have i want to say about 110 or 120 pounds of LR with no problems and its been up for 4 years. my rock is bali rock though and is very porous so has more surface area on it and allows more flow through the rock. im not to sure about the sand though, i want to say 80 pounds but not 100%. also got sand and rock in my sump/refugium as well
 
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