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Dale_M
03/27/2017, 09:11 AM
Hello, I am new here and to the hobby itself.
Have had many freshwater tanks over the years but have not had one in the last 7 yrs and recently got the bug again and decided to do a saltwater tank.
After lots of reading I realized that saltwater can be potentially much more expensive. I thought it might be a great idea if everyone could fill in the checklist with what they would get for a dream tank IF they were to get the least expensive (yet performs well) equipment.
I am thinking of doing a 40gal breeder to start off with. Plumbing and overflow box will be DIY BeanAnimal.
Please fill in your recommended brand name and perhaps cost $$$ and if I forgot anything on the list please feel free to add.

SUMP:
RETURN PUMP:
LIGHTS (LED preferred):
POWERHEADS:
RO/DI SYSTEM:
SALT MIX:
LIVE ROCK:
LIVE SAND:
SKIMMER:
REACTORS (this list may get long):
CONTROLLER:
HEATER:
ATO:
DOSER:
TEST KITS:

JUNBUG361
03/27/2017, 01:40 PM
You could check the used EQUIPMENT & dry goods selling threads

Dale_M
03/27/2017, 10:09 PM
Wow... nevermind, thanks for all the help

homer1475
03/28/2017, 03:29 AM
Unfortunately "Dream Tank" and "Budget" are 2 words that usually don't work well together.

My current tank had a budget, that got busted pretty quickly.

Devaji108
03/29/2017, 11:33 AM
yeah I agree with homer. this hobby can get spendy pretty damn fast ..

that said you dont have to go broke. it can be done on a budget. so don't give up.
you got a cpl options.

depending on where you live search Craigslist local forums etc. there are always ppl get out of the hobby looking to give some good deals. I once gave away a 240 gal.tank with brand new MH...

pect petco 1per gallon sale. happens 4 times a year I believe. from 5 to 75 gal tanks. ( 75 only in some areas but you could talk to your local petco and see if thay could bring it in for you.)

I would suggest a cpl 40breeders one for DT and one for sump. $80
glass and silicone to make sump baffles $20
cheapest stand is DIY 2x4 I bet you could make one for $50
you will need a RODI $200
(unit sometimes is cheaper to buy a new one than replace all filters.)
box of salt $50
test kits very min, $25
lighting. you can spend a ton or keep it somewhat simple. $250
depending on what you want to grow.
heater $40
looks like you want to drill. plumbing and over flow box $100
sand $40
dry rock $40

there you go a pretty nice but simple budget system. for $895
I bet you could find a nice used system for that tho..

Elricsfate
03/29/2017, 12:06 PM
Wow... nevermind, thanks for all the help

I have to say, I'm slightly shocked that you expected a whole bunch of people to sit here and do your shopping and research for you. But apparently some are willing...so what do I know.

Bratyboy2
03/29/2017, 12:26 PM
SUMP: $1 per gallon sale at petco and make your own 20 longs are great for that so about 40 bucks roughly
RETURN PUMP: jebao dct pumps. depending on size tank. i have a 6000 running my 75 gallon
LIGHTS (LED preferred): look at the mars black box leds on ebay. people really seem to like them
POWERHEADS: again jebao. has great ones.
RO/DI SYSTEM: aquabuddy off amazon is the one i have and its cheap and works great. filters are cheap to replace too
SALT MIX: just do instant ocean for now until you get into the harder to keep stuff
LIVE ROCK: dry will be cheaper. if your set on live check out salty bottom connection .com
LIVE SAND: bagged from local store. do a thin layer like an inch.
SKIMMER: try to find a good named one used. i got a reef octopus off facebook group for $100 and it does more then enough
REACTORS (this list may get long): always can find a nice used 2 little fishies reactor for about 20
CONTROLLER: maybe a dream but they are expensive and your powerheads and return will have controllers with them if you go jebao
HEATER: invest in this.. jager is a good proven brand. bout 40-50
ATO: look up king of diy joey on youtube i made mine froe like 10 bucks
DOSER: again jebao has a nice one and they are cheap and people like them
TEST KITS: dont go cheap here and buy api...its crap. buy what you need through salifert and let your local store test your water through your cycle

ruiny
04/08/2017, 07:22 PM
This is not a hobby to save money in.
I go by "if you can't afford to do it right, how can you afford to do it twice"
And it's unlikely you 40 gallon is a dream size.

jwright0291
04/09/2017, 04:17 PM
You could check the used EQUIPMENT & dry goods selling threads

Where is this land you speak of? I don't see it :hmm5:

rlhanks
04/09/2017, 05:05 PM
This is not a hobby to save money in.
I go by "if you can't afford to do it right, how can you afford to do it twice"
And it's unlikely you 40 gallon is a dream size.

that is a great phrase!

I use to watch "New Yankee Workshop" and would think "man if I had all those tools Norm has I would be a great woodworker", well it doesn't always work that way, there is an art that is earned with experience there. Same principal applies here, just because you buy all the dream supplies doesn't always mean you will have a flourishing reef tank. You have to find a way to be patient and become a marine biologist, a process engineer, electrical engineer and a chemical engineer.

iLLwiLL
04/20/2017, 06:33 PM
I just got back into keeping reef tanks after a 5 year break. I searched Craigslist for a while and found a setup I liked and have been slowly upgrading as time goes on. If your on a budget and know what your looking for its your best option to get your feet wet.

Now I have a combined shallow 80 and shallow 30 build in the works that looks great on paper but making it a reality on a budget is taking a lot of time to assemble everything. This will be my propagation / frag setup and after its done and stocked I can start saving up for a propper display tank and equipment. Dream tanks can be had on a budget, problem is its usually someone elses dream.

Kodock
04/21/2017, 05:09 PM
SUMP: 40Breeder, 4 baffles, silicone: $85 if $/gallon $165 if not
RETURN PUMP: Jebao 4000DCT: $80
LIGHTS (LED preferred): AI Hydra 52's with hanging kit: $350
POWERHEADS: Hydor 850 & 650: $60+
RO/DI SYSTEM: Spectrapure 90 GPD with faucet adapter: $165
SALT MIX: Carib sea reef salt: $40
LIVE ROCK: Carib Sea 40lb base rock $80
LIVE SAND: Carib Sea Fuji Pink 30lbs: $30
SKIMMER: Reef Octopus 110-INT: $185
REACTORS (this list may get long): waste until you know what you are doing
CONTROLLER: walmart timers: $15
HEATER: Aqueon 200W: $35
ATO: your hands
DOSER: none
TEST KITS: api starter: $25

New setup with a decent looking stand with everything from scratch, you are looking at $1,500 assuming you make a poo stand without a canopy. It is the hidden expenses that get you. You are better off going used, and dealing with the organics issue until you fully educated are ready to build your own. You will spend $100s extra on thing you don't need or messed up.

I can't express it enough to just go ahead and buy an RODI unit, no excuses. Do not go cheap with a skimmer, and keep the pluming simple.

SaltyNovice
04/21/2017, 07:51 PM
Unfortunately "Dream Tank" and "Budget" are 2 words that usually don't work well together.

My current tank had a budget, that got busted pretty quickly.
Ditto for me.....9 years ago.:lolspin: