1st reef tank, needs to be done cheap (I keep freshwater planted ecosystem aquariums)

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NoahLikesFish

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I think I’m going to make a build thread and a planning thread, in the planning thread I will do research on the fish I want and how to replicate the habitat I want to make. And in the build thread I will show off how I make my modified hob and start practicing scaping
 

ApoIsland

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No he is like 30, we met through his friend’s podcast.
This reminds me of a South Park episode with the adult band guy and the babysitter. Might be a good idea to let your "friend" know you have Chris Hansen on speed dial if he ever asks you to come over and trade coral.

Seriously though, you can definitely do this tank for under $500 and no sump, skimmer or other mechanical filtration. Light and a power head is all you really need as I have done it on a couple tanks throughout the years (16g and 55g setups). You can add a heater and a fan to that list depending on where you live.

I would skip the deep sand bed and go more along the lines of 1 to 1.5 inches. I would also avoid crushed coral.

No shame in mixing dry rock with live rock. I did that as well and has worked without issues.

I also agree the skimmer is a total waste of $ but you need to set your tank up properly and will most likely need a lower fish load. The current wish list will not work in a tank smaller than 40-55g in my opinion.

Really a shame you can't buy used, should definitely work on your mom about that. Buying used would allow for a much bigger tank.

Also be sure to plan for monthly costs of $10 - $20+ for even the smallest and simplest tanks after the initial setup.
 
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Once school gets out I can start ordering stuff and when I get back from Florida for vacation I can build my tank
 
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My mom said no more tanks and I don’t even know where to find stuff for my tank because nobody sells it. And newer stuff is safer Imo
 
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NoahLikesFish

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My mom is considering moving down to Florida where my grandma is, so I might have to pack up all my tanks and get rid of everything. If that does happen though, I might make my 20 into fw and my 40 into salt
 

ying yang

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I think I’m going to make a build thread and a planning thread, in the planning thread I will do research on the fish I want and how to replicate the habitat I want to make. And in the build thread I will show off how I make my modified hob and start practicing scaping


Good idea to plan/ research and if have documented down then can look over it and change if needed and build thread good as the weeks go into months then years all journey documented incase forgot something.
 

Alvaro_Spain

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That video you just shared looks similar to that video i shared begginning this thread where guy used to go to the coast and pick his own sea weeds / macro algae etc.he picked blennies/ crabs/ shrimps/ snails also and all free of charges ovbiously every country laws/ rules different so would have to check of its legal. And them tanks with all the macro algaes and sea weeds do look kind of cool
I actually love Mark´s tank. I´ve been following him for some time. Since he only talked about neocaridina shrimps and freshwater fish. Really nice guy. He sends me very good vibes. he just posted a new update.
 
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ying yang

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Yeah very educationally and i would never believed that around the coasts of uk we had such colourful anemones and sea weeds/ macro algae's.i keep getting tempted to break one my freshwater tanks down and try replicate something like he does .he has no heaters in these tanks and even has a chiller to make water colder.as waters around coasts of uk are extremely cold so idk but does look cool.but looks little close to freshwater planted tanks to me and i did that for last 8 years or so so want to step upto corals if im honest
 
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For me it’s more about the fish because I don’t have the space for fish like a Oscar or bichirs or other endearing fish that are cool and saltwater fish are a lot cooler lots more variety and it’s something I haven’t tried
 
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I’m not paying for a sump then building a crazy complicated magnetic hinge system just to make waves
 

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This tank looks awesome it is almost what I want to do, basically I want like a rock ledge with softies on it then a bed of grass with rocks in the back with like clay pots and bottles as hides for the fish like the clowns
Clay pots and bottles aren't exactly natural. Just saying... But it's your tank so do as you like.
 

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Just finished reading this roller coaster...it doesn't even sound like op knows if their parents will let them set the tank up. You need to think of a plan and stick to it, your are flip flopping from dsb/ ug filtration/macroalgae to a hob wavemaker to live food feeders for mandarins. A 20 gallon tank is small, it is unforgiving and to think that just throwing a dsb/macroalgae in and having a dirty tank = success is silly.
I'm all for a sweet macroalgae tank but just run it normally with a hob filter, some powerheads and weekly waterchanges. If you want tons of microfauna add pods, live rock, phyto, macroalgae and let them establish for a few months as the tank matures. Then add in a fish or two and some corals. No need to overcomplicate the process because your buddies said you need whatever the heck they said. My first tank (A 10 gallon) cost about $150 and was a basic reef with some cruddy leds that were way to white. However, I kept it simple and grew duncans, hammers, gsp, cyphastrea, cespitularia and such. It did great with a koralia 425 and hob filter. I had tons of pods (until I added a sixline like an idiot), sponges, worms and other hitchhikers.


Oh I also built a sump for my 40 breeder for about $30. No need to buy a $300 sump
 
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