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Ryan98720

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Hey guys! I have always loved the idea of having my own reef tank! About 2 years ago I got really serious about starting one up and did a lot of research as to what i would need, what I would want, etc... Unfortunately, I was still in college and did not really have the money to put into a tank! So I just have been putting it off! I'm finally graduated, and while I'm still pretty broke, I think that I have the money to start with something small! And then maybe one day I can build on what I have!

Originally I had planned on having a 10-gallon display tank with a DIY overflow that I saw someone make on youtube! I thought about it going down to another 10-gallon tank that I have as a sump! Maybe use it as a refugium as well? The problem I recently ran into with that plan is that I do not currently have a sturdy enough stand to support all of that weight! Was thinking about 10-15 lbs of dry rock and 10-15 lbs of dry sand in the display! As far as fish i was really wanting a clownfish and maybe a goby... I recently saw something about a gulf miniature octopus that I think would be super cool! But I haven't done hardly any research on that so I don't know how feasible that would be."

Recently I was looking and I noticed a TopFin 36-gallon Bowfront Aquarium and Stand Ensemble for $150 at PetSmart.... The problem is that with a 36-gallon tank I would have to significantly increase the amount of saltwater, sand, live rock, etc that I would need to start up the tank... All of that means a more expensive startup cost, but how much more would that mean in water change cost?


That's a link to the tank.... I guess my question is do you think that it is worth it to go ahead and go for the 36-gallon tank? Or should I just build a stand for my 10 gallons like I was planning on doing originally? Also if you know of anywhere to get cheap supplies I'm looking for recommendations! I have tried checking Craiglist and Facebook market in my area and unfortunately living in a college town in Alabama not many people are selling tank supplies... Thank you so much for any recommendations or advice you can give me! Im going to try and sit down and find out the exact cost difference between the 2 tanks... just looking for a little guidance
 
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vetteguy53081

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Larger tank is more forgiving and easy to manage (less water changes and frequency of overall maintenance)
 

WirelessMike

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Welcome to the reef. Initial cost might be a bit more in the 36 but the water parameters will be more forgiving with the larger setup. I also don’t really think you would see too much of a difference in the recurring cost between a 36 and 2 - 10’s. Luckily the brain trust here can guide you I am sure.
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Ryan98720

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Thank you guys for the feedback! Its something I've been thinking about for a while and the deal on the tank/stand combo is almost too good to pass up! So for that size tank how much water should I change and how often? Also one of the problems I have is that there is no LFS near me besides the big name pet stores like pet smart, pet supplies plus, etc. Tuscaloosa is mainly a college town so not many people with fish tanks around here. The closest one is in Birmingham. Any recommendations on cheap lighting options? Definitely on a slim budget here! Considering donating plasma to fund my tank lol!
 

Codeblack88

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Thank you guys for the feedback! Its something I've been thinking about for a while and the deal on the tank/stand combo is almost too good to pass up! So for that size tank how much water should I change and how often? Also one of the problems I have is that there is no LFS near me besides the big name pet stores like pet smart, pet supplies plus, etc. Tuscaloosa is mainly a college town so not many people with fish tanks around here. The closest one is in Birmingham. Any recommendations on cheap lighting options? Definitely on a slim budget here! Considering donating plasma to fund my tank lol!
Water changes depend on you and how the tanks look. For my 32 I do it once a week bc I have having phosphate issues but normally its one every two weeks.
 

Heart of Dixie

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Ryan, I am southeast of Birmingham. Reef Life has a good selection of dry goods as well as fish and corals. I think it would be worth the hour drive. Keep checking Craigslist too. I have seen some decent systems at very good asking price.
 
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Ryan98720

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Wow! Thank you Heart of Dixie! I had heard of this place before and had even followed their facebook page, but I had just not even though about buying from them and idk why! I will definitely give them a shot! In terms of substrate, the have 2 different ones on sale for a good price!!! But idk which is better? Or if the more expensive one is worth the money

or

 
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PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 47 6.4%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 508 69.6%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 6 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 69 9.5%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 71 9.7%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 71 9.7%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 5 0.7%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 20 2.7%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 70 9.6%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 14 1.9%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 39 5.3%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 12 1.6%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 207 28.4%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 273 37.4%
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