Wanting to get into Saltwater, So many questions.

ABQ_CHRIS

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Hello and welcome. I think that many of your concerns/questions have been answered. It sounds like you are getting some sound advice and you're developing a good plan.

I am more a nano/pico guy, but if I ever go for a big tank it'll be really big tank. I think getting one larger tank between you is a better option than two smaller tanks unless you see yourselves parting or moving in the near future. OR you want to do two different types of tank? Aggressive/predator tank?
Its more of a price the more research I do on the 120 gallons just the price skyrockets compared to us each doing like a 30 and 40, 40 for me and 30 for him. I am pretty resourceful and I have a friend that is an engineer and could help me build a stand. Everything I look at though is all together and like 2,000+ money wise which is way more than what we would spend to at least start to cycle a new tank. I may be looking in the wrong places, I am going to be calling some local fish stores tomorrow (the idea didn't pop into my head until they were closed today) to see if I can find some around us that may have the bigger glass aquariums for sale and probably cheaper than online at very least.

I could also be looking in the wrong places. I have tried to look on my local facebook market place too so right now its more of a waiting game and seeing what I find out about the 120ish gallons. Right now price is the biggest concern there for getting it off of the ground. While I love the fish I can see in the 120+s I would still be happy to keep a 40 gallon with some clowns and my fire. So I think our 2 set up is still the best option right now, our dream is to one day of course GO BIG, what we were thinking is in the future we would probably upgrade to like a 200 gallon or something (at minimum probably a 5 year dream) and then one of our systems we would transfer into the big boy and the other we move to our bedroom or something. (I know they can be loud but he sleeps through anything and I always have ear plugs) There is also the fact that having a 30 and 40 to start would allow us to learn to really care for corals and make sure we got this. I could also consider a 75 of course to just combine our tanks gallons, which may be the play as we are doing more research anyway.

Right now I am just in a huge research stage so really trying to gather as much information as I can to make the best decision for us in a lot of different ways. I don't want to start with something so big and then we do terrible at keeping it since we are new. I am fine with 2 smaller aquariums to start, but then again I do know after reading like the bigger are actually easier. So really yea just getting all the information, researching, asking questions, re-researching, more questions....etc. Its my process but I really like to know what I am getting into before I jump in
For sure. I get it. I hear that you can find good deals here on used equipment, but I haven't looked very closely.

I'm sure you'll come up with a solid plan. Good luck and keep asking questions.
 
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Homey D. Clownfish

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I would start with a smaller tank if this is your first go-around. It’s easier to manage, and you can get the hang of the hobby without breaking the bank. One rule of thumb: it will usually cost more than you think.

Live rock vs. dry rock. You’ll get a lot of varied answers. Both have positives and negatives. I prefer live, personally. It will cycle your tank faster, more biodiversity, and usually won’t have as bad algae problems.

Sump vs. AIO. Sump is better because you have more room for equipment and larger volume of water to maintain stable parameters. However, AIO is fine as long as you research the type of equipment you need—as in make sure it will all fit.

Welcome to R2R! I just recently joined the forum and am starting my own Innovative Marine 50 gallon AIO after a 15 year hiatus from the hobby. There’s plenty of folks that will help you along and don’t forget BRS (Bulk Reef Supply) has some great videos if you haven’t checked them out yet.
 
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Nekoreef

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I would start with a smaller tank if this is your first go-around. It’s easier to manage, and you can get the hang of the hobby without breaking the bank. One rule of thumb: it will usually cost more than you think.

Live rock vs. dry rock. You’ll get a lot of varied answers. Both have positives and negatives. I prefer live, personally. It will cycle your tank faster, more biodiversity, and usually won’t have as bad algae problems.

Sump vs. AIO. Sump is better because you have more room for equipment and larger volume of water to maintain stable parameters. However, AIO is fine as long as you research the type of equipment you need—as in make sure it will all fit.

Welcome to R2R! I just recently joined the forum and am starting my own Innovative Marine 50 gallon AIO after a 15 year hiatus from the hobby. There’s plenty of folks that will help you along and don’t forget BRS (Bulk Reef Supply) has some great videos if you haven’t checked them out yet.
Oh yes! I went through BRS their whole 5 minute series and loved it! Just to get an idea since I am not yet building. My boyfriend and I did a ton of research on sumps and that does look like we will go that route 100%

I figured live vs dry was really just a preference and came down to experience. Do you think it should be 100% either way though and no mixing of the two? Like would it be pointless to do a 60/40 split? My thought process here is 40% less chance to get hitchhikers while also helping to cycle early but I am not positive if that is how it work :)

Welcome back to the hobby too!
 

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Oh yes! I went through BRS their whole 5 minute series and loved it! Just to get an idea since I am not yet building. My boyfriend and I did a ton of research on sumps and that does look like we will go that route 100%

I figured live vs dry was really just a preference and came down to experience. Do you think it should be 100% either way though and no mixing of the two? Like would it be pointless to do a 60/40 split? My thought process here is 40% less chance to get hitchhikers while also helping to cycle early but I am not positive if that is how it work :)

Welcome back to the hobby too!
You can use a mix of live and dry rock that isn't a problem at all, in regards to hitchhikers they will come in other ways such as coral even if you dip the corals.
 
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You can use a mix of live and dry rock that isn't a problem at all, in regards to hitchhikers they will come in other ways such as coral even if you dip the corals.
Perfect! Do you think its better to mix though? I mean not better but will it help to cycle with a 60/40 split or would it be the same cycling with all dry rock?
 

ReefGeezer

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Perfect! Do you think its better to mix though? I mean not better but will it help to cycle with a 60/40 split or would it be the same cycling with all dry rock?
If you can, start with all live rock. You can buy different grades. Ocean cultured "Base" live rock is a less expensive way to start. It has some coralline algae, bacteria, and other basic life on it, but much less of the more complex life that is likely to die off in a new tank anyway. Real ocean cured live sand and rubble live rock can help too. More expensive "Premium" live rock can be added later to provide the more complex organisms after the tank has matured.
 
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If you can, start with all live rock. You can buy different grades. Ocean cultured "Base" live rock is a less expensive way to start. It has some coralline algae, bacteria, and other basic life on it, but much less of the more complex life that is likely to die off in a new tank anyway. Real ocean cured live sand and rubble live rock can help too. More expensive "Premium" live rock can be added later to provide the more complex organisms after the tank has matured.
I had no Idea I could add that in later, I mean makes sense once you say it but I never thought about it. Thank you so much!
 
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I had no Idea I could add that in later, I mean makes sense once you say it but I never thought about it. Thank you so much!
Another planning issue that comes back to bite us is how we "aquscape" the tank with whatever type of rock we select. If I had it to do over again, I would not build a complicated rock structure. I'd build a few Atoll like structures that were not near the glass.
 

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