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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am a newbie here. I just stopped by my local ADA store here in San Francisco, and I am thinking about giving up my saltwater tank to start a iwagumi style tank. I definitely want a ADA tank, probably the 90x45x45 setup. However, the guys at the store told me it would take about $3-5k minimum to get the tank setup like I would want. Can I get a tank setup for cheaper? I really want the ADA tank, nice stylish MH lights, and a beautiful stand. I also need a really quiet filter (my current salt water tank is way too loud). Can I do it for around $2K or less? I like this type of tank:



Also, is the maintenance easier for a planted tank than a saltwater tank? Have any of you had sps saltwater tanks? I need a little easier maintenance now that I have a baby. Any advice for a newbie?

If I don't get an ADA tank, I will be buying an Elos mini and doing a very simple saltwater tank with some nice LED lights and maybe zoanthids. Thanks!
 

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You can have what's inside of the tank for $500 and a lot of elbow grease. The outside won't look as nice.

But let's face it, even if you buy all the shiny stuff you'll need a lot of elbow grease to get the plants how you want them and then maintain them there without algae anyway.
 

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First, let me welcome you to apc. Yes, you can do it a lot cheaper than $4K, though, imo it will cost you more than $500, unless you go 'garage sale' route.

I've never kept a salt water tank, but maintenance can be as little as topping due to evaporation if you go the 'el natural' type tank, to weekly maintenance where you do partial water changes/re-fills, or daily to tweak and prune and meticulously maintain, if you're so inclined.

Here's a couple of references which might help you:

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First, let me welcome you to apc. Yes, you can do it a lot cheaper than $4K, though, imo it will cost you more than $500, unless you go 'garage sale' route.

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/
Thanks! Yes, I do not want to go the garage sale route. And I really am only interested in the rimless ADA tanks, nice stand, and if not the ADA light, another MH that looks good enough to show off in my living room (I don't think there are many out there). So those items alone will be a little over $1k. Then the rest of the things... I am hoping won't be more than $1k....
 

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The ADA tank, stand and light are the most visible parts, by far, so spending ADA prices is probably justified there. And, ADA aquasoil costs about the same as other substrates, so you can use that economically. But, there are many filter options, and especially, fertilizer options that are much cheaper than ADA's. The glass lily pipes ADA sells are visibly superior to others, in my opinion, but not by much, so some money can be saved there - see Cal Aqua Labs, for example. If you use an external CO2 reactor, hidden under the tank, you can DIY that for very little cost. Hardscape, rocks especially, can be obtained a lot cheaper - visit landscape rock places to see what they have. I think you can stay under $2000 for the whole thing.
 
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