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please approve my setup!!!


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Good Morning! I am about to purchase 6 tropical aquariums to put into my business downtown. Each will be mounted in a half height partition wall surrounding separate seating sections so you can see through the tanks to the other seating sections. I have gotten a few quotes, but feel under-prepared and not very knowledgeable about what Im about to buy. Can some of you check out the quote that Im getting and tell me what I DONT need, and what I really DO need from the list. Some of this I dont feel is necessary, or that I can get cheaper equipment to work just as well. (again, keep in mind this is my first time owning a tropical tank...and yes they will be professionally maintained on a monthly basis so I dont have to mess with them)

This is what Im told I need for each tank:

55 Tub Tank Only $100.00

MaxiJet 1200 x2 $75.98 ??? - whats this, and do i need 2?

Power Compact 2x96W w/ Moonlights $299.99 ??? - whats this, and do i need 2?

Aragonite 20lbs Live $27.99

Live Rock 40lbs $200.00

Fake Coral x2 $80.00 (I wanted a mixture of fake and live coral to save cost)

Heater $24.99

Super skimmer 65g $119.99 ??? - whats this, and are there cheaper availible?

Six Strip $6.99 can get these anywhere

Timer single $17.99 ??? - whats this for, and is it necessary?

50 gallons Saltwater premixed $62.50

sub $1016.42

tax $83.85

total $1100.27

My desire is to have a really neat mix of livestock for customers to be "wow'd" with. (i.e. starfish, sea horses, clown fish, etc...)

Please let me know what is necessary and what is not. I'd like to do these for under a grand each after taxes...

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I would do quite a bit of research before you jump into anything. I imagine you want to get your setup up and running to make your office look nice, but the list you have above is more than likely going to end up disappointing you big time.

55g is a terrible size IMO by the way. You would be much better off with 75g tanks (same length but a bit taller and wider). The price you where quoted is probably not that bad for retail installed, but you could definately do it cheaper.

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55 Tub Tank Only $100.00

MaxiJet 1200 These are pumps for water movement. $18.99 each

Power Compact 2x96W w/ Moonlights Lighting (price depends on brand)

Aragonite 20lbs Live Sand for the bottom, 40 pound bag (use 1/2 per tank) $28

Live Rock 40lbs $5 a pound (200) is about right for nice rock

Fake Coral x2 Depends on brand and where you buy. I have never bought this.

Heater ($18-30)

Super skimmer 65g $119.99 ??? - Protein skimmer which helps keep the water clean. In my opinion you cannot find a decent skimmer for $120 (never mind less), but you shouldn't need one for fish only.

Six Strip $7 is about right, but like you said you can get it anywhere.

Timer single $17.99 ??? - Timer for the lights (on/off) You need it, but can find them much cheaper at Wallyworld unless they are offering you heavy duty digital.

50 gallons Saltwater premixed $1 a gallon is about right. You can buy salt and RO water and mix it yourself for less which you are going to have to do anyway for water changes unless you plan to have some one maintain it for you.

So to go with what I typed above. I think the price is reasonable, but I don't think you will be happy with the results.

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I have to disagree with Entropy about not needing a skimmer. I would have one on any tank even if fish only. I would look into trying to get all these tanks plumbed together. The more volume you have the healthier they should all stay. Then you could get one large good skimmer to run the whole system. It might cost a little more upfront but would save you on electricity and maintenance in the long run. Yes you might be able to get the powerheads a little cheaper if you shop online, but if that is the prices for all the equipment and to get them installed I think those prices are more than fair.

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That was my first thought too Gabe, but I think the way he wants to set it up has space between each tank making it impossible (or really hard) to plumb them together. I don't honestly think he can get a decent skimmer in his price range that will hang on the side (since it sounds like he wants it at least front and back visible). Unless he goes reef ready and uses a sump to hide the equipment I dont see this working very well for a saltwater setup other than a basic fish only.

Another idea though might be to dump all the money into one or two of the tanks and make the others fresh water. Maybe a theme for each tank to draw different interst each time a customer comes in. Then he could hook two together and get a nice sump setup with a good skimmer, live rock, lights, etc. while just going with standard freshwater fish with a basic setup for the others. You could probably do it for $500 (or less) a setup for freshwater, and then spend 4k+ on the other two and still come out at 6k final price tag.

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Without seeing your building and exactly what you want to do I don't know that anyone would be able to tell you acurately if all of that is needed. The prices look fair. I would research the company that gave me the quote and if they are known to be a good company by the SW community then I would say you are in good hands.

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