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New to the board and hobby


nonbryan

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Hi everyone! I have recently caught the SW aquarium bug but I haven't been able to set up a system yet. I plan on taking my time and trying to learn as much as possible before I jump in head first and kill a bunch of fish, waste a bunch of money, and discourage myself from sticking with the hobby. I am hoping that I can come to this board and learn and get support from the other Austin area aquarists. I know I have a lot to learn so I want to thank everyone for the patience ahead of time. My biggest fear is the negative feedback that I get from the people in my life when I tell them that I want to do a SW aquarium. It seems like the only responses I ever get is either 1- it is too expensive, or 2-it takes too much effort. I know that this can't be completely true or nobody would pursue the hobby. Any help and advice that anyone has is greatly appreciated and I will take it graciously. See you on the boards.

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Welcome! I just started my first tank in January and so far I love it but I will say what everyone tells you is true. This is a very expensive hobby if you want to do it right. It also does take a lot of time and effort to do it right but isnt that the entire point of a hobby? I wouldnt be any fun if it was setup and done in 5 minutes and then you just look at it.

Just to give you an idea of the costs involved. I bought a used 24 gallon aquapod with a stand from a member here late last year. Total I have invested about $800 in this system and there isnt even a single piece of coral in it yet. I also have purchased every single piece of this system used from people here on the boards.

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Welcome. We are always happy to help someones saltwater addiction get going. Once you get a tank up I'll be happy to give you your first hit mushroom for free. :P

As far as money goes Joshman is pretty on the mark. There are a lot of things that you can do to reduce costs like buying new but there is no way around it. You will be looking at a floor of around $600 in equipment for even a nano reef tank. I have $1200 in budget for my 90 and I think I'm going to make it but it has not been easy.

For maintenance, it is more difficult than a freshwater tank. You have periodic water changes (from weekly to monthly depending on who you ask.) Weekly maintenance on cleaning glass and checking pumps. Daily feedings and water top offs ect. You can trade in money for convienance (Automatic Water Top offs, Calcium Reactors ect)

That being said you are doing the right thing. I did a couple of months of research before getting my 24g nano and I had a great mentor as a friend. That being said, I could have done that system so much better now. My 90G is costing me about what I spent on the 24G nano. So do your research.

Actually, as far as "time sink" in this hobby goes, doing the right research is the real time killer. I'm working on getting Mandarin's right now and probably have done around 25-30 hours of research on the one fish. Mind you it's a special case and there are a lot of side twists and turns in that (is xxx fish compatable with a mandarin?) but if you don't like doing research and learning about these lovely creatures you'll face an aweful lot of heartbreak in the onths ahead.

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