I purchased a used Oceanic Biocube 8 gallon tank off of craigslist for an unbelievable $50. The guy I bought it from was using it as a freshwater tank, so cleaning it was a bit of a pain and a long process. First I had to remove the remaining rock (trash), carbon filter (& replace with a new one), thoroughly clean the bio balls, and sanitize the tank to prepare it for a SW (saltwater) habitat.
Preparing a used tank for SW use-
1- empty and trash all debris
2- do a thorough rinse and wipe down with a soft cloth so you don't scratch the glass of acrylic.
3- fill tank, 8 gallons for me, and add some bleach
4- allow to sit for 3 to 6 hours
6- fill and add de-chlorinator (a full bottle)
7- all to sit for AT LEAST 8 hours, preferably 12.
8- rinse, air dry and begin filling your tank.
After cleaning my tank I purchased pre made SW from Aquatic Fantasy (the local fish store here in Redondo Beach), and live rock & live sand. As well as a new light fixture (special order), carbon cartridge, & a hydrometer to keep track of the salinity levels.
The rock I purchased already had established greenish- red mushroom coral growth on it, so I'm one step closer to my reef system. Below is a picture of my tank almost 2 hours after set up..
- Used Oceanic Biocube- $50
- Bleach- $1.99
- Dechlorinator- $10.99
- Eclipse replacement cartridge- $3.99
- Saltwater @ $.99/gallon- $7.92
- Aragalive Fiji Pink live sand- $23.99
- regular live rock @ $4.99/lb- $15.97 for 3.2 lbs
- fancy live rock with growth @ $7.99/lb- $19.18 for 2.4 lbs
- hydrometer- $12.99
Is this an expensive hobby? YOU BET! But I'm pretty lucky for finding a tank in such great condition for 50 bucks! Usually 8 gallon Biocubes retail for $140 (not including taxes and shipping!)
Thank you to my friends at Aquatic Fantasy in Redondo Beach, CA for supplying my current, and future purchases.