Considering Reef Setup

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wizard0fozz

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Hello everyone. I have absolutely NO experience with marine/saltwater setups but have always wanted to have a reef tank. What has kept me away from it was the stigma it has for being so difficult (and also a bit more pricey but that doesn't bother me too much as it seems worth it) I only have experience with tropical/planted and very little brackish experience. So I guess what i'm trying to get out of this post is a nudge in the right direction. I don't wanna buy anything yet (tank, equipment, stock) until I know absolutely what I wan't to do, and how i'm going to do it. So what should I be thinking about first? I know I wan't about a 25-30 us Gallon sized tank. I prefer a long tank but a taller square one is fine. I would like some marine fish... I haven't decided on any particular species though, I know I would like fish with crustaceans as well as starfish, snail, urchin, things of that nature. Any recommendations would be appreciated, it would be nice if someone could include compatible mates in their recommendations. Anyways, I know the live stock is the last thing I should worry about (kinda anyway, despite the fact that the setup should revolve around the species being considered but you know what i mean) I don't really know anything so I have a lot to learn about substrates and the live rock/ coral, anemones, the symbiotic relationships, the salinity, gravity thing, temperatures, algae (i've always wanted a tank with that red velvet algae, think thats what its called). So if anyone could shed some light on what the heck i should do first it would be greatly appreciated. Maybe some good guides/articles online, or both. The more information pointing me the right way the better. Thanks in advance.

- Ozz
 

ATP

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Its definetly worth it.

Actually, I would start by looking at what livestock your're looking into. Start your research with what you want to keep. Browse the marine section of liveaquaria and see what fish you like and what corals. Than you could start researching individual species which would lead you to their requirements.

Each fish/coral have their requirements. For example you want a SPS coral in your tank and you also want to have many fishes. For the coral, it requires intense ligthing which would lead you to multiple choice of equipment. (LED, MH, etc.) For the fish, to make things more controllable, you'll need a skimmer. The skimmer then goes down to the specific model depending on your requirements. So generally, the equipment depends on requirements which depends on fish.

IMO, for a foundation, you should get a book. Not meaning if you read the book that's all you need. Meaning to give you a better understanding of saltwater and their equipments. To have a foundation. A book that I really like is "Natural Reef Aquariums Simplified Approaches to Creating Living Saltwater Micocosms" The title have the word simple, but its not that simple and very detailed.
 

lanlesnee

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I've been a reef tank owner now for 2 months and it was a lot of work at first, but mine was brought complete and running. So I had the pressure of keep everything right or losing live stock. But it's very well worth it.
It's not as hard as it is labor intensive. I've lost a few of my corals, but they were very little and the rest are growing to make up for it.
It took me a long time of changing things before I got the tank the way I wanted it.
Now it's not so bad. It's more or less feedings and water changes now. And watching my water chemistry and adding things as needed.

It your wanting one go for it. You won't regret it. I have 6 fresh water tanks and 1 reef tank. I'd trade all my fresh water tanks for a another reef tank and go though the same thing I just went though in the past 2 months in a heart beat.
 

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I've been a reef tank owner now for 2 months and it was a lot of work at first, but mine was brought complete and running. So I had the pressure of keep everything right or losing live stock. But it's very well worth it.
It's not as hard as it is labor intensive. I've lost a few of my corals, but they were very little and the rest are growing to make up for it.
It took me a long time of changing things before I got the tank the way I wanted it.
Now it's not so bad. It's more or less feedings and water changes now. And watching my water chemistry and adding things as needed.

It your wanting one go for it. You won't regret it. I have 6 fresh water tanks and 1 reef tank. I'd trade all my fresh water tanks for a another reef tank and go though the same thing I just went though in the past 2 months in a heart beat.
Thats what I did. Sold all of my freshwater (4 tanks) except my goldfish tank (since I got the goldfishes as a present) and bought another reef tank
 

lanlesnee

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Thats what I did. Sold all of my freshwater (4 tanks) except my goldfish tank (since I got the goldfishes as a present) and bought another reef tank
We have the same taste in fish I think. I have a couple of goldfish tanks. I've always had a soft stop for goldfish. I don't see me ever getting rid of my goldfish.

I have 2 goldfish tanks. I have a thing for Betta's too, having 5 betta tanks.

I have 2 fw and a brackish also.

I do see a another sw water tank in my future though.
 

new_sw_gurl

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My reef is 2 months old as well. No regrets! And I didn't have the previous freshwater experience that most do! I'm loving the hobby! Work...yes. But well worth the reward.
 
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wizard0fozz

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i noticed the book suggested is a bit older, do you think it'll still be a good idea to get it? I found it used on amazon for $5.91, shipped from my state (miami, FL), but seems like its from the 90's thinking it might be outdated?
 

ATP

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i noticed the book suggested is a bit older, do you think it'll still be a good idea to get it? I found it used on amazon for $5.91, shipped from my state (miami, FL), but seems like its from the 90's thinking it might be outdated?
its an old book and doesn't explain new equipments. It explains in details about the basic equipment and a brief touch on more complicated equipments like reactors. It lack news equipments like LED lighting, new skimmers like cone, new powerheads like the vortech, and any other new fancy equipments. Other than equipments, it really explains in detail about the organisms and their habitat. Since its that cheap, I would just get it.
 

zeeter

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Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies is a good book, too. Doesn't get too bogged down in the details. Teaches the theory of SW tank care, which to me is far more important than the minutia. I took that book, plus a lot of reading from the internet, and got started that way. When I got stuck I came to places like this and asked for advice. People are a lot more eager to help with advice if you show that you know what you're talking about than just asking a random question. For example, if you posted that you didn't know what the nitrogen cycle was I'd probably tell you to read up on it somewhere. If you posted your test results and were wondering if you were ready I'd jump right in and put my 2 cents in.
I'm somewhat of a newbie, having only been up since December. I've made a number of mistakes, a couple of which lost me a fish or two. But I'm getting there and at this point I don't even do my water tests every other day like I used to. I can tell just by looking at the water and the fish that they are happy.
 

lanlesnee

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i'm LOVING this.. uh oh.. i feel an obsession coming on.
I have a couple of large colonies of these. They're green in the most of the time, but in the day time They turn a brownish color.

Here's one of the colonies in my tank.

86.jpg


They are very easy to care for and get really big.
 

lanlesnee

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Xenia and brown mushrooms! Good job! Hope you have lots of room for xenia!Lol Don't be afraid wizard of ozz!! JUst DO It!!!!!
I won't have any Xenias if my anemone has a say about it. It's already killed one med size Xenia colony. The Xenias don't seem to handle the anemone's sting well at all.

My anemone has decided it's time to move again and he's heading for another Xenia colony.
 

carlos413

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I won't have any Xenias if my anemone has a say about it. It's already killed one med size Xenia colony. The Xenias don't seem to handle the anemone's sting well at all.

My anemone has decided it's time to move again and he's heading for another Xenia colony.
Anemone on the move not a good thing. They only move when they're not happy. I'd test your water.
 

lanlesnee

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Anemone on the move not a good thing. They only move when they're not happy. I'd test your water.
My water is:

Temp is a solid 80f, thanks for my chiller/heater.
sg 1.025
Ph 8.1
Nitrite, ammonia, phospate 0ppm
Nitrate 10ppm
Alkalinty 3.5 meq/l
Calcium 400

I don't test for Mag, or Idoine

Am I missing something? My Alkalinty could be lower, but how bad it that for the anemone? It's hosting a Clarkii clown and shows good color. I have good current and Halide lighting.
 
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lanlesnee

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Drop salinity to 1.023 and calcium is low needs to be at 450 I'm guessing mag is low as well Alk should be at a range of 7 - 11 dkh mag should be at 1250 - 1350.
My sg is in spec. It maybe on the high side, but it's a solid 1.024 to 1.025.
Calcium is in spec too. That's before a two part dose. I run it in the low 400's.
It holds solid too between 400 to 420.

I do plan to start test/adding mag.

My alkilinity is in spec at 3.5 meg/l or 9.8 dkh. If you wanted to convert meg/l to dkh.

So everything I have is in spec it's all in the low or high side of in spec but in spec all the same.

IMO he's moving due to lighting. The anomene has been in there for a long time and he moved when the tank got relocated. Now he's moving back to his old spot. He's close to 14 inches across and he's not able to spead out and get a full dose of light.
Right now he's stop moving. He only moved a few inches. He's able to spead himself now and has been doing so.

That's just a guess though.

He seems health. Eats well, has good color, seems in good shape (mouth, foot, etc)
 
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