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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/16/2006 6:56:04 PM EDT
Decided to start up a reef aquarium.


40 pounds of live rock
Some salt
1 Filter and skimmer combo
An expensive ass light
A cheap plastic hydrometer which needs to be replaced with a $100 refractometer

After I wait another month or so and spend a couple hundred more getting equipment I can try my hand at (hopefully not) killing some beautiful aquatic life.

I wonder how many guns this new hobby will cost me?

So, anybody else here keep reef tanks? Got any advice for the newbie?

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:57:58 PM EDT
Don't pee in it.



-K

­

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:00:49 PM EDT
1. Go to bait shop and nudie store, fill tank will minnows and Spanish Fly.
2. Enjoy a summer of fishing without buying live bait
3. Sell excess horny minnows to neighborhood kids all summer.
4. Use saved/made money to buy guns and ammo.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:00:50 PM EDT
what do you need with an ass light?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:02:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By legalese77:
what do you need with an ass light?



Okay, that was funny.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:06:11 PM EDT
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....
Mine has been going for 3-4 yrs and hers has been 10+ but we have both lost alot of $ in the process....


Pics of the acrylic after first being set up. Lots has been added since.....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:06:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By legalese77:
what do you need with an ass light?



Ever try to look up your ass without a light?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:08:09 PM EDT
Remember when getting fish: sharks do not play well with others.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:08:10 PM EDT
Used to have a 55 gal tank. Seven years, hundreds of hour of upkeep, and $15k later I decided that was enough. Been toying with the idea of a microtank. But so far have not been willing to put in the effort. Its a fun hobby but a lot of work and money to maintain.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:13:01 PM EDT
You MUST give it sufficient time to cycle. You really shouldn't plan on putting ANY expensive fish in it for quite some time. Some clowns or other damsels will be fine in a couple weeks. I'd give it at least 4 months for anything else. It will go through many ugly algae growth stages. Don't freak out, just keep it clean and do your regular water changes. You should probably go to HD and purchase an RO water filter. It will cost you a bit upfront but will save you a bunch in time, hassle, and money later on. It's a great hobby that is adictive MUCH LIKE BRD. I started with a 55 gal. Then bought a 90 and finally another 25 for a minireef system. Had them going in 3 different rooms in my house at a time! Finally back down to 1 now. If you take the time and get the tank FULLY cycled you will save yourself a lot of money in fish. Trust me...I burned through roughly 300 in fish my first year. Oh, and watch you temp gauges. I got to digging around under the tank one night and flicked the knob up about 20 degrees! Woke up to another $200-300 in dead corals and about the same $ in dead fish!

Overall...you'll love it. Get yourself some good books and do some reading...it helps! Enjoy the hobby!
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:14:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stretch415:
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....




Detals on the 7 gallon? I think I could handle that.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:16:04 PM EDT
Crap just reading this thread and I see/hear on the news in the background a house burned down becouse of a faulty aquarium pump.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:18:45 PM EDT
That's a shit load of work just to have something pretty to look at.

I'd rather just spend the money on a nice gun to sit on the counter. I can stare at that and get more enjoyment than staring at a reef.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:19:54 PM EDT
I looked into it. Then I saw that those fish cost 50 bucks a piece. I couldn't stand it if I killed something that cost 50 bucks.

I also looked into Cichlids. Those are fun. African fish act just like African humans. Entertainment is where you find it. The local fish store has a tank full of them. Any size, any type for a dollar.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:20:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:21:54 PM EDT
Live rock?

Is that what "Thing" was made of?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:27:22 PM EDT
Ditto and Ditto BTDT

it is cool I did that in '82 payed attention , swaped out 1/3 the water every other week , PH tests BLAH and Blah

75 gal. Tank all the biological stuff working everythings great

I lost over $250 (1982 $$$) worth of pretty little Damsels , Clowns , EVERTHING in two days .

I didnt have air condition in that place and we had a heat spell a bactiria got started and due to the heat spread like crazy .

After that I had a hell of a tropical fish setup for a long time ! 75 gals of neon tetras , red tail sharks , ect .

In a tank that big the Zebras and Tetras school up together and at differant depths .

I'm sure the hobby of salt water has come a long way . BUT I was happier with tropicals and and black back glass, tetras really glow .

Good Luck RL
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:27:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
I looked into it. Then I saw that those fish cost 50 bucks a piece. I couldn't stand it if I killed something that cost 50 bucks.

I also looked into Cichlids. Those are fun. African fish act just like African humans. Entertainment is where you find it. The local fish store has a tank full of them. Any size, any type for a dollar.




I cant imagain a fish swimming around with a wicker basket on its head.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:28:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By breed:
So, anybody else here keep reef tanks? Got any advice for the newbie?


$850 on an aquarium without fish? I really don't see the justification for that kind of expense, but everyone has his weaknesses.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:29:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By m-dc:

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
I looked into it. Then I saw that those fish cost 50 bucks a piece. I couldn't stand it if I killed something that cost 50 bucks.

I also looked into Cichlids. Those are fun. African fish act just like African humans. Entertainment is where you find it. The local fish store has a tank full of them. Any size, any type for a dollar.




I cant imagain a fish swimming around with a wicker basket on its head.




Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:30:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stretch415:
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....
Mine has been going for 3-4 yrs and hers has been 10+ but we have both lost alot of $ in the process....



Yeah, I am realizing it can get expensive. I'm actually not as put off by the money as all the conflicting/varying info. There seems to be about a thousand opinions on lighting alone. I decided to go with a power compact retro fit kit that has dual daytime lights 6,500k/10,000k and some actinics that are 420nm/460nm. Then it also has some moon lights and an internal fan. I originally wanted metal halides but the heat factor and the pain in the ass factor killed it for me. I had no desire to buy a chiller or any of that, I'll live without the clams and small stony polyps. I mostly like soft corals anyway.

Hell, I'm still confused on how the actinics are even rated.

Anyway, I'm finally just now starting to comprehend some of the cycling. I pretty much understand the ph, salinity, and chemical balance. Some of the stuff about calcium and other stuff I am scared to even read about yet. Not to mention red bugs and other coral killing parasites and coral harming problem anemones and stuff I'm not even close to being able to identify let alone deal with.

Hopefully I won't kill too much stuff. As dumb as it sounds, I'm almost terrifed of my fist water change. And I'm kicking myself for not having a quarantine tank. I guess that's pretty crucial, huh?

Anyway, I'm sure it will be fun. Can't wait til I can add some inverts and stuff!

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:33:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sumo:
Used to have a 55 gal tank. Seven years, hundreds of hour of upkeep, and $15k later I decided that was enough. Been toying with the idea of a microtank. But so far have not been willing to put in the effort. Its a fun hobby but a lot of work and money to maintain.



My cost approaches anywhere near 15k and I'm in big trouble.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:39:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stretch415:
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....
Mine has been going for 3-4 yrs and hers has been 10+ but we have both lost alot of $ in the process....
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/CIMG0931.jpg
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/CIMG0933.jpg
Pics of the acrylic after first being set up. Lots has been added since.....
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/mom3.jpg



Where are the fish?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:41:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GA-Dawg:
You MUST give it sufficient time to cycle. You really shouldn't plan on putting ANY expensive fish in it for quite some time. Some clowns or other damsels will be fine in a couple weeks. I'd give it at least 4 months for anything else. It will go through many ugly algae growth stages. Don't freak out, just keep it clean and do your regular water changes. You should probably go to HD and purchase an RO water filter. It will cost you a bit upfront but will save you a bunch in time, hassle, and money later on. It's a great hobby that is adictive MUCH LIKE BRD. I started with a 55 gal. Then bought a 90 and finally another 25 for a minireef system. Had them going in 3 different rooms in my house at a time! Finally back down to 1 now. If you take the time and get the tank FULLY cycled you will save yourself a lot of money in fish. Trust me...I burned through roughly 300 in fish my first year. Oh, and watch you temp gauges. I got to digging around under the tank one night and flicked the knob up about 20 degrees! Woke up to another $200-300 in dead corals and about the same $ in dead fish!

Overall...you'll love it. Get yourself some good books and do some reading...it helps! Enjoy the hobby!



I'm definitely taking my time. Been considering the RO filter since I just blew $50 on distilled anyway. Right now I'm in the read everything I can stage but I should probably get a book. Been reading a lot at reef central and it seems there's too much to process. By the time you get into 8 different opinions on 15 different subjects you're just lost. It's like me trying to explain to a broke 15 year old why he HAS to have a Galil.



Got 120 gallon cichlid tank that I almost emptied and started with. I don't know wether to be glad I saved the money setting up a bigger tank or wish I'd started on something with more volume since it sounds like they're easier to maintain.

We'll see how it goes. I figure I'll be in it for 2 grand said and done so hopefully I won't botch it too bad.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:00:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
That's a shit load of work just to have something pretty to look at.

I'd rather just spend the money on a nice gun to sit on the counter. I can stare at that and get more enjoyment than staring at a reef.



"Mmmm - gun. AgGGgGgHhGghhgurgleslurp" </homer drool>
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:04:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hatebreed:

Originally Posted By stretch415:
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....
Mine has been going for 3-4 yrs and hers has been 10+ but we have both lost alot of $ in the process....



Yeah, I am realizing it can get expensive. I'm actually not as put off by the money as all the conflicting/varying info. There seems to be about a thousand opinions on lighting alone. I decided to go with a power compact retro fit kit that has dual daytime lights 6,500k/10,000k and some actinics that are 420nm/460nm. Then it also has some moon lights and an internal fan. I originally wanted metal halides but the heat factor and the pain in the ass factor killed it for me. I had no desire to buy a chiller or any of that, I'll live without the clams and small stony polyps. I mostly like soft corals anyway.

Hell, I'm still confused on how the actinics are even rated.

Anyway, I'm finally just now starting to comprehend some of the cycling. I pretty much understand the ph, salinity, and chemical balance. Some of the stuff about calcium and other stuff I am scared to even read about yet. Not to mention red bugs and other coral killing parasites and coral harming problem anemones and stuff I'm not even close to being able to identify let alone deal with.

Hopefully I won't kill too much stuff. As dumb as it sounds, I'm almost terrifed of my fist water change. And I'm kicking myself for not having a quarantine tank. I guess that's pretty crucial, huh?

Anyway, I'm sure it will be fun. Can't wait til I can add some inverts and stuff!




Im not trying to turn you off but just letting you know a little here and a little there and before you know it your in thousands of dollars with nothing to show(if stuff dies)

So now that youve been warned haha.....on with the topic

I might of missed it or you might have not posted but how big of tank? light wattage? Filtration?
MH lighting is nice but fricken hot and expensive and unless you keep hard corals you dont need them. A good amount of PC lighting will do the trip just fine. Its nice to have the daytimes as well as the atinics so you can do the sunrise sunset cycle with your tank. The moonlights are also very cool. Not just because it creates the cycle for mating and whatever else but they just look flat out cool. The best Ive had are fishbowl innovations ones of ebay, the tube setup with the angles lights really is bright and looks great on the floresent colored corals.
As far as filters go my mom runs a 30 gallon sump underneath hers and it really is efficient and looks much more clean than a bunch of junk hanging off the back but also costs alot more. It also has a built in skimmer and refugium.
As far as lighting goes if you keep softies(zoos, shrooms, candy coral, galaxia, leathers, etc.) you dont need to much. Those corals are also very easy to keep and dont require perfect water specs all the time. and they look very cool so thats the way to go but if you want a challenge try the hard corals even tohugh alot of times they arent near as cool looking. I think the old standard was 7-10 watts per gallon so that will give you a ballpark range. My mom runs 4X65 PCs on hers and I run 1X40 pc on mine.

Of course the overall biggest thing to do when owning a tank is to get a GOOD DEALER. If you get shit from a bad fish store it WILL wipe you out. I dont care how cheap or cool it is. My mom made the mistake of getting just a little clown from the store that she didnt know and it brought in a parasite and wiped out $1000+ of show fish. Needless to say she learned her lesson the hard way. A good dealer will aclimate their fish and quarintene them for a couple of weeks before letting them go.

Also something else we have had to deal with is water quality. If you want to save yourself the trouble get a reverse osmosis system. They are cheap and take your water quality way up and cut down on brown, green, and red algae. They are cheap(100-200) and will make all the difference in the world.

Live sand will also kick your cycling in the butt. It comes loaded with goodies also(i have alot of starfish that came out of mine)

As far as bugs and such there again a good dealers rock should have that shit so there is not way to get in your tank if you buy from a good source right away.



Originally Posted By Tonster:
Crap just reading this thread and I see/hear on the news in the background a house burned down becouse of a faulty aquarium pump.



Detals on the 7 gallon? I think I could handle that.
You would think it would be a stroll in the park since there isnt much to it but that couldnt be more wrong. The difference between mine and a full blown tank is that I have much less water to work with, That means water quality(from evaportaion, nitrates(shit),and even the temp) change in a fraction of the time a larger tank would. You could probably take a leak in a large tank and there is enough water to take it on but in my tank it would destroy it no questions asked. So it requires more water changes, careful feedings, and water addings due to daily evaporation.
But as far as the basics of the tank go:
7 gallon glass minibow
Current USA 40watt Powercompact hood cut down 2" and 3 custom moonlights installed
2 light timers to control moon and regular light
80watt heater
small powerhead
small filter
Sorry I cant think of what kind/type everything is right now....
They are cool because they look great in a bedroom/hallway were space is limited and the water changes are nice because it only requires 1-2 gallons vs 1/3 of a 75 gallon tank.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:08:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 8:09:58 PM EDT by stretch415]

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By stretch415:
very expensive stuff you are trying. Shit dies all the time regardless of how great you are at keeping it.

I have a 7gallon bowfront nano reef and my moms is a 75gallon acrilic.....
Mine has been going for 3-4 yrs and hers has been 10+ but we have both lost alot of $ in the process....
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/CIMG0931.jpg
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/CIMG0933.jpg
Pics of the acrylic after first being set up. Lots has been added since.....
i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/stretch415/mom3.jpg



Where are the fish?



Another unfortunate side affect of a small tank like mine. They can really throw things off quick becasue of their waste. I at one time had a True Percula clown(For those not knowing what that is its a "Nemo" but before that damn movie came out) a golby, and a emerald crab but they all died when I didnt keep an eye on the water readings. There are blue legged hermits in there and some starfish but thats it. Doesnt seem like fun but it still looks cool with the corals

My moms tank has 7 tomato clowns, 2 sand snails, a sandstar, a sea urchine, a peppermint shrimp, tons of hermits, lots of snails, and a urchinestar.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:12:53 PM EDT
Where's the link to the fish tank screensaver?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:20:19 PM EDT
www.reefcentral.com

Can't believe no one has mentioned this site yet. If you're doing a reef tank, these people are brilliant. The forums there are as helpful for tanks as this site is for AR15's. Probably moreso, as the conversations and threads stay on topic there. Great stuff.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:24:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stretch415:

I might of missed it or you might have not posted but how big of tank? light wattage? Filtration?
MH lighting is nice but fricken hot and expensive and unless you keep hard corals you dont need them.




I started with a 55. I run 4x65, so 230 total watts. For filtration it's a CPR bakpak2 which also has the built in skimmer. I seriously considered the sump and probably should have done that but we'll see how it pans out. I should have remembered the old addage about never having too much filtration. It wasn't really a money issue as much as the local fish store guy saying it was over kill.




Of course the overall biggest thing to do when owning a tank is to get a GOOD DEALER. If you get shit from a bad fish store it WILL wipe you out. I dont care how cheap or cool it is. My mom made the mistake of getting just a little clown from the store that she didnt know and it brought in a parasite and wiped out $1000+ of show fish. Needless to say she learned her lesson the hard way. A good dealer will aclimate their fish and quarintene them for a couple of weeks before letting them go.



My guy seems to fit that bill. He does quarantine everything and an hour of talking to him makes your head spin. It's like you just sat through a college biology class on a third grade education.



Also something else we have had to deal with is water quality. If you want to save yourself the trouble get a reverse osmosis system. They are cheap and take your water quality way up and cut down on brown, green, and red algae. They are cheap(100-200) and will make all the difference in the world.



I will definitely be looking into that. One question, is the RO system something that is attached to the tank, or is this a home water filter sytem?

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:28:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubblehead597:
Remember when getting fish: sharks do not play well with others.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:28:06 PM EDT


I will definitely be looking into that. One question, is the RO system something that is attached to the tank, or is this a home water filter sytem?




Its a home based water system. You could/should use it for drinking water and it is capable of pumping out alot of gallons a day so more than enough for almost the whole house. They vary in size too. One step further would be a deionizer or something like that. That makes if pure h20 with no parts of minerals and junk.(not totatally up to date on these if you cant tell)

Like the guy said above reefcentral.com is a great resource site but sometimes it can be way to technical. Thats the other thing use the KISS method any you will be better off. Rather than dumping chemicals in all the time and doing all the other crap just opt for regular water changes and general care
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:32:23 PM EDT
I always wanted a salt water tank but i want cool stuff like sharks, octopus and cuttlefish
and they are a shitload of work
So i just settled for a 55gallon with 6 red piranha much easier to take care of and pretty entertaning
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:43:07 PM EDT
In my high school life science class the instructor had three 10 gallon tanks full of sea anenames(sp?)
The water flowed between them in series for whatever reason. It looked pritty simple to me. Hell the tanks didnt even have tops on them. She had some sort of permit to take sea creatures out of the ocean for learning purposes.

Are these tanks way different than these? Ifso what is the difference?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:44:03 PM EDT
I have two aquariums myself, both freshwater. A 20 gallon and a 5 gallong (acrylic)
both have live plants which is a new part of the hobby for me. After some stumbling I seem to have things going well, plants are growing like weeds!
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:47:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
I looked into it. Then I saw that those fish cost 50 bucks a piece. I couldn't stand it if I killed something that cost 50 bucks.

I also looked into Cichlids. Those are fun. African fish act just like African humans. Entertainment is where you find it. The local fish store has a tank full of them. Any size, any type for a dollar.




If you mean that they get all dolled up in colorful garb, and then make great sport of bluffing, attacking and finally killing one other. Then that is a pretty racist funny analogy. I've never heard it put that way, but they are certainly entertaining. Cichlids that is.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:01:51 PM EDT
I had the same 7 gal minibow setup. Couple of clowns, astra snails, blue hermits and one shrimp.

It ran great untill the summer rolled around. The room I had it in got very hot in the summer and I just could not keep the temps stable. That ended up killing stuff off. I gave up untill I could afford a chiller.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:17:50 PM EDT
Wait until your power goes out and you lose $800+ in corals and fish.

<­BR>

My 125 gallon was changed to freshwater WERY quickly and I have yet to lose a fish in 2 years.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:30:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OregonShooter:
In my high school life science class the instructor had three 10 gallon tanks full of sea anenames(sp?)
The water flowed between them in series for whatever reason. It looked pritty simple to me. Hell the tanks didnt even have tops on them. She had some sort of permit to take sea creatures out of the ocean for learning purposes.

Are these tanks way different than these? Ifso what is the difference?



Ya I know you need a permit or license or whatever to take out of the ocean. The carribean is off limits to anyone from what Im told.

I dont know about the series stuff but just like pet stores you can plump several tanks together to make one complete system in which the water is shared and filtered as one.

Covers arent necessary but do help keep insects and junk out of the water. Not to mention it helps cut down on evaporation majorly
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