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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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reef

iv been in this hobby for a long time and i think its time for a change...
recently iv been thinking about getting a new tank and making it a reef tank.
i need help setting it up and im going to add corals and only corals. is that ok?
any suggestions on beginner corals?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by squatingdog View Post
iv been in this hobby for a long time and i think its time for a change...
recently iv been thinking about getting a new tank and making it a reef tank.
i need help setting it up and im going to add corals and only corals. is that ok?
any suggestions on beginner corals?
It's not all that simple...

Reef tanks aren't exactly "difficult" to care for, but there's SO many more things you have to do and pay for. For me, running 3 tanks (14, 29 and 34) was costing me about $50-$75 per month.

One does not simply "only add corals" to the tank... I was "only going to add fish" when I set up my 14 gallon, but I added loads of corals. Corals are expensive. Many corals (most of the nice, colorful ones, at least) require super specific water parameters. It is easier to maintain this in a larger tank. If you go with a smaller tank, you'll be testing every few days. Your params can rocket everywhere randomly, depending on what corals you have and how many. In my SPS tank before it crashed (changed salt mixes, continued with that story below) my calcium/alk/mag levels were changing rapidly every day. I had to have family members test the tank twice daily and dose as needed while I was on vacation for a week, and it changed a ton from morning to night even. Nightmare.

Also, you'll need extreme lighting if you want to keep hard corals (SPS)... HQI or LED works well.

Saltwater is cool, but it's so expensive and stressful at times. I used to mix my own saltwater because stuff directly from the ocean is unstable and has other things in it that could be harmful to fish and corals -- I switched salt mixes one day to a super fancy mix and it crashed my SPS tank.

You WILL get addicted. You WILL lose LOTS of money... You'll likely end up killing a good amount of coral. Saltwater fish are generally easy to keep and are supplied to the hobbyist is much better condition that freshwater fish are.

For a saltwater tank, you'll need a cleanup crew... Snails, hermits, ect. Also there are a lot of pests that will randomly pop up. Since corals and stuff start from eggs, you may add pest anemones and pesky invertebrates to your tank when you buy a new piece of coral -- or even upon setting up the tank.

SW is cool but it is a complete PITA and you'll lose thousands -- especially if you're just going to keep coral. That's why I moved from SW to FW again. I only have to pay for water conditioner and electricity costs for lighting.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 02:23 AM
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If you plan on starting a reef tank I suggest you spend some time doing a lot of research. A reef can be very rewarding and also very costly. Taking your time and learning as much as you can before you take the dive into it will save you a headache and lots of money. Here is a good place to learn from many experienced reefers.


http://www.reefcentral.com/

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 03:27 PM
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SquatingDog,

Guppyx5 and Ua Hua are both giving you sound advise, Saltwater can be a big challenge and very expensive. You'll be thrilled one moment and crying the next. Aiptasia can make you tear your tank down, and a coral eating Angelfish will snack on the best and most expensive coral you have and refuse to eat anything else. Insanely gorgeous fish, and corals that can cost over 5k because they're so rare. I lost 2.5k in one day, all because of a power failure. And, after crying, started rebuilding things. ADDICTED! A saltwater tank is a challenge but you can do it, just take your time. Read up on what you're about to get yourself into first. And ask questions when you don't know, the more you know, the better off you will be in.

Equipment wise, lights can cost you a pretty penny, but if you're like me, I don't mind second hand equipment. I brought a 6x54 Tek T5 fixture for 250 when it was at least twice that price from a reef club member. A $450 protein skimmer for 75, and built my own sumps. So you can built a lot of it yourself.

But all those things were our experiences and if I had a chance to do it all over, I would. If you want to try it, go for it. Just be patient and go slow and you'll love the results. Decide what type of tank you want, and buy the things you can afford. A lot of my coral I got from other club members, and then passed them on to others. When things go wrong, don't panic, most of the time it's something you just added or something you neglected to do. it can all be remedied. When you're ready to start, write me and I'll help you get things started and be available when you need to know somethings okay. So, what do you have so far?

Edwin
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 03:34 PM
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This is a gorgeous tank, but you best be on your game to maintain it.

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...es/ftsMAIN.jpg

And this tank is a lot easier, yet full of corals

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-0...ges/fullSM.jpg

You can do the bottom one easier than the top.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 06:55 PM
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I had few reef tanks and very expensive, well, depends what you want in the tank. Here's the forum you get all your info. Slow and patience is the key , have fun. http://reefcentral.com/forums/index.php
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RevClyburn View Post
This is a gorgeous tank, but you best be on your game to maintain it.

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...es/ftsMAIN.jpg

And this tank is a lot easier, yet full of corals

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-0...ges/fullSM.jpg

You can do the bottom one easier than the top.
Sorry that's hella misleading...

That's a multi-thousand dollar tank. Many of those corals aren't cheap. Just because something isn't SPS doesn't mean it is cheap, and it doesn't mean SPS is expensive. I had a massive red monti cap that I bought for $5, and I have zoas I paid $50pp for.

Really -- I HIGHLY discourage ANYONE interested in SW from getting into it. As something said above, one moment it is like "Wow such tank very nice many happies" and the next moment it is like "What have I done with my life? I want to end it all," and you go into a massive depression over your tank.

NO tank will look that good in less than 4-5 years assuming you bought medium and large corals to begin with. Many of the corals in that second pic are likely $20-$100 per colony.

Here's what you'd end up with for an initial investment of ~$500... Then you'll have costs of corals and fish and monthly maintenance costs too. This is the tank of someone SKILLED at growing corals.

http://blog.aquanerd.com/wp-content/.../06/nano-1.jpg
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:14 PM
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I made videos of my reef tanks when I had them... Take a look if you wish. This is a few years of work plus thousands upon thousands of dollars and $70 of monthly maintenance by the end...



That last video contains a pair of $200 fish. Don't [censored]ing enter the hobby man.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:57 PM
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Ya, you are in the wrong forum. Hit up reefcentral and nano-reef for salt stuff.

I highly recommend you start with the following livestock order to gain experience.

-Small Fish/Inverts (NO Sea Apples or nudibranches) - Highly recommend Damsels/Clown Fish to get your feet wet. (You might have a hard time catching Damsels for removal later)
-Softies/Zoas/Mushrooms/Tube Worms
-LPS
-SPS/Clams

Tread carefully - [censored][censored][censored][censored] is expensive. I do a ton of DYIs on all of my tanks and get free frags from local members all the time and it was still pretty expensive.

$300 5 gallon LPS/Softies setup. And that's only because I had a bigger tank to rip liverocks and sand from and a lot of smaller frags I got for free from local club members.


$500 40G Fish only setup


$100 2.5G Goby/Pistol setup - All the corals were free from other tanks



See this piece of rock right here? That's a $350 piece of rock when it was live.


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 02:04 AM
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You could do a nano reef. You could spend like 130 and get an ecoxotic ecopico - 5g cube set up out of the box for SW.


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 02:07 AM
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why not a fowlr?
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 02:11 AM
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Kind of miss my nano reef. I want to start up another one.



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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 03:41 PM
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You could do a nano reef. You could spend like 130 and get an ecoxotic ecopico - 5g cube set up out of the box for SW.
Those are the hardest to keep... A disaster for a beginner. Go with at least 15 or 20 to start.

Plus, it would be even harder if you kept corals. Keep in mind, corals aren't like FW plants -- they have a heavy biomass.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 03:58 PM
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Those are the hardest to keep... A disaster for a beginner. Go with at least 15 or 20 to start.

Plus, it would be even harder if you kept corals. Keep in mind, corals aren't like FW plants -- they have a heavy biomass.
I completely agree. Nano reefs are a bad idea for a beginner and IMO a bad idea in general. The water parameters can fluctuate so quickly and that's no good for corals. Trying to recreate a reef which in nature is an enormous ecosystem in a little tiny box is absurd to me. I understand why it has become popular and the fact of the matter is marketing and selling products to people that are intimidated by a huge and expensive system but at the expense of the livestock that is put in these systems. I know that there is many people that have put together successful nano reefs but the vast majority of those are experienced reefers. For every successful nano reef there is 100 complete failures.

By the way Guppy those where some nice looking tanks you had. I always get crazy thoughts about getting back into reefing but for now I rather enjoy this side of the hobby.

All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death life is only a dream which is an imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 11:16 PM
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Wow,

the guy comes here for advice on setting up a sw tank and you guys give him the horror show experience YOU had with your tank. That softie tank is gorgeous and yes there is a lot of money invested in it, but they were just for reference, showing the different types of tanks you can have. Ricordeas can cost you as little as 5 bucks to 25 for high end ones. BUT you can split a ric and sell it to get your money back. A colt coral can be 35, yet you can make your money back on it too, they're so easier to propagate. The stores near me have frag tanks. A $10-20 frag can become a $120 coral. It's not all that easy to have a great tank and not spend all the money you guys did.

And because you had such a bad experience doesn't mean that everyone will have that same experience. I loved my tank, while it was up. Along came 2 kids, and less time for the tank made me take it down, Not a crash, not a break out of aiptasia, or some strange virus, not even the lack of funds to maintain it like I wanted too.

There are lots of tanks out there that run efficiently and are just as beautiful. If you're a member of a good Club, you'll be surprised at what you are able to get, a small Zoas colony can cost you nothing yet grow to be spectacular. It really doesn't take much to have a great tank.

"I highly discourage", why? Because you bombed out? $350 rock, that was your choice, I would have broken it up and made some of my money back before it died. The guy asked for advise, not negativity and horror. Amazing

Man, do your tank, don't be discouraged by these guys. And yeah, check out a sw forum where you don't have to hear the negative stuff some will share here. Again, if you decide to setup a sw tank, please let me know, I'll help you as much as I can, and hip you to some peeps that are cool and don't mind helping or sharing.

Keep your head up,

rev
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