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  #1  
Old 12/13/2007, 05:57 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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outstanding newbieforum myths...

1. pristine tanks.
Nope, 3 weeks into your cycle it's going to look like a hair algae farm.
Why? Phosphate. Phosphate comes in with your live rock, it NEVER tests present, don't waste your money. If you have algae, you have phosphate.
What to do? Be patient, use only ro/di water, let your cleaning crew eat it [and put it into the water column] and consider running Phosban to grab it while the grabbing is good---before it fuels Son of Algae Outbreak. Consider a refugium to uptake the phosphate, also.

2. schooling fish
Nope, they don't,really. Especially in a small tank. That's Photoshop stuff. Fish school in the wild mostly when they're scared of predators or when the guy in the lead has got something to eat. Since you don't want your fish eaten one by one---best just take a photo of your tank, photoshop in the multiple chromises, firefishes, etc, and hang it on the wall over your tank. Tell visitors it looked like that last week.

3. effortless tanks.
No, really, ALL of us scrub and clean and test. It does get easier, but it doesn't get effortless.
Things that make it easier: an autotopoff device, a bigger skimmer, a kalk or calcium reactor [for corals], and a ro/di unit.

4. Many, many fish in a tank.
You are NOT your fish store---look in their back room. See that mega-skimmer, the one roughly the size of a Volkswagon? THAT's how they do it, pack the tanks the way they do. Also, they don't plan on their fish growing. They plan to sell them first. Look at your own skimmer. There's probably a big difference.
See those boxes in which they sell tank gear, showing 10 megafish in the same area on the box label? Pho-to-shop. Not reality.
Reality: Plan for your fish to live a decade and to grow to adult size. Research. Do not overstock. Edit those mental images down to your own skimmer size and tank size.

5. Tank of the Month
Well, possible, but not in your first year. Mostly you'll notice these are tanks with years of growth [note how the corals overlap?] and expert care. Hang in. it's possible. But it is years of work.

6. making a million on frags and fish breeding.
There's an easy way to make a million on frags and fish breeding. Invest two million. Seriously, you can probably pay for some nice new frags of slightly harder coral once you get going. If you're really good you might become break-even. If you're really, really good you can open an lfs. But don't buy a yacht, even so.
Mostly...just enjoy the hobby and don't expect to get rich doing it.
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"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #2  
Old 12/13/2007, 07:17 PM
o.c.d. o.c.d. is offline
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I like to touch on #3. people alway say the same thing to me "saltwater thats a lot of work" Work is what I do every day To pay for My Hobbie. I really don't consider tank maintence work or effort Is a labour of love, time passes and the wife says how much longer are you going to do that for suppers ready 15min ago. It's no different than a 57 chev being rebulit it probably not considered painful work, it's a hobbie for people who are not lazy.So if your worried about a effortless you should consider do I love to stare a aquariums and the inhabitants am I going to lack in commitment.I've seen to many tanks with lack of commitment.The rant is done
  #3  
Old 12/13/2007, 07:31 PM
ToxicPoison ToxicPoison is offline
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Sk8r -
I just want to say thanks for all the informative posts. Every time I check this forum, the 1st thing I do is scan for a new post by you. Not only do you explain why something has to be done, you explain WHY...which is often ignored. To me, thats a sign of great advice.
So, thanks!
  #4  
Old 12/13/2007, 07:38 PM
jerryvan jerryvan is offline
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Hello--I am interested in #1. I have Hair Algea and my tank is established. 1 year. It started (I think) when I had a undersized skimmer and bad lighting. I have since updated both but had to wait a couple of months for my new skimmer to come in which made it worse.
I have added a Phosban reactor and think it is starting to go away. How long should it take and what should I have for a cleanup crew. Everytime I put Turbo snails in there something kills them in a week.---Jerry
  #5  
Old 12/13/2007, 08:24 PM
NYIntensity NYIntensity is offline
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Jerry, without being a jerk, let's avoid the hijacking of this thread. Start a thread in one of the forums asking for advice; many people will be glad to help!
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  #6  
Old 12/13/2007, 08:38 PM
jerryvan jerryvan is offline
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Hello--If you say so. Jerry
  #7  
Old 12/13/2007, 08:54 PM
Agu Agu is offline
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#3, If you take care of the basics on a daily basis reef tanks are the easiests aquariums to maintain. If not, plan on spending your weekend shoulder deep in saltwater.
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  #8  
Old 12/13/2007, 09:41 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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I agree with you, about the love part. It's like bonsai. Nobody likes trimming trees...unless they do bonsai. Nobody likes cleaning muck---but a lovely tank is the reward of it.
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"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #9  
Old 12/13/2007, 09:43 PM
NYIntensity NYIntensity is offline
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Amen. Sometimes it's hard to force yourself to dive in...those days you "just don't feel like it"; but once you're in there (if you're like me), it almost becomes an obsession for perfection.
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  #10  
Old 12/13/2007, 09:44 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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7. You need to 'clean' your sand or have a sandshifter.
If you do, you're feeding too much and don't have enough bristleworms. Your sand can be 'too' clean. A good complement of nassarius snails and bristleworms, snails and [if you like them] hermits can be an asset. If you get too many bristleworms, you're overfeeding.
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Sk8r

"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #11  
Old 12/13/2007, 09:48 PM
zippopunk1 zippopunk1 is offline
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how about saying that ull never want to upgrade ur tank lol
  #12  
Old 12/13/2007, 09:54 PM
Kryptikhan Kryptikhan is offline
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Number 1 is the best for newbs. First off (if you did things right and invested time into research etc) you just spent some serious cash flow, you are excited about housing some serious looking neat-o things in your tank...and boom. diatoms come and say hello. The single hardest thing to do is just look at it and wait. The piping, the powerheads all looked like diatom heaven.

I see so many times the inpatience on these forums with new tanks and people looking for a quick fix etc. If you read like I have been reading....as a noob, you will slowly learn that patience is a virtue here. You have eyes....read until they bleed lol. Second time I'm stating this....we keep count of number of posts...I see that as inconsequential... I'd like a count of how many posts one has actually read

I never did get hair algae. 90% of my rock was cured from trusted sources...not sure if that had anything to do with it. And yes, sk8r gives fun informative posts.

Reading these forums and doing exactly what the pros suggested was not easy. Waiting and letting clean up crew take care and sit back. Well I did that, and everything has been almost step by step perfectly done exactly how most pros here (always consider the source) would have foreseen.
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72 Bow Reef, 75 FW Planted, 90 Acrylic tank being transformed to sump. Larger Reef in works.

Last edited by Kryptikhan; 12/13/2007 at 10:03 PM.
  #13  
Old 12/13/2007, 10:23 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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{that's what we need: an active push-button for "i've read this post to the end...with count! That should be worth something.]

And it's true---read, read, read. Where we get complex, those of us who try to help, it's because the topic is complex. Read it 3 and 4 times and if it still doesn't make sense, post a question about it or just say---what's a kalk reactor? as someone did. Turned into a nice discussion.

So let's just state myth #8:
"I have to pretend to know all this..."
Nope. You weren't born knowing it, and there's no expectation of your doing so---except that we have those two lovely sticky-threads at the top of this forum, marked with *. Read THOSE ones to the bottom!
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Sk8r

"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #14  
Old 12/13/2007, 11:58 PM
phenom5 phenom5 is offline
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Quote:
5. Tank of the Month
Well, possible, but not in your first year. Mostly you'll notice these are tanks with years of growth [note how the corals overlap?] and expert care. Hang in. it's possible. But it is years of work.
this was the one that I struggled with the most when I first started out. not that I thought I was going to be nominated for TOTM...but it just took me a while to realize that the really good looking tanks looked good not because they spent a ton of money on corals (even though they probably did), but because their tanks had time to mature. you can spend thousands of dollars on frags...full grown colonies even...but that's not a substitute for a mature, grown-in tank.
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  #15  
Old 12/14/2007, 11:09 AM
vito is hooked vito is hooked is offline
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Agree with o.c.d. It its not work, Its a lABOR OF LOVE!
  #16  
Old 12/14/2007, 11:21 AM
rhino509 rhino509 is offline
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well said Sk8r.i wish you would have wrote this a year ago.lmao,you prolly did im sure,i actually didnt know about reefcentral when i set up my tank,but i do now and im glad im here.thx for the time before me.
  #17  
Old 12/14/2007, 05:20 PM
Jareth Jareth is offline
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Re: outstanding newbieforum myths...

Quote:
2. schooling fish
Nope, they don't,really. Especially in a small tank. That's Photoshop stuff.
Nope, they do, really.

3 Fire Gobys school right in the center of my 36" long tank. They school together under their rock. They school when feeding. No photoshop needed.
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  #18  
Old 12/14/2007, 05:34 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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LOL! I'm not sure that's schooling. The miracle is that they're all holding still and not biting each other. I joke that I have to move my firefish from midwater center now and again and dust him, then put him back. He's most always exactly in that spot. I hope your firefish keep doing that. It's possible you've lucked into the right mix to keep that love fest going.
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Sk8r

"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #19  
Old 12/14/2007, 05:37 PM
AZDesertRat AZDesertRat is offline
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Lets add " Tap water will work fine. A few drops of Amquel, NovAqua, Prime or Stress Coat will take care of everything".
Its very rare to find tap water suitable for a reef tank.
  #20  
Old 12/14/2007, 05:50 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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I wholly agree with that, DesertRat. Tap can cause you soooo much trouble. It's also not true that it doesn't matter if you set up your tank with tap, because it's just---I dunno, exempt from logic or something. NO! Use ro/di.

There's this thing called TDS. You can get a meter for it. It measures Total Dissolved Solids. It measures how much is dissolved in your water...they say, for instance, that Colorado River water is 'too thin to plow and too thick to drink' when running in the Grand Canyon. That's a real high TDS, got it? So ro/di is zero! If you have, say 3 to 5 in fresh water---that's not good. Some of what's dissolved can be copper [lethal] or stuff from nearby farm runoff---, heck, just use ro/di. Once you add ocean salt mix, your ro/di quickly becomes non-zero again---but in a GOOD way, got it? You want the good stuff dissolved in your ro/di, AFTER you add the salt mix. You want it to BE ocean water. Does that make sense?
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Sk8r

"Make haste slowly." ---Augustus.

"If anything CAN go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment."---St. Murphy.
  #21  
Old 12/14/2007, 07:17 PM
Jareth Jareth is offline
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Well, I could admit that Im new enough to it to be wrong. But there are times when they are in a tight group, they turn at the same time to head to another part of the tank, turn back, all 3 squirt to the same spot now instead of 3 seperate. That looks like schooling to me.
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  #22  
Old 12/14/2007, 08:48 PM
kathainbowen kathainbowen is offline
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No one has said it, but I feel the need to bring it up (since it's my biggest pet peeve).

Fish grow to the size of your tank.
Worst myth evah! Enough said.

When an animal does outgrow a tank, just take it back to the LFS.
Pft. Have you looked at the size of many stock tanks at LFSs lately? The biggest I've ever seen are 75G. And you can't count on an LFS having space for your unwanted discards at a moment's notice (hey, most LFSs order one or twice a week - that's a lot of fish to place in tanks) That, and LFSs *generally* want fish to leave the store.... not come back in. It's that whole making money thing.

If the LFS can't take it, the public aquarium will.
If you believe this.... you live in a magical, shiny, happy world rather like a sitcom, where everything works out in the end and ties up in a perfect, neat little bundle. Public aquariums rarely take specimens from hobbyists that have outgrown their novelty.

If the public aquarium won't take it, I can just set it free.
Mmm.... yeah no. That's no good. You could potentially be introducing an invasive species or alien bacteria/parasites to an environment that just can't handle them. Kudzu. The mongoose. Caulerpa. Burmese pythons. Plecostomus. Zebra mussel. The list goes on and on. Don't set free captive animals, for any reason, please?





OMG.... such pet peeves of mine. Grates my nerves everytime I hear someone start that chain of myths.
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  #23  
Old 12/14/2007, 11:05 PM
ACBlinky ACBlinky is offline
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Thank you Sk8r, for #3 in particular.

This past weekend I did some major cleaning (soaking pumps in vinegar, taking coralline off the back with a razor blade etc.) and while I was up to my shoulders in salt water I started to wonder if I'm the only one out there who needs to do this type of cleaning every month or two in order to keep my tank looking sparkling clean. Sometimes I wonder if having to use my MagFloat every two days is normal, or if I should need to replace my filter sock every 24-48h -- I keep reading threads where people are only changing socks once a week, only cleaning skimmer cups once a month, and I wonder where I'm going wrong! Seeing it in writing that we ALL have to scrub our tanks makes me feel such relief
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  #24  
Old 12/14/2007, 11:37 PM
ManotheSea ManotheSea is offline
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How about "If you have algae just shut your lights off for a week."

You get what you pay for in this hobby. If you didnt pay for a sump, refugium, skimmer, ro/di, live rock, guess what you get... ALGAE. Your lights are not the cause of your algae.
  #25  
Old 12/15/2007, 05:20 AM
Mavrk Mavrk is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by kathainbowen
Fish grow to the size of your tank.
Worst myth evah! Enough said.
Actually, I would say "not enough said." I completely agree with you. I just think this needs to be elaborated on.

The major thing here is that people overcrowd their tank thinking the fish will not grow to full size. This is fueled by the fact that in many tanks this is actually true. However, the reason is not the size of the tank. It is that the condition of the water stunts the growth because the tank is overcrowded.
 

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