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Old 11/14/2007, 07:09 PM   #1
Laz A
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New to the hobby, seeks advice and buying 55g and equipment

Hi guys, Im completely new to the SW aquarium world and have been trying to find out more about what I'm getting myself into money and maintenance wise... this site has helped me A LOT! Everything i could possibly want to know is here and its all thanks to everyone here sharing their knowledge. Im still doing some research on the hobby and also trying to convince my girlfriend that spending all this money is not a bad idea LOL!
I have an idea of the equipment I'll need but don't know for sure, if I manage to be convincing enough with my g/f I will also be looking for deals on equipment since I don't want to spend the $2000+ I was quoted at Amazing Reefs and Exotic Aquariums for the equipment alone, not to mention the livestock. Paying a mortgage, car and for school is more than enough for me being 21 y/o lol.

If anyone has a 55g setup they wanna part with I'm willing to check it out when I can manage an OK from the woman heh. Any help on a good spot to buy the LR and livestock would also be appreciated.

BTW, is TB Saltwater worth buying? or is it overpriced? (I'm sorry if me asking if its over priced is offensive... i just really dont know hehe)

Again,
Thanks alot for the crazy amounts of info you guys have contributed to the forums here. This is my one stop shop for learning about reef tanks now

Laz


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:26 PM   #2
Bernie21
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Hey welcome to the hobby!! it is a pricey one, but if you do things alright it is one that will frustrate you almost as much as it will reward you!! Im hooked and addicted, wouldnt trade it.
Let me know w/ever you need & Ill be more than happy to help you!! I live in Kendall!!


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:26 PM   #3
Bret61081
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One thing I will say is you might want to rethink the 55g idea. For a little more$$ you can get a 75g or even a 90g and you will be much happier with the extra room! A lot of people, including myself, started with 55g and outgrow it VERY QUICK!! Just one thing to think about! Lighting is one thing you dont want to go cheap with since its pretty much the life of the reef. For a filter an easy way to go is just a tank(sump) with a filtersock holder or if you want to get fancy, get some pieces of glass cut and silicone them in!

Also one thing I will say about TB Saltwater LR is that its very, the best way to describe it is square. Not a lot of shapes and holes. Look around, find a good LFS and stick to it!! You will learn who knows what they are doing and who doesnt quick!!! Good luck and keep us posted!!


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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welcome and get ready to spend a lot of money here u can find a lot of info http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...s=&forumid=104 that u my need and u can buy use equipment here http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...p?s=&forumid=2 good luck


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!!!

If you have the extra cash I would get the 65 wide instead of the 55. Reason is that the 65 is wider and makes for easier aquascaping. I started with a 55 and had a hard time making things fit, it just isn't wide enough LOL.

The key to this hobby in my opnion is good planning. If you plan what you want to keep and the budget you have in mind you will be fine.

If you want to run a sump under the tank it is pretty easy to make up a DIY unit. I ade mine using a 30G breeder. Just get some glass cut and silicone them in place. Easy!

Alot of the other equipment can be found here used locally or on the for sale forums.

I set up my 55g for under $1000 and the setup lasted very long.
Let me know if you need more help just pm me here or call me at 954-801-9815. You will find everyone here is more than willing to help and there is a plethora of information available to you.

Thanks,

Mike


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:30 PM   #6
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WELCOME, imo don't buy any lfs package deal unless it is exactly what you are looking for and that is rare. Be patient research each item before buying it. Search here on RC, I don't know if without a paid membership on RC you can do good searches. A 55g can hit 2k very fast unless you are patient. Good deals can be had people are always leaving the hobby. The rocks from TBS imo have to much algae growing on it, maybe good MACRO algae but i think it is ugly.


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:45 PM   #7
Laz A
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I've used a million forums in my lifetime and have never found a forum with people as helpful as here. Ive gone to alot of people's threads here and everyone's responses are always helpful... not to mention you guys read and reply real fast lol!

I was thinking of a 75g (if its not that much more than the 55g)
protein skimmer
wet/dry system
MH lighting
as far as a reactor, and power heads, uv sterilizer and pumps i have no idea what I need. Not to mention if brands of equipment matter a whole lot. I also dont know the watts I should be looking for in the lighting.

If anyone has any equipment theyre getting rid of lemme know.. I will definately check the sale section from here soon.

BTW thanks alot Bernie and Mike for offering to gimme a hand.

-Laz.


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:54 PM   #8
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No problem Laz, as far as much of the equipment goes it really depends on what you want to keep in the tank.

Just keep in mind that down the road you probably will want to change the way the tankis setup or change the livestock you keep. So keep this in mind and by equipment that is more flexible in that manner.

In my opinion you should get a good protein skimmer. I really like good protein skimmers LOL. I use a MRC MR2 on my 90G SPS tank.
It runs really well. If you wanted you could get an MR1 which is the model down. The reason I like this skimmer is the flexibility it offers, you can upgrad many components as your tank and obsession grow LOL.

I started out with Power compacts on my 55 and then went to metal halides. You can get a nice t5 retrofit setup for a reasonable price from places like reefgeek.com

Just try to plan on what you want to keep in the tank.


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Old 11/14/2007, 07:58 PM   #9
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i would highly recommend the biggest tank you could afford!!! you WILL outgrow your tank! I turn 21 in 2 weeks so I know how ya feel. I would recommend buying the right equipment the first time. it'll save you a lot of money vs buying cheap stuff...realizing why it was soo cheap...and then buying the expensive stuff! I bought all the cheap stuff. been there done that. I really wanted to set this up, but ended up going a diff route. 75 display. 55 sump(only DSB,liverock, and pump return section) and then a separate 29 fuge(display to keep seahorses and pipefish) the huge sump with tons of liverock will give you awesome stability and filtration for the tank. You'll end up with about 130-140 gallons of water(more the better). buy a good skimmer. good return pump. good powerheads. good lights. its not hard to find all these used, buy you have to be patient and jump on them asap when they show up! I live all the way up in weston, but if you've got any questions let me know.
Keith


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Old 11/14/2007, 08:55 PM   #10
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For equipment always use the equipment forums and be ready to spend the big bucks, because if you don't upfront, you'll always regret it down the line.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THIS HOBBY IS SIMPLY PATIENCE!

i know it's difficult, believe me. I don't have patience either. It's really difficult. I don't want to do it. You don't want to do it. But we must. It's just what the hobby is about.

Anyway, we're here to help and discuss with you, so good luck, and welcome again.


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Old 11/14/2007, 08:57 PM   #11
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hey bro i sent u a pm


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Old 11/14/2007, 09:01 PM   #12
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O and a word of advice PAITENCE youll need lots of it .I learned the hard way and i still am learning as i go along but i understand almost all of it now learning from my mistakes and other peoples mistakes but welcome to the hobby laz.


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Old 11/14/2007, 09:04 PM   #13
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I encourage you to go with a refugium rather than wet/dry filtration if you plan on keeping corals, especially SPS. Wet/dry tends to add nitrates to your water over time, bad for SPS corals (e.g. acros, montis, etc) and many LPS as well. If you have questions about refugiums, plenty of people here to help and feel free to PM me.


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Old 11/14/2007, 09:56 PM   #14
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Laz A your welcome!! With out help not many us would the tanks that we have or maybe we would but w alot more $$$$ invested. I agree w everyone PATIENCE is key and go the biggest you can. I started w a 5 then upgraded to a 28, when Im about done w it, the fiance (significant others' ok is also important, really important) gave the ok for a 92 corner. Often you'll find people selling things here that could save you a buck or two!! So look around!! Im sending you a PM!!


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Old 11/14/2007, 09:56 PM   #15
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Welcome to the hobby. I recommend going with the largest tank you can afford or fit wherever you plan on putting it. I was originally thinking of a 75 for example and found a great deal on a used 120 and I don't regret it.

Research your purchases before making them, read the forums and ask questions. You'll be good to go in no time.

Nick


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Old 11/14/2007, 09:56 PM   #16
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I sent this to Laz in PM, but figured it might help some other people as well:

Laz,

With a fish list like that, you're going to need a big tank. I've got a 120g tank, 4'x2'x2' with a 29g sump. Your equipment will depend on the size tank you want to go with.

I will suggest 1-2, maybe even 3 medium to large size fish (tangs, full size angels, 1 trigger) in a size like 120, so maybe 60 gallons per medium sized fish + 1 medium sized fish per 60 gallons more than 60 (i.e. 60g - 1 fish, 120g 1-2 large fish, 180 large 3-4) ESPECIALLY if you're ever considering doing coral.

Anemones are fine, but DO NOT BUY THE FOLLOWING:

Glass anemones
Aiptasia
Mojano
Curleyque

Anemones also are great for reef tanks, HOWEVER they WILL at some point "go for a walk" where they literally use their foot and move around the tank. in the process of moving, they will sting and kill every coral they touch. Just keep it in mind. They also NEED a well established tank (running in it's current location for AT LEAST 3-6 months).

Do not put damsels in your tank, with the exception of Blue Green Chromis or clowns (both are in the family of damsels, but have MUCH less the attitude of other damsels). Also BG chromis are great because they school in the front of the tank all day long. It's really cool and actually makes your other fish feel more comfortable.

Smaller Dwarf family of angels (Centrygope) angels are okay for a reef, but keep in mind ALL angels are prone to nipping or eating corals and especially clams.

Clams need LOTS of light (MH or T5 with individual reflectors) and stable parameters.

Sponges unfortunately really don't have much room in the Reef Tank hobby as they require low light conditions, which by design in a reef tank does/should not exist except for in the sump.

I think you mentioned using TBS rock for your tank setup, and I would have to say that it's great and comes with a TON of live stuff on it (most good, some bad though that you'll have to watch for). Also great rock to get is any of the pacific rock from Dr. Mac or I've heard that the liveaquaria rock are good as well.


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Old 11/14/2007, 10:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
I was thinking of a 75g (if its not that much more than the 55g)
heh i just found a 75 gal tank and stand for $100 bucks. patiance rewards big time :P

welcome to reefcentral too btw. buying used is prolly the best way to go when starting out. you just have to be careful that your getting something that will last you awhile, and not break on you after only a month of use. im sure no one here would do that but outside of this fourm you might want to watch out for dishonest people trying to make a quick buck. if you have any questions about any particular equpiment ask here first, becuase most likely someone here has had experieince with it and can tell you if its worth it or not. you'll need to decide what you want to achive with your tank, say a SPS, LPS, mix reef, FOWLR, Preditor/aggressive tank, ect, ect. once you decide on what you want, then you can look for equpiment. different setups will require differnt things. FOWLR and aggressive tanks are prolly the cheapest when it comes to setup, but are not as colorful and exciting (ususaly). IE you wont need MH's, calcium reactors, kalkwrassers, ect. If you do decide to go reef you will eventualy need/want all of these things.

so when you decide what you want just let us know and we will try our best to point you in the right direction of what you need


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Old 11/14/2007, 10:16 PM   #18
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hey sent u another pm i can also include the water,salt,test kits ,and hydromiter pretty much everything you need to start off just let me know thanks adrian.


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Old 11/15/2007, 04:06 AM   #19
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Old 11/15/2007, 04:08 AM   #20
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and ill get some better ones after school


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Old 11/15/2007, 06:17 AM   #21
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Hey Laz I just sent you a pm with some info.


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Old 11/15/2007, 12:15 PM   #22
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Laz,

You should come to the meetings and talk to some people. Everybody will make you feel welcome and give you any advice you need. There are many deals on tanks and stands to be had.

With all the other purchases, I agree with whoever said, find a good LFS and stick with them.


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Old 11/15/2007, 12:17 PM   #23
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Here is a good tool to search RC.

http://reefcentral.com/search.php?s=&menu=11


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