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Old 12/04/2007, 02:02 PM   #1
WM15
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starting out

hey everyone im new at this so im open to any opinions. im lookin to start my first reef tank. i have a niehbor that has a 200g reef tank in his basement. ive had the luxury of being able to go over to his house any time and help feed and watch him take care of the fish. 2 months ago he went on vacation for 5 days and let me look after it for that time. he showed me how to do all the things to kept the fish healthy and flourishing. after he came back he told me i did a pretty good job and that id be the first person he would call if he left again. i loved taking care of that fish tank and now want to start one on my own(but not as big or as cost consuming).
he said he would help if i needed it. but just to be safe i want some more opinions on what equipment to buy and how to keep the tank going for a while. o and i was thinking of starting with a 24g nano cube knowing that me being 16, i dont have a very thick wallet.


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Old 12/04/2007, 02:49 PM   #2
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24 gallons is a good starting point, if you can afford it. All that water gives you a little more wiggle room should you make any mistakes.

I spent around $700 for my JBJ 24g Nanocube. Included everything I need to get started; chiller, HQI light, liverock, livesand, heater, everything except the water itself.

Of course, before you drop a single penny into the hobby it would be a good idea to do research on the specimens you want to keep. Visit your local Barnes & Nobles, Borders, or whatever bookstore and read up. I see you use the internet, so at least do as much research as you can on the web. Learn from other people's mistakes! I didn't do my research, bought things on impulse, and ended up with somewhat incompatible live stock. As a result, I returned some of my specimens. Take your time with this hobby and have fun.


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Old 12/05/2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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ok thanks alot for the input i was think about starting off with with a clownfish(not sure which kind tho) and maybe a snail or hermit crab. be fore i do any reading, in your opinion what would be the best clownfish to start of with.


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Old 12/05/2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'm kinda new myself, compared to the guys on here!
I didn't have a lot to spend either.
But the general rule is that bigger is better, the more room for error you actually have.
I have a 34g Red Sea Max, everything standard, lights and skimmer.
The only thing that I have had troule with at this point is having issues in finding appropriate places for my frags!
And yes RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!
You can't just turn on the components and add some water and then throw some stuff in there.
Feel free to ask anything else!


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Old 12/05/2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by WM15
ok thanks alot for the input i was think about starting off with with a clownfish(not sure which kind tho) and maybe a snail or hermit crab. be fore i do any reading, in your opinion what would be the best clownfish to start of with.
Oh I wouldn't know, not enough experience with the various species to know 'the best' to start with. You can't go wrong with A. Ocellaris or A. Percula; they're colorful, have lots of personality, easy to care of, and don't demand a very high price; $10-$15 for ocellaris and $20-$30 for perculas (unless you're looking for an onyx of either complex). I started with A. Ocellaris. In future setups, I'd like to try Clarkii or Maroons.

My clean up crew consists of 6 hermits and 2 snails. They did a heck of a job slurping and scraping up all the algae. I let my tank sit and cycle for about 2-3 months before adding my clean up crew, then my two clownfish a couple weeks later. Read up on the nitrogen cycle, if you haven't already.

Have fun!


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Old 12/05/2007, 09:50 AM   #6
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alright so ive been reading and am wondering if a chiller and skimmer are necesary. ive heard different things about them and that u dont need them in a nano tank. is this true


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:02 AM   #7
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in my opinion, the skimmer is key.
the chiller is dependent on what type of lights you have.
with my setup everything came with, skimmer, lights, powerheads, heater, fans for the hood lights.
I have T5 PC and no need for a chiller, but if I upgraded my hood to the MH lighting I would need the chiller.
the reason that my protein skimmer is so key is because of the bioload that i have.
i dose 10 ml of phytofeast everyday to feed my corals.
The skimmer is key in picking up the waste of everything from my fish to the inverts


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:03 AM   #8
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Not sure if it goes for everyone, but a chiller and a heater is definitely necessary for me to keep my 77-78F.

I'm in sunny Southern California, when I set up the tank early this Fall, it would easily hit 90F with my HQI lamp on (chiller was not installed at the time and tank was empty). Winter rolled around and found the temperature dropped to 70F at night, plugged in my heater and set it to 77F and have my chiller set to 78F.

Not running a protein skimmer, just using the surface skimmer that comes with the NC24.


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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thanks also what kind of corals could the lighting system on the nanocube deluxe support. and also maybe some in the future would it be able to support any kind anemone


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by WM15
thanks also what kind of corals could the lighting system on the nanocube deluxe support. and also maybe some in the future would it be able to support any kind anemone
Mmmm.. not familiar with the stock deluxe lamp, I'd go with T5's or the HQI light/canopy and be done with it.

Linky:
http://www.nanocustoms.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=1


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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what watt the 70w HQI or the 150w HQI or 140w HQI


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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I would have to say that with the 24g nano cube, if $700 is something in your budget range, something you may want to consider, is the 28g JBJ HQI setup. It has a built in MH lamp, which is FAR better than any kind of florescent lighting. Take a look here: (it is actually only $500)
http://www.nanotuners.com/product_in...roducts_id=381

Then in this case all you would need to buy is the chiller (a nice thing to have in case the crappy fans break down, and it also lowers evaporation:
http://www.nanotuners.com/product_in...roducts_id=295

The other things you would need to get started:
http://www.nanotuners.com/product_in...roducts_id=182
This is what you would use to upgrade the stock return pump, because it is inefficient and gets hot...
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...y_Code=Maxijet
A nice pump for inside the DISPLAY portion of the tank:
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...y_Code=koralia

So thats the stuff you will need. On to the skimmer issue......I think that they are irreplaceable. If you happen to forget about doing a water change (which is crucial when not using a skimmer), the skimmer will allow for a little bit of slacking.


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Old 12/05/2007, 10:57 AM   #13
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thanks reefman13 that is actually alot of help and a cheaper pricer on just the tank than the 24 gallon one. thats all i would need mechaniclly wise. but what about a heater


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Old 12/05/2007, 11:57 AM   #14
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so thats all. what about live rock and sand


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Old 12/05/2007, 12:08 PM   #15
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Did you see the heater? (or manage to get through all the links?)

Live rock I would recommend buying off line. It tends to be MUCH cheaper than store bought LR. Live sand I would do the same with. Here are links to LR (live rock) and LS (live sand):
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=397
This rock is BY FAR the absolutely the best rock you can buy, and will fill your tank up more:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=876

Live sand: (I would go with the fiji pink- its what I have)
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...18&pcatid=7318


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Old 12/05/2007, 12:18 PM   #16
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ya i saw it my bad. i couldnt get to only that link tho. wierd.


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Old 12/05/2007, 12:21 PM   #17
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those prices look really good at the LFS near me its alot more and it comes in huge pieces i dont think would fit in the 28 gal


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Old 12/05/2007, 12:23 PM   #18
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would you recomed buying fish from liveaquaria.com


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Old 12/05/2007, 12:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by WM15
would you recomed buying fish from liveaquaria.com
14 day warranty is pretty appealing. My LFS doesn't have a warranty AT ALL on marine stock, and 24 hours on FW. Terrible.. Then again, you're practically paying for a second fish with those shipping prices.

I'd order my fish online if I could sit at home all day and wait for the truck to arrive. Otherwise I just tell my LFS guy what I want and he picks it up from his supplier every Thursday.

Other places I browse are phishybusiness.com and www.vividaquariums.com (I like vivid's customer service).


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Old 12/05/2007, 01:19 PM   #20
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i got all of my LR from a LFS.
he had cured stuff.
I was able to add things immediately to my system if need be.


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Current Tank Info: 30g w/ 10g sump/refug Custom Build
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Old 12/05/2007, 01:52 PM   #21
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LiveAquaria is good and they always have healthy stuff, and if you are in anyway unhappy with the order, you can call their customer service (very friendly) and nine times out of ten they will either partially refund, or fully refund your money.

I don't know what part of NJ you are in, but JUST over the boarder into CT there are some AWESOME fish stores. That will ONLY sell you healthy stuff, and have a week long guarantee.

My personal opinon though, be able to WATCH and SEE the actual fish you are buying before giving the cash. You never know the exact specimen that LA is going to send you.


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Old 12/05/2007, 02:10 PM   #22
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im living in burlington county which is in south jersey


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Old 12/05/2007, 02:24 PM   #23
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Oh, okay nvm then Thats like a 3 hour ride......One site to check out (I have used, and is a great guy) is...http://www.nyaquatic.com/servlet/StoreFront
Whats nice is that because you and I live relatively close to the guy, we only have to pay for 'home priority' ground shipping which is $9. And his stuff is healthy, and you can e-mail him for specifications and he will try to work something out. Great value for $$$ though......and you don't have to drive anywhere!

I don't know if you noticed, but that tank (that I highly recomend you get) has got a built in 150W MH which is perfect for a complete mixed reef.

I have to go out.......but, do you have any ideas for stocking?


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Old 12/05/2007, 02:36 PM   #24
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i havnt really thought toomuch about stocking, but i would like to start out by 1 or 2 ocellaris's or perc's and if i could, an anemone sometime down the road. i dont really kno which kind of corals(but will do research). also maybe a couple of snails or cleaner inverts for right after i cycle the tank.

if you have any differen opinions about any of these please do tell.


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Old 12/05/2007, 06:59 PM   #25
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Once the tank has been up and running the way to want it and it has cycled (about 2 or 3 weeks), then you can start stocking.....

From what you should add first to what you want to add last.....(almost all can be found at LiveAquaria...
>1. 4 Astrea Snails and 2 Scarlet Reef Hermits
>2. 3 Nassuris Snails
-Test Water Parameters, and perform a W/C after about a week-
>3. Your first fish- add something that you plan on keeping for a long time in stead of a aggressive hardy test fish. Because if you do it that way if it ends up living, it can end up being a real PIA to get out.
>4. You can start adding some corals (softies)
>5. Start dosing with supplemental chemical mixes.
>6. After about 6 to 8 months you can add an anemone

For clowns you can go either way, but I personally have a preference for the simple O.clownfish. And for other fish, I am sure a wrasse or firefish is something that will interest you.

HTH

Happy reefing!


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