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Complete newb 30 gallon reef

This is a discussion on Complete newb 30 gallon reef within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> i like API for its price and quick testing but like saliferts because theyre even more accurate. ive also heard elos is of equal ...

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Complete newb 30 gallon reef
Old 02-02-2010, 01:43 AM   #31
 
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i like API for its price and quick testing but like saliferts because theyre even more accurate. ive also heard elos is of equal quality. you may also want to invest in a refractometer over the hydrometer your using, esp. when you have corals. ebay has them cheap.

for a CUC, have patience, for now spend the money you want to spend on them on more live rock. when your finally ready for your crew i suggest a few snails to start. you can always add more as needed. a mixture of different kinds of snails is best, but avoid bumblebees. i personally also like to avoid all crabs, including hermit crabs. to me crabs cause problems and hermits just love ripping snails from their shells only to find out they dont want that shell.

personally i use icecap retrofit t5s and a MH for my lights. i like T5s the best. unfortunately i didnt get a chance to click all the links and see the lights you were reffering to or fully get a chance to read this entire thread but my best advice to you is not to buy any of the lights. your live rock does not need them for the time being and the tank, nor do i think you are ready for corals. while the tank matures its a good time to save money and absorb all the information you can, and then go with the lights that you want to get instead of buying them twice. im not saying you have to get a really expensive light setup but getting one worth while is the way to go. lighting and water quality (which usually means a quality skimmer which reviews should be read prior to its purchase) are very important to corals. if your really looking for something sort term, try to find lights used instead of brand new, but you'll prob. need to replace the bulb. its also a very good idea to search your area for a local reefing club. for the time being as well as when the time comes to have fish i would just use a flouresent light.

and for the record, a 90 gallon tank isnt always better. a standard 75 is the same size as a standard 90 minus the 90 being taller, which makes lighting more difficult.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:13 AM   #32
 
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Sounds like maybe I should go with the BIonic then since I'm a newb.

Oh Ive got patience, just trying to gain all the knowledge I can BEFORE its needed to be put into use

Good point on the 90 and 75 gallon tanks, I hadnt considered that, thanks. And Im with you on the crabs, my LFS doesnt stock hermits only Emerald Crabs. I was thinking starting with Astrea and Nassarius snails, but only when the time is right, so another 4 weeks away or so. As we all know LFS are all about making sales, thats why I wanted opinions from experienced members.

Same with the lights, Im not in a hurry just trying to gather information. I think Ive decided on that last light I posted but I dont have the money for it yet and am in no hurry to get it. I want a stable tank before considering any corals.

I would like to save money on rock and buy 25lbs of Key Largo rock but dont really like the idea of having to wait 3-6 months for it to blend in with the rest of my rock! I know patience is key...what would you guys do? If I go with just live rock I will probably add 10lbs at a time, 2 different times until I have 29lbs of rock. My LFS sells it for $8/lb.

So right now Im worried that I dont have enough live rock to get started with having only 9lbs.

Here is my checklist of things to buy right now, in order of intended purchases, help me out if you think I should change anything.

1) Better Alkalinity test, Calcium and Phosphate test and BIonic
2) 10lbs more live rock
3) HOB overflow and sump
4) Protein Skimmer

My current Alkalinity test with the Red Sea Marine Lab shows test results like this,
-Low 0 - 1.6
-Normal 1.7 - 2.8
-High 2.9 - 3.6

I see others posting Alk test in dKH?!? What am I missing here? I know thats Carbonate Hardness but whats the difference? I dont particularly want to buy another whole kit right now since I can effectively test Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH with what I have but I do need to be able to test Alkalinity properly as well as Calcium so I can adjust as needed to support Coraline Algae growth.

Once again, thanks for any and all help folks! Cheers
-Mike
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #33
 
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Ill be going to a LFS later today and I will check and see what all they have for saltwater stuff left. They used to sell saltwater fish and supplies but apparently it was to much for them, either that or their wasnt enough demand for it. So they do still have some supplies just not much. I originally started my tank using Tropic Marin Pro Reef Sea Salt. Right now though I dont have anymore to do a partial water change when its needed. I think the only salt mix that my LFS carries is Instant Ocean. Should I not use different salt mix's? If not I will get another box of this from my saltwater store when I make it there again in a week or so.

I will try to find a better Alkalinity test today as well as a Calcium test and pick up a couple of powerheads if they have any, as well as a 10g tank for a QT tank.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:07 PM   #34
 
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On salt, I would switch to Instant Ocean.

Alkalinity is measured in different units. On this forum, we try to be consistent and everyone talks in DKH. But you will also find many test kits refer to ppm. The Red Sea kit included a conversion chart.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #35
 
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Well nothing went as planned today. I did manage to get a better Alkalinity test however, but thats about all I got today that I wanted to. The store had some junk powerheads that they wanted way more than they were worth. I didnt even manage to get a 10 gallon tank! Hows that for selection? So I got a box of Instant Ocean, a box of API activated carbon and a nylon bag to put it in, and a Seachem Marine pH and Alkalinity test kit. Far better test than the Red Seas Marine Lab. After my kids go to bed Ill be testing all parameters and Ill post them up.

I just got home about a half hour ago, and maybe Im crazy, BUT, it sure as the heck looks like SOMETHING was stirring the sand all around. There are a few large holes in the sand that I swear werent there before... Like I said, I could be just crazy, but now its got me wondering if I got some hitchhiker crab. Ive obviously never seen it but maybe its in there? lol

Also the other option is maybe air bubbles in the sand bed? I can see small airbubbles in the sand bed on the sides of the tank. I put the sand in the tank and then layed a piece of plastic on the sand while I gently poured in my saltwater. Did I go about this wrong?!? Ive seen small air bubbles come free of the sandbed while Ive been looking at the tank, but I just cant see a big enough pocket of air in there to make holes in the sand like this. It almost makes me want to pick up the rocks to see but I will just leave it alone and let nature take its course.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:19 PM   #36
 
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Here I was bragging about patience, well its running out quickly! These test kits are KILLING me. Im mildly color blind so I cant figure out the test results without the help of my wife. And watching her attempt to figure them it is just wayyyyy to frustrating! Where the heck are the digital testers?!? Anyway, here is the best numbers I could come up with without pulling my hair out of my head.....

Temp 77F
SG - 1.024

pH 8.2
Alk - 2.5 meq/L or 7 dKH (Picking up BIonic tomorrow)
Ammonia - 0.25 ppm
Nitrite - 0.2 ppm
Nitrate - 2.5 ppm
Calcium ?? (Picking up a test kit tomorrow)

So yeah, beginning to get frustrated here. I know theres still a TON of things to purchase thats probably going to set me back $1000 or more still, and Im getting nervous that I'm going to fail miserably! Somebody calm me down here.

I will be hitting the Saltwater store tomorrow so help me out as best as you can with what I NEED NOW. Checklist so far is,

1) BIonic
2) Calcium test kit
3) 10lbs live rock
4) 2 powerheads

Depending on what I can get the wife to spend I also want a Refractometer because this Red Sea Hydrometer is worthless. You cant get an accurate reading with it bouncing around all day long. You have to watch it for 5 minutes and watch how low it goes, and how high it goes, and where it kinda stabilizes for maybe 20 seconds and take an educated guess. Yeah worthless. So someone please tell me what the most important investments I need to make tomorrow would be. Cheers
-Mike
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #37
 
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Alright, Ive got my shopping list together, at least what I know I need to get today. Being at the store and seeing everything however just about kills me, lol. Oh, I also bought my first coral. I know my tank isnt ready yet, she is holding it for me until my tank is ready. So heres what I am getting

1) BIonic - $15
2) 10lbs live rock - $80
3) V3 Refractometer - $59
4) 2 Maxi-Jet 400 powerheads - $44
5) 3x3" Green Hairy Mushroom - $35
6) Calcium test kit - $??

Any other suggestions?

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:02 PM   #38
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1zjd View Post
Temp 77F
SG - 1.024

pH 8.2
Alk - 2.5 meq/L or 7 dKH (Picking up BIonic tomorrow)
Ammonia - 0.25 ppm
Nitrite - 0.2 ppm
Nitrate - 2.5 ppm
Calcium ?? (Picking up a test kit tomorrow)

So yeah, beginning to get frustrated here. I know theres still a TON of things to purchase thats probably going to set me back $1000 or more still, and Im getting nervous that I'm going to fail miserably! Somebody calm me down here.

-Mike
Mike, it sounds to me like you are doing everything perfectly. You have nothing to worry about, as you are making good smart choices right now.

By the way, when you get the Calcium test kit, post both alkalinity and calcium results BEFORE you add the BIonic for the first time. Lets makes sure you are ready to dose both parts of the BIonic at the same time.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:14 PM   #39
 
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Absolutely, I wouldnt consider adding anything to my tank without consulting with you folks on here first. Thanks for the reassurance Pasfur, I needed that!
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #40
 
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Well unfortunately I wasnt able to get everything I wanted today. But I got most of it. I bought 2 powerheads, a refractometer, a calcium test, and 10lbs of live rock. They were out of BIonic so I wasnt able to get anything. I will test all parameters tomorrow and post them up. Heres how the tank looks tonight,



BTW, the refractometer is amazing! If anyone considers buying a hydrometer or a refrectometer, take it from personal experience, dont waste your money on a hydrometer. Ive got one I bet I couldnt give away! Ill keep everyone posted.
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