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New hobby is growing...

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by kingpin, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Hi all! New guy here. Recently picked up a 90 gallon acrylic and have set out to start a reef. Have a 55g fresh that I've pretty much mastered and am ready for the next level. Any direction or advice is greatly appreciated as I get things rolling. I'm in the Boone/Ames area and would welcome any tips on vendors whether it be b&m or online.

    Here is my 55g (have since added a few real plants)

    IMG_20180207_001814965.jpg


    And the early stage on the 90 after adding the CC substrate. The picture sucks; was just testing the new light in the tank, so the rest got washed out.

    IMG_20180830_215932890.jpg
     
  2. DangerJ Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    785
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +282 / 4 / -0
    Welcome to the site! You're off to a good start. I'm not too sure about vendors in the Boone/Ames area but I'll bet someone will be along shortly with some guidance. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need - there's a great knowledge base here. Happy reefing!
     
  3. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    401
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +72 / 0 / -0
    Welcome! The jump from fresh to marine is pretty satisfying. Three of the best pieces of advice I ever received as a new hobbyist: take is slow, buy a solid RODI unit, and do your research! Theres a lot of very experienced reefers here that will answer any questions you have.
     
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  4. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the welcome, appreciate it. RODI? Reverse Osmosis?

    Everything has started to settle. 1/4 live rock, dry on the rest. Let the cycle begin.
     

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  5. DangerJ Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    785
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +282 / 4 / -0
    Yep, this is never the hobby for impatient people. The only instant gratification available is when you get a new fish or coral...and even that takes time to acclimate safely!

    Do you have an idea what you'd like to stock the tank with?
     
  6. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    671
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +134 / 1 / -0
    Are you planning on adding more rockwork?
     
  7. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Not a clue on what's ultimately going in. I'll see what develops from the live rock. Had some sticker shock at rock prices, but the plan is to add on when I have a little more play money. It's already been a pricey endeavor.
     
  8. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    671
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +134 / 1 / -0
    If you're planning on this being a reef I'd definitely add more rock. Keep an eye out for other hobbyists selling rock.. should be much more reasonable than retail prices.
     
  9. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    There will be more rock added for sure. With everything else I had to buy, that wasn't on my shopping list. Kinda blew my budget out of the water by the time I even thought about rock. Will definitely keep an eye out for folks selling rock on here. Thanks for the tips!
     
  10. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    384
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    Welcome welcome welcome!

    There are so many routes you can take to be successful in this hobby. I have to agree with the consensus that it is wise to take things slowly, even though waiting sucks.

    I always try to buy used stuff before considering purchasing new. An RO/DI unit or reverse osmosis/deionization sounds intimidating but it is well worth the time it takes to research what it is and what it takes to acquire and use one. I recommend using water filtered through RO/DI units because it limits reasons why algae might bloom in your tank. Also it's the way to go if you want to keep the finicky corals down the road.

    I have gotten a lot of information from this forum, international forums like reefcentral and reef2reef, and I follow a lot of reefing YouTube chanels like reefbuilders, melevs reef, coralfish12g, tidal gardens, inappropriate reefer, and many more.

    Happy learning!
     
  11. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    671
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +134 / 1 / -0
    Very good points regarding RO/DI. Your tank is also large enough that you'd breakeven pretty quickly by getting your own vs buying RO/DI water. I'm guessing you already filled the tank with dechlorinated tap water? That's okay for a fish only set up but you'll want to remedy that if you plan on keeping corals/inverts.
     
  12. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    401
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +72 / 0 / -0
    I like that scape! It seems as if there are a lot of really cool structures with a centralized rock structure. The planted tank world is really good at them. Do you have plans for fish and corals? Lots of really nice frags floating around the state.
     
  13. Cameron GIRS Member

    44
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    Welcome to GIRS. I just made the switch from fresh to salt and while the downside is the longer cycle time, the upside is that what is happens during the cycle is much more interesting. The live rock spins off all sorts of algae and the clean up crew or CUC, such as emerald crabs, peppermint shrimps and snails, all of which are relatively hardy and cheap, i.e $3-7, provide lots of action. The added bonus of enjoying the cycling is that you will get a better feel for the tank and as such be quicker to recognize when things go awry. Here's an article (myth 15) they gave me when I first started.
     
  14. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Pardon my ignorance, but treated tap (I used Prime) is not good for a reef setup?
     
  15. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    384
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    @kingpin@kingpin treating tap water with dechlorinator (in your case prime) just makes the water safe for fish and hearty corals like softies (zoas, mushrooms Kenya trees etc). Tap water has a lot of other things in it besides chlorine which are not good for water quality. An RO/DI unit pushes water through a membrane that essentially only let's the water molecule pass through, filtering out roughly 95% of the contaminants in the water. The water then passes through the deionization filter which removes the remaining contaminants. Essentially the filter produces pure water (H2O).

    Pure water or RO/DI water does not need to be treated with prime or other dechlorinators since It gets rid of all of the chlorine in the filtering process. Mixing salt with RO/DI water will ensure that you get the most success possible by limiting possible contaminants in your reef tank. This is true whether you want a fish only tank or a full blown reef tank. The only difference is fish don't care about water parameters as much as corals do so fish will generally survive in a treated tap water environment.

    Now if you decide to go with RO/DI water I recommend you buy an RO/DI filter. Yes upfront costs suck but it will be cheaper in the long run. This would be one of the first things to buy when setting up a reef tank because I do not trust RO/DI from the fish stores. 1) you never no when they change their filters unless they post them an 2) every time I've purchased RO/DI water from a store I get an algae bloom in my tank.

    If you don't have the money for an RO/DI filter maybe ask someone in your area to give you some of their RO/DI while you save up for one. In exchange, offer to replace their filter cartridges or something along those lines. Lugging jugs of water across town every week is not ideal hahah.

    Hope this helps
     
  16. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    This is very helpful. Thanks. I assume it would be okay to cycle as is and do water changes with RO in the future?
     
  17. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    384
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    It depends what you want to stock the tank with. If it's going to be fish only for now then you'll probably be ok cycling as is. Just know that it might take a lot of time and a lot of water changes to get rid of the tap water down the road. As soon as you get access to RO/DI water I would do frequent medium sized water changes before you put coral in the tank. It might also help to run a refugium and protein skimmer as well as gfo and biopeletes if you can. These filters pull nutrients out of the water.
     
  18. kingpin

    23
    Boone, IA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I have a skimmer running and about a 20 gallon sump. Is it best to start with fish and add coral or vice versa? Just a matter of preference?
     
  19. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    384
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    I heard that it's better to put coral in first because they don't produce nearly as much ammonia as fish, so they don't need a fully cycled tank.

    With your situation I would make sure your tank is cycled, get some fish established in there, get a good source of RO/DI and change out the water. You're probably going to get a bunch of algae growing in the display so coral would get suffocated anyways. You can do frequent water changes but try not to make them too large and always make sure salinity and temperature stay consistent with your tank water.

    This would definately be the time to be patient and take things slow. You should always be realistic with expectations in this hobby.

    As far as filtration goes, I recommend you add more than just a protein skimmer. Just be careful with chemical filtration like gfo and biopeletes because you can overdose on those. I really like refugiums so if you have room that's the first thing I would add to your filtration.
     
  20. Maureen Experienced Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +317 / 0 / -0
    I have green star polyps after your tank cycles, they are a good starter coral to make an island with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018

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