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#1
halfpint

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Alright, NR vets and otherwise smart members, let's make an informative topic for new people to read. Hopefully this will reduce the "why is there so much brown algae all over everything?" and "why did my damsel die when he bit the lit firecracker that I tossed into the tank?" Just post your pointers and discuss whatever ones that have already been posted. Please don't hyjack this thread. It doesn't need to be 8 pages of crap. Just 1 or 2 pages of good, useful information.


I'll go first. N00bs, here are some common problems that you shouldn't worry about.
  • The imfamous "brown algae bloom." It happens to everyone who sets up a tank. So don't panic.
  • The nytrogen cycle. Learn it before setting a tank up. It goes Decaying matter = Ammonia = Nitrite = Nitrate = Nitrogen gas. Wait it out. Don't add anything until Ammonia, nitrite, and most of nitrates are gone.
  • Feeding. Don't feed your fish every day. Nano tanks build up waste easily, so feed every other day or every three days.

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Been into coral for 9 years, and still learning!

#2
Fishfreak218

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  • Go very slow in the begining. In this hobby, only bad things happen fast!


#3
jgreen

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  • Go very slow in the begining. In this hobby, only bad things happen fast!

  • Find a mentor in this hobby and duplicate what's working for them. Thanks Fish and Jemram. :)

Edited by jgreen, 07 January 2007 - 07:22 AM.


#4
Gvtv44

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Take your time, plan out every aspect of your system, and research everything thoroughly.

#5
mascencerro

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set aside a special "my aquaria" fund when you first start studying and planning. It doesnt have to be national debt expensive, but if you don't start saving a little here and there when you start, you'll end up getting the 'cheapest' first then wanting to upgrade and upgrade and upgrade when you get money. Why not start out with a couple of good items you really want like lights, filter, etc in the beginning instead of having a closet full of stuff you cant use and nobody wants in the end.

#6
cooksalot

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there is a search button here on NR. try typing in the topic you are looking for there first. not only has it probably been covered, but you will find all your answers instantly instead of having to wait for replies.

and when you do post a question regarding unusual activity in your tank or your cycle, make sure you post all your water parameters, as most people won't be able to accurately help you without them.

#7
basser1

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The search button is good, but in addition, I also use google search for more info. Also read as much as you can. I'm not very technical oriented and I like to keep things as simple as possible. One book that I enjoyed reading was The Nano-Reef Handbook by Chris Brightwell. Lots of great pics, (alright I admit I liked the pictures), and has a lot of info.

One more thing, be very Patient and take your time. For example, don't decide to put in a BTA for your clownfish after the tank has been up a few weeks. ;)
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#8
Izzue

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Be Nice...

And dont Troll...or yu will catch a feeler hurter or 2
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#9
halfpint

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Let your tank mature for at least two months after the cycle if you want it to be more stable. I have done this with 7 of my tanks and I haven't had a crash yet.

When you're adding livestock, add your peaceful fish first, wait a week or so (to allow him to get his territory together) before adding semi-aggresive fish. This will increase your chances of harmonious co-existence.

Before buying a coral that you aren't familiar with, google it's name like this "*coral's name* care" that will give you better chances of survival.




DON'T USE CRUSHED CORAL FOR SUBSTRATE!!! For best results, use Arag-alive wet-bagged sand. It's awesome. Just be sure to check the expiration date on the bag before buying.
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#10
oceanqueen

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before asking what fish to get,read up on differant species and see which one might fit your personality

#11
BabyboyTropics

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Always ask questions!!!!
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#12
halfpint

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In most cases, don't believe anything that a person at the LFS tells you. They will (in most cases) BS you, just to get you to buy more.

[EDIT]Thanks, mods for the sticky! We just need more of the experienced people to shed osme light in here.[/edit]

Edited by halfpint, 07 January 2007 - 07:43 PM.

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#13
Fishfreak218

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THE MOST IMPORTAN RULE TO NANO REEF KEEPING:
Dont get a Royal Gramma!

#14
Duncan

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Clown fish doesn't need a anemone to survive in reef tank.
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#15
reefpeace

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Wait for two months or so after you decide you reeeeeeaaaalllly want a tank and see if you still do. While you are waiting, read and read forums like this and if the bug is still there it will be that much sweeter to set up your tank and you will have a lot fewer 'noob' questions or surprises B).

#16
tinyreef

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watch your salinity every day. an ato is invaluable.

watch your temperatures in the spring/summer.

don't eat yellow snow in the winter.

the most important reefing technique is patience.

the most important aspect in reefing is lighting.

the most useful device is a turkey baster.

#17
g0tfish

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have a stable income

#18
halfpint

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Make sure you read up on the Pom Pom before taking the plunge. They can be tricky.
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Been into coral for 9 years, and still learning!

#19
Withers

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Automation is a double-edged sword. While you'll enjoy all the extra free-time that you could've spent topping off your tank, turning your lights on and off, etc etc, it just adds that many more things to go wrong once you go on vacation.

When you go on vacation, prepare for the worst. If something is about to malfunction, it WILL wait until you've left for vacation before it actually breaks.


Patience is a virtue in this hobby. Rushing anything will lead to problems down the road.


You pay for what you get. If you cut corners early on, you'll have to deal with the repercussions of your decisions later once your tank has matured.

#20
andykee

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You pay for what you get. If you cut corners early on, you'll have to deal with the repercussions of your decisions later once your tank has matured.

that is one of the best pieces of advice in this hobby. don't cheap out on stuff or cut corners in the beginning, because it will end up costing you in the long run.
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#21
Gwoardnog

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ooo ooo, i have a list:

1. Stability is key
2. Bigger = easier to keep stable
3. Ammonia -> Nitrites then Nitrates
4. Ammonia and nitrites need to be zero before anything
5. When in doubt wait 2 weeks
6. When stocking only add critters once a month
7. At least 1lb. of rock per gallon
8. Live sand is not needed, it will be seeded from live rock
9. Put as much sand in as is pleasing to the eye
10. No crushed coral. Anywhere.
11. Tonga, Fiji, Marshal etc. Whichever looks best to you
12. Less fish = room for error when the unexpected happens
13. The unexpected will happen
14. Yes you are probably overstocked
15. No anemones under 25 gallons.
16. No tangs unless you have a bigger tank to move them to later.
17. Good stuff doesnít come cheap
18. You get what you pay for
19. Refugiums arenít required
20. Refugium > no refugium
21. Chaeto is a nice macro algae to use in a refugium
22. Skimmers arenít required.
23. Skimmers are nice
24. Good nano skimmers are(in no particular order):
a. Cora-Life Super Skimmer
b. Remora
c. ASM
25. Skimmer and a refugium are both good additions
26. Yes a Remora will fit on a 10gal.
27. Water-changes weekly are a very good idea
28. Change 10%-20% water a week for good results
29. IO is a good salt
30. So are pretty much all salt brands
31. Light 8-12 hours a day is a good idea
32. No your Ph doesnít have to be 8.2
33. Ph of 7.8 is fine
34. Ph of 8.4 is fine
35. Donít add any supplements without testing
36. This includes Ph buffer
37. Rule of thumb: 1 clean up crew critter per gallon
38. Stability is key
39. Get a refractometer already
40. MH or T5ís for clams and acropora
41. 250W of MH is probably a little overkill
42. PCís can probably be used for everything else
43. 6500k yellow light
44. 10000k white light
45. 20000k blue light
46. Use RO water
47. RODI > Distilled > RO > whatever else
48. Donít use bottled drinking water
49. Donít use spring water
50. Donít use tap water
51. Cyano problems (red slimy algae, grows everywhere)
a. Less feeding
b. 8 hour lighting period
c. More flow
d. More water changes
e. Vacuum your sand already
52. Donít let the snail rot in your tank
53. Donít feed primarily brine shrimp (good for treats once in a while)
54. DTís only if you want more pods or have clams
55. Flakes are fine, frozen is probably better
56. Variety is best for fish food
57. 10x-20x you tank volume water turnover rate is a good number to aim for with your powerheads
58. Turbulent flow > direct flow
59. Have at least two sources of water flow for best turbulence
60. When in doubt refer to rule #1.

#22
Scott Riemer

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DO NOT impulse buy anything, especially livestock. Walk out, go home, research needs as far as environment, compatability, feeding habits, etc. In my experience, local fish stores will tell you what they think you want to hear, research for yourself.

Edited by Scott Riemer, 08 January 2007 - 07:28 AM.

I would like to nominate Scott Riemer for MOD of the month!!!

Scott... you're amazin'. :wub:


#23
lgreen

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My key piece of advise:

#24
sparticleveland

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My key piece of advise:

Link



heh heh heh....

#25
oogie

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one thing I always realized after setting up tanks is regreting about the design or how something works about the tank. It could be how your closed loop is setup, or design of sump or etc.... after u filling the tank with freshwater, make sure everything works exactly way u want and make sure it has more flow then what u want before u add salt, cause later as tank matures, some of adjustment is virtualy impossble.

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