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#301
lilj104

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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.


I concur, mine crashed when I went on my last vacation..everything died...

Tans are not allowed in small tanks

matter of fact read up what size tank is good for certain fish, also remember the amount of fish you place in a tank is based on space, so if you have a really stacked up reef tank, you will not be able to add as many fish as if you have just 2-3 small pieces of LR.

Read around when you are reading articles, read everyone's input and then make the decision based on what has worked for the most people.

If you have a question, 9x out of 10 someone has the same question and probably has already answered it.

Monitor for unwanted pest that come on live rock, they may come back to bite you later on.

#302
MameJenny

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Don't use sugar grain sand! It's pretty, yes, and the inverts like it, but it's a PITA to clean and gets kicked up by any sort of water flow. If I didn't think that it would send my tank into a cycle, I'd take mine out right now.

It won't help your tank at all if you obsess over it too much. It's hard to resist having your hands in there to fix little things, but as the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Don't go cheap with your equipment. Think of your equipment as the life support system of your tank. If you were in a coma and being kept alive by machines, I don't think you'd like to hear that they were the low quality, pre-owned $10 versions. ;)

That being said, if money is important to you, always look for the best deal. Unfortunately, there's a lot of people in this hobby who take advantage of new reefers by scamming them or giving them livestock they can't care for. There's nothing worse than finding out you paid three times more than you had to for something you just bought.

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REEFKEEPING: The hobby where you slice up wild animals, glue them to rocks, and then put them in a box full of electrical equipment and saltwater. How fun!

#303
RooKi3

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I am so tired but could not stop reading this thread till the end. All the info on here was very helpful, although I did skip a short section where some vets were ranting about skimmer stuff. Now I have to look for info about the some of the stuff on here and what can still be used today and what is outdated and not practiced anymore. That will be tomorrow night's mission, off to bed!

#304
reefguyintoona

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I read this entire thread. Thanks to everyone for their insight and humorous veiws. I did see this in the thread and the download will not work on 64 bit machines. Does anyone know where I can get similar softwre for tracking my tank?

"Keep a log of your tank, it will help you when your having a problem, revert back to old parameters. Plus its fun to see how your tank matures. Here is a free one.

http://www.download....tml?tag=lst-0-2

and their home page...
[url="http://www.infinitysoft.net/ReefCon/""]http://www.infinitys...t.net/ReefCon/"[/url]

#305
boyzone345bc

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i am new here

#306
siwelk

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i am new here


Good job following directions.
I'm Seriously.


:welcome:

#307
lakshwadeep

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It's spam. Pro tip: look at the signature of random new posters for external links to commercial sites.

↳Malcolm

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#308
siwelk

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It's spam. Pro tip: look at the signature of random new posters for external links to commercial sites.

I have sigs turned off.
That's MY pro tip.

#309
lakshwadeep

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I have sigs turned off.
That's MY pro tip.


Well, that doesn't help solve the problem of spammers.

↳Malcolm

Newer! ADA 60-F

New ADA 60-P - Gobyopolis
my 20H  retired

 

Every lie tells another truth.
-John Burns


#310
newb2nano

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Very enjoyable! I read through all 16 pages. There are a bunch of items that were not addressed in this thread and I was wondering if someone could kindly lend their expertise here...

I hope I don't come across as overly paranoid about my tank, I just care a lot!

1. When should we start changing water? I love the idea of just swapping a 16 oz. cup everyday - thanks for that idea! But I'd like to know if 3 to 4 weeks of cycled/cured live rock and only shrimp/crabs with zero nitrites or ammonia for 1 week+ is OK to start this process? Or can someone just lay out a basic guideline for newbies?

2. What about how to figure out what NEWLY hatched bad guys look like (ie. aiptasia and majano)? I'd like to ID these before they get big and the only pics I can find online are fully grown. Are there different forms of aiptasia or just the clear or beige colored squiggly nebulous ugly ones? For instance, do any look more like a zoanthid? This might be a crazy question (sorry!)

3. More about the sand or substrate (or lack thereof). I bought tiny "sand" sized sand and now I fear things like trapped toxic air bubbles and weird purple stuff growing in the shady parts... etc. Even with "sand-stirring" snails (how do I know if those things are even alive - I can't see them!!) But, I've heard that pebble (or smallish) sized stuff or crushed coral can trap nitrate-making wastes. Which leads me to the bare-bottomed tank option which seems kind of harsh to me (like not so cozy for shrimp and crabs). Is there an ideal? I like natural looking tanks so is it mostly about aesthetics here?

4. How to handle the gross out factor with bristle worms. I mean, I know they're beneficial but... I've tried to find the beauty (mine have a little opalescence to them)... but Ek! Creepy! Additionally, it's hard to see how they do THAT much clean up since they have such a small range of motion. Mine just inch out a little bit around their home and haven't cleaned that rock of ANY detritus! LOL Can anyone relate?

5. What about other dreaded things like BLACKISH colored algae on rocks. What about yellow stuff covering a rock or bright orange stuff covering a rock? What colors are good/bad to look for? What about mucus-like clear stuff? If that always bad? If I take out a rock to scrub it off will I kill other things on it by scrubbing or exposing it to air? Do I have to scrub dark patches off? What about really dark green? Dang, there are a lot of colors happening in there. I'm pretty sure PURPLE is the only color I hear that's awesome to have. But then there's that reddish purple that I don't feel 100% about...

I'll stop now, though that's the tip of the iceberg for me. I know I need to read like 10 books (including one on how to write) but can you help me with my fears for now so I can stop looking at stuff through a magnifying glass and google image searching? Please! Thanks, Lisa

#311
lakshwadeep

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:welcome: to nano-reef.com

It's usually better to ask your own questions in a specific thread so that personalized dialogues don't clog up this stickied thread. Use the new topic option to start your own thread (note to others: use the new topic option wisely, i.e., after doing some searches for similar questions). However, most of your questions are sufficiently general to be useful in this sticky.

1. When should we start changing water? I love the idea of just swapping a 16 oz. cup everyday - thanks for that idea! But I'd like to know if 3 to 4 weeks of cycled/cured live rock and only shrimp/crabs with zero nitrites or ammonia for 1 week+ is OK to start this process? Or can someone just lay out a basic guideline for newbies?


You can start during the cycle, in which case this is called soft cycling and most often done when the rock is "fresh/uncured" with many desirable hitchhikers that would normally die in a traditional cycle. Or, you can wait until the cycle is has progressed. With cured (=precycled) rock, you can start water changes immediately. Having livestock is usually the easiest signal to begin doing changes.

2. What about how to figure out what NEWLY hatched bad guys look like (ie. aiptasia and majano)? I'd like to ID these before they get big and the only pics I can find online are fully grown. Are there different forms of aiptasia or just the clear or beige colored squiggly nebulous ugly ones? For instance, do any look more like a zoanthid? This might be a crazy question (sorry!)


Aiptasia and other anemones look the same when they're small and when they are large. Aiptasia may appear clear or light brown, but the best indicator are fairly long/pointed tentacles, unlike zoanthids. They look like the archetypal "polyp". Manjanos have bulbous tips for their tentacles. Also, anything that has branched/serrated tentacles is not an anemone. It may either be a soft coral (octocoral) or feather duster worm (serpulid/sabellid). Check the identification forum for good guides and hundreds of reference photos from other members.

3. More about the sand or substrate (or lack thereof). I bought tiny "sand" sized sand and now I fear things like trapped toxic air bubbles and weird purple stuff growing in the shady parts... etc. Even with "sand-stirring" snails (how do I know if those things are even alive - I can't see them!!) But, I've heard that pebble (or smallish) sized stuff or crushed coral can trap nitrate-making wastes. Which leads me to the bare-bottomed tank option which seems kind of harsh to me (like not so cozy for shrimp and crabs). Is there an ideal? I like natural looking tanks so is it mostly about aesthetics here?


Luckily, most air bubbles are not dangerous, and most tanks with sand beds, even with sugar-fine/oolitic sand, do fine. Purple stuff sounds like cyanobacteria.

4. How to handle the gross out factor with bristle worms. I mean, I know they're beneficial but... I've tried to find the beauty (mine have a little opalescence to them)... but Ek! Creepy! Additionally, it's hard to see how they do THAT much clean up since they have such a small range of motion. Mine just inch out a little bit around their home and haven't cleaned that rock of ANY detritus! LOL Can anyone relate?


Remember that bristle worms are also scared of you and to avoid "surprising" them by quickly lifting rocks or poking fingers in holes. Also, for every worm you see, there are dozens/hundreds of others that are unseen. Their greatest benefit is captive reproduction, allowing their populations to adapt to food availability. Also, most are nocturnal, so if you randomly turned on the lights at night, you would see many on your rocks and sand. Finally, while hitchhikers and the clean-up-crew may help, you are ultimately the most effective cleaner. Unfortunately for nano tanks, many extremely desirable detrivores like sea cucumbers or Ctenochaetus (bristletooth) tangs are too big to be kept.

5. What about other dreaded things like BLACKISH colored algae on rocks. What about yellow stuff covering a rock or bright orange stuff covering a rock? What colors are good/bad to look for? What about mucus-like clear stuff? If that always bad? If I take out a rock to scrub it off will I kill other things on it by scrubbing or exposing it to air? Do I have to scrub dark patches off? What about really dark green? Dang, there are a lot of colors happening in there. I'm pretty sure PURPLE is the only color I hear that's awesome to have. But then there's that reddish purple that I don't feel 100% about...


A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to identifications. There are many photosynthetic things that can grow on rocks, including cyanobacteria, diatoms, dinoflagellates, and various "higher" algae (including the desirable coralline algae). Some are pests, but most algae blooms often are just symptoms of water quality issues. A general rule of thumb is to check if the growth is hard or easily scraped off. Here's a good guide to nuisance algae:
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=186736

Good luck, and consider making a new thread to continue the conversation!

Edited by lakshwadeep, 23 January 2012 - 09:14 PM.

↳Malcolm

Newer! ADA 60-F

New ADA 60-P - Gobyopolis
my 20H  retired

 

Every lie tells another truth.
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#312
newb2nano

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FANTASTIC REPLY! You have a lot of patience and I really appreciate the comments. I hope we can help others who may stumble upon this thread. I'll take some pics to ID some of the crops/algae/bacteria, etc. ASAP. I have a very good camera, but I think I may need to set it up on a tripod since the tiniest movement blurs the picture!

So glad I joined this site! Many thanks to all who contribute and I hope I can post helpful feedback someday, too. :)

Thanks x 1,000,000!

#313
MeepNand

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I've got a 120 and kept an 18g very successfully with no skimmer. Skimmers are on a lot of phenomenal tanks but from my experience they are FAR from necessary and in my twisted view ;) they are harmful in that I imagine they are removing beneficial particles.

+1 on the no skimmer thing, but -1 on the fact that they are harmful.
I did a 10g nano with no skimmer for a few months, and it thrived. My corals got much bigger and nitrates was 0 and I had very few algae problems.
IME, a skimmer is not bad, but helps, but is not necessary. If you are not running a skimmer, then macroalgaes can help your tank eliminate harmful particles, along with some mechanical filtration.

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#314
MeepNand

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I have a super fine sand , and it looks like green algae is growing on it, the same kind as on my rocks.
Will a sea cucumber help stir the sand enough to get rid of it?

Programming needed? Ask me for free!

Now with Eagle PCB design skills. See a good led driver IC?

 

Typhon reprogrammed- bell curve dimming!

Touchscreen LED Controller

Cree 4 channel MCPCB

I tell you these Mexicans work very hard for cheap


#315
lakshwadeep

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Algae growing on sand is a sign of nutrient issues, either from the water source or feeding.

↳Malcolm

Newer! ADA 60-F

New ADA 60-P - Gobyopolis
my 20H  retired

 

Every lie tells another truth.
-John Burns


#316
NickCage

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Im new here also. Great post. Hello Everyone! Im a 28 year old 5-6 year reefer(in both meanings of the word, no pun intended) but just decided to sign up. I have used this website countless times as a reference. Its so much better to be able to ask now! I had a freshwater 10, 20long, 38, and a 55. Then i got into saltwater reefs and Ive had nano 20, 10 now a 14. I have learned so much thru trial and error over the years, but theres nothing better than a place like this, for reference, and knowledge, so you dont have to make the same mistakes that someone else already has! Now if I could just figure out how to upload pics from an iphone.........
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#317
cchardwick

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I also read all 16 pages and have a few things to add.

First I think I can put the skimmer issue to rest once and for all. In the nano-world your volume of water should be very small, 20 gallons or less. The smaller the better actually and here's why. I have a one gallon 'pico-reef' and I can change half of my water with a half gallon water change. And I can do this once a week. Now think about the water chemistry for a moment, with changing half my water every week I don't have a need for a skimmer, calcium reactor, nitrate removing resins, dosing of trace elements, etc. etc... The only reason we do all these things is to improve water quality. Now imagine I had a 100 gallon reef tank. I'd have to change out 50 gallons per week to get the water parameters the same as in my pico reef, and that would be very time consuming and very expensive. So we devise ways to reduce the amount of water we have to change by adding all the skimmers and reactors and such.

So do I need a skimmer? I believe the answer is that it depends on the volume of water in your tank and the frequency of water changes. If you can easily change out 25% to 50% per week then a skimmer is probably not needed. If you change out 10% a month, then you need one.

As far as your local fish store, I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. Best thing to do is to go in and buy a snail from one tank, a pinch of plant from another (or some other very inexpensive item) and then take the water home and test it. Every local fish store in my area has extremely high nitrates in the range of 200 PPM and in some cases lethal amounts of ammonia and nitrite. I have yet to find a good fish store with 'perfect' water parameters in regards to the nitrogen cycle. Our local fish stores are local death traps for marine organisms. One time I added just a little bit of the pet store water to my six gallon nano and my nitrates jumped up about 25 PPM!

I would suggest buying one of the self contained nano-cubes or bio-cubes. I have a six gallon JBJ nanocube and it is so well self contained that I only have to top off the water once a week, twice at most, and that is using very little water. Open top tanks may need to be topped off daily which is a pain in the rear.

I've done experiments with my rocks and found that metal halide lights will bleach all your purple coraline algae right off of your rocks. With 50:50 power compacts your purple algae will cover everything in six months making for a beautiful display, not so with metal halides. I've also found that the light from the metal halides hurts my eyes, so I stick with power compacts. I haven't tried LEDs yet.

If you are having a hair algae problem, use someones metal halide for a few days. It will melt away the algae!

Smaller tanks are better when it comes to cost of equipment. You don't need an RODI unit if you have a one gallon pico reef because you can buy a few gallons of distilled water and it will last you for months of water changes. There are a few negatives though such as evaporation (get one with a good cover) and the fact that in a gallon pico reef you can't put your hand in the tank without having an overflow onto the floor! I'd say 6-12 gallons is the perfect size for a nano-reef tank.

Test your newly made up fresh salt water before you add it to your tank. You may be surprised that some distilled water has low to mid levels of nitrates in it.

Edited by cchardwick, 18 February 2012 - 11:50 AM.

><((((>`..`..`...><((((>
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#318
MrMen

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Thank you very much for this informative thread. Especially the last one ^

I've been an avid reptile collector and use to have fresh water tanks, and now that I'm working out of a home office and moving into a house I'd LOVE a nano reef! One of the all in one units is what I'm going to go for (Really love the fluval edge), and I still have a few months before the house is mine, so I'll continue to read read read!

#319
guyot

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Having been a noob and started a reef tank a few years ago, the best advice I can pass on is NOT to freak out about the variety of opinions about what you can and cant accomplish with your tank. Most of the time, gathering data and going with the majority opinion is your best bet. It doesn't mean the minority opinion is WRONG, just that the majority opinion is a safer option to the new reefer. Some aquariums now have things in them that 10 years ago the majority thought were impossible to tank raise. So, while starting out go with the majority while you get the feel for things, then branch out into trying your own ideas if you are willing to put the time , effort, and proper care for the species into it.

Just keep in mind none of the fish/corals/etc evolved to live in an aquarium setting! We are all doing our best to replicate the larges biosphere on the planet in our living rooms!

#320
laubscd

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Hi all

I am trying the hobby for the second time and boy is the information this time around over the top. :D

#321
d0lph1n

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From my experience:

- everything popular is wrong.
- don't rely only on electronics. For example, double check the pH value with a regular pH kit before doing something major trying to fix it.
- know your tank's basic chemistry like alkalinity & calcium
- calibrate your refractometer with salinity calibration fluids like Pinpoint's and Salifert's, once in a while.
- on your skimmer, make small adjustment at a time. Observe the skimmer for a couple of hours after each adjustment otherwise you might flood the house.
-if you don't do DSB (deep sand bed) properly, I recommend stirring the substrate every other day (if you didn't do it at all or for a while, start with small areas).
- investigate the NPS (non-Photosynthetic) corals: some are peaceful, very beautiful and beginner friendly. Large polyp NPS coral are the easiest NPS corals to keep in that they're forgiving in regards to water quality and can go longer between feedings.
- for small nano tanks, I believe this is by far the best method ever: no live rock, no live sand, minimal filtration, no additives, the water is never tested, 100% water changes. More info

Edited by d0lph1n, 15 August 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#322
MeepNand

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I completely disagree with number 3. You can have a beautiful tank NPS only without any source of light, isn't it?

Yeah, but not for a beginner. Most people don't keep NPS.

Programming needed? Ask me for free!

Now with Eagle PCB design skills. See a good led driver IC?

 

Typhon reprogrammed- bell curve dimming!

Touchscreen LED Controller

Cree 4 channel MCPCB

I tell you these Mexicans work very hard for cheap


#323
MeepNand

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I would encourage beginners to explore these before anything else.

NPS in themselves are easy to keep. It is just the amount of food they need and the nutrient problems that this results in.

Programming needed? Ask me for free!

Now with Eagle PCB design skills. See a good led driver IC?

 

Typhon reprogrammed- bell curve dimming!

Touchscreen LED Controller

Cree 4 channel MCPCB

I tell you these Mexicans work very hard for cheap


#324
nikkibananas

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Hey NR members..Im new, and im only 15, and have a couple questions for just starting out. I was wondering what kind of reef life that I would be able to place in my 15 gallon tank for a beginner,...possibly something easy to start out with and take care of. Ive heard of mushrooms, but anything else? Thanks! B-)

#325
lakshwadeep

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There are a lot of choices. Check here for general coral info:
https://sites.google...www2/caresheets

For fish, check out lgreen's ultimate fish guide (also in the beginners forum), and here (under livestock selection; some info may be outdated):
http://www.wetwebmed.../MarInd3of6.htm

↳Malcolm

Newer! ADA 60-F

New ADA 60-P - Gobyopolis
my 20H  retired

 

Every lie tells another truth.
-John Burns