halfpint

New people, READ ME!

386 posts in this topic

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.

19 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

11 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 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
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

13 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. ;)

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be Nice...

 

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

0.02

 

:haha:

 

Izzue

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THE MOST IMPORTAN RULE TO NANO REEF KEEPING:

Dont get a Royal Gramma!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

18 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

have a stable income

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure you read up on the Pom Pom before taking the plunge. They can be tricky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 doesn’t come cheap

18. You get what you pay for

19. Refugiums aren’t required

20. Refugium > no refugium

21. Chaeto is a nice macro algae to use in a refugium

22. Skimmers aren’t 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 doesn’t have to be 8.2

33. Ph of 7.8 is fine

34. Ph of 8.4 is fine

35. Don’t 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 T5’s for clams and acropora

41. 250W of MH is probably a little overkill

42. PC’s 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. Don’t use bottled drinking water

49. Don’t use spring water

50. Don’t 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. Don’t let the snail rot in your tank

53. Don’t feed primarily brine shrimp (good for treats once in a while)

54. DT’s 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.

49 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My key piece of advise:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now