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NEED ADVICE: Just Starting Out


nikkibananas

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nikkibananas

Hey people of NR....I am a 15 year old who has been lately been very interested in taking care of a nano reef tank. I have been looking through this website for a while now, trying to see how I should start out, but most of the information I have been finding are a bit tricky for me to understand. Since I'm new to this, and am only 15, its sometimes difficult to understand some of the "code talk" of the discussion questions. :P

 

My first question would be this: I understand that having a smaller tank would be more difficult to take care of in this situation, but I honestly dont think that I have room for a 30g tank or higher in my room -_- So I have been looking at like a 10g tank possibly...? So how difficult would that be to get started with?

 

Second: I have been trying to google and find out some easy corals and such to start out with in my tank, since I am just learning and have never done this before. I have then came across the Mushrooms. How much maintenance do they require on a daily basis? I heard that they do NOT need to be fed, but if you wanted to you could. Is this true? And what are some other examples of easy beginner reef life?

 

Third: I have been looking at what I may need to keep my tank nice, healthy, and alive, (Pumps, salt, calcuim, etc..) And am a bit confused about what most of the stuff is. If anyone could put the needed supplies in easier to understand terms that'd be great...Thanks!

 

Fourth of all: I live in the north east, and we sometimes in the winter suffer power outages due to ice storms and snow storms for a couple days: usually only two or three. How badly will this effect my nano reef?

 

Thank you for helping me out with starting my own nano reef...I find all of the reefs astonishing, and I used to enjoy taking care of my little freshwater tank I used to have, so I've been interested in taking it up a step. THANKS ALOT! :D:lol:

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1. With a smaller tank, you need to stay on top of things constantly as you have a smaller volume of water than a bigger tank which means your chemicals can change more rapidly

 

2. Mushrooms and Zoas are really easy. Just basically place them where ever in the tank and just make sure there not in high flow .

 

3. YOu dont really need any dosers as your wc will correct all that. Salts are your choice everyone has there own decision, the higher gph the better usually , usually 10x turnover rate

 

4. You'll need to keep your tank warm somehow ( boiling water in a bag and placing it in the tank) also will need a battery operatated air pump

 

Welcome to Nano-Reef

:welcome:

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Hey people of NR....I am a 15 year old who has been lately been very interested in taking care of a nano reef tank. I have been looking through this website for a while now, trying to see how I should start out, but most of the information I have been finding are a bit tricky for me to understand. Since I'm new to this, and am only 15, its sometimes difficult to understand some of the "code talk" of the discussion questions. :P

 

My first question would be this: I understand that having a smaller tank would be more difficult to take care of in this situation, but I honestly dont think that I have room for a 30g tank or higher in my room -_- So I have been looking at like a 10g tank possibly...? So how difficult would that be to get started with?

 

Second: I have been trying to google and find out some easy corals and such to start out with in my tank, since I am just learning and have never done this before. I have then came across the Mushrooms. How much maintenance do they require on a daily basis? I heard that they do NOT need to be fed, but if you wanted to you could. Is this true? And what are some other examples of easy beginner reef life?

 

Third: I have been looking at what I may need to keep my tank nice, healthy, and alive, (Pumps, salt, calcuim, etc..) And am a bit confused about what most of the stuff is. If anyone could put the needed supplies in easier to understand terms that'd be great...Thanks!

 

Fourth of all: I live in the north east, and we sometimes in the winter suffer power outages due to ice storms and snow storms for a couple days: usually only two or three. How badly will this effect my nano reef?

 

Thank you for helping me out with starting my own nano reef...I find all of the reefs astonishing, and I used to enjoy taking care of my little freshwater tank I used to have, so I've been interested in taking it up a step. THANKS ALOT! :D:lol:

 

Bigger is better because your water parameters are more stable. You should be fine with a decent HOB filter, about 1 lb of live rock per gallon and a decent heater. You could probably get away with a normal 50/50 florescent bulb for most beginner soft corals.

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Nano sapiens

Welcome to the world of Nano reef tanks :)

 

A 10g is certainly possible, but if I were starting out I'd go with a slightly larger size of maybe 14g or 16g. A little more forgiving since you have more water volume and a little more space to arrange things.

 

When thinking about the tank setup as a whole, take into account these basic conditions that corals need: Sufficient light, sufficient flow, proper temperature, clean salt water at the proper salinity and nutrients.

 

To a large extent the equipment you choose will determine what you can keep successfully over the long term. In a typical beginners setup (low light/low flow/higher nutrients), corals such as Discosoma mushrooms, Kenya Tree soft coral and Zoas (Zoanthids) are often chosen because they like (or can adapt to) the conditions and multiply readily. If you buy higher output equipment in the beginning, you will have more corals to choose from that will do well as well as save money later on since you won't have to upgrade everything (assuming you stay in the hobby).

 

I don't know your financial situation (people will assume at 15 that you don't have money, but that isn't always the case), but a nice tank can be created and maintained for a reasonable amount of money. Look for simple, low cost setups that you like from posters on the forums to see what equipment they use and how they use it.

 

Lastly, I consider the maintenance aspect of a Nano tank as very critical to any long-term success. Plan on about an hour or more a week with water changes, detritus removal, cleaning glass, testing, etc.

 

Reef tanks are fun and very interesting when set up and maintained properly.

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nikkibananas
Welcome to the world of Nano reef tanks :)

 

A 10g is certainly possible, but if I were starting out I'd go with a slightly larger size of maybe 14g or 16g. A little more forgiving since you have more water volume and a little more space to arrange things.

 

When thinking about the tank setup as a whole, take into account these basic conditions that corals need: Sufficient light, sufficient flow, proper temperature, clean salt water at the proper salinity and nutrients.

 

To a large extent the equipment you choose will determine what you can keep successfully over the long term. In a typical beginners setup (low light/low flow/higher nutrients), corals such as Discosoma mushrooms, Kenya Tree soft coral and Zoas (Zoanthids) are often chosen because they like (or can adapt to) the conditions and multiply readily. If you buy higher output equipment in the beginning, you will have more corals to choose from that will do well as well as save money later on since you won't have to upgrade everything (assuming you stay in the hobby).

 

I don't know your financial situation (people will assume at 15 that you don't have money, but that isn't always the case), but a nice tank can be created and maintained for a reasonable amount of money. Look for simple, low cost setups that you like from posters on the forums to see what equipment they use and how they use it.

 

Lastly, I consider the maintenance aspect of a Nano tank as very critical to any long-term success. Plan on about an hour or more a week with water changes, detritus removal, cleaning glass, testing, etc.

 

Reef tanks are fun and very interesting when set up and maintained properly.

 

Thank you so much :D A 14 gallon tank might just be perfect for size after I have done some measurements, and it's good to know that there are at least more than one type of corals and such that I could start out with. Thank you so much for your time :D It really helped!

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nikkibananas
1. With a smaller tank, you need to stay on top of things constantly as you have a smaller volume of water than a bigger tank which means your chemicals can change more rapidly

 

2. Mushrooms and Zoas are really easy. Just basically place them where ever in the tank and just make sure there not in high flow .

 

3. YOu dont really need any dosers as your wc will correct all that. Salts are your choice everyone has there own decision, the higher gph the better usually , usually 10x turnover rate

 

4. You'll need to keep your tank warm somehow ( boiling water in a bag and placing it in the tank) also will need a battery operatated air pump

 

Welcome to Nano-Reef

:welcome:

 

Okay, so could I by any chance buy a heater...? Unless the boiling water would be easier...it's definitely more affordable sounding though!

Also...i was hearing about live sand, and sometimes how things can grow from the sand over time.... If that were to happen, would those be okay for me to start with also? Im not sure what's kinds grow from it, but it's what I've seen so far :P

Thanks for all the info and time!!

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Since this will be going in your room, you might like to consider an AIO (all-in-one) tank: a Biocube 14, Nanocube 12, etc.. While they are certainly more costly than a standard aquarium (check Kijiji for deals), they will really help keep things tidy and organized for you.

 

(said as the mom of a teenager ;))

 

Okay, so could I by any chance buy a heater...? Unless the boiling water would be easier...it's definitely more affordable sounding though!

Also...i was hearing about live sand, and sometimes how things can grow from the sand over time.... If that were to happen, would those be okay for me to start with also? Im not sure what's kinds grow from it, but it's what I've seen so far :P

Thanks for all the info and time!!

 

A heater won't help you in a poweroutage, unless you have something to plug it into (power box, generator, etc.). You should have one operating in your tank under normal conditions, however.

 

You can start with live sand if you like, but it is really just sand packed with ocean water.

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nikkibananas
Since this will be going in your room, you might like to consider an AIO (all-in-one) tank: a Biocube 14, Nanocube 12, etc.. While they are certainly more costly than a standard aquarium (check Kijiji for deals), they will really help keep things tidy and organized for you.

 

(said as the mom of a teenager ;))

 

 

 

A heater won't help you in a poweroutage, unless you have something to plug it into (power box, generator, etc.). You should have one operating in your tank under normal conditions, however.

 

You can start with live sand if you like, but it is really just sand packed with ocean water.

 

Oh ok...Thank you for introducing the BioCube 14....I think thats exactly what I may be looking for. Now one more question: For the heater, what temperature should I keep my 14 gallon tank at?

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Oh ok...Thank you for introducing the BioCube 14....I think thats exactly what I may be looking for. Now one more question: For the heater, what temperature should I keep my 14 gallon tank at?

 

I was keeping my system at 78F, but I've just recently bumped it up to 79F. A gentleman over on the Canreef forum performed an experiment, and he found that has coral growth significantly increased when he boosted his system's temperature to 79F. He noted no ill effects, so I'm now trying that as well.

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Whats your budget?

With a 15 gallon it would be easier because more fixtures ( t5ho & led ) are made in 24 inch long sizes. For starter corals kenya tree, mushroom, zoas/palys, and maybe some easier lps corals. For filtration a ac70 or 110 modded into a refugium and put some media in there. For fish there are small blennies, cardinalfish, gobies, clownfish, and orchid/springers/lined/indigo dottybacks.

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nikkibananas
I was keeping my system at 78F, but I've just recently bumped it up to 79F. A gentleman over on the Canreef forum performed an experiment, and he found that has coral growth significantly increased when he boosted his system's temperature to 79F. He noted no ill effects, so I'm now trying that as well.

 

 

Alright...I will try that then! Thank you so much for youre time and patience. :lol:

 

Whats your budget?

With a 15 gallon it would be easier because more fixtures ( t5ho & led ) are made in 24 inch long sizes. For starter corals kenya tree, mushroom, zoas/palys, and maybe some easier lps corals. For filtration a ac70 or 110 modded into a refugium and put some media in there. For fish there are small blennies, cardinalfish, gobies, clownfish, and orchid/springers/lined/indigo dottybacks.

 

 

Well I was trying to stick with somethings that were not really expensive, since I was just going to try it out. Maybe once I try everything and get it going with cheaper stuff, and I really want to improve it, I may be looking for some more top preformance stuff. But right now, Im just trying it out. I would like to stay under the 400$ range for everything, (I know, its a small amount for everything) if thats possible. And yes I was considering a 15 gallon tank or something of that size. B)

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1. With a smaller tank, you need to stay on top of things constantly as you have a smaller volume of water than a bigger tank which means your chemicals can change more rapidly

 

2. Mushrooms and Zoas are really easy. Just basically place them where ever in the tank and just make sure there not in high flow .

 

3. YOu dont really need any dosers as your wc will correct all that. Salts are your choice everyone has there own decision, the higher gph the better usually , usually 10x turnover rate

 

4. You'll need to keep your tank warm somehow ( boiling water in a bag and placing it in the tank) also will need a battery operatated air pump

 

Welcome to Nano-Reef

:welcome:

He posted that he was new and didn't understand the "lingo". This post confuses me and I have been doing reef tanks for 20 years.

 

Original poster:

 

You need to understand what parameters (temperature, salinity, Amonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH) are required to keep marine life and how to provide and maintain those parameters.

 

You need to look into what equipment you need to provide and maintain those paramters (lighting, heaters, test kits, measuring devices, filtration and water movement ie. pumps).

 

After you have an understanding of what conditions you need to achieve. Go to Members Aquariums

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showforum=3 and look at how other members achieve these goals. Find a 10 gallon tank build thread that you like and read what equipment they are using, what maintenance they are doing, what salt mix they are using etc. and use it as a guideline. Ask that particular member questions that are not apparent in his or her thread. I find that if you ask a specific individual a question regarding there experience and how that relates to what you are wanting to know, will more often get you the answer you are searching.

 

Good luck and welcome.

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nikkibananas
He posted that he was new and didn't understand the "lingo". This post confuses me and I have been doing reef tanks for 20 years.

 

Original poster:

 

You need to understand what parameters (temperature, salinity, Amonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH) are required to keep marine life and how to provide and maintain those parameters.

 

You need to look into what equipment you need to provide and maintain those paramters (lighting, heaters, test kits, measuring devices, filtration and water movement ie. pumps).

 

After you have an understanding of what conditions you need to achieve. Go to Members Aquariums

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showforum=3 and look at how other members achieve these goals. Find a 10 gallon tank build thread that you like and read what equipment they are using, what maintenance they are doing, what salt mix they are using etc. and use it as a guideline. Ask that particular member questions that are not apparent in his or her thread. I find that if you ask a specific individual a question regarding there experience and how that relates to what you are wanting to know, will more often get you the answer you are searching.

 

Good luck and welcome.

 

Wow...very helpful :) Thank you so much....And I have to say some of the posts were a little confusing, and you helped me out with that! :D I will most certainly now check out the members tanks and get the idea of what they are using. I will now study up about Amonia, Nitrites, nitrates, and pH. Thank you so very much!

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Remember to be patient. If you save your money and buy good quality equipment in the beginning, it will save you money, time and heartache in the end. Check the Hardware Classifieds http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showforum=11 for items on sale by members upgrading or leaving the hobby. Most members have links to their tank builds in their signature. Click on the link and check out their tanks.

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nikkibananas
Remember to be patient. If you save your money and buy good quality equipment in the beginning, it will save you money, time and heartache in the end. Check the Hardware Classifieds http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showforum=11 for items on sale by members upgrading or leaving the hobby. Most members have links to their tank builds in their signature. Click on the link and check out their tanks.

 

Wow thats great to know....I have been saving up for it, and have reached i think about $400 then with the help of my parents. And being oatient is all Ive heard, and im pretty good at that :) Thank you for sharing the Hardware Classifies with me :D

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If you think you can fit a 20 gallon tank in your room, it would obviously double the water capacity of a 10 gallon. The costs would be close to the same and the maintenance as well. Doubling the water volume would be a big advantage.

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Might I suggest the Coralife 29g Biocube. Just set one up myself. I picked mine up on amazon from Petsolutions for $239 with free shipping. I also picked up the stand for $139. Out of the box it is able to do all that you need for the basics with a few corals and fish. It comes in at 20 x 20.8 x 18.8 and will weigh in about 300lbs. Now that said. Once you start picking up sand, live rock, power heads. heater, skimmer (if you like) and testing kits just to name a few items the prices starts to rise quickly. Thing is whether you get a small tank like 10g or a larger 30 or even 40 gallon tank most of these additional items don't change much in price. Not trying to talk you out of a 10g just throwing things out there to think about. In the end I found it cheaper to do a bio cube than to do a build it yourself 30g. All in all I think I have so far sunk $900 into mine (shh. the wife doesn't know it was that much).

 

I picked up the 29g Biocube and stand.

30# Live Sand

20# Dry rock 10# Live rock.

Skimmer

Test kit and refractometer

5 gallon bucket of salt

RO/DI system from bulk reef supply

replace stock pump with MJ1200 (i use the stock pump for mixing the salt)

Heater

Hydor Koralia Nano 425 (just one now. plan on picking up a 750 as well, would love to have a mp10) just doesn't seem like enough flow

 

I still need to pickup the media basket from InTank, purigen and chemi-pure Elite. (Another $100). Looking into some DIY LED lighting system to replace the stock lights. (another $300 plus).

 

 

Come to think of it. Stick with the 10gallon and go easy. I'm sinking a fortune in this thing and I don't even have fish or coral yet. Of course you can just stick to the tank out of the box and add on as you go. Good luck and happy Nano Reefing.

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nikkibananas
Might I suggest the Coralife 29g Biocube. Just set one up myself. I picked mine up on amazon from Petsolutions for $239 with free shipping. I also picked up the stand for $139. Out of the box it is able to do all that you need for the basics with a few corals and fish. It comes in at 20 x 20.8 x 18.8 and will weigh in about 300lbs. Now that said. Once you start picking up sand, live rock, power heads. heater, skimmer (if you like) and testing kits just to name a few items the prices starts to rise quickly. Thing is whether you get a small tank like 10g or a larger 30 or even 40 gallon tank most of these additional items don't change much in price. Not trying to talk you out of a 10g just throwing things out there to think about. In the end I found it cheaper to do a bio cube than to do a build it yourself 30g. All in all I think I have so far sunk $900 into mine (shh. the wife doesn't know it was that much).

 

I picked up the 29g Biocube and stand.

30# Live Sand

20# Dry rock 10# Live rock.

Skimmer

Test kit and refractometer

5 gallon bucket of salt

RO/DI system from bulk reef supply

replace stock pump with MJ1200 (i use the stock pump for mixing the salt)

Heater

Hydor Koralia Nano 425 (just one now. plan on picking up a 750 as well, would love to have a mp10) just doesn't seem like enough flow

 

I still need to pickup the media basket from InTank, purigen and chemi-pure Elite. (Another $100). Looking into some DIY LED lighting system to replace the stock lights. (another $300 plus).

 

 

Come to think of it. Stick with the 10gallon and go easy. I'm sinking a fortune in this thing and I don't even have fish or coral yet. Of course you can just stick to the tank out of the box and add on as you go. Good luck and happy Nano Reefing.

 

Haha thanks for the advise....I've heard about the biocube kits and thse kinds of tanks, and people just end up replacing most of the stuff anyways, so I was thinking I should just buy a cheaper tank, and get all the lights, heaters, pumps etc... for it. (Since buying one of the biocube tanks is around $250 plus replacements when I could buy a $50 tank and buy the same "replacements" you would for the biocube.) Or something like that. :P

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Haha thanks for the advise....I've heard about the biocube kits and thse kinds of tanks, and people just end up replacing most of the stuff anyways, so I was thinking I should just buy a cheaper tank, and get all the lights, heaters, pumps etc... for it. (Since buying one of the biocube tanks is around $250 plus replacements when I could buy a $50 tank and buy the same "replacements" you would for the biocube.) Or something like that. :P

 

You don't necessarily need the replacements... i.e. a skimmer... Just do more frequent tank maintenance such as water changes!

 

Your hardware will determine what you can keep in your tank. Quality lighting will eat up a good chunk of your budget. I think I spent $250 on my Sunpod. Then like another $50 for the Phoenix bulb.

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Since it seems like your parents are all for your tank since they may supplement a little cash, I suggest a DIY led kit. If you aren't that handy, maybe your dad would like to help you on it. Aquastyleonline.com has very cheap kits that comes with everything you need, allowing you to keep basically any coral you may want. Some people prefer to purchase white ledsseperate for a different color, but it is not at all necessary and IMO looks good when you dim it to the proper levels.

 

I paid $134 shipped to my door from china to hang over my 10 gallon, and it is way overkill. It could easily light a much bigger tank.

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nikkibananas
Since it seems like your parents are all for your tank since they may supplement a little cash, I suggest a DIY led kit. If you aren't that handy, maybe your dad would like to help you on it. Aquastyleonline.com has very cheap kits that comes with everything you need, allowing you to keep basically any coral you may want. Some people prefer to purchase white ledsseperate for a different color, but it is not at all necessary and IMO looks good when you dim it to the proper levels.

 

I paid $134 shipped to my door from china to hang over my 10 gallon, and it is way overkill. It could easily light a much bigger tank.

 

Oh that's a great idea! The DIY tank... I'll have to check it out with my dad. Thank you so very much!

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