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trickerie

New To Salt! Help Me Compare Equipment!

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trickerie

Hello everyone! I've been in the freahwater aquarium hobby for about 10 years now and have always had the want for a saltwater tank. I relocated a few years back and have been visiting all the LFS I can find. What I found is a huge selection of saltwater fish, coral and etc available in the area as well as my fresh stuff!

 

I think I want to give a nano/Pico a shot. I know in general a bigger tank is better for beginners but: 1) I'm limited on space and 2) limited on budget. I was thinking a 5.5 gallon AGA with a aquaclear modded fuge would be a good start for me. This would allow me to get a nice little centerpiece fish and get my feet wet without going overboard. 

 

So, now to some questions. I have a PAR meter and know all about what aquatic plants require, but it's much different for corals. I've seen 2 lights im interested in:

1) Asta 20 or 2) coral compulsion par30 (18k or 22k?)

 

Which one of these would let me keep most any corals, within reason? 

 

Finally, what else would you all suggest for equipment, etc? 

 

Thank you! 

 

Attached is my newesr freshy tank for your viewing pleasure! 

http://imgur.com/gallery/mVVQpJZ

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.

 

What type of fish are you thinking of?  That might determine the size of your tank.  And the size of your tank might determine which light you chose.

 

41 minutes ago, trickerie said:

Finally, what else would you all suggest for equipment, etc?

There seems to be an endless number of items, but the basics (in addition to a tank, light, and filter) include:

  • a heater
  • possibly a powerhead/wavemaker
  • a timer (or aquarium controller)
  • maintenance items (bucket, siphon, etc)

For a biological filter, most people rely on dry or live reef rock.  Sand is optional.

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Clown79

The asta20 has hit and miss reviews.

The spread isn't the greatest on it.

 

The coral compulsion would be better or Abi Tuna blue.

 

https://www.amazon.com/HIPARGERO-LED-Aquarium-Light-Saltwater/dp/B0727V8C5Q

 

The hiperagero has good reviews. Users on here really like it.

 

 

The 5.5g will limit you on fish choices.

Tailspot blenny, bicolor blenny, clown goby, watchman goby(small ones), pistol goby pair. Unfortunately only 1 of these in a 5.5g.

 

 

Other items neat use:

 

Powerhead, heater, heater controller, liverock, test kits, refractometer, buckets, extra powerhead/heater for water mixing.

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trickerie
3 hours ago, Clown79 said:

The asta20 has hit and miss reviews.

The spread isn't the greatest on it.

 

The coral compulsion would be better or Abi Tuna blue.

 

https://www.amazon.com/HIPARGERO-LED-Aquarium-Light-Saltwater/dp/B0727V8C5Q

 

The hiperagero has good reviews. Users on here really like it.

 

 

The 5.5g will limit you on fish choices.

Tailspot blenny, bicolor blenny, clown goby, watchman goby(small ones), pistol goby pair. Unfortunately only 1 of these in a 5.5g.

 

 

Other items neat use:

 

Powerhead, heater, heater controller, liverock, test kits, refractometer, buckets, extra powerhead/heater for water mixing.

Thanks for your reply! I definitely would be keeping only 1 fish in something so small. I love gobies so probably something along that line. However, I know my wife would love something with a bit more life even though I just love corals! 

 

I did see that light as well and it's on my list as a maybe once I figure out the rest of the details. 

 

So, which size tank would you suggest? My biggest concern is water top offs and making the amount of saltwater I would need for a larger tank. What do most people here do? Do you all use RO systems with holding tanks? I would enjoy a 10g I'm just not trying to get in over my head. 

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trickerie
4 hours ago, seabass said:

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.

 

What type of fish are you thinking of?  That might determine the size of your tank.  And the size of your tank might determine which light you chose.

 

There seems to be an endless number of items, but the basics (in addition to a tank, light, and filter) include:

  • a heater
  • possibly a powerhead/wavemaker
  • a timer (or aquarium controller)
  • maintenance items (bucket, siphon, etc)

For a biological filter, most people rely on dry or live reef rock.  Sand is optional.

Thank you for your reply! I gave some more specifics above.. I really only know about gobies and definitely had those on my list of what I'd like to keep. However, I like corals a lot. My wife on the other hand would love a small school of fish, but that probably won't happen. I planned some simple white sand with live rock. Is there a way to buy dry live rock and cure it yourself? The live rock I saw at my lfs that was in a giant holding pond was around 7.50/lb. I thought that was pretty typical. What would you suggest for a beginner? I know once you hit the 10g mark your fish options open up dramatically. Even then, as I mentioned in the early post, I'm just worried about being able to produce/get the amount of RO water I would need for anything larger than a few gallons. 

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Ratvan

Hi, I like your tank. 

 

I have 2x 2.5g picos. They are my first step into SW. I saw the contest and got swept up in the excitement. I'm running an Asta 20 light at the moment. I love it, although I have only a Duncan, some Zoas/Palys and Xenia and Macros. 

 

I am thinking of adding more but first i have a load of pests that i need to deal with before i try something else like a SPS (cheap Monti Frag)

 

I dont have a RODI but can definately see the need for one with larger set ups. Unless you dont mind making several on a day.

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seabass
54 minutes ago, trickerie said:

My wife on the other hand would love a small school of fish, but that probably won't happen.

A shoal isn't really that doable in anything less than triple digits.  However, a number of species can be kept in pairs.

 

54 minutes ago, trickerie said:

Is there a way to buy dry live rock and cure it yourself?

Definitely.  http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

 

55 minutes ago, trickerie said:

What would you suggest for a beginner? I know once you hit the 10g mark your fish options open up dramatically.

Even for a goby, I'd suggest at least 5 gallons.  I know many people in our current 2.5 gallon contest are keeping gobies or juvenile nano fish (some will be moved as they become bigger, or when the contest is over).  However, I feel 5 gallons is more suitable.

 

As you say, at 10 gallons, not only will your fish options open up, but also your coral options.

 

55 minutes ago, trickerie said:

I'm just worried about being able to produce/get the amount of RO water I would need for anything larger than a few gallons.

Jugs of distilled water work well.

 

 

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trickerie
2 hours ago, seabass said:

A shoal isn't really that doable in anything less than triple digits.  However, a number of species can be kept in pairs.

 

Definitely.  http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

 

Even for a goby, I'd suggest at least 5 gallons.  I know many people in our current 2.5 gallon contest are keeping gobies or juvenile nano fish (some will be moved as they become bigger, or when the contest is over).  However, I feel 5 gallons is more suitable.

 

As you say, at 10 gallons, not only will your fish options open up, but also your coral options.

 

Jugs of distilled water work well.

 

 

Understood and thank you for your insight. For the 10g, which light would you suggest? Guessing the hipargero. 

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seabass
11 hours ago, trickerie said:

For the 10g, which light would you suggest? Guessing the hipargero.

I might like that light better for a 5.5 gallon.

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Tamberav
15 hours ago, trickerie said:

Thanks for your reply! I definitely would be keeping only 1 fish in something so small. I love gobies so probably something along that line. However, I know my wife would love something with a bit more life even though I just love corals! 

 

I did see that light as well and it's on my list as a maybe once I figure out the rest of the details. 

 

So, which size tank would you suggest? My biggest concern is water top offs and making the amount of saltwater I would need for a larger tank. What do most people here do? Do you all use RO systems with holding tanks? I would enjoy a 10g I'm just not trying to get in over my head. 

Get a pair of green banded gobies...they fit the bill.....gobies for you and super active and interactive with people for her.

 

They are tiny so two would be fine and they change sex so they would likely pair.

 

 

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trickerie

Have some follow-up questions for you guys! I've decided on a 10 gallon to start with and picked out a few items, please advise! 

 

Tank: 10 gallon standard

DIY stand. 

Light (probably overkill, but dimmable and allows upgrading tank): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F1BJB8B/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_ssk3CbJCYQV31

Filter: tidal 35 (or aquaclear? Debating) 

Sand, 15 lbs live rock (will get from lfs)

 

Questions for you all. 1) What's the best filter media for reefing? 2) what salt mix do you all recommend? I was going to just go with instant ocean 3) do you all add coraline in a bottle or anything else upon setup? 4) is an algae scrubber setup worth it? If so, has anyone done one in a tidal as their main filter? 

 

That's it for now! Hah. 

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Clown79

I love the tidal filters. I had the 55 on my 15g.

The filter is silent, the surface skimmer is a great bonus, the flow is completely adjustable not just high and low. Media basket are large.

 

Most common media is filter floss and carbon. Purigen is another one.

 

Everyone had their fav salt mix. I like Red Sea blue bucket.

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seabass
9 hours ago, trickerie said:

Questions for you all. 1) What's the best filter media for reefing? 2) what salt mix do you all recommend? I was going to just go with instant ocean 3) do you all add coraline in a bottle or anything else upon setup? 4) is an algae scrubber setup worth it? If so, has anyone done one in a tidal as their main filter? 

  1. I agree with Clown79, filter floss and activated carbon.  If you need help with phosphate, then mix in some Phosguard.
  2. I like LiveAquaria Pro Reef.  Seems like it's always on sale, and they are giving away a free XL t-shirt with their 180 gallon bucket.  Worst thing about it is the bucket top takes some work to get off.
  3. The coralline in a bottle contains beneficial bacteria and coralline spores.  If you don't have coralline on your rocks, it's a way to introduce some into your tank.  However, conditions must be favorable for it to grow.
  4. By algae scrubber, do you mean chaeto refugium, or a traditional algae turf scrubber?  They definitely have their place.  However, decorative macro algae in the display is pretty popular right now.  Although you might wish to wait until your tank builds up some nutrients.
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trickerie

@seabass yes, sorry, I meant a refugium with some macro algae in it. My current plan, now, is instead of the cured live rock to get the dry stuff, 1 smaller seed rock from an lfs, and add my own bacteria/coraline and cycle the tank about a month or 2 with nothing in it except that. Not sure if that's a good idea. 

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