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Juno

Can I go back and start over?

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Juno

Years and years ago, I wanted to get back into this hobby as I’d kept a marine aquarium (fish only) when I was in high school. When I saw that you could keep corals, I was hooked. I started backward, with a nano all in one, and quickly realized that there were requirements and limitations beyond what I could commit to. I moved up and up and up and ended up with a 160 gallon and during the market crash, struggled to keep it going and eventually sold it.

 

We miss it. We want corals again, but I don’t remember anything! I do want to stay smaller, maybe 30-90 gallons. I would imagine light technology has changed over the past 8 years since I’ve been absent. I’d like to buy used equipment to save on the expense and I keep a very streamlined and modern house so I want clean lines and no bulky stands. 

 

What equipment do do I need to get to get started on cultivating a reef tank? Have all in ones improved? What’s a good resource for used equipment? Any words of caution?

 

 

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

27 minutes ago, Juno said:

maybe 30-90 gallons

That's a nice range of sizes.  Lots of tanks to choose from, lots of livestock choices.

 

Budget is always a consideration for me.  Lighting can be a big investment (although there are some budget options available too).  Lighting and powerheads have probably changed the most.

 

AIO tanks are pretty good.  You might check out Red Sea Reefers and Innovative Marine.

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Juno

T

Spoiler

There's Red Sea Max 250 (66 gallons) for sale in my area.

It includes:
Chiller
Heater
Protein skimmer
2 phospate reactors

It is currently set up and in complete working order. 

 

Now I'm looking through the pico gallery and wanting something like that. <3. I just need something easy. I know small requires more daily maintenance, but it's way less lugging around of buckets of water. 

 

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Tamberav
1 hour ago, Juno said:

Years and years ago, I wanted to get back into this hobby as I’d kept a marine aquarium (fish only) when I was in high school. When I saw that you could keep corals, I was hooked. I started backward, with a nano all in one, and quickly realized that there were requirements and limitations beyond what I could commit to. I moved up and up and up and ended up with a 160 gallon and during the market crash, struggled to keep it going and eventually sold it.

 

We miss it. We want corals again, but I don’t remember anything! I do want to stay smaller, maybe 30-90 gallons. I would imagine light technology has changed over the past 8 years since I’ve been absent. I’d like to buy used equipment to save on the expense and I keep a very streamlined and modern house so I want clean lines and no bulky stands. 

 

What equipment do do I need to get to get started on cultivating a reef tank? Have all in ones improved? What’s a good resource for used equipment? Any words of caution?

 

 

I just browse the hardware forums for used equipment or put a WTB post if there is something specific you want. 

 

For AIO, I would recommendd the Innovative Marine Tanks or the Waterbox tanks. The IM tanks went up in price $100 but they come with a good return pump/lid/media basket so it can be nice for those who just want a working tank out of the box. Lighting for nano, I would recommend AI Prime and Nano-box lights. 
 

I feel stands are a personal preference, many build there own but they do have IM stands, stands always seem to cost more than the actual tank though. Maybe source a local furniture builder? The red sea and waterbox stands look fairly nice but are certainly not perfect and cost $$.  

 

I can't recommend much in 90g range. I never had a large tank but if you want clean and streamline 90g, cost will certainly increase dramatically over a nano. As large rimless tanks and clean lights are costly... something being clean and modern seems to actually increase the cost the most. 

 

 

FYI I have a red sea and I will tell you the gate valve on it can be frustrating and they can be noisy. Swapping the valve is kind of a pain since they use odd sized pipes. Otherwise I have no major complaints. The problem is you can dial it in so its quiet but then it builds up with gunk and you have to re-dial it in and it's not easy to do and a waste of time.

 

You seriously may need to do some DIY and swap it: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/reefer-250-v3-gate-valve-install.506213/

 

I also would not use their gravity fed ATO. The plastic attachment just randomly fell apart one day and if it was full of water, it would have dumped all of it into the tank. You can either plug the hole and use it as a reservoir with a traditional ATO device or plug the hole and drill it and pipe it for a fuge (red sea sumps are fairly small) or do away with it entirely. 

 

I don't know of any company that is perfect, I think almost every type....people tend to modify. 

 

 

Pico's are great too.... just know you are limited on fish and will run out of room for coral fast so it depends what you can be happy with. I have found tanks around 20-30g is my favorite size as they allow 4-ish fish and are fairly forgiving with enough room for a good amount of corals..... but nothing beats the 1 min it takes to clean and water change a pico and it needs no dosing or anything. Many people love them and some keep only picos. 

 

 

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Juno

Thanks. I don't think I need a stand. And I do think I want to stay smaller...I'd love to buy an AIO and then upgrade the light system to support SPS and LPS. I like the look of an open top.

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Tamberav
2 minutes ago, Juno said:

Thanks. I don't think I need a stand. And I do think I want to stay smaller...I'd love to buy an AIO and then upgrade the light system to support SPS and LPS. I like the look of an open top.

 

Most of the AIO's don't come with lights so you won't be wasting money on junk ones the first time around 🙂

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5*Chris

Love your name! My daughter's name is Juno.

 

I just made the switch from freshwater to saltwater. I have Nuvo 10 currently cycling and a Fusion 20 Peninsula sitting on the floor waiting for a stand. Not sure what I've gotten myself into, but I'm excited.

 

If you're looking for something Nano/Pico sized for a great price, try contacting This guy is extra salty. I'm thinking (of how to ask my wife for another tank already) about purchasing one of his AIO 5g tanks, beautifully built and at an awesome price. 

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Juno

It's my dog's name and he happens to be amazing. <3. 

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Juno

I just fell in love with Tigahboy's  Innovative Marine Fusion Nuvo Pro 20g peninsula. 😍

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billygoat

If I had my pick of a new tank to get, I think I would go for an Innovative Marine 25 Lagoon. Beautiful AIO tank with a huge open top and a lot of room to work with for the size. There are quite a few excellent examples of them here on N-R too, so you can crib some neat mods and innovations from the community. 😉 

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haks
23 hours ago, Juno said:

I just fell in love with Tigahboy's  Innovative Marine Fusion Nuvo Pro 20g peninsula. 😍

I have the same tank and was going to suggest it until I saw you wanted something a little bit bigger. 

 

I would suggest the IM's new line of AIOs as they are ready to go out of the box. Throw in your favorite heater and a wavemaker or two and you're set. They're really clean and beautiful tanks all around. 

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Brock0019

for lighting, I have a few Hydra 26HDs for sale if those would work for whatever tank you decide on. 

 

that Reefer250 is a nice tank, good size to start with if you want a good range of coral.

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Juno

Ok-here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to...

 

theres a Red Sea max 66 gal AIO that is on craigslist near me for about 400 bucks. It is up and running and it has T5s. I don’t particularly like the look of those but It’s hard to argue the convenience. I could skip cycling? Or reduce it. 

 

I LOVE the Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion 25gal Lagoon. I’d be starting from scratch. I really like the look of that so much more but understand that the maintenance will be more demanding given its size. 

 

I want to to say that I’d like to give regular water changes every 2 weeks to keep a more natural filtration system, but I’m super busy and noncommittal. 

 

Im in Florida and it’s hot. I like an open top w fans. Would the 26 HDs work for that Brock? 

 

Which is it? 66 gallon RSM or 25 gallon Nuvo?

94CC3925-6583-45BC-97FC-46EA0A0107F1.jpeg

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seabass
2 minutes ago, Juno said:

I LOVE the Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion 25gal Lagoon. I’d be starting from scratch. I really like the look of that so much more but understand that the maintenance will be more demanding given its size. 

I suggest getting what you really want.  While it's not a permanent choice, you'll probably be running this tank for several years.  In my experience, a 25 gallon tank is no more (maybe even less) demanding than a 66 gallon tank.  Although the 66 gallon tank would give you more fish options, and allow you to keep more coral.

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Juno

OK!!! I'm going to shoot for the Nuvo Fusion 25 gal. I've got a spot for it. I'll have to go through all the motions of getting her up and running with a cycle, which is fine because I think my kids need to see what it takes and learn a little patience. I'll start looking online for one. 

 

What equipment do I need? I want to keep a shrimp/goby pair and I'd love a little wrasse or two or maybe a couple of anthias. I hate equipment because of the noise, the mess and how ugly it all is. If I keep up on the water changes, can I just keep it simple? I want to cultivate coral and like it all, so lighting needs to be keen. What's your favorite? 

 

I am hoping for a sleek, minimalist jewel box like this month's TOTM. I'll be reading through that thread tonight!

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seabass
4 minutes ago, Juno said:

I'd love a little wrasse or two or maybe a couple of anthias.

Not what I'd recommend for a 25 gallon tank.  You'd be better off with the 66 with this stock list.

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seabass

For a 25, you could do the shrimp and goby pair, maybe a pink streaked wrasse, and a couple of other fish (like a pair of clownfish).

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Juno
3 hours ago, seabass said:

For a 25, you could do the shrimp and goby pair, maybe a pink streaked wrasse, and a couple of other fish (like a pair of clownfish).

That actually sounds great. And it's so funny, as I have the conversation here, I remember more and more of what I used to know. My last tank was 120 gal. and I remember now that anthias are big schoolers and open swimmers. I'm going to look for an Innovative Marine tank and hopefully replace the single pump branch with 2 and add a tunze protein skimmer. I'd like to keep chaeto in one of the compartments and I need to figure out the best inexpensive light system for keeping coral. I like it all, so I need a decent light.

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Juno

I did a little running around today and swung by my old LFS. They offered to order an IM 20 for $285 and an AI Prime light kit for $199 and throw in 2 free large pod bags when I'm ready. I'm getting excited and think I'm going to pull the trigger. If I call tomorrow, they think it'll be in by Friday. I feel like that's a good deal. I like the look of a clean, open top, but then when searching through the TOTM threads, I was shocked to see so many stock cubes with lids. I do like the look, but I think I'd rather cool via evaporation than a cooler. I really want this to be a minimalist tank.

 

So.....lets talk sand and rock and cycles.

 

I HATE dirty looking sand. I've always done a Caribbean pink, but I'm thinking of going black, or bare bottom. Bare bottom would knock out my ability to get the shrimp/goby pair, obviously. I've never even considered black before so I guess I'll do some research on that tonight. It doesn't seem that many folks do it, so I'm guessing there's a catch? 

 

As for scaping, I'd like to do two towers with a bridge across the back and a small island in the middle, off to one side. Or at least, that's what I've got in my head.

 

If I set it up, with good cured rock and live sand, How long can I expect the cycle to take? Would you try to speed it up? I'm not in a rush. I'm thinking 7-10 days with rock only, add cleanup crew and give it another week before I go testing to try to add anything more substantial.

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seabass
46 minutes ago, Juno said:

I HATE dirty looking sand. I've always done a Caribbean pink, but I'm thinking of going black, or bare bottom.

Detritus shows fairly well on black sand.  Bare bottom works well with high flow (which helps keep detritus in suspension, so your filter can remove it); otherwise detritus is quite visible on a bare bottom tank (although it's easily removed).

 

50 minutes ago, Juno said:

If I set it up, with good cured rock and live sand, How long can I expect the cycle to take? Would you try to speed it up? I'm not in a rush. I'm thinking 7-10 days with rock only, add cleanup crew and give it another week before I go testing to try to add anything more substantial.

Assuming live rock, if the live rock is indeed fully cured, you can add a cleanup crew immediately.  However, it can take several weeks depending on the rock.  Don't add any livestock (or cleanup crew) until ammonia is undetectable.  It's difficult to assign a specific schedule to cycling.

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Tamberav

Black sand shows debris like black pants show white dog hair 😛

 

I have three shrimp gobies in a bare bottom atm so no problem there...they have a fort under the rock. I think it is enjoyable to watch a shrimp move mounds of sand though. 

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Pjanssen
On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 3:37 PM, Juno said:

Red Sea Max 250 (66 gallons) for sale in my area.

Can you please send me the link for this if you are no longer interested?

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Pjanssen
On ‎6‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 10:01 AM, Juno said:

Im in Florida and it’s hot.

What part of Florida are you in?

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Juno

I still have not pulled the trigger on this yet, but I think it'll be soon. I'm seriously weighing the commitment. We travel a lot, so I want to be sure I'm not over complicating things.

 

My LFS offered to sell me a Innovative Marine 20 gal for about $280 and I've found one on Marine Depot for about $270, and then Amazon for $199. I'd obviously rather support my LFS, so I'll prob. go back to them and just ask if that's the very best they can do and go with whatever they wind up coming down to. 

 

My issue is this the Amazon reviews of the Innovative Marine tanks is not fantastic.  There are favorable notes about the clarity of the glass and the function of the AIO setup, but quite a few notes about leaking. Because we are gone a lot of weekends, I really need to make sure I'm not investing in a tank that has inerrant problems. I see lots of these tanks here in the forums, it would seem everyone really likes them.

 

Anyone have any feedback about their specific tank and what they love/don't love about them. I'm really thinking the Innovative Marine 20gal is the right size and shape for where it's going, but maybe a cube or some other design would work as well and be more reliable.

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