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njt's 10g (my first ever)


njt

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Well, after much reading and research, I'm finally ready to take the plunge.

 

Went to the LFS today and purchased a 10g AGA, which at $7.99 was a steal. The hydrometer cost $12.99...which I think is too much for a piece of plastic, but then again, I once spent $80 on dinner to impress a girl (who later turned out to be quite the shrew), so I guess it's all relative, eh? :D

 

Since I come home pretty late from work, it's going to be a slow setup, I'll have to purchase one or two components a week, as my time and budget dictates.

 

My main goals for this tank are threefold:

  • to successfully setup my first reef tank -- it really is a bummer to start something and not finish it, so I'm hoping that I will be able to stick to it until I get something that I am pleased with.
     
     
  • to set up a beautiful tank -- I wasn't really keen on animal husbandry for non agricultural purposes until I stumbled onto some reef websites a little over a year ago. The sheer beauty of some of the tanks I saw was what initially attracted me to the hobby. I hope to have the sort of tank where people will say "wow" and perhaps stir up some interest or at least some decent conversation.
     
    So I'll be choosing the livestock and corals and setting up the tank to be as eye catching and colorful as possible. So far I have decided on black sand (for the contrast), and will go with a percula clown as the star of the show. I've not yet decided on corals, but I want them to be as colorful as possible.
     
    I'm a bit disappointed by the Atlantic LR that I've seen at the LFSs though, they look rather bland and really don't do it for me. I will probably go online to get some good looking Pacific LR, which is a shame since I primarily want to spend my money with the LFSs.
     
     
  • as a stress reliever -- one of the greatest things about aquariums is that one can stare at them for quite some time and it seems to have a "stress reducing" quality. Whatever the case, I'm setting it up next to my computer so that I can have something to look at when things get too tense.
     
    (In Genesis it says that God put man in charge of naming the newly created animals and, in general, being in charge of all of them. I can only imagine the delight that Adam had doing this and hope to experience the same.)

I have with me a detailed list of components for my tank that I will purchase, but the one thing that is conspicously missing is a hood. I really haven't seen much on the online vendors about this. If anyone has any good recs for a hood that will take a PC ballast, let me know.

 

That is pretty much it. Will post my activities here, and some pictures when I get my stuff together.

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as a stress reliever -- one of the greatest things about aquariums is that one can stare at them for quite some time and it seems to have a "stress reducing" quality. Whatever the case, I'm setting it up next to my computer so that I can have something to look at when things get too tense.

 

Sure, stress reliever. Tell that to all of the salt stains in my carpet ;) Honestly when you not messing with it it's quite relaxing.

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Where are you located? Can't wait to hear more

I'm in NYC. Unfortunately, while we (seem to) have a ton of LFSs here, none of the ones near me sell LR that looks better than [blah]. They are all pretty much dull, bland, insipid, bipolar-inducing Atlantic LR.

 

What's up with that?

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I went to the LFS today to see if I could find anything cheap. I was pretty surprised at the prices there. The 50W heaters and Penguin 550 powerheads that I saw for $15 and $16 on liveaquaria.com, respectively, were like $22 and $27 at the store. So I laughed and decided to get them online -- long live teh intarweb! B)

 

So I spotted the Super Naturals Tahitian Moon sand ($20) that I had been eyeing online for a while on various websites. I had selected this ultra-black sand in keeping with the "beautiful" theme of the tank I had wanted to set up, so I went ahead and bought it:

 

post-12851-1147556536_thumb.jpgpost-12851-1147556549_thumb.jpgpost-12851-1147556557_thumb.jpg

 

I also grabbed a big bag of Instant Ocean salt ($20):

 

post-12851-1147556690_thumb.jpg

 

I realized that I probably should have purchased a smaller quantity to start out with, but my optimistic (and perhaps naive?) wishful thinking decided it would be more economical to go with the larger bag in the long run. Let's hope I'm in the game for that long.

 

I'm keeping a running list of detailed item specifications that I need to buy for this tank, down to the make and model number. Unfortunately, the one thing that wasn't on my list was a hood and lighting ballast set up. I knew the wattage I needed (3-5W per gal = 30-50W for my 10gallon tank), but I didn't do enough research and decide on a particular brand. When I saw this hood at the store:

 

post-12851-1147556850_thumb.jpg

 

I decided to purchase it ($35)

 

But when I got home I realized that this lighting setup (~15W) was woefully inadequate for a reef tank. :(

 

I'll have to go and return it now, hope they take it back.

 

That'll teach me to make an impulse buy.

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a metal thermometer wasnt a good choice.

Hi Shiva,

 

I didn't find anything about metal on the forums, and Googling brought up only one link that might suggest metal may cause adverse reactions in reef tanks -- but I may not be searching on the right terms.

 

Could you expand on why the metal thermometer's not a good idea?

 

Thanks.

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rust and leeching

Ah, makes sense.

 

Thankfully, the thermometer was only a couple of dollars.

 

I'll ditch it and get a better one.

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One more thing I forgot to mention that came up at the LFS today.

 

So none of the LFSs in my part of NYC (I've been to 6 so far) sell aquarium water. I may have to end up buying distilled water from the grocery stores here. (I don't want to get a RO/DI unit yet, because I've plunged so much money into my current setup (did I mention it is my first ever fish tank???), and I'll be spending quite a bit more before I am through, so blowing another $100-$200 on an RO unit is something I'm not ready for right now.)

 

Meh.

 

So I was the LFS today where I purchased the salt and Tahitian Moon sand, and I asked the girl in the fish area if they had distilled water, and she told me no. But then she said that I could just take normal tap water, fill a jug with it, leave it out over night, and it would be distilled in the morning.

 

:o

 

She then said that this is what she did for her fish tank.

 

I smirked, thanked her, and quickly got out of the store.

 

Maybe she was referring to freshwater tanks, but I was carrying a huge 15lb bag of Instant Ocean salt as I was speaking with her, it was hard to miss.

 

I had read of misguided info from LFS employees here on the forums, but it was amusing to experience this firsthand. :)

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