Starting a tank, need all sorts of advice!

Discussion in 'New to the hobby?' started by dillpill16, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. dillpill16

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    Well, im starting a salt water tank. So far i have a 100 gallon tank with a built in filter on a custom stand. I also have a protein skimmer, but that is all. I would like to start with some live rock and maybe some plants before adding any amount of fish. I was hoping someone could help me with the supplies i need and how to prepare my tank.
     
  2. nate_mcnasty

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  3. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Generally you don't want plants in the show part of a reef tank once they take a foot hold can be hard to erradicate macro aglae. Fish only tanks, herbivores may eatem all up. Best to grow plants in a refugium or sump area. Then you can harvest and feed the fish in a more controlled manner.

    Starting out with good quality components is the key ? Skimmer being one of the more important. I hope you purchased an adequate one, got any brand model numbers for the skimmer ?
     
  4. oyam123

    oyam123 Senior Member

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    Going to Saltwater Empire will be a great place to start.
    You can see the equipment working and get info on what you will need depending on what type of tank you want to keep (fish only, hard coral or soft corals etc.). You will also be dealing with people who know what they are talking about.....you may also like to get a mentor like (Grigor) who will lead you in the right dorection. Dont we have a new to the hobby program?
     
  5. gogregerson

    gogregerson Proud to be an American
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  6. hammer7869

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    Go to a bunch of different fish stores. Talk with the owner or employees. You want find someone that will take the time to talk to you and answer all of your questions. If you are anything like me, you will have a lot. Don't feel rushed or pressured into buying anything that you are not sure of. Get educated, make a plan then go back and buy. Save money where you can, but don't skimp out on the important parts like the Protein Skimmer. Learn patience.
     
  7. oyam123

    oyam123 Senior Member

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    I agree, but Id stick with SWE, OD, or Dirk for quality INFO.
    Some times SF is also OK:gay1:
     
  8. bkoppes

    bkoppes 75g starting 3/2008
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    Welcome. Lots of great advice on here.
     
  9. veloboy

    veloboy Senior Member
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    I'm a newbie too, got any pics of your system? Salt Water Empire has given me lots of good advice.

    Keep us posted on your progress. I have heard that bigger the tank the more stable the enviornment thus better chance of success. -So you are headed in the right direction with 100Gal! Wish I could do that!
     
  10. insacron

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    Gotta say, find it amusing that everyone whips out the acronyms even though it's this persons first post. So dillpill check here if what people are saying doesn't make sense: Acronyms
     
  11. Fett

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  12. FastFish720

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    Welcome to TCMAS!

    Tank: 100g
    Filter: Skimmer - Please describe this built in system?
    Lights: Research T5 and Metal Halide if you plan on keeping corals
    Live Rock: Research the difference between cured and uncured.

    http://www.discoveryaquatics.com/what-is-live-rock.php

    Substrate: Many debates here, but generally you'll see Deep Sand Bed, Shallow Sand Bed, Crushed Coral or Bare Bottom (no substrate)

    If you like plants also research a refugium.
     
  13. gotmyowntank

    gotmyowntank www.fire-childress.com
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    LOL I was thinking the same exact thing last night....even had to ask hubby what one of them was and I think I've/we've purchased something at all mentioned.....:dork:...I never knew the acronym page existed, thank you.


    Welcome dillpill16!
     
    #13 gotmyowntank, Nov 20, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  14. Payne

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    my apologies!!!:gay1: Ive been on here to much and too long.
     
  15. OP
    dillpill16

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    Thanks for all the advice and welcomes everyone! I checked my skimmer and its a petco brand........... im assuming that most likely isnt the best one :/ I looked in one of the online stores and there was a 150 octopus needlewheel protein skimmer that looked affordable and good quality... I also looked at the T5 lighitng system, spending, but it seems appropriate... A few more things i found that i need to buy are: a PH tester, ALK, nitrates, and a salinity measurer. If there is anything at all that is crucially and i am missing please inform me! Also, my brother has ran a saltwater fish tank for a while, i think he could help me with some of these things, but he isnt around much so all your help is much appreciated! I was wondering... What fish would be the best starters? I will probably post pictures after i have finished setting up the tank and put in my fish... Why shouldn't i go to SF?
     
  16. Mikko

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    I was looking at a seemingly similar skimmer/filter combo. It's not a protein skimmer, it's a surface skimmer. Bummer!
     
  17. FastFish720

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    There is no reason why you shouldn't go to Something Fishy. They have a wide selection of livestock and it will give you a large overview of what is a available in the hobby.

    One trick in this hobby is to not make impulse buys, do your research on all equipment and livestock before you buy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. gogregerson

    gogregerson Proud to be an American
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    I deleted two post in this thread that were unwarranted and uncalled for negative comments about a TCMAS sponsor, Something Fishy. SF is a great store with a great fish and invert selection. The owner, Mike, is a great guy that is very knowledgeable. Not to mention they sponsor this club making it possible not to have dues! Running this site on our own, costs associated with being an organized NPO and many other day-to-day operating costs get to be very expensive. TCMAS would not be what it is without sponsors like SF. We need to be supporting our LFS's and our sponsors, not attacking them!
     
    #18 gogregerson, Nov 22, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  19. OP
    dillpill16

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    Ok, i should be starting my tank this week! Im pretty excited, i will post pictures in a while, hopefully
     
  20. insacron

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    DillPill you never mentioned where you are located? This may help us recommend places to go or people to talk to.

    Personally I would recommend, like everyone else here has, you go visit a few of the LFS (local fish stores). I personally liked my visit to Something Fishy when I was starting. Their set up may not be as flashy as other places, but their advice was very sound, not to mention if you head that way there is another equally helpful store just down the street (World of Fish). But there is also Discovery Aquatics in Anoka, Saltwater Empire in Bloomington, Flip'n Pets in Rogers (have never been there myself), and All-Reef, Pet Supplies Plus, and Ocean Devotion... somewhere (never been to any of these either). Although stay away from Aquatropics in Crystal if you are looking for sound advice, which I hope you are.

    The key to long term success, and fewer headaches is do things right the first time. I'm saying this from experience, oh how I wish I had listened to :fritz: (Fritz, yes he has his own emoticon and yes it is a ballerina, and no I have no idea why it is a ballerina). But more on that later.

    Do you have an idea what kind of tank you want to set up? Do you want to do Fish Only? Do you want a Reef, if so what kind? If these aren't questions you can answer right now then start asking questions yourself. I went online and started looking up pictures.

    Now back to doing things the right the first time. Is the tank you have "reef-ready" meaning there are holes in the tank either the back or the bottom that will allow you to use external filtration? If it's not I would stop right now and start planning equipment very carefully. If you ever want to run a sump you are going to want to drill your tank. Yes, I know drilling a tank you just bought? Crazy right? Not really, there are a few people I know in the club who have done it many times, I however am not one of them, but lord I wish I was, the way I have my tank set up is with HOB (Hang on Back) overflows, which, if they ever fail (oh and eventually they will, it's just a matter of time, or so I'm told) I will flood my floor. You do not need to run a sump, you can run everything in tank, but running a sump is a cleaner look, you can hide your heater, and you don't need all sorts of equipment hanging off the back of your tank.

    Hopefully some of that was helpful. I am in no ways an expert here, but being a :lots: who has just "finished" setting up my tank I thought I'd share what I've slowly learned.
     
    #20 insacron, Nov 25, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008

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