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TribeNwater Marine Field Guide Thread, Reeftank 101 in ; billy, its a bit intimidating walking into a lot of the reef forums, i also don't have much time to ...
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Reeftank 101

billy,

its a bit intimidating walking into a lot of the reef forums, i also don't have much time to do a lot of filtering thru them to find some useful information.

we would like to get alden started with a small reef project.

if he does well, with our help of course... he can have our bigger tank or i will get him what he needs to build a bigger reef aquarium.

what would it take to get him started in a small reef tank?

is there an all in one aquarium out there?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not Bhilly - but from my reading and study the biggest obstacle to over come is water chemistry. I found this lil site yesterday thought it was a good summarization of the process - he recommended reading three books - Jay Torborg's Reef Tank Pages

Here is another great post laying out the entire build of a tank - Reef Central Online Community - Starting 90g Reef Tank Build... Finally!!!

If you want to see a tank that will just make you say dam - Oregonreef.com
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Derek, A small tank would be easy for Alden. Lets say you want to start a 10-15 gal tank.

The three most important things for any tank are FLOW, LIGHTING, and STABILITY. All three are easily acheived in the method known as the "Berlin" method.

The basic requirements and the products I reccomend are:

Heater. I really like the azoo titanium heaters. A bigger heater works less to maintain temp, and makes it last longer. I use a 300w for my 37 gallon tank.
Aquarium Heating & Heaters: Azoo Titanium Electronic Heaters

Powerhead Pumps. Maxijet pumps are small, powerful, and bullet proof. They can run dry for days without breaking. Flow is one of the most important things in a reef, it is what "filters" the tank. If you have low flow areas or "dead spots", you will have Nitrate poblems which kill coral, although fish can tolerate very high N03 levels. You should have as much flow in your reef as your coral can take, with lots of surface agitation.
Maxi-Jet 900 Powerhead / MP 900 - SaltySupply.com

Proper Lighting. Corals feed through photosynthisis just like plants. Algae living within the coral called "xoozanthellae". This fixture will work great for soft corals. If you want a better system go with Metal Halide for stony corals. I would stick to a soft coral system for Alden to get started. Cheap and easy to keep.
20" 2x40 Watt Current USA PowerCompact Dual Satellite Fixture - SaltySupply.com

A skimmer (isnt 100% neccesary, but will help with maintenance, if you buy one get a nice one vs upgrading later). I use an aquac remora, the nano version would work great for a smaller tank. If you buy the regular one it could work on the bigger tank too if you upgrade.
Remora Series

Aragonite Live Sand and Live Rock. Good rock is the difference between a nice looking tank and a not nice looking tank. It also filters the tank, you will need between 1.5-2lbs per gallon for proper filtration and looks. This is the best rock I found after a year of looking, and its cheap. You can buy the "Aragalive" sand from your reef shop and skip the expensive shipping. .5lb per gallon of live sand is also a good idea.
Sea Life Inc.

Calcium/Alkalinty buffer system is very important for keeping your water the same as ocean water. Think of it this way, stony corals grow by calcification. Think of the caclium part as the building blocks, and the alkalinity as the glue. I can explain this in detail later
E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer - SaltySupply.com
Read this simple article about ca/alk, it is critical you understand the process.
Chemistry and the Aquarium

Good Salt, this is citical to a reef tank, all salts are not the same, use pharamscutical grade only. Bad salt is one of the biggest issues reef keeps face. This is all I use, and has proven time and time again to be great quality, mixed with Reverse Osmosis Deionized water, if you dont want ot purchase the RD/DI system($100) most Local Fish Shops or "LFS's" as you will see on forums will sell fresh water. With a small tank, buying water is practical. Wal-mart sells 7 gal camping water containers, these work great for getting the water from the shop to your house. For larger systems you will need one at home. Another note, if your family likes to drink water it is also great for making awesome tasting water.
Tropic Marin Sea Salt Mix - 50gal Box - SaltySupply.com

Test kits are also very important, otherwise you dont know the chemistry of your tanks water, you are in the dark. The only kits you HAVE to have are Nitrate, Alkalinity, and Calcium. I would reccomend pH and Magnesium, but they are not a must have. Again, dont buy cheap kits that dont work and then upgrade, get good kits from the start and you will be much more succesful as you will know whats going on in your tank.
Salifert Test Kits - SaltySupply.com

I'm sure I will think of something else!

The basic daily things to do to the tank would be topping off, cleaning the glass, and dosing calcium and alkalinity. I will talk more about maintenance and water changes later.

More to come, and I will talk about kit tanks like the Biocube and Nanocube.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Billy Rotne View Post
Derek, A small tank would be easy for Alden. Lets say you want to start a 10-15 gal tank.

The three most important things for any tank are FLOW, LIGHTING, and STABILITY. All three are easily acheived in the method known as the "Berlin" method.

The basic requirements and the products I reccomend are:

Heater. I really like the azoo titanium heaters. A bigger heater works less to maintain temp, and makes it last longer. I use a 300w for my 37 gallon tank.
Aquarium Heating & Heaters: Azoo Titanium Electronic Heaters

Powerhead Pumps. Maxijet pumps are small, powerful, and bullet proof. They can run dry for days without breaking. Flow is one of the most important things in a reef, it is what "filters" the tank. If you have low flow areas or "dead spots", you will have Nitrate poblems which kill coral, although fish can tolerate very high N03 levels. You should have as much flow in your reef as your coral can take, with lots of surface agitation.
Maxi-Jet 900 Powerhead / MP 900 - SaltySupply.com

Proper Lighting. Corals feed through photosynthisis just like plants. Algae living within the coral called "xoozanthellae". This fixture will work great for soft corals. If you want a better system go with Metal Halide for stony corals. I would stick to a soft coral system for Alden to get started. Cheap and easy to keep.
20" 2x40 Watt Current USA PowerCompact Dual Satellite Fixture - SaltySupply.com

A skimmer (isnt 100% neccesary, but will help with maintenance, if you buy one get a nice one vs upgrading later). I use an aquac remora, the nano version would work great for a smaller tank. If you buy the regular one it could work on the bigger tank too if you upgrade.
Remora Series

Aragonite Live Sand and Live Rock. Good rock is the difference between a nice looking tank and a not nice looking tank. It also filters the tank, you will need between 1.5-2lbs per gallon for proper filtration and looks. This is the best rock I found after a year of looking, and its cheap. You can buy the "Aragalive" sand from your reef shop and skip the expensive shipping. .5lb per gallon of live sand is also a good idea.
Sea Life Inc.

Calcium/Alkalinty buffer system is very important for keeping your water the same as ocean water. Think of it this way, stony corals grow by calcification. Think of the caclium part as the building blocks, and the alkalinity as the glue. I can explain this in detail later
E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer - SaltySupply.com
Read this simple article about ca/alk, it is critical you understand the process.
Chemistry and the Aquarium

Good Salt, this is citical to a reef tank, all salts are not the same, use pharamscutical grade only. Bad salt is one of the biggest issues reef keeps face. This is all I use, and has proven time and time again to be great quality, mixed with Reverse Osmosis Deionized water, if you dont want ot purchase the RD/DI system($100) most Local Fish Shops or "LFS's" as you will see on forums will sell fresh water. With a small tank, buying water is practical. Wal-mart sells 7 gal camping water containers, these work great for getting the water from the shop to your house. For larger systems you will need one at home. Another note, if your family likes to drink water it is also great for making awesome tasting water.
Tropic Marin Sea Salt Mix - 50gal Box - SaltySupply.com

Test kits are also very important, otherwise you dont know the chemistry of your tanks water, you are in the dark. The only kits you HAVE to have are Nitrate, Alkalinity, and Calcium. I would reccomend pH and Magnesium, but they are not a must have. Again, dont buy cheap kits that dont work and then upgrade, get good kits from the start and you will be much more succesful as you will know whats going on in your tank.
Salifert Test Kits - SaltySupply.com

I'm sure I will think of something else!

The basic daily things to do to the tank would be topping off, cleaning the glass, and dosing calcium and alkalinity. I will talk more about maintenance and water changes later.

More to come, and I will talk about kit tanks like the Biocube and Nanocube.
thank you billy, i'm actually pretty jazzed. very intricate hobby, i think alden will be in to it.

chalk - DAM. that tank is bad to the bone. http://www.oregonreef.com/images/photos/p_017_l.jpg

thank you for the links as well.

you going to get started soon?
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Othe tanks you can get are the oceanic biocube, or the jbj nanocube. Some other cool tanks are the http://www.redseamax.com , CADLIGHTS tanks , or my favorite, Solana - Aquarium System | Current What's Next

These systems range for $250-$800 depending on how big and what type of lighting you want. If you do with the kit tanks I would suggest gutting the filter and upgrading the skimmer. Filters only collect detritus and give it a place to rot and create nitrate if they are not constantly changed. Running your system without them makes it even more resistant to problems. There are after market skimmers that you can use on these systems that will greatly increase the ease of keeping the system.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just a dumb question that probably been asked 1000 times,Why can't I just walk out back and get my sand and water out of the ocean?
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just a dumb question that probably been asked 1000 times,Why can't I just walk out back and get my sand and water out of the ocean?
Becuz all those ppl wouldn't be able to charge you 1000 too much for stuff.

I also just had a vision of clarity.....just sayin
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, the sand we have here is Silca sand, and does not buffer your pH levels. You need Aragonite based sand. You can get it was cheaper than from LFS's from places like sealifeinc.net

The way you can tell if you have the right kind of sand is to put a little in a cup with some vinigar and see if it fizzes at all....If it fizzes you are good, if not dont use it.

Now if this is for a fish only with no coral, you could use it.

As far as sea water goes, the use it in the shop Christel works at, it is actually better than mixed salt because over 70 trace elements are in the proper amounts you just cant get with salt mixes.....But one red tide bloom or collect on a nasty tide and you can have issues, you know. Just always collect on an incoming and when the water is really blue and clear.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Add to that....100+ gallons is a bunch of trips to the beach and back .
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Got Ick in my tank. Anyone have any tips on getting rid of it? I have done 2 water treatments, and no luck. It goes away for about a week and comes back.
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