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Old 09/21/2017, 04:44 PM   #1
ECU_Pirate
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Is there a basic list of supplies a beginner will need?

My tank is cycling. Just wondering what I will need from here on out, in your experienced opinions.


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Current Tank Info: 150G Marineland
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Old 09/21/2017, 04:45 PM   #2
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What do you have?


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Old 09/21/2017, 04:51 PM   #3
ECU_Pirate
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I have what's in my signature, 3 jugs of RODI water, and 2 bottles of Aquavitro Seed bacteria. Getting an ATO installed in a few days.


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Tank: 150G Marineland, 3 AI Hydra26 lights, Skimz Up39 Sumpro, Reef Oct 150INT Skimmer, Current Eflux DC Pump 1900Reg, Hydor Gen3 2450 Pwrhd Circ Pump, Hydor Smartwave Cont, AquaTop 300w Titanium Htr

Current Tank Info: 150G Marineland
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Old 09/21/2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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Lets start with test kits...

While your cycling, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. API will work for these as they are cheap and 2 you'll probably never use again.

Once you add livestock, ammonia, alkalinity. My personal preference is salifert.

Once you add corals, nitrate, phosphate(both of these should be tested frequently even with just FOWLR), calcium, and magnesium.


Miscellaneous things you will probably want to get, long tweezers, a couple 5 gallon buckets, bucket head shop vac(invaluable cheap piece of equipment), python gravel cleaner, etc. The list goes on and on. Some things I've bought and only used once, but at the time I needed it.


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80G SCA Build: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2560256

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Old 09/21/2017, 05:17 PM   #5
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Patience!!!! Nothing good happens over night! Good luck with your tank.


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Old 09/21/2017, 10:02 PM   #6
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I'd get a controller for your heater. Best $50 you can spend on your tank.


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Old 09/22/2017, 12:07 AM   #7
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RO/DI filter system should be #1


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Old 09/22/2017, 07:27 AM   #8
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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

just putting that out there :-)


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I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
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Old 09/22/2017, 11:04 AM   #9
slay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdogg View Post
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

just putting that out there :-)
I was going to say a burlap sack filled with cash with a dollar sign painted on the side, but that's an appropriate way of putting it too.


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180 mixed soft/lps/sps reef, 75 sump. Radeon XR30w G3 Pros,MP40qdx2, Vectra return, Reeflink, SRO-3000 skimmer, UV/calcium reactor/carbon/gfo.
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Old 09/22/2017, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdogg View Post
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

just putting that out there :-)
agreed. My avatar shows me on any given day when messing with my tank...


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150 SC tank build: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2550948

Some have bar tabs. I have a coral tab at my LFS. Life goals.
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Old 09/23/2017, 04:38 AM   #11
ECU_Pirate
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Thank you all for the suggestions!!

You guys are hilarious, billdogg, slay, & soulpatch!


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Tank: 150G Marineland, 3 AI Hydra26 lights, Skimz Up39 Sumpro, Reef Oct 150INT Skimmer, Current Eflux DC Pump 1900Reg, Hydor Gen3 2450 Pwrhd Circ Pump, Hydor Smartwave Cont, AquaTop 300w Titanium Htr

Current Tank Info: 150G Marineland
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Old 09/23/2017, 06:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECU_Pirate View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions!!

You guys are hilarious, billdogg, slay, & soulpatch!

It wouldn't be so funny if it weren't at least a little true!


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I'll try to be nice if you try to be smarter!
I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
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Old 09/23/2017, 06:57 AM   #13
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All kidding aside, here's what I would call a basic list of must-haves for anyone starting out in this hobby.

1. Refractometer (or calibrated swing-arm hydrometer)

2. 5g buckets. You'll need at least 2 or 3. The easiest way to get them is to buy your salt in them.

3. 2 heaters rated to ~3/4 your tanks size. 2 smaller ones are better than one larger because heaters fail. Usually in the "On" position. I keep a couple spares on hand as well.

4. Nets. At least 2. As someone who worked at a LFS for about 10 years, trust me on this. It is WAY easier to catch a fish using one net to herd the fish into the other than it is to chase a fish endlessly with just one.

5. A 10 or 20g tank to use as a QT. You can pick one up at Petco for $1/g. A basic freshwater "starter" kit will suffice - it will have some sort of filter and heater that will do the job. PLEASE do not skip QT on ALL new fish. You only need to wipe out one tank full of fish to understand the idiocy of not using a proper QT!

6. Test kits, as mentioned above. API works well for initial cycling. I prefer Salifert for Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium due to their ease of use and repeatability.

7. Water change equipment. You can use a piece of vinyl tubing and a couple of those buckets (see #2), or better yet, invest in a Python Siphon and you don't have to worry about over filling a bucket with nasty water and then spilling in on your wife's carpet. (another lesson learned the hard way, tyvm)

8. RO/DI system. Invest in your own. It will quickly pay for itself.

9. Water storage/mixing container. The largest you have room for. I've been at this for about 30 years and I have yet to run into a situation where I thought I had too much water on hand. I have, however, run short on too many occasions. If possible, I would suggest having enough ro/di water on hand to handle at least 75% of your systems volume. I keep mine heated at all times, and have a old power head in it to mix salt for me.

10. Activated carbon. You can run it in a reactor or just toss a mesh bag in the sump. You don't have to use it all the time although many do (myself included). It's very useful for removing toxins from the water.

11. Polyfilter - used for heavy metal contamination.

12. Patience!!! NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS FAST IN THIS HOBBY!!! Don't jump straight to Panic Mode if something doesn't look right. figure out what the problem is, then take corrective action.

13. When asking for help - COMPLETE Information please! Tank size, age, lighting, parameters (actual numbers for all - not "their all good"), pictures of the problem speak volumes.


I'm sure there is more, but that's a good start.


Oh - and don't forget $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


__________________
I'll try to be nice if you try to be smarter!
I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
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Old 09/23/2017, 08:47 AM   #14
Krzydmnd
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PRIME if you are going to RODI and use municipal water with chloramine. . Wouldn't hurt to have 2+2 on hand. I have 5 x 6qt Rubbermaid containers that is use all of the time. Handy to put wet instruments, urgent removal of any livestock, drip acclimation, wet gloves, Rock etc...


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Old 09/23/2017, 07:25 PM   #15
slay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdogg View Post
All kidding aside, here's what I would call a basic list of must-haves for anyone starting out in this hobby.

1. Refractometer (or calibrated swing-arm hydrometer)

2. 5g buckets. You'll need at least 2 or 3. The easiest way to get them is to buy your salt in them.

3. 2 heaters rated to ~3/4 your tanks size. 2 smaller ones are better than one larger because heaters fail. Usually in the "On" position. I keep a couple spares on hand as well.

4. Nets. At least 2. As someone who worked at a LFS for about 10 years, trust me on this. It is WAY easier to catch a fish using one net to herd the fish into the other than it is to chase a fish endlessly with just one.

5. A 10 or 20g tank to use as a QT. You can pick one up at Petco for $1/g. A basic freshwater "starter" kit will suffice - it will have some sort of filter and heater that will do the job. PLEASE do not skip QT on ALL new fish. You only need to wipe out one tank full of fish to understand the idiocy of not using a proper QT!

6. Test kits, as mentioned above. API works well for initial cycling. I prefer Salifert for Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium due to their ease of use and repeatability.

7. Water change equipment. You can use a piece of vinyl tubing and a couple of those buckets (see #2), or better yet, invest in a Python Siphon and you don't have to worry about over filling a bucket with nasty water and then spilling in on your wife's carpet. (another lesson learned the hard way, tyvm)

8. RO/DI system. Invest in your own. It will quickly pay for itself.

9. Water storage/mixing container. The largest you have room for. I've been at this for about 30 years and I have yet to run into a situation where I thought I had too much water on hand. I have, however, run short on too many occasions. If possible, I would suggest having enough ro/di water on hand to handle at least 75% of your systems volume. I keep mine heated at all times, and have a old power head in it to mix salt for me.

10. Activated carbon. You can run it in a reactor or just toss a mesh bag in the sump. You don't have to use it all the time although many do (myself included). It's very useful for removing toxins from the water.

11. Polyfilter - used for heavy metal contamination.

12. Patience!!! NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS FAST IN THIS HOBBY!!! Don't jump straight to Panic Mode if something doesn't look right. figure out what the problem is, then take corrective action.

13. When asking for help - COMPLETE Information please! Tank size, age, lighting, parameters (actual numbers for all - not "their all good"), pictures of the problem speak volumes.


I'm sure there is more, but that's a good start.


Oh - and don't forget $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
I would add:

A bucket of extra salt. If you have a disaster, such as a kalk/supplement overdose, an ATO mass overflow, or fish that dies and decomposes in the rocks, an extra bucket of salt is handy as can be vs a trip to the store.

I'd put a quality protein skimmer on the list. A skimmerless system is, more or less, an advanced concept. Skimmers are the best friend of a person new to salt water.

And, just as a personal preferance, I'd look into what you might need during a disaster.

67For instance, I live in the very south of Canada, which means I have a stable year round basement temperature of about 66-68 degrees F, adequate for pretty much all tropical saltwater life (considering the temperature from my tank is going to take approximately a day to reach 68), but my aquariums would still need oxygenation. Back in the 2003, during the great Northeast power outage, I lost a sensitive species (a stingray in my 480g), and because I didn't have a battery backup powered air pump (or about four/six for my tank size) to keep the water oxygen level up I lost my most prized animal (the species I lost was very delicate - a species that is notoriously hard to keep and perhaps my biggest fish-keeping "win" of my career, and of all my losses, I feel worst about that one). Perhaps if I had adequate aeration my prized pet/specimen would either still be alive or perhaps instead died of old age.

Lastly, I'd have carbon and polyfilter on hand as mentined (doubling up on the quoted post because it's invaluable). The two combined are the all-purpose immediate treatment (alongside the bucket of extra salt I told you to keep) for emergencies. Carbon and Polyfilter are both for normal pollutants (Dissolved organics and the chemicals corals use for warfare), but for abnormal pollutants (like a child putting something weird in the tank, but hopefully not *too* weird, or else you'll still lose (sadly)) - but still, I'd rather have about a pound per 50g of carbon on hand plus polyfilter in any emergency dealing with pollutants!


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180 mixed soft/lps/sps reef, 75 sump. Radeon XR30w G3 Pros,MP40qdx2, Vectra return, Reeflink, SRO-3000 skimmer, UV/calcium reactor/carbon/gfo.
480 predator, two cat sharks. 18" lionfish & friends.
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Old 09/23/2017, 08:05 PM   #16
Rilelen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdogg View Post
All kidding aside, here's what I would call a basic list of must-haves for anyone starting out in this hobby.

1. Refractometer (or calibrated swing-arm hydrometer)
2. 5g buckets. You'll need at least 2 or 3.
3. 2 heaters rated to ~3/4 your tanks size.
4. Nets. At least 2.
5. A 10 or 20g tank to use as a QT.
6. Test kits, as mentioned above.
7. Water change equipment.
8. RO/DI system.
9. Water storage/mixing container.
10. Activated carbon.
11. Polyfilter
12. Patience!!!
13. When asking for help - COMPLETE Information please!
I would add

14. Small pumps, 1 or 2 for mixing/moving water.

15. Prime. I have RO/DI water but if you need Prime in a hurry, you want it on hand.

16. Basic first aid kit. I keep copper, prazipro, metro, and Erythromycin/ Minocycline on hand.

17. Breeder box/kritter keeper. For isolating fish within the display tank, useful during social acclimation, if someone's being a bully etc.

18. Airline hose. I keep several short lengths of this lying around; it's like the dental floss of reefs. Can use for drip acclimation, priming overflows...actual air pumps, etc etc.

19. Silicone and reef putty.

20. Gutter guard.

21. Zipties.


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