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Old 04-13-2017, 08:55 PM
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skps190 skps190 is offline
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Saltwater Reef Tank

So I've been on this kick lately thinking I want to get a reef tank going. Any fellow TTer's have one? I'm not 100% due to all of the chemistry involved with the water and whatnot but like the idea and the options for fish and corals. Right now we've got a small 5 gallon gold fish tank, while it is fine, I'd rather have something a little larger and more stocked. I've been doing a ton of research on Reef Central but they're obviously a little biased, no different than most of us and our MCs. I'm looking for some open and honest feedback here!
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:41 PM
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The folks at Reef Central are pretty helpful. I have had a 90gallon reef tank for 11 years. expense of materials is about $50 per month. Expect your electric bill to jump up $250/month or more. Knowing what I know now,I would have gone to a 6ft 125gal tank. A "short" 4ft tank limits the fish you can have. Some need swimming room. An 8ft 180 would be sweet. Go to the local reef club section in Reef Central. You will find frag swaps, local reefers who meet monthly all the support you will need for your addiction. Set your tank up so water changes are simple. Set up a gravity fed auto top off system to help out and make life easier.
The best way to get into the hobbit is to buy someone's set up who is getting out. That will make everything cheaper to purchase. You can sink a LOT of money in the start up, but that's part of the attraction. Plan, build and enjoy.

I have a fish only with live rock. Frogspawn, hammer corals, mushrooms and zoas. I don't test the water except for specific gravity (salt content). After months of testing and not seeing any changes I stopped doing it. A key to a balanced system is allowing the rock (1lb/gal) to develop into a filter system for your"ecosystem". and religious water changes. I have a Neptune Jr to monitor temp and PH levels. Water changes are how I maintain levels (reef crystals) 200gal box every month or so from Drs foster and smith (free shipping). Used tank, used skimmer new Neptune, every couple years I have to replace pumps so that runs about 150 per pump, whether it is skimmer or circulation.
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Last edited by zsqure; 04-13-2017 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:06 PM
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cwarndahl cwarndahl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsqure View Post
The folks at Reef Central are pretty helpful. I have had a 90gallon reef tank for 11 years. expense of materials is about $50 per month. Expect your electric bill to jump up $250/month or more. Knowing what I know now,I would have gone to a 6ft 125gal tank. A "short" 4ft tank limits the fish you can have. Some need swimming room. An 8ft 180 would be sweet. Go to the local reef club section in Reef Central. You will find frag swaps, local reefers who meet monthly all the support you will need for your addiction. Set your tank up so water changes are simple. Set up a gravity fed auto top off system to help out and make life easier.

The best way to get into the hobbit is to buy someone's set up who is getting out. That will make everything cheaper to purchase. You can sink a LOT of money in the start up, but that's part of the attraction. Plan, build and enjoy.



I have a fish only with live rock. Frogspawn, hammer corals, mushrooms and zoas. I don't test the water except for specific gravity (salt content). After months of testing and not seeing any changes I stopped doing it. A key to a balanced system is allowing the rock (1lb/gal) to develop into a filter system for your"ecosystem". and religious water changes. I have a Neptune Jr to monitor temp and PH levels. Water changes are how I maintain levels (reef crystals) 200gal box every month or so from Drs foster and smith (free shipping). Used tank, used skimmer new Neptune, every couple years I have to replace pumps so that runs about 150 per pump, whether it is skimmer or circulation.


Wow can we talk you into a couple of pics. And did you say you spend 250 a month on electric? Just for the tank? What are you doing that takes that kind of power?


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Old 04-14-2017, 09:04 AM
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I'm thinking a 50 gallon cube. I'm somewhat limited on where I can put one. I've been looking for used equipment but cubes aren't easy to come by. Once my basement is finished and assuming I enjoy the hobby I'd probdbly upgrade to a 120-150.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:27 AM
ryancassidy ryancassidy is online now
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Couple of things as I kept these tanks for many years....

Metal Halides used to be the thing for hard corals.. these ate up a lot of power. My power bill for the tank was easily 75-100$ a month. Of course I had 5 power heads, 2 large pumps, and 1 small pump but it was only a 90 gallon tank.

If you've never kept saltwater tanks before, they can be as expensive or more so than a boat (almost... :-) ).

You'll need to buy your water or get an RO/DI machine to filter it. otherwise you'll never maintain a solid balance in the tank. If you are keeping corals, you'll need a Calcium Reactor..

Happy to talk live about it, I've been thinking about doing the same thing but I travel a lot. so the automation requirements are extensive. PM me and we can chat over the phone.

I normally encourage folks to estimate $50 to $75 a gallon just to get started and then another $5 a gallon a month for maintenence, updates, corals, chemicals, fish etc. The longer the tank, the more viewing area you will have and the happier many of the larger fish will be. If you are considering a cube, tangs, angels and the like I think are out IMO as they need more swimming area.

Wow... you got the mind going again on this.. head is all over the place with wanting to do this again! :-)
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:53 PM
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JLowder JLowder is offline
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I'm building a 600 gallon tank right now. Watch the 52 weeks of reefing at bulk reef supply. Google it. Well worth your time and they go over a ton of information.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:36 PM
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600 gallon tank?! Lord. Take pics!!
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:32 PM
barelyfloating barelyfloating is offline
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I spent a ton of money on this hobby back in the 90's, and enjoyed it very much. I did learn that less is more. Good rock, lighting, a chiller, and a protein skimmer was all I needed. My tank flourished for many years. Enjoy the ride…
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:39 AM
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I'm liking the SCA 50 or 66 gallon plug-n-play systems, you get the tank, stand, sump, return pump and skimmer for a decent price, all I'd need is an extra powerhead, lights and some live rock and I could at least get things going.

The BRS series has been extremely helpful in taking a lot of what I thought would be confusing or hard parts of setting up and caring for the tank and making it much less daunting. I still have some stuff to figure out, mainly just figuring out what route I want to go and who's advice I want to follow.

I've got a RO/DI system already installed in our house so I should be able to put a tee valve in the line to the faucet and fill a garbage can for water storage. I'm not sure how many gallons a day it produces but after my initial fill it should be sufficient for top off and water changes. The other expenses don't worry me a ton, my wife has two horses I already support so I can't imagine it being that bad!

Ryan-not sure if I should apologize for being a bad influence? I'll definitely PM you when I get things rolling

And Jlowrider I'd love to see pics of the 600 build!
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:56 AM
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Shaun R Shaun R is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
I'm building a 600 gallon tank right now. Watch the 52 weeks of reefing at bulk reef supply. Google it. Well worth your time and they go over a ton of information.
I believe that is called a swimming pool.
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