How NOT to set up your first reef tank.

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by GeejEx, Mar 27, 2008.

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  1. JBL

    JBL Sea Dragon

    Jan 3, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    I am furtunate to be one of "those guys" that before I attempt something I don't know, I spend countless hours reasearching and researching before I do it. I have to say, that out of all the LFS/internet/book reading, I learned the most from everyone here on 3reef. K+ to you John for this post as it re-inforced that I needed to learn before I attempted to build my own.
    And to say, it has paid off. Not only in time, but in $$$ also by learning from this and many other threads.
    In conclusion, the key to the right setup is plan, plan, plan.
  2. Click Here!

  3. LpSman185

    LpSman185 Plankton

    Mar 10, 2009

    Back when I first started doing reef tanks I had gotten the same exact setup (the marineland 29 gallon kit) As I am sure many learn, it was a huge mistake. The tank itself had been sitting on the store shelf for like 2 years and 4 days into setting the tank up, the bottom cracked and leaked the water into my basement. Like anything in aquatics, patience is everything. Good post
  4. TAD

    TAD Astrea Snail

    Mar 9, 2009
    Nice post, another thing I notice on some forums is people will need help but wont be 100% truthful about how long they have had there tank up, how many or how fast they added fish. I think people will be better able to help you if you tell it how it is.

    I think some people are to embarrassed to say they didn't know better or whatever. Swallow your pride, tell it like it is so others can help you with whats best for your tank and the living creatures in it.

    For the record I will not being the one telling anyone anything unless I am sure about it. I will more then likely be the one asking questions.

    Take care and good luck
  5. angel

    angel Plankton

    Mar 19, 2009
    western suburbs of Chicago
    I must say as a newbie myself, I really appreciate this. I am having the opposite problem. I have done so much reading and comparing prices, sizes compatabilities etc that I am now paralyzed and can't make myself buy anything for fear of messing it up.
    I feel like the most educated salt water enthusiast that doesn't have a salt water tank. (it doesn't help that I can't seem to "cure" some problems in my FW tank!)
  6. dirtydavenkc

    dirtydavenkc Purple Spiny Lobster

    Mar 24, 2009
    kansas city missouri
    WOW. Lesson learned not just you but who ever reads your post. Im in week 10 so those stories put a little knot in my stomach. Good luck to your future endeavors.
  7. coolridernum1

    coolridernum1 Feather Duster

    Apr 8, 2009
    My 1st tank

    Lucky for me i already know about how hard this hobby far as making same mistakes...I only can say i hope i don't. Thanks to people like you to post the good and the bad this hobby will get more "doable". i used to have a friend that showed me a few things about reefs and lent me a few books to read and gave me some tips. after all this you seem to be still in the hobby..

    I'm sure you now know this is a job/hobby LOL

    I had to use tap water "city" but i also went to walmart and got 2 32gal trash cans. I hope to add a RO system soon.. I'm really liking the time this whole thing takes i don't make much money and so it's no big deal to have my tank sit for months if needed before i buy anything living things.. It's nuts how a dime of living stuff can go for at the stores.

    Well i just wanted to say thanks for posting your mistakes and hope you do keep up with your hobby.

    Thanks and take care,
  8. Click Here!

  9. jlogan2664

    jlogan2664 Plankton

    May 14, 2009
    Nano Tank

    I am new to 3Reef and the site was highly recommended to me by the manager of my LFS. I have kept freshwater fish for over 20 years and my current tank houses discus. I purchased a 28 gallon bowfront 2 weeks ago and am in the process of cycling it. I actually set up a 10 gallon first and had been doing a fishless cycle for about 8 weeks by adding but I broke it down and moved everything over to the 28 so I'd have more room for fish. I upgraded the light fixture at the time of purchase to 1 watt per gallon but I do not intend to keep corals or anemones or anything that has high light requirements. I really want to do a FOWLR setup but I want to do it right.

    I have a Marineland biowheel filter on the tank that is big enough for a 50 gallon tank, about 3" of crushed coral on the bottom and a heater set at 76 degrees. I would prefer not to have to add a protein skimmer, sump, and all the other equipment typical of higher end reef tanks. I'm willing to do more frequent water changes and stock lighter in order to not go so high tech. What suggestions do you have for fish that can be successfully kept in such a setup?

    I would like to get a dwarf angel, probably a coral beauty. I'm thinking maybe a gobie and a hawkfish and possibly a shrimp and some snails. I know from other people's experienced that it's easy to do too much too soon and spend a lot of money and I want to avoid that. I've read AFM and FAMA for several years and for the past year or so I've focused more on saltwater information building up to this tank.

    I consider myself very experienced with regards to freshwater tanks but am a complete novice where saltwater is concerned so your suggestions would be greatly appreciated and taken to heart. Thanks!
  10. frkid247

    frkid247 Sea Dragon

    Jun 21, 2009
    Wichita Kansas
    haha im sorry man. thats some bad luck. i had about 6 fish die and they costed me together around $200... i guess we all learn...
  11. Puffer Chick

    Puffer Chick Giant Squid

    Jun 30, 2009
    The OC, California
    i'm in the process of setting up my first semi reef tank. And thankfully i'm doing my reaserch first. Through resarch and a couple of forums, i have the majority of my equipment, marineland 200watt heater, 2 maxijet 1200 powerheads, marineland emperror 400 power filter, seaclone 100 protein skimmer *i will get a different skimmer eventually*, currently looking for high quality lighting, 46 gallon bowfront tank. I have a puffer so i'll start with about 50 to 80 pounds of live rock, let that sit in the tank for about 6 weeks and test water. Then add two clownfish *knowing that puffer may eat them* then the puffer 1 week later. Then eventually cheap soft corals.

    So that's my plan/equipment so far for my first "semi" reef.
  12. kashbrook

    kashbrook Plankton

    Mar 18, 2010
    El Centro, California
    Diary of a Wimpy Aquarist: Your post looks very similar to my MS Excel spreadsheet. I've been keeping a log of water quality and added comments/notes to fish behavior, any acts of stupidity on my part and what I did to remedy the situation (if possible). Great post and work GeejEx