Brand new to saltwater & asking for someone to hold my hand

Reefer1978

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Messages
2,914
Reaction score
3,049
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New Jersey
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Welcome to R2R Amy. My journey is FW >>> Planted >>> Discus Tank >>> Reef for the last 6-8 years on an off. You are on the right track. I would also stay away from the standard 55. With reefs, and this is only my opinion, depth of the tank is much more important than height. Coral take space, and the more colors / coral you want, the more of a footprint you need. Also the deeper the tank, the more power your lights would need to penetrate. Take a look at some 36-48" tanks that are around 20" in, generally they are all 24-26" high. And the most important rule is go slow, don't rush into it.
 
Nutramar Foods

Crabby48

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
6,619
Reaction score
40,041
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
NJ
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi,

After snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean, I want to build my dream reef. I can afford it. I just feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Also, I wanted to capitalize on Black Friday......too ambitious?

Thanks for any advice,
Amy
I see your location but not state. If it’s the state I’m thinking of look up reefco in green Brook. They will help you. Owner is great and all fish and coral are healthy.
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com
Tidal Gardens
OP
NewAmy

NewAmy

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Somerset
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
When I clicked on the linked, it opened up NJ, so my apologies.
Yeah, I think it's just the default for Google Maps. I wrote "Kentucky" in my profile, but it's not visible unless you click on my profile.... My closest fish store out here is two hours away, I believe.
 

Reefer1978

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Messages
2,914
Reaction score
3,049
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New Jersey
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yeah, I think it's just the default for Google Maps. I wrote "Kentucky" in my profile, but it's not visible unless you click on my profile.... My closest fish store out here is two hours away, I believe.
Reef2Reef is a great resource and fortunately you can buy almost everything online if you don't have a near-by store.
 

Fish Think Pink

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
5,247
Reaction score
24,665
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
DFW Texas
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Good advice! I'm only 5'2 so accessibility is extremely important......

Recommend tank placement so you can get to all sides of tank. I'd had 5 saltwater tanks before, so I didn't give much thought to upsizing into 180 gallon when someone was leaving hobby... was excited to get a great deal. Moving a 180 is NOTHING like moving a 55 or under (hired LFS with specialized equipment).

Also, I'm 5'6" and I regret not leaving enough space to physically get behind the tank. Also while I *LOVE* canopy look (hate light in my sensitive eyes) I also have learned that rock aquascape needs to be designed that ON MY OWN I can get it out THRU canopy.

If I had my 180 gallon setup to do over, I'd make placement and rock changes. I also want canopy enhancement because I do like the look of most of my rocks (that I can't lift out... sigh)

I recently got a used 60 gallon with sump and it was a bother I couldn't fit it into my Camry. I had to wait for BF and his truck... though I considered the Home Depot rental truck.

Used can give you more saving than Black Friday sales, if you don't need to have the latest and greatest and spiffy brand new...
 

Aluco

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 30, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
462
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Citrus Heights
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yeah, I think it's just the default for Google Maps. I wrote "Kentucky" in my profile, but it's not visible unless you click on my profile.... My closest fish store out here is two hours away, I believe.
Imo I'd start with what animals you want to keep. I'm in the process of upgrading tanks after only half a year because I didn't get one big enough to start for animals I wanted

If your lfs is that far away you will want an rodi system because you aren't going to want to travel that far for some water

What animals are you looking forward to keeping?
 
OP
NewAmy

NewAmy

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Somerset
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thanks for the feedback! And LOL on the sharks!

I'm not partial to any fish yet. I'd be happy with clownfish. I just know that I want it to be bright and colorful.

Once I get into it, I'll be all like, "I need this endangered African species....and then THIS.....and then....."
 

ninjamyst

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
1,732
Reaction score
2,527
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Orlando
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Have you decided which tank you will get yet?

I went from 12g to 5g to 75g to 200g. Been doing this for 10+ years and is one of those frugal but willing to spend if necessary reefer. Feel free to keep asking questions on the forum!
 
Corals.com

Rmckoy

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
6,733
Reaction score
8,444
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ontario Canada
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi Amy and welcome to r2r
You have come to the right place for either advice , help or even hand holding . We’re all here to help with your success .

Best advice I can offer off the start is to take your time , research everything a few times .
and plan what you want in your dream reef before you start impulse purchases .
 
OP
NewAmy

NewAmy

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Somerset
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It sounds like something short and long and under 100 gallons? That's not specific, but at least I don't have 1,000 gallon built-in fish room going in to start.

I'm an entrepreneur, and every business I've started has been successful. (Got lucky, mostly.) So I'm used to swinging for the fences. I'm NOT confident, but I am reckless. I'm just saying to keep that in mind. I'm not "normal", but I'm working on it in therapy. :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 

ninjamyst

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
1,732
Reaction score
2,527
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Orlando
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It sounds like something short and long and under 100 gallons? That's not specific, but at least I don't have 1,000 gallon built-in fish room going in to start.

I'm an entrepreneur, and every business I've started has been successful. (Got lucky, mostly.) So I'm used to swinging for the fences. I'm NOT confident, but I am reckless. I'm just saying to keep that in mind. I'm not "normal", but I'm working on it in therapy. :face-with-tears-of-joy:
My advice is to usually look for an used tank from someone moving and pay half off retail. However it sounds like you are middle of nowhere so probably not a lot of used tank around. Also you said you are living alone and not very handy so you will want to purchase a full setup. Here are some choices:

Innovative Marine 40g long AIO - great dimension and it's an AIO so you don't have worry about plumbing a sump. Con is the stands are rather expensive. However, innovative marine often have 40% off sales.

Red Sea or Waterbox 75g - They are sumped but the plumbing is plug and play. Hard to go wrong with it. 75g is a decent size but still relatively easy to take with you when you move. I moved my 75g from Chicago to Orlando and the movers took care of everything. The livestock I transferred on my own.

Stay away from anything smaller than 20g. You will upgrade quickly because you will be limited to space and type of fish you can get. This hobby is addictive and people quickly outgrow a 20g.

Equipment wise, if you can afford it, the big vendors are nice. Kessil, Radion, AI all make great lights for a premium price. Do you need it though? Nope. You are literally paying for brand recognition. There are plenty of alternatives to reefing on a budget. But we can talk more about equipment once you settle on the tank.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED bar

Aluco

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 30, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
462
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Citrus Heights
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It sounds like something short and long and under 100 gallons? That's not specific, but at least I don't have 1,000 gallon built-in fish room going in to start.

I'm an entrepreneur, and every business I've started has been successful. (Got lucky, mostly.) So I'm used to swinging for the fences. I'm NOT confident, but I am reckless. I'm just saying to keep that in mind. I'm not "normal", but I'm working on it in therapy.

Do you have a certain amount of space or a specific spot you want to put it? You will compile a lot of supplies and buckets and jugs too heh. Also consider space for a possible quarantine tank.. a qt is generally 10-20 gallons and is a very bare bones kind of setup. Imo anything under say 40g I'd look for possibly an aio tank (or all in one) bigger, I'd look for something plumbed already with hopefully an easy to set up sump under the stand. Just imo:)
 

Lost in the Sauce

BANGERANG!!!!
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
16,676
Reaction score
79,670
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Location
Southern California
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi Amy, not from New Jersey, and welcome to the reef.

Starting fresh, If you are willing to spend up front, you have a greater chance of success and imo enjoyment long term. That's an unpopular opinion but also a hill I'll die on.

The smaller the system, the less intrinsic stability it has. I like big for this reason. Check out the offerings from red Sea, waterbox, innovative marine. If possible, go with a tank and sump. AOI tanks are good for space saving and simplicity. They aren't the best for Reefing. I don't like having equipment in the display and the back compartments are always a pain in the butt. Sumps increase your system volume, give you a place to hide your gear, and can look cool as well.

Starting off again, I would probably go with a 90 gallon cube and 40 b sump under it.

Have fun, ask questions, don't keep track of how much you are spending. That's the quickest way to start to hate the hobby.
 

adittam

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
966
Reaction score
1,160
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Monona
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Welcome!

I’d encourage you to look into a tank with a sump. The plumbing can be a little intimidating at first, but there is a ton of help available here on r2r, and it’s really nice to be able to hide the bulk of your equipment out of sight.

As far as deals on tanks, there are some awesome clearance deals at these two websites, and both of them make great quality tanks. There are a few different sizes and styles available currently too.



 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

TaylorPilot

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
1,217
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
70 to 120 gallons is the sweet spot starting out. Big enough to be stable, but not so big that you cannot do the maintenance manually (water changes). If you are going for a standard sized tank and want a 4 foot length, get an off the shelf 120. The 2 foot width is a game changer over a 18" wide tank.

Most people are in and out of the hobby in 18 months. I think the biggest culprits are equipment failure, Ich, velvet, and dinos. Have a game plan for all 4 of those, so that you are not scrambling to react when they do happen.

Learn the chemistry, disease (humblefish's site is another great resource besides R2R) and write out a schedule so that you stick to the maintenance. Resist the urge to change 5 things at once (stability is key)

Go slow and don't get sucked into thinking you need the best of the best with honors...people have kept amazing systems with 2x4 stands and petco $ per gallon tanks.

Find someone whos system you admire and listen to them, but just remember that no two systems are the same, so you will not have the exact same day for day experience that they did. If this was easy as writing and following a recipe, everyone would be successful. It doesn't work that way...
 

Wiseman

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
23
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Louisville
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi,

After snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean, I want to build my dream reef. I can afford it. I just feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Also, I wanted to capitalize on Black Friday......too ambitious?

Thanks for any advice,
Amy
Good morning Amy. I live in Louisville Ky, and if you haven’t purchased an aquarium system yet, I might have a great all in one fish tank system to get you started in Marine aqauriums. I’m planning on upgrading to a larger aquarium, once my wife gets her new floors in the next few months.

I have a Red Sea Max C-250 aquarium. This is a 65 gallon that has the stand and all plumbing, pumps, and protein skimmer. The tank is in great shape, all the components work great. The only issue is two of the T5 ballast have gone bad. I would suggest just replacing the lights with a new LED strip light.

I’m only looking for $400 OBO for the entire aquarium. The tank is broken down and clean. The picture isn’t the best. The other 2 are when it was up and running.

Have a great new year!

Jamie
 

Attachments

  • BDF2FC4B-ED13-4802-B1A2-AE4D0CDFE572.jpeg
    BDF2FC4B-ED13-4802-B1A2-AE4D0CDFE572.jpeg
    258.2 KB · Views: 13
  • 0B9F96A6-A0AC-4B27-A096-8C645AB7E752.jpeg
    0B9F96A6-A0AC-4B27-A096-8C645AB7E752.jpeg
    228.6 KB · Views: 11
  • 2C7D54DC-8D04-4F32-A0C9-89CD54447F8E.jpeg
    2C7D54DC-8D04-4F32-A0C9-89CD54447F8E.jpeg
    248.7 KB · Views: 18

How difficult is it REALLY to keep Acropora corals?

  • 1 - easy to keep

    Votes: 11 3.7%
  • 2

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • 3

    Votes: 7 2.3%
  • 4

    Votes: 6 2.0%
  • 5 - average

    Votes: 80 26.6%
  • 6

    Votes: 24 8.0%
  • 7

    Votes: 84 27.9%
  • 8

    Votes: 45 15.0%
  • 9

    Votes: 10 3.3%
  • 10 - difficult to keep

    Votes: 30 10.0%
Ecotech Marine
Top