Hello from Northern VA, first time saltwater!

Saltwaternoob89

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Good Evening all!

I have kept fish on and off since I was a child, all freshwater, several 55g running at a time with relatively no issues. I am in the military and move around every 4-5 years. The next move in 2-3 years, probably less than a couple hundred miles due to my specialty, but a possibility to the west coast as well. I have torn down, moved, and set back up freshwater fish over a thousand miles without losses but I don't think I will be able to do that with a saltwater tank (seems like a whole different league). I am looking to move probably 2-3 more times including where I plan to retire. When I retire I plan on a much larger tank ~200g. I have always been fascinated by saltwater aquariums but due too how much I move and the "learning curve" everyone talks about I had been scared to start up a tank. I got a 28 gallon Bow Front from a friend, and after a lot of research from people who have been in the military and moved the consensus was anything over 30 gallons was too much to tear down/keep alive in transit/set up at the new location. From what I have researched smaller tanks are harder for newcomers to start up due to changes can happen fast. I contemplated a 10g sump (would add around 25% water volume assuming the sump actually might hold 6-8g?) for volume/hiding equipment in the small tank but for now I'm just sticking with hang on the back filter/skimmer/heater in the tank.

Over the last month or so I have slowly researched everything I will need and sorted it all out in a list, and purchased my "needs". Watched a lot of different youtube guides and the BRS intro videos. Visited a few LFS and I am at the point where hopefully I will have the water and liverock in the tank by the end of the week.. just need to mix the salt and get the live rock from LFS... that should put me ready for fish after cycling around Christmas. It would be cool just to have a few fish and some coral. A pair of clowns, torch coral look really cool, the arrowhead crabs look super cool as well but I don't think they will go well in the tank with the corals (have heard mixed reviews), and maybe a wrasse or something. The last thing I "need" is lighting, but I figure I have a month or two to figure that out before I actually put anything in the tank.

I hope to learn a lot more here as I progress. Look forward to talking with you all!

- Jay
 
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Dr. Reefs Quarantined Fish

Peace River

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!!!

Clownfish.gif
 
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LisaMarie

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Welcome to Reef2Reef! You'll find tons of info and lots of folks ready and willing to help. Hope you'll consider starting a build thread so we can follow along your journey. Its a great way to learn and share with others. Can't wait to see your tank!
 

TheReefDiary

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Welcome to R2R and thank you for your service. You've received good advice to not go to large if you have to move. Realistically a 40g would be the largest I would do it your not in love with the tank you got given.
 
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Gtinnel

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Welcome to R2R. I have only had to move a reef tank one time, and it was just across town. It is not something I would want to do again. If you know you’ll be moving frequently definitely stick with a smaller tank.
Russell Wilson Hello GIF by Alaska Airlines
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

tbrown3589

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Good Evening all!

I have kept fish on and off since I was a child, all freshwater, several 55g running at a time with relatively no issues. I am in the military and move around every 4-5 years. The next move in 2-3 years, probably less than a couple hundred miles due to my specialty, but a possibility to the west coast as well. I have torn down, moved, and set back up freshwater fish over a thousand miles without losses but I don't think I will be able to do that with a saltwater tank (seems like a whole different league). I am looking to move probably 2-3 more times including where I plan to retire. When I retire I plan on a much larger tank ~200g. I have always been fascinated by saltwater aquariums but due too how much I move and the "learning curve" everyone talks about I had been scared to start up a tank. I got a 28 gallon Bow Front from a friend, and after a lot of research from people who have been in the military and moved the consensus was anything over 30 gallons was too much to tear down/keep alive in transit/set up at the new location. From what I have researched smaller tanks are harder for newcomers to start up due to changes can happen fast. I contemplated a 10g sump (would add around 25% water volume assuming the sump actually might hold 6-8g?) for volume/hiding equipment in the small tank but for now I'm just sticking with hang on the back filter/skimmer/heater in the tank.

Over the last month or so I have slowly researched everything I will need and sorted it all out in a list, and purchased my "needs". Watched a lot of different youtube guides and the BRS intro videos. Visited a few LFS and I am at the point where hopefully I will have the water and liverock in the tank by the end of the week.. just need to mix the salt and get the live rock from LFS... that should put me ready for fish after cycling around Christmas. It would be cool just to have a few fish and some coral. A pair of clowns, torch coral look really cool, the arrowhead crabs look super cool as well but I don't think they will go well in the tank with the corals (have heard mixed reviews), and maybe a wrasse or something. The last thing I "need" is lighting, but I figure I have a month or two to figure that out before I actually put anything in the tank.

I hope to learn a lot more here as I progress. Look forward to talking with you all!

- Jay
Welcome Jay! There are definitely a lot of great people with lots of good information on these forums so you're in the right spot! If I can steal a line from Tidal Gardens, "lighting is a loaded topic". You're going to get lots of recommendations from lots of people. The biggest questions you have to ask are: what do you want to grow; LED, MH, T5; how much do you want to spend; controller, built-in ramp timer, or just on/off; and tank mount or suspended. There are lots of other considerations but answering those will narrow things down quite a bit.
 
BRS

Fish Think Pink

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Good Evening all!

I have kept fish on and off since I was a child, all freshwater, several 55g running at a time with relatively no issues. I am in the military and move around every 4-5 years. The next move in 2-3 years, probably less than a couple hundred miles due to my specialty, but a possibility to the west coast as well. I have torn down, moved, and set back up freshwater fish over a thousand miles without losses but I don't think I will be able to do that with a saltwater tank (seems like a whole different league). I am looking to move probably 2-3 more times including where I plan to retire. When I retire I plan on a much larger tank ~200g. I have always been fascinated by saltwater aquariums but due too how much I move and the "learning curve" everyone talks about I had been scared to start up a tank. I got a 28 gallon Bow Front from a friend, and after a lot of research from people who have been in the military and moved the consensus was anything over 30 gallons was too much to tear down/keep alive in transit/set up at the new location. From what I have researched smaller tanks are harder for newcomers to start up due to changes can happen fast. I contemplated a 10g sump (would add around 25% water volume assuming the sump actually might hold 6-8g?) for volume/hiding equipment in the small tank but for now I'm just sticking with hang on the back filter/skimmer/heater in the tank.

Over the last month or so I have slowly researched everything I will need and sorted it all out in a list, and purchased my "needs". Watched a lot of different youtube guides and the BRS intro videos. Visited a few LFS and I am at the point where hopefully I will have the water and liverock in the tank by the end of the week.. just need to mix the salt and get the live rock from LFS... that should put me ready for fish after cycling around Christmas. It would be cool just to have a few fish and some coral. A pair of clowns, torch coral look really cool, the arrowhead crabs look super cool as well but I don't think they will go well in the tank with the corals (have heard mixed reviews), and maybe a wrasse or something. The last thing I "need" is lighting, but I figure I have a month or two to figure that out before I actually put anything in the tank.

I hope to learn a lot more here as I progress. Look forward to talking with you all!

- Jay

Hi Jay and Welcome! Glad you joined. Thank you for your service.

Have you considered starting your build thread? I found its a great place to document my tank's evolution for myself. I started tank first then joined, so I'm still finding myself going back collecting pictures & updating historically as well as current state. Once you create your first post in your thread and link it to your account, they will give you build badge (look left, under my ID). It sounds like you've set a good, thoughtful path for yourself, situation and tank (and I agree lighting can lag behind... many buy light only to not turn on for weeks+)

This might help you find people local to you in N.VA and Washington DC:

This is a good reference book type online article I still review:
 
Nutramar Foods

vetteguy53081

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BlakeStew

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Good Evening all!

I have kept fish on and off since I was a child, all freshwater, several 55g running at a time with relatively no issues. I am in the military and move around every 4-5 years. The next move in 2-3 years, probably less than a couple hundred miles due to my specialty, but a possibility to the west coast as well. I have torn down, moved, and set back up freshwater fish over a thousand miles without losses but I don't think I will be able to do that with a saltwater tank (seems like a whole different league). I am looking to move probably 2-3 more times including where I plan to retire. When I retire I plan on a much larger tank ~200g. I have always been fascinated by saltwater aquariums but due too how much I move and the "learning curve" everyone talks about I had been scared to start up a tank. I got a 28 gallon Bow Front from a friend, and after a lot of research from people who have been in the military and moved the consensus was anything over 30 gallons was too much to tear down/keep alive in transit/set up at the new location. From what I have researched smaller tanks are harder for newcomers to start up due to changes can happen fast. I contemplated a 10g sump (would add around 25% water volume assuming the sump actually might hold 6-8g?) for volume/hiding equipment in the small tank but for now I'm just sticking with hang on the back filter/skimmer/heater in the tank.

Over the last month or so I have slowly researched everything I will need and sorted it all out in a list, and purchased my "needs". Watched a lot of different youtube guides and the BRS intro videos. Visited a few LFS and I am at the point where hopefully I will have the water and liverock in the tank by the end of the week.. just need to mix the salt and get the live rock from LFS... that should put me ready for fish after cycling around Christmas. It would be cool just to have a few fish and some coral. A pair of clowns, torch coral look really cool, the arrowhead crabs look super cool as well but I don't think they will go well in the tank with the corals (have heard mixed reviews), and maybe a wrasse or something. The last thing I "need" is lighting, but I figure I have a month or two to figure that out before I actually put anything in the tank.

I hope to learn a lot more here as I progress. Look forward to talking with you all!

- Jay
Welcome to Reef2Reef Jay! I started in the hobby with a 20 gallon reef tank and man was it a journey. If your going to be moving every few years I recommend getting an AIO system (All In One). RedSea and Waterbox Aquariums offer some wonderful tanks. I now have a RedSea 350 (90 total gallons) so I'm a little biased.

AIO tanks eliminate having a sump which make transport much easier when you move and reduces complexity and equipment. On my 20 gallon I had a HOB filter and no protein skimmer. The more water volume the easier to keep which is why AIOs are intriguing when you will be moving.
Overall, routine maintenance along with research and patience will be your friend in the hobby.

Here is a link to a post I made about my 20 gallon long so you can see some progression pictures over 2 years before I upgraded.
 
World Wide Corals

kevgib67

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Welcome Jay, glad you are here! Sounds like you are entering the hobby the right way. You’ve learned a lot and there is still more to learn but from your introduction I have no doubt about the success that is in your future! Thanks for your service!
 

Sink_or_Swim

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Welcome, and thank you for your service. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
We had a lot of freshwater tanks in my house growing up (my dad had oscars, I raised angelfish, mollies and swordtails, lol), but only tried saltwater once - a 55 gallon FOWLR that my dad decided not to set back up after one of his last moves in the Air Force. I kept freshwater still into adulthood, but finally decided to get brave enough to try saltwater last year.
It's been a bumpy road at times, but so worth it! I find it easier than freshwater in some ways, much more difficult in others. Glad you found this group - it's been a huge help for me!
 

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