Starting my first reef

espieg

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
12
Location
southern california
Hi,

This is my first time ever posting on these forums so let's see how this goes. I recently purchased a 125 gallon aquarium and plan on starting my first reef tank. The aquarium is 72 x 18 x 24 with a Trigger 20 cube sump. I'm looking for advice on pretty much everything...return pump, skimmer, sand, wave pumps, lights, etc.. Like I said, I'm new so any and all information is appreciated. My budget is in the lower to midrange regions so I'm likely not going to be able to afford things like Radeons or mp10s (at least not right now).

Thanks for the help!
 
Fritz

sunken3

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
325
Reaction score
269
Location
orange county
first off, welcome!

second, most everyone is going to give you different advice. hopefully though it will be similar enough that you can make an educated guess in the right direction.

last, what kind of tank are you hoping to establish? fish only, SPS dominant, LPS, mixed reef?
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
37,725
Reaction score
86,542
Location
Sheboygan
welcome44.png
 
OP
E

espieg

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
12
Location
southern california
first off, welcome!

second, most everyone is going to give you different advice. hopefully though it will be similar enough that you can make an educated guess in the right direction.

last, what kind of tank are you hoping to establish? fish only, SPS dominant, LPS, mixed reef?
Mostly LPS and fish. Pretty much anything that is hardy and less difficult to start with.
 
Budmans

DirkCourage

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
52
Reaction score
83
Location
Chicago
Welcome! You sound like you at least know what's required, generally. I also recommend BRStv for a lot of great guidance, particularly when it comes to gear. They do a lot of testing of products and gear, and are good at recommending "best/budget" options. Check out their "Best of 2019" series for a start.

As a new reefer myself, I'd say get your basics going (a level up from starter is good if you can make the investment,) but don't go overboard on extras. I did a lot of "oh I need this and this too" before I even had the tank, and had some buyers remorse. Once you get water in your tank and see how it operates, you'll probably get a better feel for what you want or need. It takes time to develop your tank, you do not have to figure it all out at the beginning.
 

Turnage

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
231
Reaction score
1,172
Location
Bend
WELCOME!
Advise: BRS TV they cover a lot of ground on all the topics above, after that when you narrow down to a couple options, then use search function here to see what people have posted about it.
OMG THIS, THIS, THIS!!! BRS TV is a treasure trove of reef keeping information. That is what got me into the hobby and has guided me to a successful 32 gallon reef tank.
 

Jilly92

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
449
Reaction score
552
Location
Canton
probably with a starter bacteria bottle
They also have live sand which i started out with, the live sand from carib sea, medium grain. I ordered 40 lb dry rock from online retailer along with 3 lbs live rock from local fish store. I did the dr tims all in one bacteria starter as well. Which I believe helped the process go along alot quicker. If you don't plan on adding fish right away, I bought pure ammonia from grocery store and dosed that weekly. Goodluck in your ventures and happy reefing!
 

Smprc

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
140
Reaction score
90
Location
Upland, CA
my advice, take it slow. And you don't need anything fancy to start. Don't impulse buy and above all patience. Yes the BRS videos are great for info, but take them for that. And btw, I hope I don't get flamed for this...but "sales" are always happening, I mean always...so don't get suckered into those things...sorry had to say it.
 

Ippyroy

Master Farmer of GHA
View Badges
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
4,129
Reaction score
23,895
Location
West Yellowstone
Welcome to R2R! The next step is get an RODI system. Then the next step is get some rocks into a brute can with a heater, pump, and saltwater and start the cycle that way. I cycled my dry rocks this way for 4 months. I used MicrBactor XLM and ghost fed. After 3 months I did a 100% water change. This method allows a good amount of bacteria to grow on the rocks as well as allow PO4 to bind to the rocks. I've never had a big PO4 spike due to this. My PO4 and NO3 have remained steady since day one in the DT.
You can pick up all of the other equipment slowly over the next few months. BRS is great, but they are far from the only ones out there. Browse YouTube and find several that you like and come up with a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. I am a big fan of Mr.Saltwater TV personally as well as Melevsreef and Inappropriate Reefer as well as a few others. Good Luck and start a build thread with lots of pictures and details!
 
BRS

pseudorand

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
454
Reaction score
294
Hi,

This is my first time ever posting on these forums so let's see how this goes. I recently purchased a 125 gallon aquarium and plan on starting my first reef tank. The aquarium is 72 x 18 x 24 with a Trigger 20 cube sump. I'm looking for advice on pretty much everything...return pump, skimmer, sand, wave pumps, lights, etc.. Like I said, I'm new so any and all information is appreciated. My budget is in the lower to midrange regions so I'm likely not going to be able to afford things like Radeons or mp10s (at least not right now).

Thanks for the help!
My first advice is making a budget. Maybe post it here for review.

I have almost the same setup. Same tank dimensions. 20 gal sump. I spent close to $5k initially and probably close to another $5k in the past year since setup.

I bought my tank used for almost nothing. I built my own stand and I have DIY lights (that we're much cheaper than Kessels). Most of my livestock and rock are from Craigslist. I still spent that much.

I thought I could get by without a skimmer if I stocked and fed lightly. But when I finally bought one, my cyano problem went away. I also did cheato fertilizer, Phosguard, copopods, switched to RO/DI and lots of water changes that were expensive in time as well as $ because of the cost of salt. Which I also switched to the more expensive Red Sea from the cheaper stuff. So I really don't know what solved my cyano issue. But that's the whole point. You'll end up spending a boatload to fix problems or having a tank you don't really like and end up quitting the hobby.

Reef dork shared his spend too, and he's not far off from me.

That said, R2R is amazing -- better and faster "customer service" than just about anything else I do. Your not in it alone.
 

Are you currently running a reactor and media on your reef tank?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 162 38.1%
  • NO but I run media from time to time

    Votes: 134 31.5%
  • NO I don't use filter media

    Votes: 119 28.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 2.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,666
Guests online
8,171
Total visitors
10,837
QT FISH
Top