Starting with Rock Alone?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Mono, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Mono

    Mono Member

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    Interested in everyone's opinion. I've been running a two 125g/55 sumps for a few years, so I have a little experience.

    Recently, however, a high school teacher and friend was interested in setting up a reef tank for her class and she asked me for a little help.

    Below are my thoughts and I am very interested in hearing everyone's opinion.

    I was going to advise her to start with just a plastic tub and some dry rock.

    Equipment
    1. plastic tub with a lid
    2. dry rock
    3. Instant Ocean
    4. hydrometer
    5. heater
    6. thermometer
    7. RODI unit
    8. 2 small wave-makers
    9. 2nd plastic tub for a reservoir
    10. Optional items - auto topoff, Red Sea Foundation test kit

    1. Figure how and where to set your RODI unit and reservoir. Figure out how it works.
    2. Get a hydrometer and some Instant Ocean and learn how to mix up some saltwater.
    3. Get your tub with a lid and put in your saltwater and dry rock. Add a wave-maker to circulate the water.
    4. Practice monitoring and adjusting your salinity for several weeks.
    5. monitor your temperature. (schools and offices can be different than homes since you don't control the thermostat and they have a tendency to really kill the heat/ac on vacations or weekends.)
    6. Learn how to monitor your basic parameters.

    I figure this is pretty low stakes, inexpensive and a great why to practice getting everything to work right. It's cheaper than running out and buying a tank and finding out you can't set up your RODI or you never knew it would be this much work.

    Let this whole think run for as long as necessary while getting everything else together.

    I was going to suggest starting with a $1 a gallon 40g Breeder and a 20g sump and an inexpensive Petco Brooklyn stand.

    I've drilled my 125g's on the side and was wondering can you get away with drilling a 40g Breeder on the bottom (assuming it's not tempered)? Or does drilling the bottom structurally weaken the bottom pane too much? I think a bottom drill would make the plumbing much easier.

    Interested in everyone's thoughts.

    Thanks
     
    ShawnSaucier and Dsnakes like this.
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  2. HotRocks

    HotRocks Fish Fanatic! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Honestly, this is exactly how I started. As you can see my profile pic is my 2 daughters looking in the bins. Only difference was I bought out a guy who was shutting down a 400g tank. Not all of it but some of it. I did have several coral and 4 or 5 RBTAs attached to the rock. I had originally planned to build a custom 180. Then decided to go with a Red Sea, for the ease of setup and maintenance. I run a business, so in the summer my free time is much limited due to workload. I was lucky to have @4FordFamily guide me along the way, and loaned me all of the equipment to keep the bins going (I bought 1 light and my RODI). Craigslist may be a good place to get the starter rock and possibly some starter coral for a very reasonable price, it has been for me. IMO, I think its a great way to get going!

    As far as self drilling the tanks and all that, I cannot vouch, I am a major DIY, but don't know that I would attempt that. Never tried anything like that personally.
     
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  3. Mono

    Mono Member

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    Thanks for the thumbs up.
     
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  4. HotRocks

    HotRocks Fish Fanatic! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Welcome!
     
  5. Dsnakes

    Dsnakes Knight Reefer R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Sounds like a great way to start! Welcome to the forum by the way!
     
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  6. CindyKz

    CindyKz Well-Known Member

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    If it's all dry rock she will need some bacteria to seed with. I like Biospira but there are many out there.
     
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