The 3 most important reef aquarium equipment pieces...

What is the 3 most important pieces of reef aquarium equipment? PICK 3

  • Lighting

    Votes: 731 85.8%
  • Skimmers/Filtration

    Votes: 347 40.7%
  • Powerheads/Water Movers

    Votes: 547 64.2%
  • Live Rock/Substrate

    Votes: 225 26.4%
  • Saltwater Mix

    Votes: 88 10.3%
  • Heater/Chiller

    Votes: 149 17.5%
  • Test Kits and Additives

    Votes: 72 8.5%
  • Maintenece Tools and Supplies

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • RO/DI

    Votes: 320 37.6%
  • Dosing Unites

    Votes: 11 1.3%
  • Reactors

    Votes: 3 0.4%
  • Aquarium Controllers

    Votes: 27 3.2%
  • UV Sterilizers

    Votes: 4 0.5%

  • Total voters
    852

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
38,648
Reaction score
38,955
What do you think is the 3 most important pieces of reef aquarium equipment and why?

Pick the TOP 3 items from this list and make sure to vote as well!
  • Lighting
  • Skimmers, Filters & Filtration Equipment
  • Powerheads and water movers
  • Live Rock/Substrate
  • Sea Salt Mix/Saltwater
  • Heater/Chiller
  • Test Kits, Additives & Supplements
  • Maintenance Tools & Supplies
  • R)/DI
  • [Dosing units
  • Reactors(any kind calcium, carbon etc.)
  • Aquarium controllers
  • UV Sterilizers
Thanks to @Alexreefer for the neat poll idea!

reef-in-the-sky-equipment.jpg

image via @uniquecorals
 
Get Fish & Corals directly for the suppliers

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
7,414
What do you do when more than 3 are required? For example - (or I might be misunderstanding the poll) - which is why im asking - for example - without a heater (here) its a no-go. Without lighting its a no-go. Without Powerheads its a no-go. But that doesn't mean a skimmer is not important or RODI, etc.
 
OP
revhtree

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
38,648
Reaction score
38,955
Which of all of these do you think is the most important of the 3? Or is there a better way we can word this?
 

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
7,414
Which of all of these do you think is the most important of the 3? Or is there a better way we can word this?
"If you were required to pick only 3 items - which do you think the most essential for a successful reef - though you may want to choose more, which are the MOST essential/important?"
 

Eagle_Steve

To many tanks!!!!!
View Badges
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
4,726
Location
Eagleville, TN
Which of all of these do you think is the most important of the 3? Or is there a better way we can word this?
Maybe which 3 are you willing to dump more money into? Do you buy a nice titanium heater and pop it on a inkbird or do you buy a cheapo and do the same thing? The inkbird will shut the heater off it it fails on, so is a really expensive heater needed?

Maybe that is a way to approach it, since my wife used to think that way when it came to items for the tanks.
 

jda

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
5,890
Reaction score
6,804
Location
Boulder, CO
For me, high quality lighting, real live rock and sand can do more than the "next best thing." After that CaRx. The rest is important too, but not sure is Tunze over Vortech or Spectrapure over another good RODI will get you much separation.
 

S-t-r-e-t-c-h

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
791
Reaction score
1,857
Location
Gainesville, FL
So, I'm going to answer this based on where equipment choice makes the most impact:

- Light
- Flow
- Skimmer/Filtration

Things like heaters, RO/DI, salt mix & live rock are obviously critical to any setup, but I'd argue that your exact choices matter less...
 

Eagle_Steve

To many tanks!!!!!
View Badges
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
4,726
Location
Eagleville, TN
Maybe which 3 are you willing to dump more money into? Do you buy a nice titanium heater and pop it on a inkbird or do you buy a cheapo and do the same thing? The inkbird will shut the heater off it it fails on, so is a really expensive heater needed?

Maybe that is a way to approach it, since my wife used to think that way when it came to items for the tanks.
Or which one has the most effect on health of the tank. They all do something beneficial is the hard part lol. Just spit balling it here, this conf. call I am on really really sucks.
 

spyder813

!!! Happy Wife....Happy Reefing !!!
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
23,934
Location
Tampa
Now, since we are talking about equipment this is my list and why.

Lightning: On a "reef tank " the right light is a must have.
Heater or Chiller : Without it you will have an unstable temperature and dead fish and corals.
RODI unit: Reef tank need a good quality water.

Of course a few other equipment are also need it.
 

Eagle_Steve

To many tanks!!!!!
View Badges
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
4,726
Location
Eagleville, TN
I guess I could add what I picked lol.

Lighting
Skimmer
Live Rock

The rest can all suffice with one thing or another, but a good light, good skimmer, and great live rock to add the bio-diversity help to make a good tank. At least in my opinion.
 

Bpb

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,844
Location
Texas
Well....without lighting, flow, and water there is no reef. Period. All three of those are the absolute minimum requirement otherwise you have dry equipment, or a cryptic fuge.

I feel like the spirit of this post is more in what are the 3 most important components to do correctly or pay close attention to for success....in which case I’ll have to go

Light quality
Saltwater
Flow

The rest you can work around and even skimp or omit and still be successful. But from the easiest of pest corals all the way up to acropora dominant those are the big 3

Correct spectrum and intensity
Appropriate flow levels to allow for coral and fish respiration
And appropriate water parameters.

Those take the lions share on importance and they’re still the 3 things I pay the closest attention to. Way more than skimmer quality, or any other accessories. I virtually ignore my skimmer actually and don’t even really respond if the foam stops producing skimmate for weeks on end. Dosing/calcium reactors are of some importance if they’re needed for stony corals but if a soft coral scape is someone’s favorite thing, those aren’t really necessary. Trying to think overall hobby here not just stonies
 

Hitman

Reefing One Day @ A Time!!!
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
3,116
Reaction score
9,994
Location
NW Arkansas
I picked my top 3 in the poll but I have these all on back up power as I feel my tank shouldn't ever be without:
  • Lighting Led only on back up power T5s are left off
  • Powerheads and water movers
  • Return Pump
  • Heaters
  • Dosing units
  • Reactors
  • Aquarium controllers
  • UV Sterilizers
Now if it was not due to a power loss just what I can't live without in general: I want it all lol.
 

shred5

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
4,823
Reaction score
2,583
Location
Waukesha, Wi
Lighting and circulation.

I have ran a 100 gallon tub for a year with lots of fish and coral with just a circulation pump and lighting. No filter, no sump, no skimmer.
Never any problems either with problem algae or nutrients. Matter of fact they got pretty low.
Was going super strong to till I moved the stuff into a tank.

Assuming temps can be met for some a heater is needed..
 

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
7,414
Lighting and circulation.

I have ran a 100 gallon tub for a year with lots of fish and coral with just a circulation pump and lighting. No filter, no sump, no skimmer.
Never any problems either with problem algae or nutrients. Matter of fact they got pretty low.
Was going super strong to till I moved the stuff into a tank.

Assuming temps can be met for some a heater is needed..
Do you use RODI? or Dose? You must test nutrients since you said they were low? That said - I tend to agree with you - the more stuff I had on my tank - the more difficult it was to keep stable. Gradually I'm removing stuff - now just have a carbon reactor and skimmer. (and dose BRS 2 part)
 

shred5

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
4,823
Reaction score
2,583
Location
Waukesha, Wi
Do you use RODI? or Dose? You must test nutrients since you said they were low? That said - I tend to agree with you - the more stuff I had on my tank - the more difficult it was to keep stable. Gradually I'm removing stuff - now just have a carbon reactor and skimmer. (and dose BRS 2 part)
Yea I had a auto-top off system. I have ran tanks for years without one though.
When I got in the hobby there wasn't any.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
7,414
Yea I had a auto-top off system. I have ran tanks for years without one though.
When I got in the hobby there wasn't any.
Yes - I dont have one myself. I was only asking because you picked 2 rather than 3 - I was wondering if you didn't use any of the other choices on the list either
 

link81

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
288
Reaction score
395
Location
Corinth
depends on the tank. FO can get by with saltwater mix and a heater (or a 78F room). Reef tank would really just need the same with the addition of a light.


*** edit after vote***

how on earth is saltwater mix not the MOST important lol? this is a saltwater site right? :rolleyes::p:D
 

Nburg

Reefing since 2006
View Badges
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
614
Reaction score
651
I know more than three are required, but I viewed this as the three things to not mess up or can have a big impact on success. I think lighting is very important to get right. Its easy to get right but also very easy to mess up on. RO/DI for clean water. water changes are important for basic tanks (not counting specific no water change methods that rely on other methods to export 'stuff'). If you are changing bad water with bad water, there will never be success. I also think flow is up there with things to get right. Its like lighting, easy to get right, but also very bad if wrong.
 

d2mini

Moderator
View Badges
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
4,110
Reaction score
6,277
Location
Houston, TX
Cant have a reef tank without salt! ;)

I think it needs to be worded something to the effect of the choices/brands we have. Much of those items are absolute essentials to a reef tank. We NEED salt, but many would argue that brand doesn't matter, any salt will do.
 

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
7,414
In which items is the brand specific brand 'most important'. For example - I dont care which salt I use - but I would never not use RODI. I do care about the light I use -but not the dose. etc etc. Perhaps @revhtree can clarify
 

Do you use Instagram for reefing stuff? What’s your handle?

  • Yes I follow people

    Votes: 46 21.8%
  • Yes and I post reefing content

    Votes: 44 20.9%
  • No IG isn’t for me

    Votes: 110 52.1%
  • What is IG?

    Votes: 11 5.2%

Online statistics

Members online
1,594
Guests online
3,583
Total visitors
5,177
Aquarium Specialty
Top