Tips for a lazy/cheap reefer?

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Tofer

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I check alk and phosphate weekly and calcium,mag , nitrates monthly . I was a doing a weekly water change but have recently gone to bi weekly . I did not have to start dosing until my water changes could not replenish and keep alk stable . I also have a Biocube32 and did not have to get an ato until I changed to ai prime hd .
These are the equipment I got as far as a doser and ato
Jebao dp-3 doser 62.98 Amazon
Xp aqua duetto 133.95 Amazon
This is the most recent pic I have of tank from May
 

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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

schooncw

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This is why I went with an all softie tank because I do not want to be dosing and have all that extra work for I am busy but can dedicate an hour or two a week. It is a 125 gallon and it will be filled with nothing but soft corals. Not many people in the reef hobby have all softie tanks anymore and I am trying to bring it back plus I love soft corals.
I do:) No dosing, reg water changes with tap water and I only test for Phosphate and Nitrate.
 

Revnobody

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This is why I went with an all softie tank because I do not want to be dosing and have all that extra work for I am busy but can dedicate an hour or two a week. It is a 125 gallon and it will be filled with nothing but soft corals. Not many people in the reef hobby have all softie tanks anymore and I am trying to bring it back plus I love soft corals.
I love a well-thought-out softy tank. @MJC had one of the best softy tanks.

 

Easy E

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I like that you put lazy and cheap in the thread title, because that describes my approach to hobby perfectly. For years I had a fish only tank and was satisfied with that. I wasn't interested in a reef tank, mainly due to forums like this. Don't get me wrong, I love these forums and have used them to learn most of what I know about marine aquariums, but you don't need to read more than a few threads to figure out how costly and time consuming the hobby can be.

Then I got a chance to buy a much larger tank and a really nice stand pretty cheap, so I went for it. I already had a sump somebody gave me, and live rock in my fish only, so I thought, "Let me see how cheaply I can build a reef tank". I joined some local reef communities on Facebook and found a lot people selling their outdated equipment for a fraction of the original cost. Over the course of time, I acquired the various items I needed either really cheap or sometimes even free. In the end, I had a pretty decent 125G complete setup for less than $1000.

My lights are the only thing hooked up to a controller. I just set it and forget it. I connected a waterline directly from my RO/DI to a float valve in my sump, so I don't have to haul water for top offs. I change the RO filters and DI resin about once every 6 months. I replace the membrane about once a year. I throw away a few handfuls of macroalgae every so often to export nutrients. I do a 30G water change about once every 3 or 4 months or if things start to look bad. If things start to look really bad I send water samples to a lab to for testing, and make a reasonable attempt to correct whatever issues the tests might reveal. That's the full extent of my maintenance. I don't dose, and I don't even own a test kit. You can't get much lazier than that.

I don't spend too much on livestock. I don't think I've ever paid more than $60 for any one item. Some corals grow, some die, and some never change much. Ultimately I've wound up with mostly the types that do well in less than ideal conditions, like mushrooms, leathers, and GSP. Those that some might consider invasive. Candycane is the only type of stony coral I've been able to keep happy, so I'm not sure it's technically even a reef.

All that said, I'm extremely happy with my tank. Except for an overabundance of starfish, it appears to fairly well-balanced and healthy. It's definitely more colorful than my fish only, and you never know when something weird you've never seen before will pop out of a rock. That's the part I really enjoy.

So that's what you can expect from the cheap/lazy method. While it's certainly not state of the art, it can be pretty satisfying, as long as you're not looking to create a pristine environment.
 

NoahLikesFish

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your tank looks like it will look nice as it grows in. mabye get sone sponges and red macro to fit the psychadellic theme. id get a digiten, they might fail over time but its cheap and reliable ato
 
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NJTaxMan

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I’ve been in the hobby for a few years now and have had mix success. If I’m being honest mainly negative. I’ll have periods where I feel like things are going well and I’m getting things figured out and then I’ll find something dead or see corals not opening like they used to. I really don’t want to quit the hobby but I’m hitting a bit of a wall. I’d love to get great gear that’s automated when it comes to testing, dosing, and water changes. With work, kids and knowing the type of person I am, daily dosing, testing, and maintenance just isn’t happening. I know some people are going to read this and scoff but I’m sure I’m not the only one out there.

I guess I’m looking for tips to help automate things and keep me in the hobby without breaking the budget. For example if I’m going to dose something what should it be and what’s an affordable/good doser for a 32g biocube?

Any general advice for when you hit a reefing wall would be greatly appreciated.
I honestly am trying to avoid automating my reef. Yes there are things that automation helps with, but if I just wanted something pretty to look at, I would be watching girlie sights and the cooking channel. I like having to do things on my reef and taking care of it. I wanted a hobby that takes my time, energy and care to be successful at it. Alan harper on two and at half men said it best, reward without effort is meaningless.

Obviously this is not meant to be an attack on those who want to automate. Good on you. I get it.
 

Waynerock

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Best tip I can give is DONT BE LAZY! Get in there, get your hands wet, read a book from a pro not some faceless online troll that does not even post what there tank looks like. Experiment a little make it exciting for you again. Get your water changes done weekly, clean your equipment more often. Show some pride in the world you created. What we do is so amazing even with my tank on auto pilot It is never boring. Seriously I have a glass box in my living room in the middle of the mountains filled with animals that are on the verge of extinction that I will never see In Real life that come from almost completely different environments all getting along and thriving. If it’s gets boring for you then you need to branch out more and get out of your comfort zone, take some chances. Grow some phyto or pods or brine shrimp from egg. Plenty of very cool things to do that don’t cost a lot to DIY and benefit you and your tank. At the end of the day it’s not for everyone and if you can’t bring the spark back pack it up and move on and find something that does IT for you. Plenty of fun hobbies to choose from. My tank keeps me so happy it’s just one of those things. I hope you find that spark again
 

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Bad Company

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I love all the suggestions here. I think the key is, you have to know yourself, and how much time/resources to have to devote to the hobby. Because I have kids, and a job that requires travel, I recognize that there are corals and fish that I cannot keep. So I have a softy tank with a ton of hardy fish that do not require specific feeding other than once a day frozen, and once a day flake.
 
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