With all my Google queries leading me here, it’s time for me to join the community

PorterExt

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I’m new to the hobby. 3 years ago, my son wanted fish. Long after he moved on to his next interest, I was still hooked. Before I knew what hit me, I had a tank room, a pond, and an above ground pond/water feature. As of yet, all my tanks have been freshwater. Now I’m ready to plan a reef tank or five. I’m reading books but getting personalized advice from pros can’t be substituted with study. I’m getting all my ducks in a row right now to prevent surprises & after making a list of what I need and what I have, I’m better prepared then I thought I was. By hoarding free items from craigslist for the last few years, im almost set! I have a few questions I’ve been wondering about for a while now if anyone wants to advise:
1) does a reliable ph pen exist? I wouldn’t count on the $10 ones but wonder about the $40-$60.
2) I love the hanna checkers. Which ones would I use and which ones could I skip because a test kit would suffice (if the perameter doesn’t need checking that often)
3) should I connect two 50gallon tanks in series to give me a bigger buffer? I was also thinking about a 55 olive barrel (clean) in addition to the sump for this.
4) I have mussels near me on the coast. I pry them off the rocks & eat them often which got me thinking… aren’t muscles great at filtration? Is it possible to quarantine them and integrate them somehow? I searched & searched but can’t find anything on this.
I better save my other questions for individual posts. In addition to getting help here, I plan on contributing as much as I can too. I appreciate the welcome.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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I’m new to the hobby. 3 years ago, my son wanted fish. Long after he moved on to his next interest, I was still hooked. Before I knew what hit me, I had a tank room, a pond, and an above ground pond/water feature. As of yet, all my tanks have been freshwater. Now I’m ready to plan a reef tank or five. I’m reading books but getting personalized advice from pros can’t be substituted with study. I’m getting all my ducks in a row right now to prevent surprises & after making a list of what I need and what I have, I’m better prepared then I thought I was. By hoarding free items from craigslist for the last few years, im almost set! I have a few questions I’ve been wondering about for a while now if anyone wants to advise:
1) does a reliable ph pen exist? I wouldn’t count on the $10 ones but wonder about the $40-$60.
2) I love the hanna checkers. Which ones would I use and which ones could I skip because a test kit would suffice (if the perameter doesn’t need checking that often)
3) should I connect two 50gallon tanks in series to give me a bigger buffer? I was also thinking about a 55 olive barrel (clean) in addition to the sump for this.
4) I have mussels near me on the coast. I pry them off the rocks & eat them often which got me thinking… aren’t muscles great at filtration? Is it possible to quarantine them and integrate them somehow? I searched & searched but can’t find anything on this.
I better save my other questions for individual posts. In addition to getting help here, I plan on contributing as much as I can too. I appreciate the welcome.
Welcome to Reef to Reef!

There are some decent pH pens, you’re right though, you get what you pay for. Ones that are set up for 3 point calibration helps. Also, I think the ones with replaceable probes are better.

Mussels filter water, but many species in the US are temperate and won’t live at tropical temperatures. Also, the mussels only filter certain food items, the rest they expel back into the tank as pseudofeces, so no overall benefit.

Jay
 
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NashobaTek

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Welcome to R2R!!
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tbrown3589

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Welcome! Sounds like you got bit HARD!

The more water you have the more stable your parameters stay. Tying two tanks together means only having to do one water change instead of two, but it also means if one tank crashes, they both crash. I'm kind of planning a similar setup. 2 display tanks with 1 sump.

As far as pH probes go, I work in the water utilities field and we use a pH pen in the field. It is fairly accurate, but I don't remember which brand it is.
 
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reefiniteasy

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Welcome to the salty side!

1) does a reliable ph pen exist? I wouldn’t count on the $10 ones but wonder about the $40-$60.

I use the Hanna pH checker (white one) and it’s great and I have a PinPoint probe as part of my Hydros so I’d have to imagine their standalone probes are great as what I have is great.

2) I love the hanna checkers. Which ones would I use and which ones could I skip because a test kit would suffice (if the perameter doesn’t need checking that often)

I use mainly alkalinity and phosphate ULR. I also have the pH as mentioned above. I have the copper for quarantine, have not had to use it yet. It was more of a just in case thing. I also have one of the chlorine checkers that I’ve occasionally used on my RODI Brute. I say off the bat go with alkalinity and phosphate ULR.
 
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