Be nice to the new guy!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kevinsimons, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. kevinsimons

    VAreef

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    Hey and welcome to the site. Just thought I would add my own :twocents: in here.

    For water there are companies that will come and install an RO unit for you free of charge, do all membrane changes and maintenance free of charge, and only charge you 13-25 cents per gallon of the water that you use. If I didn't live in an apartment that would be my first choice for an RO water source. A lot of local reefers where I live use this service and everyone of them love it. It's a good alternative to buying an expensive RO setup and having to maintain it. I use a DI filter for my make up water and it works fine. It takes forever to make water at only 10 gallons per hour though. It does just screw into a faucet which is ideal for my living situation. I'll never use tap water again in a saltwater aquarium.

    For lights. Man you sound like your going to get just as addicted to it as I am. I would just bite the bullet and get the metal halides in a fixture that does it all. I bought the corallife pro with a 150w metal halide 2 65w actinics and lunar lights all built in and love it. I got a seperate timer that turns the actinics on 1 hr before the halide and then off 1 hr after the halides go out. When the actinics go out the lunar lights come on. Definitly buy these online as local fish stores tend to up the price alot on lighting. I initially wanted a fish only aquarium then said I might as well add in some live rock. Then right before I bought the lights I decided I wanted corals and didn't want to need to upgrade my lights later. If you buy lower lights now then want more later those cheaper lights are kinda money wasted in my opinion.

    As for rock. It usually sells 7-8$ per pound in VA where I am too. I got most of mine on sale at $4.88 a pound. If you look around you might find a fish store doing the same thing. I did go to a local reef club meeting Sunday where the guy had never bought any live rock and only seeded it with the rock the corals came on and it was gorgeous. I would never had known he didn't buy every bit of it as live rock. He just got dead rock and set up his initial rockscape then when he added a few softies it took off.

    I think most people keep fish in quarantine about 4 weeks. Since I don't quarantine( I was going to but don't have more room for another tank) I can't say for sure. I like the blue green chromis but if you want a more colorful starter fish maybe a clown? They are pretty hardy fish I think.

    Good luck and welcome to the site. And welcome to the most addictive (and rewarding) hobby I have ever had.
     
    VAreef, Apr 19, 2007
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  2. kevinsimons

    reeffreak

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    I agree with everyone else,use RO/Di water,either bought from the LFS or buy a filter setup.I hear Walmart sells RO/DI water also.Dr Foster and Smith website has reasonable prices.I don't make my own water,I buy it from a LFS that has an elaborate filtering system,it has worked for me the last 7 years now.Salt mixes is subjective so I can't recommend one over another, but the water I buy from the LFS use Kent Marine.
     
    reeffreak, Apr 19, 2007
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  3. kevinsimons

    kevinsimons

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    I'm going to start ordering my stuff so it's all here when I get back from Hawaii in early June - the only thing that remains to be selected is testing equipment - anybody have any guidance? I know WHAT I'm supposed to be testing, just don't know if there's a preferred vendor over any other... any and all help, as always, greatly appreciated.

    By the way, fellow mariners (do they call us that?)... the shark attacks that occurred in Maui earlier this week are right in front of the place I'm staying - ON MY BEACH. Sheesh.....
     
    kevinsimons, May 11, 2007
    #23
  4. kevinsimons

    reeffreak

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    reeffreak, May 11, 2007
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  5. kevinsimons

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Ive heard that the Salifert kits are the best on the market,Ive never used that brand myself so can only say what ive read on the forums.The API kits are decent and not as pricey,and seem to do pretty good.
     
    yote, May 12, 2007
    #25
  6. kevinsimons

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Almost forgot,ever thought about doing a little shark fishing?Grilled shark steaks are awesome.
     
    yote, May 12, 2007
    #26
  7. kevinsimons

    kevinsimons

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    Hey kids - back from Maui - yes, we had shark encounters - TWO of them - on our Beach (14', probably a tiger or a bull shark; first time he swam about 10' behind my partner, who was out bobbing in the waves; 2nd time, next day, same sized shark swam UNDER a dude on an air mattress....:shock: I did no more swimming on that beach after this.... I was fortunate to have several green turtle encounters while snorkeling (one HUGE guy - largest I have ever seen) and the best part? A green lionfish - looked just like a piece of seaweed, until it swam against the movement of the surf... closer inspection revealed it's true identity as a fish - not a plant. Never knew they came in green!

    SO - back onto topic - got my RO/DI from Champion on Friday, and it's dripping away - all operational and good; so far have about 15 gallons of uber-pure water in the new tank. The light, unfortunately, from Drs. Foster & Smith, came with a broken bulb and cracked housing (The Nova T5)... they are air shipping the replacement (when the box arrived falling apart I held little hope that the light would come out in one piece).

    I bought an Instant Ocean Hydrometer, which my LOFS frowned on - says it's inaccurate - anybody have any thoughts on that? Also, he was sold out of Kent salt (which I wanted to go with) so I purchased Oceanic, instead - do you all recommend NOT changing brands? The Kent RO/DI experience is good, and I figured I'd stick with them - I like their scientific approach to Marine Tank keeping.

    I also purchased with what is clearly too large a power head (Hydro Koralia 1400GPM - I will be returning this for 2 smaller ones - this tank is only 55 Gal!), and a Visi Therm Stealth heater.

    So, the new hobby is underway... :Cheers: Any comments or answers to questions above ALWAYS appreciated (you guys are my #1 most trusted source!)
     
    kevinsimons, Jun 24, 2007
    #27
  8. kevinsimons

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hydrometers are okay, just remember that they do tend to go bad after awhile, you need to replace them every 6 months or so. A better idea is to purchase a refractometer, which you can find for around $45 at Drs. F & S. These are more accurate and don't go bad.
     
    Bifferwine, Jun 24, 2007
    #28
  9. kevinsimons

    reeffreak

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    Welcome back and post pics once everything is setup.
    Good luck
     
    reeffreak, Jun 24, 2007
    #29
  10. kevinsimons

    LionFish Resident Photoshopper

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    well, I learned from this comment ! I was un aware that they went bad I was told that if you clean it good after you use it that it would last 2 years or more ! Ill get a refratometer. thanks biff!

    WOW a green Lionfish! I wonder if he was sick or something how big was it? I wonder If it had gotten in to some seaweed to feed, and some algae could have been on him making him have a green look ! Neat !
     
    LionFish, Jun 24, 2007
    #30
  11. kevinsimons

    kevinsimons

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    kevinsimons, Jun 26, 2007
    #31
  12. kevinsimons

    LionFish Resident Photoshopper

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    I found this, thought it was what you were talking about.
    YouTube - Lionfish that lil booger is nasty thanks for the pic.

    here is a Pic of mine !
    [​IMG]

    he is like a dog or cat the way he acts i can watch him for hours on end
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
    LionFish, Jun 29, 2007
    #32
  13. kevinsimons

    kevinsimons

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    Put in the live rock and substrate yesterday, along with the Aqua-C Remora skimmer. Ran my first tests today; at 75 degrees, pH of 8.4, Alk 2.9, and zero ammonia reading.

    I put in 60 lbs of Nature's Ocean Bio-Active substrate, and 30 lbs of live rock (Fiji, some of it branching, the rest standard-issue live rock - doesn't appear to have much on it yet - but obviously very well cured). I'm going out this afternoon to find more live rock (tank is sparse).

    The tank is still pretty milky, but clearing slowly but surely.

    Lessons learned (so far): the Nova T-5 Extreme has a noisy fan, and it's probably best NOT to buy flourescent fixtures on the web. I have received two fixtures in the last week, one had a cracked housing and one broken bulb, the other had a all 4 bulbs broken, but the housing was intact, so I was able to piece the 2 units together to get one working fixture. Flourescent bulbs are toxic - I've had all kinds of nasty chemicals spill in my home upon opening the box - TWICE. I've also got a e-waste disposal problem on my hands now. The good news is - as promised, Dr's Fosters & Smith have been awesome.

    The moonlights on the Nova emit a grey light - not blue, like the Coralife. The noisy fan isn't switched with the flourescents - so it runs even when the only the LEDs are on.

    My Instant Ocean hydrometer is already broken - that's $7 bucks that shoulda been spent somewhere else - going to buy a refractometer today (along with more rock, if I can find some that's pretty). My last reading before the hydrometer fell apart was .025 - I want .023, unless somebody tells me otherwise.

    The Kent 35GPD RO/DI is an amazing piece of equipment.

    So - thoughts, oh great masters???:D
     
    kevinsimons, Jun 30, 2007
    #33
  14. kevinsimons

    bobby I like to do bad things.

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    hehe right behind you. hehe
    1.025 is fine thats what I have my 30 at. 1.021 to 1.026 is ok, and from what I have read 1.026 is what the ocean is at.
     
    bobby, Jun 30, 2007
    #34
  15. kevinsimons

    RigoSharon LIVING REEFS INTERN

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    that lion fish looks awsome....sorry to hear about your ligths kevin..i hope you get your refund back..good luck
     
    RigoSharon, Jun 30, 2007
    #35
  16. kevinsimons

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If it makes you feel any better, I got my T5s from Champion Lighting and they came all broken too... I think it's more of Nova's fault than where you purchase them from, as they are all prepackaged (pretty poorly, in my opinion). As Bobby said, your salinity is fine.
     
    Bifferwine, Jun 30, 2007
    #36
  17. kevinsimons

    reeffreak

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    Your probably right about not ordering lights online but here if you want lights,it better be Coralife because nobody carries anything else.I went through the same thing,one fixture cracked and half the bulbs busted and the second fixture came with two bulbs busted but the fixture itself was fine.I think these online vendors should remove the bulbs and ship them separately or brace the bulbs by sliding styro-foam under the bulbs.You mentioned the fan running constantly,on mine,one fan comes on with the actinics and the other with the daylights and both turn off when the lunar lights come on.

    Good luck and post pics would be cool.
     
    reeffreak, Jul 1, 2007
    #37
  18. kevinsimons

    kevinsimons

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    Day 7 - everythings looking good; not jazzed with the Maxi Jet powerheads being grey (why not black???), but I quibble... Still a bit of milkiness in the water; went out yesterday and bought 14 more lbs of rock - this stuff has lots of pretty colors on it... the skimmer produces nothing during the day, but the cup is 1/2 full of liquid in the AM... can anybody tell me why it only produces at night - and is the cup supposed to be full of liquid?

    Here's a pic!

    [​IMG]
     
    kevinsimons, Jul 1, 2007
    #38
  19. kevinsimons

    RigoSharon LIVING REEFS INTERN

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    looking good kevin...the collection cup of the skimmer is were all the gunk gets trapped..clean it every day...there are some times were it produces or not waste....if is it working properly..ill do the job
     
    RigoSharon, Jul 1, 2007
    #39
  20. kevinsimons

    bobby I like to do bad things.

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    hehe right behind you. hehe
    I have no idea why it only produces at night. If you dont like the gray color that much then paint them black. Krylon fusion spray paint is safe for saltwater tanks.
     
    bobby, Jul 1, 2007
    #40
    kevinsimons likes this.
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