PDA

View Full Version : newbie... any advice?


Reef Puffer
04-26-2011, 05:58 PM
hi guys, im new to this sw stuff. been a fw guy for years. i have always wanted to get into the sw hobby..... so i drained my fresh water, built me a sump.... and now im on my way. i find my biggest obstacle to be finding supplies. i live in the shuswap/okanagan and it took me a month to find a simple return pump. LR is around 10$/lbs (and that means driving an hour to the lps). and nobody really even knows what their talking about. any ways, i have a 33gal main and a 15ish gal sump. everything just sitting here with salt water circulating. can the system just run like that with nothing in it but dead rock/coral? i figure another good month before i can afford LR at 10$lb. also does anyone know the best place for supplies and advice between kamloops and kelowna. anything else anyone would like to add that might be helpful to a newbie would b greatly appreciated thanx.

ALang
04-26-2011, 06:46 PM
Leah at Coral Reef Aquariums is in Penticton, maybe she could help you out on supplies.
As for live rock, someone is always selling off their system, ans blowing LR for about $5/lb, so be patient, and you may have to travel a little far for around your area.
Look in the For Sale Forum on this board, maybe you can find someone selling theirs closer to where you are.
Good luck, and welcome to Canreef!

mseepman
04-26-2011, 06:52 PM
Welcome to Canreef...you've made the first good step in the whole SW process by getting on this site.

As a fellow Okanagan reefer...you will be up for some challenges but with group buys and patience...I think you can put it all together for a reasonable price when you need to.

I work a lot but feel free to PM me on some suggestions for your tank and for help in the area. :)

ensquire
04-26-2011, 07:17 PM
One suggestion would be to use base rock and then you would only need a few pieces of actual live rock. A couple of the sponsors here sell the base rock for far less than 10.00/lb. and one even ships it for free. Just an idea, and the rock looks good.
I have very similar challenges to yours as I live 600 miles from nearest LFS. I have found most things can be found and purchased on line and I bet your shipping costs won't be quite as much as mine are. there are many quality on line sites to order equipment, fish & corals. Starting with the sponsor sites as well as numerous others.
If you want to check some of them out, send me a PM and I will send you a few more that aren't sponsors here.
As has already be stated though, the best move so far is joining this site, amazing resource of info and advise. Most of it useful. LOL

Frankly Canadian
05-06-2011, 03:17 AM
Start off with some Damsels from Total Pets in Kelowna, five bucks a piece, and that will start your tank off cycling. After that just keep adding stuff little by little, Total pets does 2 for 1 salt water fish just about every three weeks (call before you go). Thats what I did and that was a couple of years ago and now I have 75g/ 25g sump/ 100lbs live rock/ 40lbs live sand/ 2 large Colt Corals/ 1- Leather Fingure Coral/ 1-Yellow Tang/ 1- Scooter Blenny/ 1-Yellow Headed Golby/ 1-Tomatoe Clownfish/ 1-Ocellaris clownfish/ 1-Royal Gamma/ 1-Six Line Wrasse/ 1-Bluegreen Cromis/ 1-Yellow tail Damsel. Also tons of equipment like U.V. filter, 4x Koralia circulation power heads, sump light for my Cheato, 4x 65w Blue Actnitic lights, 2x 250w metal halide lights, 1x canister filter (which I use for phosphate remover & Carbon scubber), Coralife 250g protien skimmer. Anyways, I used the internet for my lights, and most of my other equipment came from JL Aquatics in Burnaby (great prices) or searching various web sites like this one. Most of my fish came from either Total Pets or Pet City (both in Kelowna). The sump I built myself (easy). I started off with 4 yellowtail damsels and a bluegreen cromis, then I got powerheads for water movement (extremely important), then I got a skimmer (another important item), and then I added better fish and rocks and stuff. Good luck I'm sure you'll enjoy and welcome to Canreef.

RuGlu6
05-06-2011, 05:06 AM
hi guys, im new to this sw stuff. been a fw guy for years. i have always wanted to get into the sw hobby..... so i drained my fresh water, built me a sump.... and now im on my way. i find my biggest obstacle to be finding supplies. i live in the shuswap/okanagan and it took me a month to find a simple return pump. LR is around 10$/lbs (and that means driving an hour to the lps). and nobody really even knows what their talking about. any ways, i have a 33gal main and a 15ish gal sump. everything just sitting here with salt water circulating. can the system just run like that with nothing in it but dead rock/coral? i figure another good month before i can afford LR at 10$lb. also does anyone know the best place for supplies and advice between kamloops and kelowna. anything else anyone would like to add that might be helpful to a newbie would b greatly appreciated thanx.

Get the largest skimmer (for example this one (http://www.reefshops.com/bubble-magus-nac7-nac-7-cone-protein-skimmer.html). it is 220V so you will need a voltage converter, $10-$15, but its very afordable) you can afford and that will fit in your sump/budget.
The key for skimmers is amount of air they mix with water. Do not waste your money on anything that does not say how much air it actually pulls and or if it less then 300 L/hour of air.
Don't waste money on live rock get dry rock (http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=as-mrock50). it will become live after the cycle. $3/lb And no hitch hickers !!!
If you consider SPS get DE MH lighting (http://www.aquatraders.com/Metal-Halide-Lighting-s/10.htm).
or this one is 36" (http://www.aquatraders.com/36in-Metal-Halide-HQI-T5-Aquarium-Light-p/54263.htm) If you will only go with LPS T5 or PC (http://www.aquatraders.com/T5-Aquarium-Lighting-s/9.htm) is good enough
For 33 Gal get one part Liquid Calcium Reactor (http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=k-lr64), this will cover calcium magnesium and strontium needs
If you planning on keeping SPS look for used Calcium reactor package (http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=CR-C0500P)

ponokareefer
05-06-2011, 06:24 AM
If I were starting a new system, I would use almost all dry rock. You would need only a few smaller pieces of live rock to get your dry rock "seeded".

I would only add fish that you plan on having for a long time. Damsels typically get mean and in a smaller system like yours, they are likely to bully most fish. Take a long look at sites on what fish you really, really like and build your fish list around them after doing research to make sure they will work.

A 33 gallon is a pretty small tank, so don't look to put a lot of fish in it and definitely not any larger fish. In my 34 gallon, I am only putting in 2 fish, a pair of clarki's. They get bigger as clowns and get mean, so any other fish are likely going to be dead. The more fish you add, the more stress you put on all of the fish.

With a skimmer, I recommend either get a good one, or I wouldn't bother with one at all. Cheap skimmers have always been a headache for me.

Since you are a newbie, I'd avoid SPS until you get the handle of things. With SPS, your chemistry is very important, you are likely going to need some form of a doser/calcium reactor and probably an expensive light fixture and then some way to cool the system from the strong lights. They aren't a very forgiving coral if you aren't on top of things. I'd recommend keeping it simple to start with and go for softies or LPS corals and get the hang of things first. I've actually gone this way with my 125 gallon as it is just simpler and a lot less of a headache. The corals are still beautiful and plentiful.

Frankly Canadian
05-07-2011, 05:35 AM
I should mention that the Total Pets store here in Kelowna will take back your Damsels in exchange for fish bucks that you can use on nicer fish or corals, because yes my Damsels did become hostile to any new fish so I had to remove them.