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Old 05-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #41
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I have the same lights, albeit I spent a fortune on new ati bulbs, but I have kept most everything so far. The nem I had wasn't returned cause he wasnt doing well, I just couldnt handle the stress of having it and worrying. LOL

For highlight corals like sps I have them highe in my tank and they are growing like weeds.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:10 PM   #42
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Very nice to know
I'm not near experienced enough yet, but it feels awesome to know that i'm not very limited in the possibilities!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #43
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You should pickup some zooas aor some nice leathe corals. Very low maintenance and the zooas can add great colors. The leathers add some movement and dimension in my opinion.

To be honest, I pretty much read up on all the corals types so I had a base idea. I just stay away from sponges, and non photosynthetic corals. other than that I just jumped right in. I bought max 4 at one time. i also bought alot of frags and they are all growing and spreading.

I say give it a try.

Corals are alot easier than people think as long as you have flow and good water. And decent lighting which you have.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #44
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Thanks
I plan on buying the beginner pack on liveaquria

But not yet. I want to get my sump and protein skimmer and stock first, and have stable water for a good period of time. I'm slow. :P
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #45
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I would agree that the skimmer will be important. Good call.

i've seen the beginner packs on liveaquaria.com and to be totally honest the prices are outrageous! For $150 I could stock my tank with a dozen corals probably locally. Do you not have a good lfs or coral shop near you?

What do you use now for filtration? I thought you had a sump setup already...
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:33 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by carey View Post
I would agree that the skimmer will be important. Good call.

i've seen the beginner packs on liveaquaria.com and to be totally honest the prices are outrageous! For $150 I could stock my tank with a dozen corals probably locally. Do you not have a good lfs or coral shop near you?

What do you use now for filtration? I thought you had a sump setup already...
I tried the DIY one remember, and I made it too big for my tank. I then gave up on that and figured I'd just buy one. Haven't done it yet.

I have live rock (duh) and an emporer 280 with biowheel

Not a lot of filtration, I know.

I have some corals I could buy at the LFS. The "beginner pack" was just so nicely labeled. I looked at a few. I remember one being like $24.99 (think it might've been called a feather duster? not sure..)

I could get it there. I'll just have to research what beginner corals are.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:42 PM   #47
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With good flow, your lighting and good water I would say you could keep most anything. Like I said above zooa, leahthers and mushrooms too are good ones. I got candycanes and a brain coral awhile ago. The brain unfortunaltely gor bleached and died if you remember.

Good ones like green star polys and zenias are also great beginners.

I would make a list based on the beginner packs and then search locally for them. I had the list in an app on my phone so I just checked them off the list as I found them.

a feather duster I believe is a worm that lives in a tube. Very cool adn a great start for you in my opinion. You kinda put them where you want and done. I am gonna get one as soon as my LFS gets some larger ones.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #48
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Lighting for a reef tank is probably the most important (an expensive) thing you will have to buy. T5 HO bulbs come in a range of sizes and prices and you should be able to find bulbs that fit your fixture. Make sure the new bulb wattage is not too high for your old fixture.

It sounds like you may be having problems with your fixture anyway since you said one was brighter than the other. This can be a sign of power issues, if the bulbs are the same age. FLs should be changed at least every 10 months because the chemicals inside them do wear out over time. Old bulbs will actually produce a different kind of algae (which is not even real algae--it's bacteria) in your tank that you DON'T WANT. And ALWAYS recycle your bulbs intact! Most people just break them and put them in the trash. This is the worst thing you can do, believe me. You do not want to be exposed to the lead, mercury, and other supremely toxic chemicals that are in them. They are poisonous to you and persist in the environment for hundreds of years if released. There are recycling bins for these at WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes, and maybe even your LFS.

If your bulbs are the same age then you probably HAVE to get a new fixture anyway b/c this one is going to die on you. I would hate for you to buy brand new T5 HO bulbs and then lose your fixture. Start saving up now and by the time you're ready to go reef, you have the money to buy a good reef fixture. If you end up having to buy a new fixture you can always put the old fixture to use in a quaranteen, sump, or refugium for as long as it will last.

Someone said something about metal halides but I disagree. I'm not a huge fan of halides because they are so hot! Just because they are cheaper to power does not mean they are more efficient. That is a common misconception about halides. They are ridiculously expensive to buy in the first place and though they may use less energy, they waste it by giving off so much of it in the form of heat. They may even super heat your tank if it is not tall or deep enough and you don't suspend them pretty far over your tank to keep that heat energy from transferring to your tank.

T5 HO lights are more energy efficient because they do not waste the energy that they use; you can practically put them on your aquarium and if it has a good internal fan, it will not raise the temp in your tank my more than a few degrees. If you are only planning to have easy corals anyway, halides would be like bringing a REALLY EMPENSIVE gun to a pillow fight. Good Luck!
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #49
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Also, LiveAquaria.com has a nice web site that gives you lots of information about the corals they sell. It also has an entire section on "beginner corals".

Don't get anything until you have your new filtration going and your tank has cycled completely. I don't recommend getting any corals until you have a good skimmer, lights, power head, a good source of replacement water for water changes, plenty of live rock and sand. Those are the keys to beginner corals. Don't waste your money on all the tests that are out there. All you need is PH, Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite (these come in a kit), Calcium, and Alkalinity. There are also boat loads of chemicals that you are supposed to dose with. It's all worthless (sometimes even harmful) if you have good salt.

If you make your own salt, use Reverse Osmosis/DeIonized (RO/DI) water with the salt brand, "reef crystals" and you will never have to dose anything EVER. Do weekly 20% water changes and you might not even have to test or dose calcium. There are al lot of brands and chemicals that they say are essential for reefkeeping but really, you can be most successful if you just keep it simple.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:21 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsim9697 View Post
Lighting for a reef tank is probably the most important (an expensive) thing you will have to buy. T5 HO bulbs come in a range of sizes and prices and you should be able to find bulbs that fit your fixture. Make sure the new bulb wattage is not too high for your old fixture.

It sounds like you may be having problems with your fixture anyway since you said one was brighter than the other. This can be a sign of power issues, if the bulbs are the same age. FLs should be changed at least every 10 months because the chemicals inside them do wear out over time. Old bulbs will actually produce a different kind of algae (which is not even real algae--it's bacteria) in your tank that you DON'T WANT. And ALWAYS recycle your bulbs intact! Most people just break them and put them in the trash. This is the worst thing you can do, believe me. You do not want to be exposed to the lead, mercury, and other supremely toxic chemicals that are in them. They are poisonous to you and persist in the environment for hundreds of years if released. There are recycling bins for these at WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes, and maybe even your LFS.

If your bulbs are the same age then you probably HAVE to get a new fixture anyway b/c this one is going to die on you. I would hate for you to buy brand new T5 HO bulbs and then lose your fixture. Start saving up now and by the time you're ready to go reef, you have the money to buy a good reef fixture. If you end up having to buy a new fixture you can always put the old fixture to use in a quaranteen, sump, or refugium for as long as it will last.

Someone said something about metal halides but I disagree. I'm not a huge fan of halides because they are so hot! Just because they are cheaper to power does not mean they are more efficient. That is a common misconception about halides. They are ridiculously expensive to buy in the first place and though they may use less energy, they waste it by giving off so much of it in the form of heat. They may even super heat your tank if it is not tall or deep enough and you don't suspend them pretty far over your tank to keep that heat energy from transferring to your tank.

T5 HO lights are more energy efficient because they do not waste the energy that they use; you can practically put them on your aquarium and if it has a good internal fan, it will not raise the temp in your tank my more than a few degrees. If you are only planning to have easy corals anyway, halides would be like bringing a REALLY EMPENSIVE gun to a pillow fight. Good Luck!
Thanks for the comparison of lights!
My bulbs are fine.. there isn't one brighter than the other. I think I may have confused you when I said these bulbs are bright (in comparison to my old 2 bulb fixture).
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