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Old 12-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
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Need help/reccomendations for starting a reef tank

My neighbor gave me a 50 gallon tank she was trying to get rid of, and I jumped right on the offer. I really want to start a reef tank, but I'm not looking to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I mean I'll spend what I have too, I just don't want to go overboard. So when making recommendations, try to remain "pocket friendly".

Mainly I will be asking basics such as necessary equipment aswell as recommended equipment, then I will get into what actually goes into the tank.

The tank walls are pretty dirty with what looks to be tough dryed on algae. I filled the tank with water and went at it with an algae scraper, but some of it is still there. How can I get it off? And I also would like to use something to get the walls cleaned up well to get anything else off and make it "shine".

It also came with a working aquarium light and a not so working filter. I figured only solution to that is buying another filter, which I already found the same one online.

Now where should I start once I actually want to start getting the tank going, and what do I need to buy to make it happen? I want rock, live rock might be too much money, but I just want something that pops, to have the colors of the reef. Now if there are cheap corals and rocks that make an impression, perfect! If not, what are some other options?

Now fish wise, all I know is I want a lionfish, but do not know what will live peacefully with lionfish. I'm thinking there are smaller species of Lionfish so they don't eat all the other fish. What might those species of lionfish be? Then, what would be nice species who could live among the lionfish. I would like to have a bit of diversity. Any recommendations?

I appreciate the help, thanks!
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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The tank walls are pretty dirty with what looks to be tough dryed on algae. I filled the tank with water and went at it with an algae scraper, but some of it is still there. How can I get it off? And I also would like to use something to get the walls cleaned up well to get anything else off and make it "shine".
try a regular razer blade to scrape it all off, just be mindful of the seals. as for the "shine" im not sure if you can polish the glass with anything. so hang tight for another reply about that.


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Now where should I start once I actually want to start getting the tank going, and what do I need to buy to make it happen? I want rock, live rock might be too much money, but I just want something that pops, to have the colors of the reef. Now if there are cheap corals and rocks that make an impression, perfect! If not, what are some other options?
water. you can get it from your lfs or make it yourself. ebay has some cheap rodi filters all you need then is the salt. i recently made a purchase from reefrock.net that i am really happy with. 85$ for 50lbs. get a chunk of lr to seed it and jump start your cycle.


after that im taped out on what i can help with.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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water. you can get it from your lfs or make it yourself. ebay has some cheap rodi filters all you need then is the salt. i recently made a purchase from reefrock.net that i am really happy with. 85$ for 50lbs. get a chunk of lr to seed it and jump start your cycle.
Elaborate please, keep in mind I'm fairly new. I could get the rock, and what is the process to seed it, just let it sit in the tank?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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yep, seeding is just putting the rock in the water with your dry rock and letting the beneficial bacteria spread and any hitch hikers like pods fan worms anything like that spread. introduces coralline algae too. lots can be benefited from good live rock.

there will be die off from whats on and in the rock that causes ammonia. the bb will then start growing to consume this but because the rock had some on it to begin with, your cycle time will be weeks instead of months.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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yep, seeding is just putting the rock in the water with your dry rock and letting the beneficial bacteria spread and any hitch hikers like pods fan worms anything like that spread. introduces coralline algae too. lots can be benefited from good live rock.

there will be die off from whats on and in the rock that causes ammonia. the bb will then start growing to consume this but because the rock had some on it to begin with, your cycle time will be weeks instead of months.
can you please explain the cycle process and how to go about it?

And from what I looked up, I'm not sure what dry rock to get; which type would you recommend?
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Cycle process is basically throwing a piece of grocery store shrimp in the tank and letting it decay. The decay turns into ammonia then bacteria colonize and eat the ammonia and produce nitrite. Then a different strain of bacteria grow and eat that making nitrate. Nitrate is removed when you do a water change.

If you do a search for fishless cycling on here or google it goes into greater detail about what to do.


As far as dry rock. Bulkreefsupply.com has nice rock depending on your budget. Reefcleaners.net or is it .org? has really good rock too. My new go to place has got to be the before mentioned reefrock.net. Great rock at a great price.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
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If u want a lionfish then u will have to do a fish only with live rock tank. They eat anything that for a into there mouth. U can't have a reef without inverts but u can put some corals into ur fowlr tank bit not a true reef. I researched for months and months before starting my tank. I would suggest u do the same.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:46 PM   #8
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As for cost i have spent over 1500 dollars on my tank . My light alone was 700 and if u want corals u need good lighting. Granted a metal halide pendant only will cost 150 or so. I know it probably excited to throw in ur first coral and fish but saving it money and buying the more expensive equipment will be better in the long run. If ur going to spent 120 on a seaclone protein skimmer u mind as well spend 200 on a reef octopus skimmer which is Much better. Fluval filters are over 100 bucks less in amazon then in any other site or store I've seen
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Still taking any recommendations
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