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Old 08-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #21
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good info, good info, im definitely feeling more confident now!

ok time for the "duh" questions guys, you all knew it was coming, lol

whats a refractometer and what does it do?
Measures your salinity or salt content very accurately cost more than hydrometer
whats a hydrometer and what does it do?
Measures your salinity or salt level kind of accurately cost less than refractometer
what is a protein skimmer and what does it do?
Protein skimmer uses air bubbles to "catch" trash/debris in your tank that gets by your mechanical filtration, such as food, poo, and organic/inorganic matter. Helps to keep nitrates from rising as fast as well. So less water changes/smaller water changes
what will the hob filter have in it? live rock? polymer floss? regular carbon cartridge?
All of the above if you have room. But like I said I would run a canister with a phosphate absorption media and carbon in it. If you're set in HOB I would run rock in it with filter floss to catch large debris

how long does cycling take before i can add fish?
Roughly anywhere from 4-10 weeks. You're test kits I describe later will tell you
how about an android app to keep me on track?
Can't help here haha
parameters i should keep stable?
Ammonia-0, nitrite-0, ph-7.8 to 8.2 ish but make sure it stays steady wherever it is, nitrate just keep below 20ppm, phosphates- as close to 0 as possible, temp- 76-80 degrees as long as the temp doesn't fluctuate more than 2-3 degrees throughout the day it's good, other than that the rest of the parameters are for reef tanks and I would get the hobby going and make sure you're up to the challenges before you buy any coral since they all need pretty stable water parameters. Also you can practice keeping you Calcium at ~500ppm, magnesium at ~1300ppm and Alkalinity at 7-9 DKH to get ready for a reef tank. Also higher magnesium levels will combat algae outbreak from my understanding.
whats considered stable?

anything else im missing?
That should answer most of it haha I answered everything in your quote so I wouldn't miss anything.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #22
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That should answer most of it haha I answered everything in your quote so I wouldn't miss anything.
just.. awesome.. i was expecting someone to bust out with links or just order me to use the "search" button etc etc thanks key!
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #23
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just.. awesome.. i was expecting someone to bust out with links or just order me to use the "search" button etc etc thanks key!
No problem man that's what we are here for. Why spend 4 hours searching when someone here could answer all you questions in thirty minutes lol
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #24
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No problem man that's what we are here for. Why spend 4 hours searching when someone here could answer all you questions in thirty minutes lol
Lol true, I'm gonna start asking the less "duh" questions now ha

What's a good brand of equipment that's a reasonable price range for a student/father lol
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:29 PM   #25
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Lol true, I'm gonna start asking the less "duh" questions now ha

What's a good brand of equipment that's a reasonable price range for a student/father lol
It all depends on what equipment you are talking about.

Hydro koralia are the best budget powerheads out there.
Reef octopus is a great skimmer for the price but it needs a refugium. I'm not sure on hob skimmers.
Bulk reef supply has excellent ro/di units.
Instant ocean is a quality brand salt.

While I am usually against hob or canister filters on a reef tank there are two very good uses I've found for them. One is to fill it with filter floss when you do tank cleaning and the other is to use reef media such as phosban in.

If you do a lightly stocked tank then you might be able to skip the skimmer altogether.

As for the skimmer vs refugium debate.
I had a skimmer in my tank for a while before realizing that I needed / wanted to add a refugium due to issues with keeping nitrates down. It was honestly the best move I've made for my tank, especially because at the time I was brand new to saltwater. The extra volume of tank water made things really stable.

As it stands I stopped using the skimmer and my nitrate levels as well as phosphate levels remain at 0. Also, once a month I trade in my grape caulerpa for a nother coral frag because it grows soo fast.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:48 AM   #26
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You can shop around but coralife makes a hang on back skimmer, maxijet pro pumps can be used a circulation pumps or powerheads, I like circ pumps, rock for a budget minded person would be dry base rock (I buy the 50lbs from petsolutions.com for $70 free shipping), salt mix I use Kent's reef mix($50 for a box that makes 200 gallons of water) which will last about 8 months or more on a 29 gallon, I use marine land heaters, and get some Fiji pink live sand (20lbs for ~$20-$30) other than that you really don't have any more expenses, I use the Bulk reef supply RODI filter but you could buy it from a local fish store until you decide to buy one. I paid about $160-$180 for my RODI filter. Get a few 5gallon buckets, an algae magnet for the glass, some nets, etc. get a dedicated set if tools and containers for your saltwater tank. You don't want anything from freshwater going into your saltwater tank and vice versa. It's really a hobby that you can pick up things as you go. Not everything listed is required but it make life easier and maintenance on the tank much simpler and less frequent.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #27
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Also, keep in mind that a lot of equipment that people throw out there is just fluffer to make your life easy. You don't really need the expensive high tech equipment (Unless you are keeping difficult corals), but it will take a little bit more work on your end without it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #28
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It all depends on what equipment you are talking about.

Hydro koralia are the best budget powerheads out there.
Reef octopus is a great skimmer for the price but it needs a refugium. I'm not sure on hob skimmers.
Bulk reef supply has excellent ro/di units.
Instant ocean is a quality brand salt.

While I am usually against hob or canister filters on a reef tank there are two very good uses I've found for them. One is to fill it with filter floss when you do tank cleaning and the other is to use reef media such as phosban in.

If you do a lightly stocked tank then you might be able to skip the skimmer altogether.

As for the skimmer vs refugium debate.
I had a skimmer in my tank for a while before realizing that I needed / wanted to add a refugium due to issues with keeping nitrates down. It was honestly the best move I've made for my tank, especially because at the time I was brand new to saltwater. The extra volume of tank water made things really stable.

As it stands I stopped using the skimmer and my nitrate levels as well as phosphate levels remain at 0. Also, once a month I trade in my grape caulerpa for a nother coral frag because it grows soo fast.
**** this is good advice, but just from comparing notes between you and key the major difference is I'm keeping my hob system for now just to start the cycling and later on I might swap to a nice skimmer system or maybe a canister but as for now I'm gonna be using my hob.

Also, ill be doing a lightly stocked tank for now and ill probably do some coral later on but for now this tank will be a fowlr tank, and ill be setup sooner than I thought. I'm gonna start my setup tomorrow with 40lbs of live sand and 30lbs of porous live rock for my cycling. Then ill be doing a damsel only tank for a while maybe 4 stripe or yellowtails, just to get used to the maintenance and pwc and later get other fish.

As for as hardware ill be using a topfin 75 hob with polyfil and carbon cartridges and twin hydor koralia 325 powerheads and ill check my parameters weekly because I'm an impatient person lol
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:55 AM   #29
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**** this is good advice, but just from comparing notes between you and key the major difference is I'm keeping my hob system for now just to start the cycling and later on I might swap to a nice skimmer system or maybe a canister but as for now I'm gonna be using my hob.

Also, ill be doing a lightly stocked tank for now and ill probably do some coral later on but for now this tank will be a fowlr tank, and ill be setup sooner than I thought. I'm gonna start my setup tomorrow with 40lbs of live sand and 30lbs of porous live rock for my cycling. Then ill be doing a damsel only for a while just to get used to the maintenance and pwc and later get other fish.

As for as hardware ill be using a topfin 75 hob with polyfil and carbon cartridges and twin hydor koralia 325 powerheads and ill check my parameters weekly because I'm an impatient person lol
You'll be surprised how quickly the itch for coral sets in I was going to wait 2 months originally before buying coral but I couldn't stop myself from buying a mushroom and zoanthid colony on my second week
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:55 AM   #30
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Damsels will be aggressive and clowns are pretty hardy as well and that's what you're planning for anyway. I'd cycle the tank fishless and then add you a pair of percula or ocellaris clowns they look almost the same but perculas are a little more black.
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