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Old 09-28-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
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Mission Possible

HI, I'm Karen. I joined AA moments ago! For the last 6 years i have maitained a 29L freshwater. I wanted to start with reef but this setup was given to me and I wanted to see if it was something I could manage along with all my other responsibilities of wife, mother of 4 and part time work(from home). Things are good and I'm sooo ready for a reef system.
What we have now will be relocated from the living room to the office and replaced with a 50g that was a bday gift from my family plus any bigger and we would have to buy a bigger house. I have a hydrometer, and a saltwater master test kit. Sad i know. I was thinking I should get the stand next (my lfs has a nice sturdy pine stand on sale).
I've read a ton online, have books from the library, and spent 2 hours in borders this past Saturday night reading some more but I still am very nervous about starting. I feel like such a dummy even after all this reading.

I have to be careful in how I plan/budget and there are so many choices I'm affraid i'll end up wasting $.

What should my next purchase be(after the stand) lights? What I've read is the standard light that came w/ the tank won't suffice. then I was thinking livesand and salt but wait i'm forgetting filtration. Ahh that one kills me. help
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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If you're gonna go reef, lighting is very important. Folks seem to like the T-5 variety. Next purchase?? Hard to pinpoint just one. Of course you need a stand. Check out protein skimmers, the HOB (Hang on the back) versions.

Forget "live sand". No such thing in my opinion. Look at dry aragonite sand, Gonna have to rinse it profusely, and use anywhere from 1-4 inches in my opinion (I like deep/4 inches). That sand after cycling a tank and over time will become live. Check out the articles at this site for fishless cycling and the others for more info. The fishless cycling article is a must.

Then for a great reef tank in my opinion (IMO) you're gonna need 50-75 lbs of rock, a couple of powerheads to move the water around.

Oh yeah, and welcome to AA!!!!
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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Welcome!

Don't worry. It's not as difficult as it seems, once you get a routine, it's quite simple.

Lights would be s good purchase, you'll need some fairly pricey lighting for a reef system. Good luck with your reef.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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P.S. - what part of southern MD you in? I might be able to offer some used equipment and equipment shopping assistance!
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:10 PM   #5
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Hi thanks for everyones quick response - that's what i liked about this site. I'm near Benedict, MD Rt231. Waldorf and Prince Frederick are my regular haunts but as I quickly learned moving hear from NY that you have to drive forever to get anywhere around here! I was in DC twice this week so distance drives are no prob.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Well, keep us posted on your progress and I'd recommend checking before you buy anything. Others may have had some experiences to share that can help you save money as you go.

I'm 10 minutes from the BestBuy in Waldorf.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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This may help you out a bit.

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #8
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Welcome to AA and the SW experience. Flake gave you a pretty good link.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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I tried to open the common abbreviations link and was denied access any ideas why.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:35 PM   #10
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It just did the same to me. If I remember right, the same list can be found under FAQ at the top. "common abbreviations on AA" should be the same.
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