New Here! Do's for Starters - even experienced?


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Manhattan Reefs
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British Columbia
I have browsed here previously and there are some very good take aways.
1. Start with a freshwater tank b4 saltwater. If after 6 months u are still keen, then go saltwater.
2. Bigger is better. The problem with small salt water is the H2O parameters can change too fast, and you can overcorrect which is usually poor form for your living things. 50 Gallon at least.
3. I didn't do this. Place your rocks/ decor how you like it. Do at least 80% and then epoxy it together. The "Instant Ocean" I find the best of the 6- 8 I've tried. The 20 % is extra, on top, side behind, but not part of the frame work, and doesn't do the heavy lifting.
4. It will take 6-8 months for your salt water tank to cycle and age properly. You can't make it go faster. This is when the coraline algae will be more prolific, and it is the best at keeping green algae's at bay.
5. Careful with NOPO for algae/ detritus control. I dose every second or third day.
6. It is said everywhere, but once more. Don't overfeed. I feed flakes, dried pellets, mysis and brine shrimp, scant amounts of each. I have never recorded Nitrates etc in the tank.
7. UV filters really work well and keeps the bad algae done, etc
8. A great protein skimmer is a MUST. SC Aquarium offer some great ones.
9. Sand. I use fine because I suction the bottom 1 - 2 x wk. Easier
10. Two heaters plz. I have one, and a spare, but the UV filter puts out as much as a regular 250 watt heater.
11. ROI is the best but expensive.
12. Have 3 - 5 buckets > 5 Gal, 3 Gal, 1 Gal. U will need them.
13. Get a 50 cc syringe and a 10 cc syringe for dosing tank with Rx, samples.
14. I have in addition, connected to my circulating pump in the SUMP a homemade (PVC) filter which houses floss and bagged charcoal.
15. Buy your filter floss at Walmart i.e. fibre/stuffing material. Cheap and great, just cut it up.
16. The Salt you use makes a HUGE difference. I started with the Red Reef regular. Low Alkalinity
17. Never clean rock or sand with BLEACH. Use Vinegar, or Hydrogen peroxide. Rinse well and let dry, in the sun if you can. There are no reef bugs that can survive the above.