n00b question

AzaZeL

New member
Ok, so this is my first post. WOOHOO. I am in the process of reading Travis' post: Want to Start a Marine Aquarium?: A Step by Step Guide. Lots of crazy info in there.

I have 0 experience with this. My friend took me into our LFS and I was absolutely blown away. That was about a week ago and since then, all I have been doing is reading on the internet about this stuff. I am dumbfounded by the amount of knowledge that some of the members have to share.

So, to my question. I am looking to do a reef tank with some inverts, sps, and fish. I was told that bigger is better. I was thinking of doing a 45 long, which is roughly 48"x12"x19" (LxWxH). I have no idea what I can do and am trying to figure out how to not break the bank in the process. I found this lighting fixture on ebay. Can you guys/gals check it out to see if it is worth having? I have no plans to start building a tank just yet because I do not have the knowledge or skillset to do so yet but if this is a good deal then I want to go ahead and get it while it's still available. Any help would be much appreciated.

Here's the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/Aquarium-Light-...2QQihZ014QQcategoryZ46314QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks for the help!! :D

-Az

P.S. if I am violating any rules by posting this link, I apologize in advance. I skimmed over the agreement and it looked ok. If it is not, just delete the thread.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
I can't vouch for e-bay, but one very good source of good equipment is here on RC, as people sell off really good equipment that is just smaller than they need. It's a very good way to get started.

And welcome!
 

alexb518

New member
If you really want my opinion...well, i'm gonna give it to you anyways. Sit and wait for a sweet deal to come by. I was talking to a buddy today who just bought a 100 gallon, dual over flows, sump, euro reef skimmer, halides, stand, live rock, fish, corals...basically everything, for $900. that may sound like a lot of money, but that is CHEAP!!! and yes, the larger, the easier. it's more forgiving to human error, but a lot harder on the pocket. my second suggestion--start slow. losing your livestock/investment will discourage you from this hobby really quickly. good luck...and watch out, it's addictive as hell.
 

cinematek

New member
I'm new to this sport, too. I started my first tank about two months ago, but I had been researching options and gear since August 2006. From one newbie to another, my advice is to NOT jump on a light you see on ebay, even if it is a good deal. Take your time. By the time you figure out what you really want, you may regret having bought a light early on. In fact, your light could be the last (and most expensive) piece of gear you buy.

I did a ton of research, settled on a 24"wide tank, bought a powerhead, heater, sand and some rock and cycled my tank. I then added hermits and snails and THEN fianlly bought my light when I was ready to start adding fish and corals.

Also, keep in mind that as your tank length increases, your setup cost will more or less increase exponentially. My 24" light and all its accessories totaled over $400. I have a 29G tank and I spent almost $200 on rock alone. (Reefers with bigger tanks are laughing right now, and wishing that ANYTHING in their tanks only cost $200).

My point is that you could get into this sport for $1000 or $10,000 or more. Whatever your budget is, be sure to map it all out first. There's no point to buying a 48" light fixture if you are going to end up getting a 72" tank, etc.

It sounds like you are doing your research, so you're already ahead of the curve. Just keep reading and keep posting. The RC and other online communities will turn you into a true reefer whether you like it or not!
 

Scuba_Steve

Premium Member
Im pretty sure that is a jebo odessea fixture. They are cheap, and pretty low quality. Some have had lots of luck with them, other will say they will burn your house down. The same with rio pumps. Personally I would recommend the same as others have. Look in the selling forum here on rc, and wait for a great deal to come your way. www.hellolights.com has some good deals on new lighting, and is an rc sponsor. Your doing the right thing, keep doing research, and dont impulse buy. As here on rc first, and find out if a product, fish, or coral is compatible with your system, and not a waste of money.
BTW
<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>
 

AzaZeL

New member
Thank you all very much for your help and support. I have been on a few other forums where my questions were "made fun of" for lack of a better term. The community here and the people here are wonderful and I look forward to asking more questions :D Thanks again and I will check out some of the links that you suggested.

-Az
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Good luck to you and come back often: in RC the only really silly question is the one you ask AFTER having leapt off the cliff/bought a rig...
Nice thing about RC is you don't have to learn things in the school of hard knocks. You may ask a simple question and watch 2-3 schools of thought duke the answer out for 150 posts, but you do get info pretty fast.
 

wizzbane15

New member
Remember to factor in the cost. Bigger does equal better, but it also equals more $. Going to big and not being able to suppport it is another sure fire way to get frustrated.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
I've found a 50g is a pretty good size for a 'small' tank that's capable of using standard equipment: not long enough to need a lot of light, not big enough to use calcium reactors and mega-controllers---you can hand-add your chemical supplements, water changes take only a 5 gallon bucket, not a 50g Brute tub---and most additives use 50g as their base measurement, for one convenient point. If you can find one that's reef-ready [predrilled, with a 'downflow box' and a kit of pipes and hoses that go down to a sump] that's ideal. White stain on glass can be cleaned up with ordinary white vinegar, so a used tank can look great with just a little cleanup.
 

Euclid537

New member
As far as where to buy equipment goes... In this hobby, there aren't many things that are any different new versus used. You'll save a lot of dough and get better equipment if you buy it used/barely used here on RC. I highly reccomend it.
 

AzaZeL

New member
Ok, not to continue kicking a dead horse, but let's say, hypothetically, that I get the 760w from Aquatraders. Is that going to be too much light for what I am planning to do since the tank is only 19" deep?

-Az
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
A metal halide should be 9" above your water surface for safety of the light. That will back it off some. I use a single mh 250w 12,000k Reeflux [brand matters, as to output: mine is a blueish bias] with 2 actinics for color balance and twilight, on a 54g bowfront, about 24" depth to the water/sand. My acros sit 9" down from the surface, for a total of 18" separation from the mh light---they could be a little higher. The large-polyp-stonies that don't need that much light sit at about 15" down from the surface. I get my nine inch light separation from the water via a 'shell' that rims my tank and provides a base for the light. The crocea clam [another that needs mh] sits on the bottom, where he likes it, evidently, since he defies all efforts to get him into the rock. I'd say a combo of 250s at whatever interval you need for complete coverage, with actinic sidelights: because I'm a bowfront, one 250 does the trick right well.

This is the tank with shell [before I had corals in it, and the water was still clouded during setup.]
januarytomove589.jpg
 

AzaZeL

New member
So does the bowfront allow for better light reflection? Thus why you are only using a single 250w mh? Or is the combo of the 2-250w mh's just too much light for the 45g tank? Sorry, I know you answered my question in "aquaria talk" but I'm still a little confused.

-Az
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
It has a roundish bottom area, thus gets very good coverage with one central bulb. What matters if you're growing corals is getting even lighting, so you don't have shadow spots, where coral will 'fail to thrive' as well and make a 'stripe' in your living reef. Now, mind, you do not need as strong light as mh for anything but the fussiest acroporas and crocea clams. Less light will do fine for all lps, some sps [notably montiporas]. Certain corals [mostly softies, but also stony bubble coral] cannot tolerate direct mh, and do better under less light. If you're a 45" long you have to consider coverage as well as intensity, and you may need two bulbs, but you may have to back them off a bit [if your kit is suspended from the ceiling, you just shorten the hanging wire a bit] from your water surface to be sure you don't overdo it. This is where I'm a little iffy, because I don't know how much or how far. And of course how high you stack your rock plays a part in that separation of corals from light source. You might pose that specific question in "Lighting and Equipment" or whatever the exact forum name is, and get advice from people who've had more experience with your configuration.
 
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