Newbies-Team RC & You


Reeferus Horribilus
Premium Member
Hi All,

Information on Team RC can be found in announcements. I don't know about you, but when I was starting out I really didn't take time to read announcements much, so I wanted to point something out in this forum.

In a nutshell, the members of Team RC are dedicated to helping you get all you can out of your time on Reef Central. Although all the members of the team don't have all the answers, we are committed to helping you find the answers.

When I was first starting I was very reluctant to use the Private Message or E-Mail function thinking this might be considered impolite. The members of this team are very open to any questions you might have and invite you to use the PM function if you like. We realize that sometimes a person is reluctant to post for individual help.

Happy Reefing,
Re: Newbies-Team RC & You

wizardgus said:
When I was first starting I was very reluctant to use the Private Message or E-Mail function thinking this might be considered impolite. The members of this team are very open to any questions you might have and invite you to use the PM function if you like. We realize that sometimes a person is reluctant to post for individual help.

Happy Reefing,

I totally agree, and will do my best to help answer any questions that I can. I do my best to stay up on my email and Private Messages- do not hesitate to ask a question this way if you are hesitant to post it for whatever reason, or wish to go into greater detail.

You are not "bothering" a Team RC member by emailing or PMing!


Darren Walker
I agree, they are also there to help people out on the forums and lead posts that might be heading down hill... Congradulations to all who made Team RC, I hope I can join you in the future.

Rock Anemone:D
This is a great idea. One thing that kept me from starting in this hobby was the conflicting advise I was getting from different members on what would and wouldn't work. Not that people were wrong, there are just different ways to get to the same place. What works for one, might not work for the other. The best thing someone can do is find someone they trust and follow their advise. This can keep you from chasing things all over the place. Keep in mind, you need to see what else is out there too, but finding a "mentor" is a great place to start. After you get your feet wet, then you can experiment!
aquaman67 said:
there are just different ways to get to the same place. What works for one, might not work for the other. The best thing someone can do is find someone they trust and follow their advise.
Well said, and very true aquaman. :thumbsup:
A tale of woe!!! Hope you've got time for a long story, because I'm very discouraged right now! I don't have a lot of money to spend on this hobby like most of these reefers seem to have - they talk about $500 - $1,000 like it's peanuts.

I had a successful 75g FO tank for 8 or 10 years - no LR to begin with except what became "live" over time, and some lava rock I hung off the dock (at the marina of all places) for 3 mo. one summer to colonize. When I did buy about 20# LR it came colonized with all kinds of critters, zoathids, leather corals, and feather duster worms. I used all the old technology at various times - whisper filters, undergravel filter, trickle filter w/bio balls, canister filter. I never had a protein skimmer or RO/DI. I did have 4 VHO lights. And I broke all the rules - I live on the NC coast and used natural seawater usually collected a mile offshore at the top of incoming tide in the summer and Instant Ocean in the winter, my tap water was city water that I just airated for 24 hours to get rid of the chlorine. I caught all kinds of things, blennies, cling fish, seahorses, star fish, octopus, pipe fish, lookdowns, and various other fish that I'd keep for varying lengths of time and then release back into the sea. These were never quarantined - just acclimated and dumped in with my permanent residents - a pair of blennies that spawned regularly, a royal gamma, and 2 pajama cardinals. Occasionally I'd have some algae problems and once a bad outbreak of ick, but never a crash or anything drastic. I caught baby fish, several kinds of tiny shrimps, etc. to feed to my fish along with flake food and sometimes blood worms. I even had warty anemonies that I collected locally.. Thing is, I was totally ignorant of most of the rules and parameters I now read about on RC and my fish (and corals) lived 7 1/2 years (I lost them when we moved). Maybe I just had dumb luck. But that tank was FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

That tank was broken down 6 years ago and now I'm ready to set up again - a 65g this time (don't have room for my 75g) and I thought I'd try having a reef tank. My neighbor has a beautiful reef tank so I was taking advice (and buying used equipment)from him. Set my tank up with 1" aragonite and LS from a bag on the LFS shelf that didn't have anything alive in it that I could ever determine. Ordered premium figi rock expecting it to be colonized, but the only thing it had on it was coraline algae. Found out my tap water (from a well) is .2ppm phosphate so I was having algae problems. A friend gave me some calerpa and it has thrived and now covers all my rock, but I still have the diatom and hair algae. This tank has been set up about 8 mo. and houses a pair of local caught blennies that have spawned, but nothing else. My neighbor sold me what I now realize was his mistakes and outdated equipment - outdated, inadequate Jalli 72w PC which I bought new lamps for and now only one side works because one starter went bad and I can't find a replacement starter. So that money was wasted!!! And an xcaliber HOT protein skimmer (because he had upgraded to a stand in sump type). The xcaliber works fine, and I can use it, I just wish I had known I really needed a stand in sump type.
THEN I FOUND RC! Wow what a well spring of info - but often confusing and contradictory (different opinions). So I've been reading, reading, reading and sometimes asking questions. As for my tank, it's been pretty well neglected all these mo. - just adding top off water when it got very low! At one point I decided to chuck it all because I couldn't afford all the equipment that it seems is considered necessary. Took my LR to LFS, but they did a bait and switch on me - told me they'd give me 3.99 store credit then changed it to 1.99 after I unloaded all my LR (they sell it for 6.99). So I loaded it all back up and brought it back home - set the tank up again but this time with natural seawater. I have finally got the money and bought a RO/DI unit from ARS. And I built a sump/fuge out of a 20g long. And I've started building a hood to house the lights. But that's the big question: lights! I've been reading everything and I'm confused and discouraged. I wanted PCs but can't afford $358. plus shipping for 4 - 96w. So I figured VHOs, but read one thread that said they didn't give off as much light (even when same or higher watts) and the lamps needed replacing every 8 mo. or so - so they weren't that much cheaper in the long run. Then I read about the new T5s, but believe they are even more expensive. Then today read a thread where the guy made up his own lights out of shop lights from Lowe's for $75, and said he's keeping soft corals and leathers just fine. My husband's company uses MH lights, so he brought home a M58 ballast, socket, and 250w bulb - BUT the bulb is only 4200K (hundreds not thousands) and althought it's very bright I don't know that I could use it. And I have 2 sets of end caps and a ballast that powers reg. 30w lamps. I don't have much money and I'm confused and discouraged and really need a mentor who won't just scoff at me trying to get into some kind of reef for the least $ output as possible. Incidentially, my tank gets some afternoon sun on one side through the sliding glass doors. I don't plan on attempting SPS or more demanding corals or anemones. I loved my FO for many, many years and I can be quite content with softies and leather corals (low light). One of the tank of the month winners was all softies and it was beautiful. Even though I'm confused about some things, I love RC and appreciate to no end all you who are so willing to give of your time and experience to those of us who are just learning. If I'd discovered RC before, I'd not have wasted my money buying inadequate stuff from my neighbor. Live and learn! And I know that MH are all the rage and they are the best - but not everyone can afford the best - and I am still hopeful that I can have a modest reef for a modest amount of money. The way I'll stock my tank in all likelihood is one fish/coral at a time over a long period of time - or hopefully some frags from some kind soul. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Carolyn
When I first arrived here, I had no idea what Team RC was. I just noticed the little logo. Not untill last week did I actually see something regarding it.

If it were not for the Team RC members finanical support, I imagine it would probably be pretty difficult to afford running this site.
Actually, it's the people with the "I Support RC" icon below their names who have donated money. However, that doesn't mean people in Team RC haven't donated money, heh.

Rock Anemone:D
This is so cool, now when I PM Dgenr8 or Griss I wont feel scared, Ill tell them wizardgus said is was ok. :p
You need 500posts and over 3 months of membership in order to change the title under your username. However, you only need 100 posts to change your avatar. Hope this helps!

Ok, so for a refresher...I understand how you become a "I support RC" logo member...donate some greenbacks to help support the cause which is VERY worthy. But what criteria do you need to meet to become a member of Team RC?
Please point me to the proper post if one has already been posted. I live in the San Jose and within driving distant to get ocean water, but have not seem any post discuss about it. Anyone who whether the bay water could be use for fish or reef tank, what are the drawbacks? Greatly appreciated for your input.
As far as I know, they just pick the team memebers, there's no application or anything.

DON'T use bay water. It will have a high level of nitrate and phosphate, on top of all the polutants from all the boats and industry (oil, fuel, waste, etc). Some stores sell ocean water, but that is usually collected about 15 miles off the coast.
I used to get my water from the old Academy of Science in SF, but now they moved to Downtown SF. I don't have any access to the best quality and quantity water source for a very low price. Are there any other salt water source you know of in the bay area? In short of doing my own mixing and know enough of not all salt mix are created equal. What are the rule in selecting the salt mix? I've talked to a few people, but I got a mix bag answer (find the cheatest salt and just make sure your water get close to distill as possible). Thank again for your reply.
There's a bunch of opinions on various salt mixes; generally Tropic Marin is of high quality, though it shows in the price. Ideally, you want to get your water from an RO/DI unit. There should be some stores that will sell high quality sea water that is brought in by boat from far out in the ocean, minimizing polutants. Natural sea water would be the best, since it has the right proportions of all the necessary elements, and live plankton too. Try posting a thread on the bay area reefer's thread. I'm sure someone knows a good store you can go to: