VERY new here

ladyfsu

New member
Hi,

I'm going to be teaching marine biology but am VERY new to aquariums. I have 2 55-gallon tanks and about 10 other tanks of various smaller sizes. None of these have hoods, filters, powerheads etc. For one of the 55's I spent my own money and bought an Emperor 400 bio-wheel, live sand and rock, thermometer, and a powerhead (I still don't have a light ) . The purpose of this tank is to display our local critters from the Gulf. I have a collector's permit to keep some things, but its been to chilly to go out...that's all getting ready to change.

So far I have many hermits from the beach, 5 quarter size starfish, 2 pipefish, an emerald crab, a small perch and some little minnow. Hopefully the sea grasses will fill up with cool things soon. Some of the other tanks I'll be setting up though will be a little fancier though. I want a reef tank, a nice salt tank, my local organism tank, a brackish water tank.

OK while we're getting our fundraising going...

PLEASE REMEMBER I'M DOING TANKS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES and aren't trying to make them pretty necessarily. These are some of my questions.

1. Does an HVO light need to have a florescent light with it?
2. Does live rock need an HVO light?
3. What are the BARE neccessities for a reef tank?
4. What eats sea cucumbers?
5. Are fish ok under VHO lights?


I've had millions of questions I'm asking the guy I bought my tank cleaners from but have forgotten some now. He's been great but I ask him too much. I'll be posting up alot as they come to me. I really appreciate any advice I can get.

P.S. - If you know any way for me to find cheap or used powerheads and all that other gear I need, please pm/email me! Nets, testers etc. I can use all the help I can get.

Thanks!
 

Agu

Premium Member
[welcome]

I'd suggest you get a good book to get some background first. It's easier to evaluate the information when you already have the basics.
 

redfisher17

New member
I agree, a book is very handy. I got tons of information from forums though. Try looking at a beginner forum for a step-by-step thread - these helped me get a feel for "what to expect".

I sent you a private message as well.

good luck!
 

myakkareef

Premium Member
Hello and Welcome...I hate to say it but I also agree...Spend an hour cruising the forums here on Reef Central and Books are wonderful. If you would like to attend a meeting to see locals tanks you would be welcome. Most people in the hobby start out similiar to you, not doing it for classrooms, but start out with very limited knowledge of equipment. I remember Marine Biology class in school here in Sarasota back in the 70's. We would go out and sein at city Island for local critters. We had little tanks with hardly no equipment needless to say there where alot of deaths of animals. But it was a learning experience and probally is why I am in the hobby today, unfortionetly most of the hobbiest end up having alot of $$$$ tied up in equipment to keep the animals and organisms we keep. On that point I have corals and fish that have been in my tanks for 10+ years....
 

ladyfsu

New member
OK thanks...I do have a 55 gallon at home that has nicer stuff but I didn't set that up. Having so many tanks without equiptment and eventually hoping to have so many different types of setups...I need to concentrate on one tank at a time I'm finding out.

...and these forums have been amazing with the help!
 

myakkareef

Premium Member
I would say next month would probally work out. I was out about 2 weeks ago and it was still pretty chilly. But I am sure it will warm up fast. Maybe that can be next months meeting is a seining adventure...
 

ladyfsu

New member
last week was cold seining but according to the news it warmed up in the gulf this week almost 5 degrees!!!! I don't know if I believe them. What is the best site to check on tides/water temps etc.
 

ladyfsu

New member
I think anyone can go seining but I'm not sure. I went to an educator's workshop last year and got a permit for that and collecting most organisms. I really don't know otherwise though :eek: I just know you need a permit to KEEP certain things. I'll look into it.
 

myakkareef

Premium Member
Corey, (i do not know what I am talking about) I believe you can sain all day long. But it is what you keep that you might need a permitfor. The club did this last year and had looked into the local laws, maybe some one who went on that trip can clarify it. Other then making sure it is low tide. :)
 

ladyfsu

New member
I can bring my permit for up to 25 people with me :) so BRING ME ALONG BABY!!! I've got 12 seine nets!!

OK, I'm going to Honeymoon Island tomorrow in search of sea urchins, stone crabs and anything else. I've only been there once for an hour. Anyone else go there much? Give me any hints on best place to look for things?

Also...I want to get my scuba license but am waiting for my oldest child (I have 3, oldest is 6) to be old enough to do it with me. He's a great swimmer but I think years away from learning. What's a good beginning age?
 

myakkareef

Premium Member
I understand R/C has been an addiction for awhile. You'll find some very nice people on the boards and locally. You are actually in company of a Reef Central legend "AGU"...Or atleast anyone with over 10,000 post and that little Staff member logo should be a legend..
Just interested what school do you teach at??
 

bgdiving

New member
ladyfsu, my daughter is a Middle school science teacher in Sarasota in a similar situation but with a much smaller budget. I helped her set up a very low budget, low tech 55 gallon reef tank last fall the wk befroe school started and it's doing very well and her kids love it. She knew very little about reef keeping but by following a few simple instructions she has done well maintaining a reef tank.

Most of my reef tanks would be classified very low tech and low budget.

One important thing to remember is: there are multiple ways of sucessfully keeping a reef tank, if someone tells you you have to so something a certain way they are usually wrong and they just don't kow what they don't know. :eek1: The advise and comments I may give definatly are not the only way to do things and may not be the very best way of doing things, but they seem to work well for me.

To answere a couple of your questions:

1. Does an HVO light need to have a florescent light with it?

A VHO light is a Very High Out put florescent and no it does not have to have a normal output florescent light to go with it. A VHO fixture and ballast will usually require a VHO bulb.

2. Does live rock need an HVO light?

NO


3. What are the BARE neccessities for a reef tank?

If you already have a tank and VHO lighting you would just need a power head or 2 or some method of moving a good amount of water and about $6.00 worth of play sand (for a 55 gallon tank) from Home depot(or you can go collect your own sand
for free with a few caveats) and you will need salt water either artificial like Isntant Ocean or you can collect your own locally, but if you collect your own, there are a few things to consider.

4. What eats sea cucumbers? Don't know

5. Are fish ok under VHO lights?

Yes both fish and corals can do well under VHO lighting, VHO is my preferred form of lighting


Hope some of this helps. :) Try to make it to some of tlhe reef club meetings so you can bounce ideas off a few people. I know I always learn something at the meetings.
 
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bgdiving

New member
If you don't already have the VHO lighting you can get by on some fairly inexpensive Home Depot lighting. Not as nice as the more expensive aquarium lighting system but you can grow corals and fish with them.
 
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