To all newbies

Discussion in 'New Members' started by RiaanP, 9 Oct 2012.

  1. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    OK, you are just starting with your marine venture. Read This.

    Part 1:
    I've see plenty of new guys entering this hobby. Going big, and BIGGER. All the latest add ons, top of the line, over the top equipment not even needed for softies. And the non-reefer (your spouse / partner whatever) not happy with the money spend. Only to exit the hobby within the first year, setup in the for sale section and vultures picking up the equipment at give away prices. What I'm trying to say is: get the basic equipment. Learn first how the keep water parameters stable. Understand your tank. Understand what you want from your tank. Use SunSun pumps in your display. Use T5 lights for your softies. Some time later you would realize that you like SPS more, or clams, or actually prefer the softies. So your requirements change. Then get the flow pumps for the corals, get the light units for your corals. Start cheap, get to know what you want. Then upgrade. There are plenty T5 units in the for sale section.

    Part 2:
    Now the opposite. A system success depends on the setup, better flow pumps, good lights. Better equipment makes the husbandry routine easier. And any tasks you do now happily every week on your tank, will become a work in a couple of months, will became a schlep thereafter. So get the equipment that will make your life easier, although that is normally the more expensive, top of the range product. Buy once the right piece of equipment. No need to throw away money on replacing working equipment when upgrading. This will give you more time enjoying the tank and less time working on the tank.

    Oops
    Yes, part 2 totally contradict part 1. The solution is to find the best path in middle.

    But
    Everything except the glass box depends on the type of coral you want. Well, the glass box in a way as well. Unless you eventually decided on what type of corals you want, how would you know what equipment to buy?

    My opinion
    A new guy starting out, get a good T5 unit second hand. Buy SunSun pumps new. But get the best skimmer you can afford for your system. Start with softies. Learn first on how to maintain a system successfully before you venture to the more difficult to keep species of fish, inverts and corals.
     
    jacquesb and Marine007 like this.
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  3. Marine007

    Marine007

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    Thanks - this is excellent advice.
     
  4. Helga

    Helga

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    Very true @RiaanP,

    You could'nt have summed it up better. This is the best advice a Newbie could ever read!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Bad advice! Where do you expect old timers to get good hardware for cheap then? :lol: I rely on for sale threads like that.
     
  6. NADEEM

    NADEEM

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    brilliant, thank you for this
     
  7. Dillan

    Dillan

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    :thumbup:
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    There will always be those who cast this advice into the wind. Pity. They loose, you win.
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Great summary Riaan! Many thanks.
     
  10. pom

    pom

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    Good advice for us newbies, just one thing that I think is hard for all of us...walking into lfs you see some nice softies or sps, you think this would look cool im my tank and you buy it and as far as I can see you need to get your set up correct for whatever you want to keep....luckily for me my finances keep me from making these impulse buys lol....so im "taking it slow" haha ;)
     
  11. labworx

    labworx

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    @RiaanP: Very True. We started our tank with all the best equipment we could find, "just in case" we upgrade at a later stage so that the tank can hold sps. So before you know it, you have spend way more than you intended originally. But it is worth it in the end. I sit in front of that piece of heaven for hours after work until the lights go out. Never a dull moment!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i think the first step should be one of 2 things....
    1. learn the biology needed
    2. if you dont want too, get a maintenance company

    those 2 points in RiaanP's post are the truth, but i have seen tanks kitted to the teeth and look crap, and i have seen some DIY getto rigs looks amazing... it is all dependant on the level of involvement the reefer wants...

    but then again if you are here, rule number 2 doesnt apply 100%...
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2012
  13. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    its such a catch 22

    i designed an built a system for a couple some years ago and they wanted a basic system.. i completed the project and dident see them for about a year.. then when i next saw them they told me they had to completley upgrade their system to conform with a sps system which they never kept successfully even after the changeover...

    the moral of this story is even with the best / worst equipment you need to be hands on... its the little consistencies that you apply every day that make or break your reefing experience...
     
  14. bollie

    bollie Advanced Aquarist

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    @RiaanP if i may add,,,,

    the reason the 2 is contradicting one another is simple but to shine more detailed light on it...

    most newbies tend to startout with nanos,well they not the easiest but because they are small systems and inexpensive,its what attracts the newbies... now to add to wat riaanp has said,its not always best to go wayyyy out on your 1st system as surely,us knowing what its all about can almost guarentee you will have a bigger system once you learn the know how of marines.and that adds to the 'way out'point as for bigger systems you will need bigger equip

    so yes i agree 100% with riaanp that on your 1st system,use basic accesories to get into it properly and research as much as you can,then you will find you will fine the narrow line riaan speaks about between 1 & 2

    and to conclude,i personally feel that most cases the lfs's are exploiting the newbies and thats why they end up with top end equip for a 1st off starter tank,speak to us here on MASA,we will guide you and here are also very reputable Lfs's onboard

    mucho gracias
    bollie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. Marine007

    Marine007

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    I think it is a good thing because it gives you a taste of the maintenance and work required which is more managable on a nano. Also that nano makes a good quarantine tank when you decide you are ready for a bigger tank.
     
  16. bollie

    bollie Advanced Aquarist

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    indeed it does coz everything is on a smaller scale

    not really hey as nanos can become a schlep to keep stable,which could be dificult for some1 who doesnt have the experience BUT could assist in quicker learning by doing costant problem solving:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2012
  17. labworx

    labworx

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    Not only knowledge about the biology, but a lot of patience as well.

    :thumbup:
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    As a newbie, get the basics right first. And you can do that without breaking the bank. Keep your wallet in your pocket or at home while researching. Do not buy just because LFS says this or that. Research people, research. If you do not know how to research, Google is not that difficult - really.

    There is really only one piece of equipment that you MUST have as a newby. And that is the best skimmer you can buy and afford. Even a TS2 on a 250L system is OK. Thereafter, flow pumps, lights reef controllers, ATU, dosing systems etc... they can come later.

    Only other piece of equipment you really need is simple timers for the lights.

    I'm not slating guys who can afford to go big bang from day one. Or guys who hire maintenance companies. Its just a warning, you still need to know what to do it something goes wrong that night after the maintenance team left. When the doser decided you need 1L Iodine instead of 10ml. A tank crash is not nice.

    And as Leslie mentioned, it all comes down to what you do everyday.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2012
  19. LouiseS

    LouiseS

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    As a a first tank owner I think a lot of us newbies are listening to the above advice and that is why there are suddenly a lot of good second hand Boyu TL550's on the forum.

    The Boyus are a great starter tank - plug, play, learnt about the equipment, get to understand water parameters, perfect for softies, and clowns, and then too small and now we want something bigger and easier to modify and play with....

    Lots of relatively new Boyus out there for more newbies ;)
     
  20. labworx

    labworx

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