The Reef Tank banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just joined and planning to attend the May meeting. However I'm living in Winona as a student right now and just getting into this hobby.

Anyone else out there from Winona I could run ideas past, perhaps even meet up?

Also looking for good used equipment, I'm thinking of setting up a 20 gallon long nano reef so if you have anything useful to a beginner and along those lines I would be interested. (including buying such a 30x12x12" or similar tank used doesn't have to be used either)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
If you need to meet up lmk know I would be glad to help if I can. I won't be able to meet you at the meeting, because they scheduled it during a guy weekend. So I will just say welcome now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,512 Posts
I'm always on here. :)

Welcome! Im sure we can get you setup and going. Fire away with the questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Since I've gotten started I created a sort of "aquisition" file to plan things out:


Code:
Day 1:
	Grocery store, RO/DI water, monster cube water bottles, 3 plastic food grade 5 gallon buckets, 1 tub

Day 2: 
	Order Tank: 
	20 Long 30x12x12 Rimless $111, or 
	20 Long 20x12.5x13 $47, or 
	20 Long Acrylic 30x12.5x13 $78 all from GlassCages.com
	
	Order Lights: This was suggested: Nova Extreme 36" my post count isn't high enough for a link but: marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem.aspx?idProduct=CU01120&tab=1&child=CU01121

	Order Live Rock, cure for at least a week while tank ships
		Premium Caribbean Live Rock 20-25 lbs saltwaterfish.com $149.99
	Order 2 Heaters:
	Order Refractometer or Hydrometer: $69.99 saltwaterfish $49.99 AquariumGuys or Hydrometer: <$10
	Order Salt Mix: 
	Order canister filter:
	Order koralia nano powerhead:
		>> above as FastTrack supplies that benefit from the free shipping from the live order's shipping schedule
	
	Order Test kit: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit amazon ~$20
	
Day tank arrives:
	Order live sand, 30 lbs (2" depth) $60 (This depth should be checked, and the lbs needed)
I'm not necessarily going to get that stuff from those online vendors but it gives an idea of what I am getting. I'm going to get the test kits at matt's if available.

I'm not sure what to do for mechanical filtration yet: HOB would probably be easiest, canister sounds better though. Really it comes down to what is least likely to leak or fail.

One dumb question I have is: Can I handle coral? I know there are certain ones that you definitlly should not touch but beyond that is it O.K. to simply be careful with them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,353 Posts
There happen to be a number of people locally/regionally that are selling out...sometimes tanks because of upgrades or getting out.. sometimes whole systems. It may not be the best way, but you can usually save quite a bit of money buying good quality used equipment. ReefCentral dot com has a used forum, and many of us on LARK, TCMAS (twin cities reefers) Rochester, Madison (MARS) clubs have people. I'd bet that every one of us has purchased used equipment and saved big time. For rock...you can get great rock online, but you will have some die-off with shipping. OTP (lacrosse) and SWE in the cities both have cured rock...shipping is a killer so buy locally. Many times people will be tearing down/changing systems up and you can get rock from other reefers that is cured and good quality. Same goes for frags...many of us sell frags of coral...from cheaper $5-15 pieces to fancy $50-100 rare collectable corals. LARK has a lot of people with varying levels of expertise...most are happy to help answer questions & give you direction. READ a ton...TRT, RC, Reef2Reef all offer great forums from which you can learn a ton.
Matt H
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
If you buy new and it sounds like you are, you should head tp Olde Towne Pets in Lacrosse. His prices are very good and has everything you should need. If not he can get it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice so far - I wanted to buy new but someone offered an entire system so I might take them up on it, I can always get my 20L after more research after all.

I actually plan to visit Olde Towne Pets on Saturday!

Thanks again, I'll bump with more questions as they come up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,353 Posts
Good call on going local...OTP has what you need. One word of caution...you need to know what you're getting when you buy from other reefers, local or online. Ask questions about maintainence, condition, get pictures, ages etc if possible before you commit to buy. For livestock, get pictures if you dont' know what you're getting, or better yet stop by in person to see the system things come from. Consider where it comes from seriously...I know many very experienced reefers who have come home with a piece, only to find later that it has parasites (from an ich tank, Flatworms, Redbugs etc. These can be challenging to even advanced reefers, so make sure livestock you buy is in good condition, and that you pay market value. Some people seem to think that the $2000 they invested in equipment a few months/years ago should still be worth close to that...even higher end used equipment is still worth only 60-80% or original price, and standard equipment (heaters, powerheads, strip lights) much less. Be a smart consumer and know what you are getting for a price that is fair to both you and the seller. Livestock...local prices are sometimes higher, sometimes lower, depending on how available the stuff is. People give away some pieces, while others are much more challenging to get here in the midwest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,512 Posts
1) You can get RODI from Matt at OTP in Lacrosse. Although if you're driving from Winona I'd check to make sure he has some. OR you can get an RODI unit for anywhere between $130-200 online. I've got one under my kitchen sink.

2) PERSONALLY if it were me I'd be looking at breeders before I'd look at long tanks. The extra front to back space would definitely be an advantage.

3) If you are going Nova Extreme I presume that will have parabolic (individual) reflectors for each T5? Its a great light though you wont be disapointed with Current USA or their customer service.

4) I've seen a lot of guys who have very successful reef tanks that started with dry rock. You can get Marco rock or something from Bulk Reef Supply for pretty cheap. That may be a better option too.

5) Your equipment is the most vital part of your system. Don't cut corners here. We all will say if we had just bought something quality right away we would have saved ourselves a lot of time and money in the long run. Refractometers are great, I'd never use a hydrometer now that I have one due to accuracy. IO and Reef Crystals are the most common salt mixes you'll find around here. Its been a while since I've had to buy salt but from what I remember Matt at OTP now carries both blends and his prices were competitive. I'd nix your canister filter they tend to be nitrate sponges and without semi weekly maintenance will do more harm then good. Space permitting perhaps look at doing an overflow with a small sump underneath (or buy a predrilled 20, I think Matt also had some great prices on drilled 40 breeders if you wanna go a little bit bigger). You should probly also be looking at a skimmer of some sort, again a sump would make this much easier but there are some good hang on skimmers too. Flow is key, you may find that a nano is not enough, you'll probly end up going to a 1 or even a 2 depending on what kinda corals you decide to keep.

6) API kits are a good start, Salifert or Elos are probly some of the most accurate ones.

7) You'll probly end up buying too much sand, thats normal. Keep in mind though that it will settle as the tank gets setup so it wont probly be as deep as you think when you put it in.

Hope this helps!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Man, you guys are going all out with plugging the club sponsor. J/K. Matt over at Olde Towne North Pets treats all of us very well. The items that he sells are usually close to the same price that you'd pay on-line, plus you get to see the livestock before you purchase it. However, you will still want to do plenty of research before making your purchases. No one store can afford to carry all brands of equipment and you'll want to make sure that you get the best equipment for your system.

As far as filtration goes, getting plenty of live rock and having a good protein skimmer is all you need. Canister, HOB, or wet/dry filters aren't ideal in reef tanks.

Once your system is setup, cycled, and you think you are ready to try corals, let us know. I can guarantee that club members will have some easy to keep corals available for you to get started with for $5 (or less).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Hey....another Winonan here. I have some tanks that I am putting out for my garage sale tomorrow. I believe one is a 30g long. I guess PM me if you are interested and I can get you directions. Also setting out a 55, a 90, and a few others.

My advice....definitely get involved with the forum/club and listen to what people have to say. If you are just getting into it, some things will sound expensive....but they will prevent headaches later on. Also....as has been mentioned....equipment, frags, and fish tend to change hands often and affordably within the club. Many members will keep their eyes peeled for what you are looking for too and alert you when they see them.

If you can find a used complete setup that you like it's worth looking at. Often times you can get setup for the price of new glass and skimmer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I am originally from Winona but now live in Rochester. I do visit Winona on a regular basis still and my mom lives in Winona and has a 75 gal reef but isn't on TRT. We'd be happy to talk too.
 

·
Bears Fan
Joined
·
648 Posts
Anton,

I have an good skimmer and some koralias as well as light fixture that I would give you a good deal on. They were all runnign on my frag station before I took it down for lack of TLC.

The light is a 24" 4 bulb Nova Extreme T5 with fans and moonlights, but is one huge reflector.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top