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  • New To This...

    So as most people that post in this section I'm new to this. But looking for any useful information. I bought a book at keeping a reef aquarium and am trying to learn all I can. Have one buddy that has been helping me a great deal that led me to this site. I would also like to add I'd like to post in the selling or buying sections and can offer trade. I'm a licensed journeyman electrician and own my own company so can trade services for coral, fish, equipment etc.

    I'm getting a 180gallon tank
    reef breeder led lights
    reef octopus protein skimmer
    a custom sump
    and coralia powerbeats

    from what I understand so far (that's not much) this sounds like a good setup. I will also be getting a lot of live rock etc. What else do I need to make sure I get ? What have you guys learned from your years of experience? I went with a larger tank because it's less likely to have things go bad vs like a nano cube from what I've read.

    thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome! I'd add an RODI unit to your startup list. This will clean all of the dissolved junk out of your tap water that is harmful to fish and corals as well as lowers algae growth.
    DBTC Received: pink birdsnest, green slimer, pink lemonades, rastas, pink zippers, goblin fire, Copps ultra green montipora, purple montipora digitata, mr. yuck, blue staghorn
    DBTC Completed: pink birdsnest, purple montipora digitata


    • #3
      I haven't heard great things about the reefbreeder lights. I suggest doing more research into those and try to stick with AI or ecotech if you can afford it.

      An auto top off is ESSENTIAL so plan to add one to your tank.

      Korelia pumps are not good IMO especially if you ever intend to do attempt sps corals at some point. I would recommend something like vortechs if you can afford them, tunze are also a good choice, and even jebaos are better than korelias if you're strapped on cash (though I'm not a fan of the company).

      An RODI is also essential unless you want to pay out the @ss for water from a fish store. On a 180 an RODI unit is probably cheaper than buying the water just for the initial fillup.

      While not essential, It might be worth your while to invest in a controller like an apex or reefkeeper (apex is better). When you factor in all the timers controllers and headaches it's not a huge investment but makes your life a million times simpler.

      You also didn't mention heaters. You will need no less than 2 and for a tank that size probably 400-600 watt units.

      You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

      The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram.


      • #4
        Your at a nice spot actually, in that you haven't set it up yet and are trying to hammer through these problems as they arrive. You sort of have the luxury of planning a little further before you begin. So to piggyback on Zombies comments above, an aquarium controller (I too like the Apex) can really make your life easier. You can control anything with a plug such as lights, heaters, those Korilias, even an ATO unit. Once programmed you can control everything through a smart phone or over the internet, this is really nice if you travel. It has warnings (audible from the unit, email, text) if a parameter like pH or temp is out of a range that you specify. But what I was saying about being in a good place and planning...if you don't have an ATO setup purchased yet you can look at ones that people have used with their Apex's and even look at their code required to program the Apex. Makes setup a lot easier. I think the Apex just came out with their own ATO setup, so if you went that route I have no doubt you could add it on, although I think it is so new it won't have the years of testimonials behind it yet.

        Welcome to the club! If you get stumped on anything or any more questions pop up feel free to fire away!


        • #5
          Agreed with above

          My personal favorites
          Brs rodi units are good and fairly priced

          Apex has controller market pretty much cornered

          Heaters. Im a big fan of eheim. I also did a poll on here and the national forums and they agreed with eheims or finnex titanium

          Ato big fan of the tunze.

          Good luck
          Take lots of pictures (we love pictures)
          Ask lots of questions!
          Lots of great information and knowledge on this forum.
          29 gallon biocube thread


          • #6

            I'm a huge control and gadget freak, so I love controllers. That being said, adding that into the mix right away might add extra confusion (and unplanned expense).

            It's always an option to get the tank and everything running and add the controller later on when you're comfortable with the basics. But, having the controller up front could potentially solve some issues like water top-off rather than buying equipment twice. So, just don't get overwhelmed. Not everything needs to be hooked up to a controller to start. Start off basic if you go that route and add in components as you get comfortable. Some people refuse to use the controller for certain items like return pumps. They only want the benefit of remote monitoring of parameters.

            Read through old build threads and see what works for some people and how their display progressed over time.

            Last thing, I prefer titanium heaters over the glass ones. I'm clumsy and have broken my share of glass. No fun.

            And like Mr Balz said, lots of pics!
            Some of my current and past projects:


            • #7
              check out BRS tv on youtube they have a build they do for a 160g tank and they run you thru everything and do a great job explaining things.


              • #8
                It's a nice set up so far. The reefbreeders lights will do fine.

                I agree with Juan. Look up the BRS videos. Its a great series.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheRealChrisBrown
                  I think the Apex just came out with their own ATO setup, so if you went that route I have no doubt you could add it on, although I think it is so new it won't have the years of testimonials behind it yet.
                  They did. It's called the ATK. Hands down the best ATO ever created. They essentially took the code Russ and I have fine tuned over many years as the "ultimate" apex ATO setup and built it into the unit but made it automatic and it learns the values itself instead of the complicated hand calculations you needed before. It also uses top of the line optical sensors and a mechanical float emergency backup. Nothing else on the market even comes close and you don't even have to own an apex to use this one.

                  You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

                  The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram.


                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone I'm learning as I go and appreciate all the help. I will have lots of questions I'm sure


                    • #11
                      your're off to a good start i think. We have a great community here, so we are all open to questions and will help as much as we can. Welcome to the true Addiction


                      • #12
                        I am an absolute noob, too


                        • #13
                          Well I've learned a lot so any questions feel free to ask


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