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Welcome to your life as a reefer!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Funkymonkey, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. Funkymonkey

    Funkymonkey Registered

    Jul 12, 2010
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    by TWISTED-FISH Published on 12-01-2009

    Welcome to your life as a reefer!

    Chances are if you're posting questions in the "Setting up" forum you are in fact new at this. Owning and maintaining a living Ecosystem can be very rewarding as well as challenging. To do it and do it well requires a certain degree of dedication and willingness to accept and learn from your failures as well as the failures of those that came before you. If you have the patience and dedication required to meet the challenges you will face then this is a life long hobby to be enjoyed.

    Some of the questions all new reefers ask relate to equipment purchases. Let?s face it... Buying new gadgets is fun (I still enjoy my fair share of this favourite part of the hobby) and some of the stuff just looks really cool! I want to pose this question to you though.....Would you buy a new car without first researching the safety features and fuel economy? Chances are you might window shop for a while, find a model that interest you and then do some homework on it.

    Buying equipment for a reef tank is much like purchasing a car. Some of the equipment used to maintain our little ecosystems can be very costly. There area a number of different types of protein skimmers, lighting, pumps..... You name it and chances are we can name 5-10 different manufacturers without thinking too hard at all. The bottom line here is never take any one persons word for anything in this department. Do your homework and then make a decision based on the information as you interpret it.

    So what do I need to get going in this hobby?

    The first thing you need will not cost you anything at all. I mentioned it early on. It is the thing that can make or break you in this hobby..... It's called patience. We have a saying in the hobby that is almost clich?' now, "Nothing positive ever happens quickly in a reef tank". No words could be truer. A tank may take months to cycle, years to fully develop into a thriving ecosystem but can crash (die off) in a matter of days to a few weeks. When you set up your aquarium please do it with patience in mind. There is always a tendency to try to rush the set up process so you can begin putting in all those wonderful things you see at the local fish store (LFS). All your future problem can be traced right back to the moment you started to rush the set up process. It takes more time to undue a rushed set up than it takes to be patient and do it right from the start. So patience is free and will save you money and will save the lives of the animals you intend to keep.

    So you've listened now and have decided you will be patient!

    The next thing to do is take some time and read about the hobby. You can do this right here on your new cyber-home. Go get a new comfortable chair because you don't want a sore rear end from the countless hours you will spend on this site and others digging through all the free material available.

    A few books that do come to mind.

    Reef Secrets ? Nilsen & Fossa
    Ultimate Reef Aquariums - Paletta
    Natural Reef Aquarium - Tullock

    These are nice references to have. They will guide you through equipment and set up. Keep in mind though that the hobby is always changing and what might have been true last year might not be as true today. Use these as a starting point but do not look upon them as the gospel truth or the only way to set up and maintain your aquarium.

    I have read those books, looked at all the websites and went blind doing it, now what?

    Chances are you now have a plan! You have no doubt seen an aquarium that caught your eye and has inspired you. Maybe it was just a few animals you liked but in any event you now have an idea!!

    The next thing is to research what the animals you like require to be maintained in your new aquarium. This includes space, substrate and type, food sources and number of feedings per day, lighting and water motion to name a few. After you do all of this then its time to jump on this website and start picking everyone?s brains!! Guess what... and this is the best part....we will tell you what we think for FREE. There is such a wealth of knowledge here to be utilized by new and old reefers alike. Many of us have tried all types of equipment and can give you an honest review. This saves you from wasting your hard earned money on something you will need to replace later on. Bottom line.... Use the members here and the free adds as well. If you tell them you heard about them here they might give you some price break or package deal! So name drop at the LFS!

    The Salty Box :thumbup1:
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
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