Best Reefer Forum on the Net?
on top of my Nepenthes addiction I've now caught the reef tank bug. I've never had an aquarium in my life, so I'm doing a LOT of homework before I even think about buying anything.
Doing homework includes reading books, talking to other reefers (luckily there's a whole street full of aquarium shops here in Taipei where proprietors and customers alike are quite willing to answer dumb questions) and checking websites and forums.
Now, I've found there are tons of reef forums out there, and I'd like to ask everyone here:
Which one do you like best, and why? Reef Frontiers? Reef Central? Reef Sanctuary? Reef Visions? 3Reef? Reefs.org? Any other?
Thanks much in advance!!
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Oh Hans it's an AWESOME hobby to have, and awesomely expensive. Back when I did it in the... 7th grade I think I frequented reefaquariumguide.com , and reefcentral.com is good too but I prefer the former.
If there's any advice I can give, is to not skimp on the lights and protein skimmer, and go with the largest tank you can get. Get a nice sump and don't bother with hang-on equipment. No wet/dry filter! Nano-reefs are popular these days and there's something about a reef in what's basically a goldfish bowl that makes me uncomfortable.
You had a reef in 7th grade?!? My dad could barely keep his alive and he was in his thirties.
Everyone's photos on that site are fantastic. Great info there on taking photos of an aquarium.
Specifically, read every word of steelhealr's thread " 24G Nano Cube DX Startup, Setup, Manual for newbies, in the works " This should be a bible for ANYONE looking to start a reef tank, esp. a nano or pico. Best of luck to you!
thanks for y'all's input!
I'm not planning a nano reef, as I also see it as a mere goldfish bowl in which the motile gang might feel uncomfortable. Instead, I'm getting a 60 gallon tank with a first-class skimmer, lots of pre-cured live rock and live sand, a decent sump, and a HQL/bluelight combo.
If there's one thing I've learned from keeping CPs in tanks, it's DON'T SKIMP ON THE BASICS. Which I won't, so already I'm looking at US$1300-1500 just for the habitat - not counting any critters. Fortunately, tropical ocean creatures are really cheap here in Taiwan (hey, we EAT them round here :-) ), so maybe my family will get me a few for Christmas...
Even if you're going for a larger tank, that forum (and especially that thread) will be invaluable. It's all about algae blooms, what's this thing wandering around my newly cured live rock, etc. etc. While you'll be dodging a lot of the problems associated with very small saltwater tanks, you'll still gain a lot by learning from their mistakes. Better to learn from someone else's $700 mistake than your own. Again best of luck. Maybe put a photojournal together for us, so that we can enjoy the growth and discovery with you =)
Thanks again, jrod! Could you link directly to steelhealr's thread? I can't find it
PS: The more I read, see and hear about reefs, the more amazed I am about the huge, colorful, amazing, stunningly magical world that's waiting for me....guess I've found my way to deal with the midlife crisis. The usual cure - buying a red Lamborghini - might have been cheaper, but this is so much more interesting :-)
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If you've never had one before, expect algae blooms as the tank ages and matures for the first few months. Just part of it. I had a nightmare with deep sand beds so I can't recommend that.
If you haven't bought the live rock yet, I really suggest buying uncured. I've bought precured and it's practically dead live rock compared to uncured, which is encrusted with life and since you need to cycle your tank anyway, might as well cure the uncured live rock in the tank and get all of the extra life like macro algaes (I had this flourescent orange one once!) , stony polyps, amphipods, copepods bristleworms etc. I promise it might get stinky and is extra work with water changes, but you WONT regret curing your own uncured live rock.
Thanks for the tip. Now I consider myself a lucky son of a b*tch, because the proprietor of the marine fish shop I like most here has a PhD in marine biology and is also chair of the Taiwan Reef Research Association; in short - a reef nut with an eco-agenda. This guy won't sell you stuff just for the sake of selling you stuff. He also won't sell you stuff if he thinks it's not good for your setup - he'll rather refer you to the shop next door than have your dead fish on his conscience.
The downside is he believes DSB is the catfish's meow :-) I'll have to talk to him about this and the cured/uncured thing. I'll have to wait after summer with the curing, though - at 90+ degrees daily and tropical humidity, the stink will take on epic proportions, I'm afraid.