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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! I am just starting out with my first reef tank. I have a 55g freshwater, planted, guppy and snail tank that is thriving but wanted to step up my game. I purchased a 120g with stand and sump. Then bought a roughly 20-30g tank for external refugium (cause I think they look cool) and setup all my plumbing for both. I bought a new 200W heater as my LFS suggested 2 small heaters instead of 1 large Incase of failure of the 1 large. I have 2 large powerheads, a used protein skimmer from LFS (don***8217;t know the name). An RO system with a 55 gallon reservoir and 44g mixing bin. I posted in then looking to buy forums for another heater and some live rock if I can find it cheaper than my LFS. Ultimately I***8217;m looking to see what I***8217;m missing in the minds of the the master reefers. What items are essential going forward other than the obvious water, rock, and fish. And what pitfalls should I watch for that you have experienced and would save me some unforeseen headaches. Thank you so much for any input and advice.
The saltwater newb. ***x1f609;
 

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I would definetly get a refractometer to test your salinty, exspecially since you will be mixing you own water. You can get them for as low as 20 bucks on amazon, and a test kit. You have what you need to start. I would do research on what you want to keep, as far as fish and coral.
 

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Par30 led grow light for the fuge works well. Main tank lighting depends on what you want to keep. If considering coral it will be an expensive part as lighting is critical.
 

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There are a ton of design choices. in the evolution of reefing, many reefers will start with fish only and then move over to setting up a reef. I did and I liked it for two reasons, one it allows your tank for its first year cycle. As time goes on and you observe your fish healthy then you can start adding corals. Likely your design choices will change dependant of your goals. but the evolution arrow is Freshwater> Africans>Saltwater Fish> Fish with Softies> LPS and eventually SPS corals. Take your time and read on on the tank of the Month posts which will illustrated with many successful reefers have learned to get that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah I have been looking at ATOs but it may be a way off as my budget is stretched thin at the moment. I hear / see tunze is a very good one. Any suggestions on one over another?


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Thin budget with a reef tank, you might be in the wrong game.

My current game is "try to get out of my LFS under $120". So far I have a 0% success rate.
 

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Yeah I have been looking at ATOs but it may be a way off as my budget is stretched thin at the moment. I hear / see tunze is a very good one. Any suggestions on one over another?

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Black Friday sales are usually really good in this hobby. Make sure to check out bulk reef supply's sales. I usually get a years worth of staple supplies during there sale each year. Tunze ATO is an excellent piece of equipment. Mine has been running without a hiccup for going on 8 years

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It’s not about a thin budget, but more about not buying stuff that’s overpriced. It’s about patience and getting the best deals for my money. Impulse buying because it’s new and shiny will likely get one burned. Research and careful buying wins the day.


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I'm using Tunze as well and have been very happy with it. Whatever you decide to get, I would look for redundant fail-safes and run dry protection. Mine is set up with a 10gal reservoir to limit my worst case scenario. You don't have to have ATO right off the bat, but after 3 years of adding water by hand I can't believe I waited so long to get one. I agree with having fish only to start off. Having corals requires diligence to maintain water parameters. Something I wasn't prepared for when I started out. I couldn't imagine having corals without a doser.
 

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It would great to see an update o your tank status. I hope everything has been growing great over the years and now you have a fantastic reef
 
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