What not to do in your reef tank!


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Howell, NJ
What not to do in your reef tank
by the Manhattanreefs.com reefing community!

This is a serious thread ladies and gentleman! lets keep the silly and goofy comments to the thread located in the nudibar :thanks:

If anyone would like to add to the list please feel free :biggrin:

Don't top off with tap water!! ? Bigcapct

Don?t make anemones your fist purchase ? Saltwaterinbrooklyn

Don?t mix salt brands!!! ? Saltwaterinbrooklyn (some mix but try to stick to 1 thats great in all aspects)

Don?t put copper in the tank (reef tank)? xxxangeloxxx

Don't top off with saltwater ? Oggisports

Don?t seal the top of your tank to limit evaporation ? Motortrendz

Don?t dose chemicals when you have no clue what you are doing! ? Skene

Don?t leave your lights on 24 hours a day during your cycle ? Nanoreefer22

Do not buy saltwater supply at petland ? saltwaterinbrooklyn

Don?t get your "salt" water form the mouth of the Hudson ? Motortrendz

Bottled water is not the same as RO/DI ? Custom05taco

Do not use air fresheners near your tank ? Motortrendz

Don't use play sand from the parks sand box!! ? Saltwaterinbrooklyn

Don't over do water changes ? zanymaster

Don?t put your hands in your tank right after you do dishes ? Saltwaterinbrooklyn

Don't let kids play around your tank ? Selkoner

Don?t wash your filter socks with tide and fabric softener ? Motortrendz

Don?t leave your tank cleaning equipment lying around (mag-floats). You might find mysterious new scratches on your tank and nobody knows anything about it. :/ - cris007

Don?t leave your ATO on when doing water changes ? rookie07

Don?t pour in copepods near your overflow! ? saltwaterinbrooklyn

Don?t keep sticking your hand in the tank ? Exotic Reef

Don't leave reactors off for more then an hour. Media holds bacteria, which can die then cause nitrates to spill into the system ? ecchybridle

Don't go on vacation and leave someone to watch your tank that doesn?t know what he's doing ? bueller

Do not nuke your tank with kalk ? tomtoothdoc

if you have a contaner of rodi make sure you put a sign on it so you dont mix it with tap water - Exotic Reef

Don't run a tank without a controller - JohnnyJ (Highly recommended but not a have to)

Don't do water changes without matching the salinity and temperature - JohnnyJ

Don't add livestock too quickly - JohnnyJ

Don't add livestock without QTing - JohnnyJ

Don't buy fish from petco!! - Rambler67

Don't use Windex on your tank with your top off water in a pale right underneath it! - Rambler67

If you cant afford your tank then shut it down, live stock will suffer if your broke - jag10016

Buy good equipment - jag10016

Dont act like a master because your new to the hobby and dont know anything - jag10016

Excited?? cool, just DON'T RUSH IT!! - Loer

Dont overload your electrical circuit that your tank is running on. You might wake up or come home to a "dead" tank. - Chris007

Don't assume your temperature probe is secure in the tank. Check it and then check it again. Then once more for good measure! - csauer52

Dont go with only one float switch - Flytekk

Let your tank cycle completely before putting in live stock - nanoreefer22

If you're running any mechanical filtration clean it out at least once every two weeks - nanoreefer22

Don't use a hydrometer, invest in a refractometer - nanoreefer22

Don't buy livestock without researching first - nanoreefer22

Don't play with your rock work everyday, it screws with everything TRUST ME - nanoreefer22

uneaten food
plant decay
dying algae
fish feces
dead fish
carbon filter media
aquarium salts
pH buffers
kH buffers
water itself

Know how flow affects your tanks inhabitants. - Nanoreefer21

Don't leave your ro/di running at night!! --expect a flood! - evoIX Reefer

Don't forget to plan ahead or plan to do things twice....as well as pay twice! - evoIX Reefer

Make sure ur tank is leveled before adding everything. - tangy84

Do not allow Sawtoothed Calerpa in your tank unless you have a secret desire to kill your corals, or get off on using tweezers.
Do not forget to rinse out hydrometers after use unless you enjoy that panic feeling when it reads .60 .
Do not put away hoses from water changes w/o rinsing them- salt builds up.
Do not dose for anything that you do not test for.
Do not accept that what 'the LFS dude' says is reef law because he wears a funny shirt with a name on it! Do your research!
Do not forget to write down parameters or dosings- memory fails sometimes.
Do not forget that even ' Reef Experts' are not experts on every single facet of Reefing- find at least 3 sources.
Do not believe that you need every new toy or gadget that comes out- people have been doing this for decades without them.
Do not believe for a minute that are reliable shortcuts to nature.

Don't neglect to test your water at least once a week. Alkalinity, pH, calcium, salinity, nitrites, nitrates, etc.-Wilhelm

Don't forget floor supports before you put water in that 120 or larger.
Don't forget to clean the reflectors on your lighting system periodically.
Don't forget to close the lid on tank ( sorry kitty ).
Don't forget to clean pre-filters in a drilled tank- otherwise you are storing funk in your tank.
Don't forget to check temp regularly- thermometers can go bad. Very, very bad.
Last edited:


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14   0   0
Long Island
Disagree about mixing salt brands. One of the AOTM on reefcentral specifically uses a mix of Instant Ocean and Oceanic. One is high in Ca and Mg the other in alkalinity. I have adopted this method for the past few months. Seems to be working okay. But I am a newbie so what do I know lol


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87   0   0
New York
Don't run a tank without a controller

Don't do water changes without matching the salinity and temperature

Don't add livestock too quickly

Don't add livestock without QTing


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38   0   0
If you cant afford your tank then shut it down, live stock will suffer if your broke

Buy good equipment

Dont act like a master because your probably new to the hobby and dont know sh*t


New member
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21   0   0
Queens, NY
sorry for so many questions. when you say seal, you mean one solid piece of glass right? i have the perfecto glass lid. is that ok?
That lid is no good. The more oxygen exchange the better. Remove it and replace with a DYI screen top or just leave it open unless u have fish that r known "jumpers".