New to Hobby - please help


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8   0   0
Jersey City, NJ
Hello everybody. I was referred to this site by DeepWater. So far, it's been great.

I've been saving up for awhile now for this hobby. I just bought a 72 gallon reef-ready Oceanic Bowfront. I also bought the Oceanic model #1 Reef-ready sump for $150. I wasn't sure if I should return it and buy one from another store that comes with the Oceanic sump, as well as, the biochamber, plumbing kit, and glass top for $229. Is it worth it? The plumbing kit comes with 3/4" Insert fitting, 1" T.O.E. fitting, 48" drain hose, 72" return hose, Teflon tape, Small and Large hose clamps, and bulkhead fitting. Will I also need the biochamber? Or should I use a different set up? Does the glass top help really help prevent water splashing, evaporation, "salt creep", and excessive water pump noise like it advertises?

I haven't bought any equipment yet. I am willing to spend money for great quality. I just didn't want to buy from local fish stores because they overcharge and have been telling me that I'll be spending over 5 grand for the tank size I requested. What are the necessary equipment I need to buy. Which brands in particular? I also bought a couple books to get started.

Thanks in advance to those who reply.


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Weehawken, NJ
Welcome to MR Harmony!!! The first thing we need to know is what you plan to keep in the tank. Fish only, Soft corals or SPS? SPS is generaly for advanced aquarist only.


Senior Member
Manhattan Reefs
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MDharmony said:
Mostly corals and a few fish. Sorry but I'm not even sure what SPS stands for. Thanks Herman
SPS - Small polp stoney corals (ie. acropora, montipora..)
LPS - Large polp stoney corals ( corals, elegance, candy cane..)
Softies - corals that do not have calcite skeletons (ie. mushrooms, button polps, ACAN., ..)

good luck



Manhattan Reefs
Real Reefer
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Brooklyn, NY

Welcome to MR:)
If you don't know what SPS means, you are not ready to setup your system or make the appropriate equipment choices. I would strongly suggest you invest in a few good books that will give you an overview of the types of setups possible and introduce you to the terminology of the hobby. I know you are probably raring to go, but you will save yourself a lot of headaches and $$$ if you take the time and get it right the first time. There are really so many options, and folks here can help you a lot, but you need to able to ask informed questions AND evaluate the often contradictory suggestions you will receive.

I always recommend the following for beginners:

1)Natural Reef Aquariums--John Tullock
2)The Conscientious Marine Aquarist--Bob Fenner
3) The New Marine Aquarium---Mike Paletta

There are far better, more up to date books for the intermediate and advanced hobbyist , but these 3 lay out the basics very well and will lay a solid foundation for exploiting other resources--like this site.


bad coffee

Inept at life.
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pssst peter Acans are LPS!

Harmony, Welcome to MR!

If you're handy, you can build your own sump for much less than that! Do some research here and other places on the web ( and see what other people have done with their setups.

Other than that, just shop around and see other prices. Acrylic sumps can go for a LOT more than that, so it may be a great deal!


House of Laughter

Super Moderator
Staff member
Manhattan Reefs
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310   0   0
Ossining, NY

Welcome to MR -

Picking equipment and getting it right is like critiquing a Picasso - some people see it as art and some not. That being said, I agree with most, if not all here in this thread - do some more research on the components you'll need and start to keep a list - if you have to, keep a list in the tank thread section for yourself and ask people for input so you can keep track, and also edit your first post with choices you make.

Another good idea is to try and go to people's houses or read through their galleries to see how they set their stuff up. KISS (Keep it simple stupid) is the motto I work from and try not to complicate it more than it has to be. Don't get me wrong, I have some nice bells and whistles, BUT, it is a simple design with few failure points (knocking on wood).

Anyhow, welcome, more research and my door is open if you want to see how overwhelming it can get :thrash:


Aqua Pro Builder

Vendor: WingoLED
Manhattan Reefs
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225   2   0
Hi there, welcome.

Choosing equipement is absolutely one of the most important issue AFTER you have decided what live stock to keep. A lot of the commercial products may not work as good as some DIY stuff found in this forum and of course other more advanced sites. Some are over charged for doing nothing and some are plain design flaws. Google is good and our link guru Deanos may be even better for finding information resources.

However, there is no one way of doing things-keep yourself open for contradicting ideas and do what just suit you best.


Fish and Coral Killer
Rating - 97.3%
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WingoAgency said:
DIY stuff found in this forum and of course other more advanced sites.
I think this site can offer some very advance stuff, if not better than most.

Welcome to!! My $.02 --> Read some of the books suggested then ask a lot of questions.. there is more than a few "right way" to do what you need to have good results in this hobby, ask people how they do it and you should should try to see their results in person. Too many "you can't do this" type on the internet when they never tried it them self.


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8   0   0
Bx, NY
Hey Harmony,

Welcome to MR. The key to a good reef is Patience, and Respect.
Respect the the cycles your tank must undergo (cutting corners can be devastating ), be patient when it comes to the maturity and growth of Tank.


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Hey MD Harmony

Nice talking to you or you wife i think today(dont know which one is on ) ,lol
Well good to see you made it here.Well that the 1st step to a great tank.
From my understanding you guys are going to be moving to another state in a year.So 1st thing ,dont do tooo much as in livestock(over stocking your tank) I thnk you should take advantage of the experience on the borad and get yourself good equpitment ,that is 2 things that you can take with you ,Livestock wil be a hard move to do .Unless you know how to pack and ship your corals to your new home.

That just my opinion

Have fun on the site ,ther is lots to look and read on threads ,If you need any help Pm me.

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Im BaAaAcK
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Bedford Hills
Welcome Harmony!!!
I agree with house on the KISS way of reefing, but from my experience you sometimes need to try things on your own, so you can see what works and what doesn't, start off with a small tank and work from there, bigger means more $$ and more work and since you are just starting out i am sure i can say this from everyone its not recommended unless you research research research as your first step....Believe me things can get hairy very fast if everything isnt perfect, but usually have a funny way of working out in the end hence my motto things get worse before they get better lol, i have been through some interesting dilemmas but with some help from the wonderful world of MReefs, and the great people on here i got through it and learned alot in the process. So enjoy the hobby and keep asking questions, bc there is no such thing as a dumb question on here....:fish:


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8   0   0
Jersey City, NJ
Hello everyone,

I just got home from work and the first thing I did was check to see if I received any replies to my post. I was surprised to see how many people are willing to help and it's only been my first day on here. DeepWater wasn’t kidding when he said that I would get ample help from this site. In regards to everyone’s response, I did already buy 3 books. Ironically, they were the three books that Prattreef recommended to get. I read reviews and compared different books on different internet sites, looked for the best deals before I finally decided to buy them on Amazon.

It took a lot of hesitation before I decided to really stick with this hobby. I’m the type of person who will give my all or nothing at all, so I didn’t want to half ass my efforts with this hobby either. All I know is that I find the marine aquarium so beautiful to look at and it just relaxes me. I already have 2 tanks set up at home: a freshwater African Cichlid tank and a plant aquarium that have both been successful. I find this hobby much more challenging and that’s exactly why I’m here.

You all are correct about researching and I will definitely read those beginner books before jumping the gun. Thanks to all who have replied with their personal advice. I am looking forward to the next coming months and will be sharing my experience with you all.

~ Dulce
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Manhattan Reefs
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MD, welcome to MR. I only joined this family a few months ago and can honestly say they've been unbelievably supportive, a wealth of knowledge and a fun group to hang with.

So much good advise has already been given. To me, the most important pieces of the puzzle are to follow the reefers adage, take your time, the only things that happen fast in this hobby are problems. Everything else takes time. You seem to be doing just that. Believe it or not, that warrants a hearty, congratulations!

As stated, there are many ways to do things right in this hobby. Just do your research first and decide what works best for you.

Ask questions, join in on our discussions and most importantly, enjoy your new addiction :party: (oops, I mean hobby (yeah, right)).



Pinoy Reef Addict!
Manhattan Reefs
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173   1   0
Westchester, NY
Yup I agree with all of them PATIENCE is the key! Do a lot of readings and research coz if you don't it will cost you $$$, and like what Russ said enjoy the new ADDICTION lol. THis hobby is so addicting it makes you want to have bigger tanks all the time. especially when you see these guys with their big gorgeous tank! Don't be like me i've been upgrading to bigger tanks every couple of months hehehehe