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Venu Gundlapally

New to Reefing

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Hi, I am new to reefing and i am very interested in making this my hobby. Can someone suggest me where to start? I am basically a newbie, any help is highly appreciated. I went o aquadome in south east austin today but the red sea systems are very expensive for my budget. I was looking for a 120G system (this will fit well in the area i am planning to have one) but it was around 5K, which i was shocked. Please try to help me to get a good start. Thanks again.

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Welcome to the club!   First place I would suggest is Forest Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas".   The Kindle version is only $10.  It's an excellent introduction to the various, complicated and conflicting roles of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and microbial processes in reef systems.    Mirroring the research showing how microbes affect our physical health and sustainable farming, microbial processes play a critical role in being succesful with reef systems.   And it's important to understand when thinking of nutrients to think of nitrogen and phosphate in terms of total nitrogen (ie particulate organic nitrogen - PON, dissolved organic nitrogen - DON, and dissolved inorganic nitrogen - DIN) and total phosphate (ie particulate organic phosphate - POP, dissolved organic phosphate - DOP, and dissolved inorganic phosphate - DIP).  Just looking at nitrate and phosphate is missing huge parts of the picture.   If this seems very complicated remember the corals already have it all figured out.   You also do not need a lot of complicated equipment (this system I maintain has no external filtration just power heads and air pumps).  I am keeping multiple systems and animals in my business that are decades old without a lot of extraneous add ons.  (Check my youtube link for videos of some of them.) 

 

Getting back to  nutrients here's what two experts on coral reefs have to say:

"When I see the colors of some of these low nutrient tanks, I can't help but be reminded of bleached coral reefs.  It should therefore not come as a surprise that feeding corals in such systems becomes a very important component in these systems.  Though reefs are often catagorized as nutrient "deserts" the influx of nutrients in the form of particulates and plankton is quite high when the total volume of water passing over a reef is taken into consideration.

Our crystal-clear aquaria do not come close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs. And so when we create low-nutrient water conditions, we still have to deal with the rest of a much more complex puzzle. Much like those who run their aquarium water temperature close to the thermal maximums of corals walk a narrow tight rope, I can't help but think that low-nutrient aquariums may be headed down a similar path." Charles Delbeck, Coral Nov/Dec 2010, pg 127

"Imported nutrients are usually transported to reefs from rivers; but if there are no rivers, as with reefs remote from land masses, nutrients can only come from surface ocean circulation. Often this supply is poor, and thus the vast ocean expanses have been refered to as "nutrient deserts". The Indo-Pacific has many huge atolls in these supposed deserts which testify to the resilience of reefs, but the corals themselves may lack the lush appearance of those of more fertile waters. Many reefs have another major supply of inorganic nutrients as, under certain conditions, surface currents moving against a reef face may cause deep ocean water to be drawn to the surface. This "upwelled" water is often rich in phosphorus [2.0 mg/l] and other essential chemicals." J. E. N. Veron "Corals of Austrailia and the Indo-Pacific" pg 30

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Welcome. Yes the hobby can be expensive. Look for used tanks and equipment. People move, get bigger / smaller tanks all the time. If you have some time your tank will pop up on the internet. The forum here (for sale) or some other sale site. Buying used can come with problems. New stuff not so much. Get as much info about the tank and equipment that comes with it.

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