new girl here to learn before diving in


Delta Sigma Theta
Hey everyone, let me introduce myself. I am 24 years old and from Mississippi but am going to college in New Orleans. Several years from now when I get my own house I want to set up a 180 gal. Reef tank At first I wanted a 300 gal. but I decided 180 gal. would be best for me. I have been thinking long and hard about this for over four years and I WANT :bounce:. I am probably going to be doing more lurking and searching than anything else on here because dangit when I set it up I want to make sure I know what I'm doing and I don't want to realize a few months after setting it up that I should have bought this or that before starting up the tank. So yeah, I'm planning it out and thinking. So far I've pretty much decided on the filter, lights, testing equiptment, and a few other things but I am still unsure of what type of chiller to get and I am looking at refugiums. I know when I do set up my tank there will be lots of new advances and stuff but at least having a type of brand and general idea I know what I am looking for.

It may be a good while before I get started but it will be oh so worth it. :) :^::bounce:
Welcome to the site. just ask any questions in the general forums and Im sure you will get a variety of responses.
good to see you want to research before 'diving in' - planning several years in advance... wow!! :-)

I might suggest that you get yourself a small tank now - nano or something that is easy to move (given that you are currently a student so will be moving for sure at some point in the future). Reading / researching is a terrific idea, but (asside from a few basics) many people have their own opinions - trying it out yourself is probably the best learning experience... and this way you do it on a small scale and it will help you to make some decisions when you put together your 180...
I would love to do a nano reef but I can not afford that right now and I really don't have the time as of right now to set one up since this is my last year in undergrad before going into medical school.

Plus nano reefs are expensive as well. I would still be looking at $500 + for a nano reef and because of the size those can be more difficult than the large scale reefs due to how quickly fluctuations in water quality can happen in the nano reef. I do think nano reefs are beautiful, but for me I'd rather just go big.

That's why I said a few years from now when I have time and money to put into what I want. hmmm... I keep going between a 180 and 300 gal. hehe we will see.

I always research big projects for several years before diving in. It took me 5 years to find a dog. :)
Welcome to the reef.I think you'll find this site just as addictive as the hobby.And theres no need just lurk,jump on in,ask questions and give you oppinions.
And forget the 180 and go for the 300.:^:
okay you said go for the 300 I'm going for it hehe. The problem was not finding a 300 gal. acrylic tank locally, but Mr. Brat and I said we could always order one and I found a place online that sells 300 gal. acrylic tank. So ummm.. yeah 300 it is.

This is where I found the tanks:

Considering that I'm talking now I'm probably going to post a few questions and see what you guys think of the equipment and other things I've decided on.
:boldblue::boldblue::boldblue:hehe okay. I got a ton of questions and I was lurking on here for a good month before joining so I'll go to the newbie section and post all my questions in one thread. I'm so excited and my dream is a good while from now but it's soo fun to look at species and stuff.
yeah I know, but they are stronger than glass and with all the weight of the tank I'd feel more comfortable with acrylic than glass for a 300gal. tank.
that they are my 50 gal that was acrylic cracked but it was ten years old. i just thought i would tell you how hard they are to clean if not kept on top of.
Hi and welcome!

You probably won't need a chiller... Most people don't. And I would go with glass over acrylic any day. Acrylic gets beat up super fast (especially in a reef tank). Just the sand and rock in your tank can ruin it.
I'll keep on top of it for sure. :)

hmmm.. okay so what are the benefits and downside of glass and acrylic for reef tanks?
Well, strength isn't really an issue. Bigger tanks use thicker = stronger glass.

Acrylic scratches very easily. Just cleaning the acrylic tends to scratch it, because it's inevitable that a grain of sand gets between the acrlyic and magnet/pad that you're using to clean it. Once you add live rock to the tank (which will touch the sides in some places), you get even more scratches. Scratches in acrylic can be buffed out, but it leaves the area foggy.

Glass can be much more easily cleaned. It's usually cheaper too. The downside is it's HEAVY.
*bites tongue* okay I'll look at glass too. i would like to purchase it online as there aren't any stores that carry tanks that big where I live.