A healthy reef aquarium
Keeping a healthy coral reef aquarium is not easy. You can disagree all you want. But it is a labor intensive labor of love. You really have to enjoy keeping your little piece of the ocean alive and happy. Your parameters need to be right.
- 0 TDS water
- Good clean up crew
- Regular testing of (at least) salinity, calcium, alkalinity and magnesium
There are a number threats that have caused many well intentioned reef aquarists to give in and sell everything on Craigslist. Nuisance algae, cyanobacteria, coral bleaching and coral receding/melting just to name a few. I've experienced them all.
For you beginners, read, read and then read some more. This hobby ain't cheap. I have plenty of coral plugs that once had live coral on them. Learn all you can, and get good quality equipment. Cheap lights or a cheap protien skimmer may cost you dearly. Speaking of Craigslist, and Ebay, great place to look for slighly used equipment at a fraction of the price of new.
Find a good local LFS. Many of them also sell used, traded in equipment. They will also have a supply of additives, and can be a great resource. But that doesn't mean they are the best option.
I have found a group of suppliers I use for my aquarium needs. In my opinion they are the best at what they do and sell. I receive no compensation for these endorsements.
Bulk Reef Supply
Great resource for "bulk" media. GFO, calcium, calcium carbonate, magnesium every reef aquariest needs.They also regularly put out some great video "How To's". I'll be putting some of their video's on other pages. They have taught me a lot.
John Maloney at Reef Cleaners is amazing. Need a cleanup crew? Snails or hermits? John is your man. Cannot beat his prices, or his inverts. I also use his coral food and have purchased great dry base rock from him.
I purchsed water for a while for my aquarium. I brought my gas cans to my lfs every week to buy RO and saltwater. Dang those containers are heavy. I did a little research and found many people talking up SpectraPure RO/DI systems. The purchase of my MaxCap RO/DI was one of the best investments I made into my aquarium.
Do yourself a favor and make your own RO.
I have to mention AquaCave for one reason. Light bulbs. They have a great selection. They have good prices. But most of all... they have $5 shipping. i don't get my T5's from anywhere else.
There are a few other online places I purchase from as needed.