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  1. #1
    MARSH GUEST
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    Question Possibly moving to Houston - what is the reef scene like?

    There is a high probability that I will be moving to Houston this year (for hubby's job) and thought it would be a good opportunity to get back into marine aquariums because I'll have a lot of free time.

    I've had saltwater tanks but, being in Hawaii, I am severely limited by what I could have. It's impossible to mail order critters due to shipping restrictions (and distance). We're not allowed to have any corals, so "reef" tanks here are generally zoa gardens. It's nice to have options for filtered NSW, but most equipment is incredibly expensive due to shipping fees. We also don't really have seasons so I never needed a heater or chiller.

    What's it like to have a reef tank in Houston? It it easy to get livestock? Equipment? Are there restrictions on what you can and cannot have? Are there restrictions on what you can collect? Are the hobbyist societies active? Are reefers there friendly? What is public opinion like (if any) with regard to reefkeeping or aquariumkeeping? How is your water quality? How expensive is it to run a chiller in the Houston heat?

    I guess I just wanted to get an idea of what to expect. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

  2. #2
    MARSH GUEST
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    Everything is big in TEXAS ...we like freedom....have at it and go wild on a reef tank.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Clownfish Chris's Avatar
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    Well, you will probably need a heater and possibly a chiller. You can go to the store and pick out much of what you want. Y'all come on over to the mainland and pick out what you like!

  4. #4
    BOD MEMBER
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    This is one of the best places you can do this hobby. There are so many LFS stores it will make your head spin.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Corey Ingram
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

  5. #5
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    I am not aware of anything we are not allowed to have here. We have some awesome fish stores here in Houston. Depending on what lights you put on the tank will determine if you need heater and or chiller. I run leds and have to have both. It probably cost on average 25.00 to run chiller.

  6. #6
    MARSH GUEST
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    Thanks for the info and the reassurances. I'm not particularly excited about the move so it's nice to have something to look forward to!

  7. #7
    Supporting Member PorpoiseHork's Avatar
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    Houston's a great city. No matter what you're looking for or need it can be found here. There are plenty of local stores that have their specialties. Some are known for having amazing coral selections others are more for the veriety of fish and other live stock. There are places that offer in home services as well. The community here from what I have found so far is very knowledgeable and helpful.

    For me I need a heater in my tank as I keep my house at 69 at night. During the day I have the A/C set to 76 so it never gets too hot to need a chiller. The need for a chiller all depends on your lighting and what you will keep your thermostat at and how quickly the temp climbs if the A/C or power goes out and stays out for 4-5 hours during the heat of the day. With plenty of electric company options available you can likely find a good rate and one that gives a price brake or discount if you use over a certain amount. For me my summer light bills are around $65-75 a month, but are actually higher in the winter due to my dropping below their specific discount threshold. If you find that you need a chiller the monthly cost will all depend on the the size you are running and how it will vent the hot air. Ideally you want it venting to the outside or into the attic so you're not putting an added strain on the house unit, but you can factor an annual cost of $50-80 if needed.

    The only restrictions I can think of with running an aquarium would be if you move into a town home or apartment be aware that they may have a size limit because of the weight than the type or contents.

    Houston water is crap, but then that's the way it is in most cities. If moving in to a house I would highly recommend a 4 or 5 stage RO/DI unit and a pair of storage tanks, one for fresh and one for mixed. This will be the ideal way to go in the long run especially if you run a larger tank as it will pay for itself in no time, and allow you total control over your water. Until then, there are plenty of LFS here that sell RO/DI in premixed and fresh at reasonable prices. If you do move here here and are not sure just ask so we can assist in pointing you to trusted locations near you.
    Last edited by PorpoiseHork; 05-22-2017 at 12:18 PM.

  8. #8
    BOD MEMBER
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    You can probably get away without a heater or chiller.

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    Corey Ingram
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  10. #9
    MARSH Sponsor PSXerholic's Avatar
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    We have a great community here and some H-Town tanks became EPIC ;-)
    Concerning the heat, I run my tank on 4 x 12VDC Computer case fans only..................

    Hit me up if you need some frags one day.

    -Andre

  11. #10
    BOD MEMBER
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSXerholic View Post


    We have a great community here and some H-Town tanks became EPIC ;-)
    Concerning the heat, I run my tank on 4 x 12VDC Computer case fans only..................

    Hit me up if you need some frags one day.

    -Andre
    Yeah, fans are good if you need them. Heaters and chillers are just more fail points.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Corey Ingram
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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