new member with no clue at reef keeping!

doug belisle

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Am I to understand you guys keep a real reef in a tank at home? :shock:

Hello all!

My name is Doug and I have a realy cool new job. I am a security team member for the Georgia Aquarium. The only job cooler is the dive guys or maybe Bruce Carlson's job. 8)

Having never guarded fish before I jumped at the chance to become a member and attend SaltwaterU when I received the email at work.

I look forward to meeting you all at SaltwaterU and I cant wait to show of our reef that Im actualy watching being built.

Welcome and thank you for joining the Atlanta Reef Club!
We look forward to seeing you at SaltwaterU!
Hi Doug!

I'm glad that you joined the club and signed up for SaltwaterU! :D

Yes, all of us really do maintain small versions of living coral reefs. Some of our member's aquariums range in size from ~7 gallon "Nano" tanks to 400+ gallons, which by comparision to the GA Aquarium must seem really tiny. :shock:

Thanks for the welcome!

I dont know about leaving the back door open but it might be posible for me to get some passes or arrange for a club tour.

The reef exhibit is awsome. Actualy everything I have seen so far is incridible. I wish I could say more but a non disclosure agreement prevents me form saying anythng.

Our website is up"></a> and I would invite everyone to check it out. I would also like to point out the FishScales for anyone wanting to own their own little piece of the aquarium.

Welcome Doug! We hope to see you at our events.

You are right about the FishScales - it is a great idea. We bought five, and ARC has its own scale.

Warm regards,

Dr Shindell,

Thanks for the welcome. I spent almost 4 years at Piedmont in the security department.

I look forward to showing you the FishScales wall when we open :)

Wow...Maybe after 17 years on staff I really should finally get a badge there...(shhhhhh).

BTW -- the ARC building at the zoo was designed by Jeff Swanagan when he was at Zoo Atlanta. It is great.

ok so my first question is: This isnt the same as a fish tank you might find in someone's home?

My second and more important question is where do I start. Someone up above pointed me to the trading area on these forums (thanks) but I guess I dont know how big (or small) of a tank I should start out with. What other equipment is needed for a small beginner setup?
Doug -

Yes, these are the same type of fish tanks in people's homes. You might want to go to some of our sponsor stores and check out what they have, and see some tanks. Our next meeting will also be at one of the sponsor stores, and SaltwaterU will have raffles for several tanks if you are feeling lucky. The tank size is from very small to very large, and expands to fit everyone's wallet. Like with most things in life, the basic rule is you can have two of three things - cheap, fast, or good, but you can't have all three. Good equipment and a slow pace is the key. Almost every meeting we have members give away items, and we like to get newbees started.

Most of us would also love to show off our tanks -- feel free to give me a call at 404 252-0719 if you want to see our tanks.


As a fairly new reefer, I can vouch for the generosity of this club. There are many people who are willing to help us newbies get on our feet. I have been very lucky. Good luck setting up your tank, but take it from me. Start out slowly and do a ton of research before you buy anything. Good, thorough research should be the first step in your journey. BTW, I'll see you around some time at the aquarium. I'm a volunteer.