startin a 50 liter nano tank and need help desprately

Discussion in 'Nano Tank advice' started by Johan van Aardt, 13 Jan 2009.

  1. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

    Posts: 1,436
    11 Jan 2009
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    cape town, table view

    I have just entered the marine world but am quite experienced at coldwater and tropical fish. the reason I didnt start with a bigger tank is because of a space problem and because of the initial starting cost. i started 4 days ago and have 3 kg of live rock, correl sand and a very busy hermit crab. i tested my water after only a day and my water passed all the tests thus being the reason for already having a hermit crab.

    my 1st qeustion now is were can I find a very good quality marine shop in the western cape as i am struggling findig the best shop that isn't going to rip me off totally.

    my 2nd qeustion is how much fish can i put in to my 60 liter fish tank, i was thinking of a skunk cleaner shrimp a pair of clown fish and 2 yellow tail damsels as well as the hermit crab I already own.
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Posts: 17,868
    29 May 2007
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    Cape Town

    Hello Johan - a VERY WARM WELCOME to MASA! I am extremely glad that you found us, and joined MASA.

    a Few days are FAR FAR too quick to judge whether the water "is good", unfortunately.
    AS you should now from your tropical fish experience, the nutrient cycle can take QUITE a while - and this is even MORE so in the marine reefkeeping world.
    The average time ANY marine tank cycles for, is 6 to 8 weeks.... Which means that the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate cycle takes this long before all parameters are 0 (zero).
    Did you get any testing kits with your nano tank?
    The bade minimum testing kits you would require, are:
    1) ammonia
    2) nitrite
    3) nitrate
    4) pH
    5) salinity/SG (hydrometer)
    6) thermometer

    I can understand the reasoning behind going for a nano. You should also please just be aware of the negative reasoning behind owning a nano tank:
    Because of the relatively small volume of water, if there is any dying or rotting organic material in the tank (from either dying/dead life-stock, plant material, excess food, etc) the negative impact in the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, will be HUGELY exagerated. Meaning that the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels can spike, which in turn has a HUGE impact on the current life-stock in the tank.

    Due to the sensitivity of the nutrient levels in a nano tank, regular water changes are also a HUGE importance, and cannot be skipped.

    It is our (MASA) mission to ensure that people who either start out, or who are even experienced, are the absolute BEST reefkeepers that they can ever be.

    Please do not be afraid to ask ANY questions, as we are here to assist in any which way.

    Please take note tahat there are MANY really experienced reefkeepers on MASA, who have been in the hobby for MANY MANY years.

    Also - please have a look around our other "Member's Tanks and systems" forum, just to see what people have, and can accomplish!

    Good luck with your venture! Together we will ENSURE that you have a successful journey into marines!

    BTW: the MOST important part of being a reefkeeper, is to have PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!

    Good luck mate!

    Just to quickly answer your questions:
    1) the sponsors we have in the Cape, is: Sam's Aquarium - Bergvliet (see their banner on MASA) (good prices - but still come to us for advice)
    2) AQuality - Montague Gardens (see his banner on MASA) (very good advice - extremely knowledgeable - "but you pay for quality")
    3) LFS in Somerset West - I cannot remember the name right now... sorry - have a look at the banners - you will see their name there

    1) Aqua Concepts - next to M5/N1 (new business park)
    2) Northern Aquatics (don't sell marine life stock that often anymore)
    3) LFS in Blaauwberg Road - in same mall as Fruit & Veg
    3) Exotic Reef (Ottery)
    4) NAAC in Somerset West
  4. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Posts: 14,526
    7 May 2007
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    Gonubie East London

    welcome johan.. be advised that a marine tank started from scratch takes approx 30 days to mature .. live rock will assist in brining this timeframe down but should be seen as extra settling in time.. your tank will definatley spike in ammonia nitrite and then the ongoing battle of nitrate reduction andwater quality maintenece starts.. post more info on your system, skimmers, lighting etc.. pics will defianatley take some guesswork out of the equation.. with that being said i hopeyou have a pleasant stay here with us..
  5. mike Bushie

    mike Bushie

    Posts: 630
    14 Apr 2008
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    initial starting cost for a big tank actually saves you loads off money in the long run believe me. When you get into this hobby you always want Bigger. ;) i would know. if i knew what i know now i would have started off bigger. Just my thoughts welcome
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Posts: 9,482
    30 Nov 2007
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    A Beautiful place!

    Welcome to MASA Johan, hope you learn a lot and enjoy your stay. The reason the water tested fine after a day is because there is nothing in the water to show. Was way too quick to add the hermit, I hope he survives the cycle. Like mentioned by some of the other guys, a cycle takes 4-6 weeks. Please be patient and don't add anything else until then. Only after that time and after the water parameters are all in check, then you start stocking - slowly, to give the bacteria time to adapt to the extra bio-load ;)
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