3ft Tank ok for saltwater???

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by J_bay, 31 Aug 2010.

  1. J_bay

    J_bay

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    Hi guys,

    I have an old 3ft tank, that I used to keep my Oscar in, before I sold him. I had to keep him in here because he was totally unsuitable for living in my 6ft tank, he ate or killed everything in his site...He was 3.5KG when I got rid of him, for interests sake!

    When I moved to East London from Joburg I had to sell my big tank, and only brought the 3ft with. What I wanted to find out is could I use the 3ft for a small marine tank when I get to durban?

    Reason being, I won't have money for a bigger tank for quite a while, and I want to start with marines. So I thought if I could use the 3ft tank, I could then buy the hardware needed to run a bigger tank, and use it on the 3ft, till I have the money saved to buy a bigger one. Then, I could set up the bigger one, and transfer all my stuff from the small to the big.

    I just wanted to know if you could use a 3ft tank, and what type of fish/coral could you keep in there, and more or less how many???

    Hope my question made sense???

    Thanks guys,

    Jared
     
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  3. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Sure you can, just less livestock in it... how wide and high is the tank ?
     
  4. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    u can even use a 0.5 ft tank all depends on how u want to stock the tank
     
  5. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Dimensions are L 920 X W 320 X H 360.

    I was planning to use it for a tank here in East London, but never got around to it, because of work and so forth. I had cut one of the ends a bit shorter, to make an overflow that I want to flow into an external glass box, but I still would need to have the box cut.

    What I was thinking was, to have it flow over into a external box, and from there into the sump. I was thinking of using a 2 foot tank for the sump, and then have a skimmer in the sump, over a DSB then return into the tank on the other side. Basically like most peoples set up's, only smaller.

    I also want to use a small CLS in the tank, but instead of drilling holes in the back panel, I will bring 2 Pipes over the back and down the back panel, to blow the water into the tank, I'm not extremely gifted with my hands, so the less drilling of glass the better. I can use plumbing pipe though, so building the CLS shouldn't be hard.

    I figured two inlets would be fine for such a small tank. I thought of letting one blow against the side glass, and one blow straight ahead, that way I could create some turbulence in the tank, not so?

    I want to have a shallow layer of substrate, since the tank is small, I could use something nice like Aragonite, because it won't cost so much to cover the bottome of the small tank.

    The thing is, this would be my first time trying to keep a reef tank, and I know the smaller the tank is the harder it would be to do, but the way I see it, if I pay attention to my parameters, and listen to what more experienced guys tell me, then I should be able to do it.

    I would keep only fish that I could catch locally, and maybe some local soft coral, if you can collect that type of thing in Durban without too much underwater work, lol.

    I think it could work quite nicely??
     
  6. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Did you use any copper based medicinces in the tank befor?
    Is the silicone blue at all?
     
  7. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    I'm not sure about the medicines, but I don't think it would matter because the tank was not used for a long time. The old silicone was not looking good, so I stripped it completely and re did it with new Marine silicone, so I don't think that will be a problem.

    I also thoroughly cleaned all the sides of the tank. I think that it will be fine from that point of view.
     
  8. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Then you have no worries.
     
  9. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Thanks man. I'm thinking that when we're set up in Durban, I'm gonna get the tank ready and cycling, and just leave it for a few weeks, then when the nice fish are in full force, I'll have a tank ready for them!!
     
  10. Loki

    Loki cable tie ninja

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  11. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Hi Loki, your tank looks very cool. I was thinking of something similar, but I might go FOWLR, but the only thing that bothers me about those tanks is that they can look a bit dull, all brown...Any Idea on brightening up a FOWLR tank, because I love butterflies and the like, but they love coral...
     
  12. Loki

    Loki cable tie ninja

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    tell you what .. post a stocking list (wishlist)
    and lets hear what the guys opinions are, and be careful the tang police are watching..
     
  13. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    I like the different butterflies, like the Racoon, Threadfin, Vaggies etc. Also like Anthias, the different angel fish etc.

    Not too keen on tangs because they get big and I don't think they'd fit so well in my tank once there are rocks in there??

    I also like surgeons, Convicts, Powder Blue, I hear the Powder Blue is difficult to keep, but apparently Convict surgeons are not?

    Other than that, any other nice looking fish that I come across, because I want to catch all the fish myself, instead of buying them. I like clown fish too, but I've never heard of guys catching their own??

    Any other fish you could think of or recommend??
     
  14. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    erm dude on the size tank that you have i would rec:
    Clowns
    Chromis
    Dottybacks
    Royal gramma
    Dwarf angel
    gobies
    firefish
    small anthias
    Not all but a selection of the few. If you dont mind and can do regular 25 - 40% waterchanges (read weekly) then u can stock up, and a good skimmer

    I would not rec any butterflies, or tangs or surgeons, unless they are reallllllly small and u intend passing them on after a while.
    U can put any fish in any tank but would it be ok in the size of the tank that you have is the question
     
  15. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Firstly you dont want the big tank due to cost but you want equipment to run the big tank now. The equipment is way more expensive and the cost of the actual tank is one of the least expensive parts. Secondly the sump is way too small to house any type of equipment that will run a big tank. A skimmer for a big tank will not even fit in the 2ft sump on its own. Lights is another issue. If you go T5s then you would have to go for the 39W (3ft) tubes. Any tank bigger than a 3ft and you would want 54W (4ft tubes). 54W tubes can easily be used on tanks from 4-5ft. So you would have to upgrade the lights when you move to a bigger tank.

    My advice would be to get a standard 4ft tank as the display (yes its another added cost, but better in the long run), and use the 3ft as the sump. Whn you upgrade later to a bigger tank then the 4ft becomes the sump. The 54W tubes that you use on this tank can either be transferred as the main lights to the bigger tank or you could use them as supplemental lights later if you upgrade to hallides or bigger T5 tubes.

    So in short. If you use the 3ft tank now, you will have to upgrade almost everything later on.
     
  16. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Thanks Ziyaad, like I said, I am not so set on what I put in there, I just want to stock it with pretty fish that you get locally in the Durban area, so I'll try keep to smaller fish that you can find in the rock pools.

    On the other hand, I won't be keeping the 3ft for ever, I just want to use it for a while when I get there, whilst I save up enough money to get the bigger tank. The plan is to use the 3ft as a learning curve towards the bigger one, then I can just transfer all my fish to the bigger tank, which I am planning on having around 5ft. Any pump I buy or hardware including skimmers, will be bought with the big tank in mind, so that I spend only once.

    Thanks for all the help so far guys, if there is anything else you can think of, let me know!!
     
  17. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Ok thanks Marius, I never thought of it that way!!!
     
  18. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    If your big tank is going to be 5ft then definitely start with a 4ft for the lights. Lighting is one of the expensive items and you dont want to double spend on this. The amount of money that you will save by reusing the lights will outway the extra cost of the tank. Plus, a standard 4ft holds almost 3.5 times more water than the 3ft, so you can have more livestock in there and also the more water, the more easier it is to maintain stable parameters.
     
  19. J_bay

    J_bay Thread Starter

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    Howzit Marius. Thanks for pointing that out. I had a look at some classified adds, just out of interest, and there are plenty 4ft tanks available, and they're not all that expensive, so I think I'll go for one of those then. They seem a nice size so maybe an upgrade won't be that necessary, I guess it depends on what type of fish would be happy in a 4ft?
     
  20. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    An upgrade is always in the planning, no matter how big the current setup. The 4ft will just give you more time and A LOT more options with regard to stocking and scaping.
     
  21. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    dude if you need my help put me on speedial.. i will help out wherever i can.. if you want my cell no just let me know..
     
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