A new tank to start or an established system

Discussion in 'New Members' started by crispin, 22 Jan 2008.

  1. crispin

    crispin

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    hello all,
    I have finnaly taken the descision to get a marine tank and having read a fair amount feel fairly confident in the basics, with the full understanding that I have a lot to lear and will make mistakes. My question though is should i look at getting a new setup, start off fresh and spend as much money as i can afford (not want LOL).

    Or

    Do i get a second hand established system in balance etc and hope that i dont spike things too badly in the move? should I take on someone elses mistakes as well as their sucesses??

    also any ideas on a cost of a basic reef system?

    Tank size: 280L,
    Sump size: 100L,
    Lights: 3 x 39W T5 tubes (one unit)
    Skimmer: Reeftek TS2 Skimmer
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum crispin :)

    Those specs you gave us, is that for an already running system or is that what you want to buy from new?
     
  4. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    thats already running, plus a 10kg live rock and i think its a fish only system although i havent viewed it, just asked basic questions of it.

    do you know of a decent supplier in jhb, 4ways area if possible?

    oh and do you guys and girls by any chance do a translation of some of the abbreviations used here, some of the threads leave me making my own words and at times sentances from the abreviations:)
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Last edited: 28 Apr 2011
  6. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    brilliant:) thank you. FOWLR makes far more sence now:)

    does size count? would it be better to look at spending more on an empty bigger system (as in volume) so that I ahve more water to work with and thus less chances of spikes in quality? say go from the 280l system to 350l (pure example). I guess a better way to put this is bigger more forgiving??


    as this is a non proffit forum system would u think that the system i refered to above is of value at R9000 odd?

    as a hobby this is far more confusing than beekeeping.....that hobby has changed to a profession its so fascinating, I am really excited about getting going with marines.

    Fresh water fish will never bore me, just time to get out of comfort zones:)
     
  7. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    masahello Crispin

    To answer a few questions


    I bit pricey if you ask me, but then I dont know what else is there
    Personally I would do the research and start new, first of all you will get what you want and it will also give you a better understanding


    Bigger is better, always:thumbup:

    Good luck and happy posting
     
  8. Bayls

    Bayls Not often called Junior!

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    Hi
    For me starting from scratch has been way more expensive, but half of the fun is doing it yourself! You get to do the research (which has been an absolute blessing for me - saved me from making many mistakes), but most importantly I guess is that you end up with almost exactly what you want. I guess it just depends on how much you enjoy the DIY side of things!

    Good luck!
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Crispin and WELCOME to MASA!

    Many thanks for joining us and coming to us FIRST before you decided to just go ahead "and do youw own thing" ;-) (that's unfortunately how I started - I did not even know about reefkeeping sites like MASA - and believe me - I made my own mistakes).

    Let's take the Pro's and Con's of new system against existing system:
    New System:
    Pro:
    - you learn one HECK of a lot more
    - you might get VERY close to getting what you want
    - you get to decide what hardware and what life-stock
    - you can "design" the system, based upon decent suggestions
    - you can "do things right the first time around" guided by fellow reefkeepers
    - you get the fish/corals that are actually "compatible" and won't kill each other
    - you get the fish / corals that you actually want
    - you could perhaps get a bigger system that can handle more water volume
    - you can get the correct amount of sand for the DSB
    - get the correct the amount of live rock
    - get the correct amount of and type of lighting
    - get the correct type of power-heads for the correct amount of water-flow
    - get the correct skimmer the first time around

    Con's:
    - could be more expensive as everything is "new"
    - you might have to wait much longer before you have a tank that is "up-and-running" due to the process of cycling, etc...

    Existing/2nd Hand system:
    Pro's:
    - already set-up - you don't have to do much to "start enjoying the fish"
    - everything is already there - even though it might not be 100% correct - everything is already there

    Con's:
    - the design could not be 100% correct and leave you with problems, forcing you to re-do the tank / sump / plubming in any ways later on
    - could perhaps end up re-doing the over-flow (perhaps too noisy, etc)
    - fish might die - and you might end up buying new fish in any ways
    - you have not really learnt ANYTHING about keeping marines - and will have to learn the hard way, by buying new stuff again

    So - you decide....

    Anyone else please add to this list - I have MOST likely left off important stuff.
    Thanks.
     
  10. palmerc

    palmerc

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    Budget would play a large role IMO.

    You can pick up good quality second hand equipment in this hobby for excellent prices compared to new (as an aside I think R9000 for the system you are considering is too high. It all depends on what else is offered with it). A reef system is not an investment, you need to enjoy it but also realise that you will not get out financially what you put into in if you decide to sell up one day.

    Just browse the For Sale section here to see some of the prices being asked.

    The one thing I would but new is a skimmer and only because I would want a specific one. However if that specific one was available second-hand then I would go for it.

    However after all that it is always nice to start out with new equipment as then you get exactly what you need. One thing I would advise is first do your research, speak to as many people/LFS's as possible to see what they propose, draw up a proposed shopping list/plan and then run it by the guys here for their advice/input to save you making some potentially expensive mistakes.

    Clinton
     
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    R9000 does seem a bit steep for that system, although it does seem to have all the basics that you will need to be up and running successfully.

    Have a look through our for sale section, there might be someone close to you with something you fancy.

    Yes, bigger is better in terms of stability and forgiveness, although you can be just as successful with a small nano tank, as long as you're a good 'housekeeper' and stick to your husbandry tasks.
     
  12. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA Crispin, whatever you want to do, you're in good hands here.
     
  13. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    whats that strange saying, "slowly slowly catch a monkey?" i guess the truth of this is although i have the desire and passion perhaps i dont have the knowledge to do it all correctly. Kind of the reason I was looking at taking on someone elses system and learning from the building blocks put in place there. Agreed the skimmer might not be perfect, or the lighting not quite right ( but then again reading thru 9 pages of one thread in here some of you cant agree on T8 or T5's anyway:)) but that I could all change in time, if the needs of the tanks require it, or to a lesser degree my desire.

    the first priority being to the community in the tank.

    And i guess thats the true argument for a new system, putting together a tank with a community i love and am proud of over the next 9 weeks. After all everything is perfect after 9 weeks right (NOT!):)

    thanks for the advise of the for sale section here i will definatley look hard into it, and have a chat to some local fish stores (thats LFS in your language!:) ) Mind you i had one nasty experience in a good looking good quality store in leaping frog where the guys 6 years ago responded to my question on the expence of their tropicals as saying "sting a customer hard enough the first time and you dont have to do it again."So not that much faith in them.

    But now i have a bank of knowlegable experts here so perhaps I can lean on you guys for advice, and a few experienced friends.

    But a word of thanks for the free, honest advice i see in here, its really good to be part of a community like this, i hope I can add in years to come:)

    OK shopping time....ummm no let me go get that overdraft first :)
     
  14. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    i assume (mother of all &^*&&^that it is) that the for sales section is under the "auctions"tab on top. If so is it normally a little bussier than it is now, or would i be best to be getting hold of pet stores for quotes again?
     
  15. palmerc

    palmerc

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    The Leaping Frog LFS does not rate highly in my books at all. You'll be much better off visiting Exotic Aquariums in Boksburg or Petstop in Pretoria (although there are quite a few others around as well which are also worth a visit).
     
  16. palmerc

    palmerc

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  17. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    thanks palmerc, and thats twice that Exotic aquariums have been well recomended, much appreciated:)
     
  18. palmerc

    palmerc

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    Whatever LFS you decide to use for your purchase, go to them knowing what you want after having done your research. Do not buy anything until YOU know what you need . and then pick a LFS that is able to meet your requirments, rather than you adjusting your requirements to suit what they have available. If it means purchasing from 2 or 3 different LFS's to get the equipment ypu wnat then so be it, but start out right.
     
  19. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    welcometomasa CRISPIN
     
  20. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    i feel far from able to design my tank as far as equipment and things I want, I have a mental picture of the size, setup, a few of the creatchures i would like to have but i will carry on reading a while and then plan a theoretical design, perhaps I can bounce it off you guys here first. In a way i just want to ummmm "dive" in but i guess thats best left to snorkelling!
     
  21. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hey Crispin and welcome to MASA, the whole marine hobby is a journey so don't worry about not knowing what goes where, we were all there when we started and all suffered the dilemmas. So ask the questions you need to before spending the money, the 9K for the above system sounds over the top.
     
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