A poor newcomer's stupid questions

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Renegado, 5 Dec 2011.

  1. Renegado

    Renegado

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    Hey guys :)

    I'm in school (aka, I'm broke) and I need advice from the experts about acquiring a little marine setup for as little money as is possible. You guys are in luck!! I haven't bought anything yet, I'm not asking you to fix a mess :p but to give me the correct advice from the REAL beginning.

    Please feel free to smack me over the head if I've got anything at all wrong :biggrin: but this is what I've kind of been dreaming of..
    I love ocellaris clownfishes little grumpy faces (yes I know, just about every fish in the world looks grumpy) but in my future marine tank I'd love to have two black and white ones, live rock, some kind of cleaner creature probably, and eventually, some easy corals.

    I was mesmerized by :drool5: a little tank with some live rock (I think) and 2 Ocellaris Clownfish that I saw in the pet shop. They where in a really small tank, like 40l, don't know what brand, but like those Boyu nano tanks.
    I can build my own tanks, and sort of my own stands (within reason; I'm not an engineer) but then I will have to buy the equipment. I see these Boyu and Aquaria tanks that come with their own equipment, although it is somewhat questionable in quality I have read. Which of these two options do you think is the cheapest way for me to acquire a tank? Or do you know of something better to go for?
    My dad has a RO thing and I'm sure he will help me get it going.. I still don't want a very big tank tho cause it makes water changes a nightmare with the bucket system :025:

    I am not afraid to be patient- I have always waited for my dreams to come true :) but what is the absolute best and CHEAPEST set up for me, as a saltwater beginner?
    Thanks :please:
    :rofl:
     
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  3. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    well. absolute cheapest option

    Will use a standard Daro 2 foot 60L tank. Even 90L if you want that little bit extra. You can get these from the Junkmail.

    Drill it (have it drilled) in one corner, with standard corner overflow box. Can even use the standard Daro stand. Then use any plastic tub from Plastic land as a sump. Or another tank that do fit under the stand. If you make your own stand, then you can use another similar size tank as the sump.

    2 glass partitions. Set middle chamber up as a DSB. And for the beginning you can use the T8 tubes that you might score if you buy a second hand tank from the Junkmail. Then keep an eye on the for sale forums. One day a TS1 skimmer or similar will come around. And a small light unit to upgrade the old T8 tubes.

    If you use 2 foot tanks, then you would be looking at 100L total volume. Water changes will be 10L per week. And that should be so quick, that you hardly can justify the beer after the job. OK, in your case, the green cooldrink.
     
  5. Annoying

    Annoying

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    :lol::lol::lol:, Hey we are just one year away give us time.

    Agree completely with what Rian said. The best way for us teenagers to start marine tanks is to buy the equip and live rock little by little. Try to not buy anything new (except lighting) as like previously said, the for sale forum has a lot to give at bargain price. Also an algae scrubber is always a good way to go while you wait for a skimmer bargain to come up. Have a look at the DIY forum to make a lot of the equipment on the cheep.
     
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Howdy, where in jhb are you?

    I have a garage full of fish things, so i am sure we can find some goodies to get u started, then can save your money for a skimmer and light unit
    Give me a day to see what i have, i have glass for a 700x400x400 tank and if its all there we can build it
     
  7. Renegado

    Renegado Thread Starter

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    :thumbup: not that I'm exceptionally fond of beer but anyways :)

    Dallas, I'm sort of in the Roodepoort area, if you could help me out with some advice and 2nd hand equipment I'd seriously appreciate it :) :)

    I just hope I'll get my parent's support, as I think my mom thinks my fish obsession is crazy :023: Maybe I should wait with this venture till I get my drivers, so I can bug her less..
    I'm in no rush to get started really, as I gotta find a good pond home for one very pissed off goldfish I've got first.. I've actually got 2 of them (but I'm keeping the one as she's been my pal for 6 years and I won't part with her) but that's gotta happen before I can think of caring for another tank; 2 tanks is my limit, considering my other pets.

    Thanks so much for the advice guys, I'm taking it all into account and listening carefully :)
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    well, she is not wrong... this hobby got that affect on you
     
  9. Dane

    Dane

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    Hey and welcome to MASA.

    I started off budget... Reeeaal budget. My first tank was a standard 70L tank with 2x CFL lights from spar, and a little internal filter. That kept my two little clowns and xenia quite happy so long as I kept up with the water changes. However I'm not advocating that approach, it just takes a lot more effort than something with a bit more capacity etc.

    So I wouldn't recommend that. Riaan has given some good advice, and Dallas' offer to help you out is definitely something to follow up on.

    Unless you're going with an all-in-one like a boyu, and you're getting a nano - then the tank is probably the cheapest thing that you'll spend on tho. So I would personally suggest you go with a setup of two three footers. Also, properly drilled etc as Riaan has mentioned (this shouldn't cost anything extra, just a little DIY help from someone).

    I'm recommending this setup because I love the long rectangular dimensions of those tanks, and a sump really gives you a hell of a lot better options for filtration. They're also not deep, so you can get a wider range of coral species in the future - and will be able to keep pretty much any softies just with one dual T5 unit. Again tho, if you prefer the form/shape of the boyu's etc that you've seen that that's what you should sink your money into, although those all in ones do come with their own problems too :)

    With regards to the 10% water change... Its a good rule - but its never really made sense to me. I've always thought water change should be more related to your bioload. So for example, if you are keeping two clowns in a 50L tank, and change 5L of water a week - it would be even better to keep them in a 100L tank, even if you only change 5L of water a week, as there is still more water to buffer the nutrient increase, and more room for natural and added filtration. (Room for bacteria to grow, and space to work in the sump). Only reason I'm saying this is - if you stick with a very low bioload, there's no reason you should see a larger tank as more regular maintenance (except for slightly larger top ups!).

    I would like to point you in the direction of a website that is geared entirely towards smaller tanks Nano-Reef.com - The source for saltwater nano reef aquarium information It was a great resource to me when I was starting up (although nothing compared to masa!!) There is a lot of nonsense on there, but the articles are worth a read, and you can learn a lot from their TOTM (tank of the month / monthly reef profile) section. Sometimes there is a bit of a can't-do attitude towards keeping nano tanks in the marine hobby - and I found that site was nice just to see the other side of the coin. I can't stress enough that the personal advice that I got from MASA was and still is my number 1 resource tho, the experts here have so much collective experience under there belts its staggering!

    Living in Joberg, you must also factor in the costs of salt purchases for your water change. If you go with a dual T5 unit (which I would definitely recommend for this sort of setup), then you must also factor in the cost of replacing the globes every year. You can definitely run a nano without a skimmer, but only if you are 100% diligent about your water changes - and I would suggest you budget for it if possible. However I remember that being an unaffordable obstacle to me, and I am still trying to choose the right one for my tank... :p

    Hmmm. Other than that... Read read read read read!!! Do a search on masa and learn about the Nitrogen Cycle, and how the inputs of fish food etc get processed in your tank.
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    just an example what can be done with 2 standard 3 foot tanks.
    This is my quarantine / peppermint shrimp setup. Complete stand alone system. the light on there is totally not enough for corals, but for fish its OK.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    cool, well anytime in dec you want to pop past and learn, drop me a pm..

    i am sure i have everything one would need to get running, i started going through my garage last night and found alot. the only thing i dont have spare is a small skimmer, but i am sure we can get a good deal here on masa
     
  12. ShaunSwindon

    ShaunSwindon

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    Welcome :thumbup:
     
  13. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

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    Ok, small is good but you will want to go bigger at some stage... Have a look at my tank thread in my signature... It's a 25l that I have had running for about 6 months now... Everyone here told me that small is difficult to keep but I have had no problems and everything is thriving... It cost me about R1500 to date...

    P.S. there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers of which you will get a lot on here... :)
     
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    okya i have a 20L or so pico, with everything needed to run, just need to clean it
    needs a heater, 50w, can get from builders warehouse for R80 and maybe an energy saver light or mini clip on light, i will also throw in a moonlight

    then i have saltwater, LR and a pice of LR with some mushrooms on.
    i have filter pads we can use for PO4, ammonia etc, then weekly do a 3L water change

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    and you are more than welcome to come get RO water for top-off and saltwater when you need for free... 25L drum of each should last you a month or 2

    as for fish, i would recomend a small Clown Goby, not sure if 2 small clowns would be happy in this, but its a start :)
     
  16. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

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    Good stuff @dallasg ... Get more people into the hobby... Well done... :)
     
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  17. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Wow Dallas, you should be given a medal for the help you're giving out here... you should at least get a sixpack for your trouble :thumbup:
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thanks guys... thats my goal , get more happy reefers here on MASA :)

    i remember how i started 20yrs ago at age 14, fantastic pet store manager did the same for me
    so paying it forward
     
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  19. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Well done Dallas! Rep for you!
     
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  20. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Dallas has a VERY good and kind heart and he truely goes that extra mile to help a Reefer...me included..:)
     
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thanks Belinda, yip hard to keep passion at bay!
     
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