Advice needed please 2.8mx.5mx.5m tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Bossi, 10 Nov 2009.

  1. Bossi

    Bossi

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    Hi guys! (I didn't know if I posted this on the right place at first)

    Thank for all the welcomes!

    Here was my plan and here might be my new plan and here the questions start.

    I wanted to convert my 1200mm x 50 x 50 tank to marine but it has no sump, no nothing actually. So to get all the equipment could get rather expensive.

    So after looking around a bit a buddy told me he have a tank for me and look what he want to sell me for R2500. Is it worth it? And then to give the tank a nice revamp with bits and bobs?
    [​IMG]
    Its 2,8m long x 400-500mm wide x 600mm high.
    Lots of lights(about 10 fluorescent tube light, which ill have to replace the tubes).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Big sump and a first stage mechanical filter I think.
    [​IMG]
    Some other weird filter stuff which i have no idea what it does? see photo above.

    What is your recommendations?

    I am not sure yet if ill be doing a reef tank or fish only tank, but would like to be ready move to a reef tank if i want to and have everything ready for the cross over.

    PS. I still have no idea what im talking about and the info overload has started, plus i need to re-arrange my whole house around my new obsession!!! (bangs head against desk while fearing the lady's reaction to this)

    Regards Bossi
     
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  3. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    the first thing i would ask myself is where is it going to go? if you can make space for it perfect..
    it looks like a nice tank, just check for things like scratches and chips.. other than that if you like it it does seem like a bargain.. you will build up a better filtration system in time but the main thing is that the tank fits into what you have planned...
     
  4. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    thats a nice long tank, pretty good dimensions too. But big tanks are really expensive to run, so make sure if you decide to take it, that you'll be able to keep it efficiently and it wont just end up as a waste of your time and money. As leslie says look for defects, scratches chips on the edges of the panes and the condition of the silicon joints, how old the tank is, basically the whole condition of it and what equipment comes with it. For a tank this size the price is a sweet bargain, it does seem to have a few things you can use from what i can see, but its also missing a lot of things you'll need, so maybe get hold of one of the sponsors here and let them know your price range and ask them what sorts of equipment they can quote you for this tank (besides what you already have of course) and then see from there if its worth it. There are some things that can be done much cheaper DIY that will save you a lot of money if your willing to do that but basically the idea is to get the best for your money so the whole experience is that much more enjoyable
     
  5. Bossi

    Bossi Thread Starter

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    Thanks Leslie and scubeninja

    What do you see that is missing here?

    Basically what hardware except the tank would i need?
    FILTER/SUMP: Mechanical filter, UV sterilizer, bio filter, heaters, protein skimmer and pump in sump to circulate the water to display tank.
    TANK: Power heads/wave makers, lights.

    After those things are in place the sand, rocks, corals and live rock and fish would come in slowly but surely?

    I do realize now hat it would be really cool to have such a huge tank , but maybe its too big for a first time mariner like me and the cost of water changes could be get expensive.
     
  6. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    You need:
    Protein skimmer
    Lights
    Flow inside the tank (powerheads/wavemakers)
    Rock
    RO filter (or you can buy RO from an LFS)
    Sump tank(for all the equipment)
    Source for calcium either a Calcium reactor or Kalk stirrer (latter can be DIY easily)
    Return pump (pump to put water back into display tank)
    Basically much else is added value, like some of those filters you have there could be converted to be used for marines, but otherwise its only a couple of things that will be a bit expensive. Its actually better to get the biggest tank you can(within your budget) to start as they are more stable, yes they may be more work but it may be better. So i would say go for it. you can take other things slowly like fish and rocks, corals etc. just get your neccesities and watch it all happen
     
  7. Bossi

    Bossi Thread Starter

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    Thanks!

    I will go check the tank out a little closer and check what is included and what not.

    Regards Bossi
     
  8. toppdogg

    toppdogg

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    welcome dude
    awsome size to start with as scuba said the bigger the better
    as it is more stable
    oh and BTW lots of learning for you and you have come to the right place to do it
    so enjoy:)
     
  9. Bossi

    Bossi Thread Starter

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    Thanks ToppDogg

    Another question i have is: I see you need at least a 10%-20% water change every 2 weeks? Does apply to bigger tanks as well or can you do a 10%-20% a month on the bigger ones?

    What is the rule of thumb in this regard?
     
  10. Quinton

    Quinton Smarty-pants Newbie

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    Dude, I'd say go for it, provided that you're in this for the long run.
    The tank volume is actually not that much - around 700 litres.
    Which means that the requirement for pumps, rock, skimmer and water are not as severe as it may initially seem (to put it in perspective my new 2.5m tank will come in at around 2000 - 3000 litres, and hence require about 4 X more kit than yours - Eish!).

    Scuba's shopping list is great. Here's what I can add:

    1. You can postpone the purchase of a calcium reactor and/or kalk reactor until later. They're expensive, and non-trivial to DIY properly. Until then simply dose kalk manually, and/or use 2-part supplements (available in bottles from your local fish shop). Kalk is dirt cheap, but a bit more hassle.

    2. You definitely want a reverse osmosis filter, IMO. Budget about R1500, unless you can find a used one for sale. You'll spend more than that on trips to the LFS to fetch RO water if you don't get one. Another option is to find someone close by who has one, and bum RO water off them. You're welcome to get from me - I'm in Newlands - not sure where you stay.

    3. As far as water changes go, intially you want to aim for around 10% per week (i.e. 70 litres). The cheapest option here is probably water from the Two Oceans aquarium (which is free to members - membership costs R140 per year). Get 8 x 25 litre bottles, then you only need to visit them once a month or so. If you can fit more in your car, all the better. They'll let you take up to 400 litres per week. Over time, once the system matures, you can drop this to 10% per month.

    4. Rock. You could start with around 40 kg of live rock - that would be a bare minimum, in my opinion. If you shop around you can pick this up for around R70 per kg. So it's going to be a significant component of your cost. Any porous rock will become "live" over time, so another option is to seed the system with less "live" rock than above, and add more "dead" rock, which is cheaper.

    5. Lighting. The lighting you have sounds fine to start with (although you'll need new bulbs, at around R150 ea, ballpark). Starting with a fish-only system, perhaps with a few corals that don't require particularly bright light, would be a good idea. Try some Paly's, Zoa's and Leathers. Your tank is fairly shallow too, so will be relatively easy to light.

    6. Flow: given the length, this could be slightly tricky, as you won't be able to simply put a power head or two at each end like most people do on short tanks - you'll have a dead area in the middle. Ideal would be to set up a wave in the tank, as this is the most effective way to get the water in the center moving. Unfortunately the pumps and controllers capabale of doing this are not cheap. Look at the Tunze wave box, and/or the Vortech's. But either way, that solution is going to set you back about 10 grand. Beware of the cheaper "wavemakers". Most of them simply aren't capable of setting up a wave. Before spending money, get someone to demo a wave in a tank of similar size to yours. One thing you have going for you is that long tanks are easier to wave - the natural harmonic frequency is longer. Anyhow, a potentially cheaper route would to scatter a bunch of cheap powerheads in the display (perhaps one or two at each end, and then two at the back facing forwards, about a third of the way in from each end). I must warn you however that you will eventually want a proper wave, and the gazillions of cheap pumps will eventually get tossed. I have a bunch of Boyu's, Seios and Resun's lying around at home for exactly this reason. Sun-sun's are also very popular these days. A few hundred bucks each.

    5. Return pump: you should aim for about 5000 litres per hour. Lifetech sell a very cheap reliable one for a few hundred rand. Aquamedia Oceanrunners are even better, but more expensive (around R2000).

    6. Heaters: these are cheap. Get two, for a hundred bucks or so each.

    7. Skimmer. Get the best you can afford. Reeftec's seem to be popular and good value for money. I don't know them well, but I'd guess the TS3 would be appropriate.

    Just shout if you need more info.

    Q
     
  11. Bossi

    Bossi Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the informative reply Quinton.

    I am busy checking out all the pumps and skimmer and stuff you mentioned now.

    Gee wizzzzzz, it's really a good thing I stubled across this forum otherwise I would have had a 4ft tank with a undergravel filter and skimmer and wondered why the live stock didnt stay alive!
     
  12. Bossi

    Bossi Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys

    I won't be taking this tank anymore and is up for grabs. Its dims are actually 2.86m L x 0.48m H x 0.37M W.

    My buddi was doing me a favor with the price, but said R3500 as it is and it must be collected in Somerset west if anyone is interested.

    His name is Shane and cell 084 251 6801.

    Regards Bossi
     
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