Buying a Tank

12 Jul 2015
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Cape Town
Hi All
After browsing gumtree etc i have decided to rather start from scratch.
Firstly i am thinking of buying a Boyu LZ 1200 and convert to Marine and rock.

Secondly can someone give me advice on a skimmer and cartridge filter, i was not thinking at this stage to incorporate a sump.
Its like having a car. You do not really need a car. You can get around without one. But we don't.

A skimmer today is a crucial part of being able to run a tank successfully. A member here on MASA (Mudshark) did run a tank without skimmer for more than a year. Relying on algae scrubber to do the job. It was a stunner of a tank. Eventually he did switch over to a skimmer.

Without skimmer you need to do your weekly water changes. And most likely bigger than 10%.

Firstly i am thinking of buying a Boyu LZ 1200 and convert to Marine and rock.
Why buy a tank that is not really what you want? You will end up drilling that tank, fit an overflow, get a sump. Upgrade the lights. And all of it on a tank that is not really meant to be for marines. Look around a bit more. You will find something eventually.
I think you misunderstood me i am buying a skimmer and cartridge.
A hang on skimmer for now.
I was asking for advice on which one to buy.

Hang on skimmers do work. Just check that the Buyo lid have a place for the pipes to go over, while lid is in place.
I used to use a reef octopus bh1000 and it did a good job in my tank (450 liter) . The bh2000 is similar but has a large tank rating
With hang on skimmers rather buy a reputable brand and not local boyu cheaper type skimmers. .The difference in price is due to the difference in performance. Reef octopus bh skimmers are good as well as the tunze skimmers

After looking at buying a ready made tank like the buyou i have now done my homework and decided to either buy a tank ready established, seconded hand.
Alternatively get a Marine company to make me a tank and stand and start from scratch.
My question is if i buy second hand one that has already has fish and coral.
How do i transport it?
Do i buy 20 l containers to put the water in there several of them and put the fish and coral in a different container.
Advice would be appreciated.

Cape Town
Alternatively get a Marine company to make me a tank and stand and start from scratch.

This is a better option than taking over an established tank. Moving a tank can often be harder than starting a new one and is stressful for all those involved (owner and tank inhabitants).
By starting from scratch you can take things slow and learn as you go
Hi malcom
I also battled to find the tank I wanted and ended up building my own. I agree with 459b it's better to learn as you go along. " lots to learn"
Please take your time in deciding what to do. You must remember that you will be responsible for these animals. Do your homework before buying. Be patience and dont let people convince you buying any tank, hardware and life stock before you did your homework.

I am a newbie and I did everything the wrong way. This is one of the hobbies that you will never stop learning. Enjoy it and goodluck to you.

I understand the merits of building your own and learn as you go along.
But i am also looking at the cost and time saved.
Buying a tank with all the fish, coral and live rock including the tank etc for between R 5000 and R 6000 makes it quite attractive.
Then i have a tank up and running immediately.
Please dont get me wrong i want to do it the right way but what is the right way.
Your thoughts please.
I went the secondhand route with livestock - thus moving from one premises to another . Only main advantages are cost and perhaps some discount on cycling time. At most, you can transfer 50% of the existing water and even then you end up with dead bacteria, escalated nutrient levels, etc. So basically although there are some bacteria alive, you need to reseed and tread it as a fresh install. The move can take up to 2 days - that's a lot of time without oxygen, etc. It's very stressful on all livestock - but it can be done. I lost nothing, that's purely due to one of the sponsors doing the move - they took extreme care. We took things very slow. I had my fair share of issues afterwards - algae bloom, cyano, etc.

Looking back I would rather suggest - if you really set on going the used equipment route - to only buy the hardware. With that you need to accept there's no guarantee - anything can breakdown the next day or worse (not even restarting at your place). you then can take your time to sort everything exactly according to your liking. Once everything is in place, you can start cycling the tank. This is far better than running a few months and then have to redo something, putting stress on your livestock. Some livestock, especially corals (LPS & SPS) don't take kindly to change!!!!! ;) I REALLY need to stress: take things slowly......this is not a 100m sprint.
I can tell you what is the WRONG way purely out of first hand experience. I am to young in this hobby to tell what is the right way. Luckily you at the right place to get advice from very experienced people. If only I did what you did before buying.

Every body will give you different advice. What I decided to do, is to look at a person's tank and stick to that persons advice, purely out of his success with his tank and his experience over the years.

Good luck with your very exciting time ahead. Enjoy every minute of it
Half the fun of the hobby is choosing the livestock. Buying over form someone else youll most likely end up with things you dont really want or overly aggressive fish that you wont be able to sell on.

Thanks for the advice.
I am waiting on two companies in Cape Town to give me prices on a 1200 x 450 x450 tank, stand, sump and skimmers etc.
Been waiting for three days on one and two days for the other.
Then i can really see if there is a cost saving in buying completely new or second hand.
A bit frustrating waiting for prices.
If there is someone on this forum that give me prices that would be great.
Want to build Marine with fish, live coral etc.
Also if i go the new route were to buy the coral.


So the desicion has been made.
I am going to get a tank built 1200 x 45 x45 with stand and sump.
Once i have the set up i can start to look at the rest of the equipment i need.
Then i will need some help with setting up everything.
Malcolm, just my 2 cents - suggest you look at a tank a bit wider - maybe 60 cm. Glass thickness will be the same, and will give you more room to scape.
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