Buying my first tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by iamavibe, 22 Jun 2008.

  1. iamavibe

    iamavibe

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    So I am going out tomorrow to put the order in for my new tank.
    I have one of two very hard decisions to make: Either I buy a 100L fish tank with these dimensions:
    760mm (long ways) (sorry I really am this cluless lol)
    380mm (depth ways)
    and however high it has to go to make it 100L
    (I'm thinking of doing this because it would fit perfectly on my desk)

    Otherwise I might just get like a 200L or 250L tank and have it against my wall.

    But my question is what is best for a total beginner. I'm looking to just have live rock and fish to start off with and them move to coral later.

    Also what filter should I look at buying?
    Thanks in advance for all of your guys help
     
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  3. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Bigger is better, larger water volume is easier to keep stable and more forgiving when things go wrong.

    We don't generally run filters on tanks the size you are talking about. Look at getting a protein skimmer
     
  4. gaz19

    gaz19

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    a std 4ft is a great tank to start with, you dont want to go to high(light reasons) and you dont want a tank less than 40cm wide other wise aquascaping is very hard and you need open room for the fish to swim .

    as for the filter
    reeftek ts1 skimmer
    then a deep sand bed(15cm deep)
    then your return pump.

    nifty gadgets to have is a phosphate reactor and carbon.
    also an auto top up unit which replaces the evapourated water with fresh RO water.
    hope this helps a bit!
     
  5. gaz19

    gaz19

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    oh and use some good quility live rock! the rock is basiclly your filter
     
  6. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Ok, don't buy anything yet, look at the members tanks section, spend a few days looking through there and then decide, we can then advise from there, as for filtration, we use liverock for biological filtration and a skimmer for mechanical filtration.

    Smaller tanks are tricky to keep stable, and large tanks are easier to keep stable but obviously more expensive to run........

    As for keeping corals, there are many nice looking corals that are very simple to keep, such as zoalanthid button polyps (zoas to most of us) mushrooms, leathers and quite a few types of LPS such as hammer corals, torch corals and trumpet corals.

    Most importantly, take your time, do your homework and you will be able to enjoy this most rewarding hobby.
     
  7. iamavibe

    iamavibe Thread Starter

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    Jez you guys are SUPER FAST lol!
    guess it helps that its a Sunday night.
    O.K so you recon I should rather look at like a 250L tank and one of these skimmers.
    What is a return pump? (I really am a beginner)
    And I know lighting is really important, can you explain what I'm going to need in that aspect?
     
  8. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Welcome To The Most Addictive Hobby In The World.:thumbup:
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Return pumps come in many different sizes, choose your tank first, then decide whether you want powerheads for flow or a closed loop system (basically a single pipe from the return pump run around the tank bottom with tee offs to pump water round the tank) then you can work out the size of the pump you need, take it slow, we can help you choose what will suit you as you go.
     
  10. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Where are you looking at buying this tank ?
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Howzit IamAVibe! A very WARM welcome to MASA! You have been given GREAT news already. Please follow this, read up on keeping marines, have a look at the information in this link: Starting a Marine Tank - Beginner Discussions
    And then ask us some questions - as more questions, and then start making informed decisions. We just want to make sure that your 1st marine tank is successful, that we do not lose you from the hobby, because something you accidentally did wrong, caused your 1st tank to be a failure, in some way or another. We just want you to be a GREAT reefer from the word go. There's so MUCH to learn..... you can start off while you are learning, BUT, please remember - PATIENCE IS THE NAME OF THIS MARINE GAME!!
     
  12. iamavibe

    iamavibe Thread Starter

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    Thanks so much for all of ur guys quick replies.
    I am looking at getting a tank made for me from elite aquatics.
    I have read over the beginners section and things make a bit more sense to me now, but I would like to know:
    My plans to start out with a fish only with live rock tank but be able to add on to have corral aswell.
    What I would love to know is what are the products that I should be looking for and a +- price range of the products.
    Thanks
     
  13. trad

    trad Fish, thats the word!

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    get the 250L or 4ft, standard size therefore will be the cheap. then drill it and put a custom overflow in and use a std 3ft tank for the sump with steel stand. Could probably do all that for 1800
     
  14. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    Hi and welcome! I would also recommend a 4ft tank with a decently sized sump that would be able to house a DSB, a skimmer and any other equipment you would like to add later on. I believe a +- 100L sump would be best. Equipment wise I would recommend at least 2x 54w T5's one blue the other white on reflectors, a TS 1 skimmer is a good choice for a standard 4ft, some circulation pumps(Seio's is a good buy), 2x 250-300w heaters and a 2000 lph return pump. Also it is best to have your lights on timers. Would also not recommend going for a Nano first time, things quickly got out of hand in mine! Above advice is based on hard learned lessons as I'm also fairly new to reefing and seeing as you would like to keep some corals later on(I believe it would'nt be so long from now...;) ). This is basically the same system as I have had for almost a year now and found it quite easy to maintain.
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi IAmAVibe - here's my input:
    1) tank - depending on size and custom built - can be anything from R1800 to R10000
    2) sump - depending on the size of the tank - between R500 and R1000\
    3) plumbing - anything up +-R1500 for piping, depends on how complex and neat your plumbing job will be (with gate/ball-valves, elbows/bends, etc)
    4) pumps - return pump - depending on size - +-R300 - R400
    5) lighting - depending on type of lighting: T5 units - +-R800-900 for cheaper 39 watt unit, +-R900-R1000 for 54 watt unit - Metal halide - DIY: +-R900 complete per 150 watt light - you need 1 metal halide per square foot of tank size
    6) power-heads/pumps (in tank water flow): e.g. SEIO (good) between +-R350 to +-R2000 per pump/power-head, Tunze - between +-R1500 and +-R8000 per pump, or alternatively: Boyu WaveMaker - +-R850 for wave-maker controller and 1 Boyu wavemaker pump.... or ReSun Wave-maker (15000 litres per hour variable) +-R650 for pump and wave-maker controller
    7) Test-kits - from R150 to +-R600 for test-kits, or alternatively more specialist testing devices, e.g. Refractometer (to test salinity/SG) between +-RR480 and +-R900, pH Pen (digital pen showing pH of water) - +-R800-R900, electronic testing devices, e.g. Hanna - up to R10000 for complete unit....
    8) sand/substrate - for aragonite - +-R35 to R50 per kilogram.... sometimes up to R400 per 10kg bag.... For Reggie's Playsand - +-R30 for a 20kg bag...
    Else sea-sand - free....
    9) live rock: kenyan - +-R80-R90 per kilogram, malaysian: +-R130-150 per kilogram, Fiji: +-R140 - R200 per kilogram
    10) dead rock (base rock): bio-rock - +-R30 per kilogram, or self-DIY....
    11) Salt-water: either fetch from 2 Oceans Aquarium (R140 per year - you can fetch a maximum of 400 litres per week), or mix synthetic salt: depending on what type, between R107 per 5kg to R400/R500 per 10kg - sometimes much more (double that)...

    Hope this helps....
     
  16. iamavibe

    iamavibe Thread Starter

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    wow.. Ok thats ALOT of stuff.. lol
    I've read about stumps but to be honest I have no idea what it is? could someone explain that to me?
    Also, with regards to pricing and what I need to get, what would be like the essentials to start with. I really want to slowly build the tank, to keep my interest in it :p just more exciting that way.
    So everyone seeems to agree that a 4ft tank would be the best route so that is decided on.
    But what are the other things I should buy right away to at least get things going, obviously not adding fish into the eqation straight away, but just getting the live rock going.
     
  17. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi IAmAVibe - OK - a Sump is your MAIN area of filtration. It is basically a second tank, which is divided into sections, with each section having a specific usage/filtration role...
    ie: your main tank should have a pipe that goes down to the "sump" (the sump is usually at the bottom of the main display tank). This pipe enters the "sump" from the top, at the 1st compartment. The skimmer usually sits in this compartment, to skim out as much detritus/POC's/DOC's as possible..... Then - the second compartment in the "sump" tank is usually your DSB (deep sand bed) area, and the last compartment is where your return pump sits which pumps the water flowing through the sump, back to the main display tank. The heater also sits in the sump, as well as any "chemical filtration" (ie. activated carbon, phosphate remover, etc)....
     
  18. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    The sump is basically another tank where a DSB, heaters, skimmer, algae scrubber and other equipment is kept where it is out of sight, basically your filtering unit. I would start with the following:
    Reeftek TS1 skimmer(Don't skimp on your skimmer, will save you lots of frustration!!!!) about R1350
    If your tank comes with a canopy and you want to DIY the 2x 54w T5's with the ballast and wiring will be about R650
    2x Seio M1100's will be a good start, +- R500 each
    2x 250w Heaters, about R150 each
    2000 lph return pump, about R300-R400
    Sand I would suggest you go collect seeing as you're in CT
    DSB, will be housed in-sump
    The best liferock you can afford
    a Basic Hydrometer& thermometer in one +-R40
    A ammonia, Nitrite& Nitrate test kit
    Plumbing +-R500
     
  19. iamavibe

    iamavibe Thread Starter

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    O.K cool
    Quick question: I was reading up on the Boyu TL550.. this seems to have everything a person would need and looks like a nice beginner tank, or am I missing something?
     
  20. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    It is a Nano as far as I know, but maybe some of the other guys can give you good advice regarding modding and stocking it!
     
  21. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi IAmAVibe - there's nothing wrong with a nano tank (and yes - it is indeed one). Except for that you have to be EXTREMELY diligent with water changes and maintenance. The only issue with nano's, is that because of the small water volume, if something goes wrong, it can go wrong VERY QUICKLY....

    Read the thread with the title "Nemo".... You will see what I mean.

    Unfortunately this lady was duped by the LFS into buying a nano tank, with 2 fish in already - and she then continued adding an anemone, what this nano is definitely NOT suited for..... which continued to die, and as a result kill off everything else in the tank as well....

    There are also a restriction on number of fish, and types of fish you can keep. You can indeed keep SOME corals, ie, some soft-corals, and LPS corals, BUT not the more difficult ones, due to the contraints the nano tank has....
     
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