Cold water reef

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by 459b, 12 Mar 2008.

  1. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I am currently building an aquarium (1350 X 510 X 700) out of plywood. It was meant to be an upgrade for my octopus, but four days into the build my octopus had an unfortuanate encounter with my needle urchin. Seeing as the octopus was small, tentacles only 10cm long, the urchin won the battle. Now i sit with an almost complete tank and have no idea what to put in it. I live in Cape town and would prefer to stock the tank with local species. Any ideas on what species of invertebrates do well in aquaria?
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Welcome 459b - You and Gemma would make good mates! ;-)

    Not too many people have coldwater/temperate aquariums, due to the size chiller required to keep the water temp so cold.

    The local inverts do NOT like warm water, mate.

    Do you indeed have a chiller already?

    Local inverts you could look at:
    - nemmie's
    - basket stars
    - feather stars
    - multitude of other colorful stars (I think that they are cold water relatives of the fromia starfish)

    Please post some pics, and tell us more about what you are planning ;-)
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, shame about the octopus, keep us posted what ever you decide to keep, and post pics:)
     
  5. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA!sorry about the loss man.what about trying out some lobsters in there
     
  6. IMarine

    IMarine

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    Welcome bra sorry to hear i think it is easy to keep tropical marine than atlantic, the size of chiller you going to use has to be massive,its going to work over time and your electrical bill,i remember a friend of mine that tried to keep cold water reef and was not succesfull at all, due to chiller not handling capetowns weather,but all the best to you .
     
  7. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Thanks. Cause the octopus is no longer an option im at a loss as to what to put in it. I should only have the tank finished this weekend, so stocking it will still be in a while. I am also looking at going for a warm water tank now, cause of the chiller issue and the frequancy of power cuts in cape town.
    I considered lobsters, but they are really messy. Would really like a shyshark, but they a little tricky to get.
    Has anyone had luck with cold water corals?
     
  8. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    you need to keep the water chilled to around 16-17 deg c for the local guys to survive for any long period of time. the problem with that is the high power bill and also the condensation on the outside of the tank.

    go look at the oyster tank at Blow Fish... some days its so condensated you cant see into it.
     
  9. Quinton

    Quinton Smarty-pants Newbie

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    Dang! That's sad news that cold tanks are not feasible! I've been toying with the same idea. If anyone has any cunning solutions to the cooling problem I'd be very keen to hear them.
     
  10. IMarine

    IMarine

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    quinton change your lounge to freezer with a massive generator then it might work:razz::lol:
     
  11. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    Its not that its not feasible Quinton - the costs involved would be massive! the system will have to be chilled 24/7 and the glass/acrylic will have to be thick to insulate the system....
     
  12. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    If you chill the tank to around 16-17 degrees, then air condition the room to around 18-19, the chiller wouldnt have to chill the water that much. With the room being slightly cooler, this would limit the buildup of condensation on the front of the tank. This may work and might be a little more cost effective than having only a chiller, but it would be uncomfortable living in a chilled room. I think it might just be easier to run a temperate tank. There are also alot of cold water species that do well, and sometimes better, at higher temp.
     
  13. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    you can try and keep rock pool species at around 19 to 20 deg.....
     
  14. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thats what im thinking of doing. And taking a trip to the knysna area, see what i can find there.
     
  15. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    and be arested by MCM in the process?
     
  16. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    no, i have permits. Just got to stay away from protected areas and stick to bag limit.
     
  17. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    fantastic stuff! :D cant wait to see this tank... i have a 110L tank that i really want to convert into a little tide pool tank
     
  18. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ill post pics as soon as its up and running. Im almost done, hopefully be able to put the glass in this weekend. Tidal pool tnak sounds cool, and tidal pool creatures tolerate temp, slanity, pH changes really well. Wich is a good thing with all these power cuts.
     
  19. Quinton

    Quinton Smarty-pants Newbie

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    Yeah, species that tolerate cold as well as temperate temp is an idea I've also been considering. Actually, last weekend I caught a few extremely small mullet (< 1cm) in an marine estuary near Cape Town, and have introduced them successfully into my tropical reef tank (26C). Also a few very small hermits from the same place. So far so good - no casualties in the first week.

    Also, regarding cooling, it occurred to me that a tank with 3 sides insulated would be feasible - think cooler box with a viewing window in the front. That together with rapid cool, dry air movement over the surface (aka mini aircon) to aid evaporation might make sub 21C practical. And of course to minimise surface area to volume ratio, make sure it's a cube, and as large as possible. A 70cm cold, insulated cube sounds like a fun project. Any Capies keen to collaborate?
     
  20. Quinton

    Quinton Smarty-pants Newbie

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    Aah - I see you guys moved on while I was typing. Sounds cool!
     
  21. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    it would be a fun project. it sounds like one of those projects that would either be really awesome or fail hopelessly.
    mullet are amazing fish, once acclimitized them to fresh water. They were more than happy being in fresh water. How are the hermits doing? last time i had them they would fight alot.
     
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