First Marine Setup

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So I have been dreaming about doing this since I was a little kid. Always thought it was too difficult and expensive, but finally took the plunge and I think I can say I am pretty much addicted. Spent a lot of of very late nights reading various forums and check out lots of YouTube clips on how the whole deal works.

Had a 100l bow front set up for 2 weeks and quickly decided I need to go bigger. So my current setup is a 240l DT (120x45x45), 60l sump and 40l dedicated refugium with different species of some caulerpa and some local macro algaes. Collected some rock from the sea that seems very porous and does the trick. Some live and some I dried out to kill aiptasia. No fish yet, just clean up crew and some star fish at the moment. Heading down to Cape Town for 2 weeks tomorrow, so waiting till the tank is settled nicely and I can give more attention before I add fish. (House mate checking after the tank for that time).

I like the whole vibe of having a marine planted tank so I got some sea grass and some sponge pieces of the rocks and small pieces of other stuff I found here. Anyone have any experience in this area. Will eventually do some softies, but don't think I'll do much more than that. Haha, but we'll see about that one. Have got one local coral. I believe it is a gorgonian twig coral. Looking great and polyps opening up very well.

Lighting is an odysea t5 unit, the 60cm one with two tubes. One 1000k and an actinic. I am looking at getting something with a bit more oomph, but got this one with my bowfront that I paid R300 for! So that one might go to my office soon.

Skimmer I am running a Berlin air lift 60, which is working supprisingly well. Modified a bit with a bigger wooden airstone, good air pump and have it set higher than the indicated water line, otherwise it fills up in 2 minutes. So getting a good medium dry skim.

Have a 1000l/h return pump which I will upgrade eventually. And a 3000l/h sunsun power head. Got a Jebao RW8 and RW4 coming which I bought second hand from a guy for a steal, including a reactor, which I will probably only use for carbon.

I'm in Jeffreys Bay, so drop me a pm if you are in the area, would love to chat and pick your brain a bit on the setup.

Here are some pics.

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My refugium. Got tons of copedpods already and macro algae growing under a 10w LED flood light. Seems to do the job very well. I seem to be getting what seems like cyano growth on the one species. Scared this might block out some of the light it needs. Any ideas how to prevent this. There is quite low flow.

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My workspace behind the tank before any wiring was done. Got my UPS and all my plugs here and store all the other equipment here.

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Still busy with the cabinet. Needing some doors at the bottom and cover at the top still.

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Cool star fish i found in the rock pools. Hope it is kind to my fish that will come.

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The Gorgonian twig. Extending very nicely. Found it with all other kinds of stuff growing on it and looked like it was being smothered. So I cleaned it up, cut of some ends and it's doing well.

If you got any advice, feel free. If I am doing anything obviously stupid. Please let me know! Will appreciate some good feedback.
 

EFJ

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Looking good, like the pallet looking cabinet :thumbup:. Try and find a better skimmer for your setup, especially if you are going to add fish. At the moment your bioload is minimal so your skimmer should handle that.
 

EFJ

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How old is your setup? That star will stave if it is not a mature enough system. You might need to supplement feed it with a small piece of hake/mussel etc.
 
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Cool, thanks for the feedback. Looking at getting a better skimmer, but might have to wait another month or two to get some bucks. My brother has a 3D printer and found a design for a skimmer, so gonna try that out as well. Will be stoked if it works. Setup is about 3 weeks old with live rock from a previous setup that was running for about a month. So will definitely feed the star.
 
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The current skimmer is related for a 240l system, and I put a bigger wooden airstone and bigger air pump, so getting lots of foam. So I reckon it can handle it in the mean time. Not gonna do a lot of fish just yet. Question, how would I determine if I have too much fish/ too big of a bio load? The fuge and other macro algaes in the tank will obviously absorb lot of the nutrients. I am all about DIY, so keen to play around with the 3D printed skimmer. And planning on building a lighting unit using a combination of LED and t5s. Anyone have some experience with this? Some good articles to read? And a good source for LEDs in Cape Town.
 

EFJ

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There is a lot of info on MASA regarding what you are looking for. Just type in the search button and it will throw out all the threads related to what you are looking for.
 
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So I started with the printing of the skimmer. Will see how it turns out. This stuff is like rocket science. My brother is leaving tomorrow for a while so hope I don't stuff it up!
 
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Yellow will have to be the colour. Quite a big print and it's the only colour left with enough for the whole thing.
 
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We set it to print a little slower to get a better print. I can monitor everything via a webcam.
 
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So the printed protein skimmer was a fail. Ran out of time and found out that the 70mm acrylic tube needed was gonna be about R600!! Not worth the risk for something I don't even know if it's gonna work.
 
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Came home after two weeks of being gone and my refugium absolutely exploded!! Quite a bit of cyano in there though. Should I be worried? Could it be the lack of flow? Rest of the tank has absolutely no algae!or cyano! Any advice?
 
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