First Start Up.

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by leeban, 24 Aug 2014.

  1. leeban

    leeban

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    Hello People,
    This would be my start into marines. Over the past few months, I've purchased the basics toward setting up a marine tank. Idea is fowlr for now, will relook it at a later stage. Items I have are a 3ft tank (soon to be sump), a few heaters and return pumps. Also have a 4ft tank with stand, canopy and lights that is currently doing duty as a planted tank.
    I purchased a protein skimmer, a return pump, a pair or wave makers and yesterday picked up approx 16kg of live rock. I am still planning to get a ro unit but purchasing salt water from lfs in the meanwhile. Want to pick up some test kits today as well.

    Yesterday, I picked up some live rock from a fellow reefer. After rescaping, he had these pieces left over and had been keeping them in a separate tank with flow and heat. We packed them in a poly box with damp newspaper and I brought them home. A week ago, I cleaned the 3ft out properly with the intention to cure/cycle the live rock for the next 4-6 weeks or however long it took. I picked up 100l of salt water from the lfs and added most of it along with the rock to the tank. Added a heater set to 24 degrees and the pair of wave makers on opposite ends of the tank. No lights, no sand (although I do have approx 5kg of crushed coral) leaving it bare bottom so it would be easier to siphon any debris that accumulates. Should I add the skimmer as well? Is 24 degrees the correct temperature? Water changes how much and how often?
    During the time it takes to cure/cycle the rock, I intend to break up the 4ft, selling off the plants and inhabitants and getting it drilled for an overflow. Cleaning it out properly and moving the rock with the water into it. This is once the cycle has completed. The 3ft will then be converted into a sump. Any advice or comments?

    I also have a sheet of 6mm glass that I could use to build a cube 65x65x65. I have enough to make a double bottom as well as brace it. Would it be a better option to build a cube instead of using the 4ft as the display tank? I really don't want to keep multiple tanks, especially a marine and freshwater tank.

    Any and all advice, recommendations will be appreciated.
     
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  3. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Hi @leeban, Glad to hear you are finally starting up!
    It is a good idea to add all you have, so you have time to learn about each items' quirks and streaks. It also gives you time to play with the settings for optimal use. Once you start adding LS, you don't want to fiddle too much.

    There are various opinions on the temperature for tanks. The general settings is around 25 deg, with 1 degree fluctuation to either side

    Also a point of debate. Since you have nothing in yet, I would skip the water change for now. But that is my opinion. No need for extra costs if nothing requires a change. You can do a water change a day or so before you are planning to add LS. Make sure to test the paramaters afterwards to ensure all is ok for your new inhabitants.

    Sorry, not my field of expertise

    This is pure personal preference, depending on what you are striving for. How many sides you want viewable, lighting available to fit the different options (cube or long), Or what space you will have available.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  4. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    REgarding space... Keep in mind that you will be working with water heaving heavy drums all the way over carpets to the back room could end you in trouble if you have spillage..., or you might want to later add an automatic RO top-up reservoir that will take up space either under the cabinet, or next to it.

    Your sump should also be easily accessible, for all sorts of reasons - be it fiddling, changing equipment, water changes, sumping naughty critters and so forth.....

    Take your time reading, loads of info available on here.
     
  5. leeban

    leeban Thread Starter

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    Thank @Gesiggie, appreciate the responses. Ive been reading a lot lately and plan to read alot more to get upto speed. I've got my tanks setup close to a window and have a 100l drum on the outside that I used for water changes when running fresh water so that will now be used to store saltwater purchased from the LFS. Do I need to add an air stone or pump to this outside drum or can I leave it stagnant?

    I've got the 3ft with the liverock currently running with 2 wave makers and a heater, should I add a mechanical filter to it? I've got a dolphin 1200 power filter that was used in the freshwater tank with sponge and new carbon in it. Do I add it or is filtration not required at the moment? If I add it, do I rinse the sponge in salt water or Ro water?

    Lots of questions but I am getting the idea.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    You can leave the salt water stagnant. Just make sure to stir it up thoroughly before use. This can be done by running a pump for about 20-30 minutes. Is the drum in sunlight? If that is the case, I would not leave water it for longer than a couple of days. It will promote algae growth.

    I am not sure if this can be used in a marine environment if it was made for freshwater? This is mostly due to salt corrosion of steel parts. Rather check first if it is suitable for marine use.

    I do not see the need for chemical filtration at this point, s your system is still void of LS. But this is purely my opinion, others might differ.

    I would add a skimmer now. There are still organisms in your live rock, and the skimmer can start working on that. Your skimmate might be clear, or of small volume, but you will be able to see what comes out - depending on how wet you set your skimmer.

    When I still used filter sponge, I rinsed with tap water, and gave it a final rinse with RO before putting it back in the filter compartment.

    Keep the Q's flowing, it is better to be proactive :)
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    You can convert old tanks to marine.
    I assume that the tanks you have are standard Daro 3 foot tank (about 90L) and a 4 foot tank (220L)

    On the 3 foot, you can add 2 partitions to make a default 3 chamber sump. Fit skimmer into the tank and work out the space needed for first chamber. Keep in mind that you need enough head space to actually remove the skimmer. Last chamber should be big enough to allow for water evaporation for 2 days without running the return pump dry, for in case your auto top up stops working. Middle chamber should be big enough for whatever biological filtration you want to use, be it DSB, Seachem Matrix, Orca Cubes, NP-Pelets

    Do you have the standard stand for the 4 foot? You might be lucky in that the 3 foot could fit in the 4 foot stand. Cut out that center connection and move it to the back. The stand might be able to fit over the 3 foot tank. I had a system like that.
     
  8. leeban

    leeban Thread Starter

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    Thanks Gesiggie, will leave the dolphin out for now. As mentioned, I am really in no hurry with this one. I really do appreciate the comments and advice.
    @RiaanP It is the standard 3 and 4 ft although the 4ft has a built in sump compartment on the one end that I am going to convert into a corner overflow. Luckily, the 3 ft fits into the bottom of the 4ft stand with space to spare on wither side. Also have no problem with the skimmer height.

    I have advertised the 4ft as a complete set up for sale. I am hoping someone will take the whole thing, livestock and all. This gives me the chance to get something that is purpose built for marines.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The only real difference between a marine and freshwater glass box is the overflow.

    Marine we put in an overflow, out of the many design choose one that you like.

    If you can sell the old system, why not. Start with a box already right for marines.
     
  10. leeban

    leeban Thread Starter

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    Thanks Riaanp, will see if the sale goes through and go from there. Please excuse my limited knowledge with regards to marines. I will get better.
    Some pics,

    White Worm like things
    [​IMG]

    Another Piece
    [​IMG]

    And finally
    [​IMG]
     
  11. leeban

    leeban Thread Starter

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    Pics

    DSC_0977.jpg

    DSC_0981.jpg

    DSC_0984.jpg
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Worm things are OK

    Second pic is an Aiptasia that grew in the dark. Kill it. Search this forum for various methods.

    Last pic, looks like sponges. OK to have
     
  13. leeban

    leeban Thread Starter

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    Would it be safer to chip that corner off completely? I would have to check if there are any more.

    Do you guys wear gloves when working on the tank?
     
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