Happy With Fresh, Wanting to do Salt

Discussion in 'New Members' started by DeanT, 19 Jun 2009.

  1. DeanT

    DeanT Dean

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    Hi All
    i am currently in the Fresh Water fish catagory and looking to go salt some time.
    i had done quite a bit of reading , and picked up a few things here and there.
    i have been doing the fresh water fish thing for about 4 years.

    my current tank is 200 x 60 x 60 cm with a overflow sump which is about 100 x 30 x 30 cm.
    from what i have gathered a protien skimmer , is a given and something that is probably the most important.

    after that it seems to be live rock and a few other things.
    i am folllowing advice from around the forum and doing lots of hoemwork , before i decide to go all in.
    does anyone have any recomendatiosn in terms of what is needed and specific requiremens.
    what protien skimmers are the best to invest in . obviously i want to invest early and avoid the upgrade later option.
    also maintainace wise,, what are the costs involved.
    as mentioned in another post , the only advise i have is the LFS and the one around cape town will sell ice to an eskimo .
    any sugesstions and pointers will be gretly appreciated .
    thanks in advance to anyone who replies.
     
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  3. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    :welcometomasa2: You are in the correct place read and ask questions and take it slow.

    Good size tank and sump you're already of to a good start.

    Reeftek or Reef octo will do fine

    Water changes with good quality salt like Instant Marine, I do a 20% weekly change and it keeps every thing very healthy (but you can get away with 20% every 2 weeks). Remember to use RO water not TAP water.

    Check EVERY sing piece of advice from a LFS with the mebers of MASA. LFS will sell you anything even if you setup isn't ready for it yet. Do this and you will save your self a lot of money.
     
  4. DeanT

    DeanT Thread Starter Dean

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    Hi Boendoe
    thanks for the reply.
    in tems of p skimmer , what do they usually cost , on average .
    does it benefit you to get a bigger skimmer than the actual size of the tank. say your tank is 1000 litres and you can afford to buy a 2000 litre skiimmer, will there e benefits.

    i see most people say you should start off doing fish only and then move to reef.
    is this common opinion or not ??
     
  5. crispin

    crispin

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    hey dean :)

    firstly welcome to MASA its great ti have you here, especially before you actually start with marines as we can help save you lots of heartache and $$$. One of the real values of a open forum is that you get a powerful brains trust of experienced reefers criting your system and giving advice thats best for you. We have all made mistakes, often the same ones repeated so going slowly and follwoing the advice given will help you greatly in your journey.

    Dont be fooled by thinking a few years with bath water tanks makes marines easy. The learning curve is steep (mine was near verticle) even after 15 years with fish in some or other tank! But its facinating, rewarding and adictive.

    LFS will sell you bad advice, bad Live stock and at a bad price. So ask us here first before you get anything and take your time. Do not be shy to ask us anything. simple things like replaceing water due to evaporation has HUGE impact on your small system so pay attention in class:)

    the slower you go, especially in the beginning when there is lots to take in the better:)

    welcome to MASA and happy postings:)
     
  6. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    The Reeftek TS3 that's good for up to a 1000L goes for about R 2900.00 and the TS4 that does 2000L goes for about R 4800.00.

    TS2 - 600l - R 2000
    TS1 - 400l - R 1400

    It does in a sense, if you are looking to upgrade in the future rather go bigger also if your system borderlines the max spec of the skimmer rather go for the bigger model.


    Almost always the case, coral give you some much more colour and life in your tank. But if you are planning to go the coral way, plan ahead and choose reef save fish and inverts.
     
  7. crispin

    crispin

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    Dean there are large differences in skimmers. And to a fair degree you get what you pay for. In my view (i differ with a few on the forum:)) a skimmer is one of the best advances in marine husbandry and is invaluable to your system. I would get as good and big as you can. Its easier to slow your skimmer down and reduce its skimminbg if you want to, than to try make it work better than it can!

    with regards to the simplistic way of looking at a skimmers rating there are a few things to think about. looking at a rating of vollume of the system is not so good in the sence that different systems have different biological loadings. Thats to say the amount you feed, the amount that gets consumed by fish and the amount that gets redeposited into the water. Some fish have a very low detritus value, others are messy feeders. A low bioload requires a lower skimming.

    Personally I love fish. Lots of them and lots of colour. So i like heaveily loaded bioloads with lots of corals and thus as much skimming as possible.

    You want to take as much disolves organic compounds OUT the water (read proteins) before they start breaking down. If the start breaking down you build in a whole array of biological filtration methods to deal with it (thats where LR, deep sand beds, macro algae etc etc come in) but if you can get that stuff out before it breaks down then the chances are far greater that the biological compontent are not overloaded and thus you have better water quality.

    with reefing its all about water stability and quality. Get those two right and the rest fall into place. Mess up the water quality or stability and you are stuffed.



    I have a skimmer thats rated around 1.7 times my total vollume. Its a deltec which is agood brand and makes great coffee like stuff. But they are expensive. Tunze have great skimmers too, but are also expensive.

    the reefoctopus have a great range of less expensive but good skimmers.


    also look to the sponsors (all over the country not just the guys in CPT) and see what they have new. Often specials are available. But also look on the second hand forums, occasionally guys change equipment and you can get great deals on second hand equipment. that goes with all the hardware you will need.
     
  8. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    A VERY WARM WELCOME to MASA, Dean! Great to see another Capetonian on-board! Great to have you on-board, man!

    OK - the guys have given you GREAT advice. One thing that I would suggest - even with our sponsors (we have 3 sponsors around Cape Town - Sam's Aquarium, in Bergvliet; NAAC - in Somerset West; and Pet's Aquaria - also in Somerset West).

    I usually do ALL my homework on the internet - here on MASA, and elsewhere, until I am really satisfied that I am "doing the right thing for me, at this stage"......
    THEN ONLY do I go out and spend my money.

    Yes - I have been impulsive at times - and many a time that have cost me dearly.

    W.r.t skimmers: I have bought myself the Bubble Magus BM-260 (it was originally labelled R5965 at Sam's Aquarium - he gave the skimmer to me for R5000)..... Yes - this is a lot of money - the skimmer is rated for 1500 litres (but this is a "relative term" - this rating - as EVERYTHING is relative to the amount of life-stock you have in your tank) - and I have NEVER been sorry about this.
    I owned 4 skimmers before that....

    BTW: My tank is a 2 metre tank (2000 x 700 x 600), with a 1.2 metre sump (1200 x 500 x 500)....

    For a 2 metre tank, I would suggest looking at the ReefOctopus DNW-250, ReefTek TS-3 (minimum), or Bubble Magus BM-260. Or even ReefOctopus Extreme-200 or 250.... (internal or external)....

    Another question you would like to ask yourself - WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT TO KEEP, in the end?

    If you are prepared to rather spend once, and do it well - then the initial outlay would cost you a pretty penny. If you would rather buy now what you CAN afford, and then upgrade later - that too works quite well - but then, just take into account what life stock you can keep, with the hardware you have, as well.....

    Good luck mate!

    Please read as much as possible - and ask as many questions as possible!

    Enjoy the journey into marines! It's WORTH IT!
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Great posts Boendoe and Crispin! Awesome guys! Thanks!
     
  10. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    dean welcome to MASA i see you got the best advice from the guys...
     
  11. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA :)
    I was about to post exactly what Crispin and Jacques posted, see you guys beat me to it :p
     
  12. crispin

    crispin

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    what???? AGAIN???:P:razz::)
     
  13. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Welcome to MASA!!
     
  14. DeanT

    DeanT Thread Starter Dean

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    Hey all
    thanks for the info overload.
    appreciated though , as it all helps.
    okay, so i did some homework and been to a few shops for advise.
    from what i have been told , i need to decide what i want to do, reef or fish .
    it seems fish only is "easier" that reef.
    secondly , the skimmer , it seems as though its much of a muchness in terms of brand .
    the thing that matters the most is the output of the motors and the turnover of the pumps.
    i also found out that i should buy a skimmer , that handles more that my tank as the bio load might be high an therefore a bigger skimmer is better.
    i should also be looking to spend about R5000 on a skimmer.

    so am i on the right track ??
    is that a decent estimate ??
    do i go for a internal or external skimmer , and can anyone advise a skimmer brand.
    it seems as though reef octopus is a brand that is well priced and a good performer.
    but you also get brands who are better
    so skimmer out the way , i have cannister filters , on my fresh water tank, can these be used as assisted filtration , as i have been told that these will cause more problems that solutions .

    thanks guys for all the help
    cheers
    so
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Dean - you have it spot on. One more thing, w.r.t skimmers - it's the type of impeller on the skimmer that makes the biggest difference, and the number of pumps, (recirculating pumps are MUCH MUCH better, than just supply pumps - with a venturi on it).....

    I have had a fair amount of skimmers in the past few years. I ended up with an external skimmer - which has 2 x recirculating pumps on it - each of the recirculating pumps, have - what they call - a pinwheel impeller, meaning that the air is chopped SO FINELY - the more fine the air bubbles within the skimmer, the more effective the skimmer......

    W.r.t the canister filter - those are not in their original function - within a marine tank environment. You can use them though - to put phosphate remover media, and activated carbon, in..... they work very well as a "reactor"...... ;)
     
  16. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Don't use the canister, as you said it will just cause problems and much more maintenance. You can go with fish and some soft corals initially. In my opinion some soft corals are easier to keep than fish. They also come in a variety of bright colours. I might be biased because I love mushrooms and zoa's.

    I just think fish add some motion to the tank but corals make the tank look a whole lot better. Get some mushrooms and zoa's initially and then you can move on from there. That is if you like the look of them.

    That sounds like a decent estimate for the cost on a skimmer, might be a bit more. Just look out on this forum for some good second hand deals. A lot of people buy skimmers and then upgrade just a few months later, selling their skimmers for good prices.
     
  17. DeanT

    DeanT Thread Starter Dean

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    thanks jacques and maniac.
    i know i am being stupid , how do i change my email address being displayed , sorry i am having a moment.
    okay so i seem to be on the right track.
    so is there a brand i should be looking at for my skimmer ?
    i am in no rush, so i would prefer to buy new stuff , than second hand
    also, i have questions on:
    live rock , which type and how much ?? where can i source it and what should it cost ?
    chiller , are these neccesary or does it matter what i am planning to keep in my tank?
     
  18. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Dean - PM me what you want your user-id to be, and I will change it for you.....
     
  19. DeanT

    DeanT Thread Starter Dean

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    Okay , so with the skimmer out the way , where to next .
    is there any other equipment necessary .
    lighting accessories ??
    live rock , which type and how much ?? where can i source it and what should it cost ?
    chiller , are these neccesary or does it matter what i am planning to keep in my tank?
     
  20. inflames

    inflames

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    Welcome to Masa dude!! Hope you enjoy your stay! Some great advise from the guys and take it slow!!

    Personally you can start with a Fish only with Live Rock (FOWLR) and move onto a full reef system once you get the hang of it! I started that way and I am SLOWLY getting some mushrooms and zoa's as my tank matures and taking it slow. This is after 10 months of my tank running! Had a few casualties in the begginning and also almost killed a nennie:( because I has not done the proper research. Took him back to the LFS just in time! so always do your homework and come to MASA and ask before spending a cent!! the guys here will always give the best advise, without the price!

    You can also do allot of DIY (like allot of the guys do) including me, if you are that way inclined. This would be anything from lighting to actually making your own skimmer (not that I would wanna try that!!!)

    Good luck with a great hobby and look forward to seeing the photo's
     
  21. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Dean - try and get the best quality life rock - rather get less life rock, but the highest quality (this will also mean more expensive unfortunately) you can find. Ask for:
    - fiji, malaysian, indonesian

    W.r.t lighting - this will depend on the size of your tank, and the depth of the tank, as well as what you are planning to keep - if you want to go fully blown reef, but in a shallow tank (less than 500mm), then a bank (ie. 6 to 12) of T5's will be good enough.
    If your tank is between 500mm and 1 metre deep, then rather go for metal halides.
    150 watt Double-ended metal halides are quite popular. Most LPS, soft-corals, and SPS grows reasonably well under 150 watt metal halides. IF you really want to go "all out", then go 400 watt single-ended metal halides....
    Just take the electricity cost, and heat transfer to the water, into account.... the less the wattage, the less electricity used, the less the heat issues with the tank's water....

    W.r.t in-tank water flow:
    The best in-tank pumps to look at (in order of cost - cheapest to most expensive), are:
    1) SunSun power-heads VERY good value for money
    2) SEIO's - reasonably good value for money
    3) ReSuns - also good value for money
    4) Tunze - quite a bit more expensive
    5) Vortech - top dollar
    6) Polario - also top dollar
     
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