Hello All

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Hudsonkzn, 30 Mar 2009.

  1. Hudsonkzn

    Hudsonkzn

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    Hey guys.

    I'm a total novice in the Marine Aquarium hobby.

    I have had a Fresh Water tank for a while now, and have just setup my Marine Tank.

    My tank size is: 700 x 325 x 500mm. I got the tank from a 2nd Hand shop, for next to nothing.

    I have since built a wodden lid for it, and tried something that some of you may shoot me for. I went down to Ansteys beach in Durban and collected water, sand. Also caught a few fish from the rock pools. Took all this home and put it into my tank. I have a HETO Pump in the tank as well. I also installed a double fillament light system, and heater.

    Everything went well, for the past month, fish seemed happy. They were eating flakes and all was well.

    I did all this because someone told me it will work.

    It actually did for a month, but then I proceeded to do something further which was to add live rock . These rocks contained small crabs, algae, muscles and a host of other living creatures.

    The tank looks great, but after a day or so, my fish started to die.

    I guess I did something wrong. So I don't know if you guys can help or give me advise on what I did wrong?

    Please don't hate me for anything I may have done wrong.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 30 Mar 2009
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  3. Tony

    Tony

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    Welcome. Do you know what fish you have?
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Oooops, I gave you a nice welcome in your other thread :p - please read it.

    There could be a number of things why the fish died. You don't mention a protein skimmer or sump, so I take it you don't have any? Remember that fish produce waste in a closed system which causes ammonia to rise. If the bacteria in a tank is not build up properly to convert this ammonia to nitrites and then to nitates, the fish will die as ammonia is toxic to them. This is made worse when people feed to much - killing them with kindness. So, if the filtration system in a tank is not good enough to handle the bio load then it doesn't help much either.
    You need a good protein skimmer, good quality live rock and preferably a sump with a deep sand bed as well and macro algae to use as nutrient export. Most petshops will sell you bio-balls and ceramic rings to aid as filtration, this works up to a point and will only help if you have a fish only setup. When you add corals you need to remove the bio-balls and rings as they convert ammonia to nitrites to nitrates but then stops. So your nitrates will start climbing which is bad for corals. This is where the DSB (deep sand bed) comes in - it converts the nitrates into nitrogen which escapes back to the atmosphere. Still keeping up?
     
  5. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Like I said in your other thread, read through my signature, you will learn a lot from it. A tank needs to cycles a few weeks and you can only add fish when all the water parameters has been stable for at least a week.

    Ammonia
    Nitrites
    Nitrates
    kH
    pH
    Salinity
    Temp

    What water do you use to top up when the level goes down in you tank due to evapouration?
     
  6. Hudsonkzn

    Hudsonkzn Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the speedy replies.

    No I don't have a sump or a Skimmer, I've heard of these and read so many articles about them. But I guess I prefer hearing it from someone before I go about doing it.

    As well, I'm sort of a D.I.Y freak so if I do put in a sump I'm going to build it by myself.

    I am a bit limited for space under my tank, so I was thinking of putting in a sump behind the tank.

    How many sections do I need to build, and how big should they be?

    My tank is 700 (L) x 325mm (w) x 500mm(deep).

    It is not a standard sized tank, as I think the guys that sold it to me had it custom built.

    Is normal sea sand a good substrate?
     
  7. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Your sump needs to have 3 chambers as a minimum. First one for skimmer, secnd one for the deep sand bed and the third one for the return pump and auto RO top up. Make the sump as bit as possible - the bigger the DSB the better ;)
    The sand by Umdloti is very fine and that you can use for the DSB which needs to be 15cm deep to ensure anearobic activity. You can use it as a substrate in tank, but most guys use Reggies playsand or aragonite because of the nice white colour. You just wash the playsand a couple times well and it comes out nice and white - cheap as well at R40 for 20kg where aragonite is very expensive - like R750 for 50kg :(

    Here is a pic of my sump just to give you an idea

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    This is an old pic of my sump, excuse the wires at the back - still busy rearanging :p
     
  9. Hudsonkzn

    Hudsonkzn Thread Starter

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    Geez, what are all the wires for?

    Do I need that many items connected to the sump?

    I thought the Skimmer and the Pump will be the only things needing the Electrical connections?
     
  10. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    welcome
     
  11. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Welcome to MASA!!
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    A very WARM WELCOME to MASA HudsonKZN. I see the other guys have been taking care of you already!

    The wires are for the following: return pump, heater, skimmer, light over the DSB/sump, float switch, and possibly temperature probe or pH probe..
     
  13. Andreas

    Andreas

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    Welcome again Hudson

    Sorry to hear about the loss man:(I would take it slow and do a bit of research before buying more livestock.It is really an interesting hobby and I'm sure you'll enjoy learning about nitrates etc etc:pGood luck;)
     
  14. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Welcome and hello :)
     
  15. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    masahello
     
  16. keyaam

    keyaam

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    Welcome. I think you should get hold of a few fellow durban reefers and have a look at their setups. It will give you a much better idea what you can accomplish and how everything works
     
  17. Hudsonkzn

    Hudsonkzn Thread Starter

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    Hey Keyaam.

    Just had a look at your Tank page. It looks great so far. May I ask, what drill bit you used to drill into the tank. I may need to do the same for my tank, as I was advised to put in a Sump.

    Can the bit be purchased at any hardware, and whats the process behind drilling into glass?
     
  18. keyaam

    keyaam

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    The Local pet shop drilled it for me. Its costs much cheaper to have them drill it than to buy a bit
     
  19. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Not all the wires are for the sump, some of them are for the tank as well like lights, flow pumps. Also the flow pumps in the refugium.
     
  20. crispin

    crispin

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    hello there hudson :)

    i havent seen your welcome thread so excuse me for extending greetings in here :)

    sounds like you are off to a slightly rocky start and that you need to do lots of learning before taking this tank forward. Regeretably doing what people will tell you to do "because it will work" and what you should do for long term success is often very different.

    Glad to hear that you have heard of a skimmer and a sump, thats a great start, tobes sump is a good basic outline and those wires are pretty arent they:p, but i wouldnt worry too much about what those wires connect to, just having water cascade down a pipe through a skimmer and over a DSB to get pumped back up to your tank will be a great improvement :)

    welcome to MASA, ask as many questions as you can, the simpler they sound the more important they are to get right! :)
     
  21. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    here is the link :lookhere:
     
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