Hi

Discussion in 'New Members' started by BigFish, 24 Nov 2007.

  1. BigFish

    BigFish

    Joined:
    24 Oct 2007
    Posts:
    114
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Robertsham,Jhb S
    Hi Everyone:wave2:

    First post here . Previous experience only with tropicals & none with marines

    Heres my first questions

    A) Is there such a thing as a "cheap" marine setup?
    B) Is there such a thing as "low tech" for marines.

    Any pointers would be appreciated
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    24,229
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Point Waterfront Durban
    welcometomasa

    maybe this will help bigfish

    • How do I make saltwater ?
    If you are not going to use Natural Sea Water, then you will need to buy Synthetic Salt. This comes in either a bag, box or bucket. There are many different salts to choose from, some of the more popular brands are Tropic Marin, Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals, Aquamedic etc.

    The salt comes in a dry form and needs to be mixed with water, ideally RO water, this is water that has been specially filtered and had all the nasties removed from it. By using RO water, you can prevent a lot of algae related problems in your tank. Try not to use just normal tap water as this may cause many problems in the tank as it is full of chemicals that you do not want in your tank.

    You can either premix the salt in a bucket before adding it to the tank or if there is nothing in the tank then you can mix the salt in the tank itself.

    You will need to mix your salt and water until it reaches roughly 1.024 -1.026. This is what salt water is measured as. You can use a cheap floating hydrometer to give you a rough guide as to when your salt mix is within these limits.

    This newly mixed salt water will now have to be left to cycle, but this will be discussed later on.

    • filtration mechanisms - what is the best thing to use as a filter for a marine tank?
    This is a very broad question and subject but the basics are...
    • Live Rock
    Live rock is special rock that has come from the oceans around the world. This rock is very porous and is very benefical to your tank. It allows all sorts of critters and bacteria to grow and these are a great help to filtering the water in your tank.

    You can buy live rock that is either "cured", "semi-cured" or "uncured". Ideally you want to buy cured rock, this basically means that the rock is ready to go straight into your tank and begin performing its job of filtration.

    • Deep Sand Bed (DSB)
    This is basically a bed of sand either in your tank or in your sump (a sump is a separate tank normally underneath your main tank). This sand bed must be between 10-15cm deep and as long and wide as possible. There are many different "sands" you can use to make up your Deep Sand Bed, you can use sea sand, silica sand (sand from a swimming pool filter) aragonite etc. Ideally you want to use a sand that has a very small grain size (about the same size as white sugar grains). These different sands have been discussed in detail on the forum and are worth a read.

    Now you need a heater or 2 and some pumps to circulate the water. Ideal temperature for a marine tank is around 26 degrees celsius.

    ok, so now you have your new water circulating in your tank.

    Now what do I do ?

    Now you have to wait for the newly mixed water to go through a "cycle", this is basically a cycle whereby the water in your tank will go through an Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate cycle. Generally a safe period to wait is about 4 weeks.

    During this waiting period would be a good time to decide on the following items...

    1. Am I keeping Fish only
    2. Am I going to keep corals
    3. What lighting will I need (highly dependant on whether or not you are going to have corals)
    4. What am I going to use as a substrate on the bottom of the tank

    From here is where all the questions will come in as each and every tank differs.

    Please bear in mind that what I have said in these last couple of posts are the absolute basics to getting started. There are many many different opinions, ideas, methods etc. which is where the forum comes in and where you will get answers to all your questions.

    So basically (and I mean basically) that is it.

    You have your main display tank, preferably a sump, you have your salt water and your live rock.

    After the water has cycled for about 8 weeks, you are ready to start thinking about what fish and corals you want to keep.

    Now it starts getting more involved with regards to equipment.

    A few of the most important needs of any marine tank are:
    1. Lighting
    2. Protein Skimmer
    3. Water flow

    • Lighting
    If you are keeping only fish and live rock in your tank then your lighting needs will be minimal and more for aesthetic reasons, but if you want to keep corals then you need to consider much more intense lighting, like T5 fluorescent tubes or Metal Halide lights.
    • Protein Skimmer
    There are many different protein skimmers available at very different prices, do not try and buy a cheap skimmer, you will regret it in the long run, research the available skimmers and get different opinions on them before you buy one. A protein skimmer is also a part of the filtration on your tank, it removes a lot of gunk from the water.
    • Water Flow
    Basically you need good water flow in the tank, especially if you have got corals. You can achieve this by either placing powerheads in the tank or building Closed Loop Manifolds etc. This is another topic that will need to be researched depending on what corals you will be keeping.
    __________________
     
    Reef Maniac and viper357 like this.
  4. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    12 May 2007
    Posts:
    7,859
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    the Motherland
    Hello, welcome to masa.:wave2:
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    Hi Bigfish, welcome to MASA. There is definatly Low Tech systems out there, the down side is they tend to be far more labour intensive and have to be researched properly.
     
  6. Tridan

    Tridan

    Joined:
    15 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kei Mouth
    Welcome bigfish Ther are low tech systems but to start nothing is cheap unless you have some of the gear already.
     
  7. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    5 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    JHB
    welcometomasa Bigfish!

    Well "cheap" is rather relative... A lot of it also depends on what you want to keep. For example I've had some softies survive and procreate just fine in a 50cm tank (they were on special for R25 at one point) with a powerhead (say R100) and a heater (R100) and some live rock (say at least R200) and a light (could use an energy saver about under R50 for plug/wire/fitting/bulb). That's probably the most low tech setup ever. Ideally you would do at least 25% per week water changes.

    Essentially the less equipment you have the more water changes you should have. You will need at least some flow in a tank of course. What you're keeping will determine the light requirements. Fish only really require "a light". Live rock is a fairly unavoidable expense and the cheapest is R50/kg and you'll need about 1kg per 4 liters.
     
  8. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,980
    Likes Received:
    776
    Welcome BigFish

    Yes, definitely, you can have a low tech system which is a lot easier on the pocket, just be sure to ask lots of question on how you want to go about it, the guys will help you out.

    Don't be scared when you see some members setups with thousands and thousands of rands worth of reactors etc. You can start off simple and slowly build up over time, this is the way I did it.
     
  9. BigFish

    BigFish Thread Starter

    Joined:
    24 Oct 2007
    Posts:
    114
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Robertsham,Jhb S
    Thanks for the replies

    The reason i'm asking those questions is so that i dont have a repeat of my beginnings with tropicals. (fish died , then i learnt about nitrogen cycle,water changes & plants etc etc)

    Lots of reading ahead for me.
     
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,980
    Likes Received:
    776
    Just start off slowly, I like to cycle a tank for at least 6 weeks before putting any fish or corals in.

    Here is a nice link to start some reading...Click here and go down the list to "So you want to start a marine tank"
     
  11. DragonReef

    DragonReef

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,601
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Durban, ZA
    Welcome Bigfish

    Sure you can setup a low budget, low tech system. The key is knowing the bounderies and you have to be deligent with husbandry, but it can be done.
    Here are some pics of a tank that I had setup for my son. System ran for about 2 years before I took it down. I just didn't have the time to give it the attention that it needed. But is was great and setup for less than 2k.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I got 2 clones from this BTA while it was in this tank.

    No skimmer, 3 x 2 foot T8's and a small DSB.
     
  12. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    14,530
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Gonubie East London
    welcome....
     
  13. dalton

    dalton

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Help Leslie

    Hi Leslie
    Not sure if you remember me, I too am from East London and was hoping you could help. I am looking for that nylon/plastic mesh grid stuff one uses for the ground Filter, any idea where I could get some of this. Size I'm looking for is 1400 x 700

    O Hallo to everyone else

    :yeahdude:
     
  14. DragonReef

    DragonReef

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,601
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Durban, ZA
    Hey Dalton, welcome to MASA.
     
  15. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    6 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Germiston
    Welcome Dalton.

    What you are referring to is called egg crate or more commonly, light diffuser.
     
  16. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    12 May 2007
    Posts:
    7,859
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    the Motherland
    I thought he wanted to make an undergravel filter:blushing:

    Welcome Dalton, start a thread in the new member section:)
     
  17. dalton

    dalton

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Galibore, does anyone lnow where I can get this in East London.
    I am allso looking at making a DSB with a 44 Gallon seald container this this is a good idea ?
     
  18. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    6 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Germiston
    Dalton, are you referring to an undergravel filter or a plenum?

    If you are talking about a normal undergravel filter, you can find those at just about any LFS.
     
Recent Posts