Hi Mike-Opc! A very WARM WELCOME to MASA! I am VERY glad that you found us, and joined MASA!
OK - here are some pointers - but, I DO want to suggest the following FIRST OFF:
1) Have a LOT OF PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE! PATIENCE is the name of the marine game!
2) Read up a LOT! Read the MASA "Members Setups and Tanks" - decide what YOU want, and what YOU can afford - UNDERSTAND the complexities of keeping a smaller tank, compared to THAT of keeping a large tank - decide WHAT tank size you want, and whether you are willing to either afford the skimmers/lighting/live rock/etc that goes with it.... And wether you just want to start off with a "nano tank" (a tank which has a total water capacity of less than 120 litres) - if so, understand that this type of tank take a LOT LOT more maintenance than a big tank, and also that you can keep FAR less life stock in a smaller tank (especially when compared to a fresh water tank).
OK - here are some other things to start thinking of:
1) tank type: new, 2nd hand, custom-built, DIY build, pre-manufactured (ie Brand name)
2) Tank size: think of the stand strength, and the floor strength where you want to keep / place the tank - once full with water, sand and live rock, it is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to move tanks
3) filtration: sump, sump design, skimmer, live rock, phosphate remover media, activated carbon, phosphate reactors, activated carbon reactors, nitrate reducers, macro algae scrubbers, DSB (Deep Sand Bed: sand with particle sizes between 0.05mm and 1mm - where the sand bed is between 120mm and 150mm deep)
4) in-tank water flow (for a FISH ONLY tank, you require far less water flow, than for a garden reef, when compared a fully populated SPS (short polyped stony corals) tank)
5) test kits
6) think of life stock compatibility - what fish you can keep with what other fish, and what fish you can keep with other corals
PLEASE REMEMBER: LFS' are there MOSTLY for their own financial gain - DO NOT LET SOMEONE SELL YOU SOMETHING, IF YOU HAVE NOT COME TO DOUBLE-CHECK THIS WITH US HERE ON MASA.....
We only have the life stock and you are reefer's BEST interest at heart.... we do not have anything else to gain, in giving you certain pieces of advice....
Also - ENJOY the JOURNEY the WHOLE JOURNEY! Every step of the way!
Please ask as MANY QUESTIONS as possible! Do NOT think that there are such a thing as a "stupid question"....
thanks 4 the advice jacquesb.. ive already got a 1.2m tank(250L) external filter and lighting. Ive asked a guy at the pet shop and all he said i basically needed was a protein skimmer, live rock and sand. im looking to have a reef/fish setup. What else would i need or please advise on anithing else..
I have two power-glo tubes, the one is blue and the other white. Do i need more lighting?
I dont have any pumps yet. I dnt know what pumps to get???? im busy buying the items needed for the tank so i need to know what i need.
OK, Mike. You must decide WHAT you want to keep.
IF you want to start with FISH ONLY, for a while, then your globes will be more than perfect.
You said a "REEF/FISH" - which means that you will HAVE to end up upgrading your lighting, to a minimum of 4 to 6 T5 high output fluorescents (look / ask around for brands like: ATI, AM, Sylvania, Geissemann)... You will end up having to replace the balasts as well - perhaps look for 2nd hand complete T5 lighting units...
You say you have a 1.2 metre tank? 4 foot? Meaning that you can / should go for 54 watt T5 lighting.... if you decide to go for 4 globes, then you should have 3 WHITE (10000 Kelvin) and 1 BLUE / actinic (20000 Kelvin plus) globe - if you go for 6 T5's, then go for 4 white and 2 blue globes.
You MIGHT want to decide to go for 1 x 150 watt metal halide, and 2 x 52 watt blue/actinic globes/lights - which should be more than perfect for you to keep corals / anemone's as well.....
Regarding the in-tank pumps for water flow - the pumps you should be looking for, are:
- SEIO, SunSun, ReSun (very good value for money)
- Tunze (the best I believe, in the business, but the MOST expensive either)
These give you the TYPE of water flow you need: a VERY broad and dispersed water flow moving MANY litres of water at the same time - not a directed JET spray of water (like the "other" water pumps on the market, ie. LifeTech, Dophin, Dolphin, etc.... these are very good for "hidden" power-heads in the tank, OR return pumps from the sump)...
BTW: What brand of skimmer do you have at the moment, Mike?
You are MORE THAN WELCOME to ask as MANY questions as you would like....
The most common/decent skimmer brands, are the following:
- ReefTek in-sump range (good value for money)
- ReefOctopus in-sump or external (out of sump) range (good value for money)
- Bubble Magus skimmers (good value for money)
- Deltec skimmers (Rolce Royce of skimmers)
- Bubble Master / Bubble King (the Mercedes Benz/BMW/Volvo of skimmers)
All of these will give you VERY good skimming..... good enough to keep ANY reef/coral happy.
The important thing about skimmers, is that you should ALWAYS try and get a skimmer that is "rated" at least 2x or 3x your total water volume....... I know skimmers can be QUITE expensive - that is why I say "try to"....
You can either have a LOT more really decent (read expensive as well) live rock, and a slightly "smaller rated" skimmer, or less live rock, and a far bigger skimmer...
i wanted to ask, is it still good enough if i dnt use the sump filtration?? because i already have a tetratec EX 1200 external filter. then all i would need to get is the pumps and skimmer. is that alryt if i go that route?? or should i use a sump??