I have a cold water marine tank

Gemma

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I have for a while had a cold water marine fish tank local to Cape Town and surrounding areas. Does anyone else have similar that can make suggestions. I only have fish/shrimps/hermit crabs and anenomes in it. Size is 1200x450x450 with sump. I don't really have problems but maybe others can give advice. I have basic lighting (1 blue and 1 white) and obviously use a skimmer. Is it possible to have anything else in the tank, and the same principals that get applied to tropical be applied to the cold water system.
 

DragonReef

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Sounds Interesting Gemma, would love to see a pic of your tank.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Gemma - also - how the heck are you keeping the water cold? Do you have a chiller as well? And what about the rest of your filtration? Are you just doing MANY water changes? Or do you have a sump and skimmer as well?

I though of setting up a cold water Atlantic ocean tank - but except for sea-stars, sea urchins, some cold-water corals (especially gorgonians - they are AWESOME here in Cape Town's cold waters), crabs, mussels, shrimps, (perhaps cold water lobster?), anemone's and some bland fish - I don't that there would be anything else you can put in it....

Perhaps have a tiny version of a swaying kelp forest? :)

Oh yes - perhaps if you had a MUCH bigger tank, perhaps some shy/leopard/cat-sharks - like the one I have in avatar's picture (I took this picture while SCUBA diving at A-Frame at Simons' Town.... this baby pajama shark was barely born when I noticed it.... I think it must have been a few days old!
 

Gemma

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The tempreture is between 18 and 20, kept there by means of a chiller. My filtration consists of overflow corner chamber with floss (which im told is a no no, so maybe must come out) and a nylon bag of sea shells found on beaches also in this chamber. This discharges into my sump with yet more floss and hair curlers in the first chamber of the sump. Second chamber houses 2 nylon bags of crushed coral. Third and last chamber has my skimmer and return pump in. I do monthly water changes of about 20 percent.
What is really great about this tank is being able to catch your own specimens and when they get to big and or bossy its back to the ocean to be replaced by smaller ones. We can spend the whole day pottering around rockpools looking for likely tankmates. I have had mullet, zebras, musselcracker, black tails, orange tails and stumpnose in the tank at various stages. At the moment I have zebra, mullet and two tone fingerfins in. The fingerfins don't seem to do well even though I have read elsewhere that they thrive in captivity aquariums. I'll take a picture and post.
 

Mike

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Can't wait to see the pictures, it sounds like an interesting project - but what purpose do the hair curlers serve? or for that matter the crushed coral?
 

Tridan

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Sounds really interesting, a friend had a similar set up and it was great, he even had it tidal but only once a day.

Try post some pics.
 

sunburst

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My filtration consists of overflow corner chamber with floss (which im told is a no no, so maybe must come out) and a nylon bag of sea shells found on beaches also in this chamber. This discharges into my sump with yet more floss and hair curlers in the first chamber of the sump. Second chamber houses 2 nylon bags of crushed coral. Third and last chamber has my skimmer and return pump in. I do monthly water changes of about 20 percent.
Incredibly interesting Gemma. Really look forward to hearing and seeing more. Get ready to run for cover. Your selected method of filtration is rather controversial.

However, as a fish only system and the fact that cold water biotopes run higher nutrient levels combined with your current water change regime, i believe it could work. :leaving:
Now i am going to run for cover
 

Gemma

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Wee-man. I was told that the hair curlers serve the same purpose as the expensive alternative being bio-balls. The crushed coral is supposed to act as a DSB for the goggas but appears not to at the moment so am thinking of adding another sump partion to create a proper 150thk DSB.
 

Pterois

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What about marleyiis?

Seems the obvious thing for a cold water tank and they are gorgeous!

AfricanButterflyWMBu_U41.jpg


 

Mike

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Wee-man. I was told that the hair curlers serve the same purpose as the expensive alternative being bio-balls. The crushed coral is supposed to act as a DSB for the goggas but appears not to at the moment so am thinking of adding another sump partion to create a proper 150thk DSB.
Gemma, do you use live rock? if yes, then the bio curlers will prevent the nitrate cycle from completing (i.e. build up nitrate that the rock's bacteria turns into gas which in turn escapes out of the tank)
If no, then could you take some rock from the local coast - it will be full of bacteria and useable i would have thought, will laso add to the look of the tank.

Also, those Marleyiis are little beauties, they would look great in any tank:)
 

Gemma

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Wee-man.
No I don't have live rock for my west coast tank, but am seriously going to make changes to sump so as to accomodate this.
 

Gemma

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With regards to the "Marleyiis" I can't find out where to catch them from rock pools close to Cape Town area and at what time of the year. Will also wait for tank to settle again once I redo sump for live rock/DSB.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Pterois / Wee-man - I agree - the Marleii's are beautiful fish! BUT, I have never seen any of them while SCUBA diving here in the Cape.... perhaps at Hermanus, or even perhaps closer to Knysna.... BUT not here in the Cape....
 

Mike

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Hi Pterois / Wee-man - I agree - the Marleii's are beautiful fish! BUT, I have never seen any of them while SCUBA diving here in the Cape.... perhaps at Hermanus, or even perhaps closer to Knysna.... BUT not here in the Cape....
i assume they are some type of butterfly?
 

jacquesb

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Hi Wee-Man - yes, they are a temperate water butterfly species.... BUT the Cape Town water is far too cold for it - Cape Town water (Atlantic side) averages about 10 to 12 degrees celsius....

These fish prefer between 16 and 18 degree water.... I have read up on them before....
 

Mike

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Hi Wee-Man - yes, they are a temperate water butterfly species.... BUT the Cape Town water is far too cold for it - Cape Town water (Atlantic side) averages about 10 to 12 degrees celsius....

These fish prefer between 16 and 18 degree water.... I have read up on them before....
Do you have a latin name?
 

Tridan

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Hi Wee-Man - yes, they are a temperate water butterfly species.... BUT the Cape Town water is far too cold for it - Cape Town water (Atlantic side) averages about 10 to 12 degrees celsius....

These fish prefer between 16 and 18 degree water.... I have read up on them before....

Agreed with jacquesb, the black burni is also a cold water butterfly.
Infact as long as the tank does not go lower than 18 degrees most local fish will be happy as long as the temp stays constant
 

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