Is there time to convert to Marine?

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Fishfingers, 5 Jun 2011.

  1. Fishfingers


    5 Jun 2011
    Likes Received:
    Oranjemund, Namibia
    Greetings! This is my first post to this encyclopedia...sorry forum.
    I am looking to convert my 1.65m tank (length includes the side filter compartments) into a reef tank but doing some research (talking to marine stockists, 3 different shops gave 3 different stories, and reading threads on this forum) I am not sure if I should procede with the conversion.
    Well, firstly, I live in Oranjemund, Namibia, where once every 6-8 weeks we have a 12hr power shutdown to service transformers etc.
    Secondly, I am a secondee and my work permit expires in 16 months whereafter I will probably relocate to Gauteng...(or at worst/best overseas).
    Lastly, it is an 7.5 - 9hr drive to CT (depending on passengers) done approx every 2 months. Therefore access to new equipment and stock is limited.

    So the question is, should i convert the tank from fresh to marine? Because of my location it wil be a long processof setting it up before I can add fish (excluding the fact that I must still find a suitable home for my current children...sorry cichlids). How easy is it to relocate a reef tank? I think some pretty nifty planning is needed.
    Lastly, I am very proud of my 3d rock background I built out of polystyrene and cement which looks like tabular sandstone with overhangs and cracks etc. This is now firmly glued in place so anything that attaches itself to this will need to detach itself before moving or die during transit.

    So, if you are still awake after reading this epic introduction (yawn), then all i ask is in your opinion do you think I should convert (with only 16 months left) and is the tank with 3d background suitable)? Must post a picture of it I guess.
    I'll research the equipment needed later (skimmers, sumps, wavemalers, RO/ID systems), just looking for some basic guidance from non-fish shop owners (Sponsors...pls dont take this personally!).
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  3. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    7 May 2007
    Likes Received:
    Gonubie East London
    HI James, and welcome to the forum.

    I am never one to deter anyone from starting a marine tank but it seems you are in quite a predicament..

    what i would suggest is starting with a system slowly and not going full bore..
    but only do this to be able to better understand the workings and value of marine equipment.. on the fip side you are far away from obtaining a quick fix should something go wrong (and for a novice that can happen anytime)

    If you were to research well and be able to put contingencies in place i would say go for it passivley. learn the cycle, the need for a skimmer and the water chemistry..
    but it is a nightmare to move a fully stocked tank.. so keep it lightly stocked..

    waiting would be better in the long run as you would have more stability in the new location and possibly better equipment at your disposal..

    it is a tough one..
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    11 Aug 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hello James.

    I will not bother to convert the cichlids tank into a marine tank. Amount of time needed is not worthwhile.

    If, however, you want to get that salt taste on your fingers, why not start with a small system, about 100L. Not to much livestock. Tank and sump. Just the basics, that can be up and running in 6 weeks time. Give you time to learn the basic rules of this hobby. Easier to relocate 100L water system next year compared to 250 + system. But, keep in mind, 100L or less is a lot more difficult to keep the water parameters stable, compared to 250L plus. But not impossible. I done that, your learning curve is just that much steeper. Weekly water changes and water parameter tests are the key.

    Keep two battery driven air pumps, use 2 D-cell batteries, for those power outages. Tank can go a day without light. And the temp should be OK, seeing you are in Namibia. Use one in the tank, and the other in the sump biological filtration chamber.

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