Just saying Hoesit!!!

Discussion in 'New Members' started by josamoto, 9 Oct 2007.

  1. josamoto

    josamoto

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    Hi everyone!

    Just to introduce myself! I'm from Garsfontein, Pretoria and just recently got the Marine Aquarium fever.

    I don't have much to start with, just a small 900x300x300 tank (which will probably eventually be converted into a sump/quarantine tank for my larger 500litre tank I am saving for. I have also recently brought a smallish protein skimmer, I am fairly low budget, but I am also very patient, and aiming to have my tank up and running in about, maybe six months.

    I am definitely going to start of with some live rock & live substrate, and just get the water temp, gravity, pH, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites and the like stable for a couple of weeks, then add some livestock.

    Any advice will be appreciated, but I might also add that Michael Paletta's book on starting a new aquarium is fantastic!!!

    I am particularly looking for a reliable supplier of marine stuff in the Gauteng, Pretoria/ Johannesburg area.

    Cheers!!! :)
     
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  3. Tridan

    Tridan

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    Welcome, patience is the key to this hobbie
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum. Plenty of guys here to help you. :)

    What protein skimmer did you buy?
     
  5. gigman333

    gigman333

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    welcome yip when the bug bites its hard to stop
     
  6. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA.you'll find all the advice you need here.our members are very helpful.so please,ask your questions :)
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hi welcome to MASA, a good book is always a good investment, remembering that knowledge is the best investment you can make in this hobby.
     
  8. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

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    Welcome.

    I'm sure some Pretoria guys can point you to some good LFS's.

    Ask a lot of questions. A lot of guys here are very knowledgeable.
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Welcome josamoto! Yeah well... what can I say - good luck with the hobby - you are entering a bit of a roller-coaster ride regarding what you will hear, experience and want to experience. BUT, enjoy every bit of it!

    Just to wet you appetite even more - have a look at the pictures of the "Members Setups" or "Full tank pics" to see what you CAN achieve - BUT remember, it all takes time - and a LOT of it!
     
  10. josamoto

    josamoto Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies guys!!! I already feel so much at home here.

    I am glad it takes long to establish a new tank. I can't imagine how bored I'd be with it if I could just chuck everything in and have it up and running within a couple of hours.

    I just need to get my hands on some decent live rock this weekend. My tank is full of emptiness.

    My nearest pet shop gave me a very serious warning, saying I need to be sure that there are absolutely NO nitrites, nitrates and ammonia in the water. Otherwise my live rock will die, instantaneously...

    ...but isn't nitrites, nitrates and ammonia exactly that which the organisms on live rock proliferate on?

    I think the staff at the pet shop I visited need some training...unless of course I'm mistaken...oh...and the cherry on top, they said that when live rock dries, it is impossible to revive ANY life on it, it's dead...mmm.

    Then why on earth is there a curing process for live rock?


    ;)
     
  11. josamoto

    josamoto Thread Starter

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    I, and I want to start a blog/diary thingy on my tanks progress, any suggestions?

    I'm on Facebook, I think that might be a good option...
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi josamoto....
    Just to add to what you heard at the LFS:
    In my experience so far (and other must please correct me or back me up), is that there is always SOME percentage of die-off on the live rock when it is removed from either it's original location or holding tanks, for relocation to someone's aquarium. This amount of die-off could possibly cause nutrient spikes in one's aquarium. BUT, if the die-off is minimal, or your aquarium is going through it's first cycle phase in any case, then the effect of the die-off is not as "bad" as when you might other life-stock in the tank.... The bacteria will automatically take care of this die-off....

    Bacteria does not die that easily - there's two type of life on "live rock". The one is the actual bacteria that in/on/around the live rock, that you need to assist with your biological filtration, and the other is life in the form of macro algae, calcerous / corraline algae, sponges, possible polyps, worms, 'pods (amphipods/copepods - and their off-spring), etc.... and the die-off mostly occurs for the second group of "life" on/in the live-rock....

    As I said - if your tank is cycling in any case, then this die-off would not cause any major issues at all.....

    The bacteria does not die that easily, and even if the other category of life have indeed died on your live rock, due to the rock being out of the water for too long a period, the bacteria should still survive.... you will even find that some spores / eggs of the abovementioned second category of life could have survived as well - and the live rock could still surprise you weeks are putting it into your tank, with some strange creatures coming out of it.... :) (which have either not died off - or which have bred in the rock after you putting the rock back into your tanks' water)...

    josomoto - please supply us with some more information on your tank?
    What type of tank is it?
    What temperature do you run your tank at?
    What SG (salinity/salt concentration)?
    Perhaps post some pictures of your tank for us?
    What filtration are your using? Skimmer? Sump? Etc?>

    Many thanks.
    Jacques
     
  13. josamoto

    josamoto Thread Starter

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    Hi Jaques My tank is 900mm x 300mm x 300mm. Iv'e got a small Jebo protein skimmer and small in tank filter (which is inadequate) running with a temp. regulator thingy set at 23 degrees. I'll construct a sump later on. The only thing I have done so far is put water some salt and nothing else in the tank. You could say I'm testing for leaks and properly functioning equipment. I am pretty much stuck at work, so at night when I go home, my local pet store is closed. I'll be buying a gravity meter, thermometer this weekend. I'll also buy the minimum set of test kits (as my budget is limited), maybe for pH, alkalinity, ammonia and nitrites. Rocks can come when the water is stable. My water is a bit milky however, and if not mistaken, this indicates either chlorine, or too much heavy metals. Damn our municipality water is crap. (So I'll probably need to purchase test kits for heavy metals) PS: What does the acronym LFS stand for; I assume "Local Fish Store"
     
  14. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi josomoto.... I know the "budget story" - I understand exactly where you coming from.

    Here's my story, in a nutshell:
    - I had a 300 litre tank where I kept fresh water fish for a very long time - I decided I want to try my hand at marines...
    - the tank had 2 in-tank filters (of which one was built-in, and the other was a "loose unit").... This is all I had - and 2 NO (normal output) T8 lights/globes... (2 x 39watt)
    - so I started off.... I managed to go from that, without a sump, no skimmer, etc, to a 2 metre marine tank, keeping some corals, a 1.2 metre sump, 2 x skimmers (still cheap ones - but I am getting my 1st "really decent" skimmer at the end of this month).... I have some soft-corals, LPS and 2 x SPS corals in my tank at the moment... and about 16 fish
    - I first gotten in touch with another site like this, about a year after keeping marines.... in that year I probably made every mistake one could possibly make.... in the marine keeping arena...
    - I still make my mistakes though...

    Currently close to 3 years in marines keeping - and still learning A LOT about marines, keeping them, myself, and all other technical stuff you will learn about during this wonderful experience.... ie. learn about lights, and lighting systems, learn about filtration/sumps, learn about protein skimmers, learn about live rock and live sand, learn about water levels, and auto-topups, learn about phosphate reactors, calcium reactors, kalkwasser (lime water - coming from Slaked Lime/Calcium hydroxide), learn about corals, fish, anemone's, water-flow, substrates, etc. etc, etc, .etc

    Here is what I have learnt so far:
    - for a FOWLR system (standing for "Fish Only With Live Rock" you do not need too much lighting, but a half-decent skimmer definitely helps
    - you MUST do at least 10% water changes per month (once or twice)
    - you must feed too little rather than too much
    - start with fewer fish to give your biological filtration a chance to catch up - don't buy too many fish all at once....
    - marines keeping is actually completely different from fresh water keeping (I kept f/water for about 20 years before going to marines)

    Seeing that you are on a budget, you will have "to make do" with what you've got...
    Have a look at our DIY section, at stuff like DIY de-nitrification reactors...

    I think of my marine experience as a journey - one where I had to stumble (and still am) a LOT of times to get it "just right" (still not 100% "just right" though, but getting there....)

    Here are the things you most likely do in the next few months:
    - definitely get a sump
    - remove the "in tank" filter, as this will be your biggest concern regarding nitrates (causing too high levels of nitrates in your tank)
    - perhaps want to make your own de-nitrification system
    - perhaps upgrade your lighting
    - perhaps get a better/bigger skimmer
    - perhaps add some power-heads to your tank

    Take note: everyone WILL comment on your Jebo protein skimmer - it's fine to start off with, perhaps you can mod it to produce better skimmate.... BUT prepare yourself mentally to get something bigger in the short term (I don't expect you to go and pay R1500 for a skimmer as such, but, this is what "would be the expected thing to do" - in the end (a few years down the line, you will end up forking out that R1500 for a "decent" skimmer in any case....
    Somewhere down the line, you will end up buying either at least T5 light fittings, and/or Metal Halide fittings and globes (all bloody expensive!)

    So, it will always be a "toss-up" between buying life-stock, and hard-gear for your tank... believe me!

    Please come and ask our opinions first (before you JUST believe the LFS - stands for "Local Fish Store").... on both hard-gear as well as life-stock purchases....
     
  15. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

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    Welcome josamoto, lots of info already but i do believe you`ve all missed the most important...RO water. If you have already started your tank off with tap water ,drain and start again with reverse osmosis water and a good brand of synthetic salt mix. You will be plagued with troublesome algaes otherwise.
     
  16. josamoto

    josamoto Thread Starter

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    You guys are certainly very helpful. I must say, your advice and stories greatly inspire me. I think I'll syphen all the water out of my tank this weekend. Maybe I can lay my hands on a RO machine thingy, providing it's not too expensive. Is buying mineral spring water an option?

    Thanks again for the advice!!!
     
  17. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

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    Preferably, try get RO water. Your LFS should sell it. And as Midasblenny said, good quality salt is important.
     
  18. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

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    Cool,glad to help dude, we`ve all made mistakes but the less the better.
    As far as mineral water goes i`d advise against it, RO is the only way to go other than deionized or even distilled water but availability becomes an issue and RO is actually very economical and its purity is hard to match.
     
  19. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yip, we have a blog facility here :thumbup:

    If you click on your username you will get a drop down menu, click on the first one to view your profile, when you are viewing your profile look near the top of the profile in the center of the screen you will see "Zoints Profile", click on it. Or just click on the link below to go to your Zoints Profile ;) In this you will see a link to go to your blog.

    Your Zoints Profile http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/z/josamoto/

    Your blog http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/z/josamoto/blog/

    We are looking into a more customized/specialised blog feature for the forum but until we have found one (or until Rory has finished creating one), you can use the zoints one.

    Shout if you need any help, cool.
     
  20. Tom

    Tom

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    Hi josamoto welcome.. Looking forward to your pics :).
     
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