keen to marine..

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Biker Mike, 12 Jul 2011.

  1. Biker Mike

    Biker Mike

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    hi guys, ive been negotiating with myself about starting a marine tank.. ive been reading some articles and trying to look at some prices but there is too much info..

    I would like to start a medium sized tank (maybe a metre long), have some reef in there and a few fish - nothing over the top, i just want the beauty of my own coral reef at home.. :)

    If anyone can give me an idea of the equipment i need and an average for the cost to start it and maintain it.. i know its asking 'how long is a piece of string' but im sure you guys can give me a ball park figure.

    Thanks
    Mike
     
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  3. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

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    Hi Mike and welcome to the broke side... :thumbup:

    That would all depend on the size of the tank you would like... I have a kitchen counter-top 25l that has to date cost me about R1000...
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, glad you joined us. Before you do anything else, I suggest you read the link below on starting a marine tank - not too long read. It will give you an idea of what is needed, cycling a tank, lights, fitration, etc. Then you can talk our language :p
     
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA
    this never stops :p
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

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    hi mike and welcome to masa. dont bother negociating with yourself any more, we both know you ARE going to get a tank, the only thing left to do is help you find a decent deal and get you started with a reef in a glass box.

    there are a number of ways to go about planning a tank and getting what you need, i went through the same dilemmer when i started out. one thing that helpped me alot was asking about equipment on here before buying it so that i never misspend money and had to replace it later. it saved me lots, so dont be shy to ask us on here what we think of certain equipment as we can help you with advice as tio what you need and roughly what you should pay for it.

    i had a quick squizz in the for sales forum and found a 1.2m tank complete for sale. have a look here Full System for sale for sale: Randburg - Marine Aquariums of South Africa for better details and i would suggest getting a second hand tank to cut your teeth on:)

    i wouldnt suggest hoever buying a running tank and trying to move it, id suggest getting the equipment you need and starting a tank off from scratch. that way you get to learn as the tank matures and you arent swimming in a deep end trying to look after things you got from someone else and not knowing what they are. Get an empty tank with some key peices of equipment and you will be on your way in no time.
     
  7. Biker Mike

    Biker Mike Thread Starter

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    had a look at your thread, very nice!!! I think if i start i will start with something as small as yours!

    I noticed on your thread you were advised to change your filter floss on the LR every three days, do you still do that?

    What are the maintenance processes like, eg:

    check chemical levels everyday
    change filter floss every 3rd day
    add new water every week

    etc etc

    sorry but im just trying to get an idea to all that is involved, i dont want to end up killing a bunch of fish because i cant look after them due to time constraints..
     
  8. crispin

    crispin

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    mike, i wrote this a long time back when i just started out and i think it might be of use to you....

    A summary of a beginnners sharp learning curve
    I was talking to Warr last night and he suggested I write a thread on the enjoyment one can get from cycling ones tank.

    I re-read some of the old posts I did a while ago. Just to see where my understandings had got to from when I started, kind of see if I could answer the same questions I asked when I started. The learning curve has been vertical. Not rapid just simply straight up and six weeks in there is no slowing down, just a change in topics. And I would say the I was and am relatively experienced in the management of recalculating systems, be it fresh water tanks, breeding rare tropical fresh water fish or ponds and huge wetland systems.

    In very brief summary of the primary things I asked to begin and what I was generally told.
    • New system or old? Answer go new as its then “your build” and you get what you want, you learn on the way and you are not in inheriting other peoples mistakes. I agree 80% there, I think perhaps getting an old system would have got me into the husbandry aspects quicker (the water changes, water quality, cleaning skimmers etc etc) and I would have a show piece in my house already. Also I would not have to cycle for 6 weeks. But that counts for 20% all of which I will catch up soon. In short definitely get a new tank for yourself
    • Bigger is better??? This was a HUGE question for me. Yes I want size, I wanted the forgiveness on my own mistakes which I knew I will make. Note WILL make as they are still coming and always will be, don’t fool yourself that research will save u from these! I subscribe fully to the saying “pollution solution through dilution.” The principles are sound and make sense to me. But bigger costs. And costs LOTS. Everyone says Marines are expensive, everyone tries to save costs. I set a budget and blew it on the tank and skimmer alone! Size counts, go as big as u can to start, go smaller when u know what’s going on. I would hate to start on a Nano and have to be so precise without having the experience.
    • Second hand or new equipment? This has HUGE cost implications and big risk factors. I was very lucky. Very very lucky and I will always be in MASA”S dept for having members like “Likesfish” and in him I found honest good quality second hand equipment, but best of all honesty. I state again I was lucky. I placed myself in his hands and said this is my budget what can we do. Also Likesfish had good quality equipment, and fairly new. If it was not quality equipment or had been over a few years old I would rather have gone new, even at double the cost. Also asking others ‘what do think of the cost of this for that” type questions on a open public display is invaluable. If you are starting and not certain (as in 1000%) know what u want and are getting…..ASK!
    • A Little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing! Ok so I have a tank, I have the basic equipment and I even managed to get the tank level. I knew what I want to achieve with respect to showing the tank etc and was now ready to full it. I read about RO, TDS, NSW and so on. Read about it but didn’t understand it. You never do until you experience it. Then information is converted by experience into knowledge. That step is KEY. I got second had live rock from a guy breaking down. I waited for that. Waited to find a BIG system, heavy stocking density. With lots of people wanting the Live Stock. Why look for a system like that? It showed an experienced reefer. It showed a guy who cared. And I wanted that. Because if his system is good, his LR is BETTER. Good biological filtration is key to good water parameters. And yes I am stressing that there should be thought around these things. I got the LR and dropped it into my tank, sat back and stopped thinking. I knew roughly what should happen and I didn’t pay careful close attention to settling it down. I didn’t even work out which side of the LR should be up or down and so on. A little bit of knowledge lead me to trouble. Its not a little you need its LOTS. Its not information that counts, its your knowledge!
    • I got smacked! I went away leaving an immature system unattended. SO many people say don’t. Tap water was used for top up and by the time I came back I could not see into the tank. Algae bloomed from hell! But it taught me a very good lesson. If you make mistakes nature WILL show you. If you do things right nature WILL show you. Read your tank! Look at the parameters, look at the inhabitants, look at the system. The aesthetics pf how it looks etc is only important from a human vanity aspect. Its what is INSIDE that counts. I was almost depressed at the state of my tank. I really was. A lot of work and effort has gone into it and 4weeks later I am hitting problems people say take YEARS to fix. But onto forums, follow advice and DO IT! So many people know they should do water changes. So many people know they have to acclimatize, yet so often we hear of things murdered due to human impatient! That’s a waist of life, and that is sacrilege.
    • this is voluntary, it should be fun! This is the one aspect I have battled with a little, especially when I hit algae so hard. But then I sat back, looked at my tank and realized that there are some many millions of things of interest in it. Be it from a bristle worm suddenly popping out, or the fact that I try count copepods to see the state of the living community. 4 weeks of having LR in my system and I play a nightly game of finding a new living organism that wasn’t there the day before. Or more to the point WAS there, I just missed it. It keeps my interest, increases the fun and really gives me great satisfaction. Who said cycling was no fun???? I even found a “slug like” fella last night1 And yes that got me excited. If the little guys can hold so much fun, I cant wait to get a school of 9 hippo tangsJ

    you will see i advocate going as big as possible, and i realy do suggest it, bigger tanks realy are alot more forgiving on noobs than small tanks
     
  9. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

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    I change the floss about every 3-5 days... (17 seconds and it's cheap) and do a 15-20% water change every week and a half.... My parameters have settled and I have learned how to "read" my inhabitants so I barely do any tests anymore...

    Just keep in mind that a small tank can be difficult for a newb like us... Parameters can change REALLY fast and get affected by the smallest things... Bigger tanks have more stable parameters... I am just a sucker for a challenge and touch wood, everything has been good up to date...

    Keep researching and remember that everything on MASA is just advice gained through peoples own experience and might not be relevant for your specific needs (read: take with a pinch of salt)... Most of it is very good though and should not be discarded (merely painted over to suit your decor :biggrin: )

    Have fun and keep asking questions... :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2011
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