Maintain it on the Cheap

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Jacojs, 8 Apr 2010.

  1. Jacojs

    Jacojs

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    Hey everybody.

    Need some help, I want to start this hobby very badly but have a limited budget, I need to find out how to maintain a Marine Aquarium cheaply, I can't spend R1000+ a month on running costs alone :(

    I do still however need to get all my equipment together so where should we start? Tank size?

    I was thinking 4ft, 700mm wide, 500mm deep. Das is good ya?

    Jaco.
     
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  3. magman

    magman

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    nice size tank you want, once up the running costs are not too bad, although you do always want this and that and constantly make changes to improve it.

    The main thing is you do want all the equipment upfront, don't skimp on the skimmer, lights or pumps. You do also need the LR, best bet is once you got the tank cycled, use say only two lights with the fish only, then before you start with corals add the rest of the lights. But the skimmer you should have in first, along with all the pumps.
    Do it bit by bit. If you buy cheap stuff now, you will be stuck with it later, and it will end up costing more. Also you will want to control the water temp, chillers can be expensive, and heaters can chow electricity. Good luck and watch the classifieds on here. Nothing wrong with second hand skimmers!!!!!
     
  4. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey Jaco

    Thats a great tank size,amazing for scaping!!!

    I can say it is deffenitley easy to run a marine tank cheaper then most of us do!!! The initial startup cost is the most expensive, but it can also braught down. Like a skimmer is a great thing but the new trend it seems is to have a algae scrubber replacing the skimmer, it works out allot cheaper to. If you are only going to keep soft corals and a few easy LPS then the lighting will be ALLOT cheaper. Flow is also allot less with some LPS and soft corals. You can also use play sand rather then argonite. You can also buy more base rock and seed with a few kg's of live rock.

    The running cost for LPS and softies aren't nearly as high as SPS because LPS and softies actually like not perfect water and almost no additives are needed, just calcium for LPS.
     
  5. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Guys, thanks for the replies.

    Still a noobie so the whole LPS, SPS, softie thing :please: to explainie.

    I also started seeing more mention of algae scrubbers but did not know they are starting to replace skimmers, hmmmmm still a lot to read up on.

    Will a big area of DLSB and a big sump which obviously increases your total amount of H2O and also a refugium keep running costs even lower maybe? Also how loud are a setup with all pumps, skimmer and power heads gaaning aan, I'm guessing not very loud but still curios?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Soft corals are corals without a skeleton (hard calcerous skeleton), they are allot easier to keep and much more forgiving(most of them but like always there are the exclusions). They also help with filtration as they take out nutrients in the water. Examples of soft corals are, Toadstool coral,colt coral, xenia, kenya tree coral,mushroom( they kind of fall between the corals and anenome family but they are very easy and forgiving),zoa's etc.

    LPS-Large polyp stony
    LPS corals have a hard calceous skeleton as the base where the soft coral tissue grows on. They have large polyps and can be fed large food like small shrimps,shrimp eggs etc. The family is also very forgiving and also helps with filtration(but again there are exeptions), but they need stronger lighting then softies but not allot stronger. Examples are, Frogspawn coral,sun corals, torch corals, bubble corals, brain corals etc.

    SPS- Small polyp stony
    SPS corals are by far the hardest and most expensive to keep in the hoby. They need close to perfect water conditions and Very strong lighting and flow. They also need regular dosing of trace minerals (Calcium,magnesium,iodide,strontium, etc.). They aren't to forgiving and something hits the tank you are sure you are going to lose a few corals. Examples are, Monti's, staghorn coral, Birdsnest coral, Acroporas etc.

    Hope this helps

    The scrubbers aren't taking over the skimmer to fast but they have already converted a few but the skimmer will always be there, but a desent scrubber can easily take over a skimmer, a skimmer is just allot safer with pollutents in the water and I personally prefer a skimmer.

    The loudest part of the setup to me is the skimmer with it's constint air intake bashing in a small chamber but still this is not very loud. The entire setup will be soundless if it has a cupbourd where the tank stands on. It's almost like a soundproofing.
     
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  7. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Annoying, thank you very much for your clear descriptions :thumbup:

    Learning learning learning ek se.

    Nice!
     
  8. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Always in this hobby!!! If you have been doing it for 3 years or for 30 years there is always something new to learn and you never get bored:thumbup:
     
  9. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    :lookhere: :lookhere: :lookhere: Any answer on this anyone???

     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2010
  10. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Hmmmmmm......whats that buzzing sound.....very strange..........aaaaaaahhhhh there it is again........what the hell is that............oh wait I know what it is ITS ME LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION CHINAS!!!!:):):)
     
  11. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    More water = more salt for waterchanges but will be more stable.
    If you have a nice size DSB with macro algae over it, it will complete the nitrogen cycle as the nitrates will be consumed by the algae and be converted to nitrogen by the DSB. The other advantage is a place for pods and other critters to grow and populate.
    Can't really say that it will be cheaper or more expensive as your heater, skimmer and return pump will still be in the sump working. Let's say you get a lot of benefits for free, where people that use the zeolith method needs to pay for it ;)
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yes DLSB or DSB same thing (L = live and both must be to be of benefit.)

    Yes as BIG as possible.
    Go for a standard 4ft tank. TS2 skimmer or similar. 4 T5 tubes 54W. 3000L/h Sun Sun powerheads 2, 3 or 4 of them. And 3000L/h return pump. 300W *2 heater. That is what you need to start of with. The basics.

    Area above sand can be used as refugium. Then add 1 or 2 CFL 35W lights.
    Some timers are good. Electronic ones, not manuals.

    Scrubber. lots of options and ideas and designs. Mine hang over DSB and water drops directly on cheato to prevent sand movement.

    Visit some fellow reefers in the area. Get ideas and learn. It is a lot cheaper to learn with the eyes than to learn by your mistakes.:(
     
  13. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Ek se thanks people!!
     
  14. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    My idea for sump, excuse bad drawing but just had to do quick. Will this work or any suggestions welcome also.

    Pro's and Cons if any?

    Okieday, how the crackin do I add the pic :wtf:
     
  15. Annoying

    Annoying

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    You can either use the image uploader at the top toolbar or you can load your pics to youtube or photobucket and just copy,paste them to the post you are writing.
     
  16. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Geez okay figured out to host it and then as you said copy and paste the damn thing, that was annoying........get it.........it was annoying and your name is? I crack myself up sometimes *cough*

    Here we go!!! Please tell me if this will work this is a top down view, expertly drawn I might add in PAINT my CHWAIIINAS!! Flow will be from left to right, thinking of 3x3ft tanks.


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Annoying

    Annoying

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    Ahh a sence of humour never gets old!!!
    Wow you are really thinking of maximum DSB filtration. It looks awesome!!! How much flow are you thinking of putting throug these tanks?
     
  18. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Haven't got a clue man or any equipment yet for that matter :razz: But that is why I am here is it not :)
     
  19. Annoying

    Annoying

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    true true...
     
  20. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    :032::helpsmilie:
     
  21. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Yes Jaco - that "sump design" COULD work, IF you can get the flow between the 3 different tanks working fine. It would work fine as filtration system.
     
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