My First SW 1.2

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by AquaBoy, 3 May 2013.

  1. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Hi MASA

    I am starting my first SW Tank and would really appreciate it if everyone on MASA can be part of it and if you can guide me in setting up a top notch setup which can be loved and enjoyed.

    Some Background on me:

    I have been in love with the fish hobby since I was 10 years old. I cannot remember a time that I did not have a FW tank in my possession and a time that I did not have some species of fish.

    Although I have been considering a SW Tank for the last 4 years due to the beauty and other reasons I could never push myself to do it. In the beginning it was due to financial limitations and at the end it was because everyone was warning me how difficult it could be.:eek:
    Unluckily I lost my FW setup due to damage while moving to a new place this year (Note to self: in future move tank myself).:(

    Current Tank:

    Thanks to my loving wife I got an early present this year and she bought me a +-350L Marine Tank which I hope will work for what is required to host marine life (Size = 1200mm (L) x 470mm (W) x 700mm (H)).:yeahdude:

    Knowledge of SW setups:

    I think the best is to just say I know nothing about SW aquariums :blush: except for what I have read up on the MASA forum in the last 2 weeks since I joined and would therefore appreciate all help in regards to the following questions:

    • What equipment to buy?
    • What sand at the bottom?
    • Is the current Sump going to work as it was custom build by someone else?
    • How does a sump work and what to put into it?
    • And probably many more questions as we go along.

    I have an idea on some equipment I like but I am not sure if it will work.

    This will be a joint hobby between my wife and I and we would very much like to go with a reef tank setup. :thumbup:

    Please keep in mind that the equipment I will buy must be able to work in this tank and a bigger one that I will definitely buy in 2 years or maybe earlier depending on how quickly I can get the hang of a SW aquarium.

    Will post pics of the Tank. Any suggestions on where to start?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 May 2013
    MaximusZA likes this.
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,165
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Centurion
    Hello and welcome AquaBoy

    Best is to look in the for sale section, for equipment. As a marine newbie I do not suggest to go all out SPS and top of the range equipment. Only piece that must be good is your skimmer. You can start with a T5 light unit, return pump, heater, Sun Sun powerheads (they are cheap) and skimmer. That is basically what you need to get started.

    For the rest, depends on your current sump layout. Upload a picture.
     
  4. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thank you. I am thinking of buying a few things from Dorry Pet Shop this afternoon.

    Was thinking of getting a TS3 and Carib Sea Aragamax sugar fine just to get the tank started this weekend would that be good for the long run.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 May 2013
  5. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    How much liter per hour should the return pump and powerheads be. Will a 300 watt heater be to much or not enough.
     
  6. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    7,756
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cape Town
    :welcome6:
     
  7. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thank you
     
  8. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thanks for the advise @RiaanP.

    Went to Dorry Pet Shop today and got most of what you said.

    I got the following:
    • What they said is a good Skimmer (Super Reef Octopus XP-3000int Cone).
    • Could not get any Sun Sun powerheads but was able to buy 2 SEIO Prop 1000 (3800\LPH) powerheads. Also got a SICCE return pump (2150\LPH).
    • RO
    • They did not have stock on of heaters so I will hopefully get time soon to buy one and also a light.
    • Also got a bag of 18kg Caribsea Aragonite.
    • 1 Can of Aquavitro reef salt
    Will upload more pics of parts and tank so far
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    18kg ARAGONITE

    [​IMG]

    Washing it

    [​IMG]

    Tank with sand in it.

    [​IMG]

    2 powerheads

    [​IMG]

    Powerheads in tank. Are they in the right place or is that only important when you have corals?

    [​IMG]

    Return pump

    [​IMG]

    Skimmer

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

    Joined:
    18 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Mntunzini Kwazulu Natal
    :welcometomasa2:
     
  11. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thanks Dorry
     
  12. kriben

    kriben

    Joined:
    8 Nov 2012
    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    port shepstone kzn
    Welcome bud. Hope you enjoy the adventure:thumbup:
     
  13. Fraser W

    Fraser W Swazi Reefer

    Joined:
    30 Mar 2013
    Posts:
    702
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    middle of nowhere
    Hi and welcome aquaboy

    your setup is looking very good and nice sized tank to start with... im about 3 month into my first sw tank been through some troubles but nothing to major

    my dt tank is 200 l and i just brought the same pumps as you but the 2000l/ph and have seen a great improvement in all areas of the tank.. to get the tank cycling with those powerheads is fine but you will need more flow in the future,,

    im aiming for about 6000l/ph according to ecotechmarine.com go and check out their flow calculator

    any ways good luck with your venture
     
  14. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thank you kriben. Will be giving it a 110% :yeahdude:

    Thank you Fraser W. Between the 2 powerheads combined I currently get 7600l/ph or am I looking at it wrong?

    Calculator results:

    [​IMG]

    Will need to add another one later.
     
  15. pkc

    pkc

    Joined:
    17 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    632
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Brisbane-Queensland-Australia
    The hobby over all is relatively simple because it is based on a natural process revolving around what’s called the nitrogen cycle.
    For fish and mobile inverts that are not photosynthetic, they require a lot of surface area on anything with in your waters to house aerobes, which are oxygen dependant microbes. They take waste, dead life and left over foods by using the process called oxidation to what is called nitrate.
    Then you need anaerobic areas that house microbes called anaerobes that rely on low oxygen areas to exist in, such as inside dead coral and a little ways into gravel-shell grit-coral rubble and they use the nitrates oxygen molecules and leave only nitrogen gas molecules, because nitrate is made up of nitrogen and oxygen.
    These put in place nicely and a water change now and then is all you need for none photosynthetic life to live reasonably well!
    During the processes with in the nitrogen cycles oxidation parts, there are left overs labelled inorganic.
    The first is nitrate that in very low levels is not an issue and if you have good bio internal surface areas in place, you know like in gravel, shell grit and coral rubble, it will never be an issue.
    The rest that are the main issues for photosynthetic life forms are the components of what’s called phosphate!
    These show up some times as organic, but are normally inorganic and they are phosphorus and orthophosphate and they exist due to the microbes oxidation processes.
    Most anything organic, a skimmer can usually work on to remove, anything inorganic, they cannot remove!
    Now you need either plant life-caulerpa algae in your sump under LED lighting switched on when your display aquariums lighting is off,(that is important) they will absorb and this is called importing, of all that is inorganic and then you trim the algae with scissors and throw away those trimmings, that is called exporting, of all that is inorganic, or by purchasing a product to up take the components of phosphate or use both together just to be sure.
    Any resistance lighting which is T5s,T8s,metal halides and any other bulbs or fluoro tubes as well, wear out due to the heat they endure and are of not much use for photosynthetic life after 3 to 6 months.
    LEDs-light emitting diodes, are cheap and if fan cooled will last up to 10 years of great lighting for all photosynthetic life.
    Photosynthetic life for reef aquariums means, they need intense lighting with maximum colours with in that lighting and need near no phosphates or any other nutrients or toxins that some corals, nudibranchs etc and live rock will expel for the first 2 months to 1 year of adapting to life in your reef aquarium.
    The last major need is to break your waters surface tension, the ocean does it by waves, chop and currents.
    Except for chiller in summer and a heater in winter and both should be over sized for your needs, they are the main points for the hobby to become very easy!
     
  16. Seabass

    Seabass

    Joined:
    28 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    2,383
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Gonubie
    Welcome, plan in advance what you want to house in this tank. Do this during the cycle phase.

    Make sure not to overstock as this may lead to an inability for your filtration to cope with waste build up in your tank. Btw you have bought a fantastic skimmer.

    Cycle your tank with no lights, with live or base rock, with substrate, with heater on (you can get tank temp correct during this time), for a minimum of 6 weeks (my cycle was 12 weeks). During the cycle add some form of bacteria - that would be the likes of Special Blend or Prodibio Bioptim (Nutrients bacteria | trace element | clean freshwater saltwater aquarium | prodibio.com) and food for bacteria being Prodibio Biodigets. During the cycle you can add a small piece of dead fish to your tank.

    Do a quarantine tank, research how to do it correctly (google quarintine). This is not an option.

    Make sure your corals and fish are quarantined to see that your fish and corals are healthy and free of pests. (This is one nasty pest you don't want in your tank: aiptasia).

    Visit other reefers in your area for advice.

    Don't chop and change filtration methods continuously. If you don't overstock and overfeed your method of filtration does not have to be very advanced.

    Test kits are a must, alkalinity, calcium and magnesium. During the cycle phase you can get your parameters stable. Salifert or Red Sea is what I use.

    Don't forget salinity, so a refractometer is required.

    Good idea is to read alot of Tank Of the Month treads to see how those reefers have done it, usually a good guide.

    So much more but that should get you started.
     
    Last edited: 4 May 2013
  17. Fraser W

    Fraser W Swazi Reefer

    Joined:
    30 Mar 2013
    Posts:
    702
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    middle of nowhere
    Hi aquaboy

    sorry i didnt read your post carefully enought i thought the two power heads you just brough were 1000 l/ph but the are 1000 gallons /ph ya so you are just one par for keeping soft corals..
     
  18. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thank you very much for all the info @pkc, it will surely help me allot. I will definitely be looking at acquiring LED's as soon as the funds are there as that will definitely be the best option for the long run.

    Any lights in specific that is good?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thank you @Seabass. this will also help allot.

    Not sure what I want in the tank yet (Maybe some clown fish and a cleaner shrimp at the begining). Any suggestions?

    :thumbup:

    I read up on this one and yes not an option, definitely a requirement.

    Do you put this in the sump or in the tank itself.

    Thanks, I got H2Ocean refractometer and will get the rest of the test kits soon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. AquaBoy

    AquaBoy Thread Starter

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    47
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromhof
    Thats fine. Thanks for helping. :)
     
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,165
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Centurion
    I prefer to cycle with the lights. If the algae wants to grow, let them break out now. The algae also consumes part of the rubbish that fuels the cycle pros. Else you get an algae outbreak just later when you switch on the lights.

    So either now or then. Your choice.
     
Recent Posts