My First Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by jacqolive, 15 Nov 2010.

  1. jacqolive

    jacqolive

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    Hi All

    I have just purchased my first tank today on special that includes the following.


    Specs:
    - Tank: 1200x600x500 + metal stand + sump + plumbing.
    - Reef Octopus NW-150 Skimmer
    - Return bump(not sure what make)
    - CaribSea Dry Aragonite-Fiji Pink Reef Sand for display tank
    - Seachem salt to fill the tank

    The tank should arrive on Saturday and I will let it stand until the end of the month so the silicone can cure properly. I need some help with the DSB though, have been looking at the seachem gravel and would like to know which one would be the best to use for the DSB, maridean or pearl beach? I also want to know if the caribsea fiji pink is not too fine for the display tank?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated thank.
     
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  3. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Hey mate, I would say that your skimmer is on the small side, if you could, try to change it for a NW200 or you will need to do the enkamat mod to the skimmer..

    With the DSB, the finner substrate you use the better as there is more surface area for bacteria to grow on, you want the DSB around 15cm deep with water flowing OVER the DSB.

    For your DT, if you are goin to keep softies then sugar fine substrate should be ok but if you are going to keep SPS then you would need a larger substrate such as sea floor grade as with SPS coral you need stronger flow and that will blow all the sugar fine substrate away..

    Hope this helped you :) .. Please put up some pics as well as what you are planning to stock in the tank
     
  4. jacqolive

    jacqolive Thread Starter

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    The NW150 is rated for 650l which is more than the tank size so as I am still learning please can you explain a bit more as to why I would need a bigger skimmer?

    So my understanding would be that the Seachem maridian gravel would be better as it has a fairly uniform size - 0.25-0.50 mm

    I understand what you are saying just not sure if you are implying this about the caribsea fiji pink as I am not sure what would be classified as suger fine. From the caribsea site the only aragonite that is bigger in size either is not suitable for "soft belly" or "sifter" fish, or it has shells in which from my understanding can/will trap debris.

    Any help is welcome and appreciated. I will post some pics when the tank arrives on the weekend.
    As far as stoking the tank I am not sure yet. I have a broad idea of fish which I will list after this but not 100% sure on coral. I think as this is my first tank I will stay away from SPS for the first year until I get experience with keeping the tank stable. That said some coral that I will have will most likely include mushrooms(recordia and other), zoanthids, torch, frogspan, pincusion and brains.

    Fish list:

    - 2xClowns
    - 2xNeon Goby
    - Sixline Wrasse
    - Regal tang
    - Flame angel
    - 3-5xantias/chromis
     
  5. jacqolive

    jacqolive Thread Starter

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    Just saw on the caribsea website that they have an aragonite called "Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand", would this be the better one to go for?
     
  6. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Reason I say go for a bigger skimmer is that you also have to consider the volume of your sump, I have no idea how big it is but bigger is better. Personally i went for a bigger skimmer, the nw250 with 1xotp5000 (maybe im paranoid lol). If your skimmer is rated at twice your system volume then you should be fine, however you should do the enkamat mod as this turbos the skimmer ;) so it would be better to do this before the skimmer is installed.. Check this out Reef Octopus NW-110 Modification - Marine Aquariums of South Africa then you can decide ;)

    Sugar sized aragonite is (just using the brand for the example) "CaribSea Dry Aragonite - Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand (1.00-2.00mm)" ..

    So with soft corals you plan to keep you are not going to have heavy flow then sugar fine will be what you want and it looks really nice :)
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hello and welcome to the world

    First, where in this world are you? Please update your location. Because my first bit of advise depends on where you are. If you at a coastal region, rather use natural sea sand. Collect from an unpolluted beach, from below low water mark, wet sand. If you are inland, rather use play sand. Like those sold at Reggies or rather go to a garden supply place that got sand, etc and get play sand. Just a note, although the bags state that it is washed. Believe me, it is not, wash the play sand until it is almost white. Anyway, both these options are a hell of a lot cheaper than doing your DSB with aragonite. But on both options, you need to do some muscle work. Unless your wallet is really thick, then yes use the aragonite for the DSB.

    If you want aragonite, yes, rather use it as your in display substrate. But here you need to take into account your in tank powerheads. And how mush flow you will have. Also depends on rockwork shape and depth of the tank. And positioning of the pumps. Seio's etc can be directed into direction. Vortech not, although the Vortechs are great pumps. And the corals you want, like in softies, leathers, LPS and or SPS. All this must be taken into account to be sure that you do not have sandstorms. And on the corals options, you did not mentioned your light setup.

    Next, fish list, get that out of your head for the next 6 weeks. Please complete your cycle first. No point in jumping in head first. Only to see your setup in the for sale forum in about 6 months because you can not get a stable tank due to cutting corners. Sorry for being hard, but this is a mistake made over and over. New guys ending up with dying livestock in a fresh immature tank and struggling to get any positive results. Eventually giving up.
     
  8. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    As the guru said :p
     
  9. jacqolive

    jacqolive Thread Starter

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    I am from Johannesburg, Boksburg to be exact.

    If the Seachem gravel is going to better for my tank in the long run then I will rather spend the money now than struggle in the future. If however the regies play sand will do the same job then I wont mind using it, just wanting to know what is better for the tank regardless of price. Not that I have money growing on a tree but from experience something are worth the extra bucks.

    I have not decided on this yet, but as I will be staying away from SPS for around a year I was thinking about 10xT5's.

    I will be out of the country for 5 days over new years so the tank will be cycling at least until I get back, most likely until the end of January before I put anything in it. This list is purely what I was thinking of eventually having in the tank. I have been looking at marine tanks for about 5 years, researching almost all aspects of the hobby so even though I have no practical experience I do have some theoretical knowledge, and know the importance of cycling the tank.

    Thanks for all the feedback though it is all appreciated.
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    cool.

    best advise on Marines, use MASA, first ask or read up. Will save you loads.

    On the DSB, no problem using playsand. I use it.

    In display, yes, you can go aragonite. But the finer stuff do get blown around. I got playsand in my display. And yes, even that gets blown away by the Vortech pumps. Nice open barebottom patch in the middle front of my tank. :(
     
  11. jacqolive

    jacqolive Thread Starter

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    Still not 100% sure if play sand is the better option or just the cheaper one, but will go have a look at prices and then decide.

    My next question is regarding live rock. How much would you need for this aquarium size and what ratio of LR/Base rock should be used?
     
    Last edited: 17 Nov 2010
  12. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    play sand is the cheaper option. Some people say its fine some say its not
     
  13. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    Hi Jacques!!

    Welsome to MASA. I see that the people have been helping you along nicely sofar!!;)

    Just a couple of my thoughts..

    The NW-150 is just fine for your tank considering you want to start with softies and some LPS's. Remember that these type of corals do prefer a bit of "dirt" to do well. If the skimmer is too big, you might run the risk of the skimmer skimming out all the "food" the corals require.

    If you plan to keep SPS corals and nennies like magnifica's, then you need a bigger skimmer like the NW-200.

    You can however still get the NW-200 and let it skim dryer to cater for more "dirt" for softies.

    With regards to your DSB, playsand does work well and are cheaper, but aragonite is far better but much more expensive. I have seen better results from our clients that uses aragonite for DSB's.
     
  14. neo

    neo

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    Hello and welcome,
    read, read, read and make the info your own.

    you are contridicting yourself somewhat, in one sentence you imply you would rather spend more money now and get the better solution but later on you say you thinking of only T5 lights because you only going SPS after a year, from your first statement you should rather get the correct lighting now for SPS to keep from buying another light set in a years time.

    Play sand is not the best but it is the best value for money, I dont know if the gain in using arag justify the high price you pay for it, maybe Dewald (Tiger) can tell us how much better there clients tanks are compared to tanks with playsand, would be interresting.
     
  15. jacqolive

    jacqolive Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the help guys, it is really appreciated.

    @Neo - This tank will most likely never have any SPS in it. The idea for this tank is to learn with and later start a much larger tank that will be used to house most corals(including SPS) that I want. I would like to have this tank looking something like the below photo and then try and breed some fish in it once the bigger tank is running.

    [​IMG]

    Still need some advice on the LR(anyone?) and would also like to know if it would be recommended to put a phosphate reactor on right from the start? I am also thinking of putting a tunze wavebox in this tank and was wondering if that would be enough for water movement or would I still have to put other power heads in the tank?
     
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