My 'possible/probable' downgrade plans

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by student, 5 Jun 2012.

  1. student

    student

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    so this has been playing on my mind quite a bit this year: to either shut down my system or downgrade to a much more manageable one.

    let me start off by saying this so you can understand my thinking behind it and can offer relative advice and ideas:
    for those who havent met me, I am a quadriplegic/wheel chair bound- result of a broken neck in a bike accident. Therefore i cant really do much of the maintenance for my tank at all( very frustrating as I'm sure you can imagine!)- I need help from family with most things tank related. Now Ive made my tank system as simple as possible to reduce the work load of others on my hobby as much as possible, but when things go wrong and extra work is needed on the tank- i can just see the frustration on my 'helpers' faces as they slave on 'my hobby'- not theirs. Which frustrates me as well. So my family isnt quite coping with my current system right now. and when a hobby becomes a bit of a chore, its time for change.
    So yes, im in a far from ideal hobby for my situation, but I'm hooked:)
    All that considered, I have an amazing tank considering the brain behind it has never stuck a hand in the tank, hey? ;)

    So thats why I'm feeing the need to either shut down my system or downgrade to a much more manageable one. Thought of shutting down destroys me as i love so much of my current lifestock


    this is what I'm thinking:

    a nice little cube, probably built by TSR: either 500x500, 600x600x500 or 600x500x500.
    idea is to keep things as simple as possible.
    will use as much as my equipment I have in my current system as possible.
    Lighting: 3x vertex illuminex LED units
    Skimmer: My current JNS sk-2 or downgrade to a smaller one
    Filtration: Just live rock in the tank and sump,skimmer, possibly a reactor running carbon( not sure)
    Flow: not sure??, just my Vortech mp40 might do a great job on a low setting and right positioning.

    Livestock:
    will move my favourite things from my current system through
    My big RBTA and pair of clowns will be the main attraction.
    Corals: will pack as much as i can into it, will look amazing! Mix of sps, softies, lps.. a taste of everything just like my current system
    Fish: the clowns as i mentioned, pair or two of fire fish, my mandarin, royal grammer, sifting goby and probably bicolor blenny. Want to keep it as peacefull as i can with the possibility of adding a pipefish of seahorse as some stage- might not be possible.
    Inverts: dave( my harlequin shrimp) , my fire shrimp, couple of cleaner shrimp,my tube nennie, my fan worm coral/rock thing and probably add a clam.



    Thoughts? Am i under an illusion in thinking a smaller system will be far more manageable and less maintenance?
    How can I make this tank as manageable and enjoyable as possible, given my situation?


    thanks!
     
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  3. Wes

    Wes

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    smaller system would need more frequent care, I'd say use the family during the week and call on Wes during the weekends to assist ;)
     
  4. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Smaller systems need a bit more close monitoring, i think the workload however will be far less on a smaller tank
     
  5. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    First off RESPECT! Your current great system just became a much bigger achievement.

    If you want to make your tank as self sustainable as possible you will of course need to automate as much as possible. This can be done with the addition of a few electronics.

    Firstly we need to determine what take the most time at the moment. If you can give us a detailed maintanance regime which include dosing etc then we can have a look and see what you can do to automate.

    Just as an example... On my tank the only think I do daily is feed and watch the tank. And you have to do that on any tank in anyway regardless of size.
     
  6. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    My 50x50 cube has become so easy to maintain....water changes 2-4 times a month, cleaning glass and skimmer as needed, keep RO topped up and feeding lifestock when needed....so simple. Monitoring is also easy as you already have reefing experience so know what to look for.

    Sometimes I get bored that I have nothing to do exept watch my corals and creatures, its actually a good thing.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2012
  7. student

    student Thread Starter

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    haha, shot Wes!

    ya i know smaller systems are less stable and things can go wrong, quicker. But I reckon i can counter that by setting it up properly and taking it easy on the stocking?. 200L isnt that small stability wise, hey?
    Its also much easier to fix problems- a large water change, isnt that big, dosing what ever is needed is cheaper as its in smaller quantities needed..
    less workload as rakabos sad
     
  8. Wes

    Wes

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    what would work real nice is if you had a sump, hidden, 3 to 4 times the size of your diplay if you do decide to go smaller.
     
  9. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    They not as unstable as you may think (obviously depending on what you keeping) I cant say I notice any major fluctuations unless I do a massive water change and thats self inflicted anyways and as I said maintenance becomes so quick....
     
  10. flamming angel

    flamming angel

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    Just my 2cents worth but i have a 600 cube and maintenance isnt all that bad. Just that i cant have the fish that i would really want but its a managable size. Dosing, water changes etc are quite easy and cheap. Ensuring that you have most of the things in place at first like your carbon , chemi pure ,seachem or what ever, makes a big difference and helps with the maintenance. You mp40 will be more then enuf. I got just one running on my cube and it works very well. So all in all i think it may actually not be such a bad idea.

    Oh and big ups to you and your team behind your awesome tank. Real show piece.
    What ever you decide im certain you will make it out in your favour
     
  11. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Steve if you need a hand whenever, gimme a shout dude
     
  12. Irma

    Irma

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    I have a 330L sumpless tank which is a breeze to maintain and it allows me a decent amount of fish and corals. I have a 50L ATU tank below so it keeps the water level constant. There is a HOB skimmer which I clean every 3 or 4 days. Then I do a 15 - 20% water change every two weeks. Obviously I feed every day. I do not dose anything and have no reactors of any kind. Just a simple setup :) The bonus is that it is absolutely quiet - no noise! My tank is doing awesome and it is a pleasure to maintain. It is also not so 'scarey' for non-fishy people to maintain :) as there is no sump involved.
     
  13. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    I recently downgraded to a 60cm cube and as archi said, its actually much easier to see to than my previous 450L, tank is running a few months now fully stocked and I only dosed calcium once, other than that I did a few 20% water changes and everything is fine and stable.

    It is definitely much easier to maintain than my 450L, so far. Only thing I battle with is the flow, I can never seem to get the right flow in a cube.:p
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2012
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i have seen your tank and its awesome!!!
    but i have seen Irma's and its awesome too! and no maintenance at all, well like she said no sump etc.

    while corals are hardier then we give them credit for, if you stocked less fish then the system will be more managable as most of the waste comes from them...

    but if you keen to chat about it let me know, i know there are loads of MASA's peeps that would help where they can
     
  15. student

    student Thread Starter

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    shot Marius!
    Ya going going more automated is always an option... but that kinda makes the system even more complicated in its own way.. and an extra cost to. Not keen to spend much extra well im still i two minds about possibly shutting down in the near future.
    Ag its not so much the daily things that are the hassle, ive made my system very simple. Basically add a bit of bicarb daily, and a calcium supplement depending where my calc level is sitting. my tank is very low maintenance already.
    I guess more of he frustration is wanting to do small things/changes in the tank, moving things around, changing positions of certain things.... somehow figure in a smaller system there will be less of that... prob not

    I suppose the attraction of the smaller tank is the reduction of all feeding, dosing and changing parameters, amount of water needed for a change, cleaning the glass is quicker .. all that makes it alot cheaper to run aswell.In my mind it will be easier to keep in perfect condition. Id rather have a small tank looking great, than a larger tank looking any less than what I want it to look. \
    I could just reduce the amount f life in my tank, but I dont want to- I want it to look awesome;)
    excuse me for thinking aloud here.. dont know if i making sense at all. haha;)
     
  16. student

    student Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the input and offers for help guys!

    thats what im talking about:)

    ya i dont plan on having many fish in the tank, will have few and they wont be heavy eaters. I dont have many fish in my current tank either..
     
  17. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    I think you current system is very nice and goign smaller in my opinion will no tlighten the workload.

    If your major reason is the frustration of not being able to tinker and move things around yourself, I suppose that's always going to be an issue, but if you ask I am sure (as you have seen) that many people here would be willing to help you out when needed, myself included. But not fiddling in the tank too much is probably one of the main reasosn it looks so good - IMO many people move things around too often and the tank never has a chance to just do its own thing.

    Think about the changes you want to make or do during the week, ask for a volunteer and hey presto - job done.

    I had a similar sized tank previously and really once it is nicely stable (as yours seems to be) it is really a lot less work than a smaller system. If you have decent sized sump and a nice auto-top off then work is even less.
     
  18. student

    student Thread Starter

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    Ag I guess that didn't come across right. It's not so much the moving things around that's the major thing.
    Hard to explain really.

    I know what you saying though..
    Shot!
     
  19. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    I have a 600 x 600 cube and maintenance is a breeze. Weekly 25L WC. No sump, hob skimmer. The daily Top Up is a bit of a bummer. I just dose bacteria every 3 days and all is good. Low LS is important in a small system :) best of luck buddy
     
  20. devesh.r

    devesh.r

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    Would love to see what you do withha new tank, your current one is truly amazing.
     
  21. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Hi @student, sorry for asking, but what is the limit of your disability?
    (meaning, if your tank was lower, would you be able to reach inside the tank)
    Im only asking as a very good friend of mine is also in a wheelchair, & i helped him to design a tank which he is totally capable of maintaining with minimal effort.
    Might be able to do the same for you if your interested.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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