New, broke & reading way to much.

Discussion in 'New Members' started by NewbiePta, 29 Mar 2015.

  1. NewbiePta

    NewbiePta

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    Hi everyone.

    First off after coming the net I found this site and the information on it is fantastic so compliments to everyone.

    Ok now the introduction......

    My name is RJ, I am 31 and live in the east of Pretoria. I have always dreamed of having a reef tank. But budget has always been a problem as I have other hobbies to maintain as well (Dirt biking and knife making). So i have gotten to a point to take the leap and see what i can do with what i can get DIY, second had at a good price or free. So I have ended up with a 3ft with a stand and lid, 2ft with lid and an octagon tank(No idea what to do with it at this stage) with a lid for R150.
    If anyone ends up wanting to give away a decent size tank hit me up. Always to be too slow on the trigger when it comes up.
    DT:
    Ok so my thinking at the moment will be the 3ft as DT with about 12kg of live rock. I can’t seem to make up my mind about the substrate, I really wanted to use some play sand but according to my LFS in this size tank it will just end up driving up my phosphates and I will have an algae problem so he recommended CC instead. I do like the look of sand more but live aragonite sand is just too expensive.
    Sump:
    The 2ft will be turn into a sump. As it so small so I am not sure how I want it designed. I know the first will be the protein skimmer (which will be DIY for now or a real cheap second hand one as there is no bio load on the tank, and there won’t be for a while). The second one will be refugium, third will be the return. But I will also want to include a bubble trap and some chemical filtration with carbon and Phosguard or something to keep my phospates down and water clear. I have no idea what to put in the refugium though. And if I have a refugium would be adding a DIY algae scrubber be a good idea or a waste of space.

    Lighting:
    As for lighting I was thinking 2-3 3ft T5s in ballasts I will pick up from an electric supply store. The globes I guess I would have to get from the LFS unless someone can suggest a better place. This will have to be sufficient for corals as well. In the sump I will just put a simple daylight bulb for the refugium and set it up so that it comes on when the DT lights go off. Obviously I don’t have the cash for a chiller and there are no decent ideas on making a DIY one I will hook up a fan in sync with the DT lights.

    Once I get to a point that I feel the water quality is at a level that is acceptable and stable for livestock I will add my first fish and coral.

    So I guess that’s where I am in the process. Any ideas and input would be great. Go easy on me I am a virgin:lol:
     
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  3. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Welcome.
    The Lfs is talking nonsense with regards to play sand. Many people have used it with no ill effects. Just give it a thorough wash. Crushed coral is more likely to trap detritus and give you problems.

    Maybe use the octagon as a quarantine tank.

    Sounds like you're on the right track.:m106:
     
  4. mitchel

    mitchel

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    Hi and welcome to masa you are in the right place for info, there are lots of reefers to help you out with info. You may find the two foot tank for your sump is a bit small. If you could do a three foot sump you will have more space for skimmer, deep sand bed. If you use play sand just wash it a few times and it should be ok. Alge scrubber if you have the space. Your lighting go led if you can.
    Good luck with your tank and please earth you tank it could save your life
     
  5. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Oh yes, we're going to need pics:tt2:
     
  6. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    2ft sump is fine. If you go 3ft it won't fit under your stand.

    Just get a good skimmer. 2nd hand is a good option. Skip the refugium and just use an algae scrubber and then in your last chamber you can use phosgaurd and carbon with your return.:)
     
  7. OP
    NewbiePta

    NewbiePta

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll go take some pics soon. I was owndering if I should do a HOB overflow or should i have the LFS drill my tank and use a piece of perspex for a overflow?

    Should I combine the algae scrubber with DSB? Is playsand fine for DSB?

    LED would be nice but with T5 i can get away under about R600 - R700. Any ideas on an LED option in the same ball park?
     
  8. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    T5 will be fine. Rather skip the dsb, you won't have enough space for it to be effective. The algae scrubber should consume all of your nitrates.
     
  9. OP
    NewbiePta

    NewbiePta

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    Ok so I take it the DT sand should not be too deep then? In theory I would be relying on my LR and algae scrubber to do my biological filtration?
     
  10. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA. Keep on reading, and while your at it, Come and join us at our social on the 11th of April, i guarantee good discussions and a fantastic tank to learn from

    The link to he meet is here.
     
  11. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    yep, that would be your biological filtration.

    On my 225l tank I have liverock only as my biological filtration. I have a good quality skimmer and I have phosgaurd and carbon in an internal filter. My ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate readings are 0
     
    Last edited: 29 Mar 2015
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    First, playsand do not leach phosphates or silicates. It is inert. Unless you did not wash it out properly.
    It will only leach phosphates if you overfeed and trap detritus in the sand. But that is exactly the same issue does not matter what substrate you use. Crushed coral will just be worst as the food and fish waste can fall in deeper and out of reach of hermits and other clean up crew members.

    I used playsand for a couple of years without issues. Yes Aragonite does look nice. But starting up, rather spend the money on a descend skimmer.

    As I said to another newbie last week. You are more than welcome to come around and chat a bit. Just PM me.
     
  13. OP
    NewbiePta

    NewbiePta

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    Awesome, I will bring the beers!! :peroni:
     
  14. OP
    NewbiePta

    NewbiePta

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    Quick pic. Not much to see at the moment.

    Tank 29 march.jpg
     

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