new!confused!help

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by kylestanley, 16 Dec 2008.

  1. kylestanley

    kylestanley

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    hello all,
    i am very new to marine tanks and i am adamant that i am going to start a tank, come hell or "salt"water...ha ha ha...
    but i have a million questions, the most basic is where to start?
    i have given myself december to learn and research, and heve the grand intention of starting my tank in jan or feb.
    I have scoured the net and some books, tried to decipher everything and im still confused!!
    so pls help!!
    where do i start?
     
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  3. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hi Kylestanley,

    Well, the best place to start is to decide what tank you would like to have. There are many options available to you insofar size is concerned.
    Smaller tanks generally speaking have the drawback of instability in terms of water temperature , water chemistry etc. This does not mean however that you should not look at a smaller tank. Many members here run small tanks very successfully.

    A large tank's drawback is mostly financial.

    What do you envisage keeping . Fish only with LR , Reef tank etc. ?
    The critters & livestock you keep are determined by the type of setup and also in some cases the size of the tank.

    A good start is to perhaps look at the Boyu or Nanocube's. They offer a great deal for your money.

    Keep your questions coming.:thumbup:
     
  4. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    welcometomasa have a look in the new members sections, there are a lot of questions there that are probably the same as yours and will save you time. have a look at the tank of the months and some of the matured tanks to see what you are looking for and it will help point you in the right direction.
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    A very WARM WELCOME to MASA, Kyle! I am very glad that you found us! This is the absolute best place to come and learn!

    Here are a few pointers to start off with:
    1) read as much as possible - start off with the other "New Members" threads
    2) decide what type of tank you want to keep - take all the costs in mind, and try and make the BEST decisions, before you purchase - you will learn that there are 3 ways of doing things:
    = buying once, and paying a lot of money for everything you need - BEFORE HAND and ONCE OFF (this is usually what gives the hobby the very bad stigma of being extremely expensive) - this could also cost you DEARLY if you follow only LFS advice, or perhaps even get some very bad advice somewhere else)
    = buying and upgrading as and how you can afford it (most reefers follow this route)
    = going the DIY route - if you are handy at doing things yourself - then this is definitely for you - have a look at our "DIY" threads in the DIY forum.....
    3) decide what tank you want (DIY, pre-manufactured/brand-name, custom built) - decide on tank shape, size - tank dimensions are EXTREMELY important
    4) decide on the filtration - what skimmer, DSB, live rock, algae scrubber, sump (design)
    5) decide on the in-tank water flow - this is EXTREMELY important - for a WHOLE lot of reasons
    6) decide on lighting - certain corals/(all) anemone's require very strong and intense lighting
    7) decide what lifestock you want to keep - you cannot go mad and just keep ANY fish with other fish, neither just keep any corals with other corals - there are corals and fish that are incompatible with each other, resulting in death of the fish, as well as corals.......
    8) decide on tank placement - remember: once your tank have been placed it is NEARLY an impossible task to move it

    Good luck on your journey of starting a marine tank. Remember: It is YOUR journey, and YOUR artwork.......

    Read and listen as much as you can - learn as MUCH as you can - just make sure that YOU end up making the decisions that are right for YOU.
    Sometimes you might lose life stock - which is generally a very heartsore situation - but it happens..... just learn from everything and go on....

    THE 2 MOST IMPORTANT RULES IN REEFKEEPING:
    - PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!
    - ONLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN QUICKLY IN MARINES!

    You need to understand that you can NOT "QUICKLY" set up a marine tank - it WILL take the best of 2 months BEFORE you can place any life stock in your tank. Please be patient about this.....
    Every step in this hobby is EXTREMELY rewarding - believe me!

    Good luck again!
     
  6. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    sorry, just thought of some stuff. have a search for a thread called so you want to start a marine tank by reefmaniac. i would suggest you buy the biggest system you can afford as you will thank me for this later;) also if you have steady hands try some of the diy options which can save you money:) good luck. by the way. that your real name or are you a south park fan?
     
  7. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    GREAT minds jacquesb:)
     
  8. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, read and learn as much as you can and don't be shy to ask questions, no matter how stupid they might seem.
    Jacques is spot on with his info, as always ;)
    Good luck and enjoy :wave2:
     
  9. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA!
    Well put there Jacques!
     
  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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  11. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    thanks hennie. on my phone so i can't post links
     
  12. Andreas

    Andreas

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    Welcome to MASA Kyle:wave2:Lots of reading man and take it slow;)
     
  13. martin

    martin Reef Adict

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    Where in Pretoria are you?
    Get to meet others and see their setups to get an idea and beware of certain lfs's (some good some very bad) as you will get ripped off and sold the wrong equipment and livestock.
    Cheers
     
  14. keyaam

    keyaam

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    Welcome to masa.
     
  15. kylestanley

    kylestanley Thread Starter

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    hello all,
    thank you so much for all the responses...greatly appreciated!!
    I am so glad I decided to join!!
    To help you help me, here are some of the bacis ideas i'm toying with:
    - I think I am going to buy a fairly large tank(i it seems to be stressed larger tank = stability = happier livestock)
    - I want to keep fish aswell as a few coral , which leads me to a few questions (yes they may be premature, as i dont even know my sump from my skimmer, but just want the genereal knowledge):
    1. How do you know which fish and coral's do and dont work together?
    2. How do you fix the coral to the liverock?
    3. I often see people state, "i feed that specific fish that kind of food"...mind boggling...what about the other fish eating it before the intended recipient gets it...might sound stupid but im really intrigued to know.
    - it was mentioned that most reefers start small (in terms of equipment) and build it up as they go along...but dont the animals need ALL this equipment to survive...so how do you decide which equipment to have and not to have in the beginning...basically, isnt a UV sterilizer as important as a calcium reactor? what are the essentials?
    I'm situated in centurion, but am willing to travel far and wide to learn and buy the best my rand can afford?
    I have a million questions but will stop there for today!!
    Thank you all once again!
    kyle.
     
  16. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    some fish have specific feeding requirements and need species tanks, but generally the stuff we keep will eat everythin, but you can spoil fish a bit too sometimes;) we generally start off with the basics. skimmer, lights, flow. that sort of thing then upgrade them. add in calcium reactors etc.. uv sterilizers are only really there to help in situations of disease break outs such as white spot.
     
  17. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Have a look at the following link. Gives very useful information on types of fishes , their compatibility with corals etc.

    Coral Identification and information at Coralidea.com

    Should help to give you some idea as to what you want to have in your tank. ;)
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    You do a lot of reading, and discuss your possible candidates with others here on MASA.

    If the coral is already attached to a piece of rock you can just wedge the rock in amongst your live rock. Alternatively (or if it's a hard coral and not attached to a rock), you just stick it to a rock of your choice using common Pratley Putty. Soft corals are either glued to rock with super glue gel, or (better) temporarily secured to the rock with either a toothpic, rubber band or netting until it grows onto the rock (within 1-2 weeks).

    Some equipment are non-essential, and are even considered "bad" or "a waste of money" by many successful aquarists - an example of this would be a UV filter.

    Some equipment are only necessary once you have reached a certain coral stocking level - an eqample of this would be a calcium reactor. Fish take up a negligible amount of calcium from the water, and normal water changes would amply replace this. Thus, if you only have fish, or perhaps fish and some soft corals and other inverts who don't really use calcium, you don't need the calcium reactor. If, on the other hand, you have lots of SPS and LPS corals, and/or macro algae such as Halimeda (which uses a great deal of calcium), then you either need a calcium reactor, or you need to chemically supplement the calcium and alkalinity which these organisms consume. Although a calcium reactor is very expensive to buy, it works out a lot cheaper in the long run than buying chemical supplements all the time...

    Essential equipment for a typical reef tank would be heaters, enough pumps to ensure adequate water circulation, proper lighting (metal halides and/or T5 fluorescents), a RO filter unit, a "salinity meter" (glass floating hydrometer or refractometer), an accurate thermometer and a set of test kits... (thinking to myself: "is that all ???")

    Hennie
     
  19. crispin

    crispin

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    Welcome to MASA kyle,
    great to hear that you want to go marines and that you are doing the research before you buy. Thats what I did and it saved lots of money and heartache:)

    have you looked at the space available for you to place a tank in, and what sort of effect you wish to create.

    For simple example I wanted a room divider and a tank that was visable from both sides, which in its own right wasnt that easy to find. But if you look on forums both here and sa reef keeping you will find second hand tanks and equipment for sale. do your research and as this is a open forum post questions like "this tank is going for Rxxxx.xx do you guys think thats suitable and worth the dosh...." and we can do all we can to help you.


    also dont be scared to ask questions that seem silly to you, like the food one, it all helps others who probably have the same issues and others learn as you go along.

    marines are demanding, but incredibly rewarding....warning its adictive and more expensive (so i hear) than a drug:)
     
  20. crispin

    crispin

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    No, probably not, but its a darn fine start:) we always find new things to buy for our tanks dont we:)
     
  21. kylestanley

    kylestanley Thread Starter

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    sorry have been a way a while...have had modem proplems...

    I got a quote in the week foe a 5 foot tank(of the top of my head think it was 275litres) and stand, sump, substrate, light fittings and globes (T5's), live sand (if crushed coral can be called that), 10 kg of live rock(which i think i may need more of), heaters, internal flow (3pumps), salt water mix, test kit, heater, skimmer and a few other thinks for R14 000.00 (fourteen thousand rand)...so a few questions:

    -is that a good price?
    -size wise; is that a good volume for stability?(or should i go bigger)
    -is it enough live rock?
     
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