New To The Marine World

Discussion in 'New Members' started by rajah, 29 May 2010.

  1. rajah

    rajah

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    Hi Guys

    I have wanted to start a marine tank for a few years now, and for various reasons put it off, until now! I've decided to start out with a Juwel 260.

    I want to setup a reef tank, and would appreciate all the advice I can get! You guys seem to be the legends on this subject :thumbup:

    I am hoping to get started tomorrow, but before I did I wanted to get all my ducks in a row. So please help me out cos I want to get this right.

    I have the standard Juwel filter, a 500L powerhead, T5 Lighting - one HiLite Day and one Blue, a Prizm Deluxe Protein Skimmer, canister filter.

    I was hoping to get some proper water from the sea (being in Durban) but I have heard conflicting stories about this. Can anyone please clear this up?

    What I wanted to know was if there is a "setup guide" on starting from day 1, how to prepare the water and what to and what not to put into the tank?

    I am new to this so any advice will be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    welcome to MASA boet.
    ask and ask some more and you will be answered
    With only t5 lighting for a reef setup, i would reccomend soft corals which don't need much light but if youve only started out, your tank needs to cycle first. if you have the red sea skimmer prizm thing then nice one, its a good skimmer.
    I don't use NSW(natural sea water) but i hear some people have success with it, i use RO water and salt mix because you know exacly whats going into the water.
    i don't think the canister filter will be very use unfortunately.
    One of the guys on here has a great startup guide, he will welcome you soon :thumbup:
    Happy reefing and remeber to take it slow and read read read!!
     
  4. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Welcome rajah .... great to have you join us .... I would advise you to join our local reef club in Durbz where you can meet up with the fellow reefers in your area ... BTW in which suburb are you living?
     
  5. rajah

    rajah Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply deadmeat2016! Much appreciated!

    Yes I will be starting out, so the corals and livestock are a few months down the road!
    I have been reading and reading and reading some more! Really excited to get it going but it's going to take time!

    About the lighting, I am looking to add an additional T5, so that will help the process I hope?
     
  6. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey and welcome to MASA!!!

    Well starting a marine aquarium is a wonderful journey! There is much to learn and non of wich you will want to forget. Firstly it's great of you to first ask before you do as so much people have baught a "instant" marine tank, and chucked in a nemo and it's home and there you go and 1 week later he wonders why everything died.
    Ok first the most important basics for reef aquaria:
    Filtration
    Lighting
    Flow and water

    Filtration
    In our reef aquariums we strive to have the cycle of 3 types of filtration. Firstly the mechanical filtration. This is the skimmer part of the tank. By the use of electricity we use machines to do all our dirty work. Next is the biologic filtration. This is the chaeoto and live rock we buy. The live rock has bacterie that has the ability to take any inpurities in the water and take it out. Chaeto is a type of macro algae. It's amazing quilities of taking out phosphates and nitrites make it the perfect sump plant. Then last but not least is the chemical filtration. This filtration will take out the abundant impurities left over by the rest. The can also ass good additives to the water. An examples is activated carbon with it's ability to clean the water and make it sparkling, it also takes out nasties and is always a must in a marine tank.

    Lighting
    Ok another important part of the reef tank. Lighting could be the most important for our reefs. The amount of ligh reeching the corals is the amount of food they get so they can survive. Ok just a quick info list. Our corals proces their energy by using bacteria stored in their flesh. These bacteria uses the suns energy and turns it into food. The corals gets the benefit of the food and the bacteria stays happy within in ( it's a type of symbiotic relationship). Now if we don't give enough light to our corals they will never survive. A light of 6500K is the best ligh for the corals to grow BUT it will also grow algae faster and the corals will loose colour under these lighting. A better light is the 10000K light as it doesn't let algae grow as fast but the corals can still grow fast from it. Yet with this type of lighting they still turn brown and won't keep their beautiful colours, we can get the colou backk by using actinics and higher kelvin rating bulbs with the lower kelvin rating bulbs to give a compete effect. Now how to determine kind of lighting you will need depends on the tank you want to keep. If the tank is mainly going to keep softies and LPS then the ligting can range from T5's to the weaker Metal hallides. For SPS corals you will need the stronger Metal hilliedes(250W+).It wil also depend on how deep your tank is. If your tank is deep and you only have T5's then you should arange the level of the corals in the tank. Putting the light loving corals at the top and the corals that doesn't need the high lighting closer to the bottom.

    Flow and water
    Ok another important thing in the tank. Flow is a great must in the saltwater tank. This is a big thing that most freswater guys get wrong when they come to saltwater. The flow of the tank must be close to 20x the tank volume BUT it shouldn't be in a direct flow that a powerhead gives you. A powerhead gives flow in one strong stream that can hurt yoou delicate corals and inverts. You should rather go for specialised saltwater pumps (can't remember the name:p) that spread the flow over the entire tank giving more the feel of ocean currents. The water that we use is also very important. You can use water direct from the ocean but this can be risky with anything that can happen to it. Just make sure you get water from the a place in the ocean thats no poluted or near a city. Also tru to get water as deep as possible as the water near the shore has more filth. If you are going to make your own saltwater always remember to use RO water as our tap water isn't nearly safe for marine use.

    I hope I could help a little. Just remember to do research about everything and never be shy to ask questions.
     
  7. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    additional lighting is always good but not sure bout lighting during the cycle process though, i advise asking a guru whose smarter than me :)
     
  8. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Like deadmeat said, more lighting is always better, but we need more info about your systme first. I don't know the juwel260 that well. Can you please give us some details about it like dimensions would be a must. The amount of T5's you have at the moment won't be enough to keep a reef system. The amount you will need is dependent on the systems depth and size. You won't need extra lighting in the cycling period as it has no function yet but you will need it in future for your corals and inverts.
     
  9. IMarine

    IMarine

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    Welcome bra good advice you got from the pros ,what also you need to do is a ro machine the sponcers will help you on this,start off by adding aragonite by caribsea,get some reef builder to get kh up to 8-10,reef buffer to get ph upto 8,40,reef advantage calcium to get your cal levels upto 400,and pls get lots of live rock but pls get good quality and live rock that has been cured,the way you choose live rock is by smelling it,it should smell fresh and not fowl, and light psc is the way to go,so like i said add arogonite then scape your live rock so that you have lots off open space for your fish to swimm through,then add your ro mix or if you opt for sea water so be it,but i will rather use salt mix with ro water,get your salanity upto 1024-1026,then add to sun sun pumps they very cheap and pump between 5000lts to 12000lts depends on the model,let your system run for the first 24 hours with lights off for the first 4-6 weeks during cycle,after 24 hours add stabality from seachem and double the dose every day for 1 week,also before i forget your skimmer should be on from the time your water goes in,then on your second day you wanna add reef builder by seachem and start to dose 3tsp the first day in a glass of ro water, mix well and add to your tank,after 4 hours or so test again and add again till you get a kh off 8-10 on your third day check calcium and do the same but pls do not dose kh,ph,or cal on the same day,on the 4th day to the same for your ph till you got your water paramaters correct, and do not rush your system take your time and you will have a stunning system
    all the best
     
  10. flipwhip

    flipwhip

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    welcometomasa
     
  11. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Welcome
     
  12. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, glad you joined. There's some more reading for you in my signature on starting a marine tank - enjoy :)
     
  13. rajah

    rajah Thread Starter

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    Hey Guys!!!

    Thanks for the awesome welcome!! Really appreciate it!

    As for the advice - WOW! Good to be getting advice from the pro's!

    IMarine - Thanks!! I will definately be sure to take your advice and do what you suggested!! I will get the products you mentioned and keep testing the water.

    Annoying :)P) - The tank is approx 120 long, 42 wide and 62 deep. I will be putting in another T5 unit in with 2 x 54W tubes. It currently has 2 x 54W.

    Just an update :

    I put the tank in, and have the water cycling. The salinity is around 1.023. Should I pick it up?

    The live rock is in place - about 11 kgs of it. So I'm letting that cycle also. I added the bacteria also and thats in the mix.

    My next question is - how much circulation do you need inside the tank?
    I have the standard filter running. I added a 620Lph pump in, and am considering adding another 350Lph pump. Would this be too little, too much or enough?? Or do I just get 2 Sun Sun 5000lph Pumps?

    Anyone knows where I can get the Sun Sun's in Durban?
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  14. seank

    seank

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    :welcometomasa2:masahello
     
  15. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    The sunsun pumps are amazing for their price and work very well, i would say go for it but try getting the ones that use a magnet, suction cups are untrustworthy :nono:. I dont live in durban thou so cant really advise where to buy, and bacteria adding = good :thumbup:
     
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