Not sure what tank to get

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by MaximusZA, 13 May 2013.

  1. MaximusZA

    MaximusZA

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    Hi Guys,

    I am very new and looking to start a marine tank(reef is my end goal). I apologize if this has been posted already I did look and couldn't find anything. I really like the look of the Juwel Viso 180 but as far as i have seen everyone who has a juwel has had to convert it for a marine tank. Can you out of the box run a juwel tank with a protein skimmer? or is it better to go for another system all together? From the research i have done, i haven't found anyone who uses and biofilter for marine tanks, it seems to all be sumps. I would hate to lay out a ton of money to only find out that i would have to do major conversions to the juwel tank to get it working properly.

    thanks a million of the help!

    Maximus
     
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  3. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    its a bit hard to tell. it all comes down to your budget and whether or not you are hands on guy or you rather get everything almost pre set. that tank you like looks very expensive probably in the range of 15 to 20k I could be wrong thou. and that's just the tank... you'll need a skimmer few pumps... lots of live rock definitely a sump and much more. for the cost of the tank alone you could probably purchase all the equipment you need and even get a decent size tank, salt skimmer etc depending on the system you decide on probably even lights . I would recommend if this is your first time start with something smaller and as you get into the hobby upgrade. do a lot of research and reading ... there is a lot more to this than just water and fish.
    I'll be glad to assist you with whatever advise I can and surely on this forum you'll get help from many experienced members
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2013
  4. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Hi, i got 2 juwel tanks, each run on a big canister filter, hang on protium skimmer. Change my lights to Ati T5. Only fish and soft corals and Lps. 2 wave makers. Also depends what you want to keep, do you want to keep something that easy to care for. Your budget. Before you buy any thing decide what you want to keep then take it from there.
     
  5. MaximusZA

    MaximusZA Thread Starter

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    thanks for the quick response guys! So am i right in saying the stock standard pump that comes with the juwel will not be sufficient in maintaining a marine tank? the reason I ask is the guy at the pet store said all i need is a protein skimmer which the juwel has a slot for. As for the fish i want its also all up in the air at the moment. I would love a blue tang but i believe in a 180l its not a good idea. other than that i would love 2 clowns for sure, a yellow tang(again not sure if its possible), a firefish, I am not sure what else yet but still a couple months away from actually getting anything. I am planning on doing massive research before. I really don't want to stress the life of the tank by getting equipment that's not right for them or not know what i am doing. as for budget again no idea what to expect when it comes to budget, I have a budget for the initial layout ie. the tank the equipment etc and a different budget for livestock.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2013
  6. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    i think for now you dont need to stress too much about fish and life stock in general as even if you setup the tank today it will still take you few weeks to cycle it. I recommend doing it the proper way and letting it do its thing for few weeks if not months until your ammonia and other parameters stable. for me a must have equipment one should have when starting a new tank is:

    * 1x tank
    * 1x sump
    * 1x skimmer
    * 1x return pump
    * depending on the size of the tank one or more wavemakers or powerheads to generate current in the tank
    * enough heaters to keep the water temperature at stable levels
    * live rock (the more the better) or base rock which is cheaper
    * live sand (it will help speed up the cycle process)
    * test kits for ammonia, nitrates, phosphates etc so you know when your tank has finished cycling

    i dont know where the sump will fit in the tank you like thou so do some research on that too.
    do you have the tank already or are you still planning on buying it? how much would it cost if you are still going to buy it?
     
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  7. 3dd

    3dd

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    Have a look at the for sale section, there are always complete systems up for sale, and some are very nice
     
  8. MaximusZA

    MaximusZA Thread Starter

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    That is brilliant! thanks again HOT SAUCE! I am thinking now that juwel is not the way to go as the only way to fit a sump in is to cut and i don't have the tools or the expertise to do so. I haven't set my mind on a tank as yet, still looking and checking prices and maybe looking at 2nd hand like 3dd suggested. One thing i am pretty set on is having an all in one ie. cabinet with the sump below etc. I however can't afford a red sea setup they are crazy expensive. My budget for the setup is +-R10000 for a +- 180l tank. I have no idea if its enough, maybe i am dreaming thinking i can make it with that budget.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2013
  9. crispin

    crispin

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    HI MAXIMUS, WELCOME TO MASA its great to have you join:)

    when starting off with marines there is a lot to learn. suddenly everything sounds difficult and complicated and people talk about water chemistry, filtration methods and testing kits. It all gets overwhelming at times, i know i certainly got to a point where it was info overload and i battled to keep everything right in my head. Thus having a tank that is going to work well from the onset is of paramount importance. Having a good set up and not having to worry about if that hang on skimmer is working, or is that canister filter realy a good idea etc, just makes life easier. If starting out go with a marine ready system, not one you need to DIY and adjust. After a while, sure adjust and DIY till your hearts content, but in the beginning get a system that works.

    I struggled with similar choices when I started out and wrote a sumary of what i found was a very sharp learning curve, i'll find it for you.

    But for now i would suggest looking at the second hand section of masa as you can get some realy good systems with appropriate equipment without it being a waste of money in the long run-. with marires its always worth buying right at the beginning instead of trying to upgrade later on.
     
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  10. crispin

    crispin

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  11. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    what dimensions you would like your tank to be. for example a 120x40x50 tank will be 240 liters, is that too big for you. for example i think this way... what skimmer i want to buy / can afford. if i settle for a skimmer that is rated for up to 400L for example i would build a tank which is about 250L and have a sump of about 100L. thaty will give you a total volume of 350L which would be ok for your skimmer.

    also i would try and get new equipment if possible. if you are new in the hobby and relatively inexperienced you rather have new equipment which you know is under warranty and far from its expiry date. if you lived in Swaziland i would be happy to build you a tank and it wouldn't cost alot. remember you have to consider class thickness according to your tank size. check this awesome tool HERE..

    once you decide on a good tank size or that tank you wanna buy you can choose your skimmer. or vice versa decide what skimmer you want/can afford and choose/build your tank accordingly.
     
  12. crispin

    crispin

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    hmmm personally i think thats the wrong way to determine the size of tank you need. I would get a skimmer to fit a tank and certainly not a tank to fit a skimmer.

    also getting second hand equipment is fine in my view, indeed most of the tanks i have set up and run have been from second hand equipment. Getting the appropriate hardware second hand is far better than getting new stuff that one might not need. The resale vallue of marine equipment is very poor, so by getting second hand stuff one often saves a lot of money.

    Choose a tank that suits your needs, deseign it around how big you WANT to go, aim at looking at size tank that will allow you to keep the type of fish you want to NOW and save the heart ache of constantly wanting a fish that wont fit a tank thats too small, or having to upgrade later. Bigger systems are also far more forgiving on noobs as the increased water vollume allows for better stability.
     
  13. the fish

    the fish

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    with a R10000 budget you can actually get a pretty decent custom setup. like crispin said. try buying your skimmer and so as secondhand. otherwize if you are not going over 300L system you can get the bublemagus skimmer for about R1500 at most. and the lights are also not that expencive depending on what you wish to fit, be it T5's or LED. with LED you will be stretching the budget a bit. while the system settles you can save up for the fish and CUC. you atleast have 2 months before you can add anything except for your argonite and LR. that you add from the start so it can cycle.
     
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  14. MaximusZA

    MaximusZA Thread Starter

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    thats good news, so its possible to get a setup that fits my budget. I think a 240l is a great size i was just worried about cost. What do you guys think of custom built tanks? are they more expensive than pre-built? good idea? bad idea? do pet stores do custom builds for such small tanks?
     
  15. the fish

    the fish

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    IMO they are cheaper than pre-built. well if it is DIY anyway and not through a LFS. always a couple of reefers here that will give a helping hand in the built. plus with a custom build you can decide exactly what you want where with a pre-built you get what you pay for (not always what you want). :)
     
  16. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    think custom build is the best way to go. it would be cheaper at least. in Swazilant a tank that size will cost you about 2000 excluding the stand if you buy it form a LFS. i would say another 1000 for a good sump and you have 7000 for the rest of the equipment. since you already know more or less what size tank you want it will be easy to choose skimmer that will fit your system. check here for a basic idea what skimmers are around on the market. different shops will have have different models and different prices. i forgot to add salt to the list of things you need to buy at startup. it will be probably good to get a one 20kg bucket as you'll need about half of that to start your tank and the rest will go as you do your water changes. also dont forget a refractometer or a hydrometer so you can always monitor your salt levels
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2013
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