Really Really new at this...

Discussion in 'New Members' started by EtienneK, 11 Feb 2009.

  1. EtienneK

    EtienneK

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    Hi everyone,

    my name is etienne and im really super new at saltwater tanks... i've had normal cold and tropical water tanks before and figured i want to try a saltwater setup.

    what are some of the important or key things to look out for when buying or even what should i buy?? i dont really know where to start... :whistling: i've already looked through the forum and found some pretty useful stuff, so thanks for that.. but i'd like to hear some personal experiences also... also how much maintenance is it really, and what else might i need...

    any help would be appreciated...

    Thanks a lot!!!
    Etienne
     
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  3. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA Etienne - hope you enjoy your stay with us. Please read my signiture at the bottom - very good guideline for beginners ;)

    You need to decide how big tank you want or can fit in the space you have. Go as big as possible if budget allows - a bigger system is more stable when it comes to changes in the water parameters.
    You need to decide what you want to keep - fish only with live rock (FOWLR), soft corals, LPS or SPS corals. This will also determine the lights you will need.
    The protein skimmer will also be determined by the volume of your setup.
    You need to have a sump with 3 chambers. 1 = skimmer, 2 = DSB (deep sand bed), 3 = return pump to tank.
    Remember a tank needs to cycle for 4-6 weeks with live rock in it only - no fish or invertebrates. The water parameters needs to go through the different stages of ammonia to nitrites to nitrates and then to nitrogen. After the cycle and after you tested the water parameters for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, alkalinity (kH) and calcium and the pH is right inbetween 7.8 - 8.5, only then you can add a clean up crew consisting of snails and hermit crabs. Then about a week or 2 later you can start to add fish.
    Please read as much as you can and ask here first before buying something from a petshop - our advice are free and petshops exist to make money, otherwise they won't be there. We have some decend petshops as sponsors, check them out - also check the classifieds for second hand equipment - might pick up a bargain ;)

    Enjoy this addictive hobby :wave2:
     
  4. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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  5. crispin

    crispin

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    hello etienne:)
    welcome to MASA, very good on you to research first and buy later.

    what to get with regards to a tank, really is detirmined what you would like to achieve. Some people love mushrooms for example, some the fish, and there are those that think eels and things which bite are facinating....that all leads to different size tanks, different equipment and in the end is always a very personal choice.


    Most people like to keep a mixed reef. Thats to say some easier corrals, a few pretty fish and some inverts. Thats the best place to start in my opinion, from there... once your expeinece grows... you can look at doing difficult corrals, or rare fish etc.

    When i started I wanted to save costs and get as big a tank as i could afford. I was lucky to get a good second hand tank and good second hand equipment, meaning i could start off with a 800l display tank and build up from there. I choose to get an empty tank and build what I wanted, rather than take over someone elses system. Also the fact that LARGER tanks are EASIER, meant i went as big as i could. Amazingly i got a large tank cheaper than alot of guys with small tanks, simplky becasue i asked MASA BEFORE i brought. it was the best advice i could have ever wanted.

    but start by thinking what you want to achieve, then have a plan to get there. ask us all you like, we love to help and so many people on here have already paid the school fees of experience and would love to help you save on time and money:)

    dont be shy, the more you ask and put in, the more MASA can help you out:)
     
  6. EtienneK

    EtienneK Thread Starter

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    Wow! thanks a lot, that's already very useful... im gonna do some more reading in that thread and see what kind of a budget i can allow myself and also try to understand all the new words about water balances and stuff :biggrin: then i'll definitely do my buying around here... cos yeah, i know the petshops just wanna get stuff of their floor.. :nono: haha.

    Thanks so much, really appreciate it!!!
     
  7. crispin

    crispin

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  8. crispin

    crispin

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    actually thats not totally true, there are a few LFS (local fish shops) that are really passionate about marines and love you to succeed, but they are hard to find. Dont skip the sponsors, and search online u will get alot on info there:)
     
  9. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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  10. JD167

    JD167

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    Welcome Etienne! :wave2: Ask away. You can't go wrong with the advice these guys give you.
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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  12. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Hi Etienne, welcome to MASA.
     
  13. Renannchen

    Renannchen

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  14. EtienneK

    EtienneK Thread Starter

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    sorry, just some more questions with regards to costs and stuff...

    what are the prices like for all the neccessary equipment and tanks and stuff? and how often will i have to spend money on replacing things etc.? also how often do water changes and that kind of stuff need to happen?

    sorry if i sound like a bit of an idiot, but like i said, i know NOTHING about all this :(
     
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    you sound more intelligent than i did, i didnt even ask those questions to start:) the only dumb question in here is the one you didnt ask :)

    the key to prices is two fold, one get the correct equipment for what you want (hence needing to decide that first) and secondly look at second hand first, take your time there are often bargains comming up.

    if you find something say a deltec skimmer for R120 post a pic and ask the guys the price. Most will tell you that skimmer is stuffed and not good enough as a paper weight. If you find a deltec 850 for R3000 thats in good nick you would probably be told to snap it up.

    Simply, look at the classified section and see what garbs your fancy, or go to a LFS, see what they have and ask guys before you buy
     
  16. crispin

    crispin

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    i am not certain, but i spend around R12000 to get my 800l with 100kg LR to cycle stage, if that helps at all?
     
  17. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    A VERY WARM WELCOME to MASA Ettiene! Awesome to have you on-board! Please don't be a stranger now!

    Have a look around and read as many of the other "New Member" threads as possible. Also - have a look through our "Members tanks and setups". See if there is something that you like.

    And then - let us assist you in trying to achieve your goal!

    Good journey into marines, man!
     
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