Rookie of rookies

Discussion in 'New Members' started by PeetWhite, 31 Dec 2011.

  1. PeetWhite

    PeetWhite

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    Hi All,

    my name is Peet and i'm very new to this. A year ago I thought I'd start with an aquarium, but chickened out after reading up on how fragile the sytem is. A whole year has passed, but couldn't shake the desire to at least try it.

    So yesterday I decided to give it a go. I dont have to space for a big tank and decided on, what I think is called a nano tank. It's a chinese made 80L tank; HaiYang M-500 Marine Aquarium. It's perfect for my townhouse and everything is neatly hidden away in the back. Now I know that the experts would problaby say its NOT the best system to buy, but I figured one must able to do something with it. If I dont succeed, at least I can say I tried and failed, opposed to never trying at all. LOL

    My main goal would be a reef tank, max 2 fish, but I like the little shrimps and crabs. Hopefully this tank I bought, would suffice.

    Some pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Skimmer thingy:
    Whilst on this, it has this pipe coming out of it with a plastic cap on the end. Must this be submerged in the water or does it need to suck air?
    [​IMG]

    Filter:
    It has 3 layers filled with white bits.
    [​IMG]

    At the moment it there's not a lot going on. I filled it with water that i filtered using a aquarium water purifier. (got it for free with the unit). Added the salt and now letting it settle. Oh, its 1 day old.

    What are my next steps? Do i now leave it for a week or 2? When should I add the live rock? Whats tests must i perform in the meantime? I do check the salinity, but not to sure what else. Any help would be appreciated.

    This question is still a bit premature, but I just have to know. When adding shrimps and crabs, do you have to have fish? Or can you have a reef with just those little critters?

    Thanks again for a very informative forum. After reading all the trials and tribulations of many forumites, I just knew I had to have part in it :)
     
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  3. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Hi Peet,

    Welcome to MASA!

    My you be patient enough to stay in the hobby.

    Happy reefing!

    Cheers,
    Carla
     
  4. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Welcome, this is a very adictive hobby!

    You system will be fine with small fish like 2 clowns and maybe some other small fish.
    Jip, you can keep a shrimp in there with a grab as well.

    Before you add anything you will need some Live Rock (LR) and test your water parameters daily untill the system is stable.

    Good luck with your tank and read read read!
     
  5. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi there, welcome to MASA.

    That pipe from the skimmer must be above water to suck air for bubbles to form inside the skimmer.
    After testing that the specific gravity of the salt water is 1.025, you need to add live rock to the tank so that the cycle can start. You can start testing the water after a week or so. A cycle, if done without any chemicals or wonder potions, will take more or less a month, depending on how much die-off there was in and on the rocks - sometimes 6 weeks.
    Fish can only be added after the cycle is complete, as ammonia is very toxic to fish and will kill them.
    For much better info, read the article on starting a marine tank below in my signature - it is a nice read and not too long, but well worth the time as the info is awesome :)
     
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  6. Hermanus

    Hermanus

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    Let your tank cycle before adding any live stock that takes plus minus 4-6 weeks. Start by getting some live rock to help start the cycle.;)
     
  7. Hermanus

    Hermanus

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    Think of the same at the same time:)
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2011
  8. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    :welcometomasa2:to MASA...great to have a new Member...:thumbup:..I myself am sitting with a little Nano...BOYU TL450(58L)...downside to it is the fact that you will struggle with high temp...I battle keeping my Tank at 25*...the "norm" is 26* but I prefer 25*...another problem I see, is the fact that you have Crushed Coral...those particles are a bit on the large size...I also bought them, got home, set-up the Tank, joined MASA...heard about Aragonite...went back to the shop the next day and bought Aragonite and had to do my Tank all over again...:blush:
    Rock and Sand in the Reefers World, A geologists Perspective. - Marine Aquariums of South Africa



    I have to add that try and get the fine Aragonite...I have the "standard" size and I can't put a sand sifting Gobie in my Tank as the particles are still to large...Sand sifting Gobies are perfect for a Nano...for future refrence...Gobies jump...I mention Gobies as I see you have a Hooded Tank...but if you have a temp problem, just remember you can't flip the lid...if you do get a Gobie...as it will go carpet surfing...:eek::eek::eek:
    Nano Fish


    Most important part of the whole Tank set-up..(cycle)...cut corners here and you will have endless problems later on...
    Marine Aquarium Cycle - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    Little bit of extra reading...:p
    Starting a Marine tank - What to buy first - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
    Starting a Marine Tank - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
    New to Marines- Please listen!!!!!!!!!! - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
    Your First Marine Invertebrates - Choosing a Clean up crew - CUC - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2011
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Get your live rock and put that in. It is the life in the rock that needs to cycle, although we think we cycle the water. The dead stuff must first be eaten by other organisms that survived. Then after about 6 weeks, your parameters should be stable. Then, and only then can you think of adding anything more.

    And move your heater to the sump space at the back, if you can. But do not place it in the last chamber.
     
  10. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    welcome
     
  11. PeetWhite

    PeetWhite Thread Starter

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    Hi, thanks for your input! Thats the reason i joined. It's still early days, so i dont mind fixing something that has been tried and tested by others. Will look into buying the fine Aragonite as soon as the shops open again.

    Do i need to take out all the water? Or can i just remove the crushed coral and replace it with the Aragonite?
     
  12. PeetWhite

    PeetWhite Thread Starter

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    Should i not wait a week before putting any live rock in?

    As for the heater. In the back of the tank i have 3 compartments. Left to right: Skimmer, Filter, pump. The arm of the pump has additional rings to accomodate the heater, but i suppose this is the compartment that I should not use?

    And belindamotion is quite right, the heat is running away. The water is in the tank for a day only and already had to turn the heater all the way down. The temp was reaching 29deg's!
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2011
  13. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    no, you must put in the life rock asap to start the cycle, without life rock the tank is not going to cycle....
     
  14. victor du plessis

    victor du plessis

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    where in pta are you pm me if you want me to come and help you, im from pta aswell. welcom to MASA
     
  15. PeetWhite

    PeetWhite Thread Starter

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    Hi, thank you for the input. This is the reason why I joined the forum. There is a lot of forumites with way more experience than me.

    As soon as the shops open, I will invest in the Aragonite.

    Can i just remove the crushed coral and then put in the Aragonite, or do i have to empty the water and start from scratch?

    And yes, I'm also struggling to keep the water temp down. At the moment its running away from me...
     
  16. PeetWhite

    PeetWhite Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I dont have any live rock now. Will get some as soon as the shops open again. In the meantime i'll figure out how to keep the water temperature at the correct heat. Like i said in the previous reply, the temperature is running away and I'm scared of turning live rock into "gebraaide" rock.
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2011
  17. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Here are many Reefers here who will be very happy to share their experiences...ask away and we will help steer in the right direction...

    You can just scoop out with a cup or some holder and add the Aragonite...remember to wash the Aragonite a couple of times..they say until water runs clear...yeah right...:lol:..after about 10 washes I gave up...:whistling:..tell the LFS it's for a future "maybe" sand shifting Goby...so hopefully they will give you the right size...I will try and find it...it's somewhere here...:p
    CaribSea Arag-Alive | Special Grade Reef Sand | Indo Pacific Black | Fiji Pink | Bahamas Oolite | West Caribbean Reef | Florida Crushed Coral | Bimini Pink
    CaribSea Dry Aragonite | Aragamax Sugar Sized Sand | Aragamax Select | Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand | Fiji Pink Reef Sand | Flamingo Reef Sand | Bermuda Pink | Grand Bahamas Biome | Super Reef

    It's the lights that cause the heat in the Tank...obviously also the fact that it's a Hooded Tank...:p If you got the DIY skills, you might want to build a LED unit into the Hood...or if you got the cash, you can get LED Pendents...you just cover the Tank with a Net...COMPLEMENTS pgibson..
    [​IMG]
    or looking at some form of a Chiller as 29* is a Temp you really need to reach on few and far between occassions...I keep mine at 25 and battle as I reach 27* and start sweating...:p..here is a Link about some Cooling options...
    Cooling options - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    The Live Rock is the least of you'r problems..:p
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2011
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