Scratch build project yeeehah!

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Hi all! Nice to find a group of competent helpful people willing to share so nicely...
We live out here in Ballito, and are doing some additions to the house. We have made a 3m x 1m space for a marine aquarium in the plans, with the back being an outside wall. I guess now is the time to decide what plumbing and electrics are needed in the brickwork - and what needs to go outside and what inside.
Any advice would be sorely appreciated. I'm off to the beginners discussion to learn stuff... :wave2:
 

Mike

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Hi andre, good luck with the project, once you have had a good read, perhaps you will have a question or two:)

One thing to note however, a 3m x 1m tank will not be cheap.
 

dallasg

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the only cheap thing would be the petrol to fetch it :)

1800 x 600 x 600 would be a nice size
 
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welcometomasa
i currently started up a big tank and the cost increase involved from smaller ones is huge. so get the biggest you can afford. and try to ask questions here and post here before you do impulse buys. it will save you a lot in the long run
 

jacquesb

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A very WARM WELCOME to MASA, Andre! WOW! 3 metres! THAT's HUGE! AWESOME MAN!

OK - some ideas that you have to be thinking of:
1) plumbing going to your tank's sump, and coming back from the tank's sump
2) where are you going to place the electrical DB box? wiring / electrical condiut to and from the DB board:
This will include, but is not limited to:
= wiring for internal pumps - at least 6
= wiring for lighting
= wiring for heater/s

Where are you going to place the sump?
What skimmer are you going to be using?
Perhaps have a look at the "Algae scrubber" thread - perhaps an idea to build this into your design...

What do you want to keep, in the end? Corals? Fish only? Corals and fish? Anemone's?

Each of these situations require different lighting and filtration systems...
For corals/anemone's you require HUGE lighting, and HUGE filtration.... For Fish only, you don't....

Please have a look at our other members' "Members setups and tanks" threads.... Have a look at Sean Koekemoer's tank design.... his is a smaller scale what you want to achieve....

Enjoy the hobby and your journey into marines! Please ask as many questions as is needed for you to become a successful reefkeeper!
 
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Wow thanks for the many 'welcomes' guys.. Dallasg's suggestion is spot-on for the area allowed by the plans/wife/budget, so we're going with the 1.8m setup. Then it won't be necessary to add anything past the outside wall. For me personally the beauty of a marine set-up lies in coral and anemones, not so much on the abundance of fish, for that I would rather go the freshwater route.
There are 2 things I don't find good info on - 1st is whether it is OK to start up the tank with actual sea water. I have found an abundant supply just down the road:)! I will probably source my to-start-with fishies directly from the sea also, there are really pretty and colourfull species along our stretch of coast. I can always go put them back when it's time to upgrade - perhaps I should get a submersible mik-'n-druk camera (they sell disposable ones here) and post some pics for your perusal.
Secondly, I wonder if it is a good idea to get natural sunlight into the tank in the same fashion as those domes one installs into houses to get sunlight into dark areas. This could save a bundle on artificial lighting, no? Could pose an algae problem though.. Any thoughts?
The spot will be getting a small 15A DB yes, and will be backed up against power failures with a 2kw pure sine inverter/charger, perhaps 3kw if necessary (I work with these things so no shortage there) if a chiller will need a lot of extra power. Thanks Jacques for the algae scrubber tip, and scuba for the meeting suggestion - let me know, I'll be there. I don't see times/venues on your link. Cheers!
 

Tobes

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Welcome to MASA Andrechae. A 1.8 is a nice size, then you can keep a tang or two as well ;)
It is not advisable to put fish back into the ocean that was in our tanks, they might have some or other decease or parasite and we want to avoid that. Rather give them to someone else if you don't want them anymore.
Please research well on what you want to do as your filtration, lights and flow will depend on what you want to keep. Please ask before buying anything to check if it's not outdated or unneccessary. Also check the lay outs of sumps and use all the available space for it, the bigger the better :)
Anemones must only be added after the tank matured for about a year as they are very delicate creatures and need strong light and prestine water conditions to thrive.
Enjoy the hobby :wave2:
 
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Welcome to MASA!!
 

leslie hempel

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welcome bud this is very exciting...
 
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There are 2 things I don't find good info on - 1st is whether it is OK to start up the tank with actual sea water. I will probably source my to-start-with fishies directly from the sea also, there are really pretty and colourfull species along our stretch of coast.
Yes you can use seawater but make sure it is clean. When collecting, generally the deeper the better. Keep away from collecting near river mouths and high traffic beaches etc.

Go ahead, loads of reefers keep locally caught fish, just get the correct permit from the Post Office.


Secondly, I wonder if it is a good idea to get natural sunlight into the tank in the same fashion as those domes one installs into houses to get sunlight into dark areas. This could save a bundle on artificial lighting, no? Could pose an algae problem though.. Any thoughts?
Great idea, Sunlight is the best form of energy for corals and anemones. Check out Bob the Reef Builder's thread ( Bob's Reef 2 - Members Systems and Setups) for some ideas. I've seen a similar skylight setup and it is great.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Andre - yes of course you can. If you want to collect yourself directly from the sea, ensure that you filter the sea water using a sediment filter, at least...

Also - there is a time that die-off can occur.... so, either use the sea water within the 1st 2 to 3 hours of collection, or wait at least 3 weeks before using the water..... (the extra time will ensure that you don't get ammonia/nitrite spikes in your tank)...

Also - Warr was 100% correct w.r.t to the locally caught fish. If Natal Parks Board catches you releasing fish, you MIGHT just end up with a hefty fine....

So - only catch the fish you ACTUALLY want to keep (read up on the fish - or come and ask us here)..... You are really lucky - to live to close to the sea where you can collect your own sea sand, natural sea water, and your own fish!

Make use of what you can! BUT, please just check here before you collect any life stock - just to ensure that you keep compatible fish together, and that the fish don't die off in your care!
 
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