So I found a tank, now what!?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Croaky, 5 Apr 2010.

  1. Croaky

    Croaky

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    Howzit to everyone who reads this and thanks in advance your patience, I'm going to ask ALOT of questions!

    Ok, so I'm moving over from a single sp. hobby to a multi sp. hobby and the amount of info out there is staggering, basically the fundamentals look the same but the devil is in the details, there are many different ways and opinions to go about the same processes...

    Basically I would like the end result of a 1.8m tank to be the ideal environment to house a dropoff style reef leading to open sand.

    Residents I'm thinking of are mainly soft corals and invertebrates, inverts being shrimp, nudibranchs and seahorses. I am open to the possibility of a few fish, not many though.

    Does this sound viable?

    Right, now the questions come!

    Are there any special waterflow hardware considerations other than normally advocated pumps and skimmers?

    What does the 'Aqua Medic Wave Controller/Maker' actually do and is this a necessary piece of equipment?

    How difficult is it to get ones hands on Live rock and live sand?

    I'll leave it at 3 questions to start with, don't want to bore anyone!
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2010
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  3. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Welcome to Masa Croaky. You have definately come to the right place to have all your questions answered.
     
  4. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    oh and wecome to MASA :thumbup:
     
  5. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    First of with regards to pumps I think the "norm" would be 50 times your water volume but different corals need to be "placed" at different flow rates in the tank ... that you can get advice before purchasing and placing the actual corals... As for skimmers aim for something rated double your water volume (which should be about under 1000 litres including sump water) so you looking ideally for a skimmer rated at about 2000 Litres ... Wave controllers are used like mini timers that create "random switching on/off" of your internal pumps thus emulating different motions under the oceans ... Nice to have but not a must have..... Lastly Live rock is like the heart of your bio filteration so buy the best your pocket can afford as it will come with lots of "life" in it - little gogga's to clean up the water to make it ideal living conditions for your tank inmates ... Live sand ....mmmmmm contravertial as live rock but if you can get your hands on some will be beneficial to the tank ... both of above not hard to get just get good quality .... hope this helps ... guys correct me if wrong somewhere.....
     
  6. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    the aqua medic wave isnt necessary, but nice to have :p
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ooi.... we want pics of the tank you found :p
     
  8. xtreme

    xtreme

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    Welcome!!!!!!
     
  9. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Is this really the amount?!! I thaught it's 20 beause I read that at any place in the ocean the flow per cubic meter is 20 times itself...
     
  10. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    there is some debate about this, as with anything in marines..... the main purpose in our tanks is not only to create motion..... BUT to keep waste particles in suspension.... getting them from the DT to the skimmer, and then removed.... i have heard of people with sps quoting over 100x turnover, whilte if i am not mistaken glynn foremans is only in the order of 17X......
     
  11. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    True ... I would also think that these pumps are used to have no dead spots that can become problematic ... as in stuff rotting away .... just we need to know what can be placed where in this chaotic water movement ... what tankmates like flow and what corals dont and some creatures will move to where they like it but a little piece of heaven for all the creatures living within our glass boxes....
     
  12. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Be it 50X, 20X or 17X you cannot have anywhere NEAR that amount of flow with this in mind

    Think very carefully about the ponies chap
     
  13. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    how did i miss the bit about the ponies......speed reading ...... Well played MND agree 20000%
     
  14. Croaky

    Croaky Thread Starter

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    Last edited: 5 Apr 2010
  15. Croaky

    Croaky Thread Starter

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    Ok, I understand about the differing needs of waterflow in different areas in the tank for different livestock.

    Does anybody have a chart of flow rate - livestock suitability?

    So if I can afford to get a wave pump it would be benificial to the reef and livestock?

    As I mention above, the tank is 1800 x 610 x 610. What would the pump, skimmer and return pump size have to be (an explanation of how you work the sizes out would be appreciated!) and what brands would you suggest?

    How many different types of shrimp and nudibranchs would I be able to house comfortably in a tank this size (what are the limitations sp wise)?

    What do I look for when purchasing live rock?

    What test kits am I going to need?
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2010
  16. crispin

    crispin

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    i see that the main sections have been answered already so i am leaving those out :)

    a drop off in a 1.8m tank is great, and having some open sand is excellent too as it give you a different environment for things like tube nennies, and some substrate loving corals, plus fish etc so to have that in mind is a good start:)

    thinking of the residents you would like to have gets you a long way down the line to being able to design a tank for their needs, and this not only makes life easier for you, but saves you money by getting equipment that is applicable to the job in hand. However the rough list you have posted wont work unfortunately, firstly the nudibranches are tough to impossible to keep as they often have very specific feeding requirements which we just don't know about yet, or they carry some nasty toxins, so in all skip any nudibranch, sea slug or pretty soft thing for a while. re look at it in a few years time:)

    Seahorses are fantastic creatures but regrettably will not do in a tank you are describing, they have very specific requirements which cannot be matched with a mixed reef and again are fairly advanced care creatures, so leave them off your list a while. But don't stress there are many many fascinating things you can keep in a mixed reef with soft corals, you just need to research them first.

    waterflow was basically covered but its an in depth and important topic so read up on it a little. the most important aspect though is to aim at chaotic random flow patters, constantly switching and changing. to do that we use variable output pumps often working against each other, so that as one goes fast, another slows down and then alternated. this is controlled by different wave boxes, not essential but good to have:)

    Live rock and Live sand are both easy to get hold of, but of the two i would suggest paying attention to the quality of the LR the most. It forms the lungs of your system and is the primary form of biological filtration you will have. the better the quality the better your water and after all, you are just looking after water really well with a few things swimming around in it. Water quality is of paramount importance:)
     
  17. crispin

    crispin

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    LR is very important and for a 800l system you need between 80-100kg (i have around 150kg as an example but i am slightly over packed) and thats a fair whack of money. there are ways around that so dont worry too much at the mo :)Look for the porosity of the rock as being an indication of water flowing through it as thats where the bacteria live that you need for the filtration. I have found Kenyan LR cheaper than other LR(figian for example) and just as good. If you can get LR from a system that is breakn thats also a very good idea, so long as its NOT covered unwanted things like algae and aptasia :)
     
  18. Croaky

    Croaky Thread Starter

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    So nudibranchs are a no no and seahorses are 'advanced' livestock. Thanks Crispin, you just took my imaginary tanks good looking livestock quota down a whole lot!

    I'm safe with shrimp then?
     
  19. crispin

    crispin

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    if all you can imagine is a shrimp, then we need to work on your imagination a little:) but rather have your bubble burst now than sit with headache of problems later on:)

    there are some fantastic inverts you can keep and things like porceline crabs, pom pom crabs, arrow crabs, symbiotic shrimp and goby's (type of fish) hermits various snails etc etc all go to make the reef abound with life. I love all these things and often prefer them to corals and we havent even started talking about fish, so stress not, nudi's and pony's are not a NEED sort of creature:) (sorry brenda)
     
  20. Croaky

    Croaky Thread Starter

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    I've seen pictures of crabs and symbiotic shrimps and would definitly like some but I don't know the rules pertaining to mixing sp and genus, ie space and waterflow considerations.

    As for the imagination, I want a tank where it is not a case of what you see is what you get. I would like to achieve a tank which, the more time you spend looking, the more interesting life you'll find.
     
  21. crispin

    crispin

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    most people will see your tanks as ' nemo...check, dory...check....wheres scareface' etc. ie they will see the fisha nd a few corals and thats it. But occasionally you will find others that see the odd fan worm, or a tube annenomie, or a arrow crab stalk out from the reef, maybe even a simple six line wrass hunting and darting around. Or an engeneer goby burrowing away, maybe the sudden dramatic apperance of a pair of tilefish, so many options, so little space. if you take your time (i mean that!!!) and go slow you can always create a world of such wonder and facination that people will come to your house to watch the tank while rugby is played on a saturday. i converted 5 non reefing friends to start their own tanks with the one i had previously and its always due to the unusual things you see and find in a good mixed and developed reef. I assure you a well planned reef can be astoundingly dynamic without even the need for fish.....but then again I think pods, peanut butter worms and bristle worms are fun (and you will too when you see then in your tank)
     
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