Starting a Marine Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by dogstar, 1 Oct 2008.

  1. dogstar

    dogstar

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    Have been looking at the Al, Sammy and rdeflorenca's threads because i think i want to start with a Boyu tank too. It would be also be a reef setup.

    What are your guys thoughts on the Boyu TL-550 for a beginner?

    A lot of suggestions indicate bigger is better, so I am a bit confused.

    Anybody able to recommend some places where i get get a good price on one in JHB?
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    HI Dogstar - OK, here's my input:
    Bigger is indeed ALWAYS better, because the more the water volume, the less strict the maintenance schedule HAVE to be, AND the tank as well as it's inmates are far less impacted by ie. a fish dying, or perhaps extra wasted food lying around rotting.

    BUT - it is also FAR more expensive to get to a level that you will be happy with...

    The Boyu TL-550 seems to be a very popular choice these days....
    The only restrictions I would suggest you might have, and end up trying to modify, are:
    1) the lighting is not really enough to keep corals in - some soft corals might be ok with it, but most corals not
    2) you can NOT even TRY and keep an anemone happy in the standard lighting
    3) the unit comes with ceramic noodles and bio-balls, which is best removed - as it just ends up creating a problem with too high nitrates
    4) the little skimmer is a nice addition, BUT will NOT work for a reef aquarium..... it does not really work as expected....
    5) the small water volume means you WILL most likely end up being forced to do at least weekly water changes (at least the amount of water/volume of water you have to change at a time is not much - something like 6 to 10 litres at a time)...

    Other than the above, the Boyu is a good choice.....

    Good luck mate...
     
  4. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick reply jacquesb.

    Yup, I was looking for a bigger tank but i soon realised the cost would get a bit too much for me, as a beginner, i think the boyu will be a good start. I am sure I will get the hang of things, and maybe later I can start a bigger tank, using the knowledge I have gained from the smaller tank.

    You mention the standard skimmer is not that great, should I look at getting a better skimmer form the start? Are there any out there, that would fit in the tank?

    If the standard lighting is no good, can i change the lights within the same hood?

    6 to 10 liters a week - does this involve running to the LFS everyweek? (I am from jhb) How expesive is RO water?
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Dogstar - answers:
    Skimmer: No - but you do get "Nano" skimmers that can hang-on the tank
    Lighting: Matt has modified his - PM him for advice - he added an extra PC Fluorescent globe to increase the lighting to 96 watt's - which is/was far better
    RO water costs between +-R0.50 and R1.50 per litre - depending on where you buy (which LFS - ask our sponsors - we have some in Jhb/Pta now). You can buy synthetic sea salt and make up the water if you keep some stock of RO water (RO = Reverse Osmosis filtered). You will also need RO water to top up your tank's water due to evaporation losses.....
     
  6. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Hi Dogstar. I've also got one of those tanks (with matching stand) and let me tell you that little skimmer may aswell not even be there! I wish there's another skimmer i can put in there... Other than that it's a great little tank. Do yourself a favour and shop around before you buy it as i shopped around and found it at Panorama Petshop for around R1300 less than anyone else!
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Jaak - I am not 100% sure if this will work - but how about the ReefOcto Hang-on nano skimmer?
     
  8. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    is that small enough to hang on the side?
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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  10. Mathewis

    Mathewis

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    dogstar I have a nice beginner setup for sale. Its a Aqua H20 tank with dimensions 1m x 0.5m x 0.5m. It comes with a Sump/DSB, 2 x Seio's, Heater, Return Pump. Everything you need to get started at much less than a Boyu. R 1800. Sorry mods didn't want to Hijack thread, so please delete if inappropriate.
     
  11. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Sounds good. Have a few questions though.

    Is it possible to get the tank drilled? Think it would be easier to create an overflow inside the tank to connect to that sump. or how much does an overflow box cost?

    Is there space in the sump for a skimmer?

    Can the sump and skimmer fit under the tank, in the cabinet?
     
  12. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Any ideas on the above?
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Mathewis should answer that Dogstar.... sorry man...
     
  14. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    okay.

    Any ideas where i can get a skimmer and some live rock at good prices in jhb.

    Skimmer can be second hand.
     
  15. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Okay, so I am going to collect the tank (1mx0.5mx0.5m) from Mathewis this weekend. Probably want to get some water in there during the week, and then some live rock to get the cycle going.

    I need the following to get the water going:

    RO water - shouldnt be a problem
    Salt - i am in the south of JHB, finding marine anything is a mission, tips on where to get some? (i might just pick some up in Pretoria when i am there to pick up the tank)
    Testing kit, give me some recommendations here guys.

    Once I have the RO water and salt, how do I go about mixing it up?

    Should I just top the tank up, about 3/4 way with water and add the required dosage of salt, then start up the powerheads and heater, adding either salt or water till the salinity is correct?

    Can i add the base sand later (thinking the kiddies play sand), when i get the live rock)

    Thanks
     
  16. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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    get the tropic marine range testkits, they are very nice

    fill up the tank with ro water then add salt,temp must be at 25c
     
  17. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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    you can add base sand when all the salt has dissolved
     
  18. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    Can it be 25.2 deg.;)
     
  19. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Sounds good.

    I see the tropic marine expert test kit, is an all in one kit that tests most of the water parameters, i think i will go for this.

    Sound easy mixing the salt etc.
     
  20. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Some pics of the equipment i bought

    Sump
    [​IMG]

    Tank
    [​IMG]

    Skimmer
    [​IMG]

    So, still a way to go. Will get to some of it this week.

    I want to change the sump to have three chambers, instead of two as it currently is. Please help me with some designs, dimensions are 0.6m x 0.4m x 0.3m.

    Will have to get some piping to hook it all up (will need some advice on how to connect the skimmer) and the overflow (but i might still get this tank drilled - think it will be the best route).

    You guys got any feedback for me so far?
     
  21. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    for the mods, any reason why after posting to this thread, it does not appear in the list when you click on "new posts"
     
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