Starting new 375l marine tank for 1st time

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Howzit.

Im new to MASA and been looking for a tank to buy. Im still not 100% decided, but Im leaning over to this setup: 1.2 wide 375L in really nice cupboard finish. protein skimmer is octopus - 1000 lph. Pumps and powerheads by astro. Uv unit is a 16w newa. T5 lights are hopar. T8 ia aquah2o. Heater is a 300w lifetech. Sump tank +- 100L. With the tank Im getting plenty of aragonite.

Questions?
1. What is best to use in the tank. Aragonite?
2. How much live rock should I start with?
3. Im considering using other rock as base, then covering it with LR. Bad idea?
4. Water? Im in Sea Point. Should I get water from 2 oceans, or should I make my own water? What salt should I use thats not too expensive.
5. Everything for the sump is supplied. What else am I leaving out for start-up?

Will be interesting to hear the different suggestions.

Then, I know I mustnt rush and I wont, but how long until I start adding more rock with a little life on it (ie:mushrooms), and how long until I can get a little blue lobster an some crawlies and fish. Hardy fish to start with. Im kken on getting an anenomia or 2 with some clowns and other hardy fish in the beginning, but obviously this will take time.

Shot
Brendan
 
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1.) Aragonite is fantastic. If you can afford it I would definitely use it. Playsand is also good but lacks the buffering capacity of aragonite.

2.) If its 275L i'd go for around 60kg (I might stand corrected on this one)

3.) You can use bio-rock as a base rock, this will slowly become populated and act as liverock. Also helps with cost!

4.) This is up to you completely...

5.) Nothing that I can think of. Post pics of the setup as you go along! lots of knowledgeable chaps to give you advice!
 
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Only add livestock once the tank has cycled. So my advice would be to get cured liverock (less die-off and thus should cycle quicker)

Best get a refractometer (to measure SG of water) as well as good brand test kits to measure nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia.

Only once it is cycled should you add livestock! ;)
 
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Welcome Brendan

Matt has pretty much covered it.

Ask questions, even the most simple, it is the best way to learn and create a wonderful tank for you and your inmates
 
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Im new to MASA
WELCOME :wave2:



1. What is best to use in the tank. Aragonite?


Only if you get the "sugar fine" size.

2. How much live rock should I start with?
~ 20% of the tank's volume would be a good start.

3. Im considering using other rock as base, then covering it with LR. Bad idea?
No, BUT make sure that the base rock is inert, and use a sandstone or calcium-based (limestone, dolomite...) type rock.

4. Water? Im in Sea Point. Should I get water from 2 oceans, or should I make my own water? What salt should I use thats not too expensive.
Real sea water would be my first choice, IF you can collect it yourself from a clean beach, preferably up the west coast. The water from Two Oceans is piped in from the harbour, and the salinity can vary quite dramatically. Safest bet would be to use RO filtered water and a good quality salt, such as Tropic Marine or Instant Ocean. Don't use the locally manufactured Instant Marine.



how long until I can get a little blue lobster an some crawlies and fish. Hardy fish to start with. Im kken on getting an anenomia or 2 with some clowns and other hardy fish in the beginning
By all means get some clown fish after the tank has matured (2-3 months), but please DON'T buy an anemone with it - at least not during the 1st year of your tank's life.

Also, be very careful about adding a lobster - in fact, DON'T add one unless you want to keep a species tank for lobsters, they don't make good community tank citizens.

Hennie
 
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Some great advice Hennie gave you there Brendan!
 
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Explain why I cannot add a lobster. When I first thought of changing from Malawi's to marine, I immediately thought it would be cool to get a lobster or 2 into the tank. Ive noticed in all pics of tanks that I havent seen a lobster, but a little blue lobster looks insane and Id really like to get one. I'll take advise and not if its really not a good idea, but I was hoping to get one in, especially in the first few months while Im getting used to the tank and before I start keeping nice coral.
 
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The lobster will likely make a meal of other small inverts etc, hence not "community friendly" thats all.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Brendan, welcome to masa, do your homework, ask lots of daft questions and enjoy the hobby:)

And i would say 30kgs, of the best quality live rock you can buy, will be fine.
 

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Hey Brendan, welcome to MASA. Lobster normally require a species specific tank.
 
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jacquesb: however most lobsters aren't community friendly and would eat smaller inverts. I have never seen a community friendly lobster available in LFS's in JHB. My statement was general because it applies it most cases
 
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I have also seen a couple of tanks with the blue clawed lobster, not sure what it's name is but apparently lives ok with other inverts and doesn't get too big
 

Mike

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I have also seen a couple of tanks with the blue clawed lobster, not sure what it's name is but apparently lives ok with other inverts and doesn't get too big
Most lobsters (and indeed crabs) are ok until they reach a size where they can attack small fish/inverts, at the very least they are clumsy and knock over live rock.
 

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