starting up

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by ravi, 10 Jul 2010.

  1. ravi

    ravi

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    hi all. i am getting my tank, stand and sump next week. i have all the plumbing and the skimmer with the return pump. now what do i need and how do i startup. i also would like to know the best substrate for a fish only setup and what to use as an ideal filter media in my sump???
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi ravi,

    I would suggest that you spend some time on MASA, reading old threads to get a general idea of what is required, as it would take half a book's worth of writing to properly answer your questions. There are some good articles posted in the "Articles" section, including the following:

    Basic Marine Aquarium Setup - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    Starting With Marines - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    Topping Up - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    Deep Sand Beds (DSB) - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    You can also spend a few days reading articles posted in my "Handy links" sticky at the top of my forum, especially the following:

    Aquarium Frontiers Library

    http://reefmaniacs.com/hl/Filtration.htm

    Live Rock As A Biological Filter: Hit or Myth? by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D.. - Reefkeeping.com

    Reef Aquaria as Ecosystems - by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com

    Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

    Water Changes in Reef Aquaria by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

    (I hope that all the links still work :whistling:)

    If you have specific questions after reading all the above, then come right back and ask away - we will gladly try to answer.

    Oh, and it will help if you could describe your tank, equipment, and what you want to achieve with your aquarium in detail...

    Hennie
     
  4. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    can i use sea sand in my display tank?? who can sponsor some sand to seed my dsb which is washed playsand?? can i cycle without lights and live rock as i am using NSW? where can i hire a few drums to collect NSW?? sorry for the questions but i need to startup my tank this weekend since i have one extra day. thanx guys:thumbup:
     
  5. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    btw my tank is a standard 4ft with 10mm glass and a 3ft sump. i got a 3800lt/h return pump and skimmer. will be adding playsand as a dsb. got a heater as well.
     
  6. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, IMHO real sea sand is much better than play sand or crushed coral. You obviously need to collect from an unpolluted beach, and you should try to get finer, rather than courser, sand.

    Now why do you want to use playsand for your DSB if you can get real sea sand? I'm sure that the local Durbanites will be able to help with some "seeding" sand, though.

    Yes, you can - but I believe that cycling with your lights on (natural day/night cycle, not on 24/7) is much better.

    You will need to do regular partial water changes throughout the life of your tank, using either NSW or artificial sea salt. You will thus always have a need for some containers - I would suggest that you just go out and buy what you need.

    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    Hennie
     
  7. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    thanx reef for yr reply. ok will use sea sand in both tanks. Do i get sand from the shore? Gonna buy ro water to top up til i have funds to buy a ro unit. Whats the diff between base. Live and bio rocks and which is best for cycling? Will make a couple of trips with the 4 drums i have now.
     
  8. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    hi guys... a friend gave me a few alcohol drums.. empty ones lol.. will they be ok to collect nsw?
     
  9. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    whats the correct height for the substrate in my display tank?? really want to start my cycling tomorrow.. god willing lol..:thumbup:
     
  10. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hi dude, good to hear all is going well.
    As far as rock goes, live rock - its actually from the ocean, should be pourous and lots of living stuff on it, usually in LFS tanks.
    Base rock - dried live rock, no living stuff yet, needs to be seeded by actual live rock, will never be as good as real live rock but get pretty damn close.
    Bio rock - man made rock which is very porous

    So live rock is the only actual choice for speeding up the cycling process.
     
  11. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Correct :thumbup: but allow me to elaborate a bit...

    "Live Rock" as we use in the hobby, originates from coral reefs, and consists of old coral skeletons - this is what makes it so porous. Sandstone, basalt, and other "normal" rocks which we can get from the beach is NOT live rock, even if covered in all kinds of life forms, and should not be relied upon to act as "filtration" in our tanks, as the rock is too dense to house the good "filtration bacteria" inside the rock.

    As a Deep Live Sand Bed, at least 75mm, preferably about 100mm, depending on the grain size. Courser sand will need to be even thicker, that is why I recommended that you collect very fine sand.

    No, wait until low tide (spring tide low tide would be best, but I don't know when next that will be, and you want to do it this weekend, so normal low tide would be OK...) and then walk in as deep as you can, and then collect the sand. The idea is to collect "live" sand, which contain bacteria and other microscopic creatures, and this is best done where the sand is always under water. The sand should then be transported damp (not under water), placed in to your tank as soon as possible, and then covered with water. Try to have some water movement started within 24 hours, if possible (air bubbles or small pump would be OK)

    Hennie
     
  12. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    thanks guys for the quik replies. :slayer:
     
  13. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    thanx guys for the quik replies. must i use my heater during cycling? what temp is ideal for the water? i have a large internal return pump 3800lt/h that may also warm the water. must i add anything to the fresh nsw once i add it to my tank? thanx again.
     
  14. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    damn just missed todays morning low tide... lol:biggrin:
     
  15. durleo

    durleo

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    HI Ravs - Where about in durbs are you? I can lend you 6 x 25lt containers if you want.
    And a cup of sand to seed ur DSB - I used Reggies playsand for my DSB
    If you need R.O water i give you couple containers at a time till you get an R.O from the king (Marco-waterboy)
     
  16. Afsal

    Afsal

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    now that's a great offer durleo , well done for willing to help out.
     
  17. durleo

    durleo

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    Jus trying to help out cos starting a reeef is hectic without help
     
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  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, your tank must be as stable, and as close to tropical reef conditions as possible from the very start.

    Between 25°C and 27°C would be ideal. Never allow the water to heat up above 29°C, or fall below 23°C for a tropical reef tank.

    Living in Durban, you might find that your tank will become too warm during summer - in this case you can try to cool it down by having a fan blow air over the water, or even go as far as buying a chiller (expensive, but the best...)

    No, don't add anything at this stage. Later, you will have to add some buffer, and perhaps drip some lime water (kalkwasser), but that should be all until you've added corals.

    You will at this stage need to supply a food/pollution source for the filtration bacteria, though. This could be just the natural die-off from live rock, if you add a largish quantity of LR to start with. As an alternative, you could just add a frozen food-type prawn or shrimp to the sump. Just wrap it in a piece of pantyhose, to keep the pieces together once it goes "vrot", and leave it in the sump for 3-4 weeks. Monitor the ammonium, nitrite and nitrate during this time, and only add your first fish after both the ammonium and nitrite has dropped to zero, and the nitrate starts to rise - this should be in about 4-6 weeks from the start. If you want a really long-term successful tank, then wait for at least two months :whistling:

    Good luck with your tank :thumbup:

    Hennie
     
  19. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    hi guys. i am in effingham, durban north. whats yy details durleo? would love to stop over for visit and chat.
     
  20. ravi

    ravi Thread Starter

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    been out shopping with the vrou so got back at 5 this afternoon. this is what i managed to do so far... connected the pump to the skimmer.. and the valve to the return.
     
  21. durleo

    durleo

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    I sent you a PM with my cell number so you can call me when you want to come over - I will be at home around 2pm 2morrow. Do you still need 25lt containers?
     
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