The Great Drain - From Fresh to Reef

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Felcon, 29 Aug 2009.

  1. Felcon

    Felcon

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    [​IMG] Hi Hennie

    I read the stack of info on your website and the links to some of the technical articles posted there. Thank you for put so much time into your site for this hobby.

    I am just starting and would like to solicit your guidance on revamping a 550L Fresh water tank. The tank is well braced and has a big gap behind it for plumbing. I am really interested in going the for the "Modified Berlin System".

    I can see LR is accessible...but where would I find Live Sediment? Also the cleanup of the tank ... is there special chemicals I need to use. I am really keen to do this the Old fashion way... with lots of patience and as much DIY as Possible. There are also two skylight directly above the tank and it gets allot of natural light!

    I am attaching some pick's of the tank and would like you guidance or comment.

    Regards Felcon



    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  3. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    i think you should worry about the water falling out in the first picture ;) There are some chemicals neccesary in the form of nutrients, but not much else unless you are running a specific type of tank
     
  4. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Felcon do us a favour keep the shipwreck.;)
     
  5. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    Oh Ok .. i will keep it .. so i can just clean it with miltons !
     
  6. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Hot water is best.
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Felcon - do you have natural light over that tank? It sure looks that way - if so - very interesting..... this could be an awesome "plus" for a reef tank..... would minimize your lighting usage.....
     
  8. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    Drain-ed

    Hi Guys

    Yep i have 2 skylight directly above the Tank, It gets alot of light .. Well here are some pics of the old livestock .. and the half clean tank ...and the clean tank ... PLEASE DONT MAKE ME DO THIS AGAIN! ..

    Checked the silicon and its look perfect .. only thing is .. there seems to be a stain at the waterline .. that i just can not get off!!

    Well .. now .. whats is next again ?? :biggrin:


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Don't you have an outside pond you can house those plec's in. Else pop into game or makro and purchase a kiddies pool and then manufacture a water feature for them.

    But do find a good home for them.
     
  11. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    A Good Home

    Yep .. thats what i did .. put them in a pond outside.. !
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    H Felcon, and WELCOME to MASA, and to the great hobby of keeping marine aquariums (did I say "hobby" - it's more a lifestyle change :))

    What do you plan on keeping in the tank - your ultimate tank vision (and how much money you have to spend...) should guide you as to the type of setup you will need - so, before you go to far, please share your vision with us (fish only, "easy" soft corals, SPS or LPS hard corals, or a "mixed reef").

    I see that you live in Cape Town - so that's easy. Just take a drive to a nice, clean beach, away from populated areas and NOT downstream of any squatter camps, and collect the sand from the beach. I'm thinking of somewhere up the west coast, but I'm sure that the Cape Town "locals" will be able to advise you better. when I stayed on the south coast I collected my sand from Jongensfontein (near Stilbaai), but that's about 300km away from you, and you will do just fine closer to home.

    DON'T use any soap !!!

    You can give the tank a good scrubbing with a salt paste, thereafter wash it with white vinegar, and then rinse it well with fresh water.

    Does it get direct sunlight, or just bright diffused light. Regardless, you would like to view it after dark, so I would guess that you would still need some T5's or metal halides, but probably less of them than would normally be the case.

    Your setup has a lot of potential. Is the tank drilled, so that you can run water down into a sump (below the tank). If not, I would suggest that you have the tank drilled, and/or build a "C-to-C" (that's corner to corner overflow, do a search for more info on this...) overflow weir, and install as large a sump as possible in the space below the tank.

    Your first piece of "expensive equipment" you will need would be a RO (reverse osmosis) fresh-water filter. You will need to replace evaporated water with this RO water (NOT normal tap water), and you will need to use this water to mix with your artificial sea salt if you are not going to use real sea water for partial water changes.

    Your second expensive piece of equipment will be a good skimmer. I'm sure that many people will pipe in with recommendations on skimmer make and model for your tank :whistling:

    Once you have responded with more info we can discuss the rest of the setup.

    Hennie

    PS - DON'T keep the shipwreck, the guys are pulling your leg - it looks very unnatural in a marine-type setup, and will soon be covered in algae, making it look even worse...
     
  13. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    What do you plan on keeping in the tank - your ultimate tank vision (and how much money you have to spend...) should guide you as to the type of setup you will need - so, before you go to far, please share your vision with us (fish only, "easy" soft corals, SPS or LPS hard corals, or a "mixed reef").

    Thank you .. Well i would like a Mixed tank. I am still learning but i would like livestock with alot of colour. But most of all i realy want a Eco-System which can systain a good diversity of animals. I do understand that i will have to wait for a year before adding livstock .. but in the short term i am just realy want to get a solid base established.


    I see that you live in Cape Town - so that's easy. Just take a drive to a nice, clean beach, away from populated areas and NOT downstream of any squatter camps, and collect the sand from the beach. I'm thinking of somewhere up the west coast, but I'm sure that the Cape Town "locals" will be able to advise you better. when I stayed on the south coast I collected my sand from Jongensfontein (near Stilbaai), but that's about 300km away from you, and you will do just fine closer to home.

    Thanks i did not know you could do that?

    DON'T use any soap !!!

    To late! .. I Used Miltons .. because it said so on one of the forums here? .. I just finished washing the tank out again with fresh water ... i will do in again in an hour!

    Does it get direct sunlight, or just bright diffused light. Regardless, you would like to view it after dark, so I would guess that you would still need some T5's or metal halides, but probably less of them than would normally be the case.

    Yes .. and No .. In winter No .. In summer yes .. you get to see the direct ray's of the sun in the water .. look realy cool

    Your setup has a lot of potential. Is the tank drilled, so that you can run water down into a sump (below the tank). If not, I would suggest that you have the tank drilled, and/or build a "C-to-C" (that's corner to corner overflow, do a search for more info on this...) overflow weir, and install as large a sump as possible in the space below the tank.

    No it is not Drilled .. will look into C-to-C ..

    Your first piece of "expensive equipment" you will need would be a RO (reverse osmosis) fresh-water filter. You will need to replace evaporated water with this RO water (NOT normal tap water), and you will need to use this water to mix with your artificial sea salt if you are not going to use real sea water for partial water changes.

    Cant i just get water from the Two Oceans Aqurium? And top up from there?

    Your second expensive piece of equipment will be a good skimmer. I'm sure that many people will pipe in with recommendations on skimmer make and model for your tank :whistling:

    Like you site said .."Causion!" .. Will investigate monday ..

    PS - DON'T keep the shipwreck, the guys are pulling your leg - it looks very unnatural in a marine-type setup, and will soon be covered in algae, making it look even worse...[/quote]

    That not very nice ..Kyk hoe spot hulle met my!
     
  14. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    No problem with the shipwreck here's a pic of a tank with one in after some time check these fish out[​IMG]
    I like the fish couldn't give a rat's @ss about the shipwreck:yeahdude::yeahdude::yeahdude:
     
  15. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Felcon, i am not "pulling your leg" The ship wreck is a contentious point on MASA. ;)I think they are cool. Others not. Just go with the flow and what ever you feel is cool.

    When i saw the shipwreck i new Hennie would have a thing to say. He is right. But i have seen some tanks that look good with them in.

    BTW you have picked a good mentor. listen to what he says. it will save you a lot of frustration and money. and the end result will be fulfilling.:thumbup:
     
  16. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Felcon, please DONT top up with saltwater.

    Remember only the water evaporates...the salt stays behind thus topping up with saltwater will raise your salinity.

    Invest in an RO unit....it really pays for itself bonus is with a small mod you can use it for household drinking as well.

    As for the shipwreck, mmmmmhhhh, its like putting in one of those little divers;)
     
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  17. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Correct - topping up with salt water will change your tank to the Dead Sea within a few days... You MUST top up with RO water, no if's, and's or but's. If you do not want to buy a RO filter then you could buy RO water from a pet shop (LFS), but in the long run an RO filter just as important than your lights or skimmer, so don't skimp on this piece of ESSENTIAL equipment.

    Ok, ok... taste varies :whistling: leave it in if you really want it, but don't mind then if people laugh at it...

    That's OK - Miltons is sodium thiophosphate, if I remember correctly, and that is a mild disinfectant, not a soap. Just make sure about the rinsing, to get rid of the phosphate residue.

    Yes, you can, for PARTIAL WATER CHANGES which you must do every few weeks, but as said previously, never use salt water to top up the water lost through evaporation.
    The good news is that you don't have to wait THAT long :). If the tank is set up correctly, with live rock and a deep live sand bed, and if you use RO water and do regular partial water changes with a good, unpolluted salt water, and if you have a decent skimmer and refugium in your sump, you should be able to stock your first livestock after about 3 months (you could even do it sooner, but best to be patient at this stage...). After 6 months the system should be stable enough to sustain some colorful fish and even some corals, if your lighting and water flow is OK.

    Hennie
     
  18. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Cool advice Hennie, just one thing (call me a pain in the butt;))

    Miltons is a combination of sodium hypoclorite (bleach) & sodium cloride (salt). Is non toxic and "should" break down to only salt when dissolved in water.
    BUT having said this I would still give the tank a VERY GOOD rinse with RO

    PS the only reason i know this uselles info is because i have a 1 yr old
     
  19. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    You are a pain in the butt :p ... but you are quite correct, I don't know where I came to the sodium thiophosphate... at least I had the sodium part right :whistling:

    Hennie
     
  20. FransSny

    FransSny

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    lol Hennie
     
  21. Felcon

    Felcon Thread Starter

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    Ok .. I am going to buy a Reefmaster RO filter .. 100L per 24hours .. and am looking arround for a Sump Tank plan with 3 stages to it .. ? Any link anyone can share. ... As for the Drilling .. :( .. i need to drill two holes in the corners for the Overflow's ... Can anyone do this for me .. i am in the Norther Suburbs ... .. if not them i guss i have to do it ..:whistling:
     
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