Time to get started!

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Lucas, 14 Sep 2011.

  1. Lucas

    Lucas

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    Hey guys,

    So I finally found a nice 150L tank with sump on the one side.

    The question begs ofc which way do I go, marine or freshwater planted.
    I'm seriously leaning towards the marine side and could use some input on the matter.

    First would be the filtration, I've already got a bag of ceramics with the tank, but should I be adding something extra ? Wool / purigen etc.

    Then on the question of substrate, what would be a good option to go for ? I want something light in colour for the light to reflect back on. I can get crushed coral at a good price so this is currently my 1st option. It is purely just going to be there to fill bottom and give a little room for some bacteria / critters.

    Live rock in the display should be beneficial for the general bonus it provides as well as the basic sculpting.

    Now what I need to figure out is what my running costs will be on water changes / salt etc.

    The tank will be a small reef, so I need to keep in mind what corals / fish to add as I grow.

    Any and all input is greatly appreciated as always.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    I've done fresh, and it's easy and a lot cheaper than coral reef. If you're doing LR with fish, it's probably easier than trying to keep corals alive. (I've lost a few coral already.) I've probably spent 3k easy on setting up, and I'm barely started. If you are good at DIY, you can save some cash.
    I like it a lot more than fresh water. There's equipment, chemicals, test kits, filtration, special lighting, and lots and lots of waiting and worrying with starting up a reef. And that's before you start getting all the live rock, corals, and fish! If you go marine, make sure to get a good protein skimmer, and set up a quarantine tank before you add livestock. They need to be in there and free of signs of disease for 30 days, (I think). It's too hard to treat some illness that can get in the tank, once it's in there. (Trust me, marine ick isn't anything like fresh water.) Best thing is to study, study, study. Read the forums here. They have such good advise. It's a bit of work, but I've also found a lot more joy in this reef tank. I think the smaller the tank (nano), the harder it is to keep the water right and is quite a bit more difficult; from what I've read here.
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2011
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Hey man.. Well that built in filter is like a big overflow box. I say get it drilled and plumb a sump ;)
     
  5. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Probably can go sump at a later stage but at this time I would prefer not to.

    I know that marine takes time for anything good to happen and I can live with that :)
     
  6. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    You might want to go with fine sand, instead of the crushed coral. (You may be able to put the crushed coral on the bottom, and fine sand on top.) I understand the fine grain size gives more surface area for good bacteria to grow and helps with filtration. If going for deep sand bed, (to help with filtration); get a good 4" in there. It's harder to deepen it once you get going and for some reason 4" seems about right for it to work correctly. (I think I've done about everything wrong I could have starting mine up.) Oh, and when you aqua-scape with your live rock, you'll want to keep as much of the rocks off of the sand bed, or you get too many 'dead-spots' underneath them.

    :p
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2011
  7. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    The big thing for me is that I want to try keep it as simple as possible really. Think a slightly oversized nano :)
     
  8. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    :) I'm glad you have patience. Impatience kills in this game. Small steps and small changes do seem the way to go. You can always upgrade and add more equipment, etc. down the road. You can even start with an HOB filter, like with fresh water; but everyone's told me, get a good protein skimmer. I really think they are one of the most important investments you can make. They really help pull a lot of waste out of the water, before it breaks down into ammonia, etc. Oh, and you probably don't want to use tap water. (Too many bad things in it.) Get that RO/DI water, and add aquarium salt to it.

    With all the mistakes I've made, it's a wonder my kids ever made it...
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2011
  9. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    heheh, what the kids don't know won't hurt them ;)

    I'll have to see how I can add a skimmer to the system.
     
  10. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Cleaned out the tank yesterday and washed the ceramics. Everything now in place to start next weekend.

    Just need to get some sand and some filter wool / sponge and some purigen. Can't wait anymore!
     
  11. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    I'm so excited for you!
     
  12. IMarine

    IMarine

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    good luck
     
  13. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Just a quick query on the filter, I've got the ceramics washed and in place. I am going to add some filter wool on top to catch the worst of the detritus and thus clean it easily. Might also add some purigen as well.

    Should I maybe look at using a little less ceramics and add some bio-balls ? Or even just add some bio-balls in the first compartment where the heater currently is ?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Sep 2011
  14. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Also does anyone know where you can buy some of those plastic mesh bags ? Would like to move the ceramics into one to assist with cleaning later.
     
  15. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    I use knee high pantihose... for some stuff. Guess all those bio balls would fit into a queensized fish net stocking pair.
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2011
  16. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Yay just got screwed by the letting agency, now getting my keys on Wednesday next week....

    Oh well gives me a chance to go and finish my cabinet sides and doors this weekend instead.
     
  17. gMAN

    gMAN with the plan

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    From what I can see in the pic, from left, chamber 1 is your inlet; place heater here, chamber 2(centre) remove the ceramic rings & rather put in some small pieces of live rock;
    chamber 3 is your return chamber, place return pump here....
     
  18. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    Thanks, The champers as you see is pretty much set.
    Chamber 1 where the heater is now is the inlet, feeds from bottom through a 4cm hole with protective gauze to keep fish out of the system.
    Chamber 2 has no ceramics anymore, this chamber will have flow from top down to bottom and here I am keeping Purigen / phosgaurd and filterfloss.
    Chamber 3 is the return pump, i'll be replacing this one with a 1500l/h pump to increase the flow rate back into the DT.

    Inside the DT I will have 8kg's of live rock and a 4" thick DSB for filtration. Will have another blower here to increase flow rate over the rocks again.

    The next step (after the move) is adding some eggcrate for the rocks to lay on instead of the glass and then obviously the sand (Aragonite). Hoping that I can get the rock etc this weekend.

    So far I'm thinking about having a snowflake eel and the cleaning crew (no crabs).
    But I have no idea on what fish will be safe with these and the reef. So still to be decided.
    I do realise that the eel will need a bigger space and this will be happening as I prove to myself that I can successfully keep a marine tank. So I know that I'll have my work cut out for me but it seems a worthwhile challenge with some nice payoffs if I do it right.

    As for corals, at this point I have no idea yet what will work as I truly don't know them. But with a bit of time I will learn. I do know that they will have to be happy in a turbulent environment though.

    Any suggestions on some good looking starter fish / corals so that I can start reading up on them ?
     
  19. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    Of my fish, the clowns seem to be the most entertaining.
     
  20. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    My Bicolor(USA spelling:005:)Blenny..has turned out to be the love of my life...:blush:..I can watch him for ages..:p and he is dual functional..:lol:..not only a great fish but rids you'r tank of algea..:thumbup:
    [​IMG]

    Don't think Blennie will be friends with the Snowflake eel...:eek:
    Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Snowflake Eel
     
  21. Lucas

    Lucas Thread Starter

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    I may have to let the eel idea go, but if I can find a way then I'm certainly going to try, I just LOVE them !
     
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