Upgrade advise Please

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Chris Franky, 15 Apr 2012.

  1. Chris Franky

    Chris Franky

    Joined:
    31 Mar 2012
    Posts:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northriding
    My wife and i Started Reefkeeping Late last year and this bug has bitten us in a big way. We are now looking at upgrading our current 250L setup to one that is 500 - 1000L, and cant decide what to do.

    We would like to keep a Mixed reef and eventually get our Tank to look like the ones shown on here. :)

    There isnt much that we can take across from our current setup as it was a conversion from a tropical tank, barring maybe the media reactor and a few pumps.

    Adriaan helped us fix a disaster in the making and we have got our current setup running with NO sump or filter system....only a media reactor and hang on skimmer.....even with all the manual "labour" we are still keen to do this properly.

    So i spose my questions are:
    * i see there is a lot of "diy" systems in perfect working order...is this the better way to go?
    * Knowing the maticulous way Adriaan builds his systems, are these the best / only ways to do it right first time or are they aimed at the more "flush" client?
    * are the running costs exponential as the tank size increases?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,161
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Centurion
    Not sure if it is better, but it is cheaper and more fun. The problem comes in with the lack of experience in whatever you are trying to DIY.

    Idol systems are top end. And in my opinion more targeted at full blown SPS systems. I do not find fault with them, but yes, starting a system from the word go with all the bells and whistles are not in my budget :(
    There are ways to upgrade your system. And over time replace certain equipment with better units. The tank and stand is fixed. Then a good skimmer rated to your system size is next. You anyway need to learn first how to maintain a system properly. How to keep those green grass away. Before you can attempt the more delicate corals and clams... You can start up with SunSun circulation pumps, and later replace them with Vortech Tunze or whatever you fancy. Start off with a softy dominated system and later move over to SPS. Softy systems do not mind a bit of phosphates. Where SPS need better control from you on the water parameters. Softies you can start with T5's. Later replace with MH or LED's
    But then again, better quality products does make the husbandry easier. So you decide.

    Water changes are bigger. So yes. 250L uses half the salt than a 500L.
    Globes are next, replacing 4 T5 tubes is obviously cheaper than replacing 8 tubes.
    The equipment is generally bigger, or got higher ratings. But this can be seen as start up costs. But more equipment implies using more electricity. So yes it is more expensive. But you got a much wider choice in livestock options. And more fish and corals. So its up to you as to what you want.
     
  4. abgg118

    abgg118 MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Die Wilgers, Pretoria
    ^ Yes, costs increase, but not "exponential" as was the question, or else a tank double the size will cost double, but one triple the size will cost 4 times as much and quadruple size will cost 8 times as much to run. Most probably closer to "linear" increase than "exponential" for maintenance, although the initial (building) costs increase drastically as size increase (going up one thickness when at 6mm glass costs a lot less than going up one thickness when at 12mm glass, for instance) and you generally spend much more $ on specialised equipment for huge water volumes.
     
  5. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Durbanville, (Cpt)
    Hi,

    Things to highlight when considering costs in building your new Reef.

    As RiaanP points out, the tank is not an item you can easily upgrade, its a tear down and rebuild. So plan the tank, stand and if you going to use a sump plan that carefully too.

    The tank considerations are not so much water volume but dimensions, higher the 600 - 650mm is not recommended for maintenance (how long is your arm?) lighting units come in differing "standard sizes" bearing in mind how expensive they are, may help choose the tank dimensions. Example extending length from 1.5 to 2m will need 2 x units.

    RiaanP`s advice to start with softies is not only a good idea from the point of view of water parameters and Phosphates. But it also has the added advantage of allowing you to to get hands on to the hobby, whilst you put cash aside to upgrade lighting for the more demanding LPS and the eventual SPS. Added is the cost to Flow pumps, softies don't demand as much flow and this way you also get to upgrade bit by bit to the higher flow rated pumps of the brands mentioned earlier.

    For me, in planing my tank the biggest initial cost factor has been lighting, Im planing a 2000mmL x 1200mmW x 700mmH. I raise this again to illustrate the cost of going larger.

    In summary, my advice to you would be as follows based on this principle:
    Start off the tank planing by knowing what you want to keep in the tank. Good husbandry is a sure fire way to help you make the right choices.

    Benefits of softies and fish as an initial (9 months - 12 months or more) system is:
    less lighting compared to SPS, LPS (general comment)
    less flow compared to " " "
    forgiving in water parameter requirements (more so then SPS, LPS)
    less equipment (potentially, kalk, Ca stirrers reactors)

    Therefore, less power usage, less initial spend on equipment, simpler and potentially easier maintenance regime to perform to.

    I hope something is this post was helpful, either way best of luck and have fun and DIY is definitely fun if you have the time and practical mind ;)
     
  6. juan R

    juan R

    Joined:
    4 Aug 2011
    Posts:
    150
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Pretoria
    You will never go wrong with IDOLN systems. They know what they are doing and all their work is neat and clean, also very easy to run. When it comes to cost, you get what you pay for and these guys are worth every cent.
     
  7. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

    Joined:
    19 May 2008
    Posts:
    599
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Randburg, Johannesburg
    One does not have to see softies as a means to an end (i.e. SPS).

    A well planned out softie tank is very beautiful and requires very little in terms of maintenance and monitoring - they are a lot more forgiving than SPS.

    For someone like me this means I can actually enjoy my tank without constantly having to monitor/dose/stress about parameters - it also means the tank is a lot more affordable.

    So the suggestion to start off with softies is a very good one - however you do not have to view this only as a stepping stone to more difficult corals - it can also be the goal in itself.

    I'd also say don't always try to keep up with the Jones's - you'll bankrupt yourself. Many reefkeepers have built their systems up over a few years, also starting with the basics and slowly upgrading, Just because they are now in the position to use (and recommend) the best equipment there is no real need to go out and purchase it from the start. many people star off in this hobby and after 6 months decide they do not enjoy it - second hand equipment is worth half what you paid for it. So give yourself time to see if the hobby is for you - take it slow and upgrade your equipment with time if you need to. Do have your goal in mind though so you are always working toward ti but don't rush.
     
  8. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy

    Joined:
    19 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Jhb
    Not sure if you guys noticed,but this thread was started in April and his full system has been for sale for a few days now lol...but yeah,good advice given ;)
     
  9. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Durbanville, (Cpt)
    Very observant of us ;)

    @Albert Terego, Didnt mean my post to sound like Softies were not fun and rewarding, or a means to an end. Ive kept softies previously with no LPS or SPS and completely enjoyed my underwater forest. So apologies that it came across like that, not intended.:tt2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Ebi Omer

    Ebi Omer

    Joined:
    17 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    801
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Boksburg
    I am also just about to start up and doing research. I have found that using good second hand equipment could drasticly reduce initial costs and one can later upgrade if need be. Correct me if wrong
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,161
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Centurion
    well, this thread is the reason for To all newbies - Marine Aquariums South Africa
    Proofs my point. Somebody who completely falls in love with this hobby. Goes to big to fast and climbs out within the first year. Selling all his goods to be snapped up by others.

    Sorry Chris, I do not want to offend you. I want other newbies to learn something.
     
  12. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

    Joined:
    2 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,005
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Centurion, PTA
    So true @RiaanP i'ts expencive school fees.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

    Joined:
    19 May 2008
    Posts:
    599
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Randburg, Johannesburg
    Not at all a problem at all, and my reply was not directed at you.I just feel that many people treat softies only as a starting point and their advice to newbies is to basically set-up SPS ready systems in anticipation that they will outgrow the softies.
     
  14. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

    Joined:
    19 May 2008
    Posts:
    599
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Randburg, Johannesburg
    100% right. No correction necessary. You may have to be a bit more patient until what you are looking for comes up for sale, but you will definitely get used equipment for a good deal less than new.

    The only thing I would buy new is the tank itself, and only if I wanted a specific size. If you are flexible on size then tanks are also readily available.
     
  15. Ebi Omer

    Ebi Omer

    Joined:
    17 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    801
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Boksburg
    @albertterego that's the route I'm looking to go, and yes it it quite a patient game
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. abgg118

    abgg118 MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Die Wilgers, Pretoria
    @Ebi Omer: I have some 2nd hand equipment for sale, if you're interested. Tunze 6100 pumps, some lights, pumps, heaters, etc. Even a 2m tank, stand and cabinet in 2 month's time ;) Let me know if you're interested ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. Ebi Omer

    Ebi Omer

    Joined:
    17 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    801
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Boksburg
    Hi @abgg118 . Yes I am interested, please PM me details on all equipment and prices, thanx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Upgrade advise Please Forum Date
[wtd] Equipment for Tank Upgrade Wanted 4 Nov 2016
Tank Upgrade General Discussions and Advice 17 Sep 2016
So Its Time to Upgrade Medium Tanks 17 Aug 2016
Skimmer upgrade. Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration 8 Jun 2016
Tank upgrade General Discussions and Advice 6 Jun 2016
1,2m upgrade Medium Tanks 15 May 2016
Travis's 1.2 Custom Upgrade Medium Tanks 11 Apr 2016