upgrading advice

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by IsmailB, 17 Dec 2012.

  1. IsmailB

    IsmailB

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    Hi guys :thumbup:

    I'm actually thinking about spoiling myself for christmas by upgrading from my 1m FOWLR to a bigger but simple system- still living on a student budget ... Hence the insomnia :tt2:

    Although i havent given this much though yet, im hoping to go around 1.5m/1.8m (+- 600L)

    and

    whether or not to start a reef tank or just continue with a FOWLR

    i would love to hear some idea's for and against me going reef as well as some tank designs and also anything that could help

    much appreciated :peroni:
     
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  3. Saltwater to go

    Saltwater to go

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    is there anything stopping you from going to reef, if not go for it, there is nothing better then growing your own reef. Fishman
     
  4. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    i've kept and caught local fish since the time i've started marine. Theres nothing really stopping me except little knowledge about reef tanks as well as the cost factor.
     
  5. Rossi

    Rossi

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    In my opinion reef tanks can get very costly as its supplements, more salt due to water changes, more test kits to buy, ect. Also reef tank takes up a lot of time! Also from fowlr you need better lighting for reef. If you have the time and extra cash then go for it.
     
  6. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    Thanks alot man, i'll give it some thought and will take it from there
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Just one thing - IshmailB - you live in Durban. If you can do weekly water changes using natural sea water - then you would not really require that many supplements, for keeping corals.

    Keeping fish only, is a LOT easier - as fish tend to adapt quite easily to slow changes in the water chemistry - meaning that the water need not be perfectly pristine for the fish to be happy.

    Whereas any invertebrate life does not like, and also does not adapt that easily, to differences in water chemistry. Therefor the weekly water changes. You can run your tank without a skimmer, with only weekly water changes of +-30%. You just HAVE to be strict about keeping this regime though.

    That's how I kept my first ever marine tank in Margate. :)
     
  8. STC-1000

    STC-1000 In Reefers Rehab

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    You mentioned you a student .... So imo bedt option is fowlr.... Easy on the pocket,reef tank,specially considering the size you want to upgrade to could rip thru ur undies, never mind pocket :lol:
     
  9. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    Thanks alot jacquesb , i guess the sensible thing to do would be to carry on FOWLR but your idea (water changes) is just pushing along that urge to go reef :tt2:

    could you advise on a simple reef tank- something easy to maintain and slowly grow as i learn and understand more about them
     
  10. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    Hahaha glad to see somebody cares, now yuu could just send some of your cash this way :lol:
     
  11. ReeferSteve

    ReeferSteve

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    I'm also a student and I rate go Reef :)
    Although more expensive, totally worth it in the long run!
    It'll take a lot longer to get it to where you want it, but no greater sense of satisfaction hey.

    Considering the type of coral/reef, if you decide to take the plunge into Reefing I do think you should invest in a great set of lighting from the start as that normally becomes a limiting factor if you skimp out with just the intention of easy to keep soft corals; the longer you keep your reef and the more experience you get the more tempted you will be to try sps and other 'harder' corals and this will save you having to upgrade your lighting which will cost a fair amount.

    For basic reef, I completely agree with jacquesb, you can get away without a skimmer if you're religious with your water changes and don't overstock the tank.
    I recommend for a basic reef; lots of good quality LR, deep sand bed (in my opinion, although this is debatable) and for your first corals, softies such as mushrooms (very forgiving and pretty), leather coral and like. They are probably the easiest type of coral to start off with and given time, you'll get pretty good at 'reading' whether your inhabitants are happy :) Coral are great indicators of water quality.
    I also think that 'less is more' in budget reef tanks as all the fancy equipment that would make high fish/coral density tanks work isn't available and so to avoid problems, relatively low fish stocking (compared to FOWLR) and medium density coral stocking should work given regular NSW changes.
    I probably missed out a couple things but I'm sure people will fill in their opinions on my advice :p
     
  12. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    Hey ReeferSteve

    Thanks alot man! that actually makes alot of sense, i will go along slowly and keep seeking advice from fellow reefers, Hopefully everything would turn out great

    much appreciated man :thumbup:
     
  13. ReeferSteve

    ReeferSteve

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    No worries! Glad to be of help! :)
    I understand reefing under a budget can be very difficult indeed! All these wonderful things you want but can't afford! :p
     
  14. ReeferSteve

    ReeferSteve

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    Oh and also if possible, once the tank has cycled I would add the clean up crew first, then coral and then once everything has stabilized, fish.
    I'm sure I'll get a lot of criticism for this, but the reason I rate this is the way to go is because the system will be more stable with a lower bioload and coral but very little stress on the system compared to fish.
     
  15. marine101

    marine101

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    3m! go for it! :whistling:
     
  16. pkc

    pkc

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    Its really very simple with a reef tank, you either apply natural methods or mechanical ones or both to keep nitrates at 0 and phosphorus and toxins at near 0.

    The next is temp control, don’t even bother if you cannot control your reef tanks water temperature.

    Acropora needs in tank flow to keep it clean and life’s needs moved around it via a current.

    Don’t use a substrate in a reef tank.

    Put highly photosynthetic small polyp types near to the lighting and so on.

    Tubastraea should not be put in light and acans do not like strong lighting over the long term.

    Use a mix of good colours of diodes and fan cooled with narrow optics LEDs to get the best lighting needs covered.

    From then its keeping pests out, soft regular dosing and feed regularly as corals feed day and more so night on plankton when the rest of zoos come out and its photosynthetic algae clades with its cells photosynthesis mostly in day light and ever so slightly in moon light.

    Do not crowd your tank with waste produces, being a novice this will be important for your success.

    Corals are far easier then fish to keep, its just the gear is a little more money then with just fish.
     
  17. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    I'd stick with FOWLR. If you had a few T5s then you could grow some macroalgae and keep a few noxious soft corals for variety.
     
  18. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi there Ismail - the "easiest" coral tank, would be most soft-corals. Corals like corralimorph mushrooms (not ricordia though), star-polyps, mushroom or toadstool leather corals, devil's finger leathers, sinularia, etc. are all quite hardy corals, and they tend to be "easier" to look after.

    You would just need to increase your lighting a bit to accommodate these corals' lighting requirements.
     
  19. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Oh yes - sorry. I forgot - also zoanthids, and palyozanthids tend to be extremely hardy corals. You should be able to get these in the rock pools (and they can be collected as part of the "invertebrate collection license" as they are not HARD-CORALS which are illegal to collect).
     
  20. Pendragon

    Pendragon

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    All I can say do it slowly and take your time, I went from a 100L to 4foot and now Im on a 5foot. If you can find someone that can help you build a LED light unit then you sorted. keep your eye on the forms 2nd hand equipment can work just as good as new if its in a good nik.
     
  21. IsmailB

    IsmailB Thread Starter

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    i'v decided to go with the above advice. Thanks @ Lord Blackadder, Jacquesb and everyone who assisted :thumbup:

    as far as the lighting goes, the system i intend to collect this weekend will be coming with 8 x t5's and 2 MH
     
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