Want to get into this ...

Discussion in 'New Members' started by ZeroCool, 3 Jun 2009.

  1. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool

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    Good day ... last weekend I saw a small nano tank at a pet shop and it was WOW ... beyound stunning.

    I am considering taking up this new hobby.

    Firstly, it sounds expensive, and there is alot of second hand systems on the market with fish etc.

    Is the best to start from scratch or to buy second hand? (that is my first question).

    Is the following a valid price:

    R4500 for ->

    A complete Boyu TL 550 system.
    With live rock, crabs (2) and fish (4).

    Hope to hear from you soon...

    regards
     
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  3. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ZeroCool

    In my opinion someone who sells you a nano with fish and crabs on day one is trying to rip you off regardless of the price .....

    A marine tank needs to cycle for 4 to 6 weeks before adding fish, and certinly not 4 at once..... there are many great threads on MASA regarding starting a tank and nano's in particular....

    for your own benefit, for the benefit of your bank account and the lives of the creatures you will be keeping, do extensive reading here before you buy something !
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi Zerocool, welcome to MASA. Hope you enjoy it here and learn a lot about this hobby. Please read through my signature for some great info on how to setup a marine tank.
    My advice to you would be to first learn and read as much as you can before bying a complete setup. You still need to maintain it and need to know what and what not to do in certain situations as the wrong action can cause your livestock to suffer and even die.
    A bigger setup is more stable with water parameters that a nano and you might get a bigger secondhand tank for the same price as a new nano. The advantage of setting it up yourself from scratch is then you'll know exactly how what was done and you can see the life grow and mature - that is always the fun part of a tank that cycles.

    Marine tanks need to cycle from scratch with good quality live rock for about 4 - 6 weeks before any livestock can be added. You need to test the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates at first. Later you'll need to also buy test kits for phosphates, kH, pH and calcium as all hard corals need calciumto grow.

    You need to read up on different setups and decide what you want to keep as this will determine which flow you'll need inside the tank as well as what lights.

    OK, I'll leave you to learn - and remember reefkeeping is all about patience.

    :wave2:
     
  5. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Welcome to MASA zerocool where the advice is free and plentyfull and the only costs are the advice not being adhered to! Ask alot questions before buying anything it will save you alot money and heartache. The price you gave sounds ok but preferable if you bought yourself something minus livestock as you know that you are doing things in the proper sequence! Firstly there has to be alot of patience in this hobby if want to reap the rewards! Lets hear what the others have to say! Dont feel shy to ask questions! The four fish that are in the tank are what fish? Lasltly enjoy your stay here in our big MASA family
     
  6. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    hi there ...

    well, i had a look at the persons tank ... he bought it for someone close who died unfortuantly. They doesn't want it any more, because they want a big fresh water tank.

    so ja ... what should i do ?
     
  7. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    How long has the pet shop had it for? And are the fish looking healthy - have you physically seen the fish eating?
     
  8. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    Ok, let me rephrase my first statement ...

    I went to a petshop, saw a tank (Nano) for R12500. This week i went shopping online and got someone. He still has a tank, and he is in month 4 now. Everything working 100%, not 1 fish died etc. He says he just want to get rid of it, because he wants to go bigger.It is worth R7500, and he is offering it to me for R4500.

    Question 1, is it better to go brand new, buy everything brand new, or should i got second hand.

    Before he added his fish, he kept is running for 4 weeks.

    That would clarify some of the confusion i think :)
     
  9. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    Yes, i saw the fish eating .... everything looks good and healthy !
     
  10. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    A little clear but saying all what he could be true or not - not badmouthing or calling anyone a liar but still have you seen the fish eating coz it is one of the signs that they are healthy! Ask him if you can come and observe the fish during feeding time then do it over 3/4 days and then take a decision -- Also they must be physically good condition - no cuts scratches or fins tearing - no eyes cloudy just a few things to look!
     
  11. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick feedback.

    Well, i called the seller, went to his house ... had a long chat with him.

    He showed me that everything is eating and everything inside is alive and growing.

    He explained to me about the salt, different foods for different fish. How the crabs are cleaning up the bottom of the tank. It really looks nice. I am starting to get hooked, lol.

    Can you please post URLS were costs are involved for a new setup ? I want to compare, going second hand, or going new ...
     
  12. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    What I was trying to say it is pointless to go and buy a already running tank and you don't know how to maintain it or to look after the livestock. You need to do some homework first or those fish will die.

    You need to know things like:

    How to mix salt
    How and with what to top up evapourated water
    What to feed and how much how often not to cause water quality issues
    Temperature ranges
    What to test the water for (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, kH etc)
    Light cycles (more important when you have corals)
    Biological filtration
    Mechanical fitration
    Chemical fitration
    etc. etc.

    I'm not trying to scare you, just filling you in on what you need to know and to start learning. :wave2:
     
  13. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Check our classifieds and ECR - gumtree and bid or buy should give you and idea but the deal you talking about sounds good!
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome zerocool great to have you on board.
    To amswer the questions yes 4500 is not a bad price, i would strongly suggest a second hand system as your first system as it works out cheaper if you dont enjoy the hobby.
    You have to check what you will be getting, i dont know the system so please check first off if it has a sump, skimmer and what lighting?
    If you buy a set up that is running there are 2 ways of doing this, you can break it down and start from scratch with the cycle etc.....or....you move and set up the system in one fowl swoop carrying the water in buckets or drums, very difficult to do as a newbie and would require some careful planning.
     
  15. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Ooops, forgot - does he have test kits that comes with the deal?

    For good quality test kits like Elos you'll pay about R1800 for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, kH and calcium. You might not need calcium and phosphates at this moment, but the rest you need.
    Yes it might be a 4 month old tank and you don't need ammonia now as the cycle is over, but when moving a tank it always goes into a mini cycle again. Also good to have ammonia at hand incase something died in a tank. Too much food and a too high bio-load can cause high ammonia as well.

    Do you get all the other equipment as well like a hydrometer or refractometer to check the salt levels? Do you have a RO water purifying filter or are you getting one from him? You need Reverse Osmosis water to make the salt mix with. You can either buy it from a reputable petshop or buy the unit which is roughly R1800. You must NOT use tap water - you'll have endless problems with nuisance algae.
     
  16. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    Wow, thanks for everyone's reply this far :)

    Well, it is a full system with lights, sump, skimmers the whole catoot !

    That was one of my questions, when I take it, how is it moveable, and the seller said, well, we remove 80% of the water, fill it in drums or buckets or something simular, leave all the live stock in, and take it to my home. We live about 15km appart i would guess.

    I am really considering going second hand, because if i don't like it, new will be even more expensive and what then.

    I am very keen on fish, we have about 2 big tanks at home, tropical ... and it is fun, but i want to go the next step ...
     
  17. crispin

    crispin

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    Hello Zerocool, great that you are here asking questions. Welcome to Masa, i see the other welcome comittee beat me with regards to asnwering your questions nad they have it spot on, so a simple hello and welcome to MASA will do :)

    great to have you here, ask lots of questions, we will get you going on the right track.

    Tobes has some very valid points, even if it all sounds a little scarey to start off with, but we can teach you what you need to know:)

    welcome and happy postings :)
     
  18. crispin

    crispin

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    give us a full list of the whole catoot, as tobes said the extra stuff as in test kits, refractometer etc etc are very important. But its great that it has a sump....thats a big step forward. I'll even say i'm thrilled it has a skimmer, but try get the make and type for us. :)
     
  19. inflames

    inflames

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    welcometomasa

    Hope you have a great stay and welcome to a great site! Allot of great info! What size tank is it? Lighting? Does it have a sump? Protein skimmer? Heater?
     
  20. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Thread Starter

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    Ok, it is a complete running system ... I will find out about the test kit. but i know he has a hydrometer to check the salt levels. It is a floating thing.

    Well, in the package it is the full tank. A second RO water purifying thing to configure a second tank to make salt water as needed.

    I can confirm, it is everything excluding the test kit the owner replied via sms.
     
  21. crispin

    crispin

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    strange that its excluding test kits, unless the fella didnt test....which is a rather big red flag.

    it sounds like a good(ish) deal zero, but not all rosy...hang off just a moment and do your research first.

    personally (and its just me) i always recalled the saying "small tanks, big problems" and nano's arent the best tanks to start off on, but you do learn the ropes fast....or fail.

    the fact it has a sump, skimmer and RO unit makes the deal alot more attractive though....you def need that stuff.
     
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