what made you guys choose your tank type?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by mytank, 14 Mar 2011.

  1. mytank

    mytank

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    Hi all,

    I am in my research phase of my marine aquarium adventure and have noticed.as obvious as it seems (it wasn't to me at the time), one needs to choose the tank type.

    Main aim is to have the most colorful, wired and wonderful creatures in my tank. What are those? How did you al choose creatures?

    I see predator tanks are not big is that because they more difficult to keep?
     
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  3. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    You are looking for a reef tank with reef safe fish and inverts. A shallow but broad tank like mine is really nice for reefs as the light has better penetration.. but I just got the tank because it was big and got it really cheap on this forum
     
  4. erle_vaughan

    erle_vaughan

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    Hi mytank,
    I would read up more and find out about what types of things you like or find attractive, then find out about there maintenance and care to see if they are still attractive. and then see if they will live with what you have already chosen, and in the conditions you choose to create for them.
    It makes sense to put in a lot of study and reading time before starting out so you will know what to expect.
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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  6. mytank

    mytank Thread Starter

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    Stupid question *blush* - am i being naive wanting a colorful simple tank. Want fish but not something overly complex unless they look exotic and colourful.
     
  7. jaquesdp08

    jaquesdp08

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    I love full reef systems, the diversity of diffrent corals and animals and being succesfull with it is what drives me day to day. I always liked the RedSea max 250 tanks thats why i bought one, but i also like the shallow reefs thats why im building one hehe
     
  8. Dane

    Dane

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    You are not being naive at all! You can absolutely run a very simple setup, with a low startup cost, with beautiful inhabitants. Also, the only stupid question is an un-asked one. We are extremely receptive to people that do their research and ask questions before setting up - and I'm sure you'll find all the help you need on this forum. Remember to search the threads and read on your query topic before posting, the same topics come up very often - although we are always willing to put in our 2c.

    I chose a nano for a variety of reasons. Low setup cost, size, etc. I absolutely love marine corals and invertebrate life - its the reason I switched from freshwater - and I would never be interested in marines if it were fish only. So from me, a mixed reef is really the only option.

    I would advise that you get a decent sized tank, between a 3 and 5ft. Start off with the basics - soft corals and maybe a pair of clowns. Once your tank has matured and you're comfortable with the dynamics of a marine tank you can try a few LPS corals, and maybe another more "delicate" fish - and then progress from there.

    In terms of water quality and lighting, very generally speaking; softies are the easiest, LPS or large polyps stony corals are intermediate, and SPS or small polyp stony corals are the hardest.

    "Starter" corals like star polyps, pulsing xenia and mushrooms are practically bulletproof and are far hardier than any fish -and many are available in fantastic colours.

    If you want to have a look at my thread, you can see what I've done with absolutely minimal equipment, and not an awful lot of effort. I wouldnt advise you do what I've done - far better to get a bigger tank, with a proper sump and filtration - but you can at least see what you can do with the bare minimum.
     
  9. jaquesdp08

    jaquesdp08

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    Very nice informative post for a newbie to marines like Mytank Dane...
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2011
  10. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Dane that was very well said!
     
  11. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    first you look at the amount you have to spend.

    then you look at what you can get for that amount of money, then you look at were it can fit into your house,
    t then you refine your desighn.

    for instance, a high tank(tall stand) is made to view while standing, best in a passage etc. a lower tank is made to view while seated.(helps the back)
     
  12. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    well said Dane :thumbup:
     
  13. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    You must also consider how much time you have to spend on a tank. A full reef system looks very nice but does require alot of mantainance.
     
  14. Suhayl

    Suhayl

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    Space, money, inhabitants, time for regular maintanance. I seen a tank on Practical Fishkeeping that cost $2 million I think and requires just 15 minutes a month in maintanance. The trimming around the tank is gold plated. Say you setup a 3000L reeftank, a skimmer like a Bubble Master will set you back maybe R60 000.
     
  15. mytank

    mytank Thread Starter

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    Ok I defiantly not going to do a 3000L :) I have other hobbies that take up a lot of cash too :)

    What I am trying to define are the parameters I can use to determine the right balanced tank for what I am looking for.

    My lifestyle (actually my job which funds this :)) can lend itself to - low to moderate maintenance. So I have to be realistic as well as practical.

    My requirements are pretty simple (and selfish - no pun intended):

    I want something that is the focus point of the lounge. I want to be able to spend time watching the ecosystem instead of the TV :) So I am looking for vast amounts of color and interesting creatures.

    What I am finding and correct me if I am wrong, like everything in life what is the best usually requires a lot of work. So to get to my requirements might take me From: low to moderate maintenance TO: moderate to high.

    If that’s the case (and that’s what I am trying to deduce here) I have to reset my expectations of the tank and evaluate if it's going to be what I am after.

    Not saying that if I don't get color + interesting creatures I will throw away the idea. I am saying if I can't get the right balance of what I am trying to achieve and what I am capable of dealing with (both budget and maintenance (My business mind keeps saying to me OPEX , OPEX , OPEX) - then I need to relook at it.

    I have taken a very "scientific" look at this for the following reasons:

    1. I think this hobby is scientific - one needs to understand the biology of the ecosystem in order to best recreate a comfortable and favorable environment for the life forms you going to be hosting.

    2. Yes I am creating a spread sheet (no I am not a bean counter but it does help visualize what you doing), that has all the different parameters and research I am doing. I have the following tab's in it (please feel free to tell me what I am missing)

    2.1: Budget - what I have as available CAPEX - that is going to determine what I can afford to start off based on my requirements (i.e. Tank Size / Life Forms) in addition what do I have as OPEX for maintenance and what do I have allocated as disposable income for upgrades or in case of a system crash / wipe out.

    2.2 Part of the budget will be a Bill of Materials (BOM) - What I need to buy, which are basic and non-negotiable. Which are my other hobbies (personalities) that are influencing my thinking i.e. automated testing system (i.e. not a manual water tester but probes in the water the will give me a reading).

    2.3 My life form(s): I took the compatibility chart Marine Compatability Chart posted by Tremayn, and am starting to figure out how this is all architected. From my perspective you have the following (please feel free to comment)

    2.3.1 You have your basic elements these are
    2.3.1.1 Your Deep Sea Sand (stuff not sure of the acronym) - In tank and play sand (or other don’t know what the other is yet) – in the sump
    2.3.1.2 You have your live rock (can you cohabitate Kenya LR with Fiji LR?) This creates your basic structure – Housing
    2.3.1.3 Once you have cycled properly you then have an environment to start introducing your SPS and LPS (No necessarily the right order) and corals (anomies only after 9 months of a stable tank) - this is what I call "Housing". Now the important part that I am starting to see is that you also have to be careful what "Reef" you build because this can limit the fish you have (some fish eat certain "Reef elements") - The more I look at it the more I am starting to think that coral is probably what makes the vibrant colors in the tank and gives the tank the "Persona". The fish are there to add to that but they not mutually exclusive.
    2.3.1.4 So once I have the base "Housing" in place and understand the compatibility of the animals in the "housing" environment I can then take my fish compatibility chart and start choosing those animals.

    2.3.1.5 I also have to consider the cleanup crew (CUC), but make sure they won’t destroy or eat my coral and also no attack my fish that I decide to put in there.

    2.3 - Once I have all that mapped I will have a good understanding of the eco system that I am creating. This should give me the following:

    3. The bio diversity and bio load on my tank (hoping there is some formula to determine this, if it’s an experience thing I have no issue with that :))

    3.1 The maintenance cycles and amount on the tank (allowing me to figure out the OPEX cost for the environment)
    3.2 If it will meet my initial requirement of vibrant colors + interesting creatures.
    3.3 These outputs might even (or most definitely) change the type and size of equipment and tank.

    I know this sounds very scientific or rigid but it’s my base to the research I am doing and allowing me to make an informed decision on what I require and how I will be able to handle it. I want to make sure first and foremost I don't create an ecosystem to meet my needs and one year down the line I have to trash it or am constantly destroying the ecosystem. I am fully aware that if everyone replaces their fish often because of not taking all the elements into consideration, we soon won’t have enough fish to have this wonderful hobby.

    I want to thank each and every one of you that is providing valuable input; it is most defiantly the first hobby I am making an informed decision and not an emotional impulse decision :)
     
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