What next?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by ashbeggs, 3 Feb 2009.

  1. ashbeggs


    3 Feb 2009
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    Hi Guys

    After much hinting to my wife over the christmas period, she bought me a tank, and the start of our marine aquarium.

    As this is our 1st tank, and we are wanting to bring our scuba diving love into the home, we need all the advise we can get before setting out and buying the rest of our gear!

    I've done alot of reading, and chatting to guys at pet shops, and everyone seems to form their own opinions.
    Untimately we'd like to have a reef tank with corals, fish, shrimps, hermit crabs etc.

    So my question is broad but this. We have a 900x400x600 tank with overflow chamber on the one side. I know next is to get a sump tank.

    I was thinking a 3foot sump split into 3 chambers?
    Chamber 1 for a protein skimmer
    Chamber 2 to filter
    Chamber 3 for a pump to pump the water back into the tank.

    I've got a blue light, and am still gonna buy a white light? would this be sufficient lighting?

    What do i use to control and monitor the tanks temperature?

    Please help, before i spend my money and find out I've wasted it buying the wrong things.

  2. Guest

  3. keyaam


    28 Jul 2008
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    Cape Town
    The Sump

    Chamber 1 Skimmer and heater ( go for a reeftek TS2)
    Chamber 2 DSB and Fuge
    Chamber 3 Return pump and activated carbon(your choice)

    Lighting: 3 white and 2 blue t5 39w will be ok to start off with
  4. lIghty


    3 Nov 2007
    Likes Received:
    Westville, Durban
    Also, post pics, helps one see exactly what you working with!
  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac

    15 May 2007
    Likes Received:
    Hi Ashbeggs, and WELCOME to MASA and to this fascinating hobby :thumbup:

    Yes, that is unfortunately one of the challenges in this hobby

    May I recommend that you read this article, just to put this into perspective: Starting with Marines - Marine Aquariums of South Africa - wiki

    You will have to be quite selective about what you put into your tank, especially with it being quite small. As an example, shrimps are really nice, and do not actively harm corals, yet they have rather sharp claws, and tend to irritate/damage the softer LPS (large polyp stony) corals. On the other hand, they are the natural prey of many types of fish...

    There is, of course, no law that restricts one to any specific sized sump - in fact, if you have the space available you could have a sump which is much larger than the display tank. Given "normal" space restrictions, though, your sump must fit the space below your tank, if that is where you plan to keep it. As previously mentioned by keyaam and lIghty, you should maximize the middle chamber for your DLSB/Refugium, and have chambers 1 and 3 only large enough for the skimmer and return pump, respectively.

    If your tank is 600mm deep, you will need more (brighter) lights if you want to keep hard corals, anemones or clams. Although T5 lighting would be OK, I would rather opt for one or two metal halide lamps (1 x 250W or 2 x 150W) - this will allow more scope as far as the types of corals you can keep, AND will probably work out cheaper in the long run, as you only need to replace the lamps every 12 - 18 months.

    You will need a thermometer, preferably an electronic one. Living in Durban, you probably won't need much heating, but will be troubled by the tank tending to over-heat.

    I strongly believe that every reef tank should ultimately have a chiller, but you can make do with a fan or two blowing air over the water surface, thus increasing evaporation and thus assisting in cooling.

    You will also definetely need to buy a fresh-water filter, called a RO (Reverse Osmosis) filter, to supply clean, pure fresh water which you will need to use to replace the water which evaporates from the tank (and make the artificial salt water if you choose to not use real sea water).

    Good luck, and keep on asking questions...


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