What's best?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Candice F, 19 Mar 2013.

  1. Candice F

    Candice F

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am happy to read through the forum for info, but due to it being a work day, I don't have time to now, so I apologise in advance if this has already been covered somewhere on the forum..

    What is the best option in terms of price, resale value and what a better set up would be?

    Purchasing a marine tank that has everything fitted and included (i.e Red Sea Max or Boyu) - any other suggestions? these are the two I have been told about thus far..

    OR

    Having a marine tank and sump built for me and purchasing the equipment separately?

    Then I would also like to know, what the best minimum size would be, for a marine tank, with the view of a reef setup eventually.. (I understand this is going to take a long time to achieve).

    Also, should the second option be best, is it at all advisable to purchase second hand equipment, or could I be purchasing nasties along with it, never mind the fact that it could be faulty?

    This is totally uncharted territory for me and I am going to still have a lot of questions.. I need to figure out the above first, so I can plan accordingly, I can then worry about which brand, equipment etc to purchase and so on.

    Thanks very much!,
    Candice
     
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  3. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  4. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hmm indeed, the red sea max is a great plug and play setup but is not cheap. Having a tank built etc is a great way to learn, i guess it depends on how much time you want to spend. I have never owned a pre-built system such as the RSM(red sea max) or boyu so can't really comment on them doing everything urself really helps to understand the mechanics of whats going on.
    I started with a 1.2M, later got a sump, really taught me whats what and upgraded it piece by piece, dunno if you can upgrade the pre built systems so much.......
     
  5. 4age

    4age

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    @Candice F..welcome..its Sarf from the Tasa forum btw..im assuming your discus tank has some height to it...which is a challenge for lighting...why dont you go for a custom system..something a bit shallow will be cool..maybe a 1,2m by 70cm wide by 55cm high..check the shallow reef setups on this forum..
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2013
  6. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    1.2 by 45 by 45[​IMG]
     
  7. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    Hey Sarf! how's it going? Yeah the Discus tank is 1.3 x 600 x 600, so that may be too high as you have said... I went to an awesome shop in Fish Hoek today and am going to be getting a quote on a custom tank with sump from them (not sure if I am allowed to say their name on the forum..) What a lovely experience it was going there, and seeing all the stunning fish and corals they have! they are also very helpful and are able to get everything set up and running nicely for me and teach me at the same time :)

    I will have a look at the shallow reef setups as you have suggested :)

    Cheers,
    Candice
     
  8. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Hi Candice and welcome to the forum :)

    Choosing between a plug & play vs a custom build comes down to personal preference, time and patience.

    With a custom tank, you can have something build to meet your needs in terms of size, shape, equipment and budget. You can go all out and have a fully kitted tank from the beginning or you can start as basic as possible and slowly work your way up to getting improved lighting for those SPS corals or a better skimmer to manage your bio-load for lionfish that you want to introduce etc.
    This does take some patience though, especially if you are new to the hobby as you have to research each piece of equipment that you need and want.
    Also, with a new hobby, people want to get into it as quick as possible which brings us to the next option of the plug & play systems...

    In terms of the plug & play systems, most of them come with a decent form of filtration, lighting, flow and finishings (like cabinets, lighting hoods etc). There are some additional equipment that needs to be purchased such as chillers and/or heaters so you will need to incorporate these costs into the cost of purchase of your hardware. The nice/convenient aspect of these systems is that most of the equipment can support the starting up of a tank and so you can research the upgrades that you want to make to the tank as it goes along. The Red Sea Max tanks generally come with SPS ready lighting, decent pumps and skimmer and mechanical filtration (sponges and ceramic rings), although the latter can cause nitrate issues if not cleaned regularly. These can cost more than a custom setup but you have to look at the type of equipment and finishings that it comes with as well as not having the hassle of having to buy equipment piecemeal.

    The other option is to purchase an existing tank & equipment as these are normally reasonably priced and have good equipment. If you are buying a full system including the livestock then it works out to much more but still cheaper than if you had to purchase those items individually.

    The choice is yours, there really is no “best” option. Hope your choice brings you loads of entertainment!:)
     
  9. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    Hi @mandarinman,

    That is stunning! How does the overflow work on your tank? is it inside or outside the tank? and what is better?

    Thanks,
    Candice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    I tend to agree with you @deadmeat2016, I have to think about the future, and as we all know, the tank/s always becomes bigger and better eventually lol!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    Candice - i am in Darklands - swing by and come see my tank and lets chat about the various options. you can build 3 or 4 times the system if you go custom vs plug and play.
     
  12. trad

    trad Fish, thats the word!

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    IMO get a custom built tank and then you can get exactly the equipment you need, often the equipment in the all-in-one packages aren't great.

    Size, I would start with something like I have, around 1mx60cmx60cm limited to not keeping big fish but it's ideal for small easy water changes, lower cost as less live rock smaller skimmer, etc etc
     
  13. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Candice it would be good to pop past henk cos he knows a lot about plug and play and the other options.
     
  14. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    Hi @HenkHugo,

    I remember you from the 'other side' also.. lol (don't know what the folk here call the freshwater site, I know they call this site the 'dark side' though haha!)

    Yes that would be great! are you able to please send me your address and let me know when would be convenient?

    Thanks,
    Candice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    So I have been thinking, and I already have a 1.3 x 600 x 600 tank which is currently home to my 17 Discus (6 of which are 7 months old and another 6 are only 4.5 months old) so it's not overstocked as yet... my plan is to grow them out and see which I want to keep...

    Anyway, I have that tank already and it's position in the house is just so perfect... it's just letting go of the Discus... it's so difficult at this stage... however... if I (wo)man up a bit, I could sell some of my Discus so that I land up with the 6 x 4.5 month old Leopard Spots (as they grow I will then keep say 4 of the best of the lot) then I can keep my favorite which is a massive Blue Diamond Snakeskin and 4 x the 7 month old Red Turqs, that will then be 9 Discus (mostly small or medium sized).. and once they have grown, I can then choose 6 out of all of them that I want to keep... the point of this is that I can move the Discus to my 220lt - 6 is pushing it, but it can be done with good maintenance.

    I can then move my BGK, Oscar and Rope Fish to the 180lt, then I do'nt need to buy a tank, just a new sump (when I had the one I've got built, they messed up the one section) - this should save me a little as I will already have the tank... which means more money for the equipment etc...

    I just don't know... it's a tough decision... going to have to think about this and make a decision.. ultimately I am very excited to be doing this, and I have to realise I can't have everything and will have to sacrifice to gain somewhere along the line...

    Has anyone had any issue with converting a freshwater tank to a marine tank before? someone once told me that it will make the glass crack!...

    Thanks, C
     
  16. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    cool cool - PM sent :)
     
  17. Kevin34PE

    Kevin34PE

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    I converted my small tank 1200 x 500 x500 from bath water to marine about 10months ago,still no cracks in the glass. I'm only running a HOB filter and HOB skimmer on that tank with a few live rock. No problems. Am awaiting delivery of my bigger tank this friday after having it re-sized smaller.
     
  18. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info :)
     
  19. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    I'm going crazy over here... changed my mind again... best to rather keep the 468lt as my only fresh water tank, water volume is important, and then I don't have to rush to decide what to do with my Discus or cram them into a smaller tank, with their already high maintenance needs..

    Going to get the quote for a new marine tank and keep the 468lt as my freshwater tank for now. :)... I think lol
     
  20. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Decisions decisions......I've got a feeling once u get any tank converted to the 'dark side', you'll want to change them all lol:p
     
  21. Candice F

    Candice F Thread Starter

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    Probably @deadmeat2016, .. For now, I think what I will do is convert the 468lt rather, as it is positioned in the best location of the house, I will then have a new sump built especially for it and then sell both smaller tanks and buy a +- 300lt tank for the Discus and move my current sump to their new tank and they can then be in my office :) problem solved .... I think haha
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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