Starting a Marine Tank

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by millhouse, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Hi all.

    I have dabbled (a teeny tiny bit) in fish keeping for a while now, and drooled over the posts and threads from many of OCAU's aquarists. Biggest "tank" currently is only a 25L vase from Ikea with some basic stuff - 4 cardinal tetra's, 4 Rummy Nose Tera's. a couple of glass catfish and 3 Cherry Shrimp. It's going nicely, and prior to that just some Bettas in 10-12L Vase's.

    But I have been very lucky. Visiting a friend the other day I saw a tank on the veranda and asked what they were doing with it. "Trying to give it away, no one wants it". I'll take it. It is a complete working Red Sea MAX 130 (with Chiller).

    So I have cleaned it all and put it in the lounge while I research and think about where to go.

    I think Marine is where I will go, it is what it is made for and from my reading may be a little trickier initially, but once running is not much more "difficult" than a FW setup.

    So my first post here is to pick people's brains - what sites are out there with good information to digest before I start? I am generally aware that setting it up will take time (possibly over 1 month) but that is cool - I want this to succeed. At this point I am not thinking about livestock, but will have a setup including corals if feasible.

    I am out in Ormiston so have access to the Pet stores in Capalaba, but would be very appreciative of recommendations of any great shops in Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

    I will post up some pictures tomorrow.
     
  2. Falkor

    Falkor Member

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    You got a red sea max for free? :eek:
     
  3. OP
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    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Yep. Lucky prick eh?!
    Forgot I was in Sydney last night, so here are some shots from today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Will organise some things over the next couple of weeks and have some water in there soon :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  4. Jaded5542

    Jaded5542 Member

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    Normaly if someone was to buy an all in one unit, i would say, dont, but a free red sea is will worth it.

    The BEST website to go it is the MASA one.
    http://www.masa.asn.au/

    The forums are one of the BEST places, also, take what a pet store says with a grain of salt, thats the best advice anyone can give you.
    I got told All in ones were easy to look after, and upgradeable, needless to say, i couldnt upgrade my skimmer due to no room, couldnt upgrade lights, nothing.

    Also the more water flow the better, get ride of all the noodles, and replace them with liverock, same with the wool, they are nitrate nightmares.
     
  5. Scarecrow_99

    Scarecrow_99 Member

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    99% agree with this. Take what you read on MASA with a grain of salt as well. Sure there are some really helpful people on there, but there are all some that think we have unlimited funds and not buying the most expensive think is the worst thing ever.

    The Redsea Max130 is a pretty good unit and have seen some really nice ones. Agree with the noodles and wool. Get some quality live rock and take it really slow. Will be about 2-3 weeks after you add the rock before you can add fish. Add some more water movement if you can/want. Lights can be upgraded to LEDs, if you want to put a little bit of work in.

    http://www.liveaquaria.com/, is good for checking if fish will get too big for your tank.

    Dont forget the test kits, and figuring out best way to do water changes.
     
  6. jkmatt

    jkmatt Member

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    As far as pet shops, I was out at pet city(MtGravett) the other week for fish, only freshwater, but they had a decent amount of Marine stuff. The staff member I dealt with was very patient, helpful and knowledgeable and had good answers to all my questions.
     
  7. OP
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    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Thanks guys.
    The advice about the pet stores is good. It is difficult as of course you see these people doing this for "their living" but of course their living is really selling things. Of course there are some workers that take the time to know and inform customers properly.
    The only things this set up was missing were:
    - hose from chiller to tank
    - pipes from chiller hoses into tank
    - 1 tank top hinge pin
    - both top hinge support pins
    - and all the filter media

    From what I have read and you guys suggest the loss of the media is probably not a bad thing at all.

    Reading in this thread - http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=131416 - the OP discusses in a lot of depth the changes he made to his Red Sea MAX.

    Jaded - the OP in the above thread has recommended and performed a skimmer transplant. The Tunze 9002 fits in the area fine and performs better and is quieter, by quite a few accounts. Just need to track one down here in Australia.

    Scarecrow - yeah water changes should be OK. I have the tank near a door, and also worst case situation I have a wooden floor - drill a hole and pipe under the house?

    Now one thing that is holding me back at this time (apart from only novice knowledge) is obtaining a good source of water for the tank. DO other Marine guys here have their own RO units? Do people buy it in? From reading the above I would be looking at at least 15L a week for a water change, plus water to top off through the week.

    jkmatt - I might pop over today and check out Mt Gravatt. Cheers!
     
  8. Jaded5542

    Jaded5542 Member

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  9. issh

    issh Member

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  10. OP
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    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Cheers issh. Didn't make it over this afternoon, got some visitors.

    Couldn't find the 9002 model Jaded - which is a bugger as it is of course the size that counts.

    Will pop into the Pet Superstore in Capalaba tomorrow and see if they have a program fro RO water.
     
  11. Scarecrow_99

    Scarecrow_99 Member

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    In regards to RO filter, this is another case of "must need" product, that is too widely miss represented. I have a 4ft and 3ft Marine tank for last 3 yrs and have never used a RO/DI filter. Both tanks have 0.0 Phos and have SPS in them.

    If you keep up with water changes you should be fine. Just leave the water from the tap over night in a bucket and the chlorine will burn off.

    In the 4ft tank, I use 40L of freshwater as top up over 2 weeks. This is with fans going to increase evaporation. You will use a lot less.

    In regards to Seawater, this can be collected yourself, which is what I do. So pet stores sell it, or you could get it delivered. Your choice. Remember that saltwater does not "go off" if sealed in a container.

    Upgrading the skimmer is not a must do, before you cycle the tank. I would suggest you get some live rock, saltwater and cycle the tank as is for 2 weeks or so (doing regular water changes). Depending on your water condition you can then look at adding fish slowly.

    Upgrades can come later after you get into it and understand things more.

    Oh, yeah I run a hose out the window or door, to do a water change. If possible the chiller will be more efficient if you can have it outside (also keeps the heat it creates outside), you didn't mention but assuming you have the pump for this to push the water through it. Either way, shouldn't be needed for winter.
     
  12. Vassili

    Vassili Member

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    This depends entirely on what your local water supply is like. Pretty silly advice really.

    My advice: take it slow, research all potential stock. With the standard lighting you'll be able to grow softies and lps, but clams and sps are most likely out of the question.

    RSMs are cool little tanks, especially for the price you paid ;).
     
  13. Dorz

    Dorz Member

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  14. OP
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    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Scarecrow - have to get a pump for the chiller, some hose and the adaptor into the back of the tank - these were the only things really missing from all that I got. Back to Pet City tomorrow to grab some hose and adaptors.

    Vassili - yep planning on taking it slow. Certainly don't expect to rush through this and have the tank brimming wiht life in a weekend.

    Dorz - yep that little kit is quite good actually - has the 9002, comes in a bucket (!) and also the magnet mounting kit. Actually a good thing.

    I got to visit Pet City in Mt Gravatt today. Glad I did. Really helpful, happy to spend the time chatting about it all. They seem to have a pretty big range of stuff on hand - equipment and livestock. They also only had the Tunze 9002 in the kit that Dorz mentioned. Seems like in the future this is what I may end up getting, but as others have said, wait, work out how it al goes and then possibly upgrade.

    So I now have the water and salt mixing in tank with a 3mm coral gravel substrate. This weekend, maybe some live rock!
     
  15. Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    i hope you have a lot of money....
    eventually you will start spending on things...

    after i got my tank, substrate, a decent amount of salt water, new pump, i thought i was set.

    since then though...

    better test kits
    auto water topoff
    fluid bed filters, rowaphos and carbon
    started dosing manually, soon to get dosing pumps
    fish
    corals
    more rock
    chiller
    another pump
    led lighting

    and the list goes on.... :)

    i love it though :)
     
  16. issh

    issh Member

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    cool glad it helped you! :)
     
  17. OP
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    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Water is fine, but I am waiting for some parts for the chiller, as it is sitting on 32 degrees. Once the chiller is going, time for the live rock and starting the cycle.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    millhouse

    millhouse Chief Tiger Dentist

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    Parts came this week (Pet City were nice and quick) and the chiller has been working fine. Temp down to a nice 25 C.

    Off to Pet City today for some live rock and good browse and daydream. Also grabbed some sealable 25L water canisters from Bunnings for mixing water and storing for water changes and top ups.

    Got 4 pieces of rock. Not sure on the set up yet. The design will come with the pieces I get.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  19. C-BuZz

    C-BuZz Member

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    Great start mate looks great. Your a lucky devil getting that unit for free, >$1k new IMO.
     
  20. issh

    issh Member

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    wow looks great!
    agree with above post, you are lucky you got it for free!
     

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