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Total Newbie.. Creating A Marine Setup
April 28, 2007
12:14 pm
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dunc
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Ok, well I'm not a /total/ newbie; I'm fairly well read up on the Berlin method of filtration and what I'd need to get the tank running adequately, but I have no idea about the actual fishes or corals.

I'm probably going to go for a 3' x 2' x 2', or a 4' x 2' x 2' if there's space. I need tips, hints or even direct instruction on every aspect of setting the tank up. I don't even know what fish I want.

Part of me would love a Lionfish. Always liked their looks and behaviour. It's going in a conservatory though, so I'm thinking I might go for a decent coral tank with some spectacularly coloured fish.

Any suggestions? /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I'm fully intending to create a blog on setting the tank up, right from the beginning.

April 28, 2007
12:17 pm
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Sirkus
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Wow! that would definitely be interesting to read about. shame i have no hints or tips to help. not even my 2 years of marine biology can help, if it was a temperate rockpool setup on the other hand, then i could help!

April 28, 2007
10:22 pm
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Adam
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Good tank Size!!

Ultimately it depends what you want to keep.
(Neeemo you right back!!!) /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

How much maintenance vs. automation you are willing to undertake.

Initial outlay

Running costs

As a guide though most successful systems are based around the Berlin Method
And you can hybridise from there.

IMO I would definitely go for a drilled display (surface skimmed) and sump setup whatever you decide.
It is one thing that is difficult to alter later
At the moment I am looking into ultra low nutrient systems
(They definitely work but like ALL things REEF they cost)

April 29, 2007
12:37 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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It'll be expensive but my first thought is you're a b*****d for being able to do this /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> My suggestion is be a bit different and do a marine reef biotope tank. You could get all inverts, corals and fish from a specific area /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" />

Cake or death?
April 29, 2007
11:13 am
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dunc
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If I had a bit more knowledge, that's exactly what I'd want to do. As it's my first marine tank though, I may be "forced" to stick with something relatively simple. Allow the learning curve to progress correctly /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I will certainly look in to it though, if it's going to be just as easy, then I'll go for it. Thinking it may be more difficult to source the fish and corals, though?

April 29, 2007
11:13 am
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dunc
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And aye - it's going to set me back a lot :S I'll probably aim to get as much stuff as poss second hand.

April 29, 2007
1:15 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Yeah it could be difficult to source stuff, like you I have no real idea lol. You should come over next Saturday while I'm working. We could pop into Cyber Aquatics behind Tom's place. It's supposed to be quite good.

Cake or death?
April 29, 2007
1:22 pm
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dunc
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Sweet mate aye. What you really mean is, you want a lift home /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> Sounds good to moi. I'm gonna start pricing stuff up online when I get a chance.

April 29, 2007
4:40 pm
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Adam
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QUOTE(Matt @ Apr 29 2007, 01:37 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
It'll be expensive but my first thought is you're a b*****d for being able to do this /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> My suggestion is be a bit different and do a marine reef biotope tank. You could get all inverts, corals and fish from a specific area /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" />

Natural Reef Aquariums Tullock TFH

Is a good book for this, it suggests set ups and stock by biotope.
(Suggests a few benefits to this method too)

May 28, 2007
9:26 pm
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dunc
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Well, I've got about 6 weeks until I can put a tank in the conservatory.

Any ideas where I can start? I wouldn't mind corals, would prefer the fish to be the priority though!

May 29, 2007
12:44 pm
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Matt
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How do you mean mate? You asking what you should stock first, or what type of set-up you should go for?

Cake or death?
May 29, 2007
12:51 pm
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dunc
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Everything! Anything!

I'm fairly confident I could set up a fish-only tank. Berlin method - loads of live rock, skimmer, decent filter and a good clean-up crew then go. Coral-wise though, I have NO idea where to start. I also wouldn't be too confident about knowing which fish I could stock successfully, with regards to aggression/feeding competition.

May 30, 2007
6:54 pm
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Adam
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The standard method is

Live rock / sand
(Stable parameters)
Clean up crew
(Stable parameters)
Fish
(Stable parameters)
Corals - to test the water /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> so to speak
(Stable parameters)
Then more difficult corals etc

Even experts/experienced reef keepers go by this. In fairness often works.

For live stock welfare though corals REALLY should go in before fish.
Also IMO the longer you let the live rock settle in the absence of predators/ grazers the nicer the stuff which will grow on it. Too many people think that when parameters test zero tank is cycled (IT ISNT it is just processing ammonia as quickly as it is produced - under low loading, compared to a fully stocked aquarium)

Don’t be afraid to use planting L/R (base rock) and dress up with some display stuff (more expensive). Secondhand stuff is well worthwhile. Check for copper, treatments etc
Personally I would go for some PHYTOPLANKTON cured rock too (excellent stuff just to seed the system)

Finally you really should nail your colours to the mast and decide on which part of the reef and what sort of lighting turn over you are going for - Like most things in the hobby fairly straight forward if it planned and thought through with right set up etc. Save hard work problems in the future.

If you are reefing it you really should select the inverts and go from there i.e. the must have stuff (is it compatible etc)
Without getting into SPS LPS meaningless bullsh1t you do have to draw up some personal guidelines.
If you plan it well and find compatible species with similar requirements they end up being from similar parts of the reef anyway and more often than not, usually similar in geography too.

As a final note of caution be careful a lot of the easy "beginner" corals end up becoming pests as they grow so well (it is one thing to fish out a load of cabomba). There are a fair few marine hobby myths hanging around just like Trops so be careful.

Will give you a call if you want to discuss
(It isn’t too hard just the rules change a bit – A starting point and a goal is important though) Even if the goal is NEMO
/wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" />

May 31, 2007
1:59 pm
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dunc
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Aye I think setting up the tank should be alright - I'm actually more concerned about what to stock. I don't know anything at all about corals - wouldn't know what is what, wouldn't know what goes with what. Also don't know which fish are/aren't compatible with specific corals and so on.

Where might I find information like that?

May 31, 2007
7:19 pm
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Adam
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Book wise
The Pocket Expert Guide
Marine Fishes
Scott Michael

& Possibly
The Pocket Expert Guide
Marine Invertebrates
Ronald Shimek (I think?)

Both are pretty good visually
Little bit of info
Yes / No compatibility guide
Ease of keeping etc

People Wise
They undoubtedly know their stuff at Cyber
(Every customer in marine shops asks questions because there are so many variabilities so don’t be afraid to ask they will keep you right - They are online too)

They will take you right through if you ask...
It does help if you know at least a couple of things even if it is I want a Moray eel? and a clam?

If fish are your most important concern it is really a case of matching compatibility - then to some degree stocking order first

If it was me I would probably write out ALL the fish I wanted to keep together
Then work out the MUST haves and see if there are any similarities - You may prefer Gobies and Firefish - In which case Corals would be fine.
Prioritise the Fish or Corals Then prioritise the species (work out compatibility ROUGHLY)
RUN it under Cyber or similar nose "This is what I aim to do" is it OK? what order etc?
(It is easier to give advice if someone has questions Remember green T shirt days)

If you want a nice display

There is a good DVD guide for a complete set up

FINDING NEEMO! /happy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="^_^" border="0" alt="happy.gif" />
(Steer clear of the morish Idol tho /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

May 31, 2007
7:23 pm
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Adam
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If I am not answering your questions OR &? being Anal let me Kno /ohmy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":o" border="0" alt="ohmy.gif" />

May 31, 2007
7:47 pm
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dunc
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Lol no mate that's fine, thanks /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

May 24, 2008
12:25 am
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Richy
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April 12, 2008
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dragged from the past but, did you ever set this up? I'm pressuming not?

July 4, 2008
3:59 pm
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Haji Badaruddin
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June 3, 2008
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Hi Dunc,

Its wiser for you to consider whether you want to do a fish only system or a reef type.The easiest is the fish only system.A reef type should start with soft corals and later if permissible go for the hard coral ie acropora sp.

To start off,you must get good quality liverock ie the rock with the most coraline algae.These rock will later help to seed your tank,and it will help filter the water biologically.

I would strongly recommend this website to you http://www.garf.org/

I have been using this site as reference for the last 10 years.

July 5, 2008
4:45 pm
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dunc
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Well, in the end, when I costed it up.. it was gonna cost me a small fortune /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

Would've had to buy a chiller.. and that's a definite. Ended up going for a tropical tank and unless all the windows are open and the air con's on in the conservatory, the tank's 32 degrees or more. Never seen it go below 26 yet /ohmy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":o" border="0" alt="ohmy.gif" />

Chiller, skimmer, extra powerhead, living rock and the actual price of the fishes themselves.. would've been a wee fortune.

Will check that website out anyway, would still love to have a marine tank - just not at this moment in time /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Thanks Haji.

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