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Old 06-28-2004, 07:10 PM   #1
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Complete Newbie!

Hi,

Never kept any kind of fish tank before & I want to keep a marine one, from what I read starting with fish only is the way to go for at least the first 6 months?? Now a few questions:

I can buy a secondhand 30gal tank which would give me the cash to stock it with alot of live rock, is this tank big enough for a newbie? I don't have a lot of room to fit much bigger & like the idea of having the extra money to buy (upto?) £200 of live rock to go in it.

The other option I have is a 40gal, but this is pushing me size wise & will add nearly £200 to my budget.

I want to start by putting RO water in & once up to temp/sality, adding Live rock & feeding this with dead shrimp rather than using live fish whilst it cycles, would I need light for the live Rock whilst it cycles?

Should I add a good skimmer straight away or can that wait until the first cycle is completed & I'm ready to add the cleaner crew/first fish?

I think thats enough for a first post, I know big is better, but I want to know about balancing the whole thing out as I'm never going to have the room for anything bigger than 40gals & I know the 30gal would mean 5 fish max, but thats fine as I want shrimps/starfish/hermit crabs & then hopefully a couple or more of corals/Anenome's (SP)

Cheers Shelton.
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:23 PM   #2
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you can wait till the cycle is done for the skimmer. As far as the tank, go for as big as will fit into the space you have. For the lighting a 2 bulb no fixture will be ok till you want to add corals
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Old 06-28-2004, 08:58 PM   #3
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The 30 gal will be fine if that's all you have space for.. and £200 will get you around 25kg Fiji LR which is about right for that tank.

It's actually better if you don't light the tank during cycling so as to minimise the nuisance algae growth.

As darb2 said you don't need the skimmer for a while, unless you're getting uncured LR but I'd advise against that.

My recommendation is STM for LR. It's been voted best in UK by many people, and I'm very happy with what I got from them.

EDIT: As usual I forgot to mention to buy a good book for reference. It's the most important item you will ever purchase.
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:24 AM   #4
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Thanks to you both!

I'm quite surprised it will take that amount of LR in this size tank!

Would I want 1 or 2 pumps to circulate the water & reccomendations please? (quiet as poss of course!) & Skimmers, which to void altogether?

Cheers Shelton.
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:53 AM   #5
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Another thought, I think I'd rather go with nothing on the bottom of the tank, just LR, would this effect things like the starfish/crabs/shrimps etc?

Cheers Shelton.
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Old 06-29-2004, 05:43 AM   #6
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If you go bare bottom, you may need more lr or a larger sump to hold a dsb. but it works
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shultz
Thanks to you both!

I'm quite surprised it will take that amount of LR in this size tank!

Would I want 1 or 2 pumps to circulate the water & reccomendations please? (quiet as poss of course!) & Skimmers, which to void altogether?

Cheers Shelton.
I'm new to this too, but based on my research I would get the Aqua-C Remora protein skimmer, and two Maxi-Jet 900 power heads. The rule of thumb for water circulation is at least 10 X the water volume per hour. Two 900's would give you 460 GPH, which should cover you with either a 30 or 40 gal without being excessive.

I have the remora-c pro and 4 maj-jet 1200's coming in Thursday for my 75 gal.
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Old 06-29-2004, 09:15 AM   #8
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Agreed on the 2x MJ900's for circulation.. but unfortunately we don't get AquaC products here so unless you want to get one imported and then use a voltage converter you'd be better off looking at Deltec's or Prizm's. Personally I think a Prizm Deluxe would be about right for that tank, cheap too.. but if you're particular about noise you will have to pay more for a different type of skimmer.
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Old 06-29-2004, 09:17 AM   #9
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Lovely! please keep the info coming! I've put the dimentions of the secondhand tank into the calcs on here & it tells me its a 37gal (US) or 30.8gal (UK) this big enough for a starter?

I've had a look at skimmer prices & it seems most people say the Deltec ones are good? if so would this model "Deltec MCe 600" be enough for my tank please? as it would have to be a side of tank mounted skimmer whatever.

Next question, I'm sure I read somewhere that having a LS bottom is harder to keep the levels right (nitrates/nitrites etc) is this true? if not how deep a sand base should I have & would it be best to raise the LR up so it sorta starts where the LS finishes? I also presume with LS I would want certain types of shrimp/crab/starfish to turn it over for me?

Finally heaters/light, I want to start FOWLR (& maybe LS) So I would need a heater if I'm to get lights later? would then a T5 light be enough to keep corals in a 16" deep tank as I know the sife wouldn't let me have a MH one hanging from the ceiling!!

Sorry if these are to many questions, but I've read/reading books but you can't ask those questions!!

Cheers Shelton.
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Old 06-29-2004, 09:47 AM   #10
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Yep that Deltec is an excellent skimmer, just bear in mind that it's £100 more than a Prizm and probably overkill for a 30 gal. But it's definitely a great skimmer.

As for the DSB, it's actually the opposite of what you read. Just think of it as millions of tiny little rocks. That's a lot of surface area for nitrification. So when it comes down to it, a DSB is an even better biological filter than LR. You would typically need a minimum of 4 inches of sand. If you like you can raise the rockwork by putting PVC pipes underneath, but I find there's nothing more stable than some nice flat baserock.

The best critters for a DSB are snails, pods and worms.. crabs and sea stars will turn over the sand but at the same time will deplete it of beneficial organisms.

A heater should be one of your first purchases, try a 150W Visi-therm.

If you want to keep some corals then go for a T-5 luminaire with 4 tubes in it.
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