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Old 10-29-2010, 02:49 AM   #1
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Newbie help needed from Malaysia

Hi,

Stevie here from Malaysia. I have lost touch with salt water aquarium for some 10 long years and am wanting to have one and maybe two tanks later.

After going through some articles I still cannot figure out what's best and how things work since it has been too long a time already I last know about keeping saltwater fish and I hope someone can help me with many questions in my head with tank setup, filtration, equipment, lighting and many more. In fact I am lost.

I plan to have one all glass tank with sump in a cabinet shelf. See attached pix. The tank will be at the middle right shelf and the sump below it. The shelf divider between them will be removed so that the tank can occupy larger space and a set of new doors will be built to cover the sump.

The first thing I would like to confirm is the ideal spots should I have two holes at the bottom inner corners of the tank for water flow between the tank and sump? One over flow from tank to sump and the other up flow with a pump. Once this is confirmed I will start building the tank.

Next, please help me with the filtration. Can I do without protein skimmer but just wet and dry trickle filter with bioballs? A venturi skimmer I saw is something like 15 inch in height and I do not think I have the height to accommodate it in the lower shelf sump.

Stevie
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:35 AM   #2
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hye steve...IMO, y dont u put your sump inside that shelf with already made door? i think that is better...and if u put ur tank on the upper shelf, i dont think that the shelf can handle it....its only suggestion frm me.....neway, which part in malaysia are u?
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:26 AM   #3
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Hi Halim,

My first thought was like what you said, the sump at the lowest shelf with ready doors and the display tank at the shelf above it. But the display tank will not be at eyes level whether sitting on a chair or standing. It will be too low for viewing unless viewing from a far.

I intend to add a frame of stand all sides to take the weight below the display tank right up to the bottom of the shelf. I know water is heavy, very heavy than it looks.

Alternatively I was also thinking with the position you suggested if I could have a taller display tank by removing the divider. I worried that the height of the water may require much thicker glass and I might have problem accessing a deep tank. You see I run into all sort of problem. That is why I decided to have it a shelf higher though not an ideal choice.

Am in Klang Valley, the greater Kuala Lumpur, Puchong somewhere 15km south of downtown Kuala Lumpur. Where u fr? somewhere in Klang Valley too?
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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About filtration system.

I used to have only a wet/dry trickle filter for my fish only tank and live rocks. At my local aquarium store I was told nobody used wet/dry anymore. He recommended me a canister filter in a concealed plastic container and I couldn't see what was inside except a inlet and an outlet pipe. According to him it has carbon, some sponge for mechanical filter and bio ring lookalike things and it is maintenance free. He has been using it in all his display tanks and have never cleaned it since for some 3 years. What he does is changing water often. But when I searched and looked at the forum many still using wet/dry and protein skimmer? Should I just use this maintenance free canister? It needs no sump. If this thing works as he said I just need to drill two holes through the back of the shelf for the inlet and outlet piping and hide the canister there, neat and tidy.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:31 AM   #5
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im from sentul,kL..anyway..which LFS did u go and see they are using that kind of canister?yeah they might used it but did u see the water..?? there must be somting they hiding under their stand....if u go mid valley,try to open their cabinet and u'l see da trick..LOL......if u ask this kind of seller at the pasar pudu, dont ever trust them....they also fail in maintaning their tank....i see those kind of fish that almost dead....don know what happen next...im suggesting you using sump....u can get the skimmer at mid valley for only 1oo++ if im not mistaken....but i buy the smallest 1 for only 38.....:P
anyway, how big is your tank you are planning to have?btw, u have the experience of having SW tank isnt it?so i believe u much expert than me which totally newbie and noob here......
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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hey steve.....y dont u juz buy another stand or cabinet..???its better......
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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I think so, how could there be any maintenance free system! Where would the debris goes? Thanks for your input otherwise I would still be fantasizing.

I was quoted 150 for venturi skimmer. You got it for only 38 it has to be an air pump driven type?

Oh yes, I was thinking of getting a new aquarium with cabinet but that would be my 2nd tank. I would like to start up with a smaller one at the shelf for fish only tank. and the 2nd bigger tank for coral. The tank for the shelf has to be customized and I have to diy. I think it is not very difficult. I just need to build a stronger stand by adding wood frame and silicon glass for both the tank and the sump. I dont think I can drill hole on glass. I can order from glass store.

So what do you suggest I do for the shelf tank? Is wet/dry filter good enough or just a skimmer? Of course I will also have live rock in the tank and the sump. I know it is better to have both but as you know our room/house temp here is 30 to 32 degree C. With skimmer I need 2 pumps. One for skimmer and the other for return. 2 pumps produce double the heat.

By the way the measurement of the shelf is 37(L) x 17(h) x 12(D) feet for the lower shelf and the middle shelf height is 12 feet. I do not know how much that is in term of gallon. What is consider small or medium?

I may have kept sw fish before but that was a long time ago and I never heard of refugium until now.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Welcome to AA.

First i would suggest that you avoid having a tank in the cabnet you put a picture of on your first post. That kind of furniture is just not made for the weight and it would need a lot of support to make strong enough to hold even a small tank. You should also consider the other factors of keeping a tank there: water spills, high humidity, and salt creep. Most of the furniture like that in the US is made of particle board and then covered with a laminate. If that gets wet it soaks up water like a sponge. The humidity from the tank would eventually cause it to absorb water and the laminate to peel as well. I can almost promis keeping a tank in that would ruin your cabnet.

I would suggest you combined your two tank plan and keep one for right now. It is better to start with a larger tank because more water volume helps to keep your water parameters stable. Consider buying a stand and tank to put somewhere else in the house. In my opinion a 75 gallon tank is a perfect tank size to start with.

As far as skimmers go an air pump driven skimmer is not a very good choice. I would go with an ASM or Octopus skimmer. They are good brands in my experience.

For filtration i suggest using a sump. If you have enough room in your sump for a deep sand bed these help to lower your nitrates and reduce the maintenance of the tank.

If you want to start with a fish only system you can just buy fish that are reef compatible. That way when you feel ready for coral all you have to do is put them in the existing tank instead of starting a new system. Most of the fish that are normally kept in fish only (non coral) systems are too large to fit in the small tank you would like to start with anyway.

Hope that helps
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevie8 View Post
By the way the measurement of the shelf is 37(L) x 17(h) x 12(D) feet for the lower shelf and the middle shelf height is 12 feet. I do not know how much that is in term of gallon. What is consider small or medium?
hey...are u sure the middle shelf is 12 feet height??that could be bigger than my house......or its 12inch ?

yeah......im suggest u buy another stand or cabinet for your tank rather than u build some kind of support material for that shelf....
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:56 AM   #10
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Er...it is in inches obviously...lol...common mistake.

Hi Pat,

I can manage the weight with added wooden panel supporting the tank and sump right up to the bottom floor as extra stand.

You are right. the materials you described of the furniture are not solid wood and if wet it will expand and the lamination will be peeled like a dead skin. Agreed, even if not wet high humidity can cause condensation and the sponge like materials will absorb the humid air and convert to water. There are just too many openings unsealed lamination between joints and all the edges. Gone! my idea and first tank before I could even get started. But what do you think Pat, if this works if I cover/laminate a layer of plastic wall paper all over the surfaces of the furniture? A kind of wall paper made of plastic/PVC/vinyl material and it comes with ready adhesive on the adhesion side, something call self-adhesive wallpaper. See pix. Where there are joints I will overlap these areas and make it airtight.

What do you think a tank size 37"x12"x15"(H) and a sump 30"x12"x18(H)" too small? The actual water level will be 11" and 10" high respectively. That is provided I can make use of the space at the furniture.

I have no worry about the tank size for having my "2nd tank". except I cannot decide an ideal location in the house as all furniture are already in place. I am thinking if I can move the table lamp and have it there with the tank length back (5 feet") against the wall. See pix. As you can see it receives indirect outside sun light and maybe good for coral? or algae instead?

What do you mean by a deep sand bed? How deep is deep? 6 inches? I afraid that will take up too much water volume from the sump unless I partition an area and divide the sump somewhere in the middle. How is this deep sand bed help in reducing nitrate? No water if flowing thru it? Sorry too many questions.

Regards
Stevie
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