Well, Completely new to marine tanks, I thought it was time to join up to a decent forum. Main goal, is to get ideas and thoughts from other more experienced members, I have done some intensive research for the past three weeks or so, however from what I have gathered, there are many ways to skin a cat so to speak.
From what information I have been reading and been told, this is the current configuration I have decided to go with. I know it might be not to everyone's taste however with cost and time issues at hand you are going to have to bare with me for the time being.
Slight background: I have been keeping fish for about 3 years (cichlids) prior to that it was a community tank, and then myself and father where keeping a koi pond with 9 fish only (Japanese lucky number or some thing like that :S ) So with that I have decided that Marine is the next logical step so to speak.
I have 3 options of marine setups:
is by far the simplest options however the lack of dimensions and naturalism is lacking, the next is adding some live rock to the equation, which in my opinion is a bit more suitable. The next and most intense/interesting is a full on reef set-up.
Here is the list of items/equipment that I have decided on so far, this list is going to change by the time I have actually bought all the items but hey, I am in absolutely no hurry to get a system running.
Here are the tanks that take my fancy:
Juwell Rio 240
Juwell Lido 120
Aqua one 620T (130 litre)
Aqua one 900 (174 litre)
There were more tanks like Amazon and Betta that I did look at however with cost issues where ruled out. Not that I am being tight, well I am, but I'd rather spend £1000 over 6 months than spend £1000 in one go.
The main reason for the Lido was that I could keep my cichlid fish to some extent and set up a FO
tank and have best of both worlds. but actually seeing the lido tank in real life is completely different to say, "this tank is "4cm more this way and 18cm less this way" to the one I currently have (Juwell Rekord 120) " and so on. The most recent choice was the aqua one 620T, as its a nice tall tank with decent value but lack on the length for the fish to swim was a deciding factor. The next and current tank of choice is the Aqua one 900 (174 litre) with marisys 240 filtration unit.
I was at first interested with the idea of a protein skimmer, and then one of many LFS
presented and range of media to me called "Seachem" They mentioned using things like Purigen, matrix, seagel and many others. So with that information I put the idea of PS to one side.
Theoretically, A PS is not needed, however with the Aqua one with marisys and overall cost, it would be effective and cost efficient. The 620T's lighting system contains 2 x 18W PL tubing, where as the Aqua One 900 contains 4 x pl tubes, plus more water displacement, but not as tall. So I am still in 2 minds about which tank to get.
Which ever tank I decide to go for the filter media will consist of Seachem Matrix, Matrix Carbon, Phosguard and Purigen as a minimum, other media would be "PolyFloss" which is mainly for mechanical reasons. A UV
filter was on the cards, but I have been advised against this as they are in some cases more hassle than needed.
So, to re-cap.
Aqua one 900/620T with: Seachem range of media and polyfloss.
I got there in the end.
Heater, 620T comes with a decent Glass heater, where are the 900 doesn't, no biggie, I will just get one.
Live Sand... Some reefers will says is absolutely needed, others will disagree, however as its only £40ish for 2 bags, I will put it in the system.
Water... Instead of using RO
water (absolute waste of money to produce) or a more cost effective... DI
water setup. I will stick to Caribsea SeaPure, (16.5litre bottles) to fill my tank. As it is cheaper to fill the tank with bottle seapure than it is to buy a refractometer/hydrometer, salt, multiple buckets, powerheads, shed loads of salt and re-mineralising chemicals. Plus the head ache of doing it for the first time. I am not going to dwell on it any more.
Recap: Aqua one 620T/900, Seachem range of media, Caribsea Seapure water, Caribsea Live sand, and heater.
Water turnover: ideally would be 10-15 times turn over, in some cases 20x is not unheard of, so with that, I am going to add at the moment 1 x Hydor korilia 1 (1500 litres/hour) So a 130L 620T would be covered in turn over, and it still includes a 750 l/hr powerhead, which is roughly 17x turn over. The Aqua one 900 with marisys plus 1 x korillia 1 will still be as efficient.
Sorry to bore most people with an "Introduction" however I need to skin as many cats with the most effect in one post
Canister filter: I still want to add one to the Aqua one 620T, but have been advised against this as it might be more hassle in the long run with being a nitrate factory!
Recap: Aqua one 620T/900, Seachem range of media (Matrix, Matrix Carbon, Phosguard, Purigen HyperSorb and De*Nitrate), Caribsea Seapure water, Caribsea Oolite Alive sand, and heater, 1-2 Hydor korilia 1, No Canister Filter and UV Unit
Lighting: Seeing the Aqua one 900 has four Pl tubes I would probably mix the spectrum up a bit, i.e. a marine white a blue moon and marine actinic (Purple UV
) and maybe a Pl equivalent of a Power-GLO bulb, to get a decent light.
Live Rock: Firstly, I was "Yea looks great" but with cost issues, It was put to one side, but as many people have pushed to use it and showed me the advantages to using it, I will use it, The main reason why it was put to one side was, even though I like coralline algae, I don't like it on every surface of the tank, I know there are ways to combat it, ie clean-up that will eat most it, some fish will munch it and changing water parameters/lighting will effect its growth, but in the end... keeping some of the fish that are on the "wish list"... its going to be needed.
Fish/Inverts: The best part of the hobby.
and so on.... The list goes on, I would elaborate however, that is for another post.
Coral: Not researched
I have looked at many types but give me time.
I do apologise for it being such a long post, But as the 24pk of Carlsburg has almost gone, I think I need to call it a day... but I would like as much feedback as possible so I can at least buy some thing within the next month
I wont be using RO
water at all, I was intending on using Caribsea SeaPure bottled water to do all of my water changes and top ups on the tank.
I have a large tester kit already from my cichlid tank, (API) All I would need to add to is a Calcium, magnesium and phosphate.
I Will also buy some sort of salinity tester, probably a refractometer.