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New marine tank advice

Just started out in the world of marine aquariums? Daunted by all the information, conflicting advice and just wondering what you should do? This is a forum for all of those that are new to the hobby to ask all and any beginner type of questions.

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New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Mon 02 Sep, 2019 4:20 pm

Hi I'm new to marine and need some advice. I'm looking at getting a new marine tank for reefs. I went to LFS and saw 160 litre aqua one complete set up, then I saw aqua one minireef 215 litre and heard bigger is better. The LFS recommend a waterbox 130.4 but it is huge? How much water changes would one need to do on such a large tank. And its expensive when you add everything you need nearly 5k. Do beginners need such a large tank?. I already have a fluval sp4 return pump , could I use that on the aqua one mini reef 215 with a gate valve?. I have a di/ro ready and installed. I would like to put a blue tang in the aqua one minireef plus a few more fish and corals would it work ?.
Ideas kindly appreciated
Craig
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Jutscher » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 11:53 am

Hi, welcome to the forum and reef keeping.

In my opinion, the best advice/phrase that you will hear in this hobby is that ‘nothing happens quickly’, and it’s very true if you want to be successful.

You are probably already doing this, but I would suggest spending a fair bit of time looking through the tank builds section of the forum. See what worked for others, and what didn’t. Be critical of what you read on this and other forums though. Many people will loudly assert what is the right or wrong way of doing something, without ever showing you their own system. In fact, make sure you take everything I am writing here with a grain of salt.

There are a few good YouTube channels that offer sound advice, Bulk Reef Supply being one, just keep in mind they, like many others, have a commercial interest in the products they use. Likewise many LFS are great, but there are more than a few out there that will happily sell you an unsuitable animal, dooming it to a certain death, or a rubbish tank, piece of equipment etc. So be careful of being swept up in the moment and buying something you haven’t had a chance to research.

What worked for me was finding a couple of very successful reefers to help mentor me in the early days. They can be great allies in the years to come, particularly if you need an emergency contact for your fish sitter while on holiday (thanks Phil :)).

Now after all that, I will offer my 2 cents on a couple of your questions

As for size, yes larger systems offer additional stability, but come at significant cost the bigger you go. There are many successful smaller/nano systems out there, just depends on what you want.

Water changes depend entirely on what works for you. Some people don’t at all.

I wouldn’t put a blue tang in a 200l tank. Even the smallest juvenile will quickly outgrow it, and you will find yourself needing to go up in size within a coupe of years.

Good luck with you search.
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 12:24 pm

That's great advice many thanks I will look into that forum.
Kind regards Craig
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby fsamir » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 3:32 pm

In addition to the great advice already given, notice that most all-in-one tanks need some parts replaced, in most cases skimmer and lights. So, make sure in do the research and factor those when comparing prices.
The 130.4 is not that large, in fact it is considered a medium size reef tank by most and it is at the sweet spot, in my opinion. However, it really depends on your budget and space.
Smaller tank are a bit more unstable and therefore more challenging, but not a big deal. I wouldn't go less than 160l, though.
Another way to save big is to monitor the classifieds here, FB marketplace and gumtree. There are a lot of second hand tanks selling for cheap, if you can wait.
Cheers,
Franklin Dattein
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Jutscher » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 7:40 pm

I hadn’t seen those 130.4 systems before... they look to be a pretty good tank.
Agree with the comment on all in one systems as well, they are just too restricted. I had a 250l all in 1 early on and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t wait to get a bigger tank with a real sump.
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 8:11 am

Thankyou both for your help. The size is the sticking point with the space i have and a little bit with budget. The lights for the waterbox are so expensive up to $1600. But I don't know if you can get away with a standard aqua sonic 120cm light which is far cheaper and would fit my space better. I m just wondering if I need to do a 10% water change every week that is about 50 litre of salt water I would need to make up so finding that hard to get my head around from a maintenance issue. Would you know a way around this ?
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 8:12 am

Thankyou both for your help. The size is the sticking point with the space i have and a little bit with budget. The lights for the waterbox are so expensive up to $1600. But I don't know if you can get away with a standard aqua sonic 120cm light which is far cheaper and would fit my space better. I m just wondering if I need to do a 10% water change every week that is about 50 litre of salt water I would need to make up so finding that hard to get my head around from a maintenance issue. Would you know a way around this ?
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Jutscher » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 10:21 am

You can have whatever lights you like, so long as you have a way of keeping them above your tank.
I can’t really comment on the aqua one lights as I have not used them before. I have used these guys for freshwater, and they also do saltwater lights https://makemyled.com/marine-led-systems/panel-systems/120cm-long/, Aussie made at a good price... and no I am not affiliated with them.

As for saltwater, I just use Natural Sea Water (NSW). Many LFS will sell it for about 10c a litre. So you just need a couple of food safe containers and your set. Here in Perth I get mine delivered in 1000l lots - my wc’s are about 200l. I am lucky tho that I have the room for a storage cube out the back of the house. It costs less than one bucket of salt mix which would only do for 1 wc. I am sure someone in your area will pipe up with what nsw options there are over your way.
Last edited by Jutscher on Wed 04 Sep, 2019 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 5:46 pm

Wow thanks mate I never even thought of that for saltwater . I will ask the LFS. And check the lights too. I wish I had some more space!!!!
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Thu 12 Sep, 2019 7:43 pm

I found these guys in Sydney https://www.saltwaterdeliveries.com.au
Turns out I have space for ibc and tank will fit
Just wondering if you do wcs with nsw what do you do about salinity as you can't match it to tank and temperature too. What set ups work in that situation?
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Jutscher » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 11:10 am

As with all things in this hobby, it depends on what works for you.

So long as the water in the ibc isnt really cold , I won’t do anything to adjust temp. A drop of a couple of degrees from a routine wc will soon be corrected by the tanks heaters. In the colder months you can use a separate container with a heater in it. Have it heating while you do your other maintenance, then chuck it in.

Salinity is the same. Most often it will be delivered a little on the heavy side, you can either leave a bit out when you refill the tank to allow you to adjust with RO at the end, or use a separate container to adjust outside of the tank before adding (probably easiest when starting out). After a couple of wc’s, you can also top off the ibc with RO.

Have you decided on a tank?
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Cfrank » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 6:14 pm

Many thanks for your help I think I will put in the waterbox 130.4 now I know I have the room and I can have water on hand. Would you know of any ideas for filling a tank from a ibc. Im thinking a return pump in the bottom of ibc going thru a hose and thru a window to get to the tank position. And maybe an inline cobalt pump attached to siphon tube to empty it out would it work. I really want a blue tang but don't want to have to move it on so 130 gallon should work?
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Re: New marine tank advice

Postby Jutscher » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 7:20 pm

That’s pretty much what I do, but I have the pump in a bucket next to the tank so you can switch it off quickly. I also have hose fittings on the inlet/outlet and just switch them over from pumping out/in. Still use a bucket and siphon for substrate cleaning duties.

It’s a lot better than 200l, so if you have your heart set on a blue tang, then go for it. Eventually it will get too big, but will take a bit longer. They are a very personable fish.
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