Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   What type of tanks and set ups should I look for (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/what-type-tanks-set-ups-should-13400/)

matttom 03-31-2008 09:01 PM

What type of tanks and set ups should I look for
 
Hi all I'm new to this and excuse me for any ignorance I might show :oops:

Anyway this is my plan. I live on the water in a saltwater estuary. I have access to unlimited "clean" water and I have the ability to collect a large selection of livestock.

The type of enviroment I would like to set up is a temperate water ecosystem, maybe 65-70 degrees. I also would like to try some of the local soft corals and plants. The fish I would like would mostly be small from 2" to 8" max.

I am of course working on a limited budget. I would like to purchase a used set-up 75-90 gal. There seems to be an abundace for sale in my area. So what are the musts as far as filtration, lighting,heating ect.....

Thanks for any help in advance :D

Dave66 04-01-2008 01:12 AM

Re: What type of tanks and set ups should I look for
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by matttom
Hi all I'm new to this and excuse me for any ignorance I might show :oops:

Anyway this is my plan. I live on the water in a saltwater estuary. I have access to unlimited "clean" water and I have the ability to collect a large selection of livestock.

The type of enviroment I would like to set up is a temperate water ecosystem, maybe 65-70 degrees. I also would like to try some of the local soft corals and plants. The fish I would like would mostly be small from 2" to 8" max.

I am of course working on a limited budget. I would like to purchase a used set-up 75-90 gal. There seems to be an abundace for sale in my area. So what are the musts as far as filtration, lighting,heating ect.....

Thanks for any help in advance :D

Mattom,
First and foremost you need to have that water tested for salinity and possible pollutants. You'll need to know the salinity (in PPM or specific gravity) and the makeup of the water as it will determine what you can keep, if anything.
Depending on your room temps, if you'll be doing a temperate tank, you'll need a chiller to keep the tank in the optimal range if your room temps top 72, and chillers are expensive as in several hundred dollars. A heater would be needed, of course, if the room temp drops below optimal.
As for the corals, if they are photosynthetic, you light budget will be prodigious. If not photosynthetic, you'll have to culture live phytoplankton and rotifers to feed them.
You'll need a good protein skimmer as it will do wonders eliminating dissolved organics before they decay and impinge on your water quality and thus your corals.
Of course, you shouldn't legally be able to harvest organisms without express permission from your local Game&Fish Commission. You'll most likely have to purchase a permit.
Even though you'll have a ready marine water supply, the budget for any decent sized marine reef tank is necessarily large, easily 10 times that of a freshwater planted tank. And its very much advisable to buy the largest tank you can afford and site, as the larger it is, the more forgiving it is of mistakes.
There are many, many questions you'll need answered before you delve into this project. I've just touched on a few things you'll need to take care of.

Dave

matttom 04-01-2008 03:38 PM

Thanks for the reply Dave!

I realize after a lot of reading on this site and some others it is a very involved process to say the least. This why I will try to keep as simple as possible by collecting my own water and some livestock that live in it. As far as permits for collecting I have that covered.

My interest lie in recreating my local marine enviroment as opposed to a coral reef habitat. I hope I find that it will be a little bit easier.

The first task I want to tackle is obtaining the needed hardware.

1. Tank :lol:

2. filtersysetem

3. Protien skimmer

4. Lighting

5. heating/cooling.
I guess this where I'll start. The temp. of my room fluctuates between 65-68 in the winter and 70-74 in the summer so I hope I'm ok without a chiller.

Since i'll be using the same water I collect from the chemistry of the water should be OK.

Please point out anything else and if anyone who is already doing the same set up please chime in :D

Dave66 04-02-2008 02:11 AM

mattom,

You have a bit of an advantage over tropical reef tanks, as temperate species are usually easier to keep, as the cooler water holds more oxygen and nitrate isn't quite as much a problem to control.
When you decide on your tank size and kind of critters you want to keep, I'll give you links to the properly sized and featured equipment.
I'd suggest refugium-based filtration. You can cannibalize an old tank and use it as both a sump and refugium with live rock rubble (the 'dead' kind) and macro-algae. If you put the sump/refugium on reverse daylight, you'll help keep the dissolved oxygen high. Between the refugium and the skimmer you'll be set, filtration-wise.
Make sure the sump is a good percentage of the main tank. My sumps are between 25 and 50 percent their main tank sizes. You should aim for at least 20 percent.
Google 'plenum'. build on of those in your sump, and the nitrogen cycle will be complete.

Dave

matttom 04-02-2008 09:11 PM

Ok Dave I think I get it better now. I'm learning a lot here!!!! I do have a 15 gal fresh tank I'm running now but I think I might look for a bigger one for a sump. I see lots cheap on craigslist, or is it ok to use a plastic container? I have a live bait well from a boat that might be the right size. I'm shooting for a 75-90 gal so i'M LOOKING FOR A 15-30 GAL sump.

Dave66 04-02-2008 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matttom
Ok Dave I think I get it better now. I'm learning a lot here!!!! I do have a 15 gal fresh tank I'm running now but I think I might look for a bigger one for a sump. I see lots cheap on craigslist, or is it ok to use a plastic container? I have a live bait well from a boat that might be the right size. I'm shooting for a 75-90 gal so i'M LOOKING FOR A 15-30 GAL sump.

mattom,
You can use whatever you like for a sump, as long as it isn't toxic and is easily sited and used. You could use a Rubbermaid bin for a sump, as long as you wash it thoroughly first to remove mold release agents. A sump doesn't have to be pretty. Mine just happen to be glass tanks because I've accrued so many of them over the years. Since they are refugium sumps, I do light them. Its easy because they are all standard-sized tanks (2 foot, four foot, six foot) and the lights I use fit.
If you have yard and/or estate sales in your area, its fairly common to find old tanks there for cheap. You'll go through many, many 10 gallon tanks before you find one of any size.

Dave

matttom 04-06-2008 10:35 PM

I found this tank on craigslist:

Perfect for fresh and salt water fish…Includes:
90 Gallon Tapped AGA Tank with 1 overflow (48"w x 18"d x 24" h)
Retail Value New $320...Black Oak Stand, Retail Value New $200..
Deluxe 48" Fluorescent Hood Light (single bulb), Retail Value New $80...
Fluval Model 404 Canister Filter (Supports up to 100 gal tank), Retail Value New $125....Python Tank Cleaner with 50 ft hose, Retail Value New $55....
5 Gallon Container of Crushed Coral (80 lbs), Retail Value New $50

The price is 425$

The only thing missing I see is a protien skimmer

What do you guys think?

Dave66 04-07-2008 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matttom
I found this tank on craigslist:

Perfect for fresh and salt water fish…Includes:
90 Gallon Tapped AGA Tank with 1 overflow (48"w x 18"d x 24" h)
Retail Value New $320...Black Oak Stand, Retail Value New $200..
Deluxe 48" Fluorescent Hood Light (single bulb), Retail Value New $80...
Fluval Model 404 Canister Filter (Supports up to 100 gal tank), Retail Value New $125....Python Tank Cleaner with 50 ft hose, Retail Value New $55....
5 Gallon Container of Crushed Coral (80 lbs), Retail Value New $50

The price is 425$

The only thing missing I see is a protien skimmer

What do you guys think?

The tank is good with a built-in overflow. The canister filter is a generation removed from the modern Fluval, the 405 series. You might as well chuck the hood, as you wouldn't be able to even see the fish with one tube, and its useless if you want to keep corals and whatnot. The Python is good for draining the water out for partial water changes. You'll have to mix your own sea water and pump it in to the tank to refill it.
Crushed coral: you can use it, but you'd need a lot more to cover the bottom of a 90 to any depth with 80 pounds of it.
Offer him 400 for the setup.

Dave

matttom 04-07-2008 06:14 AM

I was gonna offer 375$ :lol:

conger 04-07-2008 11:15 AM

well, the only word of warning I'll offer is beware of price. I know the tank and equipment you show is for around $400, but there is so much more that you'd need to buy...

new lighting (as mentioned previously)
protein skimmer
live rock
powerheads

the above things will easily bump you up another few hundred if not more. And then there are buying fish and corals (you mentioned being able to "harvest" them, so maybe thats not a concern).

I guess the motivation for this post is the following: I recently (within the last three months or so) purchased a 90gal SW, though I bought most of the stuff new as opposed to used. Regardless, even after planning and budgeting, I still overshot my estimates, and have spent easily $2000 on it so far. I still have things I want to buy and upgrade as well.

So, since you mentioned being on a low budget, I thought I'd offer fair warning that for a 90gal SW, you'll likely be spending a whole lot more than a few hundred dollars :)


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