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procky procky
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  • Posted on: 16/1/2010 21:08
New Starter #1
Hi all, just want to introduce myself.

Im Mark or as nickname suggests Procky.

Ive been really interested in keeping marine fish. I have been wanting to get into it for a while. I already have reptiles etc. So I know jumping in the deep end (no play on the pun) is not the right thing. I have previously kept tropicals but have since given tanks away as this was a few years ago when I was younger and they belonged to the parents.

I have done loads of research on the net and there are so many conflicting views its untrue. Im sure you all know about them. I was that misguided I was about to buy a biorb or biube untill I came across your topic advising against them. You seem about the busiest forum also .

So, what im wanting is advice really. Ideally I would want to get setup for around ?200. Fish immediately is not a concern I would get them later when funds increase. I have looked on ebay and found full setups for around ?200 but I want to have the feeling of being able to nuture and create from the bottom up so I would like to start from scratch.

Can any one advise exactly what I would need, any good books to purchase etc

or even starter setups for that amount of money.

Honestly space is a bit tight so if you can take that into account. I would also like it to be as energy effcient as possible.
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 17/1/2010 0:06
Re: New Starter #2
Hi Mark - welcome to FK I'm afraid I can't be much help on your Q's though as I keep goldies but welcome anyway Hopefully you'll get some good advice from the marine chaps/chappesses Electrogear has just set up a new marine tank so maybe have a read through some of his recent stuff in the marine section for a few ideas
It's Not Just A Fish
Fishy-Fishy Fishy-Fishy
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  • Posted on: 17/1/2010 9:42
Re: New Starter #3
Hi Mark, welcome to FK

How much space do you have exactly? Do you have any ideas what sort of tank you want (fish only or reef). ?200 should be able to get you a decent second-hand set up with all the gear you need. There's a lot more equipment than with freshwater stuff, also be aware that marine tanks are more complicated and more expensive to set-up and run than freshwater tanks.

I would avoid getting a set-up that already includes fish, I have seen loads of people on ebay trying to palm off tankbuster to unsuspecting newbies.

That's about the limit of my experience, I'm not a marine person either
electrogear electrogear
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  • Posted on: 17/1/2010 14:09
Re: New Starter #4
Hi Mark, and welcome to FK :)

Quote:

Fishy-Fishy wrote:
?200 should be able to get you a decent second-hand set up with all the gear you need.


I'm sorry FF, I don't agree. I went the second hand route with an Orca nano. The initial outlay for the tank & stand was ?125 and it came with 3 powerheads. This was very very cheap and you wouldn't find a deal like that on eBay. That was the initial equipment cost but since setting the tank up I've added a new (better) protein skimmer, a new (bigger) filter pump, and a home-made phosphate reactor with tunze pump. This has brought the basic equipment total up to about ?200.

Hope you're following this :D that's ?200 for the equipment. Now comes the shocker:

Further Equipment:

?60 on Refractometer, and TDS meter
?15 on a decent blue night light
?20 on bucket, net, hand pump
?20 on timers for lighting & surge protected 8-way sockets

Total: ?115

Consumables:

?20 for reef test kit
?50 for 10 months worth of salt
?30 on RO water (~?14 for the fill, ?3/week thereafter)

Total: ?100

Stock:

?130 for live rock
?25 for sand
?62 for cleanup crew (2 x peppermint shrimp, 9 x turbo snails, 5 x Cerith snails, 1 x Hermit)
?10 for 3 Blue-green Chromis
?15 for Blackray Goby
?15 for Scooter Blenny
?15 for fan worm

Total (to date): ?272

Please note, I get fish at around 50% of normal LFS prices, so you can pretty much double all of the "Stock" column

That brings the total so far up to ?687

Ouch, I hadn't really thought about it 'til now

I'm not trying to put you off Mark, but if ?200 is your long-term budget I would steer you away from it. Even if you manage to find all of those things in a super-bargain second-hand package, you'll still need more cash for things that crop up, water changes, lighting costs, stock, etc. You'll probably want to keep corals, which is another added expense - even more expensive than the fish!

I think I was on a similar wavelength to you when I first picked up my tank, thinking ?100 was a bargain, then realising how expensive everything else was, but luckily I was prepared for this as people had told me before hand so I knew in the back of my mind what was coming, but still it would have been nice if someone had given me a rough breakdown of costs, which is why I have done - hope it helps!
procky procky
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  • Posted on: 17/1/2010 16:53
Re: New Starter #5
hi all,
Thanks for the replies, the ?200 was really just an initial setup tank. Funds will increase by end of month livestock etc wont be purchased for a while yet as I understand the nitrogen cycle needs to be done for a few weeks to a couple of months before fish are added (wish i'd listened more closely to biology lesson lol!). Space - urrrmm probably an alcove either side of a chimney breast so I imagine probably 2-3feet wide depth and height probably not so much an issue. Corals would be nice later. As I say I want to start from scratch so I know ?200 isnt much but this will be an on going project with funds being realeased at least on a monthly basis. I would probably prefer a reef system to be honest - to try and get it as natural as possibly.

Also what does tankbuster mean? why would you not buy a setup with fish etc? Its not what I want as I want to start from scratch. Im just curious
electrogear electrogear
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  • Posted on: 17/1/2010 17:36
Re: New Starter #6
Yeah if you don't mind doing it in small stages then you can probably get something going, however for the cycling stage you're going to need the live rock. How much you need will depend on tank size. The bigger the tank, the more expensive everything is, including equipment, running cost, and amount of stock.

For a 3 foot tank you will need around 25KG of rock. Around where you live Live Rock prices are commonly ?10 - ?15 per KG, so is going to cost you around the ?250 mark. My tank is a 1.5' cube so I've gone for around 16KG, and got my rock cheap at ?8 per KG. Again you could go second hand and you'd be looking at around ?5 per KG but be careful, some people are just trying to palm off rock overrun by glass anenome, which will sting your corals and is a general pest and very difficult to get rid of.

It's really important that you get to grips with the nitrogen cycle, then do some research on the Berlin method of filtration first though.
spheon spheon
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2010 15:16
Re: New Starter #7
I agree with the listed costs they do add up - even the salt alone on larger tanks has to be considered, I spend around ?150 on salt alone a year! hopefully now my scrubber is working water changes will begin to decrease... :)

Dont forget replacement lamps annually (including UV) or 6monthly for the PL/CFL models...

:)
Spheon

Fluval Vicenza 260L/55Gal Marine with Aquaworld MT50 quarantine Nano tank
Howard Howard
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2010 19:14
Re: New Starter #8
Buy your LR secondhand from people selling either on Aquarist Classifieds , or UR ... you will buy it for ?4-5 a kilo.

It will be prime stuff too , with maybe a few hitchiking corals , as opposed to the 'just cured' stuff from the LFS.

I can't remember the last time i spent ?10/kilo on some LR.
Original Image

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electrogear electrogear
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2010 19:50
Re: New Starter #9
There's a decent LFS up here that does it for ?7.50/KG, I got some zoas, glove & star polyp hitchikers with them too, plus some fanworms, a brittlestar, and lots of other little miniscule filter feeders too. Also got a eunice worm (now dead lol) and about 4 crabs (grrrr CRABS!) and 2 aiptasia, but you can't expect it to be all good I guess.

The thing to look out for when choosing Live Rock is, get the stuff that has more Corraline algae on it (the pink/red/purple stuff). The LR with more of this has generally more life on it, IME. Look up "aiptasia" and get a good feeling for what they look like, then you can have a good look at the LR before buying it to make sure it doesn't have any.
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2010 20:13
Re: New Starter #10
Quote:

procky wrote:
Also what does tankbuster mean? why would you not buy a setup with fish etc? Its not what I want as I want to start from scratch. Im just curious


Tankbusters are fish sold as little babies but no one in the shops mentions they might grow vast. You either end up trying to rehome it but no one else wants it, buying a massive tank or keeping it in less than ideal conditions while it eats the rest of your stock, for example. Think red-tailed catfish, not that they're marine but you get my drift. And those cute little baby plecs that get to two foot plus ... etc.
It's Not Just A Fish