Fishlips Fishlips
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  • Posted on: 6/11/2010 0:06
New here and help required! #1
Hi all and thanks for taking time to read this.
Firstly let me just say I have never kept marine before!
I have about 7 years experience with various tropical set-ups, but I have had a few years away from fish keeping due to my ex not liking them!! You can see why she is my ex now she had to go and the fish make a return lol
Anyhow I am limited on space and I don't want to go for anything large as I maybe moving house again within the year so would like to keep things simple for myself.
I have purchased a 60L tank - it's a bi orb life (don't all start shouting lol) I know there are lots of lovers and haters, this is not the bowl variety - I have attached a pic so you know which sort it is. I realise they are not the best for a marine set-up (or indeed a tropical set-up) however it is my chosen tank so please don't turn this into a tank bashing thread
Basically this is what I plan:
To do away with the standard filtration system and put a layer of live sand with about 8kg of live rock in there. I will keep the pump and air stone in there to have some bubbles and help with water turn over and oxygenation, but I will probably cut the centre tube almost completely out to give a little extra room to play with.
I will invest in a power head to help the water flow for the live rock - can anyone suggest a small but powerful pump for that? (a koralia nano pump maybe?) Also would I be best off mounting the pump towards the top of the tank or should it be behind or pointing onto the live rock?
Obviously I will invest in a hydrometer and a water testing kit.
I kind of intend on keeping the led lighting system - I hope it's up to the job.
It will be a fish only tank by the way!

Once the tank has cycled do you think the following stocking would be ok -
a pair of clowns (percula). A turbo snail or two (maybe but don't really want the crabs eating them for their shells!), dracula shrimp goby (or some other bight goby, open to suggestions!) a blue legged hermit crab, a couple of sexy shrimp and thats about it I guess? Or would I get away with one more small fish?
I would have loved a fire shrimp, but I think the footprint of the tank is much too small
Basically I am after some interesting stocking ideas and advice on setting up one of these tanks as marine (got a vain hope that someone on here might have already set the life 60 up as marine!!).
Plus any other advice that you think would be useful for me!

Oh one last thing, I am planning on doing a 10 - 15% water change every 7 - 10 days (I wont know exactly how much and how often until I am up and running) but would I be best off heating the new water up to temp in a bucket first before adding it, or would I get away with adding it direct to the tank?

Thanks so much in advance for any help you maybe able to give me!

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mecca mecca
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  • Posted on: 6/11/2010 1:02
Re: New here and help required! #2
hi bud all i can is the tank is just not up to the job but if you do go ahead 1 shrimp and a hermit or 2 but if i was you just give it a miss bud it's just not up to the job good luck any way
Fishy-Fishy Fishy-Fishy
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  • Posted on: 6/11/2010 4:19
Re: New here and help required! #3
Hello, welcome to FK

Hmm, I know you don't want to turn this into a tank bashing thread but I'm afraid mecca is right, the tank is just not up to the job

If you wanted live sand then you'd have to ditch the pump and filter system in there altogether, these kind of tanks run on an undergravel filter system and sand would clog it up.

Any chance you could exchange the tank? I'm sure a different tank would make life a lot easier, you wouldn't have to do as much tweaking. I don't think your plan with the biube would really be doable, sorry
Fishlips Fishlips
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  • Posted on: 6/11/2010 9:41
Re: New here and help required! #4
I hear what you're saying.
I did a bit more research last night and loads of people have done the conversion I am suggesting. So I might check those forums out too Most of them seem to be running the live sand, live rock, air stone and mini power head set up that I am suggesting and the majority have been running them for 12 - 18 months now without problems. But they are doing 10% weekly water changes. Most of these are running with more fish than I would think should be in there though!
I realise that the standard filter would have to go in the bin if I went with the sand, think I mentioned that up top ^^
There was one chap who had drilled his and done a sump conversion. But I think I will go with the bio approach and hope the live rock and live sand will do the filtration for me.
A few of them have dine a lighting upgrade and have full reef set ups!! Quite impressive in this style of tank.
Re: New here and help required! #5
The tank is workable if you do indeed ditch the entire air tube and cartridge and ceramic media and just cover the entire bottom with sand, and maybe get an external filter hooked up to it for your chemical/mechanical filtration if you can, with live rock for your biological, small powerhead in the Koralia Nano 900 sort of half way down pointing towards rock and surface would be good as you'll need plenty of surface agitation due to less surface area due to the tank being taller than it is wide. Fish, I wouldn't put anything in there except gobies (loads to choose from) as anything else will end up cramped once they reach adult size. I've also seen ppl place a TMC Reef White til on the cut out at the top or place a par38 bulb over it for a full reef setup. Whatever you do don't buy the Marine Conversation Kit and don't attempt to do this in a standard Biorb/Biube as surface area will be an even greater problem.
Fishlips Fishlips
  • Just popping in
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  • Posted on: 6/11/2010 12:20
Re: New here and help required! #6
Thanks for the input
Is there any reason to ditch the air stone/bubbles? I understand about doing away with the crap cartridge system!! But I thought the bubble may help (a tiny bit) with the surface water aggitation?
Chances are that if I do move next year I will invest and a larger rank and keep this one for either a tropical set up with a small school of cardinal tetra, or upgrade the lighting and drill it and go for a nano reef only set up.
But for now this is my choice of tank so I will be working with what I have

I fully appreciate the fact that EVERY fish tank in the world isn't a mini slice of the ocean but more of a small toxic box. But with the right attention we can keep those toxins to a minimum.
I wouldn't attempt it in anything less than the life 60 and I can understand peoples concerns. The marine conversion kit (from what I can see) is a total rip off!! And I honestly don't understand how they can suggest the small filter cartridge is suitable to keep a mairne set up!
Anyway, I shall have a look at the gobies - thanks
I am right in thinking that the footprint of the tank is far too small for a fire shrimp?
Would anyone like to suggest a good CUC?
Does 7 - 8 kg of live rock with a 2" live sand set up sound about right?
Any suggestions on the best live rock? Also should I add that rock bit by bit while the tank is cycling or should I dump the whole 8 kg in at once?
And regarding the water changes, if I am doing a 10 - 15% change should I heat the water first?
Thanks again
Re: New here and help required! #7
You don't need than much rock in there, try aorund 4kg to start with and you can always add more. The air bubbles would help but it's just means you have to deal with needing to access it to change airstone, I know on my Biube (mistake) the whole whing could come out by unscrewing 3 screws. If you kept it you'll no doubt have to move your live rock to access it and you don't want to be messing about with it really once it's in. As long as ur powerhead is facing towards teh surface you should be fine, just my opinion. Sexy shrimp would be a better choice in that tank over the fire shrimp. Yes you'll need an extra heater and powerhead or pump for mixing ur 10 - 15% water in a bucket also leave it mixing for 18 - 24 hours. Fiji Live Rock is what i'd go for.