Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:29 pm Post subject: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
Lately I have been mesmerized the the beauty of marine fish.
So, I'm planning to venture into the area. Till date I have not been near a Marine tank, not even touched a marine tank, so I guess you will know how much of a novice I'm in marine.
I have started reading on the net regarding marine tanks, but cant find any info as to what I'm looking for, rather I'm not using the correct key words.
I need to start from scratch.
1. Tank size: 24" X 15" 12"
2. I can manage a sump: 18" X 1" X 1"
3. I'm on a low budget, so equipment has to be minimum.
4. Maintenance has to be minimum.
5. Plan to keep one 2-3 fish. May be Clowns. and some cleaner shrimp.
6. Is live rock really necessary? if so, will MMLR do? where can I get the live rock to seed it?
7. Is an anemone necessary if I plan to keep clowns?
8. What salt to use?
9. What all will be the test kits I will need to buy and from where?
10. Is a protein skimmer necessary? If so, what would be the cheapest option?
11. What should be the substrate? will beach sand do?
12. How long should I cycle the tank?
There are lots of questions I have, as my knowledge is nil regarding marine.
Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:49 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
I am a novice too but i can answer your one question.
You would be needing anemones while keeping clowns.
Absolutely "wrong" answer. You DO NOT need anemones to have clowns, they'll do fine without anemones. The problem with anemones are:
1. You'll need excellent water quality, you will not get it unless your tank is matured (6-7 months)
2. Anemones need lot of light, more light more heat and you'll need a chiller. Think of the expense for food Halides or T5's or LED's and a chiller.
3. Anemones don't like parameter swing, in a small tank like yours even a little change will swing the parameter to a great degree. Your temp will go up easly and if you don't have auto topff your salinity will go up.
Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:36 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
1. Tank size: 24" X 15" 12" - Ok, bigger is better
2. I can manage a sump: 18" X 1" X 1" - Ok, bigger is better
3. I'm on a low budget, so equipment has to be minimum. - then don't keep an anemone
4. Maintenance has to be minimum. - then don't keep an anemone
5. Plan to keep one 2-3 fish. May be Clowns. and some cleaner shrimp. - ok
6. Is live rock really necessary? if so, will MMLR do? where can I get the live rock to seed it? - NOt required. Can use MMLR. Don't need to seed
7. Is an anemone necessary if I plan to keep clowns? - Nope
8. What salt to use? - Any. Red Sea is fine
9. What all will be the test kits I will need to buy and from where? - Nitrite, Ph, Refractometer
10. Is a protein skimmer necessary? If so, what would be the cheapest option? - You get what you pay for with skimmers
11. What should be the substrate? will beach sand do? - No beach sand. Crushed coral or aragonite
12. How long should I cycle the tank? - typically, about 3 weeks, Nitrite = 0
Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:44 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
Its nice that you have got interest in having tank. But its great responsibility also. Because we are dealing with live creatures. who can not move form out tank. So Its our responsibility to take care of them.
Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:53 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
Unless you're making horrendous spelling mistakes i don't see why you cant find marine tank info on the internet. There is so much to read on the net that by the time you finish you'll probably give up on marine. Since it's your first time i personally think you shouldn't go for such a small tank. if money is a concern then don't go for a marine tank. It's definitely not a budget hobby. Your dedication towards researching and reading will determine your success with a marine tank besides actual experience of course.
Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:16 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
Psst, typed entire message and power konks off. Anyway, let me try for the second time
Nano tanks or nano reefs are for experts and not for beginners. Having said that, I am sure you will not stop nano tank because we advised here. Hence here comes my advice.
Here is the order
a) Money - Show me the money. If you are pinching pennies, you should get out now. As sid said, once you get started, money just flows. If money doesnt flow, chances are you are sitting on a failing tank
b) Patience and Effort - Patience pays. Marine tanks dont develop in a day or a week or a month. From what I have seen, it takes at least two years, to have a successful beautiful tank, assuming you are not spraying money and buying everything off the shelf.
Read a lot, there is enough on the net.
c) Water Change - To start off I would suggest a 3 ft tank (even for a nano) for you. Water quality is very important and the best way to maintain is by changing weekly/fortnightly. For a 2 footer, I will go with weekly water change and for a 3 footer, I will go for a fortnightly change. Change 20-25% water. No time for this, get away now.
d) Test, Test, Test - If you see any abnormality, first thing to do is test the water. Test your water every week religiously. When in doubt test
Digital thermometer in the aquarium is needed so that you can notice temp variations.
What to test for - Regularly - Salinity and ph. For the first 6 months, test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. At the minimum ammonia.
Brands you get Aquatic Remedies and API. Aquatic Remedies are desi and hence cheap and will do the job.
e) Live Rock - LR is a must and have atleast 10 Kgs. To cut costs, you can use Uncured Rocks which will also help you to start Nitrogen cycle without fish. You can add bit more Dead Rock which will become Live over a period of time. Dont expect 1 kg of Live Rock will seed your Dead Rock. LR will keep Water Quality in a better shape. My guess is MMLR is a waste of time, because from what I have seen Dead Rock doesnt get seeded easily. Even after a year of my tank, I can still see nothing much happened to my Dead Rock.
You can add your Live Rock in 2nd-3rd day after the salt water is added to the tank
f) Adding Fish : For a 2 ft tank, I will not think about more than 2 fishes for the first 6 months. Even for a 3 ft tank, I will be cautious on 3rd fish. If you are going with LR, I will keep my fishes off till there is no ammonia or nitrite. If you have a protein skimmer, the production rate of brown junk comes down once things stablize. When this happens, go for a 50% water change, wait for a day and add your fishes. Typically this happens around 3 weeks to 6 weeks ( depending upon how cured the rock is).
If you are going without LR, add first fish at the end of the first week. Forget about adding anything for the next 4 weeks. I think you will be good for another fish then. First fish has to be a hardy fish. Typically Damsels will be the best bet here. Clowns, didnt work for me.
Dont go with any fish which can grow above 4"
g) Sump Filter - Keeps your water in a good condition and what you have should be sufficient
h) Pump - Have one pump or two pumps to circulate water all the time
i) Fan - Since you are not planning for a reef, and can make do with decorative lighting, I will suggest a fan with which you should get by in Pune Summer. Anemone needs a heavy lighting and that heats up water and will need a chiller.
Please note temp variations are a major stress factor and hence you will need to manage it.
If you keep up with c), d), e), f), g), h) and i), there is no way you can fail. Ofcourse if you dont have a) and b), dont enter this hobby
Nice to have
a) Skimmer - I would like to put this above, but I think you can get by and add this a bit later. Weipro hangons are cheap and will do the job for you. Air bubbles skimmers didnt work for me.
b) Chiller - If you are planning for a reef or staying in a very hot place, this is a must. I guess you should be able to get by with a fan in pune summer.
e) Package Drinking Water - For mixing with Salt. Nice to have feature
a) Anemone, needs heavy lights and this can cause huge temp swings, killing your fishes. Clown can happily live even without Anemone, so leave the Anemone aside.
b) Substrate could be crushed corals sand, argonite or live sand. They will act as ph buffers and will not let the ph drop dramatically. Beach Sand will not act as ph buffer and that is the reason why it is avoided. Also, for a reef, the beach sand may contain lot of impurities which can affect the reef.
c) You can use Red Sea or AquaCraft brands. Personally, I like AquaCraft, however ph drop a bit faster here. You also get RedCoral which is a local brand. Though I didnt hear anything negative about it, I didnt use it either, so I cannot suggest.
I thought I will give a ball park figures for 3 ft tanks. I can also tell you, at this point of time, this is the lowest possible cost and you cannot get below this. Mods, I thought this will be useful and since these are generic numbers, it will not hurt price policy of this site.
1. Salt (Monthly) - 400- 500
2. Salt (Initial and First Change) - 750
3. Live Rock - 1500 - 2000
4. Test Kits - 1500 - 2000
5. Sump - 1000 - 2000
6. Tank - 1000 - 2000
7. Pumps, Thermometers - 750 - 1000
8. Skimmer - 1500 - 2500
Minimum total setup cost - 8,000 ( Assuming you got all the best deals)
Expected Cost - 11,000 - 14,000
I am putting this costs up here to get you prepared for what is in store for you
Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:49 pm Post subject: Re: Setting up a Nano Marine Tank
Re-reading my update, I felt I have come out a bit rude and looked like I was trying to discourage Humaid. In fact opposite is true and I seriously hope we have more hobbyists in marine side. I apologize if it sounded a bit rude.
At the same time, considering Indian environment is very nascent on the marine side, I tried to keep my give a minimal workable setup so that we can get a wonderful tank. Indian environment is much more difficult when compared to the US world, where most of the writing on marine hobby comes from. Most of the advanced equipment like reactors, chillers, lights, designer foods, plumbing equipment are not available in India. Also firangis are good at DIYs and this is one essential skill in marine hobby. (I cant imagine myself drilling a hole to the tank whereas I had seen forums where people build their tank, right from stand)
One other thing I missed earlier in my update is procurement
Most difficulty I faced on the marine side is with procurement. Procuring stuff is not easy on the marine side. You find very few LFS stocking marine equipment, fishes, salt etc. And if at all, you find any LFS they price it so grossly, you feel like puking (atleast in hyderabad). With very few hobbyists on marine side, you can feel their pain too. Online buying too had been unreliable for me with dates and delivery times having no meaning. Most of the stuff I got on Marine side is through relationships and through hobbyists turned LFS who at heart are still basically hobbyists. And they had given me at a reasonable price. This is the primary motivation for me giving out the minimum costs :)
I think to be economical on marine, if you are based in Chennai or Kolkatta, you have a good chance. I am not too sure about Mumbai and Bangalore. Others are fighting against odds. Gulls from Nagpur would vouch for this
Last but not the least, the wholier than thou government laws against marine hobby, which while allowing huge chemical complexes/oil refineries being built near coral reefs. Tuticorin port is a major port situated right near a coral reef, Gulf of Mannar. And there are dozen industries which are heavy pollutants of the sea around Tuticorin. And you have Setu Samudram project coming up. Same case is near the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat. With so many oil refineries, it is just a accident waiting to happen. One oil spill and your Gulf of Kutch is gone. Now enuf with my ranting.
I am happy you folks liked my earlier update and seriously hope there will be a many more marine folks around, so that LFS have economies of scale
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