Moving to the salty side?

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02 Jun 2016 07:35 #1 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Hey all,

Im thinking about breaking down my 250l planted tank and trying out a smallish reef tank. Never tried Marine before so it will be a steep learning curve! Im think about getting a Fluval M90 Aquarium. Anyone got experience with them? Or would i be better converting my clearseal 250l to Marine?

Thanks,
Stephen

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02 Jun 2016 08:59 #2 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
My honest advise......
Go as big as you can! Smaller tanks are more Susepteble to spikes
Buy good rock, not cheap cap off someone who just wants rid of it!
Buy good test kits! Research what you want and then ask for advise! Don't just look in lfs and say "that's pretty, I'll have it"!
Everything has a job in my tank except my clown fish and Banghi Kardinal ! They all have a purpose!

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02 Jun 2016 11:34 - 02 Jun 2016 11:36 #3 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Thanks for the advice, might look into converting the clearseal. Would probably have to get a new stand made which will accommodate a sump and drill the tank or get a HOB overflow box. Also will need a new led light. It all starts adding up! Or i could keep an eye out for a second hand marine tank with sump.

Stephen.
Last edit: 02 Jun 2016 11:36 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey).

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02 Jun 2016 11:59 #4 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
To be honest, I'm using an external filter on my marine and all my parameters are spot on apart from salinity but that's easy sorted with an ATO Unit. So that's next on my list of purchases! While a sump would be a welcomed addition, it's not really essential!

Why put additional expense onto yourself at this stage? Yes your probably right and now is the time to do it..... but like the rest of us..... you'll want an upgrade probably sooner rather than later! At which time you'll buy a tank with sump and stand!

I've a 90cm led marine light doing nothing cause I upgraded the lights about 2 months after buying it!
You don't have to buy new, with so many people upgrading regularly..... there's usually some decent gear on offer at decent prices, and normally not too old as well! !!

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02 Jun 2016 13:04 #5 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Been doing a little reading about using a external filter in a reef tank and most forms are saying they are a "nitrate factory" if there not cleaned weekly? Am i wrong in saying the live rock/sand dose most of the filtering for you? Also i was under the impression that i would need a protein skimmer or is that just nice to have?

Sorry for all the noob questions!

Stephen.

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02 Jun 2016 14:52 #6 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
What's the point in being on a forum if you can't ask questions.........

Skimmer essential? Not really, but I would recommend having one never the less! I use an aquamedic hang on skimmer!
One thing that is essential tho, good water movement and a lid/cover

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02 Jun 2016 21:59 #7 by carlowchris (chris)
Hi ya Stephen

Converting the clearseal using hang on overflows....buying a sump...drilling a tank......fillling a canister filter with media..........it all kind of adds up I'd say if ya can buy the m90....buy it.....

Having a sump would make it so much easier if ya do decide to add a skimmer and while some people say there not necessary there a very usefully peice of equipment to have...

A skimmer removes organic dissolved compounds from the water..these compounds if not skimmed out will turn in to nitrates and phosphate and then you'll have to deal with them and high levels of these in a marine tank is definitely not what ya want.

Your rock and sand does do some filtration but not enough......they can end up like a big sponge so other filtration is nesarary as well..


A marine tank is probly one of best tanks you'll ever start.....sometimes it wrecks your head but it's a great learning experience...and there always seems to be more and more to learn......trust me once you start you won't look back.

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02 Jun 2016 23:40 #8 by igmillichip (ian millichip)

Hicker12 wrote: Been doing a little reading about using a external filter in a reef tank and most forms are saying they are a "nitrate factory" if there not cleaned weekly? Am i wrong in saying the live rock/sand dose most of the filtering for you? Also i was under the impression that i would need a protein skimmer or is that just nice to have?

Sorry for all the noob questions!

Stephen.


The "Nitrate Factory" rubbish that is I see written everywhere is exactly that: "rubbish".
It is spouted by folk who probably know very little about the subject or out of context.............so when starting off, ignore that nonsense.

Skimmers can be a great piece of kit and can do wonders..........but they are not essential.

I see folk say you have to have a sump...........rubbish.
Sumps are great additional volumes of water for adding this that and the other, and can add a great deal to a marine tank: but they are not essential.

If you want to safely drive around a race track at 160mph then something like a Merc AMG 6.3 litre engined SL63 would be great................but it is not essential to have such a car for doing 70 mph on a motorway to buy a few piece of shopping.

Your tank you have will do fine for a marine tank.
Do buy a skimmer if you have a few spare quid and want to minimise maintenance (but remember skimmers introduce their own maintenance).

Good choice of realistic stocking, and great care in the early days is important.

ian

Irish Tropical Fish Society (ITFS) Member.

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03 Jun 2016 03:01 #9 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)

Hicker12 wrote: Hey all,

Im thinking about breaking down my 250l planted tank and trying out a smallish reef tank. Never tried Marine before so it will be a steep learning curve! Im think about getting a Fluval M90 Aquarium. Anyone got experience with them? Or would i be better converting my clearseal 250l to Marine?

Thanks,
Stephen


Hey Stephan,

Just to let you know i started off on the salty side with a M90 and bought the M60 as well, have a look at my profile pic :)

There a good tank, skimmers are very noisy and if you were thinking of buying one i am planning on taking my one down in the next few weeks as i bought another 3ft clearseal tank that im moving everything over too. Going in beside my 5ft clearseal :)

If there is anything you need to know about them just let me know, I had good growth out of them over the 18months i have it up and running, no large fish tho as its just too small for something like a tang or large angel but i did successfully keep a female mandarin alive in it for 15 months now and still going. I have 30-35 kgs of live rock in mine so it helps alot. I dont run the skimmer as i just found the noise unbearable lol.

As i said if you want to know more about them let me know :)

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03 Jun 2016 03:02 #10 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Ohh, the biggest downside to the m90 is that it has no lid, i have lost many a fish to that, but then again you can easily buy a mesh lid kit for them.

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03 Jun 2016 14:31 #11 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Thank you all for the reply's, its been very helpful.

At the min i am pulling toward converting my 250l and using my fluval 406. Will probably have to get power heads or a wave maker and a good led light. Not sure how i would incorporate a HOB skimmer as my tank has a glass lid. Are all skimmers load? The tank will be in my living room so might be an issue. How much is live rock and how much would i need for a 250l tank? Im used to doing weekly water changes and testing so maintenance wont be a problem however i dont fancy cleaning the filter weekly. The Nitrate Factory thing did sound a bit dubious to me, any suggestions on filter media and filter set up?

Thanks again.
Stephen

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03 Jun 2016 20:06 #12 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
General accepted rule of thumb is 1kg for 10 litre of water, so you would be looking for around 25kg roughly!
Ai primes are good lights for the money In my opinion! Worth looking at others too tho!
I got my primes cause I like the size and programming etc is easy! No need to be playing around with them for ages to get them doing what I want them to do!
Look at getting yourself an RO Unit as well, yes RO water is cheap to buy but it all adds up after a while and making your own makes more sense anyway!
Of you end up going the dry rock route, I'd buy yourself a bottle of ATM agent green as after a while phosphates WILL leach and mess up the tank, if I had bought a bottle of it a few months earlier, I'd a saved a fortune in excess phosphate removers!

There's lots to learn and read up on, don't be afraid of questions...the only stupid question is the one left unasked no matter how silly you think it might think it will be!

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03 Jun 2016 20:34 #13 by carlowchris (chris)
Skimmers arnt that loud...they do make a bit of noise but not that much....I did see someone on YouTube who had a large skimmer like mine ...and he couldn't handle the noise so he replaced with two smaller skimmers instead....could be an option??

I've never ran a canister but there is things like jbl nitrate x and I think there is a phosphate version as well that can go in a canister...

Seahorses new seahorse tank only has canister filters on it so it is possible...but those guys can spend all day everyday on maintaining that tank......using a canister will need regular maintenance.

You'll need about 25kgs of live rock.

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04 Jun 2016 09:44 #14 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
I have an RO/DI system already for my shrimp tanks so should be sorted there. I know nothing about lights for Marine tanks so will do some research and look up them Ai Primes.

Thanks Stephen

hammie wrote: General accepted rule of thumb is 1kg for 10 litre of water, so you would be looking for around 25kg roughly!
Ai primes are good lights for the money In my opinion! Worth looking at others too tho!
I got my primes cause I like the size and programming etc is easy! No need to be playing around with them for ages to get them doing what I want them to do!
Look at getting yourself an RO Unit as well, yes RO water is cheap to buy but it all adds up after a while and making your own makes more sense anyway!
Of you end up going the dry rock route, I'd buy yourself a bottle of ATM agent green as after a while phosphates WILL leach and mess up the tank, if I had bought a bottle of it a few months earlier, I'd a saved a fortune in excess phosphate removers!

There's lots to learn and read up on, don't be afraid of questions...the only stupid question is the one left unasked no matter how silly you think it might think it will be!

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04 Jun 2016 09:46 #15 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)

carlowchris wrote: Skimmers arnt that loud...they do make a bit of noise but not that much....I did see someone on YouTube who had a large skimmer like mine ...and he couldn't handle the noise so he replaced with two smaller skimmers instead....could be an option??

I've never ran a canister but there is things like jbl nitrate x and I think there is a phosphate version as well that can go in a canister...

Seahorses new seahorse tank only has canister filters on it so it is possible...but those guys can spend all day everyday on maintaining that tank......using a canister will need regular maintenance.

You'll need about 25kgs of live rock.


There is room for a small sump in the cabinet, would it be worth getting a hob overflow and getting a sump made just for the skimmer and maybe a heater?

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04 Jun 2016 09:48 #16 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Just had a look on SH web site 18euro per kg of live rock! :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: So that works out at 450 yoyo just on the rock! Holey moley what am i getting myself into! lol

Stephen

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04 Jun 2016 14:18 #17 by Lakes1985 (David Ward)
If you have a look on the for sale sections in this, adverts or irishfishforums you might come across somebody selling rock a lot cheaper

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05 Jun 2016 10:39 #18 by carlowchris (chris)
rock is fairly expensive but general second hand price is usually about 5-7 euro a kg....stick up a wanted add on lfks and you should get a few offers..just becarefull what ya buy if its been sitting in shed and is dry your going to need to cure it

spending money n rock is a good investment....rock is going to be in your tank basically forever........

I think having the sump would be the way to go......

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05 Jun 2016 11:12 #19 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Thanks guys. I will keep an eye out for second hand live rock.

This is the tank i hope to convert




And here is the space for the sump is 18 inch X 10 inch with lots of head room. Would it be big enough for a skimmer and return pump?

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06 Jun 2016 10:20 #20 by carlowchris (chris)
nice tank :whistle:

in theory you could get a sump specially made to fit there but I don't know of how much use it would be,,

i don't know if there would be enough room to place equipment or if it would be big enough to handle the back syphon if the power goes out....

the other things to keep in mind are

the cost of getting a sump made?
if you sold your current tank ,,,how much could you get??
the cost of an overflow box?

just try and work out is the diy conversion really saving money???
or is the m90 going to be a more realistic long term solution?

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06 Jun 2016 10:41 #21 by LemonJelly (Johnny Cowley)
Just a thought, but could you use an overhead sump for a marine tank?

"The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life; your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you.They're freeing your soul."

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06 Jun 2016 11:19 #22 by carlowchris (chris)

LemonJelly wrote: Just a thought, but could you use an overhead sump for a marine tank?


overhead sumps make very good refugiums as well...could be a good idea

maybe from the main tank, through the canister filter and instead of returning to tank return to overhead sump,,,and then gravity drop into main tank,,would save a lot of money on overflow boxes and return pumps and using the overhead sump as a refugium with some cheato or something may also be answer to nitrates and phosphates

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06 Jun 2016 11:38 #23 by carlowchris (chris)
I'm presuming an overhead sump could also be made out of an opac (cant spell and spell checker isn't helping me out this time) plastic tub and you could use the cheap tank connectors from woodies rather than expensive glass and bulk heads also saving a lot of money

trick maybe making it look nice but you've got me thinking about one for my tank now ;)

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06 Jun 2016 12:10 #24 by LemonJelly (Johnny Cowley)
I use overhead sumps on all but one of my four tanks. I use either window boxes or plastic storage containers. I don't bother making them look good but I'm sure there are containers out there that could be used as such and be a lot more attractive than mine.

"The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life; your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you.They're freeing your soul."

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07 Jun 2016 10:43 - 07 Jun 2016 10:44 #25 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Heya

I def wouldnt conver the tank. I would either use an internal skimmer with some sort of mechanical flttration built in, such as some of the tunze ones or use an external canister filter and a hang on or built in skimmer. Again have a look at Tunze's comline series. They are a skimmer/filter combo that go inside the aquarium and will mean that you wont need an external filter. You will also need power heads.

Here is a video of the comline so you can get an idea of how they work.



Wouldnt bother with external filters nor external skimmers, if you are gonna add equipment to the tank, make sure as much of it goes inside the tank or sump.

Like Chris said, check how much will cost you to convert your tank to salty and then decide whether or not you want to spend money on either converting it or getting a marine tank with a sump.

Most of us started converting freshwater tanks to marine, external filters, sumps, external overflow boxes etc... in the end, we ended up getting a marine "ready" tank!

External fugdes are a good idea, personally I would use something that would hang on the back/side of the tank and overflows inside the main tank. There are a few ones out there but I am sure you can built your own ones

Here is how they look like



With good skimming a refugium is not necessary, external sumps are as good as under the counter one however, they are outside and visible, and in the end, noisy to some extend.

Thnk carefully because although it might not seem like a big issue now and a reef ready tank might not be worth the investment in the end, it probably will be. :)
Last edit: 07 Jun 2016 10:44 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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07 Jun 2016 17:57 #26 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
The overhead sump is a great idea but don't think it will work in my particular situation. Now im pulling toward getting a new Marine tank like the M90 or waiting for a second hand tank to become available. I'm not in any rush to get a marine tank up and running want to make sure i do my homework and don't rush into something i will want to change in a year. I made the mistake of looking at the Red Sea MAX E 260 and now I have tank lust! I even had a dream about it last night! lol Don't think the missus would let me spend that much tho!

Stephen.

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07 Jun 2016 18:47 #27 by robert (robert carter)
but remember to the wives its only half the price if you know what I mean ,never take any receipts back to the house after buying equipment or fish . :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

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07 Jun 2016 18:50 - 07 Jun 2016 18:50 #28 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Lol

You are wise to be patient, good things come to those who wait! or so people say :)

Whats your budget if you dont mind me asking?

I like the red sea product, but in most cases they are a bit overpriced. Although recently they have adjusted their budget considerable and they are again quite tempting, the problem is that I dont think they sell them in Ireland anymore, Sea Horse might be able to bring them over. Dont buy them online from the UK though as couriers insurance will not or does not cover glass afaik.

Said this the E series are very nice, as their predecessor, also like the aquareef series (they come with a sump). Prices start from 1000 for the 195 liters to 1800 for the 400 liters.

Again, wise choice, in my experience when you convert an aquarium you end up expending a lot of money and you are rarely 100% happy with it. Overflow boxes are pretty unreliable IMO, custom sumps, piping, etc... in the end you will wish you would have bought a reef ready aquarium.

You can also get them custom built and put your own stuff in them. A custom made tank with a sump can cost you around 400-500 euro, but then you need to add prices for lights, pumps etc, in the end they will end up costing around the same if not more but the positive part is that you get to put your own stuff, although probably this would be a better idea for the most experienced aquarists (experience reefers of course).
Last edit: 07 Jun 2016 18:50 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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07 Jun 2016 23:29 #29 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Here is my honest opinion on getting the smaller Marine tanks. . . . . . . . . . dont.

I have had both the m90 and m60 when i started off doing marine. They are a great tank for the price as it comes with skimmer, powerhead, heater and return from the back sump area. The M90 as it is a bigger tank 136L with about 108L main tank area that you view.

I was at the time looking at buying custom or larger tanks but the idea that everything came together was great. I now 18months later have a 5ft and a 3ft clearseal tank take is currently being set up.

Here is a pic of the M90 setup a few months ago, it has had most of the corals removed and is currently holding fish and cleanup crew that is going to go into the 3ft clearseal but it shows you can have a lovely tank with such a small tank. But you will want more lol.




I did do a few things to the M90. I changed the powerhead to a Blau 4000L just so i could control it, plus the 2700 L that comes with the tank, once you start putting in more and more corals it just wasnt enough.

I removed the skimmer as i didnt like the load sound but then again it wasnt too bad. At the time i had my TV in the same room and it was just that noise while watching tv that put me off. Skimmers under cabinets are so much better :)

Its a great start off point to get you used to marine, after the 18months i just went i wanted a bigger tank.

Ill be selling my M90 with about 20kgs of Live Rock if you were interested, i just need to get the other tank up and running as its holding some stock thats going into the new one.
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07 Jun 2016 23:32 #30 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Plus, you are very limited to fish with a small tank. but i currently have a hawkfish, 3 chromis, a neon blue, 2 bangaii, carpenters wrasse, yellow wrasse, manadrin and cleaner shrimp all in the tank. with the snails and crabs as well, it looks pretty busy at feeding times :)

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