Starting a new tank

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by Jeremy, Jul 14, 2002.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Hey Shrimp_Man,

    This can be expensive hobby, especially for a guy your age. Your doing the right thing, keep asking questions and reading what you can and you will save some money by buying the right thing the first time.

    How big is your tank again, around 30-40 gallons?

    A 10k halide with those actinics would work great. You will probably want a 175w or 250w halide depending on the size of your tank. Let me know and we can narrow it down. If it is 30 gallons you could use a 150w halide like I did.

    A 10 gallon sump would probably work. I used one and it had room for a good size skimmer, a couple pumps, a float switch and some carbon bags. If you can get a longer one in there, it might be worth it down the road. Take into account the length of an external pump should you go that route to see if it will all fit in your stand.

    The halide will have enough red spectrum for good growth. Red spectrum bulbs could be used for nightime viewing (just get a tiny one to use at night) or you could get one of those 'moon' lights that are out now. Real red bulbs aren't really used in salt tanks for growth. That is more of a freshwater plant tank thing.

    Air-stone skimmers work, but require a lot of playing around with till you get comfortable with them. Even then, most of them don't work as well as the new ones.

    Since you are 'down under' in Australia, I would start sending emails to some of these American companies and see if they will ship it to you. Since you said everything is twice as expensive down there, maybe you are better off just to buy what you want the first time and have it shipped.

    Try these places:

    http://www.marinedepot.com
    http://www.customaquatic.com
    http://www.bigalsonline.com
    http://www.reefsplendor.com
    ttp://www.reeffanatic.com
    http://www.hellolights.com

    There are a lot of Austalian Aquarium links on this page:

    http://www.acay.com.au/~peekay/aquarium_links.htm

    Perhaps you can find what you need from there or ask them where they get there stuff.

    The 'clicking sound' definitely sounds like a Mantis shrimp. Keep an eye out for it. You could dump a bit of food in there and see if it shows itself. I had a big gray one that would come out and go all the way to the surface in my 40 breeder. If you find it, try to remove the rock it is in and put in a bucket. Then you can pull the rock out of the bucket when he comes out again. That's what I did. It can be a little harder than it sounds. Heh.

    Good luck! Keep me posted. I will try to help out where I can... :thumbsup2:
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Thanx for that! ;D

    The tank is 40 gallons, so in the lighting section you said that 10 watts/gallon for stonies, so that should be around a 400W MH. What are the good brands of bulbs? I was thinking of getting rid of the marble chips and looking around for that 'Southdown' sand. The local outdoor supplies shop should have it. The only thing is, for a proper working DSB, you need about 4 inches of sand right? Thats an awfully thick layer, Would 2-3 inches do? If i put a 8-10 inch DSB in a sump compartment, would that make up for the smaller sand layer in the tank? With this possible Mantis shrimp, i have seen a small shrimp (half an inch). it is transparent, with 4 or 6 main legs and about 6 tiny legs at the back which move in a waving motion pretty quickly. it doesn't have the colouring of a mantis shrimp, but i wonder wether that might be it.
     
  4. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    you could go with a shallow sb in the main tank especially if you have a sump put your dsb in that it would still work the same.

    you could have a mantis shrimp they come in many color. there are 2 types spearers and hammers. the spears are the silent type sneak up on fish and spear their bodies. the hammers are the ones that crush snails, crabs, and other crusteaceans, and can kill fish by crushing their head. thats where the loud sound comes from the crush of the shells. also a pistol shrimp makes a loud clicking sound with its claws so i wouldnt rule them out. they can be a nuisance but not even near as destructive as a mantis can be.

    heres an awesome site on the mantis shrimp

    http://www.blueboard.com/mantis/

    here is a site with different shrimp pics including different kinds of pistols

    http://reefcorner54.com/ShrimpCollection.htm

    some facts on the pistol

    http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=16&cat=1905&articleid=2139

    its hard to tell what kind you have maby if you can get a pic but maby the info and pics can help you id your critter
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Yeah, I have seen up to 10 watts a gallon on some tanks. On one tank I think the guy had 1250 watts on a 50 gallon! oh_no

    But I wouldn't go that far, especially on a 40 gallon tank. I think a 400 watt would be a bit much without a chiller. That tank will get really hot. I would say a 250 would work fine 10 to 14 inches above the water surface.

    As for bulbs, some of the popular ones are:
    Ushio - 10k and HQI's. - Good white/blue light. Good growth.
    Iwasaki - 6.5k - A bit yellow on its own, but amazing growth.
    Radium - 20k - Over the top blue. No need for for supplemental blue bulbs.

    For more details check out this summary:

    http://www.pfolighting.com/aqwebsite/aqmhlamps.htm


    hth
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    The clicking sound usually is like three or four clicks straight after another. I was just wondering if mantis shrimp do that.

    I am getting a lot of algae growth on the mable chips, and i was just wondering if this might be from two normal lights that i placed over the tank. they are just 40W lightbulbs, but the algae outburst only started after i added them. By the way, are jager heaters any good? i was thinking of getting a 250-300W for my tank. I was also thinking of making my own protein skimmer. Is this OK? It is going to be a venturi or downdraft. With a downdraft, what is the required pressure of water to make it work? I have been looking at a few DIY skimmers on the net, and there is a HUGE range of styles to go by. I was wondering what a good brands design is, so i could try and copy it. :thumbsup2:
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Definitely. Get the trap if you can't locate the rock he is in to pull out. Or dump some food in a couple times and have a net ready. The mantis I had used to come out at feeding time.

    Totally. If these are normal bulbs you buy at a hardware store they could be high in the red spectrum unless you know what you are looking for. There are some 'normal' ones that work well, but I have forgotten which ones. Perhaps someone can help out here or I can look it up.


    I like them a lot. Set and forget. Get the submersible kind so you can put it in your sump. If you don't have a sump yet, you will some day.



    Cool. Go for it.
    I don't know the required pressure for downdraft like E.T.S.S. and the like but I know it is pretty high. Look at some downdraft skimmers and see what pumps they recommend.

    You do have a lot of choices here.
    Do a search on the net for beckett head, diy skimmer, etc. if you haven't already.

    There is a guy out here making some good money copying Euro-Reef skimmers.

    keep me posted....

    matt
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Hey everyone!
    I went down to the local aquarium today, and i asked one of the workers there what the clicking sound could be, and she said it is a pistol shrimp. I also brought two boxer shrimp, a piece of live rock, and a yellow tailed damsel. To feed it i got colour enhancing flakes, and some brine shrimp which i put the lot into the tank. The damsel ate a few, and the two boxers grabed some with their claw. Do you know much about Boxer shrimp? Are they good for keeping the tank clean? The damsel stays in the bottom left back corner, it hides beside a rock. Is this normal? ???

    Cya.
     
  10. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    i really hope you have a pistol shrimp instead of a mantis but id still look for it just for peace of mind and try to make a positive id. box shrimp? are you talking about the coral banded shrimp think its the same just a different name for it. if you got 2 i would keep an eye out if they dont end up being a pair u may end up with problems b/w the 2. heres some info i copied on them for ya
    with the damsel hiding probably because hes new give him a few days and see how he does. should be coming out by then
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I don't think that is the shrimp. These shrimp are transparent, with only one large claw on their right side. They have thin red stripes going from their head to about halfway of their body, but the stripes go up and down, not across like a coral banded shrimp. The local aquarium has a coral banded, And it is much larger then the shrimps i brought, and a lot more expensive. :thumbsup2:
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Anyways, i got some money together by selling my old tank and gravel, so all up i have around $195. i am getting a heater for $95, (jager) and the rest i am going to get sand. but $100 only buys 11 kg, and i really need about 20. sand is $8.95 a kilo! :eek:. Not cheap. When i have the heater and sand, the bed should be about 1cm thick, what should i get next. More sand? should i add the sand to my marle chips, or take the marble chips out and just have sand. Will my damsel cope with this? Even if he doesn't, i still want to add the sand. I have a skimmer design drawn up, it will be a hang on the back type, and i already have a pump for it. The air injection will come from an air stone under the pump, and the pump sucks up the air, and makes really fine bubbles. i have already tried it. Should i make the skimmer first, or get some better lighting. I want to go with MH, so that should take some saving and a few christmas's. Glad for any help. :thumbsup2: