Basic things you will need in setting up a marine aquarium

If you are new to the hobby and would like to have some personalized attention, this is the forum to post your questions

Basic things you will need in setting up a marine aquarium

Postby chonglai » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:14 am

i had this posted on ppf before. pero baka makatulong din sa mga baguhan. eto po yung way ko kung pano ko nasetup yung marine aquarium ko.

I am not an expert in marine aquariums but i would like to help those who want to setup their own marine tank by putting here the steps and gears i used for setting up my own marine tank. If there are things that i missed post it here so we can help people in trying out marine tanks. So let's get to it!

okay there are 3 types of marine aquariums that you need to chose from and base

your setup from.

1. Fish only setup
this setup as the name implies will just need fish. You don't need to fuzz about liverocks and get worried about nitrates and lights.

2. Fish only with liverocks(FOWLR) setup
this setup uses Liverocks and fish. This setup is more ideal than the fish only setup since liverocks can be beneficial to your fish and system. Not only does liverocks help in maintaining your system it also serves as a home for your fishes when agression between fishes ensues. also this is a great setup if you want ti venture into reefkeeping in the future since it already has the components for a basic reef.

3.Reef setup
The ultimate setup in marine aquarium. If you wish to keep corals then this system is for you. You'll need a bigger budget here and a lot of patience as this systems requires a lot. From lights to additives to chillers for your system to maintain ideal water parameters. But once you are successful with this system your tank will be absolutely gorgeous!

Here are the things you will need to setup a basic marine tank:

1. Aquarium and stand
The principle here is the bigger the better! It'll be easier to maintain a bigger tank because water parameters will not fluctuate easily unlike in small aquariums where you always check the stability of your tank. I'd say around 50 gallons is the minimum. Others get away with just 35 gallons but you'll stock it with much less fish.

also another thing you need to keep in mind is your budget when it comes to bigger aquariums. With bigger aquariums comes bigger expenses due to the fact that you will need stronger pumps to circulate the water volume you have, bigger and powerful skimmers, also powerful lighting and a bit more dosing. Also with all those equipments comes your monthly electric bill which will shoot up depending on the wattages of your equipment in the tank. I was surprised before when my electric bill shot up to almost 5k because of the equipments i had in my tank. good thing today is that there are pumps and other lighting alternatives that require low wattage but high gph/lph output.

You will also need a stand that will be able to handle your aquarium when it is fully stocked with rocks sand and water. be sure to pick a stand that can support the weight of your system. remember water is heavy especially when rocks and sand are added to it.

2. Live rocks
Liverocks will serve as home for your fish as well as "filter" for your system. They will be home to beneficial bacteria and beneficial organisms. The rule i used to calculate how many liverocks i need is 1.5 pounds per gallon of your system. So if you have a 50 gallon system you'll need 75 pounds of liverocks. To get the number of killos simply divide it by 2.2. so for a 50 gallon system you'll need 34 kilos of liverocks.

here is the formula again :
number of gallons of your system x 1.5(to get the number of pounds needed) / 2.2(to get the number of kilos) = number of kilos needed for your system

3. Sand
It's your choice if you want to put sand or not. pero it adds beauty to your setup and plus it becomes home to critters and worms that comes with your liverocks which in time will have detrivores that will eat uneaten foods. it also serves as a nitrate reducer in time.

for my setup i used 4 inches of sand so that it will have natural nitrate
reduction. It's up to you if you want to put as much sand as i have done. So the question here is how do i determine the number of kilos for a specific thickness in inches for my system? here is the formula i used :

Length of the aquarium x width of the aquarium x the desired thickness of sand in inches / 20 = number of pounds of sand to get desired thickness

to get it in kilos:
answer to the previous formula /2.2 = number of kilos of sand needed to get the desired thickness

the vinegar test:
this test is used on sand to know whether they are suitable for your tank or not. here are the steps:
a. bring a small film container with vinegar when you are about to buy sand for your marine aquarium.

b. once you are at the place where you will buy your sand, place a small amount of sand on the fil container with vinegar. if the sand you put there bubbles up that means it's ok for your aquarium.

when the sand bubbles up on vinegar that means it will buffer your aquarium since it contains calcium carbonate.

4. saltmix
This is up to you as to what brand of saltwater mix you prefer. Me i use biomix from bioresearch. it's cheap around 120 pesos compared to the ones being sold in cartimar the marina mix which costs around 175 pesos.

Most users here prefer natural saltwater since it is cheaper alternative to local saltmixes plus it can easily make reef creatures thrive as it is already a balanced mix.

Although imported brands like sera, corallife and tropic marin can also make reef creatures thrive(these brands are also available here).

5. Ro/di water or deep well water or tap water
For those who have high budgets the ideal water to be used in mixing with your saltwater mix is RO/DI water or reverse osmosis water. they can be bought on water stations or you can make it yourselfs jsut buy the ro di filter.

me i use deep well water. because it's a lot cheaper and that's waht my budget permits. nawasa water needs to be stocked for 3 days to remove chlorine that is put in it by putting a powerhead to aerate it.

5, Hydrometer
hydrometers are used to measure specific gravity of the mixed water. hydrometers have these green markings that indicate correct SG.

To use the hydrometer, simply put it in your water and look if the water level is on the green marker. if it is, it's ok for use. if the green marker on the hydrometer is above water level just add ro di water to dilute the mix. if the green marker is below the water level you have to add saltmix to raise the specific gravity.

6.Powerheads/pumps
Powerheads are used for circulation of water on your marine tank. it is important to have circulation so that detritus and uneaten food doesn't stay on the bottom or get trapped on yur rocks instead they will be picked up by your protein skimmer.

they can also be used as return pumps for your sump.

try to get a powerhead that has a high liters per hour or gallon per hour rating.

7. Protein skimmer
Protein skimmers export the dirt and waste on your aquarium by use of bubbles. I use a venturi type skimmer. this type of skimmer utilizes a powerhead to deliver water on it's column. get a skimmer that is rated at two times or three times your system volume. Be sure to pair it with a powerhead that has a high head rating and volume

8. Test kits
this are important so that you will be able to determine if your water parameters are ok or not.

test kits you need are ammonia nitrate and ph. buy tetra test kits as they are more accurate.

when you test your water the results should be the following:
ammonia = 0
nitrates = for fish only it's ok to have 20mg or less but strive for 10mg or less
ph = should be 8 to 8.5


Steps
1. put water in your aquarium as well as your saltmix. then put your powerhead to aerate water. let the powerhead mix the water for 2 to 3 days.

2. after the second or third day. use your hydrometer to measure the specific gravity. if the water level is on the grren mark. you can now add liverocks and sand. if the water level is above the green mark you need to add more freshwater because there is more salt on the water mixed. if the water level is below the green mark, you must add more saltmix because there is not enough salt mixed with the water.

3. buy your liverocks and sand according to the computations given earlier. i buy my liverocks from mang jun at the back of cartimar. he has the best liverocks. his liverocks contain a lot of hitchhickers taht include worms and other stuff you want in your aquarium. i use a sugar fine sand for natural nitrate reduction. use coral sand. don't use silicate sand because it'll promote algae growth.

4. put your liverocks first on the aquarium. aquascape your tank now. make sure that you when you stack your liverocks they are firmly placed and not loose as they will fall if not put correctly and could cause aquarium breakage.

The reason for putting liverocks before sand first is to make the base rock secure so that if the sand gets thin your base rock won't move and the upper rocks won't fall down.

5. after putting your liverocks it's time for the sand. Before putting the sand, check the bottom of the aquarium and see if there dirt and dead organisms. If you spot those siphon them out because if you put the sand over those it will cause problems later for your setup since they will contribute more nitrates and hydrogen sulfide gases. ONce all the decaying organisms are siphoned out, put the sand in your aquarium.

6. turn on your powerheads to promote circulation on your tank. this is also the time to put your protein skimmer into action so that wastes will be removed from the die off of organisms on your liverocks.

7. your tank is now ready for cycling. Don't put anything on your tank at this stage. don't put any fish or cut shrimps to promote bacteria growth. the die off on the rocks is enough for that.

8. Let your tank cycle for 6 to 8 weeks. then test water for ammonia and

nitrates.if ammonia is 0 and nitrates is less than 20mg execute a 20% water change(use aged saltwater that has been mixed for three days and has the same SG as your previous water)

After all that hardwork and patience you can now put fish. Remember don't overstock your system! put a new fish every month so that your system can adjust.

Mga pre any other things i forgot to mention here please put it here so that people who want to venture on marine tanks can easily find the info.

Remember this is how i put my tank. others also have their ways.

Salamat po ulit!
Last edited by chonglai on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:53 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
chonglai
Moderator
 
Posts: 1787
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Paranaque

Postby Fugu » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:23 am

Very good, Chonglai! I hope more people join this site.
User avatar
Fugu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1515
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:19 am
Location: Toronto

Postby chonglai » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:26 am

Hello fugu! it's a good thing you joined this site too! ngayon madami na expert ng saltwater aquariums na magshare ng knowledge dito.
User avatar
chonglai
Moderator
 
Posts: 1787
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Paranaque

Postby apol » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:19 pm

thanks for the infos, this will really help us (newbies)

keep on posting...
User avatar
apol
reefphilippines supporter
 
Posts: 1721
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Postby jolt26 » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:00 am

newbie daw oh :p
User avatar
jolt26
Moderator
 
Posts: 4692
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:55 am
Location: Lurker Mode

Postby chonglai » Thu Jun 30, 2005 7:33 am

apol kamusta na tank mo? bago na ba or yung dati pa din?
User avatar
chonglai
Moderator
 
Posts: 1787
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Paranaque

Postby audioactive08 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:51 pm

sir, regarding lang po sun sa deep well water, hindi ba makakasama yun kasi di ba kadalasan may mga traces ng copper yun tsaka iba pang hard metals? tapos may phosphate pa? deep well din kasi kami e.. kung bibili naman ako ng ro/di sobrang mahal ata yun :(
-Marty

Welcome to Reef Philippines!:)

To err is human, but to do the same error all over again is stupid.
If don't have patience for the hobby, it's better to quit.

Almost All-DIY 50g BB Mixed Reef, DIY Rocks / Plugs, Modded sunsun, Modded RO. 150w MH + Lumenarc.

Some fishes, Some SPS, Zoanthids and some other odds and ends.
User avatar
audioactive08
reefphilippines member
 
Posts: 4085
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:54 pm
Location: Heaven/Hell, depending on the day.

Postby jolt26 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:51 pm

magnatural seawater ka na lang. kathrina's, 2 pesos per gallon. less nitrate and ammonia sya than other lfs sa cartimar.
User avatar
jolt26
Moderator
 
Posts: 4692
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:55 am
Location: Lurker Mode

Postby Alfalfameister » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:22 pm

I'm planning to use Katrina natural seawater also on my next tank, but I'm taking the following precautions:

1. Store water in the dark for a little under two weeks;
2. Aerate/Ozonate for about 3 days.

Actually, I haven't made up my mind yet, I might do this instead:

1. Ozonate for 2 to 3 days
2. Store water for about 2 weeks
3. Ozonate again prior to water change (well, wait about 30 minutes after ozonating to get rid of residual ozone)
Alfalfameister
reefphilippines member
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: Pasig and Alabang

Postby chonglai » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:27 pm

ako deepwell water lang kaya ko. wala ako budget pangbili ng tubig e. ok naman tank ko ngayon kahit deepwell gamit. pero recommended talga ang RO/DI water for topoff. kung me budget ka you can buy and ro/di filter para di kana bili sa waterstations.
User avatar
chonglai
Moderator
 
Posts: 1787
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Paranaque

Postby jolt26 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:50 pm

kung fowlr ok lang saltmix. sa corals ko, ayaw talaga bumuka nung saltmix. when i added natural seawater, buhay na lahat. ingat lang sa ich. ako, store muna for a month.
User avatar
jolt26
Moderator
 
Posts: 4692
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:55 am
Location: Lurker Mode

Postby Alfalfameister » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:55 pm

I had great success with Tropic Marin and Sera, but my wallet was not so successful with these two brands!!! :)
Alfalfameister
reefphilippines member
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: Pasig and Alabang

Postby apol » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:48 am

yung dati pa rin ang tank ko chonglai.

btw, bumigay ulit yung repaired kong showa pump. :(
baka palitan ko na ng resun.
User avatar
apol
reefphilippines supporter
 
Posts: 1721
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Postby audioactive08 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:00 pm

sir balak ko fowlr lang, siguro mga clowns lang. (baguhan pa yoko muna mag corals sayang lang baka ma-dead.) matanong ko lang kung san yung katrina's? kasi sa valenzuela pako (ugong sulok, lapit sa c5, lam ata ni sir jolt yun) kung kukuha ako ng 50 gal sa katrina's mahihirapan ako kasi la ako sasakyan.
-Marty

Welcome to Reef Philippines!:)

To err is human, but to do the same error all over again is stupid.
If don't have patience for the hobby, it's better to quit.

Almost All-DIY 50g BB Mixed Reef, DIY Rocks / Plugs, Modded sunsun, Modded RO. 150w MH + Lumenarc.

Some fishes, Some SPS, Zoanthids and some other odds and ends.
User avatar
audioactive08
reefphilippines member
 
Posts: 4085
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:54 pm
Location: Heaven/Hell, depending on the day.

Postby Alfalfameister » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:00 pm

audioactive08 wrote:kung kukuha ako ng 50 gal sa katrina's mahihirapan ako kasi la ako sasakyan.


P're... kahit ako may sasakyan, mukhang mahirap pa rin! Dude, that's 50 gallons -- kung 10 na 5 gallon container, eh, kakapagod pa rin iyan! Just _thinking_ about it (transferring from my car in the garage to where the drum/holding facility is)... pinapawisan na nga ako...

Pero, mabuti na iyan kung matiyaga ka. Di bale, pag na-umpisahan ko tank ko, dito lang ako sa Pasig. I'm planning to get from Kathrina in Cartimar also (P2/gallon, or P10 per 5 gallon container). Pag kumuha ako, timbrehan muna kita. But p're, baka mga August/September ko pa gawin iyan.

For your initial fill, siguro gamit ka muna salt mix. I can't give any recommendations right now (well, Tropic Marin is reputedly one of the best, but medyo mahal -- mga P2,200 or so ang 150 gallon mix, so mga P15/gallon). Question is, is the price worth the convenience it gives? IMO, kung 50 gallons lang naman tank mo, okay na rin yung P2,200. Then you'll have good for 100 gallons pa for water changes, and if you do weekly water change of 5 gallons (10% weekly water change), eh di good for about half a year. Kung bi-weekly ka naman, mga 1 year na rin iyan.

So... Tropic Marin comes to about P15/gallon. Plus, you already have 150 gallons with you.

Natural Sea Water from Kathrina is P2/gallon + pamasaje + pawis. Plus, kung taxi, mahal. Kung other public transpo, eh, baka 10 gallons at a time lang kaya mo.

There are other salt mixes, but I have no experience with them. A lot of people in reefcentral and in wetwebmedia (sina Bob Fenner, Anthony Calfo, et al) praise Tropic Marin highly.

Take your pick, and good luck!
Alfalfameister
reefphilippines member
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: Pasig and Alabang

Next

Return to New to the hobby

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron