Aqua Oak 100 cm systemised

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Fremlins

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So, here is the new arrival, which I'm hoping will turn out to be my pride & joy rather than an absolute nightmare...

At the moment it's a blank canvass. I'm planning a fairly basic reef setup with some beginners corals (eventually).

Someone kindly suggested I start a journal so I'll post my updates/queries in this thread in case anyone wants to chip in with suggestions, criticisms, comments along the lines of what-the-hell-do-you-think-you're-doing etc. I've kept freshwater fish for years (on and off since I was about 9-10 years old) but completely new to marines.

The tank is only drilled for one hole so my options for drainage are quite limited. I think there will be a mechanical filter (probably a roller) in the 1st chamber, 2nd chamber will have a skimmer and heater, 3rd chamber return pump, and I think I can just about fit a small ATO reservoir into the remaining space.

I have a provisional shopping list for equipment that I may post next. Emphasis is on keeping it as quiet as possible for the sake of domestic harmony!

IMG_20211104_195858.jpg


IMG_20211104_195920.jpg
 
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Fremlins

Fremlins

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Provisional shopping list:
Heater - taking the sump into account I need a 300 W heater and am thinking of a Fluval E
Mechanical filter - Probably a small TMC manual reef roller - I'd rather get an automatic one but the ones I've seen are too big for the first chamber at least
Skimmer - I find the choice of these bewildering to be honest but space is tight so I may get a Bubble Magus curve A5
Return pump - Jecod DSP 2500, connected to a vivid creative rfg nozzle using a flexible hose
Wavemaker - Jebao OW
ATO - Tunze osmolator, which I want to try to use with a small reservoir inside the cabinet if possible
I'm planning to make my own water using an Osmotics RO DI system

So the first question is have I missed anything? And the second is does the above sound reasonable?
:)
 

Rocky998

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I know nothing about saltwater aquariums but I do know that they need to be cycled (just like any tank fresh or salt) and they are super expensive and not for beginners (not saying it isnt possible to jump right in to salt though)... So may I ask, Is this your first aquarium? And how are you going to cycle it?
 
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Fremlins

Fremlins

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I know nothing about saltwater aquariums but I do know that they need to be cycled (just like any tank fresh or salt) and they are super expensive and not for beginners (not saying it isnt possible to jump right in to salt though)... So may I ask, Is this your first aquarium? And how are you going to cycle it?
Thanks for replying.
Well, as I said upthread, I've had freshwater tanks for many years, so it's not my first tank but it is my first marine setup.
I propose to cycle it mch as I'd cycle a FW tank - as far as I can tell the process isn't fundamentally different. Not sure whether to go down the live rock/live sand route or not yet but either way, run it for a few weeks until the chemistry settles down and then start adding livestock very slowly, and no lights to begin with.
 

Rocky998

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Thanks for replying.
Well, as I said upthread, I've had freshwater tanks for many years, so it's not my first tank but it is my first marine setup.
I propose to cycle it mch as I'd cycle a FW tank - as far as I can tell the process isn't fundamentally different. Not sure whether to go down the live rock/live sand route or not yet but either way, run it for a few weeks until the chemistry settles down and then start adding livestock very slowly, and no lights to begin with.
I have heard corals are actually harder to keep alive than fish... But I wish you the best of luck on your saltwater journey! Cant wait to see it all finished up! Someone that recently got into saltwater tanks here is @PheonixKingZ. He can probably help you out a lot!
 
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Fremlins

Fremlins

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I have heard corals are actually harder to keep alive than fish... But I wish you the best of luck on your saltwater journey! Cant wait to see it all finished up! Someone that recently got into saltwater tanks here is @PheonixKingZ. He can probably help you out a lot!
Cheers. I think you're right about corals - I may yet chicken out and settle for a FO or FOWLR set up but would like to give them a go.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Thanks for replying.
Well, as I said upthread, I've had freshwater tanks for many years, so it's not my first tank but it is my first marine setup.
I propose to cycle it mch as I'd cycle a FW tank - as far as I can tell the process isn't fundamentally different. Not sure whether to go down the live rock/live sand route or not yet but either way, run it for a few weeks until the chemistry settles down and then start adding livestock very slowly, and no lights to begin with.
I think it would be best to start out with a FOWLR (fish only with live rock) tank. After you’ve successfully kept the parameters stable for a couple of months, then maybe look into some beginner soft coral.
 

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Cheers. I think you're right about corals - I may yet chicken out and settle for a FO or FOWLR set up but would like to give them a go.
Sounds good! Let me know if you have any questions. :)
 
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Fremlins

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So, life didn't to altogether as planned (deliveries delayed, some issues with the sump/cabinet that I had to sort out, the odd life event etc) but I did get it up and running in the end.

I've found some of the equipment I originally planned either wasn't available or physically wouldn't fit, and I changed my ideas a bit as well. So no filter roller as it won't fit; a smaller skimmer than I'd intended, ditto; and a TMC pump instead of the Jecod as the Jecod was unobtainable, and I decided to go for a more powerful model so I could run it at low power (it is actually at it's lowest setting, 2500 L/hr, and my wife assures me it's completely silent - I'm deaf so I wouldn't know!). Also I added a gate valve to the drain to fine tune that to be as quiet as possible.

I've got a refugium light but no chaeto yet as there's not been anything for it to feed on. I'll probably sort that out in a couple of weeks. At the moment the filtration conists of floss in a plastic sieve (£!.00 from the pound shop!), live rock and the skimmer. Tuning the skimmer is an art I've not yet mastered though. That said the water parameters are zeros across the board so far. It didn't really cycle at all.

I haven't turned the light on much yet. Went for cheap & cheerful and got a Fluval Sea LED for now - I'll upgrade or add to it later if I ever get beyond soft corals.

So far I have 2 small clowns, a pyjama wrasse and a long-nose hawkfish. The only issue I've found is that the wrasse is a greedy bugger and I have to try and stop him nicking all the food.

As before any suggestions/criticisms welcome!

Here's what the sump looks like:
DSCF8247.JPG

And one of the inhabitants, with some promising looking coraline algae on the left.
DSCF8245-crop.JPG
 

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So far I have 2 small clowns, a pyjama wrasse and a long-nose hawkfish. The only issue I've found is that the wrasse is a greedy bugger and I have to try and stop him nicking all the food.
If the wrasse is eating well, that is great, let him eat. They can be fussy to feed so if it is eating well, that is really good.

Just make sure they all get fed well. :)
 

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