Whoo hoo!! Can we talk about sharks now. Can we can we? Blue sharks , nurse sharks, reef sharks, tiger sharks, loan sharks. lol :laugh: Seriously though. I'm converting a 3foot tank into a marine set up. Got most of the hardware, so I'll be looking for help at some point. I fancy a small reef setup. anyone recomend a decent skimmer? (cheap)
Adeyc. Take the money you would use on a skimmer, and spend it on live rock instead, If one is starting a reef system, the more quality live rock you start with, the better off you will be.
A skimmer is not really needed right away. And asking people to recommend skimmers is like asking people what kind of car they like. A hundred different answers. But do try to get one that matches your needs. There has been talk about overskimming and taking beneficial goodies out of the equation. I just have a simple seaclone, and was running for six months before adding that.
I for one use a Berlin Skimmer - but I plan to switch to a backpac for size and ability. I would suggest you don't go the route of skimming during the setup. I love my skimmer, I set it to 5 gallons per minute – this is a little quicker than most and I found I can run it 24-7 and I been doing it well over a year. But on a new set up skimming will be wasted and might actually slow down your cycling time. To properly set up a reef I suggest you start with plenty of live sand (the garf grunge I mentioned in another post) and plenty of live rock. Let all that sit and cycle for 1 month, then add 1 or 2 damsels and let it sit a while longer (2 months will do it). I strongly suggest you go to www.gulf-view.com and order live rock via the mail from Dale Barger – he is simply the best supplier. Order his coralline rock for the majority, and then go with Deco-rock for your top pieces. Deco is covered with corals and plants and all sorts of goodies. After buying over 300 pounds of live rock from different sources I can give you a rather educated opinion, nobody beats gulf-view.
If you go live sand and live rock you can’t go wrong – if you let people talk you into “base rock” and letting it go live on its own then your in for a long wait. For my first 6 months I bought like 30 – 50 pounds of rock a month so easy the cost (about $6 per pound plus shipping). Lighting is the next key piece – if you can afford metal halide lighting it’s the best. But if you can’t I suggest VHO’s and not regular florescent.
As for sharks, I have one banded shark that I hatched from an egg – coolest thing the day he hatched!
Adeyc, the berlin would be way huge for your system. They are sized for the Guys like Ghost. He has a 180 and you can really have your hands full at that size. Nuttins cheap when you get to that size. Which would explain why a lot of reefers become talented DIY'ers
This is to the live rock I told you about - The coralline is $3/pound. Even with shipping you can’t beat it – if you have a LFS go there and view what they have and for what price. Then hit this web site – Trust me when I tell you what you see on that page is EXACTLY what you will get (if not even better). Deco and Coral cluster is $5/pound – keep in mind, I have never (nor has anyone I have spoken to) found anything close to this rock suppliers goods in any LFS. I don’t know what you know about live rock – but let me explain it in my limited view:
Most live rock you will find in a LFS will be from Fiji, as you can imagine shipping from Fiji isn’t cheap nor easy. They pull the most beautiful specimens you will ever see from the ocean and toss it on shore (that’s where the die off begins – we will discuss die off and curing in a minute). On the shore it is then power washed to get all the plants and “hitch hikers” (crabs etc – the stuff you want really <mostly>) from there it is crated up and put on a plane within 36 hours (supposedly). Then flown to wherever – on the plane it resides on open shelving and it automatically sprayed to keep wet. Then eventually it gets to a LFS where it is tossed in a tank. This now must be cured – since there is dramatic die off on it. Die off is the algae itself dieing as well as hitch hikers that were in the holes of the rock that are now dead and decaying and will spike nitrites and ammonia in your tank. So the LFS holds it for about 2 weeks until the levels in the tank stabilize, then they call it cured and sell it to you for about $5-6/pound.
Now, in comparison – The guy I told you about will dive in the ocean box up what he pulls out and immediately ship it to you. You have it in your tank in under 24 hours. Yes there is some die off – but nothing your tank can’t handle. The hitchhikers you get will range from odd snails, crabs, serpent stars etc. But most impressive are the feather dusters and the like that you just can’t buy in a LFS. There are critters in my tank that I can’t identify that came on my rock. But I also ended up with a crab I didn’t want and spent an hour or two with my wife chasing the little bugger.
So, that’s pretty much what I have found about live rock – I swear by gulf-view, Dale is one of the most honest and trustworthy person I have met over the internet. My wife and I are discussing building a new home, part of the plans are to build a 600 or so gallon tank into a wall with a room behind for all the workings. Dale will get a call from me to ship up 700 pounds one day, that will be 500 coralline, 100 deco and premium deco and 100 coral cluster. We have learned so much on this first tank, and still have an immense amount of information to gain.
I should quantify that statement with one other piece – many people find its beneficial to mix your rock, some Fiji – some Atlantic and Hawaiian or Pacific coast. I have Fiji, Hawaiian and Atlantic and I can’t tell them apart – but its only the Atlantic that was covered with comparable items. To me coralline is coralline no matter where it comes from.
Cheers guy's. I'm not to shabby when it comes to DIY. ijust never seem to finish stuff. lol i've a couple of tank hoods that need putting together(been about three months) and wallpaper I ment to put up last year :laugh:
I'll check out the web site and see what I can get.