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Marine Tank Rock Q

Discussion in 'Marine Aquarium Advice' started by agc123, Jan 31, 2011.


  1. agc123

    agc123 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, i have a tropical tank and have just been offer'd a marine set up. can you put the same rock from a tropical tank into the marine set up? (after its been scrubbed?) i really want to keep nemo's but i dont want to have to go and buy lots of new rock.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    In a word no. You need cured live rock at 1kg per 5litres of water, last time I bought live rock it was £10 a kg.
     
  3. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Marine fishkeeping isn't cheap, and nor should it be considered easy - despite the advances in fishkeeping equipment and the vast amount of information that is so easily available. You will have to spend what could be considered as a small fortune to be successful with marine fishkeeping.

    The main component of biological filtration in marine aquariums is most commonly provided by what is known as 'live rock'. Basically, this is rock that has either been collected from the ocean (as loose rubble) or produced artificially using concrete mixes to produce what is known as 'eco rock'. The rock itself is highly porous and has a very large surface area, which makes it perfect for the bacteria and other microorganims that will colonize its surface. As you will know from tropical fishkeeping, it's these bacteria that break down fish waste.

    Using the rock from a tropical freshwater tank won't be suitable for this purpose. As Hawksport has said, the rock that you would need for a marine tank will cost anything around £10 a kilogram, and you will need 1kg of rock for every 10 litres of water. A 200 litre tank for example will need 20kg of live rock, which will cost £200 going by the example rate of 10kg/kg.

    On top of the live rock you'll need a shedload of other things such as salt, test kits (you can't use the ones from your freshwater tank), food, substrate, circulation pumps, chemical filtration media, RO water (you can make your own, but you'll need an RO unit which would cost around £50-100), refractometer, a quarantine tank, protein skimmer (or if you decide to go down the natural route, a macroalgae refugium), lighting (the intensity depends on whether you want to keep corals, and the species of corals) etc. There's also the cost of the fish, invertebrates and tank maintenance to consider. All of this will set you back at around £400 plus for a smaller tank.

    You have been warned: it isn't cheap.
     
    #3 Chillinator, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2011
  4. agc123

    agc123 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks guys for the advice, the tank had everything except the skimmer and uv filter. (and rock) but when i went to see it it had a chip out the side of the glass near to the silicone seal so thought it best to avoid. i am interested in keeping a marine tank due to the colours of the fish compared to tropical. i am now thinking of starting small scale and working up, ive seen lots of nano tanks and i was thinking i could get 2 clown fish a mini blue tang and poss 1 more small fish, what are your thought's on this? i hate seeing fish kept in tanks that are to small for them would a tank of lets say aprox 80 litres? be suitable / recommended.
    Regards.
     
    #4 agc123, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  5. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I would forget the tang and go for the clowns and one of the blue damsels and then another damsel of a different colour something like a humbug. I wouldn't bother with uv or ozone but a power skimmer is essential. If you are on a water meter an RO unit is expensive to run and for what you need I would just buy water as I needed it
     
  6. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Unfortunately there's no such thing as a 'mini Blue tang', all species of Tangs/Surgeonfish can grow to at least 20cm/8", with a few growing as large as 40cm/16". Even the smallest species require a 120 x 46 x 46cm tank at the bare minimum. These fish grow fairly quickly and would soon outgrow an 80 litre aquarium.

    For an 80 litre tank you could keep the Clownfish (the most suitable species would be Amphiprion ocellaris or Amphiprion percula, both are usually sold under the common names 'Common Clownfish' or 'Percula clownfish') and one other small fish such as goby or a small basslet. I'd avoid small Damselfish due to issues with territoriality in what is a relatively small space.

    If you decide on a goby, some species of shrimp goby form symbiotic relationships with a species of shrimp, most notably the Pistol shrimp (Alpheus sp.). The goby/ghrimp pair will share a burrow constructed by the former. Note, that some species of goby will only form a relationship with a particular species of shrimp; often it's easiest to seek out an established goby/shrimp pair from an aquatic store. Either way, such a relationship is fascinating to watch and it can become the highlight of any aquarium. Just make sure you fasten any rocks to the bottom of the tank using silicone sealant, as the digging habits of the goby might displace the rocks and bring the whole rock structure crashing down.

    You won't need the UV steriliser, not many marine aquaurists actually use them these days except for the owners of fish-only systems (where a UV is beneficial to control parasites and protozoans) or very large tanks with big collections of fish, corals and invertebrates. Ultra-violet exposure will kill off all of the beneficial microorganisms (such as phytoplankton, an important food source) when the aquarium water is passed through the unit.
     
  7. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I wouldn't add any inverts untill you have plenty of experience with the fish. If you have inverts you can't use any meds with copper in them
     
  8. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Not all invertebrates are necessarily that difficult to keep. Mobile invertebrates (e.g. shrimp, crabs) should be some of the first organisms to enter the tank as part of the 'clean-up-crew' (or CUC). They'll be essential to help clear algae and the inevitable diatoms that plague so many new marine tanks.

    As for copper-based medications, these shouldn't be used in the main tank in the first place, regardless of whether inverts are in the tank. Some invertebrates come in via the live rock and if copper-based treatments are used, these inverts will die, decompose and pollute the water. If the OP needs to treat a fish for any disease, it should be done in a separate quarantine tank.
     
    #8 Chillinator, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2011
  9. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    How many people set up and maintain a hospital tank?
    I would go either fish only or invert only to start and make things easy.
     
  10. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    A quick scan of Ultimate reef, Reef Central and Nanoreefs.com reveals that a very large majority of marine fishkeepers maintain a quarantine tank. It's highly advisable to do so and in fact it's the sensible thing to do, especially in the early days of the aquarium.

    Why compromise the display tank for the sake of a cheap tank that would cost zilcho in time and money to run?
     
    #10 Chillinator, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2011
  11. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I don't think that they are representitive of the fishkeeping public though.
     
  12. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    These websites represent a sizeable chunk of the marine fishkeeping population however. People will naturally go to forums for advice and information so it is fairly safe to say that these websites (not just the ones I've mentioned) represent the people who have started marine fishkeeping on the right foot.

    Freshwater fishkeeping is a different ball game. It's less common for freshwater fishkeepers to keep inverts, and you don't seem to see as many setting up and maintaining quarantine/hospital tanks as they can safely use the majority of chemical treatments in the main tank. I would always set up a quarantine tank alongside any marine system due to the reasons I've outlined above. Any inverts that come in on the live rock by coincidence will die if copper-based treatments are used, decompose and pollute the water. Poor water quality causes disease.

    It's also much better to isolate any fish suffering from contagious diseases like whitespot to minimize the risk of the other fish becoming infected.

    It's not worth sacrificing livestock that could be worth a lot of money all because there was no quarantine tank. Some people get away without having one, however new fishkeepers are more prone to making mistakes and these mistakes often result in diseased fish.
     
  13. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    got to go talk later
     
  14. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    If I go down to my local dealer on Sunday and ask everyone buying marines if they are a forum member I'm sure a good percentage won't be.
    If I ask if they have a hospital/quaranteen tank I'm sure most will say they have. But if I went home with them I'm certain a lot that said they had actualy haven't. People don't like to admit they don't follow best practises whether on forums or in the real world.
    Another reason or saying stick to fish only. From 20+yrs of keeping marines I know that once someone with a pair of clowns starts adding inverts the chances are it won't be long before they add a large anenome. IME one of the most difficult reef inhabitants.
     
  15. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    I know a fair percentage of regular customers at my own local aquatic stores (Calico aquatics in particular) and all of them have a quarantine tank set-up with their marine systems. Unless you've actually seen their tanks it can't be said whether they have a quarantine tank or not, they could be telling the truth and then again they might be lying. I've visited the display tanks of most of the relatively few marine fishkeepers I know that live in my area; in the sticks they're a bit thin on the ground.

    As for adding an anemone, anybody who has actually researched properly would think twice before adding one to their tank unless the fishkeeper in question was fairly experienced and had the equipment that can provide the conditions required for the anemone to thrive. Almost every source of good info on the net will tell you that an anemone isn't needed to keep clownfish happy - especially so for captive-bred specimens that wouldn't even have ever laid eyes on one. People who don't follow basic advice are - to put it bluntly - rather bad fishkeepers.
     
  16. Fishyfins

    Fishyfins PetForums Member

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    i kept marines for many years, as well as working for 3 years in an LFS that specialised in marine.

    in an ideal world, everyone would have a quaranteen tank, as they are hugely useful and benefitial pieces of kit. however, i can say that i myself didnt have one, and very few of my customers over the years climed to having one. i would still reccomend them however (i just didnt have the space)

    as for inverts, it really depends on the type of invert your refering to as to whether they should put them in or not. certainly hermit crabs and turbo snails form the backbone of the "reef clean squad" and should be seen as absolutely essential in a healthy marine aquarium, even if you dont plan on keeping any other inverts (though of course, if the fish are known invert eaters, your gonna have to forgo them). other species such as some starfish and brittlestars are also hardy enough to survive most of the rigors of marine keeping, and should also be considered for the aquarium environment. A lot of species of soft coral are also pretty hardy, as long as you make sure your lighting is T5 or better. to put it simply, there is a lot of choice in inverts to someone who wishes to have a go at reefkeeping, even with little experience. a lot of species of inverts and corals are hugely hardy, and will survive in many conditions in the marine aquarium.

    of course, as with fish, there are many species that should be avoided by anyone but the expert. these include many of your hard corals, most anemonies, most species of starfish....

    i think of inverts the same as fish. you get fish that are as tough as old boots and will survive everything, and some fish that will die at the drop of a hat. same for inverts. many will survive with gusto in a marine aquarium, wth no extra care, but many will need the attentions of an expert. its all about reading up on the species you want to keep, before taking the plunge. that is really the crux of the matter - research.
     
  17. aaron1969

    aaron1969 PetForums Newbie

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    i have a 5x2x2 marine set up full reef i do have a second tank but only after i got white spot i guess some people do and those that dont learn the hard way
     
  18. kudagirl

    kudagirl PetForums Junior

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    I have had a marine tank for well over fifteen years and have kept anemones with clowns, but some pepole forget that when you get anemones they need to be fed just like the fish,i would fed the anemon white bate and one time my manderin went too near the anemone and when we went to fed the fish the anemone had himself half in and half out of his mouth, you also need to feed corals,so what i am saying what ever you put in your marine tank it all has to be fed
    Sue
     
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