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  1. #1

    Saltwater Aqarium

    Got a spare 6ft'er lying around and was thinking of turning it into a saltwater aqarium. Anyone here got one? What's the RnR (rules n regs) with regards to catching ur own specimens? How often do you have to renew the saltwater? Any other advice would be helpful. Cheers
    Stop professional fishing... before it's too late!

  2. #2

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    The main thing with marine tanks is not to rush it, ie it can take up to 6 weeks for the bio filters to start to work properly. you'll get highs and lows with the nitrate levels and you cant make it happen quicker than nature will allow . and dont go puting in a shit load of fish in one go or you will over load it. if you can do a 20lt drum water change once a week thats great but you could go 2 weeks.
    Once you get the water right you can get live rocks from any good aquarium shop and build up your own reef.
    what burb are you in?


  3. #3

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    Keeping salt aquarium is easy, but a few nasties along the way. If you are likely to take fish or coral home, be careful and don't do what I did. I took a chunk of rock home which came up on the end of my fishing line and infected the whole tank with a parasite which wiped all but one lonely little humbug out.

    If you want live coral you need a chiller. Unless you are prepared to spend upwards of $700.00 don't invest in live coral. A chiller keeps the water temp within a few degrees, preventing temerature spikes during the day, which live coral cannot handle.

    As wayn has said, population of fish in the tank has to be managed carefully, and I will add that is the case once the tank has settled and you have adequate bacteria in your filter and substrate in the tank. Maintaining a balanced ecosystem within your tank largely depends on how good your filtration system is. There are 3 main reasons for heathly, balanced aquariums. Filtration, filtration and .... filtration and you can never overkill it. Here is a good example of an all in one kit you can buy, although this particular model might not have enough capacity for a 6ft tank. You need to skim protein which this has.

    Over feeding and wrong types of food are other pitfalls that can wipe your tank out. The regularity of water changes and how often you can get away with depends on a miriad of things. I buy salt by the bag, and do changes when the water quality starts being noticeable. Apart from test kits you can get, a sure sign is when algae will start to grow more rapidly that normal, and the colour of the algae can change from green to purple - a sure sign that there are chemical changes happening within the tank. If you want to know what changes these are, I suggest buying a decent test kit. These changes are vital you know what is going on if you have invested a lot of money in live coral, fish and invertibrates which are sensitive to these changes.

    That's some BASIC information. I wish you well, I can't imagine my house without my tank which has been there for years and years. Definitely worth doing.


  4. #4

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I work at kawana on the sunny coast, so could grab a bucket b4 or afta work. I'll give it a go once ive got the tank up n running. Any further advice would be sweet.
    Stop professional fishing... before it's too late!

  5. #5

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    Saltwater tanks are pretty easy to run if they are setup right...i have always used a waterfall/dam in one corner with a hole running down to a sump tank with bio balls/sand filter and return pump...
    a.start out with some crap fish...go down with a cast net and get some zebras or any thing really to get the system running you only need 3 or 4
    b.add in some live rock ...couple of rocks from down pt cartright
    c.use nice clean water from a high tide...usually half tank change every two to three weeks depending on how the tank is going
    d.dont over feed.... thing is catching your own fish...heaps of fun..between mooloolabah wall and the surfclub there is reef all the way along with every type of fish..semis/threadfins/pinapples/Heniochus/wrasse/banded shrimp/crayfish ...
    very easy to catch...all you need is a small cast net/snorkal fish and chase it under a rock/into a hole then throw the net over it then it just a matter of moving the rock to get the fish out and bam hes in the net...
    As far as i know its legal to take marine fish for your own tank but not to sell...and no under size fish like bream.whiting..flathead

  6. #6

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    The best way to start... sorry I should have mentioned this B4 - If you know anyone with an established tank, ask them to do a partial water change and use one of those vaccume hoses to stir up some of the crap laying on the bottom and cyphon into a bucket for you to take home. Even better if they are cleaning out filter material. Get it home quickly as you can and empty bucket into your aquarium. Presto! Instant bacteria colony into your tank which will work its way into your filters and substrate. This will speed up the process and you will be adding fish in no time.


  7. #7

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I used to have marine tanks when we couldnt get much off the shelf so had to make my own tanks, filters, protien skimmers etc. IMHO using water from the sea is looking for trouble as it is full of planktons etc which if they die off will destroy your tank as happened to my dad.
    I used to throw a few Black Mollies in to seed a tank as they can live happily in sea water.

    Been looking at the setups in the shop here and the technology available today is mind boggling. We used to drive 600km from Johannesburg to Durban on a King tide and spend the weekend catching fish for our aquariums for which we needed permits.
    Its interesting when you look under a rock and a 4 foot Moray eel comes out at you.

    I used to think R25 (+- $5) was expensive for a Damsel fish back then
    BOAT really does mean Bring out Another Thousand

  8. #8

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I get my water from the sea but leave it for 6 weeks in its container before using it, that way all parasites and disease are gone.
    Also any fish should go into a quarantine tank with a level of copper for a while before being put in the display tank. Even if from a shop.

    never had trouble using this method, I used to do saltwater fish tank cleans and setups as a hobby and saw a few tanks get wiped out by disease and parasites.
    The Rainbowrunner
    Peter Hansler
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    Give a man a fish, he'll eat it and fall asleep.

    Teach a man to fish and he'll endanger an entire species

  9. #9

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I have had tanks on and off or years, the best advice I can give is FILTERS, buy the best/biggest one you can find/afford, I personally never changed the water all that much, you need to be aware that the water may evaporate, but the salt does not, so do not just keep adding salt water, also the advice to not just get some sea water and dump it in your tank is good info, run the tank with nothing in it for weeks before you put any fish in it, I used to have a smaller sort of quarrantine tank, anything new went in there for a week or so before it went into the big one, it is fun, it is also heart breaking at times, and a lot of work.

  10. #10

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I had a tank for a few years and loved it, ended up moving to north Queensland from perth so it was a bit of a water of time taking it there, which I'm sure you see why.

    your not aloud to take coral or fish with out the licence and that will cost more then the coral and fish do..
    So midnight maybe your best option..hahaha, but I didn't say that.

    I did 30-40% water change monthly but the more often you do it the better.
    I always used ocean water for water changes and never had any issues.

    Soft corals are easy as to keep going but hard corals are for more advanced, personally I like the look of soft coral better anyway.

    the most important advice I can give it have a big skimmer, if your tank is 400L get a 2000L skimmer its will solve allot of issue's before they turn to nasty.

    Good lighting, I used metal halide's but if you have the money buy LED's they are allot cheaper these days.

    Dont over load the tank, if u have soft coral only 4-5 small to mid size fish depending on your water volume and skimmer size.

    keep an eye on your water parameters and temp.. about 24 to 30 either side of that and your playing with fire..
    I never used a chiller but the room had aircon.

    Best site I've found for info is MASA.. it's like this site but just for fish tanks.

    Most people that say it's hard have never had one, personally I think you can get harder pets the salt water fish. like a dog that barks and chews everything for instance.
    Hope that helped

  11. #11

    Re: Saltwater Aqarium

    I breed clownfish and have reef tanks, you think boating is expensive wait till you start buying skimmers and pumps ect. There are some great websites with all the info on them, www. reefing the australian way the reefuge forum and mofib all great sites with all the answers.

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