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Taking The Plunge-a Bit Quicker Than I Thought


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OK, most of you don't know me because I'm a newbie, I've only been to one MASS meeting but I need a HEAP of advice now.

I've been able to get a tank that's already setup, I don't really want this thread to concentrate on the purchase (but that is sure to creep in) but I really need some moving advice.

Pics to help (click for larger image) NB Blue Tang not included

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What is the silver fish in this pic ?

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Now here's the kickers :

- this is my first marine tank

- it's in Newcastle, and I'm in Sydney

Here's my plan, please critique as needed (because I need it !!!) :

- before the move, get an external water tank for storing NSW

- before the move, get the tank filled with NSW

- get a lot of foam boxes

On the day ....

- box the fish, with water and tape them up

- box the LR, with water and tape them up

- drain the tank (should I try to bring ALL the water home ?)

- take TONS of photos, disconnect all plumbing

- load onto ute/trailer

- drive home

- position cabinet ( I already know where it's going, and it will fit there)

- position tank & sump

- connect plumbing

- test for leaks (god, I hope there isn't any )

- place LR

- fill with SW (original if I have it, otherwise NSW)

- place fish

- start to stress, if I haven't already :)

OK, so what have I missed doing ?

Do I need to run a water test before I start and after I've finished ?

Anyone want to help ? :) Move is planned for Feb 11, but subject to change.

Now my concerns .....

- I've bought this largely sight unseen, but I think I got it for a good price

- I've read somewhere that "bioballs are only for fish", can I have corals with this setup ?

- I still love the idea of a refugium, can I replace the current sump/mini-reef with a new sump that contains refugium, skimmer, etc.. later on ? (I think that's an easy yes)

ANY advice would be useful !

Anyone want to help on the day ? ;)

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You can wrap the live rock in wet newspaper then put it into bags. Thats how they send it home from petshops etc and it travels fine - fish in bags and a few water drums with a screw on lid should be right. Bio balls in the filter should be fine, i mean they are there for a place for bacteria to colonise. By refugium, what is that?

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Bioballs are fine for now, but having a refugium would work out better if you want corals. Apparently bioballs just end up being 'nitrate farms' or some such, I was warned off them too, as well as noodles and floss and sponges etc. the LR rubble/macro algae would be a good combo so I'm told. Skimmer seems to be one of those newfangled things that nobody should be without. grabbing one ASAP would be advised, even if its just air driven and looped over the main tank:) What lighting is that guy running? that algae is pretty scary! I'd probably buy new tubes if he's using fluros, as those look like they've had it. Get your foam boxes and definately get air pumps, airstones and tap valves to control the flow. Stick a hole in the lid of the foam box and put the airline tubing through that. Stick a 2nd hole in the box and insert some more airline tubing to allow the air to escape but to stop any major spills associated with just haing a hole. if it has to make its way up airline tubing as well, gravity will often take over :D You might be best off bagging the fish individually, as if you were getting them from a fish shop. there is less room for them to damage themselves and less chance of scrapping. ASSUME WORST CASE SCENARIO which would be something like the tank cannot be set up within 12 hours of arrival, and that all your LR dies. Prepare the fish for that. If you have someone who can babysit the fish for a while until you stabilise your system, that might be beneficial, as I'd bet even in highly aerated water you'd get some dieback on the LR. Ideally you'd do it in 2 trips, get the tank etc first and the livestock later, but not an option, so have a good plan, and have a backup in case things to pearshaped :D Even a cheap marine tank and stock is pricey!

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Thanks for the tips Callatya. Rather than battery operated, I'm just going to take a spare air pump and run it off my 12v-240v inverter. I hadn't thought of the second air hole, but a mate has advised me to dump the fish at a local LFS. Apparently that silver one is bad news and then that only makes 2 fish. Dunno at this stage, but all good ideas :D

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"I concur" (is that convincing, Bren? :)) Aren't monos marines once they mature? I think I read somewhere they live in estuaries as juveniles and move into the ocean once mature, but I also read somewhere that what is critical for them to survive is alkalinity rather than salinity. ANYWAY. did your mate say why the mono is bad news?

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Yup, looks like a mono to me



**edit** oopsies, I forgot to post in the most important link. These guys are pretty good for information in general, but don't take everything they say as gospel. I've found quite a few inconsistencies in their information in my travels at their domain.


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