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View Full Version : Good idea to take on an existing established tank?


MrApplebee
09/24/2017, 01:45 PM
Hiya guys, I have been keeping tropical fish (mainly South American cichlids) for just over 7 years. Of late I am getting a little bored, it's no longer a challenge basically. I have no intention of getting rid of my South American set up as I just don't trust anyone to look after my fish. BUT, I was out at my LFS with the missus this weekend and we were looking at a stunning reef showpiece setup, my partner actually gave me permission to buy a new tank and have a reef set up in the bedroom.

I know absolutely nothing about reef keeping so I said I'd research for a few months and look into buying the tank, equipment etc in small steps until I think I'm ready to start putting everything together.

I decided that a 300 litre tank would be a good size to start with and had a look on gumtree to see if there were any second hand tanks that I felt would be suitable. One of the first posts that came up was an entire reef setup. (Tank, sump, Equipment, livestock, corals etc etc) plus it is actually about 10 mins down the road from me. The tank has been running for six years apparently. It's four foot long and just over 300 litres.

I messaged the advertiser and he said he'd be happy to help me out and show me the ropes but I imagine he will get pretty sick of me pestering him for advice quite quickly.

Do you guys think this would be a bad decision? Would managaing an existing and established set up be a good way to learn on the job? Should I forget it and spend some serious time researching before I jump in head first?

Thanks guys, think I'm just looking for someone to tell me to reign it in a bit.

Mike

mcgyvr
09/24/2017, 01:49 PM
You can certainly save a lot of time/money going used and fully setup/establishes..

You just need to get up to speed pretty darn quickly though but its not that big of a deal to learn this stuff as you go.. Just don't act until you know what you are getting yourself into..

The hardest part will be moving the existing stuff and keeping it all alive.. But again its really not that bad as long as you know what to expect and have a good plan of attack....

Can you include a link to the post so we can see what type of equipment it has,etc..?
Are you wanting to do corals or fish only?

SAT
09/24/2017, 02:08 PM
Mike,

[Welcome]

Take a good look at the tank. Have the owner show you how he maintains it. If you like what you see... Go for it!

Good luck!

MrApplebee
09/24/2017, 02:16 PM
Here's the link. https://www.gumtree.com/p/fish/4ft-marine-tank-full-set-up-corals-live-rock/1265647734

Thanks for the replies guys....you did nothing to talk me out of it!! Ha ����

mcgyvr
09/24/2017, 02:19 PM
Mike.. FYI you must have posted an external link and this site has goofy rules about that and we can't see your latest post right after SATs' post (but we know you posted because it said you did on the main page)..
It will show up when a moderator unjails it (usually 24 hours or less)..
I just wanted to let you know as sadly the site doesn't inform you of that..

MrApplebee
09/24/2017, 02:25 PM
Mike.. FYI you must have posted an external link and this site has goofy rules about that and we can't see your latest post right after SATs' post (but we know you posted because it said you did on the main page)..
It will show up when a moderator unjails it (usually 24 hours or less)..
I just wanted to let you know as sadly the site doesn't inform you of that..

Cheers mate. Glad you told me as I was sat here refreshing waiting for replies. Lol

Another question I had that was actually one of the main things I wanted to ask was......I work away from home Monday morning to Thursday night. With my tropical tank this is no issue as my partner only has to feed the fish. What other maintainence would be required from her on the 4 days I'm away? Not sure I trust her to do much more than feeding.

mcgyvr
09/24/2017, 02:41 PM
What other maintainence would be required from her on the 4 days I'm away? Not sure I trust her to do much more than feeding.

If you have an auto top off system which will replenish the freshwater that evaporates (the salt doesn't evaporate so you top off with fresh water) then all you need to do is feed the fish.. If not then she just needs to dump in fresh RO/DI water (recommended vs regular water out of the faucet) to keep the water level consistent..
Other real maintenance can be done when you are there..

MrApplebee
09/24/2017, 02:54 PM
If you have an auto top off system which will replenish the freshwater that evaporates (the salt doesn't evaporate so you top off with fresh water) then all you need to do is feed the fish.. If not then she just needs to dump in fresh RO/DI water (recommended vs regular water out of the faucet) to keep the water level consistent..
Other real maintenance can be done when you are there..

Thanks. To be honest she already tops up the sump for me on my tropical tank so I was selling her short there! Lol

That sounds pretty reassuring. I have read up on water changes for reef tanks and it seems that 10% weekly is a reasonable volume. (Seems so small to me, I change 400 litres weekly in my tropical). I also read that you can buy pre-mixed water in some places. Maidenhead aquatics seems to be one of the places that offers this and I have one down the road from me. Is this something you'd recommend? Is it a cop out or common practice? I'm thinking I wouldn't really learn anything if I went down this route so maybe I should mix my own. To be honest I don't have the same amount of time on my hands nowadays so I'm not being lazy, I'm just seeing how simple and efficient I can make things.

ColoReefer970
09/25/2017, 09:12 AM
Adopting someone else's reef adopts their problems too...you could also end up poisoning yourself with their palys before you know what palys are...

Wonder why he's getting rid of it

This is how I got into it... Adopting 2 messes and.... combining them....i sure learned a lot quick.... but in hindsight I wish I had started from scratch .. I'm still fighting their rocks 3 years later

zomb
09/25/2017, 09:28 AM
Depending on the price, it can be a great deal! A lot of local fish stores will also help assist with the move if you ask them, just depends on the store. Having them help gather the fish to limit stress, take apart the system, and then reassembling the system, testing the waters, etc. Of course every store is different and they will all charge for the service, some are better than others because they know they might get another customer this way.

Its up to you on what you you're paying for it, etc. I bought an established tank and the price I paid was far less than I could of purchased the tank for, let alone all the extras that quickly add up. Had I adopted problems that killed off the tank, I would of still been ahead. Fortunately there were no major problems.


I will say one problem that came up was, I disturbed the sand bed and was scared of putting the fish in right away. I had fish in buckets, no air, no heat. Luckily I was prepared and was able to was able to move them to a temp setup. If you do it yourself, I would recommend getting a rubbermaid container setup with water from the current display tank, putting a heater, PVC corners for hiding, and airstones. You will need this later for a QT tank if you ever add new fish anyways.

Most hobbyist are pretty nice people and if he's had it going for 6 years, chances are he's pretty dear to it. The guy I bought from helped take it apart and get everything together, and then is still there for questions I had to ask him. In his case, he travels a lot and will be moving in the near future and didn't want to keep worrying about getting the fish taken care of while he's gone.

nereefpat
09/25/2017, 09:57 AM
for 800lbs (1000+$ or whatever that equates to), I don't think it's a good deal. I wouldn't want all those out of control mushrooms either.

MrApplebee
09/25/2017, 11:13 AM
Adopting someone else's reef adopts their problems too...you could also end up poisoning yourself with their palys before you know what palys are...

Wonder why he's getting rid of it

This is how I got into it... Adopting 2 messes and.... combining them....i sure learned a lot quick.... but in hindsight I wish I had started from scratch .. I'm still fighting their rocks 3 years later

Thanks. Some food for thought there, stuff that I wouldn't have even thought of.

MrApplebee
09/25/2017, 11:17 AM
Depending on the price, it can be a great deal! A lot of local fish stores will also help assist with the move if you ask them, just depends on the store. Having them help gather the fish to limit stress, take apart the system, and then reassembling the system, testing the waters, etc. Of course every store is different and they will all charge for the service, some are better than others because they know they might get another customer this way.

Its up to you on what you you're paying for it, etc. I bought an established tank and the price I paid was far less than I could of purchased the tank for, let alone all the extras that quickly add up. Had I adopted problems that killed off the tank, I would of still been ahead. Fortunately there were no major problems.


I will say one problem that came up was, I disturbed the sand bed and was scared of putting the fish in right away. I had fish in buckets, no air, no heat. Luckily I was prepared and was able to was able to move them to a temp setup. If you do it yourself, I would recommend getting a rubbermaid container setup with water from the current display tank, putting a heater, PVC corners for hiding, and airstones. You will need this later for a QT tank if you ever add new fish anyways.

Most hobbyist are pretty nice people and if he's had it going for 6 years, chances are he's pretty dear to it. The guy I bought from helped take it apart and get everything together, and then is still there for questions I had to ask him. In his case, he travels a lot and will be moving in the near future and didn't want to keep worrying about getting the fish taken care of while he's gone.

Thanks for the reply. What you are saying is pretty much how I hoped this might pan out. (In an ideal world)

Judging by some other replies it appears I might not be so lucky. Second guessing myself now. Lol. Must be old age making me more cautious and sensible

MrApplebee
09/25/2017, 11:27 AM
for 800lbs (1000+$ or whatever that equates to), I don't think it's a good deal. I wouldn't want all those out of control mushrooms either.

Thanks for replying mate. Is it a bad deal because the equipment is outdated, or is there necessary equipment missing? Starting to lean tears starting from scratch and researching for a few months or longer. I didn't even realise the mushrooms were out of control. Lol

MrApplebee
09/25/2017, 11:31 AM
Adopting someone else's reef adopts their problems too...you could also end up poisoning yourself with their palys before you know what palys are...

Wonder why he's getting rid of it

This is how I got into it... Adopting 2 messes and.... combining them....i sure learned a lot quick.... but in hindsight I wish I had started from scratch .. I'm still fighting their rocks 3 years later

Just googled palys.....madness. Anyone on here ever had a bad incident?

nereefpat
09/25/2017, 01:29 PM
Thanks for replying mate. Is it a bad deal because the equipment is outdated, or is there necessary equipment missing? Starting to lean tears starting from scratch and researching for a few months or longer. I didn't even realise the mushrooms were out of control. Lol

I just don't see 1000$ in a used 75 gallon. Nothing specific, I guess.