Fish or reefs, what do I do? This has been the question on my mind for weeks now. I told myself I wouldn't stall on this new hobby, but I have and it's because I can't decide if I want fish or corals. Silly, isn't it? Should be so easy to decide right? Well not when you've assumed fish were the way to go your entire life and suddenly you see all the benefits of including corals.
Advice from the experts is key in this great fish debate and I've gotten some great tips. Colin at The Coral Morophologic says, "I definitely recommend adding some corals and inverts to your new tank. In fact, many of our tanks do not even have fish in them." Though he does include creatures like shrimp and crab (another possibility?) "These are simple animals that even a beginner should be able to grow successfully, so as long as basic caution and maintenance is followed," explain Colin.
On the other hand, if you've read this blog, you've noticed that Susan from Sea Creatures & Me have been back and forth on the topic of live rock and fish. "You can have live rock and and have fish. You don't have to populate your rock with corals. Live rock helps denitrification. The benefit of live rock is that it adds additional fitration to the system. If I had a fish-only tank, I'd still put live rock in it. Looks nice, makes shy fish feel safe, helps keep the water parameters good, etc.," she says and I wistfully dream of fish and live rock options.
And what of fish AND corals? Says Susan, "Also, you can have a reef tank with fish, too, depending on what kind of fish you have. Some tend to eat crabs, shrimp and corals. So do a bit of research on how reef-safe any fish are if you want to keep a coral reef option open.