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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone! I have a few questions!

I’m not new entirely to the saltwater side of things, but it has been a while since I’ve last touched anything related to the subject. I started 2 years ago with a 20Gallon sw tank all I had was a pair of bonded clowns (all black with white face) and a green bubble tip. It’s been a year since I got rid of the setup and now have a 50 gallon tank. It is a tall and lengthy tank, not deep though. I am wanting to put a range of fish along with corals; nems to be specific. Now to the questions.
1. Is a skimmer enough or should I incorporate a sump as well?
2. Since it is a tall tank should I place a power head in the middle of the tank along with the top or would the single top power head be sufficient?
3. What fish would you recommend to be compatible with nems and other coral?
4. Any coral recommendations that aren’t too expensive?
Now this question might hit a nerve with some….
5. Can I get tangs, angle fish, eels, etc. and put them in my 50g tank for less than a year? 3-4 months(that’s worst case scenario) 1-2 months (best case scenario) Note: the 50g will not be permanent. I want to get this tank situated and running smoothly and I want to finish acquiring larger higher end equipment for a 125g tank.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Welcome. I am not an expert either but have been quite active asking questions like yourself. The cool kids will be along shortly and they will have great advice.

If I had to guess (and at this point I do) I would say they are gonna give the following advice:

1. A skimmer is not a deal breaker but will make your life easier. You will likely want one in the bigger tank.
2. I have one power head at the top of my 75 and had to turn it down. The type of flow you will need will depend on what you put in there. My nem hates the flow and hides from it.
3. Clowns and cardinals are safe bets. I have a butterfly who is dis interested in anything I worry about. Pretty much any peaceful reef safe fish is gonna be OK but all are different and it is really trial and error.
4. Corals that aren’t expensive are more a function of where you buy them as opposed to what you buy. I found a LFS that has fantastic prices as it is basically a hobby store. Facebook groups and local clubs are another source of cheap corals.
5. All that stuff is big and expensive. I personally wouldn’t be putting them in a tank unless it was really well cycled and stable. Another concern is that at some point you have to toss them in buckets for a day while you upgrade your tank. My opinion would be to wait till the big tank was in place and running very stable before buying anything big off the wish list.

OK. Again I am a noob. We will sit back together & watch while the big guys mark my test.
 

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Fry Daddy! Multiple tanks, reef, seahorse
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Welcome to TRT!

a 50 gallon tank is a nice size tank. As far as a skimm I recommend having either a good hob or if you go with sump one in the sump. A sump is a plus and if it’s within your budget I would say yes get one.
I prefer live rock but it can be costly. You can use dry rock and seed the tank with a few pieces of live. Then ghost feed during the cycle. The anemone I would hold off on for awhile and allow the tank to stabilize and mature for best results. The more live rock you start with the quicker the tank will stabilize.
Coral and anemone will also depend on the lighting you provide. Soft corals are the most forgiving and on the cheaper side. They will fill in tank nicely as they grow.
Please give us more details about the equipment. Lights . Pumps and so on so we can better help you. It sounds like you have a decent amount of experience .
Pictures also help
 

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Welcome to TRT, Hectoroonie!

Please post a photo of your 50. It will be easier to discuss your questions if we have a better idea of the tanks dimensions. I am not an active ref keeper, but the last thing I had was a 40. Rick may be new, but he knows a lot and it’s very practical. I agree with Rick on his advice in point 5.

Tangs are beautiful fish but they need a lot of room. And you don’t want to overcrowd your tank because it causes too much fish poop will lead to problem, when I first started out I had a 29, and had just a few fish and corals. It looked pretty barren to start out, but that’s OK.

By the way, Hector, take a look at our daily thread in General Reef Discussion. That’s a place where you get to know some of the cool people.

Again, welcome to TRT!
 

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......a WELL VERSED and amazingly wise noob! :unsure: (y) Nice Rick.

Good morning and a BIG WELCOME Hectoroonie to TRT.....and THANKS for stopping by and giving us a try.

Now this question might hit a nerve with some….
5. Can I get tangs, angle fish, eels, etc. and put them in my 50g tank for less than a year? 3-4 months(that’s worst case scenario) 1-2 months (best case scenario) Note: the 50g will not be permanent. I want to get this tank situated and running smoothly and I want to finish acquiring larger higher end equipment for a 125g tank.
.......:unsure:........hmmmmmmmm....
In the marine, ESPECIALLY the REEF hobby NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS FAST.......BAD, oh yeah, as fast as falling of a roof.
How did you do with your 20 gallon you had? You had it running for 1-year.....any issues? Why, without being too nosy, did you shut it down....ISSUES or just 'life' related?

IF you're indeed talking 3-4 months/'less than a year' before your 'big' tank, I would suggest setting up, and 'cycling' your 50 gallon......plenty of live rock, once 'cycled' a hardier fish or two and just practice keeping it running, STABLE, and healthy till your ready for the big move. THAT'S about the time it will take to get things stabilized anyway, so keeps you from having to tear down a well running system just about as soon as it does get to that point.

The time WILL FLY, and life, and options will be more understood and wide open for you.
All the best,
Hack
 

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I agree with Hack if you are going to upgrade that soon I would wait on Tangs, angels and anemone for sure. Depending on hoe things go you may not even be through the uglies before you upgrade. I would cycle it well and keep livestock to a minimum. Especially if you start with dry rock. Depending on where you are gulf coast maricultured live rock could be the way to. Lots of life on it.
Take the time to decide what you really must have. Make a list and make sure that they will work together and in the tank size you want. I wouldn’t buy anything that has to have a tank bigger than what you have. Something can always come up keep you from upgrading.
Remember to get your peaceful fish first and more aggressive fish later.
Welcome and have fun.
 

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Welcome, I would agree with everyone else dont get tangs or angels small thinking that you will upgrade as they get bigger. When I worked at the shop we had lots of fish returned because they out grew the tank and upgrading was not practical when push came to shove. I can't tell you how many Regal Tangs came back bigger and not that healthy because they out grew the 29 they got put in as a 1-2" Dory Fish that everyone had to have after Finding Nemo came out.
Pics of the tank would be great, that way we know what your working with and can better offer suggestions
Again Welcome :)
 
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