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Discussion Starter #1
hey everyone,

in an effort to be sure that i have not/ am not doing anything else stupid, i'm asking for some advice. I have intentions of moving this tank in the direction of corals in the upcoming weeks, and before i do anything i want to make sure that i do it right. So to do that i am going to tell you everything i have, and my aspirations, so hopefully you guys can point me in the right direction.

Equiptment:
55g tank, live sand, 80lbs of lace rock, 30 lbs of live rock rubble, 2 powerheads, pro choice aquatics wet dry filter, heater, 10 g refugium, uv light, aqua glo light on refugium. On saturday i am picking up a current usa outer orbit metal halide/pc light, and a coralife needle wheel skimmer.

Living Things: 2 Clowns, 3 Chromis, 2 engineer gobies, 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 red scooter blenny/starry dragonet(whichever one you classify him as), 3 emerald crabs, 1 sally lightfoot crab, 2 dwarf red tip hermit crabs, 1 electric blue hermit crab, 2 astrea snails, 3 margarita snails, 2 nassarious snails, 2 feather dusters 1 red tip bubble anemone, and 1 sailfin tang.

The sailfin tang is going to be exchanged for a coralof some kind once i get my light set p next week, so he will be in a larger tank so he can swim. All of the other members of this tank are very small, and not yet began to grow to adult sizes.

I aspire to have a tank with a small assortment of interesting corals, bright and colorful, and full of life. My only thing is that i understand that with saltwater the tank space is more necessary than i am used to with freshwater. So my question to all of you is if i am interested in setting up this tank with some corals, do i need to relocate some of my inhabitants maybe down to the refugium? Are any of these fish/ inverts going to be a prob with corals? Any advice that i could get about how many of those fish/inverts i should be keeping in the 55 would be tremendously apreciated both by me and i'm sure the fish as well.

Thanks everyone for the help!!

Jim
 

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Cabana Boy
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I see u have a wet/dry in the list of things you have. If it still has bio balls, you might want to get rid of them if you are planning on making this a reef setup. Bioballs require maintenance that doesnt seem to warrant its worth in keeping .... IMO
 

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First thing welcome to reefing gone wild. Just kidding! From what I can see you have all the right equipment to have a very successful reef.

Question that need to be answered are what type of reef are you going for (i.e. softy, sps, lps and what not). What is the current gph of your tank with the 2 power heads? With the different types of coral you might need to add flow or remove flow. So decide which or what type of coral you want to keep. Keep in mind that SPS need High flow and softy like shrooms need low flow.

As for current residents you should be fine with the Sailfin removed. Every thing is reef safe. A word or warning though snails and crabs will move anything that gets in there way. So when you place frags in your tank try to make sure they are secure and unable to be moved by them.

You will want to keep other coral about 3" away from your RTBA, these guys can sting other coral and then your whole tank will go to war. HOWEVER, i have a 12gal nano with 2 GTBA and multiple zoos and shrooms and everyone is getting along great!

If you have any direct question feel free to PM or post here.
 

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HI Jim,
good questions.
have you looked at the various types of corals yet?
You sorta have 3 groups we usally break them down in to these groups..
"Soft" , "LPS" ( large polyp stonie) , "SPS" ( small polyp..)
each group has a care level need for it, the soft coral types being in the lower end. But that is not always true.. but for now we will leave it as that. before look at the coral groups..( by the way we all will gladly walk with you through it)
i would strongly reccommend not using the wet /dry system for the reef. your main filters for the tank will be the Live rock and skimmer.. dont go cheap on the protien skimmer. Do you have one already? i might have missed that..( yup never mind just saw it)
how is the Scooter doing? is he eating flake and or frozen food for you? they are pod eaters and can clean out a tank very fast unless you can get them to eat something else.
how are the levels in the tank? being the tank is so young the anemone may have a very hard time.
with the wet/dry can you take a pic of it for me so i can see how it is laided out?

also take a look at the FAQ section here , there are tow articles you will like.
HTH

more later
 

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LOL Tim's a slow typer.

Jim, the engineer gobies are going to dump sand all over your corals and the anemone might wander around and sting/kill some of the corals.

I would start out with all soft corals. Lots of color, are very forgiving about water quality usually, and make absolutely beautiful tanks.

What UV, size, etc do you have? flow rate, etc?
 

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Get a RC skimmer, Pacific coast rc 100, or 200, check ALL of your levels first, i would have the skimmer inplace and broke in before adding corals. Go slow, don't over stock, DONOT add the water from the coral bags to the tank
 

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Cabana Boy
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I just recently got a pci skimmer and cant wait to try it, but I see hes already got a skimmer and some have said the coralife ones are pretty good. I do recommend that you invest in a Reverse Osmosis DI filter. With the halides you should be able to keep all sorts of corals but you need to decide on which you would prefer to keep and go from there. After that then you can go about things like water movement (closed loops and such) and kalkwaiser (sp?). Just take baby steps. Get a good foundation to start from and its good that u are open to suggestions. This will help prevent future frustrations and loss of $$ spent for no reason
 

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Cabana Boy
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Oh i just read your post again and you havent picked up the skimmer. Well I cant completely recommend my pci to u since I have just tested it with vinegar(looks incredible at making foam though) since I cant fit it in the sump I have at the moment. My new sump is on its way but when it is setup I will post my skimmer in action. The MRc skimmers seem to be a favorite amongst alot of the members here just like the asm skimmers. I would recommend trying to see one of these in action if you can
 

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Tang Lover
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Congrats on getting a trade for the sailfin. But as mentioned...hopefully the trade can take place in phases. You wanna wait a bit before adding corals.

YOu've got some really good advice so far, so not much to add.

But I did want to recommend a book: Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman. It'll show you all the different types of corals, and you can pick out which one(s) you like best, and design the tank around those ones (which is really the best way to have success). The book also talks about all the different types of equipment, husbandry techniques, etc. All around, great book. It's the 2nd one listed on the books that TRT recommends:
http://www.thereeftank.com/books/

But other than that...keep the questions coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow guys, thanks for all of the advice!! I am going to see if i can respond to everyones questions in one reply. here we go.

1. i do have a wet/dry with the bioballs. As of right now i have removed half of them, in an effort to remove all of them slowly. i would say within the next 2 weeks all of them will be removed.

2. I plan on doing polyps. I saw a beginner pack of polyps from liveaquria that i was very interetsed in. from the limited research that i have done on them so far it seems to be the direction i would want to head in.

3. The scooter is doing excellent. very active sifting through the sand for food, and gets along great with everyone. he readily accepts frozen shrimp and pieces of formula one. couldn't be any happier with him.

4. the engineers have already moved some of the sand to create a home base for themselves, and after that have no wandered elsewhere in the tank. the anemone moved around a lot the first day and then nestled into a spot in the rocks and hasn't budged since. The UV light is tared to 120g, but i forget the gph and the brand of it. it is one that i bought a few years ago, but the light has been replaced once a year since.

5. i already bought the skimmer, so its a lil too late to go back and buy a different one, but i'll see how this one works out for a while. I got the coralife needle wheel impellar skimmer thingee-ma-bob. I got a great deal on it bc i bought it with the light and made a great cash deal.

6. thanks for the recomendation on the book. I am going to stop at the borders on the way home from work and see what i can find.


wheew. that was fun. Thanks for the advice guys.

jim
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Yes the scooter is actually a dragonette. If he is eating mysis you should be great, I finally got mine on it too. Be proud that is no small feat! I have the mr1 skimmer from MRC and it is the bomb! It runs $250. If you are looking for a less expensive but good one go with the coralife super skimmers. Ah Nevermind see you got a skimmer already. Good luck. I would start with the softies and then maybe go with some lps. I am still too intimidated by sps and my large tank will be a predator tank so it wont be a good home for them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
surprisingly enough the dragonette ate within the first 2-3 days. i was very surprised bc i saw that a few people said that they take a while to get acclimated propperly. i definately think i am going to be going polyps to start off with.

what does everyone think about this set up pack?
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=714
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Looks good. You should look at some green star polyps too. Feather dusters are a worm not coral but make a good addition and great filter feeders. They also come in different colors.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks jenajet. I love the two feather dusters that i have right now. I have one plain and one christmas tree. I am going to look into those polyps right now.
how long after i set up the light and the skimmer do you think i should wait to get my first coral?
 

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To Boldly Reef ...
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Looks like oyu are well on your way to getting setup. As a side note, I would be careful with GSP (Green Star Polyps). They and Xenia, if they get a good foot hold and like your tank, can be the equivelant of Kudzu. I would keep both as isolated islands that can be eaisly pruned.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
how exactly would you go about pruning something like that?
 

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Sailfin
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More snails -- check out keyscritters.com
You might lose the anemone, they rarely do well in the long run, plus the knock things over as Spanky said
RO or RO/DI unit for sure. Don't use any tap water once you want to start corals.

Corals don't hurt the bioload; fish do. You can put a lot of corals in there so long as none are stinging each other.
 
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