The Perfect Reef?

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by NOWICKI, Aug 13, 2002.

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  1. NOWICKI

    NOWICKI Astrea Snail

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    Hello All!
    I think my wife will be leaving me soon ;) Between this site and my lfs and my tank I can't be found ;D Seriously, I hope not!

    I'm in my cycle process right now so I am doing some planning and some $aving. I'm thinking that I would like a tall reef with lots of LR that the fish and friends can play and hide. Over time I would love to have lots of LC and Inverts. I kinda vision the Reef as "Full Bodied" and filled well with a variety of color (who doesn't;D).

    My dimesions are: 26g bow front 24l x 15w x 21h. Fluval 204, 100w heater, PC's when I get into the Inverts and Corals, and a Protien skimmer when $ provides. Taking into account the in/g for fish, patience is a virtue, and this will be over a period of a year, here are my questions:
    1. Does in/g include my cleanup crew?
    2. With LR how much is too much?
    3. IYO what will be the BEST collection of fish and friends can I add that will complement the tank and each other?
    4. I'm using Araga-Life sand and cc, how thick should my substrate be?
    5. If you were me, what are some things you would change? continue? or add?

    You are all awesome :thumbsup2: Thanks for all your help! I'm addicted thats_crazy

    ~Nowicki
     
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  3. Sally

    Sally Plankton

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    Hi Nowicki-
    I've been at this hobby for 10-12 yrs and I've made many mistakes. Success to me is keeping fish alive for 4 or more years. This is possible with certain fish and highly unlikey with others, depending on your experience and set-up. I think when you start out it's important to choose fish that you can successfully keep. Otherwise the hobby can become pretty frustrating.


    I currently have a 125 gal and a 29 gal (used to be a quarantine tank- my quarantine tanks always seem to become display tanks at some point).

    My 29 gal is close to being what you have going on right now
    with your 26 gal bow front. I saw your pics by the way- very nice. My 29 has 30 lbs LR, 3 fish, 4 hermit crabs, and it did house 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp, and one scooter blenny. The cleaner shrimp worked out great but I'll never have another scooter blenny. I've had 4 scooters over the years and they always become emaciated and die. I don't recommend them to newbies..they are not actually a blenny but are a dragonet-just like mandarin fish...and they require a special diet...
    It's very sad to see these fish waste away because the aquarium set up can't provide them with the diet they need.

    The 3 fish I have currently are a nice group- very healthy, active, compatible and colorful. I started with a pink skunk clown (about 1 1/2 inches), and added a yellow coris wrasse ( about 3 inches and expensive but worth it- approx $20 per inch) and then added a royal gramma (great color and personality). All of these fish get along well and thrive on a diet of Formula One and Formula Two. There are plenty of hiding places with the 30 pounds of LR.

    This has been an easy, fun tank to maintain, except for the scooter blenny. The hermit crabs are hilarious to watch. I know I'll have to take them out of the tank when they get too large. I'd like to add two small scarlet cleaner shrimp- they're also fun to watch. But that will be it for livestock in this tank.

    It's important not to overstock. I've crossed the line many times by being impatient and too enthusiastic...(ooh... That fish is awesome ... I must have it). I've paid the price later in time, energy, money, and fish lives. It's important to maintain a balance. There has to be enough biofiltration and mechanical filtration to handle the waste (garbage in and garbage out) and your fish have to have enough personal space- lot's of hiding places.

    LR provides good natural filtration in my tank. I also have an undergravel filter with about 2 " of CC and an Aquaclear 802 powerhead. I have a small Penguin hang-on filter with bio wheel. I like the Penguin - it's easy to maintain and provides good aeration with the bio wheel. I have a 50 watt Visi-therm heater and an NO lamp. Really not enough light. I don't do water changes as regularly as I should and I'm beginning to get more algae on the glass. This tank has been set up for about 18 months.

    I would highly recommend 4 books- I have many but use these 4 most often- "The Conscientious Aquarist" (also see the website www.wetwebmedia.com), Martin Moe's ( 2 books )"The Marine Aquarium Handbook" and "The Marine Aquarium Reference", and John Tullock's "Reef Aquariums".

    So this is my experience with my 29 gallon-
    I'm currently planning a 240 gallon FOWLR that may eventually become a Reef.This will be my dream aquarium and the last big aquarium I will ever have. I'ver been gathering lots of ideas and info over the last few months ....That's how I happened on this wonderful web site.

    Happy Aquarium Keeping to You

    Sally
     
  4. Sally

    Sally Plankton

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    Do check out Aqua C protein Skimmers at www. proteinskimmer.com
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Great help there Sally!  :thumbsup1:

    Welcome aboard and good luck with the 240! What a tank. I can't wait to see pics of that!

    I agree that AquaC makes great skimmers and would recommend one, especially if you are going to upgrade to a bigger tank someday NOWICKI. Although since you mentioned money, there are cheaper ones for a tank that size. I know Karla has a Prism and says it works pretty good. Check the protein skimmer section of the forum for details.

    1. Good question. Certainly from what I have seen I would say no. Although I am sure there is an impact there, however slight.

    2. When I was working at the lfs, everybody swore by 2 lbs/ gallon, now people say 1 lb / gallon. But to answer your question, I would say can't really have too much as long as you have strong enough pumps to provide good water circulation. When the rock starts to overpower your pumps, you may have a problem.

    3. In a tank that small I would stick with around 3 hardy fish. Royal Gramma, a Percula Clown - it's small - and a damsel would be safe. I almost said a Chromis but I am not sure how delicate they are and I am not sure how happy a Chromis would be without other Chromis'. Maybe a b. cardinal?


    4. 3-6 inches. I say 4.

    5. If I were you I would definitely get a skimmer. I would also start saving for a bigger tank.  ;D You will want one eventually. I think you should add some powerheads too. If it is not too late, I might take out the crushed coral and just use sand. The crushed coral tends to trap debris worse than sand.

    hth
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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  7. NOWICKI

    NOWICKI Astrea Snail

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    Excellent Feedback! :thumbsup2:
    Funny, Matt, you mention maybe wanting a larger tank ;D I have been eyeing those for years! This is a great start for us me and the boss. She barely let me do this. I am grateful! But yes there is some $$ being put aside :)

    Currently on my wish list I have more LR and another bag of LS( to reduce the amount of CC and increase the bed depth).
    As far as fishies, I really like your suggestions I read up and I think I would like: 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Percula Clown, 1 Blue Green Reef Chromis possibly a damsel (might be pushing it) among an array of a large cleanup crew. Although I do love the tangs and others but I think I will save those for a larger tank and more experience.

    I am also thinking ahead about LC and Inverts.
    Colt Coral
    Bubble Coral
    Anemone for clownfish
    Green Star Polyps
    Mushrooms (any kinds)
    Yellow Polyps
    Feather dusters
    Leathers
    Any opinions on these? I don't have a PC light yet so I will be looking out for low light friends. I may build my own PC but that will be down the road.

    Thanks again! You guys rock! :thumbsup:
    Please, call me Ryan
     
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  9. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    matt said about the bangaii and the chromis.i have both in the tank 3 chromises and 1 bangaii. both are pretty peaceful actually. chromises should be in a small group at least 3 or more they are a schooling fish pretty much keep to them selves as a group, very active fish and very hardy. eat most foods flake, pellet, meaty foods. they are a playful fish also they chase each other all the time and hide in the halmedia plant. till they find each other

    the bangaii seems pretty peaceful also these do well as a single or mated pair. some people like them in groups but the thing is you have to add them all at the same time. once a bangaii is established could kill a new bangaii if added later. also in a group you want 1 male the rest females. 2 males would kill each other. bangaiis are strictly carnivores will not eat any veggie matter, pellet, or flake. mine likes frozen brine, squid, clam meat. also they are a night predator and hunt for worms and pods when the lights are out. when the light is on they seem to stay in one spot except for feeding time. they stay out, mine never hides and doesnt seem to scare easily.

    heres a pic of mine with my firefish (very skiddish and shy) but they get along fine never bothers them
    http://groups.msn.com/karlas/tankpics.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=77

    here he is with my percs the female is actually one of the more aggressive fish when she wants to be, right up there with the kole tang. the clown went after him and he turned around and stared her down never botherd the bangaii again
    http://groups.msn.com/karlas/tankpics.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12

    also mentioned was skimmers the aqua c's (remoras) are one of the best rated but cost the $$$. if your budget doesnt allow for that i did a lot of research before buying and the prizm kept coming up as one of the best for the lower end price skimmers. i am using one on  a 75 right now. also they do have a 1 yr warranty on their product. which i think for the cheap price you cant really beat it.
     
  10. NOWICKI

    NOWICKI Astrea Snail

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    Thanks Karlas,
    I think I will steer clear of the chromis then, since I can't have 3 or 4.
    What do you think about a firefish or a goby?

    I love your tank pics! Beautiful color and a lot of great fishies :)
    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  11. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    firefish i think are great they are actually the ones that made me think about saltwater. they do well as a single, or better in a mated pair. they school in the ocean but in an aquarium dont do as well with such a small space. also if you go over 2 the next up should be 6 or more with a big tank. if you look for them try to find 2 in a tank that are sticking together pretty good, chances are its a pair. also any future tank mates make sure are peaceful since ff can be skiddish and shy, can be easily stressed by agg fish. they are one fish that have some of a natural imminity to ick

    most gobies are a good choice, hardy, and on the peaceful side there are so many to choose from also more species of them are starting to be tank raised
    here is a goby image index most is on the market not all but before buying still do research. there are a few that are colder water species

    http://uri.sakura.ne.jp/~dd/g/einfn2.htm
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    cool goby page karla!

    odd, i don't see the 'diamond' on it, it seems to have everything else...

    THIS ONE IS WILD!

    [​IMG]

    i think darwin forgot about that one! :eek: