Three Steps To A Reef Aquarium - Step 3

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Articles and How To's' started by Matt Rogers, Nov 11, 2008.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    This is part 3 of the 'Three Steps to a Reef Aquarium' series that started this entire site. Originally written around 1996. These articles were all that 3reef was for a while when it was threestepstoareefaquarium dot com! :)




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    Step Three: Adding Livestock.
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    Corals
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    Now that a couple weeks and ammonia spikes have passed (you have been checking haven't you?), you are now ready for the third step - livestock. You probably will want to get a few hardy corals first. A Bubble, a Brain, Fox or a Leather coral will do great. Place higher or deeper in the tank depending on the light requirements of each. With a lot of corals you want to be wary of placing them too close to each other as they may 'burn' each other and become stressed.
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    Corals seem to benefit from an occasional dose of liquid supplements. I used to recommend iodine, strontium and molybdenum . Generally you do not need to 'feed' your corals anything else. However, there are some studies out there that make me question their worth as it is possible to overdose your tank due to levels that are already high in many common salt mixes. But I don't want to confuse you, I still think you can use supplements occasionally. I used them less than was recommended on the bottles. At the very least it is safe to add some kind of calcium supplement as it is consumed quickly in a reef tank.
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    Fish
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    Once things have settled, you can go ahead and add a fish or two. WHOA, FISH! That's right it is a fish tank! A Percula clown and a Royal Gramma would do fine. Step back and check it out - you have your own 'reef' tank! Now I am not going to tell you every single fish combination you could have. It would be close to impossible and certainly take up more space than I already have. However, just be sure that as you add fish every couple weeks, you get compatible fish that have some sort of function for your tank. Do not color-coordinate! You could get Gobies to clean the sand (they also need supplemental food), Tangs and Dwarf Angels to eat the algae, etc. Remember, you are trying to simulate a working eco-system just like the real thing.
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    <div>Percula Clown</div>
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    Reminders
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    Do not overstock the aquarium - use common sense! Lastly, stay on top of your routine maintenance! Do something (clean skimmer, glass,etc) at least once a week. Replace evaporated water as needed. Do partial water changes (5%-20%) every couple weeks to once a month. Being responsible will save hours in frustration, trust me. Few things can be more stressful than cleaning up a mess in the aquarium. Do not spend hours trying to get those rocks 'just right.' That will just stress out your inhabitants and add whatever pollutants that are on your hands and arms into the tank.
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    I am sure that in time you will become familiar with the routine and start enjoying the rewards a 'living' reef.
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    <i>Please give your feedback below!</i>
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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
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  3. reef4girl

    reef4girl Feather Duster

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  4. MIKE SURTEES

    MIKE SURTEES Plankton

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    Mat Rogers. Nice one, well put. My tank is 6xwks old now, just soft corals, and coraline growing. I have no bad stuff growing, and my nitrates are dropping slowly. I was going to wait until they were zero -1 and then concider livestock. I have all LED's and it looks fantastic. 200lt + 3x1000lt/hr and 1x4500lt/hr pumps, the rock placement slows all this flow down and I guesse it's part of the reasion that denitrification is occuring so early. Regards.
     
  5. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    I read all 3 steps! Thank you very much! :)
     
  6. Pelado

    Pelado Montipora Digitata

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    Very informative... thanks :)
     
  7. joshuamartinez

    joshuamartinez Astrea Snail

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    Thanks..

    Thanks for the very informative threads, At the moment I have a 55 gallon tank but nothing in but 30 LBs of LR, I am going to pick up another 30 LBs of LR with my next paycheck. Have Live sand and white sand i cant wait til I can start adding live stock. I am thinking about creating a side tank thats only reef and coral, after reading all the threads here it inspired me to attempt to maintain an all reef tank. Thanks for everything and I hope this is the first of many postins and interactions with this website
     
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  9. masonke

    masonke Plankton

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    Great information!
     
  10. beaner4747

    beaner4747 Astrea Snail

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    does anyone no how to start a thread new to this and can figure out how :?