When to add corals?

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by VPBassist, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. VPBassist

    VPBassist Bristle Worm

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    Once you have an establish, cycled tank when can you add corals? I know a majority of people say you shouldn't add anenomes within the first year or your tank's life but what about corals? The plan I had in my head was to add one coral per month to my tank once its cycled and then let them grow slowly. Am I rushing things?
     
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  3. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    "Easy beginner" soft corals, like mushrooms, zoanthids and some leathers, can not only tolerate the minor parameter swings in a newly cycled tank, but will, in fact, help your tank to stabilize. SPS and most LPS, however, will require a more mature and stable environment. Given times for anything are only guidelines... your tank cannot be guaranteed to be capable of supporting a SPS coral or anemone by it's age, but rather, only by knowing that your parameters have fully stabilized.
     
  4. xpand

    xpand Flamingo Tongue

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    new here

    Hi, I am in my 7th week of cycling and building. Since day one of monitoring absolutely nothing has changed. All levels are at zero, other than the levels that I am adding. calcium etc. I do have a 200g so I'm guessing this is the reason? I did add a couple polyps and mushrooms at 6weeks and they look great. Tonight I added a few more Ocellaris clowns and two Bubble tip Anemones to smooth the battles between the clowns. Any input on my decisions ? 6 ocellaris clowns 20hermits 3 turbo snails 2 polyps 2 mushrooms 2 green bubble anemones. Coraline algae is spreading.:)
     
  5. acanlover

    acanlover Astrea Snail

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    I would wait about 2-3 weeks after your cycle is completely done and you are comfortable to taking care of fish, then add a zoa frag or xenia, something soft. LPS wait until you zoas and softies are striving for about a month and since you are a beginner I wouldn't attempt SPS for a while. Usually they will survive when the tank matures around 6 months but as a beginner I would not attempt that.
     
  6. sticksmith23

    sticksmith23 Giant Squid

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    I am still a newbie at most of this as well, but I started my saltwater tank this past February with just live sand and let it cycle mainly because I didn't have the time to add live stock and wanted to make sure that I was adding only what I wanted because I was limited to 16 gallons. In early June I did add two damsel fish and waited about a month before I added some mushrooms, palys, GSP, and zoas that I got on a trade to the tank. Within a month my green mushrooms had already split on its own.

    You also have to remember that coral success has a lot to do with lighting.
     
  7. link248

    link248 Ritteri Anemone

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    You are moving way to fast. You're only in your 7th week and already have all of that live stock and anemones? Your tank is not mature enough to have an anemone. You should Wait at least 6 months if not longer before you add one.

    If you load the tank too fast like you are doing, you can cause the tank to crash, it's called new tank syndrome, then you will loose everything in your tank.
     
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  9. link248

    link248 Ritteri Anemone

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    You can add a few soft corals and see how that works for you. wait atleast 3-6 months before adding hard corals. Just take your time and it will pay off in the long run.

    Any picts of your tank?
     
  10. VPBassist

    VPBassist Bristle Worm

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    I still hadn't filled it with water when this picture was taken but all the reefscaping stayed the same
     

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  11. heidimi

    heidimi Fire Shrimp

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    You can FOR SURE add corals. Yes I know I will get countered on this but I don't care. I don't like that people say "No SPS for a year.. six months... what ever.. Do you have a mega powerful protein skimmer? DO you keep your water very very clean? DO you want an SPS dominated tank? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you need to start with some inexpensive frags of SPS. Lots of soft stuff like lower light and dirtier water. Unless you want a softy tank, and there is NOTHING wrong with a softy tank, don't go spending and adding soft coral. When I started my first reef I knew that I loved SPS. SO that is what I started with. I know what it takes to keep them and I do that. You need to figure out what you want your reef to look like and what you want to have as your "prize pieces" in 3 years from now... 5 years etc. If you want huge leather and rocks completely covered in hairy mushrooms. Then go for it. If you want huge branchy SPS of all colors... do it. If you want zoas on all your rocks and some SPS ... do that.

    I guess my point is I think too many people instead of planing what they want their reef to look like 5 years do what they feel "safe with" right now. Only put what you love and want in your tank and you will love your tank in 3 years and even in a year. But if you add only what people "say" you should, most likely you will be trying to get rid of those "newbee" pieces in a year or two because you have no room for what you want. Just food for thought.

    For a different outlook ;)

    Heidi

    P.S. Coral is life too ;)
     
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  12. thepanfish

    thepanfish Flying Squid

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    I will have to disagree on you with this. I know this will start an argument but whatever. I see no difference between adding an anemone to a 2 month old established tank, as opposed to a 6 month established tank. The only difference would be coralline growth. You can add an anemone once your system is established, however long that may take for each particular tank.
    Online open ended guidline like 6 months for a nem are untrue IMO
    Also, people forget that anemones like slightly dirty water, and will use nitrates. Anemones in tanks set up for SPS without feeding will most likely not thrive as much as anemones in tanks with messy fish and good light. I'm not trying to say anemones don't need good water quality, but it doesn't have to be SPS quality.
    Sounds like in a couple weeks the OP cpuld add one. I agree with what Heidimi posted above.
     
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