Beginner in need of assistance - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Beginner in need of assistance

Hello. I'm a beginner to Marine Aquariums. Just purchased a 90 Gallon tank w a 110 gallon sump w Wet Dry Mech/Biol/Chem filter. Plan on a Fish only tank w Live Rock (May eventually go to coral and will bear in mind the limitations of species suitable for Coral tanks). Have many questions mostly related to cycling and Fish Compatability. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

1. Is it possible to keep Dwarf LionFish w Maroon (Premnas biaculeatus) or Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus); (or any Clownfish for that matter)?
2. Can any Moray co-exist w Clownfish?
3. Is a 90 gallon tank too small for Moray's?
4. Do you recommend cycling a new tank w Live Fish or Live Rock?
5. If Fish, which are "Hardy" enough for the task? Lionfish? Clownfish? Eels? Butterfly? Tangs?
6. If the live fish are not my eventual desired Tank Members, what do I do w them when the tank is cycled?
7. Any choices besides Live Rock Vs. Live Fish?
8. If I go w Live rock, what's faster for the cycle? Cured Vs. Uncured.
9. How much rock per gallon?
10. Do I need a Protein skimmer? Should it be present during cycling? Should I remove the Bioballs from my filter while cycling?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 01:18 PM
1. Yes, as long as big enough for DL to swallow.
2. Yes, Snowflakw eel, etc
3. Not really as long as they stay small. For other Vipers (Green Moray, etc) should be kept in larger tank by themselves/itself
4. Only LR; recuuring in tank after shipping will cycled the tank at the same time. Need to test often to cofirm.Sometimes may not even see any registering depending on the condition of LR received.
5. Noe of your choices. Only Damsels but why go thru such efforts and waste of time and money. (may take 6-8 weeks with fish).
6. Must have livestock (fish, inverts) to continue the bio-activities.
7. Arteficial method using pure NH3 but why when LR will do it for free and better w/o much, if any, efforts. It is an investment on LR but well worth down the road. Rather fill w/ LR before adding fish.
8. Cured. Even Cured Rock has to be recurred after shipping. If want to go thru having few containers with pumps, heaters (depends on your climate), may find more hitchhikers on Uncured Rock but beware of odors and replacement of S/W (costly) during curing. Also may have unwanted hitchhikers which may be damaging to your inverts and even fish; many times can not see them until problem arise.
9. Depends on how Aquascaped but generally 1-1.5LB per gallon.
10. Most definitely should have one. Find it the most important piece of equipment on S/W. W/ cured rock, NO. B/B should be removed forever when have enough LR

Keys to successful tank (f/w, s/w. reef) are PATIENCE and research (as you are doing now). Glad to see beginners approach the hobby as they should (being responsible for Livestocks removed from their natural habitats for our enjoyment), not to mention your hard earned money. Keep posting if more questions. We are all here to assist and even learn from each other since no end to learning if one keeps mind and ears and eyes opened.

Last edited by cerianthus; 01-22-2009 at 01:26 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Read a couple of books. Got a bunch of opinions. Formed a quasi-Meta Analysis. Set the Tank up today (Will be Fish Only) w the Sump containing Mechanical/Chemical and Biologic filter. Will purchase 1-1.5 lbs of Live rock and start a fishless cycle. Will also obtain a Protein skimmer and leave the BioBalls in. Will probably put two small Snowflake Eels, Dwarf Lionfish and a couple of Bigger Maroon Clownfish after the cycle.
Additional Questions:
1. Any particular order for adding the fish? Least aggressive first etc.. All at once?
2. Do not own a quarantine Tank. Do I need one?
3. Do I need a UV Filter in Addition to Live Rock, Protein Skimmer, Sump Filter w Mech/Chem/Bio filtration, and Frequent Water Changes?

Thank you so much!!!!
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 10:47 PM
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i see problems.

first i would scrap the bio balls. they are great in freshwater but trouble in saltwater.
second your fish stocking list = disaster. marron clowns are the most aggresive clownfish, i would NOT add more then 1 or an established pair. i dont have experience with eels but i would also recommend not adding 2 of them either.
your no where near adding fish yet, slow and steady wins the race, patience is key and cannot be stressed enough. yes when the time does come your going to want to add least aggressive first followed by the more aggressive fish but seperate the additions of fish by a month or more, fish stocking is important.
i strongly highly recommend looking on for a cheap tank that you can use as a QT/hospital tank. its good to QT fish so you do not add disease/sickness to your display from the start, you can observe eating habbits and treat problems BEFORE they get added to a tank. try netting a fish out of a tank with 100-150lbs live rock, its not happening.
UVing isnt required but im sure it wouldnt hurt. in a reef setup a UV will actually kill natural food for corals so its really not needed. I would much rather see a deep sand bed, good amount of quality live rock with good flow as your NATURAL FILTRATION in tandem with a quality protien skimmer. (read reviews as some are garbage and some are golden)
Please do much much more research before getting started. You will decrease the dent on your wallet and have much more success. Feel free to ask questions.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Have no plans to add fish anytime soon. After it's done cycling. Thought a more aggressive/bigger species of Clownfish would increase the likelihood of survival in the presence of a DwarfLionfish and/or Eels. So I put just 1 Eel in? The Clownfish and Lionfish are what got me to leave Freshwater aquariums and go to Marine. Have recieved lots of conflicting info about the two species compatability. Everyone seems to agrees not to put multiple types of Clown species in the same tank. What Clownfish would you rec to go w a Dwarflionfish? I've seen lots of Tanks w multiple clowns of the same species. How is this done effectively? So Would a Single Clown, Single Snowflake Eel, a single Dwarflionfish be potentially reasonable for a 90 gallon tank?
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 07:35 PM
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Wow. This was a very stressful read. I say this with nothing but the desire to help.... SLOW DOWN!!!!!

There are a lot of topics on this thread, so let me just throw some stuff out there. First and most important. How is it possible to do research and still decide that you are going to use bioballs??? This is simply not acceptable. You can't make this decision. You are going to completely ruin your marine fishkeeping experience before you ever buy a fish. We will have failed you miserably if you decide to use biomedia. You may as well buy some liquid Nitrate and dose it daily to your aquarium. You want a deep sand bed, live rock, and the best protein skimmer your wallet can afford. No biomedia. Period. Please explain your decision so that we can discuss further.

When it comes to compatability, you will get different opinions. Why? The order in which fish are added, the tank size, the aquascapping, and the total bioload all play a huge impact on how fish behave in an aquarium. It is a very difficult task to really determine what mixes together well inside a small glass box. However, i can tell you this... it is more important to ask yourself "HOW LONG can these fish to live together?"

In your situation, I would personally feel comfortable putting any LARGE clownfish with a Dwarf Lion. The nice thing about Lionfish is that they are almost never the target of aggression, and they are NOT an aggressive fish. They are a predator and will eat anything that fits in their mouth, but they are not territorial at all. They are one of the rare fish that you can easily determine the chance of compatablity success.

When looking at other fish mixes, think about color and Family / Genus. If 2 fish are of the same Genus, then they will probably not get along in a 90 gallon tank. If 2 fish are of the same FAMILY and same color, then they will probably not get along. For example, a Coral Beauty Angel and a Koran Angel will typically get along fine together. But you would not put a Coral Beauty with a Lemon Peel Angel, both of the Centropyge Genus. You would also not mix a Yellow Tang with a Lemon Tang, both from the same Family.

There are a few exceptions, especially when you keep fish in pairs. Clownfish fall into this category and usually will do ok in a pair. It is generally not a good idea to keep different species together, but this is a loose rule of thumb and seems to work 20-30% of the time with some degree of success. However, the chance of failure is high enough that it is ill advised.

I think your fish list is fine. A LARGE Maroon Clown, Snowflake Eel, and Dwarf Lionfish should be fine. You could add your choice of Zebrasoma genus of Tang, and still have room for a couple other selectios.

On the subject of UV.... YES YES YES YES YES!!!! They are not expensive and can be a lifesaver!
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-24-2009, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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sorry. Already took the bioballs out. Have no intentions of adding fish anytime soon. Think the tank has been well prepared. Went smaller than originally planned to dedicate a greater amount of my budget to filtration, live rock etc.. Have a 4 inch bed of live sand and about 1lb/gallon of LR. Bought a protein skimmer which Ill eventually add after the cycle is complete (In 2,3,4,8 weeks) and I've added livestock. Trying to get info way in advance before purchasing fish. been scouring this site, and Bought 2 books and read them cover to cover on Marine Aquariums and have visited 3 local Aquarium stores. Have recieved about 50 different opinions from 50 different people. Just trying to get a consensus. Not sure what I need to slow down. Thus far I've set up the tank and filters. Added the water, salt and two chemicals multiple people recommended (Seachem Stability and Prime). Let it cycle for a couple of days. Salinity 1.019 (Don't plan on adding coral to the tank), Temp 78 degrees, pH 8.2, No Ammonia or Nitrite. Added about 90-100lbs of Cured Liverock from Established tank, removed the bioballs and am testing Salinity, Temp, Ammonia and Nitrite levels daily. The 640 gallon/hr pump seems to be a bit underpowered based on my research. Bought a powerhead that cycles another 294 gallons per hour and purchased a back up heater (Everyone seems to think two heaters are necc for redundancy in this sized tank). Have the protein skimmer. Will get the UV before adding livestock. What else would you recommend? Is that the mantra to newbies, slow down, slowdown regardless of their decisions or have I actually down something rash?
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-24-2009, 02:37 AM
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going slow is the way to go, NOTHING will happen fast.
what brand/model skimmer? what "filtration" and what brand of powerheads?
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-24-2009, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
going slow is the way to go, NOTHING will happen fast.
what brand/model skimmer? what "filtration" and what brand of powerheads?
Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel (Upto 125 gallons).

Maxjet 1100 Utility Pump 294 Gallons/Hr

Megaflow Series 3 Filter

Used Chem Pure and Chem Pure Elite as my Chemical filters
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-24-2009, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Question QT Tank

1. How large of a tank do you need to function as a QT Tank? I have a 90 gallon tank (Fish Only, currently cycling w Cured, Live Rock). Have a sump w Mech/Chemical filter (BioBalls REMOVED) and a protein skimmer which I'll eventually add prior to the addition of Livestock.

2. Do I also need to cycle a QT Tank? Should it be also w LR, cured?

3. What type of filtration is appropriate for the QT Tank. People advised against HOW Filters, External and Internal Canister filters for the main tank. Is it appropriate to pick up a 10 or 20 gallon tank, put some LR in it now while the main tank is cycling, then add one of the less efficient (But Cheaper) filters to the QT Tank since it will not be used as often as the main tank and will have limited bioload?
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