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i'm new here and i have some questions

This is a discussion on i'm new here and i have some questions within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> thanks for the help herefishy and betababy. is it ok to use a 10g with a tank divider for the quarantine tank. half the ...

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i'm new here and i have some questions
Old 04-04-2008, 03:51 PM   #11
 
thanks for the help herefishy and betababy. is it ok to use a 10g with a tank divider for the quarantine tank. half the tank for fish and the other half for coral? also wht kind of lighting will i need if i want reef tank?
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #12
 
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The reason I mentioned a seperate qt tank for corals is because of the medications that will eventually be used for the fish in the qt tank. Safe for fish, not safe for corals (or any other invert, including snails, starfish, shrimp, etc)... and many of those meds, like copper, will permanently contaminate that tank... so once something like medication has gone in, corals will need to qt elsewhere.
Before any meds are used in the qt tank, it would be safe for both fish and corals, but not always together, and considering the water params and temp, and light, are appropriate for each thing going in.

The lighting will depend on the types of corals... some need high light, some need low light, some need light in between. A shallow tank will make it cheaper and easier to provide light for "high light" corals, but can create a challenge sometimes for the lower light animals. Using live rock to create shelves and caves at different levels will help to shade the animals who need less light. If you list some species names of corals you are interested in keeping, we can then direct you better on what light you will need. Considering the size of that tank, compact fluorescent would work well for most of them, and T5 would also work. Don't make the mistake of focusing only on how many watts per gallon. I see this happen often. The other important factors in lighting are the spectrum of light, and the heat intensity it puts out. In a 20 long, heat from MH bulbs or others that are known to run hot... will increase your water temp. The fluctuations in temp from light to dark can wipe out a tank. The smaller the amount of water the faster the rate of change... temp is no exception. This applies to salinity, waste levels, minerals, temp, everything about the tank... the smaller the tank the faster and more extreme the changes will be. These animals can't handle a lot of change, especially not drastic. Please keep that in mind when selecting light fixtures.

One other word of caution... not all corals can be housed together in a small tank like 20 gallons. Corals can be very aggressive and have "sweeper tentacles" which on some species, can reach a few feet in lenght. These tentacles will sweep around the animal and sting those around it, causing irritation and eventually death to those stung. Some corals are known to be more aggressive than others, so again, listing some names for us, we can help you to sort through them. I have been in many LFS's where the corals are all crowded togethe r into one small tank, and the sweeper tentacles from so many make it look like hair is waving around all of the tank. It's a sight to see, but beware of tanks like these when you are shopping, because once they sting each other, damage is usually done. You don't want damaged/injured animals going home to your tank. It's better for you to shop elsewhere if you see this at your LFS.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:41 PM   #13
 
i looked up some coral and here are some ones that i liked, please tell if if they're compatible and small enough for my size tank(sorry if all of these questions are stupid but i have no clue at all)

-Plate Coral - Heliofungia (instead of anemone)
-Green Pagoda
-Montipora
-Stylophora
-Red Carnation Coral

please tell if those are ok or if thats too much or too little
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:03 PM   #14
 
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Everything on your list would work in that tank except the red carnation coral. Red carnation coral is one of the more difficult, and I don't suggest it to a beginner, and it is not a photosynthetic coral... meaning they have to be fed all the time. Not a good thing in a shallow tank with high light which the others will all need. Also, with the amount of food the red carnation would require, it would be near impossible to keep it fed and keep your water quality in good enough shape to support life.
For those other corals together, providing they have space between them, a High Output T5 would be your best solution. The montipora and stylophora would not give you the same results under compact fluroescent as they will under high output T5. If grown under compact fluorescent, these animals will have no/almost no color. If grown under the T5 they should have no problem achieving maximum color. The quality of light is different and animals like these are good examples of just how big a difference a light bulb can make. You'll get the spectrum of light they all need, the intensity they all need, and without the heat.

You'll be working with what are called "frags". These are pieces of the corals which will grow if properly cared for. The next thing I will suggest to you before beginning this tank is to do your research about each of those species, find out how to "frag" them when they grow too large for that tank. Healthy corals can grow quite rapidly, just like fish. When they grow enough to run out of space you will be left with one of 2 situations... even though compatible they will cause each other harm or they will die. Dead or sickly corals can cause quite the mess in a tank and that in turn can harm everything else, including fish.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:49 PM   #15
 
ok, thanks for answering all my questions
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:05 PM   #16
 
so will this light be good enough?

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewIt...or~~tab~2.html

also on that link it says european style. does this mean that the plug-in cord for it is only for european countries? and how long does the light need to stay on?
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:49 AM   #17
 
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That light fixture might be considered overkill for a 20 gallon long tank. Standard T5 should allow you to keep any high light needing animals in that size of a tank. 20 long is a shallow tank. Even animals who need a lot of light, too much is no good either. Corals can burn, bleach, and die if the lighting above them is too powerful. If you find a single strip isn't enough, then you can always add another. There are also 2 bulb fixtures as in the last link I will post for you for examples. My chioce would be the 2 bulb fixture for what you are considering.

The european bulbs are different, sizes are different and very specific. If you work with a european fixture, you'll need to be able to get replacement bulbs for that european fixture, which could be challenging if you're in the states.
Also, european plugs are different. The european fixtures run on 220 voltage. Here in the states that would be considered inconvenient, and again... overkill.

Here are some examples of fixtures that would suit your needs:

http://www.aquarium-supply.biz/Nova_...p/rcu01151.htm
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10927/product.web
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...qualightT5.htm
Hope this helps!
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #18
 
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10927/product.web is that a good one in there? I ask this because compared, they are very inexpensive. also i dont mean to hi jack, but what kind of protein skimmer (brand) would you reccemond for a 125?
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:15 PM   #19
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy
That light fixture might be considered overkill for a 20 gallon long tank. Standard T5 should allow you to keep any high light needing animals in that size of a tank. 20 long is a shallow tank. Even animals who need a lot of light, too much is no good either. Corals can burn, bleach, and die if the lighting above them is too powerful. If you find a single strip isn't enough, then you can always add another. There are also 2 bulb fixtures as in the last link I will post for you for examples. My chioce would be the 2 bulb fixture for what you are considering.

The european bulbs are different, sizes are different and very specific. If you work with a european fixture, you'll need to be able to get replacement bulbs for that european fixture, which could be challenging if you're in the states.
Also, european plugs are different. The european fixtures run on 220 voltage. Here in the states that would be considered inconvenient, and again... overkill.

Here are some examples of fixtures that would suit your needs:

http://www.aquarium-supply.biz/Nova_...p/rcu01151.htm
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10927/product.web
http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...qualightT5.htm
Hope this helps!
Dawn, question on the lighting. I think 48W of t5 lights would be perfect for this tank. Why would it be overkill? I know that since it is a shallow tank, it can bleach out corals, but this seems good. I have seen people run 150W MH lights on their 2.5G pico tanks and have LPS/SPS corals in perfect condition. Would it be because of the heat and over-exposure in a shallow reef?
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:41 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Would it be because of the heat and over-exposure in a shallow reef?
Yep! You answered your own question!

The distance between light and water makes all the difference. While T5 lighting is known to run much cooler than MH, and even compact fluorescent, when you are dealing with that much light over such a shallow tank, you're going to get some heat production. Add to it that these animals are getting direct light and are so close to it, and you've got a good mixture for trouble.

While they do need the proper exposure to the light in order to process food, too much of a good thing is no good. I have seen large tanks with MH lighting too intense over the water, corals placed too high, and in a very short period of time, they are bleached out and dying. Move them down a few inches in the water where the temp is a little cooler and the light rays not as intense and they thrive. In a 20 gallon tank, especially a long tank, there isn't anywhere to go "lower".

Now, if you were to put those lights over that size of a tank, and hang them or raise them up about 6 - 12 inches above the tank, you'd have a different situation. Most T5 lighting is designed to sit close to the water, almost directly on top of the cover over the tank, if there is one. The closer to the water, the more direct the rays of light, the more heat is trapped between light and water (or water and cover with light directly over it).
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