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post #1 of 14 Old 10-09-2006, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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New tank

I've got a new 55 G and want to do corals and fish. My LFS said that the floresent bulb it came with should be fine for most corals but I'm not to sure. I plan on doing some brains mushrooms and acropora for the corals and a few damsels butterflies and possibly a clown trigger for the fish. I don't know though because they want $80 for the trigger. I have 10 ponds of rock which they said should be plenty and 50 pounds of sand.

Any recommendations would really be appriciated.

New to this!
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-09-2006, 09:09 PM
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Hi and welcome aboard, SaltKing.

I wouldn't put any fish in the tank just yet. The ammonia and nitrites will be in dangerous level.
Live rocks are more preferred for marine tank. They will do the cycling for you.

As for damsels, we have raised several issues about using damsels for cycling. Yes, they can be used for cycling as they are quite hardy. The issue there is compatibility problems apart from attempting to catch and return them to your lfs. Catching them in a tank full of live rocks is next to impossible. For that, green chromis or Amphiprion ocellaris would be your alternatives for blue damsels.
The reason why damsels are often not recommended is that they are quite aggressive and will attack your fish while trying to defend their territory.

Triggers may eat inverts and corals so be wary with what your lfs is trying to recommend you.

I suggest that you talk to your lfs and take down notes on what they are advising to you. Post them in this forum and see any opinions from the marine keepers. I must admit I'm just an ex-marine keeper. So I won't be of help much but what I advised to you should guide you on your quest to the marine tanks.:)

Good luck with the fishkeeping.

Topic moved to a more appropriate section.:)
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-09-2006, 11:06 PM
Hi and welcome.

Your LFS is nuts.

I'd keep an eye on them as I think they are just looking to bilk money from you. Sorry to be so blunt.

10 pounds of live rock for a 55g? What? The average shop will tell you about 1 lb per gallon and it had better be some nice porous rock. I have almost 3 lbs per gallon in my tank. The more the better. I fear that at today's prices of about $8 a lb that your LFS assumed that if they tried to sell you 30lbs at once you'd have balked and not gotten into the hobby. From what you've written I think they "felt" you out. Basically sold you what they thought you'd pay for but didn't want to see you leave due to sticker shock.. that can be a really bad way to get into the hobby.

Next your lighting isn't sufficient for a fish only tank.... Ok it is but seriously you probably have a 40w bulb and that's less than 1 watt per gallon. You'll want at least 5 wpg to begin playing with coral unless you stick with mushrooms and softies. You'll get bored with that and want acros and SPS. I'd recommend at least 7wpg for SPS however you attain that be it flouro or metal halides.

I hope your lfs owner did not just nod his head in agreement as you listed your possible wants for fish in the tank. You mention that he told you your lighting would be great for corals so he knows your intent. Butterfly fish eat corals, triggers can eat corals. Triggers can injure and or harass most any fish. Some can be very chill but others can be demons. When it comes to reef fish think small. The smaller the better. The trick to maintaining a reef is to keep it nutrient poor. Heavy feedings and large wastes from large fish will pollute the tank which will kill corals. Think blennies, gobies, chromis, clowns, anthias, and maybe one wrasse. These are the perfect types of fish to keep in a reef. In a 55g I'd keep the amount to a minimum as well. Maybe 3 or 4 fish total. With a tank full of corals, snails, stars, inverts, and hermits you'll not notice the "lack" of fish.

If I were you I'd check for a new LFS in your town. You are now preparing for the cycling process. This is where you wait as long as you can until you buy anything live for the tank. And I don't mean like 3 days. How about 3 months? Your tank will probably cycle in a month, meaning that fish will be able to survive. The longer you wait the more microfauna will establish in the tank. Things like snails that came on the rock will breed. Copepods, decapods, amphipods will establish colonies. These are all important parts of a reef tank. Introducing fish to soon will wipe out the small colonies and they may never bounce back.

You just found out you have plenty of time to ask us questions and I hope that you feel you will get straight answers. You do not list any other important factors about your tank. Things like filtration, skimmers, sumps, pumps, powerheads, timers, brand of salt mix, what type of "sand" did you get? Aragonite I hope. These are all very important and I think our members can help you make informed decisions that will only make your experience easier and expedite your results.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 09:00 PM
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what about starting out with nemo and dory like in the movie? Are they ok to start out with? Not too big or agressive?
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 09:25 PM
The hippo tang will need a fully mature tank before you even really consider one. There is of course the chance it will make it but a year old or older tank would be preferred. The clowns are pretty hardy to begin with so uhm that fish you mentioned should be ok.

Sorry but I get an ooky feeling when people call a real live fish by a characters name from a movie.

I've seen way to many fish die the past few years from people watching that movie and rushing out to buy those fish and just dump them in a tank.

("ooky being from the movie Hard Candy which I highly recommend.)
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 10:34 PM
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I didn't mean to offend anybody for calling the fish nemo and dory, it's just I'm really new at this and I don't know their proper names, what kind a clown or tangs they are.
So, you're saying no to the blue one, what about a yellow one, is it pretty hardy?
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shie
I didn't mean to offend anybody for calling the fish nemo and dory, it's just I'm really new at this and I don't know their proper names, what kind a clown or tangs they are.
So, you're saying no to the blue one, what about a yellow one, is it pretty hardy?
Nemo->Amphiprion ocellaris
Dory->Powder Blue Tang
The other one is a yellow tang. They are hardy, yes, but as stated in previous threads, they can be prone to ich.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 10:42 PM
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what 2 or 3 kinds of fish do you recommend to go with the clown?
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-10-2006, 11:36 PM
The yellow tang is a hardy tang. Once established they are easy to care for. Most are captive bred as well as most clowns.

Shie it's hard to say exactly what would make good tank mates. From what I've seen on our forums most people neglect to give any info about their tank with each request. Without knowing how big your tank is or how it is set up it makes for a difficult answer. Ideally you'd have a mated pair of clowns and then just about whatever else you wanted. In a large enough tank clowns that have hosted to an anemone won't venture far from it. This allows other fish to enjoy the tank with out being harrased. It is also hard to say because not all clowns are created equal. Some are mean as heck and some are quite docile. I'll assume you are speaking of the ocellaris clown or false percula (the one fish from that movie). They are quite often captive bred so are quite tame.

In a small tank some blennies or gobies would be a good idea. Large tanks you might try a tang or 2 (they don't always mix well but different species fight less than 2 of the same). Non reef? Maybe an angel or butterfly. I have 2 maroon clowns along with 2 blennies, 2 gobies, a sweetlips, and and awesome eel.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-11-2006, 06:29 AM
In my tank I have 2 marron clowns, 11 chromis, 1 purple/Kohl Tang, 3 lyritail anthias, And 1 red tail fire fish. Now that my 2 clowns get along when ever another fish swims around there anenome they attack it. That is the only problem I have with them.
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