Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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uksub 12-01-2008 12:49 PM

Newbie Fish Only set up advice
Ok you Marine fish keeping guru types....
I'm after a bit of advice on the wisdom of my proposed setup
I'd like to put together an aggressive fish only setup..
I'm thinking of FOWLR 180 gal set up with sump / fug and the biggest skimmer I can fit under the tank...
Would that be enough to keep the water quality good for my 7 inhabitants? Anyone have any ideas on alternative stock? My original list was:
2 Volitan Lion fish, 2 Moray's, 2 triggers (Picasso, Blue Jaw) and a speckled Grouper...
Also any advice on size / manufacturer of a suitable skimmer....and also sump /fug set up - size would be gratefully appreciated...
Any ideas chaps??
Thanks in advance
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uksub 12-01-2008 12:51 PM

Sorry....The Moray's were going to be a SnowFlake and Zebra...

Pasfur 12-01-2008 06:46 PM

Overall your plan is ok. You need to eliminate the Speckled Grouper, as this fish grows to 4 feet in length! You will not have long term success unless you can house the adult sized fish in your setup.

The rest of the fish look ok together, although you could play it safe and eliminate the 2nd Volitan Lionfish. It doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes 2 Lionfish will not get along when space is limited. Keep in mind, your aquarium is very SMALL for what you are proposing. You can't treat a 150 as a large setup when you are keeping large fish. It would be one thing if you wanted to keep Centropyge Angels, but you are wanting to keep monster fish needing a ton of swimming space. If you cramp the space, you can guarantee the Triggers will cause problems, especially the Blue Jaw.

I would replace the Grouper with a Pomocanthus sp. of Angelfish. A number of these are very attractive, easy to care for, and able to take up for themselves. The French and Cortez come to mind as good selections for your tank.

Also, the order in which you add the fish species will be critical. I would start with the Angelfish and Lion, then the Moray's, and finally add both Triggerfish at the same time.

uksub 12-02-2008 07:41 AM

Thanks for the input Pasfur...Definitely screwed up a bit on the Speckled Grouper choice!! Hopefully I would have realized my mistake prior to acquiring one!
Can anyone advise on the proposed filter set up? What quantity on live rock should I have in a 180 gal tankl? Also, I'm looking at a DIY sump as big as I can fit in the space under the display tank (I'm thinking possibly about 42x18x12 which would give near 40 gal total sump vol and 220 system vol right?) and the biggest skimmer I can fit down there too, do I really need a fug in a FO setup? and what type of filtration should go in the sump?
Anyone got any ideas on a good skimmer?
Thanks again for any advice / ideas

Pasfur 12-02-2008 07:39 PM

For a reef tank or for an aquarium with smaller species of fish, I always suggest a natural setup, with live sand, live rock, and a protein skimmer. But your fish load is huge and the waste produced will be significant, so you will probably want to modify the typical berlin method a touch.

You won't rely on just live rock as your only source of biological filtration, so you will need a sump desgined very specifically. When water first enters your sump, it needs to flow into a protein skimmer. The outflow of the skimmer should flow over biomedia, and then pump back into the aquarium. This setup will allow for maximum benefit from the skimmer, allowing it to remove a significant portion of the organic waste prior to the waste being processed into Nitate by the biofilter. For an idea of what this looks like, check out the CPR product line.

The fug is optional. For your fish selection, i would not personally use a fug.

uksub 12-04-2008 09:09 AM

Thanks for the advice Pasfur... This is just what I'm looking for as I'm starting out with zero knowledge on the hobby..
If I was to go a bit bigger on the tank size to try and accommodate the large fish size would that significantly help? I could go a bit wider from 18 to 24" which would give me a 200 gal tank 72x24x28...But I'm not sure if I'm not getting a bit carried away with tank size issues, I started off thinking 125 gal was a big capacity!! The sump arrangement looks fairly simple to me, am I missing something, or would it be fairly simple to buy a tank myself and partition it off for the skimmer, heater, pump and bio compartments, or is it not that simple??
Can anyone suggest any good reference books for someone who is contemplating an aggressive set up such as the one I'm planing?
Thanks again for the advice..

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