Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   half-reef/liverock/coral and half fish-only setup.... (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/half-reef-liverock-coral-half-fish-35741/)

britainj 01-21-2010 08:20 PM

half-reef/liverock/coral and half fish-only setup....
 
i am pretty new to saltwater tanks and ive been really wanting to get/start one soon. i want to get a large tank... like a 120-150 gallon one. i have the time, and patience, which is why i want to figure everything out before i start.

my question is. i like coral/live-rock/reef tanks, my fiance likes fish only types...such as the fish tank on finding nemo... just some fake plants, volcanos, tiki heads, and tiki hut type stuff.... if i went with like a half tank of just decor and the other half with live-rock/coral/reef... is there anything wrong with that? issues? or if not even half and half... what about it all mixed together?



thanks in advance.

brit (newbie from delaware us)

briang 01-21-2010 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by britainj (Post 310351)
i am pretty new to saltwater tanks and ive been really wanting to get/start one soon. i want to get a large tank... like a 120-150 gallon one. i have the time, and patience, which is why i want to figure everything out before i start.

my question is. i like coral/live-rock/reef tanks, my fiance likes fish only types...such as the fish tank on finding nemo... just some fake plants, volcanos, tiki heads, and tiki hut type stuff.... if i went with like a half tank of just decor and the other half with live-rock/coral/reef... is there anything wrong with that? issues? or if not even half and half... what about it all mixed together?



thanks in advance.

brit (newbie from delaware us)

Just be sure that the decorations you add are aquarium safe. Some plastic stuff will leach unwanted chemicals into your system.

Pasfur 01-22-2010 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by britainj (Post 310351)

my question is. i like coral/live-rock/reef tanks, my fiance likes fish only types...such as the fish tank on finding nemo... just some fake plants, volcanos, tiki heads, and tiki hut type stuff.... if i went with like a half tank of just decor and the other half with live-rock/coral/reef... is there anything wrong with that? issues? or if not even half and half... what about it all mixed together?

To a degree you can have some of this stuff, but the real problem occurs with algae. Any place in the aquarium decor that is not live is a place that organics will settle, break down, and produce nitrate and phosphate. In almost every situation, you will eventually run into difficult problems controlling hair algae which will overrun the corals.

Another problem is cynobacteria. The best deter ant to cyno is good coraline algae growth. It is virtually impossible to get coraline to grow over artificial plastic decorations. This means that these decorations are a perfect place for cynobacteria to take hold. Cynobacteria causes all sorts of problems in reef setups especially.

All of this being said, I would look for an inbetween solution. Set up a tank as a full blown reef, and incorporate some decorations into the reef structure. Avoid anything that bubbles, and try your best to stick with decorations that look somewhat natural. There are some very attractive ship wrecks and such available.

On your side, stick with soft corals that grow and spread very quickly. Keep a very close eye on alkalinity and calcium, and be sure to utilize a good protein skimmer. The addition of a proper clean up crew (CUC) will help greatly.


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