Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/forum.php)
- Coral and Reef Creatures (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/)
- - Which Corals? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/corals-630/)
OK, our reef adventure is now less than 6 months off. We've spent the last few months researching Filters, Sumps, Skimmers, lighting, and all that good stuff. The plan is to go with soft corals, but we dont really know where to start. We're looking for good corals for a beginner in saltwater aquariums, but would like to have brightly colored types. I was thinking of sun corals, finger leather corals. Can someone provide some other options for us to research?
Most of the polyp, mushroom, and leather corals are good choice for beginners. Although symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae hosted within them supply most of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis they do require supplemental feedings. Supplementing their diet with the addition of iodine, trace elements, marine snow, phytoplankton, and food for filter feeders will help to insure their continued good health. Judt remember you still need the right lighting requirements for them to survive. But if you did your research you will be good. I proper wattage for a reef tank is 4-5 watts per gallon. If you stay in those requirements you will open up a wide range of corals. Another tip is to get them from the same region, as different regions have different temps.
The lighting unit we have decided on is a Coralife Deluxe series Lunar aqua light 65w x 4 (260w/55gallon tank=4.73wpg) + four 3/4w LED Moonlights. I think it's safe to say we've chosen an appropriate lighting unit. :D
I would say so to. When you start buying corals research placement in the tank and leave plenty of space. When you put them in your system don't panic if they don't open up right away as corals tend to do this to clean themselves every so often. Good luck. :D
Ok, here's a question. premium live rock at my LFS is slightly more expensive than live rock. I believe the difference is about $1 per pound. $8.50 and $7.50 respectively. Is it worth the extra money, and what types of goodies can we expect to find?
save yourself some money and use mostly base rock and a few pounds of live rock to seed it that will give you a better chance of not introducing anything into your tank that is unwelcome it does'nt look as good at first but give it time and it will grow corraline over time also before you add the rock drill some small holes in it for reef plugs you will be glad you did
I would not consider sun coral a "beginner coral". This coral can be difficult to provide proper lighting and sufficient food. I would suggest starting with the softies and working up from there. Mushrooms, polyps, leathers, capnella... all much easier than sun coral, and plenty of color variety out there.
bettababy had a good point. Start with the leathers and polyps, etc. till you get a feel for corals. Then go with the more diffacult corals. Its cheaper to mess up on the lower end then the higher end corals. Not to say that you will.
About that rock. I'd recommend premium if it looks good. Usually it's lighter than the cheaper stuff and therfor is actually cheaper. Trust me. The better rock is about porosity. More pores, more surface area. More pores, less dense. Only use base rock for supporting rock work in large tanks. For a 55g I wouldn't use any. You'd be jeoporadizing possible filtration space with dense, heavy, smooth rock. Base rock is for quickly filling 100g+ tanks that will have plenty of other high quality rock.
Check out Monica at ocean homes etc. She has excellent prices and most all rock is pre cured. This means that it will clean up in about a week after it arrives. Do a one time bulk order and fill your tank for half the LFS price. Shoot for an 88lb box as UPS has a flat rate price for such boxes. That would be a really nice amount of rock. I have over 200lbs in my 75g. Any extra you can trade at the lfs and make more than you paid for it.
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