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The following is an important message from the Team that will help you get the most from your participation here.

Attention salt tank owners read this first.

It has come to our attention that due to the many types of specialized types of marine/salt tanks currently running that we must ask you to fully describe your tank when asking for help. It is extremely important to explain your tank for each new topic as well. Because you told us last month how your tank is set up does not mean that those interested in helping know that. Here is a typical list of options that you may wish to include or draw from.

1. Tank size. Always important. Include dimensions when asking about equipment.

2. What type of tank and how long has it been running? Fish only, FOWLR, mixed community reef, full on reef, if reef do you keep soft corals, LPS, or mainly SPS? Let me explain further. Fish only is as described. Basically only fish, minimal lighting, minimal filtration. FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) is the idea that you have about 1 pound of liverock per galloon of tank capacity and include hermits and snails but without the focus on lighting of heavy filtration because the live rock helps with biological filtration. Mixed reef. A decent amount of fish, some corals, maybe a few of each type, good lighting, good filtration probably includes a sump and skimmer, plenty of liverock, inverts as well. Full reef. The emphasis is upon corals and inverts, not fish. Maybe one or 2 fish and usually an emphasis on SPS type corals and a couple of LPS, generally no soft corals as they will grow upon and kill expensive slow growing SPS. Huge emphasis upon high wattage lighting, full sump, refugium, large skimmer. May include dosing supplements, gadgets like CA reactors, Kalk dispensers, and auto topoffs. Now you may begin to understand why telling us about your tank is important.

3. Water parameters. If possible at least include NitrIte, NitrAte, and Ammonia. It would be nice if you knew your PH, ALK (Carbonate hardness), Calcium, Phosphate, and temp. When was the last water change and how regular?

4. Set up. Liverock? How much? Substrate? What kind? Filters IE: canister, wet/dry, skimmer. Internal flow rates, total GPH of pumps and powerheads. Lighting, what type (fluorescent, VHO, T5, power compact, metal halide). What spectrums are the bulbs?

5. Livestock. Fish, invertebrates, clams, corals, anemones.

Drawing from this list will help your questions be answered much faster and with more authority. A few examples.

Question: My fish is sick and has spots on it. What do I do?
Ok the problem is someone may say medicate with copper. This may in fact kill the ich parasite. However if this was a reef tank the inverts are doomed, and forever. The copper (CU) will leech from the rock work for years killing all snails, hermits, shrimp, clams etc..

Better version.

Question: My fish is sick and has spots on it. I currently run a 75g mixed reef tank with a few hermits (which I'd hate to see die) some soft corals and a couple of damsels. My temp is at 80F and I have a canister filter.
This allows us to see that using meds in the tank might not be such a good idea. A quarantine tank might be in order for this question.

Another type of question.

Question: what type of lighting should I get?
Huh? For what? Your house? Your car? Your motorcycle? Your fish tank?
A better version.

Question: I am planning on getting a 75g tank and would like to maintain LPS corals and softies. I do not plan upon making any changes for at least a few years. What type of lighting do you recommend?
This narrows it down nicely. A few points have been touched upon and a quick answer of T5 or power compacts around 240w with a mix of 12K and actinics would suffice.

So if you are planning to ask us if that flame angel will be ok, at least tell us what type of tank you have and what fish you currently keep. By the way they will nip at and kill your SPS. If you plan to ask why algae suddenly took over, tell us what the water params are, what type of lighting and how old, when was the last water change and so on. The more detailed you are the faster the answers will appear.
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