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Discussion Starter #1
I'm picking up a 75 gallon aquarium with a sump and eveything else I need for a saltwater aquarium (except heater) this weekend that I found on Craigslist. I plan on putting about 100 lbs of live rock into it with about 3-4 inches of live sand. I just wanted to run my stocking ideas by you guys just to see if I am going to run into any issues.

The first fish I would add (after letting the fully set-up tank cycle, of course) would be a pair of ocellaris clownfish. My wife would like one regular orange and white one and one of the black and whites. Then I would add a pair of Bangaii cardinalfish. Eventually when the tank is better established I plan to add a diamond goby. These are all fish that are actually stocked by pet stores near me, which is an important consideration. Is there anything in my stocking selections that I should look out for? Also, What about invertebrates? I would like to add some hermit crabs, but I've heard they will wipe out all of your snails, which I might also eventually get. Is one of them much better at cleaning/scavenging than the other? Are either of them at all necessary? Also, what about shrimp? My pet stores have peppermint srimp and some sort of cleaner shrimp (red and white, about 3-4"). Are those compatible?

I would appreciate any advice you guys could give me both regarding the stocking and the marine tank in general. I've been keeping freshwater tanks for years and am just now finally making the jump to saltwater. I'm kind of nervous and I don't want my fist attempt to be a failure.
 

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your stock list looks alright to me. I personaly keep hermits and snails together in many of my tanks. It is possible to have some fighting at some point but you can minimize this by having a proper empty shell to hermit crab ratio as well as not overstocking the tank. This can lead to food competition. Last but not least is not all hermit crabs are created equal. I find the small blue leg hermits to be the least likely to cause any harm the red legs are pretty good too. I really like my peepermint shrimps as they are nice looking and utilitarian,they are secrative though. The cleaner shrimps are another good choice but a bit spendier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've decided to go with a different guy on Craigslist who's offering a 90-gallon reef-ready tank with literally everything I need (including live sand) but live rock and fish. It even has a canister filter which I may or may not use, depending on if I want to use charcoal or Purigen. He said it's running right now and has been for a couple of years so it should be pretty much ready to go faster than your average new tank. He's delivering it (and helping set it up) in a few days and I plan to get my live rock that same day from another guy on craiglsist who has a few hundred pound in a functioning aquarium he's trying to get rid of. I plan to start testing it for ammonia and nitrites the day after I have the rock and everything in it up and running.

Have any of you ever gotten a "make your own reef cleaner package" from liveaquaria.com? I think I'll get about $80 worth of cleaners, mostly snails, hermits, a shrimp or two, a brittle star and a lettuce sea slug. It's WAY cheaper than getting them individually from the LFS, especially since shipping is free.
 

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I have done a few shipment but not from that distributor before. I would get a nice package but still grab some little guys from your local fish store as a little support never hurts.Sounds like you are getting a pretty established system so you wont have too much to worry about.Does it have some nice bulbs in the lighting system?Skimmer?Doing some coral maybe?


On another note... Alot of people take there pet stores for granted but remember that they are there when you need them be it dry goods in a time of need or good advice. Without customers they will all fade away and only the large chain stores will exist. Sorry about the small rant and NO I don't own a pet store. I do agree when making larger purchases that the pet stores cannot accomadate that the net is sometimes the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have done a few shipment but not from that distributor before. I would get a nice package but still grab some little guys from your local fish store as a little support never hurts.Sounds like you are getting a pretty established system so you wont have too much to worry about.Does it have some nice bulbs in the lighting system?Skimmer?Doing some coral maybe?


On another note... Alot of people take there pet stores for granted but remember that they are there when you need them be it dry goods in a time of need or good advice. Without customers they will all fade away and only the large chain stores will exist. Sorry about the small rant and NO I don't own a pet store. I do agree when making larger purchases that the pet stores cannot accomadate that the net is sometimes the way to go.
It has 4 T12 bulbs and LED moon lighting. I'm not planning on coral for a while if at all, but my wife wants an anemone. I'm not interested in having, paying for, or taking care of an anemone, so I'm working to talk her down. We're getting all of the fish from LFSs since buying fish online is really expensive and seems really risky, plus I'd like to actually see them before we get them.
 

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Sounds like a pretty nice light. If you get a couple 10,000 K bulbs and an actinic or two you should be able to keep some soft corals if you decide to go that route. I am not an anemone fan as they can move into other corals or intakes. They also prefer alot of light and can be nasty to some of the slower moving fishes out there.On that note I still do keep anemones just in a tank that has the previous stated instances in mind. Is this 90 a traditional 4 footer or is it one of the 3 by 2 foots?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a pretty nice light. If you get a couple 10,000 K bulbs and an actinic or two you should be able to keep some soft corals if you decide to go that route. I am not an anemone fan as they can move into other corals or intakes. They also prefer alot of light and can be nasty to some of the slower moving fishes out there.On that note I still do keep anemones just in a tank that has the previous stated instances in mind. Is this 90 a traditional 4 footer or is it one of the 3 by 2 foots?
It's a four footer. I had to get the live rock early because the guy who was selling it was going on vacation. I paid $320 for 120 lbs and it's sitting in a tub full of saltwater in my garage with a powerhead and a filter.
 

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Thats a pretty sweet deal there. Sounds like your ready to go, you should have plenty of rock for that bad boy when it comes time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We've also decided we want a large, colorful, centerpiece fish. My wife is obsessed with Tangs, but I know our tank really isn't big enough, especially not for the yellows and blues in our LFSs. We're thinking of a dwarf angelfish, probably a red stripe or flame. I know it would be the most aggressive fish in the tank, so he would o in last. Any other suggestions?
 

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You could do a smaller tang like the yellow or the bristle tooth tnags ,maybe a even a scopas tang. I do like dwarf angels there are a number like the rusty or potters that have much orange then there are a number that are blue including the coral beauty and the cherub. Have you looked into the smaller butterfly fishes?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You could do a smaller tang like the yellow or the bristle tooth tnags ,maybe a even a scopas tang. I do like dwarf angels there are a number like the rusty or potters that have much orange then there are a number that are blue including the coral beauty and the cherub. Have you looked into the smaller butterfly fishes?
Could We really get a yellow tang? My wife is obsessed with that one in particular. I've hear 90 gal is a bare minimum and I'd hate to have him in a tank where he doesn't REALLY fit.
 

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A four foot tank with some forethought to having a open swim space for part of the tank then yes I think you could have one.They usually only grow to 6 inches in aquaria,the 8 inch mark is an exception unless in the ocean.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We got the new tank and it is awesome. We already have most of the rock stacked up and it came with some interesting critters. He threw in a couple of pencil urchins and we;ve already noticed a hermit crab, a couple of snails, some baby starfish, and a bunch of coral frags. I might post a thread later to see if people can help me identify some of this stuff.
 

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I look forward to some pics, if there are some things that you guys have trouble identifying I will be more than happy to take a look. Exciting isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I took some pictures while I was home for lunch. One is of some tentacly-looking thing living in a crack that came with the live rock I got. The tentacles suck in when I get close just like how I've heard corals do. another one is one of the baby starfish. Probably too soon to determine species, but I would prefer it isn't one that will destroy my tank. Another picture is of one of my pencil urchins. I've heard varying stories from people about how destructive these guys can be, but they're fun to watch now. I've also taken a picture of a little polyp, of whihc there are many. They move around the tank constantly, which is not something I thought corals did. This makes me think they might be anemones. Bad news? I have a few good chunks of what I'm almost certain is frogspawn, but I couldn't get pictures since they're sitting in a little cup that sticks to the side of my tank and if I move them they will retract.
 

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Firts pic is a brittle satrfish in its crevice\home
second is a majano anemone,not good.
third is a asternia starfish,a good scavenger.
and fourth the pencil urchin, I have had only one out of 10 be a little unruly with a sinularia after he ran out of algae,othr than that I consider them pretty reef safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Firts pic is a brittle satrfish in its crevice\home
second is a majano anemone,not good.
third is a asternia starfish,a good scavenger.
and fourth the pencil urchin, I have had only one out of 10 be a little unruly with a sinularia after he ran out of algae,othr than that I consider them pretty reef safe.
Good to know. I went through the tank and killed all I could see. the ones on the rock I couldn't actually remove, so I just rubbed them until they disintegrated. I hope that doesn't help spread them or something. My wife tested the water today and she got .25 ammonia and 0 nitrites. We're going to test again tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I got 0 nitrites and the ammonia may have read 0. Yesterday is was .25 and today it was definitely better. I'm going to take a sample into a fish store near me to be sure. The tank was set up with the sand and running for years before he tore it down to deliver to me and the live rock practiaclly went straight from another functioning tank to mine. I think my tank might have basically come pre-cycled. The critters that came with the sand seem to be doing pretty well. Also, I don't think the one is a brittle star, since it has a stalk. It's extended out a lot more today and my wife took a better picture of it.
 

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Yeah your right,now that I can see the whole thing I can say that it is an aptasia anemone and those can be problematic like majanos.
 
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