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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm about to start my new project and was curious as to what you guys/gals thought......

I'm gonna start a 5 gallon rimless open-top glass cube "semi-nano reef" set-up (which is actually a decent size little cube).... I was suprised.

Anyway, I say "semi- reef" because I won't be housing any hard or soft corals, no sponges, no nudibranch's, etc. etc.- and anemone-wise I'll probably only have a couple smaller Candy's and a feather duster or two. It'll be built on very carefully chosen smaller pieces of live base rock and contain a substrate base of about a half inch of live sand. I was in my local shop today making calculated decisions as to what I'm gonna stock it with:

Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish
(2) small Pajama Cardinals (beautiful fish but hoping thier smart enough to stay away from the Candy
Anemones)

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small 1.5 inch blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby
(1) 3/4 inch Six Line Wrasse [OR] (1) small 1.5 inch juvinille Red Coris Wrasse (which should be fine with
no live corals in tank.. am I right?)
Inverts:
(2) small Indian Ocean Condilactis (Candy) Anemones
(1-2) small Feather Duster worms
(1) small Fire shrimp approx. 1 - 1.25 inches

Feed Back??

Filtration, Lighting and Heating:

Main Filter- Fluval 105 tri-module Canister filter
125gph(two modules with Bio-media and one module with filter media) haven't decided exactly what yet (ideas welcome) my only concern is that the output back into the tank may be too strong??? Probably not but... well, we'll see.

Lighting- 2 separate clip on mini aqua light fixtures
One with white trichromatic
One blue actinic

Heating- Marineland 10watt Shatter Proof submersible
Presets to 78* F (feedback on this please) several other aquarists have expressed to me that this would be perfect for this tank, but I would like your opinion as well


I will not be mixing my own salt for this tank. It's so small that I'll be buying one -two gallons pre-mixed water from my trusted shop for water changes.


I want to share the whole process with everyone here, and will be photographing everything as i go along, as soon as I start (probably next week)
 

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candy? dont you mean condy? the lighting your talking about wont support an anemones. anemones require reef enviroments.

this tank is also to small for any of these fish. if anything i suggest 5 sexy shrimp or and yasha goby/pistol shrimp would make a nice addition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
candy? dont you mean condy? the lighting your talking about wont support an anemones. anemones require reef enviroments.

this tank is also to small for any of these fish. if anything i suggest 5 sexy shrimp or and yasha goby/pistol shrimp would make a nice addition.

No I mean "Candy" Candy Anemone is the common retail/distributor name/nickname for Condylactus.(obviously deriving from the Condy in Condylactus).

I wasn't concerned with the actual 'fish' choices I made. These fish are absolutely not too big. Not for an experienced hobbyist,and actually with todays aquarium technology, not even for the intermediate saltwater hobbyist these days. These particular fish I've listed are very hardy and don't need the 'quintessential reef set up' to survive. They're very much community type fish, persay (though I think I actually may cut out the Pajama Cardinals and leave the Small Coral Beauty to be the only Topwater/Mid column fish, in the cube). I also may nix the Sixline Wrasse, but we'll see as I go along.

If I was talking about sustaining exo-corals and soft corals, and more fragile inverts like Nudi's and Sponges, then I would say that this system would fail me, but that is why I'm calling it a 'semi-reef''. Also, I was keeping "Condylactus" succesfully 15 years ago in a 2.5 gallon Leemar glass betta tank with under gravel filtration, once a week 15% water changes, one small powerhead, and feeding them a liquid and solids diet directly. They don't get much 'hardier' than a Condylactus; they're a very hard anemone to fail with. Also, the lighting I am having to go with would definitely not support any of the coral species, but in regards to a Condylactus Anemone, the light really makes very little difference. I had one 18" white flourencent Sunlight, lighting that 2.5 gallon betta tank I was talking about, and the Condylactus did very very well. Some other more fragile anemone species are definitely more sensitive to light quantity and quality, but the Condylactus are not nearly as requiring of specific / more scientific lighting configurations.

But I guess we'll all see as I document the process as I go along.

P.S. I agree, the Pistol Shrimp would actually make a much better choice than the Fire Shrimp. Good call.
 

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I'm gonna start a 5 gallon rimless open-top glass cube "semi-nano reef" set-up (which is actually a decent size little cube).... I was suprised.
Sounds like a nice little project.

Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish
(2) small Pajama Cardinals (beautiful fish but hoping thier smart enough to stay away from the Candy
Anemones)

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small 1.5 inch blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby
(1) 3/4 inch Six Line Wrasse [OR] (1) small 1.5 inch juvinille Red Coris Wrasse (which should be fine with
no live corals in tank.. am I right?)
Inverts:
(2) small Indian Ocean Condilactis (Candy) Anemones
(1-2) small Feather Duster worms
(1) small Fire shrimp approx. 1 - 1.25 inches
At this point in the thread, I thought to myself, "Is this a joke thread? He can't be serious". But it seems you are serious. I count seven fish you plan on putting in this tank. Did you mean 55 gallon?

Seven swimming fish to five gallons (probably closer to 3.5 after rock and sand, I suspect) of water volume. In addition to that, you want to add three inverts. This bioload will be huge on 5 gallons of water. That Coral Beauty will have no room to turn around in this tank, much less roam around! I myself never had this many fish in my 46 gallon bow at one time (just for volume comparison).

As an experienced hobbyist, I would assume that you would recognize the physical restraints put on these animals. I don't think that the mechanical filtration you have chosen to use will do anything to improve water quality. The bioballs and filter media will trap detritus and create a Nitrate factory, unless cleaned on an every other day basis.

At least think about the crowded house you are creating. Definitely post pics so we can see your progress, no matter what avenue you take.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi wake49,

I want to respond to your post, but I don't want you to think I'm coming off as harsh or defensive or arrogant at all.... please know this; I just want to be explanitory, that's all. :grin: I totally appreciate your input and respect your knowledge as well.

I've been a hobbyist on a serious level for almost 20 years, and have tried alot of cutting edge techniques back in the day (which have now become standard techniques) when saltwater "Nano-Aquatic-Environments" where "unheard of", back in the early 90's (I'm 30 yrs old, by the way...became very serious as a hobbyist at the age of 11-12)<just stating this for reference purposes>.

I was dabbling successfully in saltwater "nano" environments back in the early 90's without using sophisticated bio-filtration (i.e. - wet/dry 'sump' filtration, etc.). Please read post #3 in this thread -
http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-aquariums/ultra-nano-reef-project-semi-reef-26603/#post220303

OK, now if I may, allow me to respond to your post:


At this point in the thread, I thought to myself, "Is this a joke thread? He can't be serious". But it seems you are serious. I count seven fish you plan on putting in this tank. Did you mean 55 gallon?
LOL. I can understand how you may have misunderstood at first, but yes, I do mean 5 Galllon.;-)

Seven swimming fish to five gallons (probably closer to 3.5 after rock and sand, I suspect) of water volume. In addition to that, you want to add three inverts. This bioload will be huge on 5 gallons of water. That Coral Beauty will have no room to turn around in this tank, much less roam around! I myself never had this many fish in my 46 gallon bow at one time (just for volume comparison).

As an experienced hobbyist, I would assume that you would recognize the physical restraints put on these animals.

A bio-load is only as large as the maintenance that you practice on any specific artificial aquatic environment, and is based on generally four things:
1). feeding habits
2). eating habits (different than feeding habits)
3). maintenance practices (including the maintenance of the chemical and biological well being of the tank)
4). suppliment knowledge and applications (both in food <diet > and protein/mineral suppliments)

If these things are understood and practiced properly by the aquarist, then the relevance of the size of the environment is then only relative to 'maintenance practices' and proper 'live stock balance'.

Also understanding the physical nature of any given species is important to 'stocking fish' vs. 'size of the environment' (I believe this, in a sense, was one of your concerns). This, I actually took into consideration when choosing the community that I listed in the initial post I made in this thread (though the list was a "loose list" and not a 'solid list' persay), and I have actually made some adjustments to my livestock list.

The Coral Beauty Angel, is a pygmy species, and has a very slow growth rate. It is also not a schooling fish in any way, shape of form, and is considered a "gate keeper" type of fish, meaning it hovers over its specific territory for the most part, and does not need 'length' in a tank to prosper like some other angel species. This is why it is known to be a quintessential fish for "nano-reefs". Plus it is non-aggressive towards inverts/corals of almost all types and is for the most part, strictly vegitarian (though will eat micro-shrimps of various types - brine, etc.). The actual specimen that I chose, is very small (you'd have to see it), and I'm experienced enough to know that when a fish gets too big for it's environment, then it's time to find it a new home. The other species of Goby that I chose, are even less of a 'traveler' and are also considered "hover'ers" or "gate-keepers" and are very comfortable and can thrive very well in a tiny environment. Most of the Goby and Blenny species in our hobby live their whole life in the ocean in a radius of less than 5-10 feet; almost never leaving their territory (I find that amazing!) This is why I chose these animals for this project.





I don't think that the mechanical filtration you have chosen to use will do anything to improve water quality. The bioballs and filter media will trap detritus and create a Nitrate factory, unless cleaned on an every other day basis.
Well, that's what bio-media is FOR... to trap detritus, and create Nitrate(good levels), that feeds bacteria. Nitrate can be controled through proper maintenance... you have to find its balance and maintain it, as in ANY aquarium. That's the whole nature of an artificial aquatic environment... it's not any different in any tank; the 'actual science behind it' is the same.

Again, it's all in how you maintain the aquatic environment, and that includes maintaining filtration, and of course I do realize that maintenance in this size tank will be more frequent and more involved than it would be in a 10 gallon, which is more involed than in a 20 gallon, and so on and so forth.


I do however listen to everythng that everyone has to say, because I believe that everyone here brings something to the table, and I never denounce that. There's always someone that not only knows more, but someone that may know something better (or) different, that can be a big help. In saying that, I want to post what I believe will be my final 'stocking list' and again, feedback (positive or negative) is always welcome with me, because to me it's all constructive, which is always good.


Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish (actually it's more like 1.5 inches)tiny juvinille

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small <1 inch - 1.5 inch> blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby

Inverts:
(2) <<small>> Indian Ocean Condylactis (Candy) Anemones
(1) small Feather Duster worms (maybe two.. will decide after everything else is in)
(2) small Pistol Shrimp (thanks to the suggestion of 'OneFish2Fish')
 

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A bio-load is only as large as the maintenance that you practice on any specific artificial aquatic environment, and is based on generally four things:
1). feeding habits
2). eating habits (different than feeding habits)
3). maintenance practices (including the maintenance of the chemical and biological well being of the tank)
4). suppliment knowledge and applications (both in food <diet > and protein/mineral suppliments)
I would think that maintenance is dependant on Bio-Load. I am looking at this algebraically: x amount of fish produce y amount of waste per day, based on z times feeding. x becomes a constant, for example: 4. y & z becomed scheduled: feed once per day, fish produces (for arguments sake) 2 ml. If we wanted no more than 20 ml of waste in our system at one time, we would have to clean the filter every other day. If we had 10 fish in the same system, we would have to clean the filter every day. That is why I would say that bio-load is independant of maintenance. These fish will produce waste and compete for food no matter how often we clean. But on the other hand, maintenance depends on bioload; obviously the more animals in our system, the greater the maintenance.


The Coral Beauty Angel, is a pygmy species, and has a very slow growth rate. It is also not a schooling fish in any way, shape of form, and is considered a "gate keeper" type of fish, meaning it hovers over its specific territory for the most part, and does not need 'length' in a tank to prosper like some other angel species. This is why it is known to be a quintessential fish for "nano-reefs". Plus it is non-aggressive towards inverts/corals of almost all types and is for the most part, strictly vegitarian (though will eat micro-shrimps of various types - brine, etc.). The actual specimen that I chose, is very small (you'd have to see it), and I'm experienced enough to know that when a fish gets too big for it's environment, then it's time to find it a new home. The other species of Goby that I chose, are even less of a 'traveler' and are also considered "hover'ers" or "gate-keepers" and are very comfortable and can thrive very well in a tiny environment. Most of the Goby and Blenny species in our hobby live their whole life in the ocean in a radius of less than 5-10 feet; almost never leaving their territory (I find that amazing!) This is why I chose these animals for this project.
Can you please reference this section to a study done, or an group observation proving that these creatures are "gate-keepers" or "hover'ers"? I have searched every resource I can think of and they all say that this fish is a roamer. The reccommended amount of tank for this fish averages 50 gallons minimum. I have seen as little as thirty, and one that said sixty. Every time I read up on this creature, I read something like: "The Coral Beauty Angel should be kept in a tank of 50 gallons or larger, so it'll have ample room to roam." (1) These creatures also like lots of room for algae grazing and rockwork to hide in. I personally don't think that 5 gallons can provide that.

You are suggesting putting this fish in an enviroment 1/10 the size reccommended. If I were in a room 1/10 the size of one that I live in (for an extended period of time), I wouldn't get the proper exercise, and with cell-mates I would compete heavily to eat.

I am a very stubborn person, and after someone bought a Hippo Tang for me, I threw him in my 46 gallon as a juvenile. I fought tooth and nail to keep him in my 46. I was wrong. I realized that I have a responsibilty to make this enviroment as comfortable as possible for my inhabitants. About six months later I upgraded my tank for two reasons: 1) to give the Hippo ample swimming room, and 2) to never make that mistake again. I will never again purposely put a fish in a tank that is too small for him to appropriately grow and flourish in his juvenile state.

Well, that's what bio-media is FOR... to trap detritus, and create Nitrate(good levels), that feeds bacteria. Nitrate can be controled through proper maintenance... you have to find its balance and maintain it, as in ANY aquarium. That's the whole nature of an artificial aquatic environment... it's not any different in any tank; the 'actual science behind it' is the same.
I use the Berlin method, I believe it's called. Live Rock, Live Sand (4" depth) and a protein skimmer. I used a Fluval canister filter for six months, and I couldn't keep up with it. If I had missed a cleaning, or fed heavy, it was a disaster. I got rid of anything that resembled a spongle or filter floss after that. My Nitrates are zero, and I have no problems with excess nutrients. But I see no problem with using a canister if you are planning on keeping up with it. It's just not my cup of tea.

I am glad to invite difference of opinion. I love to learn about new ways to do things and thatdifference of opinion has helped me to change things for the better on my system. I still would love to follow this build, no matter what route you go, so keep us updated!

Reference:
(1) http://www.reeftime.com/profiles/dwarf-angel-fish/coral-beauty/100011.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #8
P.S. Wake49 - hey buddy, I'll respond to your post/questions as soon as I get home tonight and settled (in my office right now), cool? Alright, Peace.
 

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A number of rude posts have been removed from this thread. While members are free to disagree with one another, we strive to maintain a friendly atmosphere here and ask that you communicate your disagreements intelligently. Posts that only serve to bash or antagonize another member will be removed. Please do not reply to any such posts so that yours will continue to make sense after the others have been removed.

Please make use of the Report Post feature to alert the forum staff to problematic posts.

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Discussion Starter #11
i enjoy watching builds from start to finish, so please post some pictures as you progress..thanks!

Actually headed to Xtreme Marine( the LFS ) right now, to look at picking up everything to start. Will definitely post pics. Thanks for your interest:)
 

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Wow. I just discovered this thread. I find it frustrating that the most experienced members of our forum, along with an experienced newcomer, are having difficulty engaging in a productive conversation. I have personally attempted on several occasions in the past to participate in other online forums such as this one. In each case, the behavior of the established pecking order resulted in my becoming frustrated and choosing to leave. Eventually I found my way to this site, a little over a year ago, and due to the acceptance and courtesy of the existing members I eventually found this to be a permanent home.

I have a ridiculous amount of experience in this hobby. I have seen countless methods of setting up and maintaining aquariums. I am very vocal about my personal experiences and opinions. However, I want to be extremely clear that I recommend the methods which I recommend because these are the easiest methods for the newcomer to utilize to find success and become long term hobbyists.

In time we all find our own groove in this hobby. We may communicate our techniques and opinions somewhat differently, but the bottom line is generally the same. In this particular thread, I very much disagree with the method that is being used to generate success. I think their are easier ways to accomplish this goal. My point of disagree lies in the fact that there will be some new hobbyists who read this thread and do not recognize the extreme level of skill and knowledge required to pull off this system.

This is very similar to a hobbyist I know well who recently purchased a Clown Tang, despite knowing their track record of success has been proven to be almost zip. As advanced hobbyists we take on tasks to stretch the limits of what we are capable of accomplishing, and although I may not consider it appropriate to keep a Coral Beauty Angelfish in a 5 gallon tank, I believe this is moral discussion and not a discussion of ability. Given the level of experience that SuperFishFan claims, I am certain he has the capacity to create this thriving system he is attempting.

I would like to see every post on this thread begin with this disclosure: Do Not Try This At Home!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Wow. I just discovered this thread. I find it frustrating that the most experienced members of our forum, along with an experienced newcomer, are having difficulty engaging in a productive conversation. I have personally attempted on several occasions in the past to participate in other online forums such as this one. In each case, the behavior of the established pecking order resulted in my becoming frustrated and choosing to leave. Eventually I found my way to this site, a little over a year ago, and due to the acceptance and courtesy of the existing members I eventually found this to be a permanent home.

I feel ya, man. It was very disenchanting for me as well. I have had so many experiences, the same as you've described, regarding other forums ...makes me sick to think back on it. So after lurking around here for a while, and thinking/feeling to myself that it seemed different here... I joined. But when I started this thread, I began to feel that it was going right back to the same outlook I'd felt about those other forums.
I need to say this: if it wasn't for the professionalism of Mike(Admin), Kymmie, Wake49, OF2F and yourself; I would have been outta here a couple days ago. So I want to thank the above mentioned members for thier understanding and support.... good people.




I have a ridiculous amount of experience in this hobby. I have seen countless methods of setting up and maintaining aquariums. I am very vocal about my personal experiences and opinions. However, I want to be extremely clear that I recommend the methods which I recommend because these are the easiest methods for the newcomer to utilize to find success and become long term hobbyists.

In time we all find our own groove in this hobby. We may communicate our techniques and opinions somewhat differently, but the bottom line is generally the same. In this particular thread, I very much disagree with the method that is being used to generate success. I think their are easier ways to accomplish this goal. My point of disagree lies in the fact that there will be some new hobbyists who read this thread and do not recognize the extreme level of skill and knowledge required to pull off this system.

This is very similar to a hobbyist I know well who recently purchased a Clown Tang, despite knowing their track record of success has been proven to be almost zip. As advanced hobbyists we take on tasks to stretch the limits of what we are capable of accomplishing, and although I may not consider it appropriate to keep a Coral Beauty Angelfish in a 5 gallon tank, I believe this is moral discussion and not a discussion of ability. Given the level of experience that SuperFishFan claims, I am certain he has the capacity to create this thriving system he is attempting.

I would like to see every post on this thread begin with this disclosure: Do Not Try This At Home!

Pasfur, I hope and want you to realize that you and I really do share alot of the same morals and ideals when it comes to our hobby and to our responsibility to it. I agree that 'We', as hobbyists, do eventually find our own "sub-techniques". We become comfortable with our own protocol that we've derived from general hobby knowledge and beginer/ intermediate knowledge and instruction; through our growth, failures, and successes, then becoming advanced and experts in our craft. I also realize that in this hobby; as in many others, there are many ways to get one task completed successfully... I'd like to think that, that's the beauty in the science of our hobby.

I also understand100%, and agree 100% with your idea that we as advanced hobbyists should be as helpful as we can be to newer and beginer hobbyists, in showing them the "easiest ways to accomplish a goal" as aquarists; you have my full support in that statement and fact.........

However(and please hear the logic in this )..... that would be based on a fact, that I was developing a forum thread on "How to start a Semi-Nano-Reef in a 5 gallon cubed aquarium"
...... but I have Not.

I was not inviting anyone to try my method (not even based on the fact that I've had absolute success over the years in maintaining artificial aquatic environments smaller than this, with total health and success). I was simply sharing with whoever might be intersted, the 'adventure' of my cutting edge project (and I don't even know that I can truley call it 'cutting edge', because so much of today's hobby <both Marine and Freshwater genre's> has gone to smaller environments (e.g. 'nano'), that it's become another heavily sought after, acceptable, and now almost common practice in our hobby.

So based on the fact that I was not inviting anyone, at all, to replicate my method in any way, shape, or form, and that I authored no "how to" methods regarding my project; thus I believe that I showed no signs of irresponsibility toward our beginning and intermediate fellow hobbyists here on the forums. And as well, even though there maybe be "other" or "easier" or" less complicated" or "more complicated" ways of bringing this project to fruition, the bottom line is - the method I chose, is the method that I chose ...for ME ...not for anyone else (and with many personal years of experience... not just by a whim)

So saying that every post in this thread should state "Don't Try This at Home" is not only 'Unfair" to me, but 'Insulting' to me, as well.

I honestly don't believe that you meant for it to come off that way, but that's how I've recieved it.
No hard feeling though (and I do appreciate your post and your participation in this event LOL).

-Cheers
 

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So saying that every post in this thread should state "Don't Try This at Home" is not only 'Unfair" to me, but 'Insulting' to me, as well.

-Cheers
This was kind of my response to your other thread suggesting to put a Trigger in a reef. It was in jest. ;-)

Nevertheless, I do think it is important that the casual reader understand that Nano reefs are very difficult projects, and should only be attempted by experienced aquarists.

Now, lets get back to the fish! Post some pictures of this project!!
 

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Wow. I just discovered this thread. I find it frustrating that the most experienced members of our forum, along with an experienced newcomer, are having difficulty engaging in a productive conversation.
Pasfur,

SFF and I have not really had a hard time "engaging" in conversation as we were discussing the pros and ons of different methods. If you just discovered this thread than you missed the number of very rude and belligerent posts that were posted by people just to spam the thread. These posts were deleted by Admin, and the thread was reopened for business.

That being said, I have told SFF that I am definitely excited to see how this project goes. I definitely recognize the research and experience that he has put into this and believe it will be a fun project to watch. I do, however disagree that these threads should come with a "don't try this at home" disclaimer. I think you as well as the other experienced hobbyists here agree that these build threads help the hobbyist that hasn't tried this before. For example: if I were to try a nano aquarium, I would read Kellsindell's "Itty Bitty" thread to see what type of maintenance and care goes into a pico build. If I were to try a large Aggressive tank, I would find and read a build of that sort.

I just want any further reader to know that the conversation that you read on this thread is healthy conversation, as opposed to the spam that was deleted two days ago. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
This was kind of my response to your other thread suggesting to put a Trigger in a reef. It was in jest. ;-)

Nevertheless, I do think it is important that the casual reader understand that Nano reefs are very difficult projects, and should only be attempted by experienced aquarists.

Now, lets get back to the fish! Post some pictures of this project!!
I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions... you're right, you got me on that one LOL!!

Man, I'm just so 'on guard' in this thread because of all the 'crud' that's gone on here (in the thread) 'Crud' meaning the other spam crazy posts that Admin erased (it got crazy in here for a minute LOL)!

Yep, I picked up the Tank, one lighting fixture (had to order the other one), and the Canister Filter(Haven't decided exactly on the type of media I'm gonna use intrnally yet). At the LFS, I saw that they got in something really cool,,,,,,, It's the smallest sump bio-filter I've ever seen. It's a bit expensive, but I may be taking the Canister back and going with this thang (lol). As soon as I aquire all the equipment, I'll take pics and begin posting the process for sure. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
To the two or three reef-head buddies of mine following this thread; I've made a change in one of the specifics of this project. I would like to first note that this decision was made purely based on a peaked interest in something other than I had already planned for this project. I am foresaking the Coral Beauty Angelfish for this project (honestly, not because I don't feel it would flourish in this environment; because with the small size specimen that I chose, I'm absolutely positive it would). I've chosen another "focal fish" instead. I was actually sparked in wanting to go with a Flame Back Angel<pygmy species> Centropyge Acanthus (Not a 'Flame", but a FlameBack) instead of the Coral Beatuy; they're traditionally even smaller, even in their adult stage. I turned from that because I know they're one of the more agressive pygmy angels, and I am almost certain, in that size of environment, it would have no doubt bullied (probably to death) the two very small Blue Scissortail Gobies of which I'm not willing to replace.

So, I was wandering around the LFS (not my normal one, but a different one that I frequent on occassion), and I came to two decissions that, YES lol, I am asking for your input. Both fish species would work very well in this tank (I'm sure you'll agree that either will make a better choice than the Coral Beauty... in your opinions LOL ;-)

Both of these species can be purchased and are normally sold in a very petite size. Their growth rate, naturally, is very very slow, and either fish would get along with the other inhabitants very well. Most importantly I have had ultra-success in keeping the first one, and decent success at keeping the other at one time (not too long ago actually). So here's the two choices:


a.) Leopard Sharpnose Puffer <Chistmas Island variety> (juvenille - approx. 1.5 - 1.75 inches)



Very peaceful. Won't compete directly with, nor will it bully the Scissortail Gobies or any other type of Goby or Blenny. However, it will probably eventually try to go after any small shrimp or crab that I was planning to host as well. Hardy eaters and don't need traditionally alot of space. Very slow growers and are only 4" max at adulthood (from what I've reseached). Though the one or two I've kept previously never exceeded 2 - 2.5 inches.


b.) Harlequin Filefish (aka- Orange Spotted Filefish)



Now this one is tricky if you don't know what you're doing. It's actually "can be" a very hardy fish "IF" and I mean "If", you know how to feed it. It's got a great appetite for one thing.... polypy corals like Acropora coral (Staghorn coral). Now that can get expensive. But, this species has been proven to be easily weened off of live polyps, and be "fooled" (in a sense) to eating preapared foods (this can actually become a whole other thread of info). The idea is to buy fragmented pieces of Acropora coral stags (about 3- 5 inches in length) and place them on the substrate where the filefish will readily eat at it. You also should have some dead Acropora stag pieces available to mush and paste prepared foods onto. In other words, you're basically mashing prepared foods onto the stag pieces, and it sticks to the dead coral and looks like the live polyps on a live coral specimen. The filefish after about 6-8 weeks can be fully weened off of having to buy live coral to feed it.

a small juvenile (1.5 - 2 inches) can thrive in Nano, and even Pico environments IF fed the way I've explained.

Not gonna lie.... still a challenge though.



So those are my choices. My personal choice..... the Puffer


Feedback please.
 

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i believe ive read a large arguement on this filefish ( if i ever come back across it ill gladly show you ) about how this fish CAN be trained to eat prepared foods however it NEEDS the coral in its diet for long term survival.
my thoughts on the puffer are that they are messy eaters and carry a large bio load so if going with this your going to have to be extremely careful with feeding and siphon out any of the food that they carelessly drop while attacking food.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
i believe ive read a large arguement on this filefish ( if i ever come back across it ill gladly show you ) about how this fish CAN be trained to eat prepared foods however it NEEDS the coral in its diet for long term survival.
my thoughts on the puffer are that they are messy eaters and carry a large bio load so if going with this your going to have to be extremely careful with feeding and siphon out any of the food that they carelessly drop while attacking food.

Hey OF2F, Thanks. Please let me know if you find that literature regarding the Filefish. I actually Just this morning was going through one of my past issues of TFH magazine and came across an article on Harlequin Filefish, written by the literally the first person to ever breed them successfully in captivity. In this article he backed up the fact that there is a misconception on "how impossible this fish is to maintain". He does reiterate that only an experienced aquarist should attempt to maintain this fish, but if done properly they can strive hardily! (contrary to popular opinion about the fish). He also said that if you decide to purchase one, do so from an LFS that deals directly with the wholesalers. Fortunately here in Southern California, 55%-60% of the fish trade comes into the country via LAX (Los Angeles International Airtport) and all the Tropical Fish Distributors are based within a 2 mile radius from the airport.

Many a time, I've gone down to the wholesalers with friends(i.e.- owners of LFS's that I've known), to help them purchase their store stock. It's amazing that here in the Greater Los Angeles Area (Los Angeles County, Ventura County and Orange County) LFS's have the luxury of actually picking their stock "first hand" from the Distributor and don't really have to have things mailed or shipped or trucked in (which puts even more stress on tha fish).

I say all of this because the author of the article in "TFH magzine" regarding the Harlequin FF, says that it would probably be the quitessential way to chose the healthiest filefish..... either A.) go down to the wholesaler yourself and pick a very healthy specimen,visually (which I'm fortunate to be able to do, thank GOD!) or B.) make sure you deal with a mail order situation that can overnight a delivery directly from the wholesaler( the downside being yoou can't see what you're getting, but should recieve a good specimen if you deal with a reputible mailorder tropical fish retailer.

Anyway, I'll post back with the Author's name and the issue number of the magazine when I get home.


...though I still think it may be easier with the Puffer. You're right about the potential sloppy eating habits lol, but I don't mind cleaning up after him/her at all. I love to be as hands on as possible
 

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Discussion Starter #20
what's up OF2F,

Here's the info to the article I referenced in the previous post regarding the Filefish-

Article: "A New Future for the Harlequin Filefish" pgs. 64-75
Literature: CORAL magazine March/April 2009
Author: Matt Pedersen (co-founder of MOFIB)
 
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