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Old 12-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
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55 gallon potential stocking

Hello all! I'm setting up a 55 gallon as my first marine tank, and wanting to go the whole 9 yards. I'm going to seed the filter with existing fw established media, then slowly raise the salinity so as not to kill off the BB. Then I am going to add live sand (how many pounds do I need?) and 25lbs of fully cured live rock. I will be getting 4 T5 strip lights, and I'm seriously considering laying down the cash for a Fluval G6 filter (any opinions on the best non-sump filters?) and I will be getting a protein skimmer (again, suggestions?). I figure with established filter media, my cycle should take maybe 3 months? I'm aiming for: dkh of 12, salinity of 1.022, temp of 24 degrees Celsius (76 Fahrenheit), and a pH of 8.1 (I'm guessing I'll need to add a reef alkalinity supplement).
So: what are everyone's opinions on all of the reef supplements (alkalinity, trace minerals, calcium, etc)- are they necessary? What do you use? Do you have to add them every time you do a water change?
How often do you do PWCs and how much?

After the cycle is complete, I want to add mushroom corals. I hear they're the easiest for beginners, and I also adore the look of them. My coral selection (please comment and make suggestions!!) is:
Bullseye mushroom
Fluorescent green mushroom
Lavender or hair mushroom
Button polyp
Green striped mushroom

Is this too many corals (1 of each) if they're spaced out? How far apart should they be? And how do I go about harvesting frags when they start to grow large?

This is the clean up crew I'm thinking of (again, please comment and make suggestions):
1 lettuce sea slug
4 dwarf blue leg hermit crabs
6 Astraea turbo snails
2 nassarius snails
4 dwarf red tip HCs
8 cerith snails
4 peppermint shrimp
2 emerald crabs
2 banded coral shrimp
1 brittle sea star
1 pincushion sea urchin
1 sea cucumber

Is this too much? I just want a) a pristine tank, and b) a variety of everything

And then the fish I would like:
1 yellow banded possum wrasse
1 firefish
1 scissor tail dart fish (optional)
2 ocellaris clownfish (mated pair)
3 blue/ green reef chromis
1 yellow prawn goby
1 court jester goby
1 diagonal bar prawn goby
1 citrine or green clown goby
1 black banded convict goby
1 hi fin red banded goby

Can you tell im obsessed with gobies? Lol. I tried to pick only hardy, small, reef safe, peaceful fish, but obviously experience is the best form of knowledge when it comes to living things!

Sorry for the long post. I just want as many opinions and suggestions as I can get!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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wow def way to many fish, maybe like 5 or 6 fish in a 55g would. Most gobies don't get a long with other gobies. You biological filter will not handle that many fish. Rule of thumb is 1" of fish per 5g. I think you could probably get a smaller CUC too. Would not buy a Fluval will become a nitrate factory. Put that money towards a great skimmer. FW is different from SW not the same bacteria. I start fresh no telling what could be in frewswater system that you don't want in saltwater Here is a calculator for sand bed. ALk, calcium, and mag additvies will be needed.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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+1 on the "way too many fish" comment.

Your cycle should take 4-6 weeks, but as was stated, the BB are different, so do not go with the idea of using established FW media. Start from scratch and let it do its thing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses and sand bed calculator! I will cut out half the fish then so different from freshwater, my goodness! Of course I know it would be, but it seems nothing is the same, so it's like learning everything from scratch!! I am aware that gobies dont like each other, but when I researched each individual type, all sources said they didn't tolerate conspecifics and similar looking gobies, but are peaceful to any other gobies, provided there are an abundance of hiding spots. Not trying to be rude, just would like some clarification

So in your opinions, what would you stock a 55 with, fish-wise? Would you do a larger centerpiece fish, or a community of smaller fish? What do you reccommend for either?
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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I think that stocking is subjective, so you've gotta go with what you like. I think that having a variety of sizes, like a couple of larger fish (dwarf angel size), maybe some chromis with stuff like gobies, shrimp and fire fish is nice.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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In my 55 i have tried to add another gobie and my diamond gobie will mot have it, lol! One piece of advice go to bulkreefsupply and pick up a screen lid kit or the gobies will jump out. My stock list is 1 maroon clown, royal gramma, six line wrasse, 2 green chromis, diamond gobie
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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Yea my 55 has one foxface rabbit, a coral beauty, a sixline wrasse and a maroon clown. IMO I would just keep fish that do certain (jobs). If you're gonna start doing corals the fish become more of a PIA as far as bio load and picking on corals. I'm not telling you what to do but this has been my experience so far. And look into the HOB Reef octopus skimmers they are good for the money.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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1 inch per 5 gallons is pretty conservative, the rule of thumb I've always heard is 1 inch per gallon. I wouldn't suggest having that many with corals so somewhere in between should be fine.

Next you want to think about compatibility both with fish and with your setup. +1 on the lid if your thinking gobies or wrasses because they definitely jump.

For the skimmer I've heard great things about the reef octopus so for you without a sump could go with the bh 1000.

Just out of curiosity why you are shooting for SG of 1.022, Ph of 8.1 and temp of 76? You should be fine with these parameters but the only reason I ask is bc ideal reef conditions are 1.025, 8.3 and 78-80. fish can get away with a wide range of parameters (as long as they remain stable) but corals are not very tolerant to conditions that are less than ideal.

you could do all those mushrooms but I wouldn't add anything but fish for at least 6 months. You could probably get away with doing it sooner but stability is everything in this hobby and it just doesn't happen over night.

oh and quarantine every new arrival.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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I was definitely planning on a tight fitting lid. That's good to know, I planned those parameters around a) my tap water, and b) the middle range of the parameters I found for each fish and invert I was planning on getting. The range I found for all of them was 1.020-1.025 salinity, ph 8.1-8.4 (my tap water when conditioned is at 7.5 so I wanted it as close to that as possible on a regular basis so I dont have to do much playing with t and potentially causing fluctuations), temp of 72-78 (22-26), and dkh of 8-12
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #10
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If you don't start off with RODI water, you are starting off running uphill. A rodi unit is the first and most important piece of equipment you need. Using tap water and chemicals is the biggest mistake you can make starting off. You will never have pristine water conditions.
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