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Old 05-01-2006, 02:51 AM   #1
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6 questions- sorry!

Hi,
New to everything (forums, SW), so bear with me. We're inheriting the beginnings of a future FOWLR. 75 gal. cycled, H20 good now, with 2 damsels (alive still- I read about that here, but when someone is the "expert" and you're trusting them- hmmm!). Tank= 4 mos, with the fish added about 1 month into it. There is currently sand but no live rock- IDK if the sand is live. That's all I know; the inheritance was not expected last time I saw the tank, but if I promise to take it easy can you blind-advise till I get more? It's a lot, but I have been rsrchg like crazy, and still have these questions!
1. Should I take the damsels back to the store?
2. Can anyone in Houston rec. a great fish source? I need access to an honest/knwldgbl. person to talk to, if you know a place like that.
3. Am I reading correctly that I need 75 lbs. live rock?
4. Live rock, then cleaners, then 1 or 2 fish in that order(will have QT)?
5. Cleaners- my reading on crabs doesn't make me love'em, especially for my tank. (below) Can I manage without? Shrimp sound like a great idea, but # and/or what else?.
6. Advice on the wish list? Don't worry- this is long term, and I know enough to know that know nothing (follow?)!

WISH LIST
2 O. or Perc. clowns as pair
1 Coral beauty angel
1-2 choc. chip star
1 Yellow Tang
1 Recommended butterfly or alternative

Everything should be relatively hardy and peaceful in tmprmt. Any recommandations for if this is a good # and combination? Any subs instead of one of these?
Thank you!
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
1. Should I take the damsels back to the store?
Not for now. They are the only thing keeping the ammonia consuming bacteria alive - other than the seeded sand. Looks like you say there are no rocks. The damsels shuldn't be hard to catch later if you decide.

Depending on what kind of rock you get (yes 75 lbs will do for fish only), whether cured or not, you may go thru another cycle (ammonia and nitrite rises and zeros out). If curing in the tank, yes take the damsels back beforehand IMO. You definitley don't want them in the tank first as you add other fish. They'll most likely be very territotial by than and harrass new fish to sickness or death.

On Q # 4 - Good and good. Maybe the pair of clowns first would be good.

Hermit crabs will be fine w/your tank. "Crab" crabs can be OK too. Emerald green'll do fine IMO. yes, you can mange without, but without reef, I wouldn't worry about it.

Also, add the yellow tang last. They can be mean when they've already established territory and others come later.

What else in included with the tank? What kinda filtration? Wet/dry, skimmer, sump?

Have you seen Robert Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" book yet. A good staroff reference IMO.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:36 PM   #3
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Hi!

Good to have another local around here, I'm from Houston as well. Anyways if you're looking for fish stores with honest staff my two best recommendations would be Village Tropical and FishLand. You can also ask me questions whenever you like, but i'm still a saltwater newbie as well. I've got a 10 cycling right now, and a 75 waiting for me to build it a nice stand. So, as far as local fish stores go.

FishLand (Synott & Westheimer):
Excellent service, if you get either the owner or the man with glasses. They are both asian so try and get their attention if you can. There is a younger guy there that is always rather rude to me. I purchased a fish once and he felt the need to literally poke it while he was putting it in the bag, also he's rude. They have good prices, not excellent, but i've never seen bad quality livestock. If you're going to need live rock they have Fiji right now for $4.75 a pound. They have a great selection of freshwater fish as well as saltwater fish, corales and anenomes.

Village Tropical (Shepherd & 59 (sorta)):
Service is very good and knowledgeable, always ready to ask questions. Prices are pretty high, but they're the closest place to downtown as far as I know. I've never seen good quality live rock or good prices on live rock here. Their freshwater fish and plant selection is awesome. As far as saltwater goes their selection can be rather limited, but i've seen some excellent specimins. They have a very good selection of corals and anenomes.

City Pets (Bissonet and 8):
Don't go here expecting to get some questions answered. As far as I can tell they usually just hire younger kids who don't know a whole ton. This place is great if you know what you're looking for. As long as you can tell whether or not a fish is healthy, you'll be fine. Good selection on both saltwater and freshwater fish. Good freshwater plants, but they'd have a hard time selling me coral. Very good place for feeders.

If you're looking for live rock City Pets is the place to go at the moment. My friend and I just grabbed 40 pounds for $3.50 a piece, Fiji no less. $3.50 was a one time deal for us but if you buy over 25 pounds they usually go down to $4.00 or $3.75. Make sure you grab the pieces from the bottom of their tank because they have a habit to overload it and some pieces get left out of the water.

That's about all I can think of for now, once again if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:09 PM   #4
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Thanks!! I'm going to check out that book, and the stores, once we're there. I've been to fishland and am glad to know the details- we got the younger guy Great inside scoop!
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:40 PM   #5
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Hey little chief. I live in Houston too. I usually got to this asian fish store and the owner is really nice. He will answer any question that you have. If you get to know him, he'll give you discounts! His corals are abit pricey tho. Here is the address:


Global Fish & Pet
8880 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX
713-771-4848

HTH
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:48 PM   #6
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Do they have a good saltwater selection? I'll have to check that place out.
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:15 PM   #7
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Thanks- I think a lot of the fun of this will be looking around in fish stores! My friend and I like visiting them where we live. I'll probably come up with more questions. For now, I had a couple of good conversations, plus a lot of reading which answered the other questions I had for the moment. Plus minor issue of our wedding and my graduation from MA program are on the front burner for this month! It's going to be a longer time before I'm all set like you guys, but hopefully having to take it extra slow will offset some newbie mistakes Thanks again!
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
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Cool. Stay in touch and let us know how it's going.

Wedding, Masters Degree, and a new tank. Man, you got your hands full! Best of luck to ya!
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