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Old 09-17-2006, 10:16 AM   #1
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Couple of Beginner Questions

I have a 20 gallon reef tank that has been running for about 3 weeks now.

1. Is it ok/better to leave the glass hood off? I have been looking around and some people say they leave the tops open because it helps with O2 exchange. And they say that even though some fish are labeled as jumpers it is very unlikely they will jump out of the tank.

2. How much water movement should I have? I don't know how to tell what is too much or not enough. I have an emperor 280 filter that has 280 gph flow and a Aquaclear powerhead that has ~120 gph flow with a quickfilter on it so nothing gets sucked in. It has a little flow director and should I direct it downwards to the sand? I just have it flowing straight out right now. I had a penguin 660 (170 gph) on it but one of my little 1.5cm clownfish got sucked up on it and died... Now I just use it for mixing water in a 5 gallon bucket. Is it too much or should I add a sponge to it so nothing gets sucked in? And this maybe a stupid question but where do I get a sponge to put on it or just any sponge?

3. What kind of things can I get to sift the sand? Like a starfish or something?

The tank is cycled- 0 NO2, NO3, and NH4/NH3 and pH 8.2. I have about 30lbs of cured lr and 24 lbs of lace rock. There is one ocellaris clownfish, one sixline wrasse, one barnacle blenny, one yellow watchman goby, two peppermint shrimp, and then some hermits and snails. I also have some mushroom coral.

I just realized I posted in the wrong forum..lol
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA..I will answer your questions by point as you have listed them..

1. It is indeed, better to leave the glass top off for the reasons you mentioned. However, known jumpers still jump and oftentimes will end up on the floor. The answer to this is putting light diffuser (eggcrate) on the top.

2. The bare minimum recommendation is 10 times turnover per gallon per hour. You need to use sponges that are designed for aquaria use as others usually are treated with something. They can be bought at petsmart or just about any online supply store.

3.There are fish that will sift the sand, some inverts, some stars. The problem is that the starfish will need a very established tank so they don't starve to death.

hth

3.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:25 AM   #3
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WELCOME TO AA!!

Hara hit the nail on the head. Watch adding too many fish at one time. The tank will need to catch up to the bio load. Keep checking your water and have som pre-mixed water, just in case. Any chance you can get a pic?
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:37 AM   #4
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Aw I wish I could take a picture. It looks ok. It's my first SW tank. I've had 3 FW before and I have lots of time so I decided to set up a SW tank. I'll probably put up a picture in a couple weeks because I am at college right now and I don't have a camera with me.

Still with the waterflow question- Should I direct the flow downwards so that there is more flow near the sand? And should I get another powerhead to get more flow in the back of the tank? Maybe a small like 80 gph one?

What kind of inverts- I have 2 nassarius snails and they like to be in the sand. Should I get some more? Any cool small fish/inverts that will sift the sand pretty good?

That's all I can think of for now...
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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I would get about 10 more nass snails..some astrea or other type for rock and glass. I like brittle stars for overall leftover cleanup. As far as flow, directiling it too far downward will result in sand pits or sand moving alot. Try to adjust it to as many places as possible. That is usually a case of trial and error.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:54 AM   #6
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I would put them on opposites of the tank, facing each other. You also want some surface agitation, for stable pH.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:56 AM   #7
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wow ten more hmm. I'll see if I can get ten more. The only place close to me is a pet supplies plus and I think they only have nassarius and turbo snails.

I have like 2 astrea, three turbo, and three trochus. That's all I can see right now. and then like 7 to 10 blue leg hermits and two red hermits but I can never tell because they only start moving around at night or around like 7.
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:10 PM   #8
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ok, sounds like all you need is a few more nass..if it gets to where you are not seeing any film algae or stuff for the snails to graze on, you might want to put some dried seaweed in there maybe once a week. To make sure they dont go hungry. I have never had to supplementally feed my snails, but you may. Just kind of watch to see.
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:12 PM   #9
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There are sand sifting starfish out there and a cool sanil that I can't seem to remember the name of or find anywhere. I had two back in Washington but the sheels were long and white and all they did was move under the sand. It was cool becasue you could tell where they were when they were moving due to the moving sand mounds.
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