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Old 09-15-2005, 01:25 AM   #1
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FOWLR to Reef. Give me the real truth.

I have had FOWLR tanks with good results for several years. I have good filtration, lights, etc. So theoretically all I need to do is to get rid of the non-reef fish and add the coral. That's the information that 90% of the aquarium forums dispense. The remaining 10% tell horror stories of spending thousands of dollars on soon to be dead coral and additional equipment. Supplements, trace elements, test kits for everything in the universe, calcium-CO2 injectors, and mystery food for the little critters. The list goes on. So what is the real story? With FOWLR I can go away for a week and have the neighbor kid feed them one or twice. I don't want to start a reef if it will turn into a monster that needs constant attention, feeding 3 times a day, etc. Thanks. R
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:52 AM   #2
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Its no different from your FOWLR, Some people will tell you that a skimmer is necesary but I have gone skimmerless for a while now and its not had any appreciable ill affects. As with all things in aquaria keep up with your water changes and feed everything appropriate foods. I only feed my tank some marine snow once a week and the fish twice a day(although I'm sure they would do fine with once a day). I use an iodide supplement every other day but if you don't test for it I wouldn't use it. I would say that if you do your research and pick easy species you won't have to do anything you don't want to. Its alot easier then people make it out to be.
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Old 09-15-2005, 02:18 AM   #3
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Considering there are corals/inverts at all ends of the spectrum in regards to hardiness, needs, etc. I would laugh when you hear any blanket statements about reef tanks. If you still want to remain easy, as mentioned above choose some nice hardy corals that do not deplete your calcium and you really can have a relatively maintenance free tank. I have a 30g tank setup for my parents that they only have to feed and I do water changes on it every two weeks.
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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Yeah, I'm pretty bad about testing and dosing anything in my reef...yet my 3 corals have all done great from day 1.

High light, stony corals are more difficult (they use more calcium, and may require trace dosing too), and if you decide to try an anemone, be prepared for it to not make it (it may live just fine, just accept it if he doesn't make it).

I think skimmers make reef tanks more stable, easier to maintain, but I'll agree they aren't 100% mandatory.

I don't think it's that hard/scary at all to bump from FOWLR to Reef.
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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May need to bump your rock amount up a bit, depending on what you have already in there. 1 1/2 to 2lbs per gallon is ideal for a reef. I agree, there are lots of easy corals that simple water changes and phytoplankton feeding occasionally will work just fine. Of course there are lighting considerations too. Otherwise, don't belive the horror stories IMO.

Eric Borneman's book, "Corals - Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History" is a favorite of mine to get a good overview and specific care requirements.

Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I just want a few easy, moderate light non-stony corals to add some dash to the tank. Thanks again Rick
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:24 AM   #7
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Mushrooms, ricordia, star polyps, hammer, frogspawn, xenia (spreads fast though) to name a few as you described.
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:04 PM   #8
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I would be interested in knowing what kind of lights you already have.
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Old 09-15-2005, 02:14 PM   #9
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I have a 130 watt PC over a 29 gallon with a 4" sand bed--so it's not too far from the substrate. Thanks
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:41 PM   #10
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Sounds like a good setup for a reef. Start with easy stuff like mushrooms zoo's and leathers. Xenia is nice but you will have to keep it in check. Just do your research and take the plunge.
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