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Old 03-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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How soon is too soon to add coral?

I'm about to start up my cycle on my first SW tank, and my wife has decided that instead of being a simple FOWLR tank, she wants a few coral in it as well. Once the rock cure and tank cycle are complete, is it ok to add the coral with the first fish, or should I wait for a week/month before adding?

That being said, what lighting is best for coral? The tank is a 20G with an LED array on the top. Would I need to replace the LEDs with HO T5s?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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I think 6 months in the general rule however I would probably say you would be ok after 2 - 3 months of stable parameters with a couple of fish in the tank
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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If the tank is cycled, coral can go in once it is completed in theory. I'd personally do it a couple weeks after the first fish to make sure everything is settled. Coral have a small, almost non existent bioload on your tank so it won't cause an issue on that end. In terms of your lighting, some more info on what you already have is necessary to gauge it it'll support corals or not. Also, what kind of coral your wife wants to keep will also determine how intense of a lighting system you will/might need.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: lighting...Honestly, I haven't given much thought to the type of coral yet. With a 20G tank, it can't be one that will overgrow (can coral do that?) the tank and cut into the swimming space. I just took a look at the specs of the light I have and it is not rated for corals (freshwater and FOWLR only).

Are there good "beginner" coral species that offer color, etc?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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My favorite starter coral are duncans. Easy to keep, flow nicely, and are a couple of different color varieties.

In terms of lighting, figure out what kind of corals you'd like to keep and that will basically determine the lighting you'd want to put above the tank.

Regarding ones that will grow and cut off the tank, I would shy away from encrusting and plating corals to avoid this issue.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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Duncans look nice, and I'm sure my wife will like them. Seems they take moderate to low lighting...is LED good enough, or should I do T5 for the right spectrum?
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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Just a word of precaution, your 20 gal tank is too small for salt water and even corals for that matter. You need other necessary equipment to maintain a good reef tank such as skimmer. The size of your tank is only used for sump that supplement filtering larger tanks. Besides, your kit is for FOWLR only.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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I have a skimmer, so that's not an issue. I realize this is on the small side, but is on the large side of the nano-tank side of the house.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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Nanos have been done on a way smaller scale. Twenty gallons is fine. For fowlr or reef
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
My favorite starter coral are duncans. Easy to keep, flow nicely, and are a couple of different color varieties.

In terms of lighting, figure out what kind of corals you'd like to keep and that will basically determine the lighting you'd want to put above the tank.

Regarding ones that will grow and cut off the tank, I would shy away from encrusting and plating corals to avoid this issue.

w00t...wife gave the thumbs up to the duncan. Just gotta let the tank cycle and get the first swimmers in there now...the long waiting game begins.
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