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Old 09-01-2005, 03:45 AM   #1
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lower light invertebrates

I've been doing some research and there appear to be some invertebrates that will do well without special high intensity lighting. This interests me as it would save me alot of money if I could put together an interesting reef tank without spending too much money on lights.

Regarding anemones, I understand I should avoid Aiptasia but what about tube anemones? From what I understand a tube anemone would do fine under regular aquarium lights. Now I know clownfish probably wouldn't choose this anemone as a host but they are cool looking and if no one has reasons why I shouldn't..... I think I'd like to give this one a try. Another anemone that "may" do okay without high light is a caribbean anemone? Does anyone have experience with them under regular lighting conditions?
(Normal fluorescent tubes)

Now I have also read that feather dusters will do well without high intensity light and I am particularly interested in a dwarf colored feather duster. Also I have read about some clownfishes choosing to "play" in feather dusters? Is that common or fairly uncommon?

There seem to be many options of soft coral that will do well without high intensity light but these are expensive.

I also am interested in polyps like the button polyp and mushrooms like the blue mushrooms....both of which will do well with regular aquarium lighting. However these both come with warnings that they could reproduce rapidly.
Can this stuff be pruned like plants can be?

Most of these things are listed on live aquaria as semi aggressive? I'm not sure how that works with compatibility issues, particularly in a small 20-29 gallon tank. Since I have never had a salt water tank it's hard for me to even grasp the idea that these invertebrates are animal despite the fact that I've always thought of them as flowers! I know I'm a moron! Also how do you figure out how much/little you should have? Is there a rule?

So what do you think? Is it possible to have a 20-30 gallon with live rock, some of the invertebrates I've mentioned as well as maybe a small sea star, cleaner shrimp, and 1 or 2 clownfishes? And do it all without high intensity lighting?

And if so what order would I go in as far as set up. From my understanding I would do the live rock first, let it cure, and let my tank cycle.

Also will the live rock "cycle" my tank over time or do I need to deal with dead shrimp and what not?

Then what comes next.....the fish or the other invertebrates?

Thank you in advance for your patience....
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:38 AM   #2
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Oh and something else I'm not getting....What's up with the live rock and hitch-hikers? Do I want hitch hikers.....seems like they would add a fun chaotic element.....or am I supposed to scrub this live rock to get rid of hitch-hikers? What exactly is going to be alive on the live rock? Is it all surprise surprise.....or am I supposed to look for particularly bad things while being careful not to harm good things?

Also when picking out live rock....how do you tell if it's a dud or not? I hate to waste money on dead rock. 8O
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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I would skip any anemones if your not willing to upgrade to at least power compact lighting in a few months when the tanks is stable enough to house one. Yep, feather dusters are a cool addition that do not require lights to survive. I don't think it's common but I do have one that plays host to my male maroon clown. I'd also skip the corals if your only using regular florescent lights. Even shrooms and polyps need a certain amount of light to do well. I wouldn't worry about pruning them. They don't grow like fw plants. Anemones and corals can be aggressive when placed to close to another coral. It's more a chemical war between them and they can do damage to each other. If your gonna get a sea star, I'd stick to the hardy ones at first like brittle or serpent stars. They are great for cleanup as well. The pair of clowns and cleaner shrimp are great choices. You can cycle your tank with the live rock. I'd add the sand and live rock and let it cycle that way. Once the cycle is done, then you can add your fish/inverts. As far as live rock goes, there are a good many nasties that can come along with it but they can be dealt with. There's not real trick to buying live rock. Just look for pieces that will be suitable for what you want your tank to look like. Also, smell it. If it smells like the ocean, chances are it's already cured and your cycle will take less time. If it smells foul then it's uncured. Still good rock but will have some die off. If cycling with liverock, you don't need to use the shrimp. Not sure if I answered everything or not but, HTH. lol
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:23 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for your help Fluff!

Is there any problems with buying "used" live rock from a tank someone is breaking down??
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:35 PM   #5
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no, but find out a little bit about any chemicals/med treatments used and/or any problems they may have had that is leading them to break down the tank
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75g w/ 30g sump, 160# LR, 60# sand: Inverts =18 turbos, 30 nassirus's, 40 blue leg's, 5 emeralds, 1 CBS, 1 skunk cleaner, 1 brown gulf shrimp? and various other LR hitch hikers yet un discovered or un-ID'ed
Fish=1 yellow tang, 1 yellow headed jawfish, 1 pink/blue shrimpgoby, 2 perc clowns.
Future fish = 1 sixline, 1 lawnmower blenny
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykpoz
no, but find out a little bit about any chemicals/med treatments used and/or any problems they may have had that is leading them to break down the tank
I agree.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
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You could get a dual 55 watt compact fluorescent setup for your tank rather inexspensively. I started my 20 gallon tank with that lighting setup and kept leathers, shrooms , and some LPS. I've since upgraded and added a 175watt MH. I built my first hood and bought the 2x55 retro kit from ahsupply.com . I think it was less than 100 bucks if I recall.
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