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Old 08-21-2006, 12:45 AM   #1
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Making the switch to a reef tank...need some advice

I got 55 pounds of live rock going through some curing now, also got a Nova extreme 4 x 55 watt T5 flourescent lighting fixture on the way.

Also I am taking my Koran angel back to the LFS tomorrow. He probably would have gotten too large for a 55 gallon tank and would definitely have nipped at my corals.

So right now here is my definite plan for my 55 gallon reef tank in terms of fish.

- 2 ocerallis clowns
- 1 Scott's fairy wrasse
- 1 yellow tang
- 1 Royal Gramma
- Green Mandarin Dragonet

I was kinda of hoping...if I don't get the blue tang to get 3 or 4 more fish in there. I'd love to get a coral beauty or flame angel but I hear they are coral nippers...so I was hoping for suggestions as to things I can get that will be reef safe and can look similar to a coral beauty or flame angel.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:34 AM   #2
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I think you did a smart thing by taking back the Koran angel. I'd stick with about 4 maybe 5 fish max in that tank. Your bioload could be too much in that tank. I'd say go for the fairy wrasse and the green mandarin. Your info says you already have the clowns thats why I'm not counting those. I think you'd be safe with the mandarin if you give your tank a little while to mature and get the pod count up. You have over 100lbs of LR right? A fuge helps a lot too if you dont already have one. I'd leave out the yellow tang because tangs really like to swim. Yes it would do fine but I think it would limit what else you could put in your tank because of the bioload. HTH
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:00 AM   #3
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ntswift, in your reef tank I noticed you had a ton of corals. I was thinking I wouldn't go that heavy with corals for my reef tank, so does that lighten my bio-load to get some more fish in there?

Also how about some fish that look like a flame angel or coral beauty without the possibility of them nipping at my corals?

I was kinda of hoping for 6 or 7 fish, and then maybe a few corals here and there...I guess calling it a reef tank is not the right word. Its more like a FOWLR and adding some corals.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:03 AM   #4
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Get rid of the mandarin as it will starve in such an immature system.

If you choose the YT, that is fine in the 55 provided you only dont add any more fish than what you have listed.

Good luck
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:03 AM   #5
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I was planning on adding these fish over the period of months...so the mandarin was going to be my last addition probably wouldn't happen until sometime in 2007. I figure by then my tank should be mature enough to feed the mandarin.

Also stripes how is your flame angel working with your corals?
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:13 AM   #6
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You should think about a sump/fuge with lots of LR rubble so pods can breed., if you want a mandarin.

The flame angel doesnt touch the corals. But some flame angels will. Its a 50/50 chance.

Any angel, dwarf or large has the possbility of eating corals.
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:28 AM   #7
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You are definately off to a good start. Keep lurking on the forums and ask questions when you need help with a decision. I like that setup.

Here's a link to dwarf and pygmy angels. I have the Elb's angel. No trouble at all.

http://www.centropyge.net/
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #8
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I would skip the manderin for now. Consider doubling the LR amount and waiting several months prior to adding one if you want.
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:40 PM   #9
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No, the coral doesnt count for your bioload. Some of them actually help by filtering your water, like clams. I know those aren't corals but it was just an example. I agree with everyone on waiting for your mandarin. From what your info says, it says that you already have 55lbs of LR along with the 55 lbs that you're curing? Or do you just have the 55lbs? Either way everyone is right about it needing a mature system. You have the right idea on waiting until some time next year. However, in that time I would get a sump and get some rubble like they said to give the pods a safe place to breed free from preditors. It is well worth it if you really want one in a tank that small. I have had two dwarf angels in my tank and both nipped at corals. I had a flame angel and a bicolor angel. Its just a 50/50 chance like Stripes said. I wont put another one in my tank because I had to tear my tank apart 3 times to get that bicolor out. I was so mad at the end I swore I wouldnt ever get another. Now my emerald crab is picking at my leathers! Just research your fish thoroughly and add them SLOWLY. HTH
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:50 PM   #10
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I have a coral beauty and a Flame Angel in my 150 and they did fine with SPS but the flame did tend to nip on my pagoda cup every once in a blue moon. not much to worry about though.
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