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Old 01-09-2007, 09:03 PM   #11
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
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Just to expand a little on Roka's answers...

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What is the advantage to having coral? Looks nice? Any advantage to the fish other than shelter?
I'm sure you're making reference to our comments about lighting and corals.
The answer is that the corals are just other cool looking animals that you can keep in a SW tank that you can't have in a FW tank.
Unfortunately most corals require special high-intensity lighting which is also very expensive.
You can still have a fancinating SW tank without corals, but if you get started eventually you'll want them... oh yes... you will.

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
How do protein skimmers work?
They are another form of filtration which collects dissolved organics from the water by capturing them in a fine bubble foam which is skimmed off from the tank.
Just like Roka, I don't have them on my tanks, and I rely on water changes to help remove them.
For certain corals and critters that require super pristine water quality they might be a necessity, otherwise you should be fine with regular partial water changes.

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What makes LR live?
Like Roka said, the "live" part is the live bacteria cultures that grow on the rock and that help to filter the water.
Just about any kind of rock can become LR.
A lot of us will use nice looking pieces of ordinary, everyday dry rocks "base rock" in combination with some pieces of already established LR in our tanks to let the bacteria spread to, or "seed" the ordinary rocks turning them into LR.

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
Are there certain fish I should not mix?
Most certainly!
Especially predators and their prey.

Sometimes the salesperson at the LFS may not give you the best advice so I would always hit the internet for more info (especially right here first) before making any purchases.

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
What is the deal with having to "mate" clowns together at the same time?
Nothing says that you absolutely have to put them together at the same time, but as a general rule it's always better to add fish at the same time before they establish a territory if any of them are territorial in nature.

Originally Posted by jonjoyner83
I am expecting Obi Wan to come around the corner and say, "These are not the fish you are looking for..." and that would be a sign to avoid this idea entirely.
"Luke,... I am your aquarium. Come to the salt side."

Sorry, I couldn't resist

"Damsels are the yapping, ankle-biting chihuahuas of the ocean.
They have no concept of just how small and annoying they really are."
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