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Old 05-24-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Switching from FOWLR to Reef?

Hello!

So I'm new to saltwater and have started up a 10 gallon FOWLR tank. It's nothing special, just a simple design for a first timer. It's nearly done cycling by now and I expect to be adding fish any day now.

Anyways, after digging a little deeper into the saltwater aquarium world, I've discovered a love for corals.

So I was just wondering if it's possible to switch from FOWLR to reef after all the fish are inside, or even before.

I'm not saying I 100% want to, but I'm considering it. My only turn-off is that I hear corals are hard to keep. I heard mushroom corals are good for beginners. Is this true? If I'm switching to reef, I only want photosynthetic corals, and ones that are easy to keep and hardy.

Or should I just stick with FOWLR for now, considering this is my first saltwater tank?

I'm heavily debating how to go, so any advice will be much appreciated. What do you think I should do?

Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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The main difference is you need better lighting in a reef tank to keep corals. You also have to keep a better eye on your maintenance routine. Corals can be unforgiving as far as water quality.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Well I'm a beginner so that might be hard. Are there any hardy corals that are a little more forgiving to tiny mistakes?

And if you do make a mistake, will only the corals die or will something more drastic happen?
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Mushroons, zoas, palys, yellow polyps, etc are pretty hardy, but still need good water quality. If you let it slip (high nitrates, less frequent water changes, etc) they can die off and possibly cause an ammonia spike, which can affect any fish you have in the tank.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, those are some I heard about. I think I will be okay with keeping nitrates in check, and I never do water changes less often then once a week.

I'm still not sure about whether I should go reef or not. What would you suggest?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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What kind of lights do you have and are you willing to upgrade them if necessary? If you are confident you will be able to keep the water quality up, then go for a few corals.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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I have light bulbs from my LFS. I need to get better ones before I get fish though because they're not very good. Is it possible to add corals like a couple of months after you have all your fish in just to get some practice? Or must corals be added first?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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Corals should be added anytime! I wouldnt add them first because you want to get a fish in there first. Just make sure you get reef safe fish that dont eat coral or inverts, then you can add any corals if you have the right light and stuff i think all the fish you want are reef safe so your good. (as i recall you are interested in a occy clown, firefish, and maybe a clown goby if your lfs has it..? Correct?)
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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Yup, those fish are right. I've actually been thinking long and hard and decided on my course of action. I'll just do this 10 gallon FOWLR for now and if I'm successful, at Christmas I'll upgrade to a 30 gallon reef tank. It'll give me some time to adjust to saltwater and i don't want to have to transport corals too because idk how they react to that. Thanks everybody!
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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Thanks again!
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