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Old 06-25-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
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adding inverts or fish first to a new tank?

I have a 75 gallon tank that has just finished cycling. I was going to add a small group of inverts hermit crabs, turbo snails and assorted other detrius cleaners. Do i add them first or do i add a fish first, or does it matter? Tank has 90lbs of live rock, and 90lbs of live sand. Dual fluval 305's, and a remora pro skimmer.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:10 PM   #2
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It really doesn't matter. What matters is how many fish or inverts you add. In a newer tank, a smaller number of inverts should be added and then you can add more. The reason for this is there is not much for a large clean up crew to eat and some may starve. Fish on the other hand will increase your bioload so you may want to add 1 or 2 small fish after the cycle. This will give the nitrifying bacteria time to adjust to the new waste produced from the fish.
What are your plans for the tank?
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA. I would wait until you notice a significant amount of algae growth before adding a cleaning crew? I know because i had some inverts die from starvation.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:41 AM   #4
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I agree going slow at this point is important for long time success. IMO waiting till algae growth is not important since you want to get some inverts/fish in the tank to keep your bacterial base going.

IME stocking 1 invert (i.e. snail/hermit) per 2 gal is sufficient when starting and they should have enough to feed off the lr. If you don't have at least 50 lbs of lr in the tank then you should feed frozen (about 1/4 cube) every 2-3 days to keep them going till you get fish in there. Once you have a fish or two the clean up crew can feed off the leftovers.

If adding red/blue leg hermits then make sure you have about 4-6 extra shells they can move into to keep canibalisim down from fighting for shells to move into.

Also IMO it's best to wait 3+ months before adding shrimp and 6+ months if you want to add a reef safe Sea Star.

With all inverts it's very important to drip acclimate them for 2-3 hours for hermits/snails and 3-5 hours for shrimp/sea stars. They are less tolerant to changes in ph/sg/temp and need the longer acclimation to adjust from the source water to your main tanks water.

Will you be using a QT?
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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sweet this saves me the time of haveing to ask the same question.

acclimateing snails and hermits 2 - 3hrs.. useing the 1/2cup every 10mins menthod ok for this? ( 1/4cup... 1/3.. drip.. < if drip is there a link to explain that one? I forget it off hand>)
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:15 PM   #6
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1/2 cup per 10 minutes method is fine assuming you have at least 8 cups of water to start with and remove 2 cups per hour. Otherwise I would drip for inverts and this article covers that.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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I agree, I like the drip method. It allows me to tinker in my tank, moving stuff for the new critters.
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