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Old 06-12-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Coral help!

I know nothing about coral. All I have now are some damsels, a clown, some LR and an arrow crab in a 20 g tank. Do I need different lighting? Temperature? Water parameters for coral. Any info on corals would be greatly appreciated. Help a newbie out please!
Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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How old is the tank? Is it cycled? Try to keep temp under 80 so you have some buffer room, 82+ is where things start to go haywire. I usually run between 77-79. For corals you should try to have at least 2-5 watts per gallon, 10000k+ power compacts, VHO or metal halides for optimum growth and use actinic bulbs as well.

Lower light corals include some of the zoanthids, lots of the mushrooms. In fact many don't open completely in super bright light.

Try to keep ammonia, nitrates, nitrites low through water changes, carbon/sponge filtration. Try to have around 20 lbs of sand and liverock in that 20 gallon, if not more. Get rid of the damsels, in time will become highly aggressive, will run the tank.

Arrow crabs aren't necessarily reef safe, get a clean up crew consisting of reef safe snails and hermits.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcothelia
How old is the tank? Is it cycled? Try to keep temp under 80 so you have some buffer room, 82+ is where things start to go haywire. I usually run between 77-79. For corals you should try to have at least 2-5 watts per gallon, 10000k+ power compacts, VHO or metal halides for optimum growth and use actinic bulbs as well.

Lower light corals include some of the zoanthids, lots of the mushrooms. In fact many don't open completely in super bright light.

Try to keep ammonia, nitrates, nitrites low through water changes, carbon/sponge filtration. Try to have around 20 lbs of sand and liverock in that 20 gallon, if not more. Get rid of the damsels, in time will become highly aggressive, will run the tank.

Arrow crabs aren't necessarily reef safe, get a clean up crew consisting of reef safe snails and hermits.
Thanks for the help! I set the tank up about 3 months ago. Cycled? ( Sorry. I'm super new, not familiar with all the terminology yet). I just picked up a 55 g tank two days ago. I'm still trying to make sure I know what I'm doing before I jump into it.

I wast planning on transferring my current set up ( damsels, clown, crab & LR) to the 55 gal and use the (current) 20 gal to practice on corals, anemone, and anything else I'm not familiar with yet.

"For corals you should try to have at least 2-5 watts per gallon, 10000k+ power compacts, VHO or metal halides for optimum growth and use actinic bulbs as well."
Again I'm sorry for the most likely stupid questions but what do you mean by 10000k+ power compacts? VHO? Metal halides?
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:35 AM   #4
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It's just the lighting temperature that produces a spectrum most helpful to corals. When you get bulbs, try to get them at 10000k+, if not 14000k or 20000k. Power compacts, VHO and metal halides are different types of bulbs in increasing order of brightness. Metal halides are the best for most corals, but by and far the most expensive. Incandescent bulbs or what not aren't fit for coral growth and have a highly yellow spectrum.

Basically, just try to find a decent fixture that offers in some actinic supplementation, along with being at least 2, preferably 3 watts per gallon. You can have fish no problem with less, but you need to make some investment in lights to grow corals unless you have a sunlight amplifying system, which is unpractical for most.

I have a 24g jbj nano with 2 stock 36 watt 50/50 10000k PC bulbs, which means they are half actinic and half daylight bulbs. This means I have 3 watts per gallon which is more than enough for many soft corals and indeed some stony corals.
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