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Old 04-24-2015, 06:52 PM   #1
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Gentle guidance for neophyte, please.

I have a 36 gal newly set up salt water bow front tank (30"x20"x14") cycling right now (well, it has cycled, but isn't populated yet).

I have 40 lbs of aragonite sand and 35 lbs of dry rock (with "rubble" purchased from the LFS to seed the rock - upon which came a now evicted and deceased aiptasia) in the tank but currently only have a single 24" 50/50 (10,000k/actinic) T8 17W 24" bulb. I am planning on upgrading my lights to a 165w dimmable TaoTronics LED unit at my earliest opportunity.

For filtration, I am running a Rena FilStar canister filter. I have a 270 gph powerhead and dual Aqueon Pro heaters.

Current parameters are as follows:

Temp 77
SG 1.0235
NH3 0.1
NO2 0
NO3 7.5
pH 8.3
PO4 0.25
KH 180
Ca 400

I am also adding a HOB skimmer this weekend.

I think that I might be ready to populate the tank - what would be decent fish to start with that are hardy and not terribly expensive? Would it be reasonable/possible to add an anemone with my current setup, and if so, what one? I must admit, I am a terrible parent. I told my daughter that the "cute little anemone " (aiptasia) moved to find his happy place.

I am planning on blue leg hermit crabs, cerith snails and possibly a turbo as our cuc.

Thanks in advance. Hope I have given enough information.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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The most common hardy fish out there are clownfish. Just avoid damsels. They are mean and difficult to catch after they have fun killing off your new fish and you want rid of them.
In my old 36, I had two clownfish, a royal gramma, and a yellow watchman goby...of all that I can remember.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:04 PM   #3
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Thank you, Hank. You were so helpful with my first post (about the aiptasia) as well. What about anemones (aside from the nasty ones, of course)?

I am happy to hear about clown fish and gobies, those were what I was hoping for.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:09 PM   #4
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What about anemones? Once the taotronics fixture is above the unit, you can easily support them. You will just want to make sure that they are acclimated to the light and not blasted with these very high powered lights. This is a mistake I made when I upgraded to powerful LEDs...roughly 500 dollars worth of coral dead.
The key to anemone, lighting aside, is that they want stable pristine water. So it is normally recommended you wait 6 months to a year for one. This way your tank will have matured enough to avoid any odd swings or mini cycles that may occur.
I always suggest bubble tips. They are very popular and have the ability to host the more common clownfish that you would find. They don't always pair up and you can't force it to happen, but the chance is there.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:14 PM   #5
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Fabulous. Thanks again.

And, until then, I just tell my daughter that the anemone is "hiding".
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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The royal gramma is a good choice IMO.
Hard to swallow (and follow through with) as it is Hank is right about the nem.
6 months is a minimum and 1 year will just make you and your future nem much happier.
Stable water conditions aren't always something we measure as well as the tank inhabitants tell us about.
Even with good regular testing and results the timeline stands true as a standard.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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I don't want to be getting tank residents without knowledge and guidance, and subsequently setting them up for stress, illness or worse. I typically under stock my tanks - and surprisingly enough, my fish live for years.

If you recommend 6-12 months of inhabited stability (as well as changing my lights out, which I am planning to do), then I would be foolish to just jump and stick a victim in my tank...
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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What fish have you decided on?
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #9
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I am leaning towards one or two clown fish, a royal gramma and a couple of sand sifting gobies.

Oh, and politely decline the green chromis that was offered to me

Any other recommendations (or is that plenty for my 36 gal)? I don't want to crowd the tank, but a little variety is nice.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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For anemone, my experience is they lIke a little dirty to the water. Strong lights and stable water condition.

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