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Old 06-25-2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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help needed please, newbie here

just purchased a 46 gallon bow aquarium. I'm new to this salt water stutt but am willing to try it out. I have my setup going threw the cycling stage as of right now. My reef store told me that they recommend 4 to 6 weeks for the cycle stage. But besides that part, i want to know what kind of coral, fish and *clean up crew* I should get and how to set that stuff up. I'd like to have a reef style aquarium with really nice looking coral and fish. Its for a showcase in my office. Also money isn't a factor. And how many fish can i put in this size of aquarium.
thanks for your time
Hope to see here some good advice and plans on how to set up a showcase SW aquarium.

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Old 06-25-2006, 10:43 PM   #2
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Seeing as you are planning on setting this up as a reef, I assume you have live rock in the tank? If that is the case, how much do you have? What sort of lighting do you have over the tank? Do you have powerheads in the tank? An external filter?
Once the tank is cycled, you can be looking to add your clean-up crew and start adding fish. For fish, take a look at www.liveaquaria.com. Your limitations would be that you want something classified as "reef-safe" and something that isn't going to get too big and feel crowded in the tank--minimum tank size is also given in the profile on liveaquaria's site. The primary limitation for corals is in your lighting. For high light corals, you would be considering a metal halide fixture getting in the neighborhood of 8 watts per gallon. For more moderate light corals, you can be looking at half that. Once again, take a look at the website and see what catches your eye and then you can plan from there. Keep in mind though that not all fish and/or corals will be compatible with one another. When you have some more specifics in mind, post a tentative list and any issues along those lines can be discussed.

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Old 06-25-2006, 11:16 PM   #3
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Protein skimmer. protein skimmer. protein skimmer. I can't stress this enough. get the best you can afford. since you say money is no object I'd say just get the best. Go with a Tunze skimmer, they are expensive but these are some of the best on the market. After that make sure you have enough live rock, get enough flow and then just do PWC's. You do that and you will have an awesome tank. Forget about all the fancy gadgets out there, forget about physical filtration, forget about all that other BS about trace elements. you do what I've suggested here and you will have an incredible tank.

For lighting I highly recomend T-5 but on a tank like you are wanting metal halide might be the best.

A clean up crew should consist in my opinion of almost entirely snails. A large tank will need alot of them. I have a good 20 of them in my 29 gallon tank but only 5 hermit crabs. I like shrimp and serpent stars for picking up the food that makes it to the bottom.

Your stocking has to take into consideration the size of the fish. Frankly there aren't many larger fish you can stock in a tank that size. so I would say go with 4-6 depending on what they are.
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:42 AM   #4
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no live rock yet, they told me to wait for the cycle to finish first. And yes i have a maxi jet 900 powerhead with a penguin 350 bio-wheel filter. My lights are: one T6 Superlux 11,000k ultra daylight, and one T6 Superlux Blue Actinic 03. Both lights are 30W and 36'L. As for a skimmer, i have no idea what that is.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Welcome to AA

How are you cycling the tank? First off if “money isn't a factor” then you might want to highly consider having a local professional both set it up and maintain the reef tank for you on a monthly basis. Especially if keeping it as a “show tank” in an office environment. I’ve seen too many “show tanks” that look terrible because the office didn’t have the necessary experience to run a reef tank.

The Penguin 350 bio-wheel is better suited for FO systems and not for reef systems since they trap waste and kick up your no3 levels which you want to keep at or below 5 ppm in a reef tank.

Using about 70-90 lbs of base/live rock in the tank is best for a reef environment and will provide all the biological filtration needed along with proper water movement and a good protein skimmer.

For starters on what you need read this post to get familiar with the equipment/terms of keeping a SW tank.

If not getting a sump then I’d get the AquaC Remora Pro skimmer which is one of the best HOB skimmers.

A skimmer removes waste from the tank before it can convert to nitrate.

Your lighting will need to be upgraded if wanting corals since you only have basic florescent lighting currently. The wattage/type of lighting will be dependent on the type of corals you want. If wanting medium light corals the VHO/PC lighting in the 192-250 watt rage would be fine. If wanting high light corals then MH/PC would be needed in the 300+ wattage.
Current USA & Coralife Aqualight are two very popular units.

For fish 3-5 small fish (2”-3”) or 2 larger (4”-6”) and one smaller fish is about the max you want to stock your tank with. I would go with smaller fish personally which are more enjoyable IMO and are less messy. liveaquaria.com has a section devoted to smaller marine fish.

Research is key to a successful SW tank and I’d highly recommend reading all the saltwater articles on this site, the articles on liveaquaria.com, & picking up a good book. All are excellent ways to get acquainted with all that’s required for this expensive hobby.

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Old 06-30-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
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i bought two damsels to help cycle my tank. But was wondering if anyone that has a 46 gal. aquarium can tell me what fish and coral you have. Thanks
I'm not shur on what fish i should get. I've realized that i bought a too small of a tank so now i can get only a few fish. So I would like to get some really nice fish and coral.

I'm interest in: yellow tang, lionfish, royal gramma, orchid dottyback, coral beauty angelfish, flame angelfish, long nose hawkfish, blue damselfish, ocellaris clownfish, onespot rabbitfish "fox", clown trigger, blue hippo tang, clown tang, naso tang, palani tang, sailfin tang, tennent tang, blue line trigger

I know lots of these fish aren't capable of being with each other, but was wondering if someone can help me pick out a good selection for my tank, and if you know other nice fish other then the ones i mentioned, let me know.
thanks for all your help
hope to here some solid information from someone.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kawasakizx636
i bought two damsels to help cycle my tank.
Very bad move. Read the article on cycling without fish in the articles above. Dont let your money is no object cause you to fall for the LFS tricks. Read up and know what you are doing.


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Old 07-02-2006, 11:57 AM   #8
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i bought two damsels to help cycle my tank
Ack, at least you found the right forum.


Personally, I would take the advice of your LFS with a grain of salt. There are a lot of people here that will answer your questions and give their advice and experience.

Dont let your money is no object cause you to fall for the LFS tricks.
Defenitely. Also, I agree with tec, if money is no object, a professional might be the better solution.

Well, keep us posted!
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:23 PM   #9
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I don't mean it that way. I'm saying money isn't an option for the prices of fish and coral. ex: I'll pay prices like 300$ a fish. I don't want to hire someone to do my tank, i want to learn how to do this stuff.
All i'm asking is if someone can give me a couple list of fishes and corals that i can put in my tank. I would like to have 2 clowns, a yellow tang, flame angel,?,?,?,?,? with crabs, snails, shrip, star fish. And anything else i can put. And if u know a fish that is really nice that i haven't mensioned, write em down please. I would like to add lots of colourfull fish and coral.
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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2 clowns, a yellow tang, flame angel
And maybe a small fish like a gobie or blenny, but that's about all your going to be able to add.

As far as corals, like said, it depends on your lighting. It's already been said that what you have now is not suffiecient for corals. So let us know what you plan to upgrade your lighting too so we can help you more.

But keep in mind that most corals and fish require and established tank. You aren't going to eb able to get all your fish immediately. It will take patience.

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