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Old 01-01-2011, 12:01 AM   #1
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I really love Caribbean fish

This is the stocking setup I was thinking of doing for the 55 gallon FOWLR tank I am going to set up in the summer. I really love Caribbean fish, because I have snorkeled in the Virgin Islands before, so that is what I want to base the tank on. I am going to get most if not all of the fish from LiveAquaria. Also, in what order should I plan on adding things to the tank.

80(+?) lb Florida Live Sand (LiveAquaria)
-For 4-5” bed for Jawfish
-For Deep Sand Bed
80 lb Caribbean Live Rock (LiveAquaria)
The Keep It Clean Caribbean Package (LiveAquaria)
Package Contains:
-20 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
-15 Astraea Turbo Snails
-20 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
-1 Sally Lightfoot Crab or Fighting Conch
-1 Arrow Crab
-2 Emerald Crab
-3 Peppermint Shrimp
-1 Coral Banded Shrimp
-10 Nassarius Snails
Chaetomorpha Algae
-In Model 1 Proflex Sump/Refugium
1 Pincushion Urchin
1 Brittle Sea Star, Red
1 Rock Flower Anemone
1 Colored Cluster Duster
1 Royal Gramma (Fairy) Basslet
4 (+/-?) Flame Cardinal
1 Pygmy (Cherub) Angelfish
1 (+/-?) Sergeant Major Damselfish
2 Yellowhead Jawfish
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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Sand Bed Calculator
you are going to need 117 pounds for a 5" sand bed.

anemones need more light than a FOWLR will have over it. i also wouldn't bother with 10 nassarius snails, or you are going to have to target feed them. there won't be enough food in the tank for them to live. you will probably have to target feed the red brittle starfish too.
they don't eat detritus, they eat uneaten food. meaty foods that hit the bottom. if there is enough food for them to eat without target feeding, this tank will crash in no time.

you should purchase the live rock and sand and cycle the tank, then in about a month or so when the tank is cycled (depending on how much dead stuff came in on the live rock), purchase a few things here and there from a local store.
there are just some things i wouldn't add, like the coral banded, 10 nassarius, and the urchin.
maybe 2 or 3 large nassarius would be plenty.
the hermits will eat the astrea snails, so you'll have to replace them every so often. they'll also fight each other for shells.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:56 PM   #3
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Version 2

Ok, thank you very much. Here is my second version of the list:

120 lb Florida Live Sand (LiveAquaria)
-For 4-5” bed for Jawfish
-For Deep Sand Bed
80 lb Caribbean Live Rock (LiveAquaria)
Build Your Own Reef Cleaner Package (LiveAquaria)
-3 Peppermint Shrimp
-1 Sally Lightfoot Crab or Fighting Conch (Which one?)
-1 Arrow Crab
-2 Emerald Crab
-3 Nassarius Snails (wont I need a few in the refugium too?)
-20 (+/-?) Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
-15 (+/-?) Astraea Turbo Snails
-20 (+/-?) Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
-1 Brittle Sea Star (instead of Red Brittle Sea Star?)
Chaetomorpha Algae
-In Model 1 Proflex Sump
1 Pincushion Urchin
1 Rock Flower Anemone
-I’m not using the usual lighting for a FOWLR (I think), I want to leave myself open to the possibility of corals in the future. I’m going to use this: Aquarium Lighting: Coralife Lunar Aqualights Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights.
1 Colored Cluster Duster
1 Royal Gramma (Fairy) Basslet
4 (+/-?) Flame Cardinal
1 Pygmy (Cherub) Angelfish
1 (+/-?) Sergeant Major Damselfish
2 Yellowhead Jawfish

Also, could I provide the hermit crabs with extra shells, to reduce fighting? I'm a little concerned about the Sergeant Major too, whenever I saw them in the wild, they were in large groups. Will I be OK with only one? Also will it bother any of the other fish? Also is 4 Flame Cardinals too few or too many? I never saw them in the wild because they are naturally nocturnal, so I could never get a feel for their behavior.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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I'm not a salt guy (yet) but I thought urchins need a well established tank (like 1+ years old) in order to have enough to eat. Am I confusing them with something else?
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #5
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urchins will eat pretty much anything as far as i have seen, except for cyano of course.
no, you won't need nassarius snails in the refugium.
the red brittle is fine, you'll just have to target feed it, as you will the other brittle star.
i would take the fighting conch over the sally lightfoot.
that coralife fixture you are thinking of won't support many corals. according to the website, they don't even carry a 48" fixture, which is what you will need.
something like this would be better-
Aquarium Lighting for Freshwater and Reef Systems: Nova Extreme Compact SLR T-5 Fixtures
but i would want a 6 lamp t-5 fixture so that i could have even more options.
this is a very good choice-
Aquarium Lighting for Reef Systems: Current Nova Extreme Pro Saltwater T-5 Fixtures

i wouldn't add any damselfish to the tank. they are very aggressive in closed systems and usually torture the other tank mates.
i've never kept flame cardinals, so i couldn't tell you.

i would stock slowly. by the time everything is cycled, you'll probably have a whole new fish list. i would just order the rock and sand, and set the tank up and let it cycle while you read up and look at other people's tanks and experiences with their livestock.
i'm guessing you wanted to order all of those things at one time to save on shipping, but it's not a good thing to add all livestock at once. it will be a shock to the small bacteria colony you will have had populate your tank during the cycle. if you add a little bit at a time, the bacteria colony grows to accommodate the new arrivals.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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Sorry I haven't posted a reply sooner, I accidentally tripped a spam filter when I posted those links and had to sort that out.
I don't intend to add everything at once (I learned this in freshwater) this is just what I want the final manifest of the tank to be in the end. I will use the second light that you suggested.
Will a 300 watt in-line heater be sufficient? (the tank will be in my basement where it can get pretty cold)
Will a 780 gph pump in the sump (now a proflex model 2) be too much?
And will a coralife supper skimmer work well enough?
Finally, can I use 4 of these (lol, isn't this what got me muted in the first place?): https://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.c...1&pcatid=20171 (the p320 model) provide enough current. And can I fit 2 of them with these: https://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.c...3&pcatid=11363 (how well do these work by the way?)
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #7
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no, a 780 gph pump shouldn't be too much for a return. which overflow box are you getting? you'll need to get something about 600gph or less, and use a ball valve on your pump to regualte water and exactly match the overflow for best results.

eh..coralife super skimmers wouldn't be my choice.
this-
Reef Octopus NWB-110 4" Internal Protein Skimmers
or the 150 (the model above it) would be my choice.

those seio prop pumps work very well. i like them a lot. i would go with a couple 530gph pumps for starters, and then decide if you need more.

no, you can't use hydor flo wave maker attachments on them, but you don't need them anyway. the prop pumps have a dispersed flow.
those hydor flo's work ok, but dramatically cut down the pumps power because it uses water flow to turn that deflector. you need a pump with a thin output nozzle for it. don't bother.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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I'm getting an Eshopps overflow (p300: rated for 300 gph) if I need it to get more flow from it, it shouldn't be hard to add another tube.
What about this for a skimmer, Reef Aquarium Filtration & Protein Skimmers: Eshopps In-Sump Protein Skimmers
Not having an inline heater does put a crimp in my plans, do you know of any heaters that would fit in the proflex 2 and are powerful enough for the tank?
I did some research on Flame cardinals and i can only have 1 by the way.
Would a porcelain crab be reasonable at some point in time?
And what about a neon blue goby?
And I really like the shoals of fish in the Caribbean, would a school of maybe 3 Blue Reef Chormis just end in chromis (and other fish) carnage?
Finally, should I plan on having the feather dusters in the refugium; to keep it from being accidentaly mauled by the urchin.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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eshoppes skimmers are not nearly as good quality as octopus. for the same money or a few dollars more you can have a superior product.
if you are buying a 300 gph verflow, you only need a pump rated for 500 gph tops.
yes, porcelain crabs are ok, and cool.
i wouldn't worry about the urchin hurting feather dusters.
you can try chromis. i prefer the blue reef cromis.
honestly though, you are used to viewing open water schools. that tank is not the best place for a large amount of grouped swimmers. if it was a 300 gallon, i'd say sure! get a bunch of anthias, or similar, but in a 55, you have to be realistic. to answer your question, yes-a group of blue-green chromis seem to always end up as one chromis....
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:48 PM   #10
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What if I added a second u tube though? Wouldn't that incease the capacity of the oveflow box (and provide a backup in case of a siphon loss)
I'll see if I can get my hands on an octoopus skimmer.
All right so porceliin crab is good, would it be symbiotic with the anenome?
And chromis are out, I can't bring myself to buy 3 fish knowing 2 would die violently.
And what about the neon goby?
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