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Old 09-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #21
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i have about 4 pieces similar to that. some are that beige colour, some are a deep rusty red. i've given them a thorough rinse and when i rub my hand on it small sand sized fragments rub off. is this normal? what is the best way to cycle a SW tank? should i use live rock, or pure ammonia, or small fish?
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #22
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Bump! Still looking for more advice. I think I'd really like to have a star fish or a sea horse. Does that complicate the situation at all? Or is it the same as any other fish?
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:30 PM   #23
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RO water is better due to phosphates (algea food) which is in most all tap water sources but not in ro water.

Fantastic post on fishless cycle that I followed when I set up my tank four months ago.

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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29 gallon hex, canister filter, too much live rock, two powerheads. Tank setup June 2012. Two clowns, fire shrimp, 2 chocolate chip starfish, 3 snails
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #24
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I cycled 1 tank with LR, LS and shrimp, and the other with small amount of LR, LS, ammonia and seeded filter with media from my 55g. Throwing a raw Shrimp in there is easiest IMO cuz you don't have to worry about dosing ammonia every day or how much to dose.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #25
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BTW, sea horses are best left to a species- only tank cuz they need low-flow and will starve if they have to complete for food cuz they're really slow. You could have a sea star down the road, but the tank needs to be up for many months first so that you have enough for it to eat and it doesn't starve to death.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:03 PM   #26
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How many frozen shrimp should I throw into a 60g? Acknowledging that I may have a bunch of algae, and will keep up on the maintenance, CAN I use tap water? This question pretty much will make or break this for me. I will not be using RO. If i cant use tap water i wont be doing this. What is the difference between ocellaris and percula clownfish? How important is a quarantine tank? If I am running two ac110's on a 60g do I need a power head too? What media should I put in the aquaclears? How important is the brand of salt? Topfin salt from Petsmart is way cheaper than instant ocean. Is that a safe thing to save money on?
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #27
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How many frozen shrimp should I throw into a 60g?
Don't know. Internet will tell you though.

Acknowledging that I may have a bunch of algae, and will keep up on the maintenance, CAN I use tap water? This question pretty much will make or break this for me. I will not be using RO. If i cant use tap water i wont be doing this.
Absolutely. Just know that water top offs using tap water can't be completely countered by water changes in the long run as pure water evaporates leaving residual minerals from your tap water in the system. Algae growth can be hampered by reducing ambient light on tank and regulating lights on tank to 8 hours per day.

What is the difference between ocellaris and percula clownfish?
Online, liveaquaria.com

How important is a quarantine tank?
I am no expert but for a beginner it seems that a quarantine tank would be one more thing to deal with that could run into it's own set of issues...water parameters, cycling ect. I'd say leave it to the experts and don't worry about quarantine, worry more about what to look for when buying a fish and the proper acclimation instead and don't buy any fish online...reducing time out of tank, ect.

If I am running two ac110's on a 60g do I need a power head too?
Yes. Maybe two. Water flow is important to reduce dead spots and bring water from bottom of tank to top of tank (you won't have this problem from midway up the tank to the surface but will at the bottom half of the tank

What media should I put in the aquaclears?
Not familiar with this product. If it is a carbon holder that is what I would put in it. If it is to hold bio ball type media I would skip it and buy more rock for the tank (it will be your main source of filtration anyway)

How important is the brand of salt? Topfin salt from Petsmart is way cheaper than instant ocean. Is that a safe thing to save money on?
Have never used any cheap salt. Salinity, ph and temp are most critical to make sure stay where they should be in fowlr system. salinity and temp are easily controlled. Ph could drop over time if salt did not have enough buffer capacity, ect. The more I dig into saltwater the more I believe I am keeping water not fish...don't skimp on salt, recurring cost is not substantial but start up can be painful...
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:01 AM   #28
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Thanks for the great info. I will get instant ocean salt and start looking for a power head. So far I'm mentally preparing a stock list. Please tell me if this is too much, or if I could add more, or if I have any compatibility issues or if any of these critters are particularly complex to keep. Overall tdo inverts have any different needs than the rest of the fish?

2 x ocellaris clownfish
1 x yellow tang OR 1 x one spot foxface
1 x purple dottyback
1 x copperband butterfly fish
2 x yellowtail damselfish
1 x debelius reef lobster
1 x blue and pink sea star
3 x spiny star astraea snail
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:47 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleIsStoked
Thanks for the great info. I will get instant ocean salt and start looking for a power head. So far I'm mentally preparing a stock list. Please tell me if this is too much, or if I could add more, or if I have any compatibility issues or if any of these critters are particularly complex to keep. Overall tdo inverts have any different needs than the rest of the fish?

2 x ocellaris clownfish
1 x yellow tang OR 1 x one spot foxface
1 x purple dottyback
1 x copperband butterfly fish
2 x yellowtail damselfish
1 x debelius reef lobster
1 x blue and pink sea star
3 x spiny star astraea snail
FYI - you need rock to setup your tank, even if you do shrimp method. I'm not sure it was clear from the posts. If money conscious I would get a few live rocks of a porous nature and the rest dead/base rock for your cycling. The live rock will seed other rock/decorations' surfaces. I read 1 to 2 lbs of rock per gallon was a good level of rock to have in your tank. Basically the live rock surface area is what the beneficial bacteria attach to so the more lbs the more surface area. I have found the live vs base rock distinction to be very loosely explained. Rock can't be live rock unless it is in salt water, dry rock=base/dead rock. Some live rock you get at fish store will have little critters in/on it.

Do not fully stock tank right after cycle. Patience is key. Using the shrimp method you could go 2-3 fish at first adding every couple of weeks would be a conservative but probably consensus approach (based on what I have read). Any cleaners (snails, shrimps, ect) hold off as long as you can before adding them, I could only wait 2 months...


Clownfish - okay, add them at the same time (paired at the store is best)
Tang and fox face - 60g probably too small but varying opinions on this point
Dottyback - I had a bad experience with this beautiful but extremely aggressive fish (ate legs of fire shrimp and hassled my clowns). LFS guy i have respect for said he no longer caries them after too many problems. I will never get another dottyback or take advise from store I bought him from.
Damselfish - I wouldn't. Very territorial fish and won't get along with clownfish. Very difficult to get out of tank once in there as well...

I'll tell you what not to do...don't do what I did/do and drop into fish store with limited options and get something you know nothing about (I no longer take my kids...). Write it down and do some online research and go back if it is still what you want.

Don't know anything about other fish. My reading on this site and others leads me to believe bigger the tank is better and even a 60 is small.... Look at compatibility chart at liveaquaria.com.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:47 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleIsStoked
Thanks for the great info. I will get instant ocean salt and start looking for a power head. So far I'm mentally preparing a stock list. Please tell me if this is too much, or if I could add more, or if I have any compatibility issues or if any of these critters are particularly complex to keep. Overall tdo inverts have any different needs than the rest of the fish?

2 x ocellaris clownfish
1 x yellow tang OR 1 x one spot foxface
1 x purple dottyback
1 x copperband butterfly fish
2 x yellowtail damselfish
1 x debelius reef lobster
1 x blue and pink sea star
3 x spiny star astraea snail
Sorry, but the tanks too small for a yellow tang. YT damsels I've heard can be very mean, so personally I stay away from damsels (except my clown of course ) but that's up to you. You're going to need more than 3 snails for a 60g. I currently have about 30 snails in my 55g (of course I've built up to this over couple months) and I still have a little green on my rocks and scrub the walls every few days. And I have about 15 hermits too. I know nothing about lobsters, so hopefully someone who does will chime in.
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