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Old 04-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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Newbie coral start up.

Hey everyone, I was just looking for some advice on starting out with coral. I'd love some advice on which corals would be the best to start with as far as price, care level, and overall hardiness. I also am unsure on the parameters of which to keep them such as lighting, water levels ,temp, etc. I have a 162w T5 lighting unit with 2 10k bulbs and 1 blue actinic bulb on a 55 gallon tank. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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As far as price, and care level- you could start with leathers, mushrooms and other soft corals. Once you feel comfortable with those you could start with some LPS corals. You will need to upgrade lights though for more difficult corals.

Temp needs to be between 72-78. Alk needs to be between 8 and 12. Calcium needs to be in the range of 420-460 area. You will need to start using reef salt mixes. PH should be at 8.3 or as close as possible. Salinity should be between 1.023 and 1.025.

Is this an already established tank?
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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I'd suggest to try out zoas and mushrooms first. They're both inexpensive, unless you go for the designer zoas. They're also fairly easy to keep and should do well under your 3bulb t5 unit.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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I would have to agree with ARick, mushrooms and zoa's are the easiest. I seem to have gotten lucky with zenias to. Lucky enough to finally take in several rocks to the pet store and trade out for different corals.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for the help. My tank has been up for about a year and all my water levels are in the correct range. I'm not sure about the calcium level though. Is there a supplement to regulate the correct level?
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
Thank you so much for the help. My tank has been up for about a year and all my water levels are in the correct range. I'm not sure about the calcium level though. Is there a supplement to regulate the correct level?
There is a supplement you can add. It's called dosing. But to be honest, your best bet is really to switch to a reef grade salt that already has a bit more Ca, Mg, and other trace elements. Since you're going with softies first, you really don't need to dose. Even if you start adding some more Ca intense corals like SPS or LPS, you probably won't need to dose until they mature and get much bigger.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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What kind of lighting system do you guys suggest as an upgrade for a larger coral selection?
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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LEDs imo they cost a lot up front but are cheaper in the long run.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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One major question everyone failed to ask what kind of fish are you keeping a lot of them eat coral

good starter corals are leathers like these :

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/a...cfm?c=597+2856
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