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Old 01-16-2004, 04:22 PM   #1
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Newbie Livestock Advice

Hello Aquarium Advisors!

This will be my first attempt at a saltwater aquarium. Though, a reef aquarium is my ultimate goal, I would like to know which reef-friendly, colorful fish and inverts I can afford to hold in a 55 gallon tank with ~95lbs live rock and a 2-2.5 inch DSB?

A list of preferred fish, inverts, and corals. I recognize this list is by far too large for a 55 gallon. I am looking for combinations of the list below that would work well in my system and with each other. Though everything on the list is something I want to successfully keep one day, items with asterisk are "really wants".

*blue/green chromis (how many do you need before they school?)
*royal gramma
chevron tang
flame angel
*clown fish (percula pair)
sand sifting fish?? (not sure of common names)
shrimp
clams
hermit crabs
various snails
brittle star
*starfish
brain coral
feather duster
anemone that will host clowns
mushrooms
any other recommendations?

Additional information you may want to know:

I would like to begin with VHO lighting, due to cost. However, I may migrate to more potent lighting as needed.

I would like to have a sump (would 20 gallons be sufficient?) with a protein skimmer, ozonizer, and 2 250W heaters (I live in Iowa).

Also, I would eventually like to have a refugium at a different flow rate than the sump that will allow me to grow macroalgae and pods.

Please let me know if you need any additional info regarding my plan.

Thank you in advance for your time!
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:33 PM   #2
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*royal gramma
*clown fish (percula pair)
*starfish (fromia or linckias or brittle/serpent stars)
flame angel (these are considered questionable, some will pick on corals and some won't)

Inverts will not add to your bioload and I see nothing wrong with what you have listed with a couple of exceptions, clams...you will probably not have enough light for clams unless you do ALOT of VHO. Anemones, these are only recommended for advanced aquarists and mature and stable tanks (1 year). The clowns do not need an anemone and will usually tank to alternate hosts like hairy shrooms, toadstool leathers and some LPS corals. My button polyps and star polyps host my percula and before I sold it, my bubble coral hosted it. sandsifting starfish...they will eat the fauna in your sandbed.

20g would be fine for a sump for a 55g tank
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Old 01-17-2004, 01:04 AM   #3
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reefrunner,

Thank you for the quick reply.

Quote:
sandsifting starfish...they will eat the fauna in your sandbed.
Will a sandsifting starfish eat too much? Will there be enough fauna left over for crabs and snails?

Also, are there fish not on my list that would fit nicely in my proposed system?

Thank You,

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Old 01-17-2004, 08:10 AM   #4
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Will a sandsifting starfish eat too much? Will there be enough fauna left over for crabs and snails?
You don't want anything to eat your sand fauna, you want snails that are herbivorous, not carnivorous same goes for crabs (best left out of the tank, IMO). The sandsifting star will eat ALL the fauna in short order, then possibly starve.

Quote:
Also, are there fish not on my list that would fit nicely in my proposed system?
Sure there are, the list is too numerous to mention. If you got what I recommended from your list...you would have room for another smallish fish.
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Old 01-17-2004, 07:02 PM   #5
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Ok, that sounds great!

I just have one last follow-up question.

Quote:
fromia or linckias or brittle/serpent stars
Are these safe starfish that will not eat all of the fauna in my live sand?

Thank you,

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Old 01-17-2004, 09:08 PM   #6
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Yes, these are reef safe and are not sand fauna predators. If you get one, please keep in mind, stars are very sensitive to changes in salinity, temp and ph, therefore require a long acclimation minimum of 4 hour slow drip acclimation and in the case of a linckia more on the order of 6-8 hours.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:47 PM   #7
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He posed a question.
Quote:
*blue/green chromis (how many do you need before they school?)
Anyone have an answer for this? I to am interested.

If your wanting a fuge for your 55, you could always consider buying a 30 gallon long sump and building it with a large overflow area -->bubble trap---> large fuge area --->return area. This would cost you about 60 bucks for some acryllic, silicone, a 55W PC, and then your done. Check out this link for some good ideas on sumps. Saved me time and money in the long run when considering adding a fuge later or building ahead.
http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html

Good Luck!
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Old 01-19-2004, 03:22 PM   #8
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Brisc0,

Thank you for the advice on the refugium. I'll definitely take a look at that solution.

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