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Old 08-05-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
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Starting from the very beginning

WARNING ! ALERT.

Right,

This is my first saltwater set-up but am looking for something for my new house. I used to keep tropical freshwater for years when living in America but gave up when my mother came back to Ireland.

Finally set up my old 90 gallon tank at home about two weeks ago to find that

1) it was heavy;
2) it was old; and
3) the glass actually broke due to the water pressure. Two of the sides split and it came apart. I actually attribute this to the move from the US to Ireland many years ago.

Fortunately, I did this test outside in the garden so the water going everywhere wasn't a huge problem (ok, the dog got a bit wet as she was approaching the tank when it went!).

Anyway, I've going back to the old drawing board and the local stores to see about prices, etc for what I can afford. I've also been doing a lot more planning on what I want in the tank in the longer term. To start with, I won't be going for corals for a while but hopefully I will get there so everything is being planned in that direction.

I'm looking for some opinions on my proposed set-up

THE TANK

Juwel 300 litre tank (79 US gallons) that comes with heater, lights and filter. I'll just be using the standard set-up to start
Red Sea Prizm protein skimmer
Fluval 305 External Canister Filter (do I need this if the tank comes with a filter?)
30kg (66 lb to all the colonials out there ... yes, I'm one as well, I've got Irish, Scottish, English and American roots ... talk about a messed up family and childhood AND I watched "The Great Escape on DVD last night) of live rock
Now on to the more interesting things:

THE INVERTS
2 x longspine black Urchins
1 x Red starfish
assorted numbers of Electric Blue Hermit Crabs, dwarf blue leg hermit crabs
assorted numbers of Blood red Fire shrimp, banded coral shrimp and peppermint shrimp.
(I've read everywhere that I need about 20 - 30 of the crabs and shrimp but it seems a lot)


The Fish
2 x false clownfish (black and white)
1 x coral beauty angelfish
1 x lawnmower blenny (for algae control)
1 x yellowtail damsel
1 x Royal Gamma
1 x yellow tang
I've read that all these fish should get on together quite well. I'd also love to have 2 x false clownfish with normal colouring but am worried about mixing that many in the same tank. I'm also worried about overstocking the tank even with what I've got above. I've read that the tang is a great fish to introduce first but can get quite territorial? What order would you all suggest I add them? Will the lawnmower blenny survive with all the inverts cleaning up the algae or should I drop him?

Other fish that interest me are Foxface Rabbit fish, and some of the reef safe wrasses.

This is intended to be a long term project with everything kicking off over the next month or so. I would hope to be adding fish around about November/December and then adding fish over the next year.

Anyway, any comments or ideas would be welcome. Everything is still in the overall planning stage so there is nothing that isn't open to discussions.

Andy.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:42 PM   #2
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Looks like you've done a fair amount of research.

So, you are thinking of a FOWLR tank (no corals)? The lighting system that comes with that tank is pretty weak.

Have you considered adding a sump to your design?
I don't think that protein skimmer gets very high grades from those who have used it. I may be wrong, but hopefully others with experience will chime in.
If you use 1Ĺ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of tank capacity and a good protein skimmer then the cannister and other filters are not necessary.
I don't see any power heads for water movement included. You may want to look at getting a couple of Koralia 3 or 4's or modded MaxiJet 1200s.

I prefer snails to hermit crabs, and a variety of snails to clean different areas (rock, glass, substrate, algae, detritus).

Your stocking list is fine, but the blenny will probably die of starvation once the algae is under control. The FoxFace may get a little too big for your tank (7" - 9"). The yellow tang should also be in a 100 gallon or larger tank, but mostly in a longer (6') tank.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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Read this article for equipment needs

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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I agree, you have done some great research. I would ditch the damsel, as they can become aggressive as they get older. The lawnmower blenny will quickly starve once the algae is gone. I find it easier to eliminate the source of the algae than provide a band aid solution.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I'm not thinking about corals for the time being. I think I will want to expand into them at a later stage but for the time being I would rather get myself back to speed to without everything else confusing me. They also seem to need a bit of experience which I need to get still.

Sorry all, forgot to put the powerheads on my list of equipment. I'm thinking of two Hydor Koralia 3 pumps. They do 3200 litres per hour each (850gph) so will give me more than enough water circulation. IN fact with the skimmer, I'd have about 25 times the volume per hour. I was thinking of 2 of the Koralia 2 pumps which would be 2300 lph so about 15 times the volume per hour also but am thinking about when I want to upgrade later to a wavemaker, etc.

I did think about a sump but to be honest they seem to be quite complicated to set up or expensive to buy readymade. I did think about the Aqua-Medic Riff 500 or theAqua One Marisys 240 readymade systems but thought I would be better off starting off without one and expanding to get one later once I got my head around everything else (Saltwater seems to be much more complicated than the way I used to keep tropicals). I'm also a little bit wary of the size required in the cabinet, etc.The other thing I forgot to mention was that I will use a substrate from aragonite aiming for about 1.5 inches thick so no under tray filtration.

I did read through that article (very good it is too) which is where most of my other questions came from. I've spent the last week trying to get answers for them on the internet and annoying my local store (I think they see a lot of money coming their way).

So you would advise ditching the blenny, damsel and tang? I'd picked that damsel as it was supposed to be one of the less aggressive ones. I’ve read some really nice things about the Marine Betta also but I did read they were difficult to keep. I’d also love to have a dwarf lionfish but I think they all get too big to be kept with the invertebrates and smaller fish (ready made meals). Any suggestions on what to replace them with? Perhaps a couple of Banggai Cardinalfish or Redheaded Fairy Wrasse? Ornate Goby to keep the bottom stirred up?
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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I love my Hydors, you can safely go with the 3s.
A sump/fuge is a great thing to have and there are some folks here that know that stuff like the back of their hands.
Personally, I like the deeper sand beds (but that is just personal preference). I have a 5 inch bed in my 125 and a 4 inch in my 55. Undergravel filters are really not used in the SW world and are not used as much in the FW world.
I would replace the blenny with a shrimp goby, coupled with a pistol shrimp. My pistol moves sand like you wouldn't believe. Just make sure your LR is placed firmly on the bottom of the tank. Here are some shrimp gobies:
LiveAquaria.com - Live fish, corals, inverts, plants, live rock & sand
That wrasse would work nicely as well. I would look into some egg crate to prevent it from jumping.
Cardinal fish could work or maybe some anthias:
Anthias for Sale: Sunburst, Lyretail and other Anthias
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