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Old 04-03-2010, 02:38 AM   #1
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Stocking Questions!

So I am just finishing getting my tank's hardware assembled(20 long display with a 29g home built refugium with skimmer) and I'm starting to think of what I would like to stock my tank with (not all at once obviously but over time as the tank matures)

1. Stocking the refugium

The refugium portion of the sump is 14"x12"x12" and this is my plan:

2" base layer of fiji mud across the whole fuge, then egg crating the fuge in half. on the first half, where the water enters the fuge i will put LR rubble and Maiden's Hair leaving some exposed mud (to maybe place some flame clams later on) In the second half I want to put a 3" layer of volcanic substrate ( i hear it has iron and other good stuff for your plants)with a ball of chaeto floating above. Also I plan on stocking the Fuge with pods, feeder shrimp,and dwarf feather dusters.

Is this a functional design? Will this make a good breeding ground for the pods and shrimp?

2. Stocking the CUC for main tank.

I have been doing some planning and have picked out a unique CUC, not sure if it's practical but that's why I'm posting before I even add water to my tank!

My main tank will have about 30-35 pounds of LR in it, I'm going to pick it up soon. (I live in South Florida and am going to a wholesale live rock company to pick pieces that fit my aquascape plans). The sand will be CaribSea live Bahama Oolite.

as for the CUC i planned... here it is:

Lettuce Nudibranch x1
Hermits (probably blue leg) x20
Nassarius Snails x10
Scooter Blenny x1
A shrimp (yet to be decided what type will fit my tank) x1 or x2?
sand sifting cucumber x1
tiger tail cucumber x1

Is this a reasonable CUC for my tank size? Will they take care of all my cleaning needs? I've ready cucumbers can bomb your tank if they get stressed or die but can a 1-2" cucumber do that to a 50g (adding all the water in the system) setup?

3. Fish Stock

Eventually I will want to start adding fish and coral to my aquarium once I've established and stabilized my rock, fuge and CUC to my ecosystem. I don't want to add that many fish since I know it's a small tank.

Here is the list:
Indigo Dottyback
Mandarin Dragonet Pair
Black Clown

I am hopping to be able to introduce all of my fish in a short period of time, how long should I wait between fish? I've read that dottyback's do well in groups... should I get a small school of them or would that be to much for my tank? Is this a reasonable amount of fish? Is a pair of Mandarins to much? Should I just have one? I know they need live food from my LR and my pods/shrimp from my fuge... will my size setup be able to support 2 of them?

4. Inverts

I don't plan on adding to many inverts, but the centerpiece of my tank will be a clam. Here it goes:

Maxima clam (I have 4 T5 bulbs 6 inches aove the water and he will be about 9" deep placed right in the center of the lighting.)

I am also considering an anemone but I'm still debating it. Some people have told me they are a pain. What would be a small (preferably carpet like) species that I could consider for my tank? Would a malu or a yellow carpet be a proper choice?

5. Corals

I have no idea what corals I want to incorporate yet. I have found a variety of different soft hard, sps, lps that I like but I would like to have everything else in place before going crazy on coral. I might get a simple mushroom coral or ricordea and a red gargonian to get me started and see where it goes from there. Eventually I'd like a brain coral.



As for my flow I'm going to be running a 265gph pump (guessing about 200-230gph after head loss). Is that going to be enough?? My pump also claims to have a "priming screen", will that prevent pods from making it to the tank or are they small enough to get past that? I recently read that I should have more power (closer to 300-350 gph) if I plan on having coral... is this true? Would a Mag Drive 3 be the right pump for my tank then?

Any suggestions, thoughts, comments, warnings... anything to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. I've planned this all out based on what I've read and I don't want to go any further without running it past some people who know more about this than me!
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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Question about your CUC choices, is that two cucumbers you're wanting to put in the 20G tank? I have a 29G and have a tiger sea cucumber, and I'm pushing it having it in there. I really should have waited to buy it until the tank was more mature, but so far it seems to be doing well (its been in there for a month+) Make sure you put the liverock down first! the first thing the cucumber did was dig a whole down into the sand. For the most part he stays on the surface now.
Shrimp, I have both a cleaner and peppermint shrimp in mine and both are doing well.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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Well first save some money and get regular aragonite sand. Not to fine or it will blow around your tank. Second I would not get a Sea cucumber at all. Your tank is to small for one let alone two. The same goes for the Mandarin, two will fight to the death and one will starve to death in such a small tank. Even with a fug with enough pods, your dottyback will eat the pods before the mandarin would. Mandarin /dragonets are very slow eaters and won't stand a chance in your setup.
More bad news: a Maxima clam grows pretty big and would out grow your tank. When they get excited they snap shut and will shoot water all over your floor.
An anemone needs a mature tank to have a chance of making it. A malu will not make it any way.
T-5 lighting is okay for almost any thing in a shallow tank, but clams and anemones would do better with MH (Metal Halides).
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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Well first save some money and get regular aragonite sand. Not to fine or it will blow around your tank. Second I would not get a Sea cucumber at all. Your tank is to small for one let alone two. The same goes for the Mandarin, two will fight to the death and one will starve to death in such a small tank. Even with a fug with enough pods, your dottyback will eat the pods before the mandarin would. Mandarin /dragonets are very slow eaters and won't stand a chance in your setup.
More bad news: a Maxima clam grows pretty big and would out grow your tank. When they get excited they snap shut and will shoot water all over your floor.
An anemone needs a mature tank to have a chance of making it. A malu will not make it any way.
T-5 lighting is okay for almost any thing in a shallow tank, but clams and anemones would do better with MH (Metal Halides).
Wow, I just read my Post and from your list the only things left are the LR, 1 dottyback and a clown. Okay, a few snails too. LOL
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:18 AM   #5
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So would a mandarin do ok if it was just him and a clown( no dottyback)? If I buy a clam at like 1" how long would it take to grow to 5" or so?? Couldn't I just bring him in to the lfs and trade him for a smaller one and some store credit? I've read that clowns can make homes from some lps coral... Is that a better choice than a anemone?
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #6
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A mandarin is a very slow eater and would wipe out the cocopod population in your tank in no time at all. They are starting to sell tank raised mandarins, but they still would get out done for their food by your clowns.
Here is a picture of my black and white clown hosting a plastic anemone.

So you don't need a real anemone and they may not host a real one anyway.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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Here's the same clown in a bed of Zoas.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:01 PM   #8
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The mud will need to be covered with a layer of sand. If not you`ll have a lot of dirty water in your tank. I have it in my refuge covered by about 1-2 inches of sand. Personally if I had it all over to do I would not get it. I dont see where it has accomplished anything.
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