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Old 01-26-2013, 01:03 AM   #1
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Thinking of doing an 'odd ball' reef....

Hello I am new to the world of fish keeping. Just finished cycling my 25 gal and adding fish tomorrow!

Anyways, I have always been fascinated with marine fish, especially the odd balls. So I was just sitting her at the computer looking at SW fish online, and I thought, I want to do a SW reef tank. Uh oh...

Anyways, I was thinking either a 20 long or 40 breeder. I'll probably go with the 20 long because I think it will be easier to find and I already have a space for it, but I may be getting a rack that can fit 40 breeder tanks.. We'll see...

This tank it is going to be really weird compared to other reef tanks, but it's what I want to do. I have NO idea what all I need for this, and I would also like to not have a sump if it is possible to get away W/O one.

This tank ( I think) will be mostly corals, inverts, and sea cucumbers and such. I am thinking of only doing 1 or 2 fish. Odd ones of course!
Fish I like are:

Mandarin Gobies
Sargassum Fish
Wartskin Angler
Clown Fish (I know they are not add but I do like them)
Dragonets/Blennys/Gobies
Filefish
Lion Fish (Dwarf of course)
Puffers
Scorpion Fish

I know I can't have all of these ( of course) but I would like to know 1 or 2 of them I could do. I know it also depends on the tank size, too! Has to be reef an invert safe. The fish I would like to have most are the Mandarin Gobies, Filefish and Puffer Fish.

For inverts I am thinking:

Electric Blue Hermit Crab
Dwarf Yellow Tip Hermit Crab
Sea Cucumber, Yellow
Feather Dusters
Lettuce Sea Slug
Blue Velvet Nudibrach
Sexy Shrimp
Harlequin Shrimp
Camel Shrimp
Turbo Snails

Now the more I think about it I should really do the 40 gallon, huh?

For corals, I am completely lost... I have no idea what I want, what is not easily killed, etc. Some that I like Mushroom coral, Tree Coral, Polyps, Sea Fans, Candy Cane coral, SPS corals, LPS Corals, I don't know. You tell me what to do LOL

So for equipment, what will I need? I know I need a heater, lights, filter, protein skimmer, what works best? Also, this is going to be put together with my birthday money. I'll probably get $300 or so from my parents, and $50-$100 from my grandparents. Is the enough to start a reef?

I know I am forgetting things, but this will get me started.

Thank you!
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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About the money, a tank and good lights, skimmer and all, plus the fish and live rocks may get pretty expensive.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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Wow...lots of info on that post ...so you have a 25g cycled and are adding fish tomorrow? What fish are you getting? What's the gameplan for that tank? A 20 is going to limit your stocking options. Go to sites like liveaquaria.com to see info on fish, suggested tank sizes, compatability, etc.

Then you are talking about a 20 or maybe a 40g? If you are going reef, I would think $300 is not going to go too far. Reefs cost a lot just in proper lighting and filtration.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:44 AM   #4
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Wow...lots of info on that post ...so you have a 25g cycled and are adding fish tomorrow? What fish are you getting? What's the gameplan for that tank? A 20 is going to limit your stocking options. Go to sites like liveaquaria.com to see info on fish, suggested tank sizes, compatability, etc.

Then you are talking about a 20 or maybe a 40g? If you are going reef, I would think $300 is not going to go too far. Reefs cost a lot just in proper lighting and filtration.
Yes, the 25 is a FW. I have a build thread you can cheack out so I don't gunk this thread up I have been looking a liveaquaria and that pet place looking at fish and such, but first hand experiences from here are better.

I would really love to go with a reef but yes I agree it would be VERY expensive... Is there a way I could do a FOWLR with some coral?
Like I said I don't know squat really about SW so I am depending on you guys!
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Anyone else have any tips?
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #6
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I would start out slowlywith it. the fish you want except maybe the clowns ar all fish you should have an established system for. You can start out with the basics and and build up from there which you'll have to do on that type of budget
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Okay.. So what kind of lights would I need?

Would this work for a ten gal?

http://www.aquatraders.com/20-inch-4...re-p/52302.htm
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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Okay.. So what kind of lights would I need?

Would this work for a ten gal?

http://www.aquatraders.com/20-inch-4...re-p/52302.htm
Are you getting a 10 gallon? If you have room for the 40 gal I say go for the 40! Petco in Richland is having the $1 per gallon sale til the end of this month. For the fish you have mentioned liking, a 40 gallon gives you many more options than a 10 gallon. Mandarins and anglers can be difficult to train to accept frozen food. I don't know that from experience, just from reading other people's experiences.

I think for a 40 gallon reef you will need:

a protein skimmer. They make some protein skimmer/refugium combos.

45-50lbs of rock (a mix of live and base would work).

Sand. I use Pool Filter Sand. It's inexpensive, but lacks the bits and pieces of shells that aragonite sand has. Live sand isn't necessary. Especially if you get a few pieces of live rock.

Power heads for flow. You'd be best to have at least 2.

A heater. Probably a 200-300 watt heater.

A refractometer. The hydrometers are ok, but refractometers are best. I really need to get one.

An RODI unit. You don't want to use tap water in your tank. It has to much organic stuff in it and will cause algae and cyano problems galore. You can also use RO water from the grocery store, but for best results and the fact that you don't have to drive to get water, RODI units are the way to go.

Really good lights. If you want to do SPS you need high lighting. For that I am not alot of help but there are so many people on here that can help you with that.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:54 PM   #9
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Yeah, after looking at costs I am going with a ten gal

Maybe when I have a job I will do a bigger reef! Haha!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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That 10g will really limit what you can put in there and you've got to keep a very close eye on the parameters, as they can change easily and quickly in such a small tank. Reefs need consistency.
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