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Old 12-24-2004, 01:55 PM   #1
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Thinking of venturing into the SW world

Greetings. I am seriously considering setting up a 27 gallon hexagonal tank as a reef setup. However i have never seen one in a hex tank (just thought it would be interesting to say the least). I say reef because my fiancee has always loved corals (brain amonst other styles). I know they are the hardest to maintain but i am seriously up to the task. The problem is that i haven't had a lot of time to really research what i will need besides the obvious stuff like a protien skimmer, light w/ moonlights, test kits (have already), RO filter system (or purchased RO water), a filter system and some power heads. I plan on having a bunch of cleaning shrimp/hermit crabs in the tank, plus LR and LS (i am unsure of the amounts needed or the calculation needed to figure it out). I know personally that the only fish i am really interested in having in the tank is a mandarin goby. There then that i am pretty open to 1 other fish in the tank. I know that i seem sketchy but it is just the starting stages for me as it probably wont' be happening for some time. I am mostly looking for information and advice on starting one up (my angel fish spawning is enough for me right now)
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:06 AM   #2
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I don't want to discourage you, but a hex isn't the best tank design for a SW tank. It can be done of course, but they typically have a small surface area which limits what you can keep in there. Also, IMO, a tank less than 55g is not enough to supply the needed natural food for a mandarin. Even a 55 would need to be a mature tank with a very well established population of pods. I would suggest buying a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner if you don't already have it. This is an excellent book that will serve you for a long time. If I wanted a mandarin dragonet, and this is just my opinion, I would go with at least a 75 gallon tank and I wouldn't add the mandarin for at least a year. That is pretty conservative but, in reef tanks, conservative usually equals success. You will have room for a much more diverse selection of corals in a 75 and you'll have an easier time lighting and filtering the tank as opposed to a hex tank. Again, JMHO.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:26 AM   #3
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I agree, hex's are not the usual types of SW tanks that you see, but I believe it can be done with work and patience. Like logan says, please dont put a mandarin in a new 27g tank. It takes time to grow a stable population of pods (mandarins usually will only eat these, often times not prepared/frozen foods).
About your LR/LS, its usually good to go for 1-2lbs of LR/gal of tank, although I'm not sure how you'll set it up, but it can be done. There's ways to make stacking the rocks very stable. As for your LS, theres a link at the top of this page to "Calculators" one of which will help you decide how many lbs of LS you need for a bed. Beds range from 1-2" to 4" but I would stick with a thinner one if I were you, less work, but still has good advantages. Also, you might need some snails or other inverts that will stir up your sand every now and then. I'm not an expert (still more of a beginner) but HTH. Merry Xmas
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Old 12-25-2004, 04:28 PM   #4
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Thank you all very much for your replies. It has seriously given me something to consider. I always liked the Mandarins and knew they were a really delicate fish. When i can get a house (after my wedding) i will be getting a much larger tank, so that now confirms that my hex will be going towards a breeding tank for my FW angelfish. Longanj: I will pick that book up. Thanks for the recommendation and no i am not discouraged .... I am really patient with a lot of things. My occupation is a chef ... you wanna see some things that take time and patience ... again, thanks!
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