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Old 09-06-2005, 05:41 PM   #1
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Total newbie with my first question of many!

I'm brand new to this forum and to saltwater aquariums in general. I don't even have a tank yet, in fact. I spent years with a freshwater aquarium, and I learned the hard way how fragile that was; my impression has always been that a SW tank is even more of a balancing act, so I'm researching it before diving in head first.

During a recent visit to a local saltwater fish store, I received some advice that sounded good and sincere, although now I'm questioning it, not only because I've seen many disparaging remarks here about the advice from fish stores, but also because the guy gave me the impression that it isn't really all that complicated to run a SW aquarium... An idea that I suspected was wrong, and which has quickly been totally negated when I started reading all this talk of phosphates and nitrates and cycling and special (distilled?) water and special lighting and on and on... Anyhow, he told me about live rock and said that I would need it to start the aquarium.

In discussions on live rock here, I have seen mention of the creatures that come along with the live rock. Some of the questions have centered around whether certain creatures are desirable for whatever you intend for your particular tank. So my question (finally) is: What do you do if your live rock brings in an animal that won't work with the intended tank? Is there a kinder option than killing it? What if my live rock brings in little starfish that won't work with coral, and I have my heart set on coral?

I don't even kill bugs. (Ok, except for roaches and centipedes... But everyone else just gets gently relocated outdoors. ; ) )

Thanks for any advice... I imagine I will have countless questions for you all as I get started.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!!!! My experience with what I've read on the site is that if you have an animal that is undesirable you use traps (coke bottle method for example) and either take them to the LFS or possibly put it in your fuge, and thats assuming it's something you want to keep but is at risk in the large tank. I am sure there are many other options and others will be sure to chime in.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:54 PM   #3
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The store I bought my live rock from assured me they could take any "undesirable" creatures back since their reef tank is so full creatures it's almost impossible for them to know what they are selling you with each hunk of rock. On my rock I got a starfish, a clam, and a shrimp. I was also told to view my tank in the evening and early morning as their may be critters that I will never see during the day residing in my tank 8O
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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I agree, with gsxguru2. Many fishstores will be happy to take your little critters off your hand and even give you in store credit. I just took an emerald crab back that got too big for my tiny tank and got a bunch of snails and dwarf hermits in exchange.
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39 gallon (2yrs) 40lbs live sand. 23 lbs LR (still collecting) , 1 turbo snail, 5 Nasarius snails, 10 blue knuckle hermits, 1 zebra hermit, 1 scarlet hermit, 5 red tip hermits, 1 Green Chromis, 1 Blue Damsel, ? Ricordia, candy cane coral.

135gallon (2 months)
125lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock, 2 175W Metal Halide, 1 175W VHO Actinic (so far). Berlin Protein Skimmer in 40 Gallon Sump. 2 Maxi Jet 1200's. 10 Nassarius, 10 mexican turbos, 10 astreas, 20 Blue Leg Hermits, 20 Scarlet Hermits, 5 Emerald crabs, 5 peppermint shrimp. 1 Copper Band butterfly, 2 False Perculas, 1 Javanese Damsel.
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome and the info!

I'm relieved to hear that the stores will take them — I was afraid that they might be so common and/or undesirable that the stores wouldn't want them.

gsxrguru2, what is a "fuge"?
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:50 AM   #6
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Hope you don't mind me throwing in a newbie live rock question here! How long before you start seeing the 'critters'? I've had live rock in my tank for 5 days now, and has started seeing a few 'pods' (I believe), but that's it. What's normal for seeing the critters? Right away? If so, then I don't have any. A week? Two weeks? I'm just getting a bit concerned because I'm not seeing much yet, but maybe I'm just too impatient!
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
gsxrguru2, what is a "fuge"?
Refugium.

I'd also like to welcome you to AA. Get Robert Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" for a good read before you target or buy anything. Very helpful beginner's book - all except the cycling with fish part. The book is a little older than that newer cycling process with grocery store shrimp.

Good luck to you.
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:33 PM   #8
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the "special" water is RO or RO/DI water..
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:23 PM   #9
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Ocicat, like austinsdad said the book conscientous marine aquarist is an invaluable investment for obtaining info on this hobby. I got my copy on half.com or ebay for about 17.00 after shipping.
The refugium is a small habitat that is basically established in your sump that houses all sorts of plants and algae that have a very positive overall effect on the tank as far as helping to keep the water clean or at least that is my overall take on them. HTH and good luck!!!
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:36 PM   #10
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i got that book also from ebay but for $15.49 after shipping.
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