Hi all, I'm looking for a little bit of help with my new project tank. I want to set up the elusive "peaceful" SW
community. I'm planing this to be a FOWLR
though i may someday progress to some of the hardier corals. I'm also hoping to keep it pretty simple due to the lack aquarium resources her in Alaska, though there are some places where i'm probably going "all in" and a few weird things that I might try just because it is a project tank. I'll start with a rundown of the plan so far.
For the tank I plan to go with a glass 65 gallon (36x18x24) as it happens to be the largest tank that will fit the stand i have from a previous project. I also just happen to have a 36 inch dual 96 watt PC
light fixture that I had from that same project. I have a heater floating around somewhere large enough to handle it, but i plan to get at least one more back up heater since our apartment can get really cold in the winter. For a skimmer I'll probably end up with one of the bak-pak brand (either two single model bakpak2s or the dual bakpak 2). So far I've not decided on any sort of mechanical filtration or type of powerheads. I've been looking pretty hard at the Aquafuge Refugiums from Carib Sea (it's a hang on the back refugium since a sump style of system is out of the question for the time being) as place for some extra live rock rubble etc. I probably wont get it though unless I get a lot of positive feed back on it.
As far as live rock goes, i plan to get at least 100lbs of the best grade i can find. I considered going the 2/3rds base rock 1/3rd quality route, but I've come to the conclusion that this is really not an area i wanna skimp on. The owner of my LFS
has offered me a really good deal (basically cost) on one type of rock since he's kind of curious about it; said it was called Fiji Ratu Rock. The odd part is that what he described was some form of "plasic" material shaped to look like live rock. It's then placed in the curing vats with the live rock to become encrusted. This is supost to be a "low weight alternitive to standard live rock but from what i've been able to find online it's basically cement doughnuts that have been aquacultured into a live rock form in the ocean. Anyone heard anything about this or have any experiences they'd like to share cause i'm very tempted to take him up on this offer just to satisfy both our curiosities. I aslo plan to go with somewhere around a 3 inch sandbed. I'll probably start with a quality "dead" sand and mix in some live sand to give it a kick start. I'm also of the oppinion that there are probably critters living in "live" sand that probably don't hitchhike and colonize via live rock... but what do I know, i'm still new at this after all.
Now comes the part where i've actually put the least amount of planning in, livestock. The only two fish i really have my heart set on is a yellowheaded jawfish and a Yellow Watchman Goby preferably with it's pistol shrimp partner, beyond that i've not really made up my mind. Starting with fish, so far the ones that interest me are:
Yellowheaded jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)
Yellow Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus)
Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica)
Cardinalfish (either Sphaeramia nematoptera or Pterapogon kauderni)
Clown Gobies (Gobiodon atrangulatus or Gobiodon citrinus)
Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) since i've heard they can be useful to gague your water quality
I'm still debating about Ocellaris Clowns (Amphiprion ocellaris) since without the anemone they are about as interesting to me as guppies.
I'm also looking pretty hard at the Chromis' though i'm still trying to find info on some of the oddballs like the Black Bar Chromis (Chromis retrofasciata)
Finally, i'm also fasinated by the hawkfish (my LFS
had one i fell in love with) but since they are preditors I figure they are pretty much outta the question unless you guys think i can get away with a Falco Hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco)
I'm torn between a few Scarlet Skunk Cleaner (Lysmata amboinensis) and Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) though i'm leaning more towards the skunks since to me they are just as nice looking at less price
A Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus sp.)
For my clean up crew i'm thinking Trochus and Nassarius snails as i kind of want to avoid crabs and starfish since lately i've been reading a lot of horror stories about them eatting sleeping fish, but beyond that, i'm open to sugestions.
Um... wow, that was a lot more info that I realized. One major area I know i need help in is when it comes to stocking levels for the tank. The species i listed are just the ones i'm interested in, not ones i "have to have" and if you guys can think of any others i might be missing out on, please tell me. Ok guys now i'm counting on you to pick apart my plan and help me find it's weakness. Hopefully i didn't make any really boneheaded mistakes, though i'm sure i've left a few blanks i'll have to fill in (it's late). Thanks again for your time!
i really like this smily