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Old 12-15-2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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Lots of fun questions

First off I should say that although I have never had a salt water tank I have a lot of experience with fresh water and brackish. I have also done my homework when it comes to my new interest. Although I would like to think I know a decent amount, I also realize I do not want to put my fish into a situation where they can not survive or will run into trouble.

To start, I think I have settled on a 45g set up. I've priced out everything, researched like a mad man, gone to 5 stores and seen countless online stores. With that being said I am still lost on a few things.

1) concerning live rock; does it truly matter which type I use? Tonga vs others, etc? There is a store near me that has the most beautiful LR I've seen and I would really like to use that, but does that somehow limit me in my choice of fish and/or invertebrates?

2) stocking; at 45g I know I can not have everything and anything but I do want something I've been told to find what you absolutely must have... that must for me is a Percula Clown Fish. Lucky for me, he/she seems to get along with most other fishies! I've also seen fire shrimp and they look like another beautiful thing to have. So, along those lines, what else should I be looking into getting? I'll do my best to make a list and post my question about that particular fish and see what you guys/gals can do...

Damsels: I'm worried it may pick on my other fish... should I avoid it?

Dwarf Angelfish: While I haven't settled on the exact type I'm more worried that the fish needs a larger thank... whacha think?

Butterflies: Another fish that I've heard may need a larger tank, though I do believe certain types would work well in a 45g.

Basslets (Royal Gramma): Seem fine with the clown and the shrimp, am I right there?

Any other ideas? I know blennies and banggai cardinals seem to go well in there... what else?

I really want to know exactly what I am going to put in there before I start this thing, I would also like to try an anemone with my clown eventually, are these fish safe with it?

I'm sure theres more questions but these are the ones that are really getting to me....

Thank you sooo much for your help!
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:17 PM   #2
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You are off to a good start. Keep reading and asking questions. Maybe you can avoid many of the mistakes many of us have made


Quote:
1) concerning live rock; does it truly matter which type I use? Tonga vs others, etc?
No. Unless you want to have an area specific tank and then it would only be for you. LR is there for bacteria to grown on/in/around and provide a home and safe haven for many other organisms. Base rock will become LR, and over a short few months will hard to tell from purchased LR. So get some base Reef Rock from ThatFishPlace.com or anywhere else to put on the bottom of tank and get some LR from your lfs to put on top of it.

Quote:
Damsels: I'm worried it may pick on my other fish... should I avoid it?
Avoid it. Read How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish and look for other livestock IMO.

Quote:
Butterflies: Another fish that I've heard may need a larger tank
Skip it till you have a larger tank

Your other selections are fine and great additions. The possible selection is so large and tastes vary so much that I won't presume to tell you what you should get. Check out liveaquaria or marinedepotlive, etc. for pictures, sizes, compatiblity and care guides. Then come back here and ask again when you have a stocking list.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:44 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA

I currently have a 45 Tall, good size tank I think, though I will just say this. I HATE the layout of this tank. If yours is the tall version (around 2 ft tall) it's VERY hard to aquascape correctly, in my opinion. Of course, that is only my opinion

In my tank I have a pair of clownfish and 3 pajama cardinalfish, two skunk cleaners, a bunch of inverts, etc.

I agree with cmor, check online at liveaquaria.com they have a great "profile" of the fishes.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
1) concerning live rock; does it truly matter which type I use? Tonga vs others, etc? There is a store near me that has the most beautiful LR I've seen and I would really like to use that, but does that somehow limit me in my choice of fish and/or invertebrates?
YOu can try a mixture of various types (Fiji, Tonga, Carribean, etc.) for a good variety of life. I suggest a goal of 1.5-2lbs/gal of LR.
Quote:
2) stocking; at 45g I know I can not have everything and anything but I do want something I've been told to find what you absolutely must have... that must for me is a Percula Clown Fish. Lucky for me, he/she seems to get along with most other fishies! I've also seen fire shrimp and they look like another beautiful thing to have. So, along those lines, what else should I be looking into getting? I'll do my best to make a list and post my question about that particular fish and see what you guys/gals can do...
You do have lots of options. The bigger question is if you want to keep corals down the road. Fi so, your fish selection will be more limited.
Quote:
Damsels: I'm worried it may pick on my other fish... should I avoid it?
Yup...use the fishless method of cycling instead of the damsels. It is much more humane and will save you trouble.
Quote:
Dwarf Angelfish: While I haven't settled on the exact type I'm more worried that the fish needs a larger thank... whacha think?
One dwarf angel in a 45gal should be fine. Flames, coral beauty and lemonpeel are all popular. These fish are NOT reef safe so if you plan on corals you may want to pass. They should not bother any mobile inverts like shrimp.
Quote:
Butterflies: Another fish that I've heard may need a larger tank, though I do believe certain types would work well in a 45g.
I would skip the butterfly
Quote:
Basslets (Royal Gramma): Seem fine with the clown and the shrimp, am I right there?
The royal gramma is one of my favorite fish and does well in a community tank.
Quote:
I really want to know exactly what I am going to put in there before I start this thing, I would also like to try an anemone with my clown eventually, are these fish safe with it?
Research, research, research. Take things slow. Anemones require upgraded lighting and a well-established tank so I would put this on the back-burner for now.
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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I have a mixture of LR in my tank. Tonga, Fiji and Solomon island LR. As stated earlier the main purpose is the surface area for beneficial bacteria. But there is also the freebie hitchikers that come aboard also.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:24 PM   #6
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**edited** I orgininally posted this a little differently, I've since done a lot of researching on the stocking I would like.... without further ado...

First off, thanks a ton for the answers!

I will definitely be cycling without fish I will make sure everything is working perfectly before I worry about putting any little friends in there.

I do hope to have an anemone later so I suppose I have to be careful in planning in that department. I will have to change the lighting over later (much later as I want at least 6 weeks of cycling and then to add the fish very slowly.... I would say 6 months at the fastest for the anemone).


Ok, question time again

3) It seems like every week I seem to push my tank up 5 more gallons, does a 50 or 55 change much? All of my gear would have to be tweaked some obviously, but does a 50 or 55 make my aquascaping any easier? Any new options or benefits of going a bit larger. It would definitely help a bit if any problems arose since there's more water to go around.... I think I worded that correctly

4) I have come up with what I believe to be my preliminary stock list... lets call it version .8. Please tear it apart as you see fit, I would much rather make changes now then put these guys/gals into a risky situation.

Also, the fish would ideally be introduced in pairs, the least aggressive and largest first, down the the most aggressive and smallest last. Each group of fish/invert would be given sufficient time to adjust.

Quant Species
Fishies
x1 Percula Clown
x1 Yellowtail Damselfish (one of the two listed sites had it as a good beginner fish)
x1 Basslet (Royal Gramma)
x1 Flame Angel (dwarf) ---- though I'm concerned with its compatibility with the inverts (or perhaps a Pygmy Cherub Angel or midnight angel)
x2 Banggai Cardinal (marine depot suggests keeping them in pairs)

Inverts
x1 Fire Shrimp
x1 Randall's Pistol Shrimp (to go w/

I would also consider putting an a Blenny or anthia a single one capable of smaller tanks, I know some require large tanks) in there as a substitute.

The prelim list is 6 fish and possibly 2 inverts... I belive that would not be overstocked? I would like to put the blenny and anthia in there as well but if that would cause overstocking then I wouldn't dream of it.

Any other ideas for inverts?

Question about pistol shrimp and a Goby. The pairs sounds like a great thing to have in the tank but is it more beneficial for me to have a neon goby and a fire shrimp or would a Randal's pistol shrimp and Yasha Hase Goby be more beneficial/interesting? Or, perhaps could I have the Yasha w/the pistol and also have the Fire shrimp (or would the two shrimp fight for territory?).

5) Thought of this one this morning in the ice storm. What do you do if the power goes out? Today it has flickered 3x already, what happens in a prolonged situation? Is there anything that can be done?

Again, thank you so much!
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Fishies
x1 Percula Clown
x1 Yellowtail Damselfish (one of the two listed sites had it as a good beginner fish)
x1 Basslet (Royal Gramma)
x1 Flame Angel (dwarf) ---- though I'm concerned with its compatibility with the inverts (or perhaps a Pygmy Cherub Angel or midnight angel)
x2 Banggai Cardinal (marine depot suggests keeping them in pairs)
The list looks okay, with the exception of the damsel. I would skip it. They are pretty aggressive and highly know trouble makers in the home tank.
Quote:
I would also consider putting an a Blenny or anthia a single one capable of smaller tanks, I know some require large tanks) in there as a substitute.
I would think with the list above you will be pretty much maxed out for stocking. You may be able to squeeze in a shrimp goby in the place of the damsel, especially if you want a pistol shrimp.
Quote:
Question about pistol shrimp and a Goby. The pairs sounds like a great thing to have in the tank but is it more beneficial for me to have a neon goby and a fire shrimp or would a Randal's pistol shrimp and Yasha Hase Goby be more beneficial/interesting? Or, perhaps could I have the Yasha w/the pistol and also have the Fire shrimp (or would the two shrimp fight for territory?).
My vote is for the shrimp goby/psitol pair. It is an amazing relationship to watch. I have a yellow watchman goby and pistol in my large reef and think they are great. YOu should not have an issue between the pistol and the fire shrimp.
Quote:
Thought of this one this morning in the ice storm. What do you do if the power goes out? Today it has flickered 3x already, what happens in a prolonged situation? Is there anything that can be done?
It totally depends on the lenght of the outage. May folks here have lost tanks due to power outages from storms of all kinds. We can cross that bridge when you come to it.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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Ok, with that in mind I've cut out the Damsel.

I've replaced him/her with a Yasha Goby to go with the Randal's (or another goby/shrimp combo)

I will make a post in the future with what we'll call list version 0.9

two other questions (I know, I'm a pain aren't I)

6) Can I also put a snail and hermit crab or two in there for a cleaning crew, or will they not have much to do with the two shrimp, 6 fish w/a snail or two and a hermit or two (or one of each or whatever combo is best if at all)

The ones I have in mind are... Astraea Snail or Bumble Bee Snail
and a Blue leg Hermit Crab

7) I've been looking at a power filter as a filter choice, but I've read about so many other options, will a power filter manage with a 45g? Here's a link to the one I've been thinking about. Yes its a hang on, I will just put a background up anyway so you shouldn't see much and I don't really mind.
http://www.bigalsonline.com/StoreCat...Type=0&offset=

Again, thank you, you've been very helpful!
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:58 PM   #9
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6) Can I also put a snail and hermit crab or two in there for a cleaning crew, or will they not have much to do with the two shrimp, 6 fish w/a snail or two and a hermit or two (or one of each or whatever combo is best if at all)

The ones I have in mind are... Astraea Snail or Bumble Bee Snail
and a Blue leg Hermit Crab
Once your tank is up and running you can add a clean-up crew. A dozen various snails and a couple dozen reef hermits (I like scarlet reef hermits) should be okay.
Quote:
7) I've been looking at a power filter as a filter choice, but I've read about so many other options, will a power filter manage with a 45g? Here's a link to the one I've been thinking about. Yes its a hang on, I will just put a background up anyway so you shouldn't see much and I don't really mind.
http://www.bigalsonline.com/StoreCat...Type=0&offset=
I like this one better...
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...400powerfilter
It is a decent HOB filter. I would remove the biowheels however...they can contribute to higher NO3 levels down the road. I would consider using plenty of LR, LS substrate and a good skimmer as your primary form of filtration (biological). Adding the HOB filter will add some flow to your tank and give you a place to run mechanical and chemical filtration is you so choose.
Quote:
Again, thank you, you've been very helpful!
No problem...keep the questions coming.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:58 PM   #10
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oO, thanks once again!

I think its time for me to create a new post that outlines the equipment, stock, and general ideas I have. The tank should be coming this Friday once I settle on the exact size/dimensions. 45g or maybe 50g-55g, if I move to the high up I will of course tweak the equipment, substrate amount, and LR to match up.

I think I read somewhere that it may be better to have two smaller heaters rather than one larger because the two tend to heat more equally.... is that true and a good idea? I also read with a power filter I should place a submersible (the type I intend on having) near the intake... did I dream that up or is that another good idea?

Oh, last question (for now I'm sure I'll find another)
The LR I am buying is from a local pet store that specializes mostly in fish. The LR they have sits in a tank filled with water and the LR looks beautiful (a ton of growth on it). With that in mind, I also read about the raw shrimp method of cycling the tank. Do I first do the raw shrimp, then add the already cured LR, or can the two steps be combined? Or perhaps since the LR is already so well established, can it just be cycled with that and I can ignore the shrimp method?
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