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Old 04-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #1
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My new tank

I have been getting a lot of conflicting advice about my aquarium from different people on multiple threads and from several local fish stores and I am hoping someone here might be able to help me clear things up.

I have a 75 gallon tall aquarium that I cycled but then some crazy circumstances made it so that I had to move before I put anything living in it. I was only planning on being where I am for a couple weeks so I stored my aquarium at a friend's house but I only filled it up just over halfway and put the heater down in the water to make sure it stayed the proper temperature. I did not set up the filter or anything and now it has been about a month. Also, the situation has changed and I think I will now be where I am for possibly up to a year or more. I do not want to leave my new aquarium there and I want to get it all set up here and start to be able to get going on it again. Here is my question. I started with my tank having about 80 pounds of dry rock and I added another 15 pounds of live rock. I also added about 3 inches of live black sand that I was given from a friend that has been in the hobby for years but decided to get out of it so he sold all his fish and rock and gave me the sand and a peanut worm that was in the sand.

My concern at this point is if by not adding the filter and everything else if I have killed the rock and sand and also if I need to cycle the tank again when I get it back to where I am living or if I can start to add livestock. Obviously I will check the parameters before I do.

My next question is about snails and crabs. I have read so many things about them. I have read anything from needing to add a snail and a crab per gallon that I have but varying by the sizes of them to not adding any because they will just kill each other off to just adding a couple Emerald Crabs and a couple snails but not to get hermit crabs with snails because they will kill them.

Lastly, can anyone tell me approximately what my capacity is going to be for my tank? Also, I am being told a couple varying things about a couple fish that I would really like but I am not sure I can have. I would really like to put a couple different types of dwarf angels in my aquarium and I have been told that if I do it that I have to add them at the same time as each other when they are small and have also been told that I cannot have two dwarf angels in this aquarium because they will fight too much. I am also getting conflicting advice on chromis and on damselfish. I don't know what to do with my aquarium now and could really use some advice. Let me provide you with a list of fish that I am very interested in and then get some advice on what to get. Also if you want to give me advice on other fish I could add that would be great.

I would love a coral beauty and flame angelfish both (that is why I asked the above question). I really wanted a butterflyfish but was told they are too hard to take care of. I want a Bengai Cardinalfish and am told to maybe think about schooling them instead of the blue/green chromis that I was going to use to start the tank. I only wanted one clownfish but am told that they do better in pairs but I do want a clownfish for sure. I really wanted a four stripe damselfish but am told that they are evil fish and not to get them. I want a one-spot foxface because they stay a little bit smaller than other foxfaces. I really wanted a desjardini sailfin tang but it sounds like that is something that will have to come when I get a larger tank in several years so I have looked at other tangs but I have yet to find a tang that I like that would really work in my tank. I would love a green mandarin and a six-line wrasse but the green mandarin takes a long time before I can introduce it and I am told that I can't have both. I also want a couple starfish but am told that the ones I like will not live long and are hard to take care of. So here is what I have for sure so far. I will have either a coral beauty or flame angelfish (unless I can do both), a one spot foxface, at least one Bengai Cardinalfish, at least one clownfish and a six-line wrasse or green mandarin along with possibly a couple snails and an emerald crab or two. This seems pretty sparse for a 75 gallon aquarium. Any ideas on any of this or what I could add? I want to decide on it all now so that I can add them in the order they need to be added.

Thank you for all of your help on this long post in advance.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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My new tank

Ok... That is really long, but I'll see what I can answer
.
The rock and sand don't die... The bacteria living on them will if they are exposed to air.. By not running a filter you aren't doing anything.

A CUC is never required. They really only change waste into different waste. Nothing that is worth a praise. The hermits will kill the snails out of impulse.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:22 AM   #3
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My new tank

As for the fish:
1- Don't mix the dwarf angels. They will fight.
2- Damsels are mean little fish, id avoid them.
3-IME Chromis don't last very long.
4- Butterfly's are hard to take care of.
5-Clowns can be very aggressive to, IMO they aren't that great.
6- Bangaii Cardinals over chromis any day.
7- Clowns don't always do better in pairs.
8- Sailfins need much larger tanks.
9- There are a couple tangs you can keep, check liveaquaria.
10- Mandarins eat pods, a refugium is required.
11- Sixlines IMO/IME are aggressive and mean.
12- Starfish in general don't do well in aquariums.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:26 PM   #4
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Great. Thank you for the advice. I know my post was very long so thank you for taking the time to read it and reply.

So since the rock and sand don't die since they are in the water still, am I going to be able to get away with little to no cycling or is it all going to have to cycle again as soon as I set it up now? Again, I know I have to test my water parameters, I am just trying to figure out what I am looking at at this point.

Also, as for the fish. We have decided which ones are our priorities and that we definitely want and now we just need to build around them. Here are what we are thinking of at this point that we want to make sure to put in then I want to add to them but need to decide what kinds of fish and how many. Here are the ones we definitely want:

Coral Beauty Angelfish
Ocellaris Clownfish (because I have kids and they want Nemo more than anything else of course)
Bangai Cardinalfish (maybe3?)
One Spot Foxface
Possibly a Green Mandarin but you say they eat pods which means what exactly as far as care?

This mixture seems very sparse so I need help on choosing more. I have been looking into a lot of fish and have found some more that interest me. Can you tell me about any of these or others that you would recommend?

Bartlett's Anthias
Striped Blenny
Orchid or Purple Dottyback
Longnose Hawkfish
Saddle Valentini Puffer
Kole Yellow Eye Tang
Wartskin Angler
My favorite fish of all has always been a lionfish but I am told it is too aggressive to have with these kind of fish is there a kind that I could get that would be fine with the ones we want for sure and other kinds of fish?
We would really like to add some blue to this aquarium as well

Thank you again for any help you can give.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:41 PM   #5
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Alright, I'll tackle the fish stuff later. As for the rock, I'd still monitor parameters. I wouldn't expect anything big though.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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I had a Six Line Wrasse in my 29 gallon aquarium with a Coral Beauty and had no issue. If I were you I would get one! They are very neat looking fish and very active between the rocks. Mine Jumped out and died unfortunately. :-( I replaced him with a Lyretail Wrasse in my bigger tank. I was upset, but I love my wrasse now!

A six line Wrasse is good for eating bristleworms and keeping them in check.

Stay away from the mandarin for now! They require a established tank with a large colony of pods. They will even go though the established pods really fast in an established tank, that's why you would need a place for the pods to grow and live without being eaten so they can be continually fed into the main tank for the mandarin. A big headache, but worth it! If you want to set all that up and wait for a year or two before you get one.

As far as everything. I would get rid of all the water for sure! Stir up your sand really good and suck out all of the cloudy water that it produces. This will loosen up the sand and get all the gas bubbles out and anything really dirty out of the sand before you put new water back in.

I would recommend a full cycle, just to be safe. It won't take too long if the tank is housing good bacteria already. Get yourself a good test kit and go from there. Before you put any fish in, your ammonia should be at 0. You need an ammonia source, so my suggestion would be to go to the store and buy yourself a few large uncooked shrimp. Get some clean stockings and throw the shrimp in the stockings and hang them in your tank. Once the tank starts to read a ammonia spike, you are cycling! Once the ammonia reaches 0 after the spike you are done! Do a massive water change (I did 80%), and fill it back up and go to the fishy store! Took me three weeks because of all the live rock and sand I bought!

Add fish slowly after! One or two at a time, and give it a week or two in between adding. Once you put your fish in, keep testing so you know if your tank is ready for more. Your ammonia should always be 0 even after you put fish in. If it goes up at anytime, I would do a 50% water change and keep testing each day until it reads 0 every day! This is only for the first few months of your tank, I cut back on testing to twice a week once I was established and had everything running smoothly.

Here is my advice for your live stock. Go here:

Saltwater Fish: Marine Aquarium Fish for Saltwater Aquariums

Look up all the fish you would want that could fit in your tank, than check computability. The reason I say this and not tell you what to get is because my list changed 100 times before I was finished adding fish to my tank. As long as a fish is compatible with any of the fish you currently have, your tank is not overstocked already, and it can live in your size tank, go for it! Just remember, a understocked tank is a better tank! Especially if you are moving again within a year! Because the less you have, the less of a headache you will have moving your tank and breaking it down for travel. It also makes keeping it clean easier!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the advice. So I went and talked with a lady at a store that specializes in saltwater fish here in Utah. She told me to make sure to get a good cleanup crew or I would be cleaning it nonstop. She said to not get the cheap hermit crabs but to get the ones that are larger than the small snails (such as the red leg one, etc) and to get about 10 of them and about 10-20 nerite snails but that I would have to replace probably 10 of the snails every 6 months to a year. What do you guys think about that?

She also said to choose 2-3 of the medium size fish (the ones that require about a 70 gallon aquarium and are about 4-7 inches long) and 5-7 small fish (the ones that require a 30 gallon or smaller aquarium and are 1-5 inches long) and not to do more than that and then add as many invertebrates as I want. She was talking about adding them to coral, though. As I am reading angelfish are not really reef compatible and neither are the foxface and neither are a couple other fish I am looking at. Would that make a difference and does that sound like a good amount of fish?

Here is what I am looking at but I am worried about a couple of the fish on this list. Tell me what you think, please.

Coral Beauty Angelfish
Kole Yellow Eye Tang
One Spot Foxface
Ocellaris Clown
Banggai Cardinal
Six Line Wrasse (or some kind of fairy wrasse, not sure which yet)
Orchid Dottyback
Saddle Valentini Puffer (I am worried about this)
Longnose Hawkfish (I am really worried about this)
Some sort of Blenny, jawfish or goby (I have no idea what kind to get with these)

Am I even on the right track at all? Is this too many fish for a 75 gallon aquarium, does it seem about right or could I add more? Do you have any advice on what type of blenny, jawfish or goby to get? What if I wanted coral in the future, what fish would I not be able to have on this list?

Thank you again for all your help.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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Just to let you know, the puffer will eat all your clean up crew!

I still have 6 hermit crabs in my tank, but I never see them until night time. The clean up crew I had was wiped out by my Puffer and my Six Line.

Clean up crew is not necessary, there will be so much life in your tank once it gets established that uneaten food will disappear overnight and you will wonder where it all went. LOL
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:53 PM   #9
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Also, 10 fish that can live in a 75 gallon happy should be fine.

I would say you are stocked to the hilt, and I would buy a good skimmer!

Good luck!

Your Hawkfish will eat some clean up crew too.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #10
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Thank you for the reply. How often will I need to clean the tank and how much will I need to replace if I do not go with a cleanup crew? Will the algae get out of control? Also, will those fish cause problems with other fish if that is my community? Can you recommend either a blenny, jawfish or goby? Lastly, if I wanted to add coral in the future would I have a problem with these fish?

Thank you again for your help.
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