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Old 02-25-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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6 month update - 20g FOWLR

It's been right around 6 months since I finished cycling my 20g FOWLR and added in a pair of ocellaris clownfish. I also have a CUC from Reef Cleaners which I love. As I chose not to opt for a protein skimmer in this tank I had to make sure I kept up with weekly water changes and daily top-ups, which other than in a couple of instances I remained solid on. I may still get a small skimmer. After ongoing little niggles with small pockets of diatoms on the sand and some hair algae on rocks, I moved to a 4-stage RO/DI unit and things have been much smoother. NH3/NH4 and NO2 have remained at 0 the whole time, and nitrates <10 (I struggle to determine the exact reading as I have the API freshwater master test kit and cards).

My original plan was to run for 6 months and see how I handled my first foray in to SW before looking at some soft corals (I'm especially eyeing up the Reefs2Go saltwater soft coral 6-pack...). I'm going to get test kits for phosphates and calcium in order to gauge how I'm doing in terms of introducing corals. As a recap, I have around 30lbs of live rock, and the Aquatic Life T5 HO Dual Lamp (48W) lights.

Anyways, photos:









All looks quite different than when I first started cycling!



I appreciate any suggestions on moving forward with progressing from the FOWLR environment to adding in some soft corals
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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Looks great! Just start adding corals and testing for calc, alk, and mag and youll be good. Weird how you have no coraline though.

It is just me, or do those clowns look lile perculas...?
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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They look like perculas to me! I think you might have to upgrade your light, depending on what corals you plan to have. A 2 bulb fixture isn't much light. Tank looks great though!
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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2 bulb is enough for soft corals including polyps. I kept sps with a 2 bulb from aquatic life.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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I think the lack of coraline was from excess phosphates from the tap water causing an imbalance in the water. It's also why I want to start monitoring calcium levels. The photos don't show it too well, but there are light patches building over the live rock, as well as visible patches on the filter housing, etc. It's slowly getting there.

I was hoping the lighting would be okay for soft corals like polyps, zoos, etc. It's providing 48W over a 20g long, so it doesn't need to penetrate that deep. The nice thing about the Aquatic Life unti is that it's modular in that I could add a second unit to it if needed?

I have wondered on the actual type of clownfish. The thicker banding leans more towards false perculars, right? When I got them, the bandings were not at all that well defined, but still very vivid and bold orange coloring.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #6
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Loos really good!! Love the placement of your rocks. I want to switch mine to something like that. Nice.

Grats on Ur clowns as well

Lastly.....there's a lot of coral you could get with your current 2 bulb fixture, but I'd recommend against sps with it. Someone commented that they had sps with their 2 bulbs......just because someone can do it doesn't mean they should. Stick with the softies and Lps.

Looking really good though.

T
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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I think those clowns are percs. Perculas have a triangle shaped strip in the middle.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmyboy
Loos really good!! Love the placement of your rocks. I want to switch mine to something like that. Nice.

Grats on Ur clowns as well

Lastly.....there's a lot of coral you could get with your current 2 bulb fixture, but I'd recommend against sps with it. Someone commented that they had sps with their 2 bulbs......just because someone can do it doesn't mean they should. Stick with the softies and Lps.

Looking really good though.

T
Why shouldn't someone if its enough light?
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahim
I think those clowns are percs. Perculas have a triangle shaped strip in the middle.
Your right! That and black eyes and thicker. Black stripes
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilostnemo

Why shouldn't someone if its enough light?
Well I know 2 guys...one in particular that keeps sps with the most minimum light possible. Grant it, he has it really high in the tank but the requirements are BARELY being met. It doesn't grow or thrive.....it just survives and I don't think that's right.

I've told him several times, "would you like to barely survive on a daily basis?"

I'm not a big fan of going with the minimum requirements on anything. Too many people in this hobby do that....

My opinion is If you want to keep sps.....get the light to do it.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmyboy

Well I know 2 guys...one in particular that keeps sps with the most minimum light possible. Grant it, he has it really high in the tank but the requirements are BARELY being met. It doesn't grow or thrive.....it just survives and I don't think that's right.

I've told him several times, "would you like to barely survive on a daily basis?"

I'm not a big fan of going with the minimum requirements on anything. Too many people in this hobby do that....

My opinion is If you want to keep sps.....get the light to do it.
I had the right light. Plus sps isn't all directly relying on light there's other things it needs. There's a thing as not enough light and to much light. And if we are gonna throw in who we know and what not I've done it and others from my work have done it and so have customers from my work well old work.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilostnemo

I had the right light. Plus sps isn't all directly relying on light there's other things it needs. There's a thing as not enough light and to much light. And if we are gonna throw in who we know and what not I've done it and others from my work have done it and so have customers from my work well old work.
Granted you can have too much light, that it generally a tough thing to do with sps. Too little light is the main problem.

And yes, there are other thigs it needs...like EXCELLANT water quality. Youll need a skimmer an a good one if you want sps to thrive in your tank.

Overall, i agree with Tmyboy that lps and softies are basically what you should shoot for, especially for a guy just starting a reef
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #13
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I have to agree, SPS should only be attempted after water quality is there and proper lighting is in place. A 2 bulb fixture is not enough to keep SPS no matter how high you have it in the tank.

I would start with some softies and some LPS and see how it goes. But even with LPS I say a 4 bulb light would be the better choice. You don't have to spend a fortune either, fish need it;lights; food;Sponge has some very affordable 4 bulb units. I would however replace the bulbs.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for the help and suggestions. And so on the specific type of clownfish, I've been trying to look at the difference between false and true perculas - false seem to have much less defined vertical striping, but I'm still not sure whether these are true perculas or false?

And as for the corals, I definitely feel I'm going to be sticking to soft corals from all this. Does the Reefs2Go soft coral 6-pack looks like a good place to start - Reefs2go.com Live Saltwater Extreme Zoo Coral Pack - 5 Frags - 25 polyps! in terms of not being too demanding light and care-wise?
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gboy66

Granted you can have too much light, that it generally a tough thing to do with sps. Too little light is the main problem.

And yes, there are other thigs it needs...like EXCELLANT water quality. Youll need a skimmer an a good one if you want sps to thrive in your tank.

Overall, i agree with Tmyboy that lps and softies are basically what you should shoot for, especially for a guy just starting a reef
6 bulb fixture over a 120 fried tons of coral. You don't NEED a skimmer either. More ill conceived thoughts I didn't have one on my 20 my sps did great. And I was making a statement never told him to get sps. There are some simple sps too
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey
I have to agree, SPS should only be attempted after water quality is there and proper lighting is in place. A 2 bulb fixture is not enough to keep SPS no matter how high you have it in the tank.

I would start with some softies and some LPS and see how it goes. But even with LPS I say a 4 bulb light would be the better choice. You don't have to spend a fortune either, fish need it;lights; food;Sponge has some very affordable 4 bulb units. I would however replace the bulbs.
Not true Carey I've had sps growing quite well under a two bulb. Yes how close they are do matter. It's all about the par in lighting. Over a 20l his fixture will work for a good amount of beginner coral. I've even had his same setup 20l with a 2 bulb t5 it did great.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #17
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Double post.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilostnemo

Not true Carey I've had sps growing quite well under a two bulb. Yes how close they are do matter. It's all about the par in lighting. Over a 20l his fixture will work for a good amount of beginner coral. I've even had his same setup 20l with a 2 bulb t5 it did great.
Well sir....were just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

Side note: Maybe you're really good or just plain ole lucky, but I wouldn't recommend anyone have a reef without a good skimmer.

Take care.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #19
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Not true Carey I've had sps growing quite well under a two bulb. Yes how close they are do matter. It's all about the par in lighting. Over a 20l his fixture will work for a good amount of beginner coral. I've even had his same setup 20l with a 2 bulb t5 it did great.

Growing, thriving, getting by? I understand the par is higher the higher up the coral is but still, running a 2 bulbs fixture over sps and having it work makes you very lucky. Most likely not many people can say they can do that so I still stand by my original thoughts. 4 bulb minimum fixture and pristine water. A skimmer can be a great tool but if you really put in the work with the tank you can achieve pristine without one.
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