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Old 03-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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How soon is too soon to add coral?

I'm about to start up my cycle on my first SW tank, and my wife has decided that instead of being a simple FOWLR tank, she wants a few coral in it as well. Once the rock cure and tank cycle are complete, is it ok to add the coral with the first fish, or should I wait for a week/month before adding?

That being said, what lighting is best for coral? The tank is a 20G with an LED array on the top. Would I need to replace the LEDs with HO T5s?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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I think 6 months in the general rule however I would probably say you would be ok after 2 - 3 months of stable parameters with a couple of fish in the tank
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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If the tank is cycled, coral can go in once it is completed in theory. I'd personally do it a couple weeks after the first fish to make sure everything is settled. Coral have a small, almost non existent bioload on your tank so it won't cause an issue on that end. In terms of your lighting, some more info on what you already have is necessary to gauge it it'll support corals or not. Also, what kind of coral your wife wants to keep will also determine how intense of a lighting system you will/might need.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: lighting...Honestly, I haven't given much thought to the type of coral yet. With a 20G tank, it can't be one that will overgrow (can coral do that?) the tank and cut into the swimming space. I just took a look at the specs of the light I have and it is not rated for corals (freshwater and FOWLR only).

Are there good "beginner" coral species that offer color, etc?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #5
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My favorite starter coral are duncans. Easy to keep, flow nicely, and are a couple of different color varieties.

In terms of lighting, figure out what kind of corals you'd like to keep and that will basically determine the lighting you'd want to put above the tank.

Regarding ones that will grow and cut off the tank, I would shy away from encrusting and plating corals to avoid this issue.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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Duncans look nice, and I'm sure my wife will like them. Seems they take moderate to low lighting...is LED good enough, or should I do T5 for the right spectrum?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Just a word of precaution, your 20 gal tank is too small for salt water and even corals for that matter. You need other necessary equipment to maintain a good reef tank such as skimmer. The size of your tank is only used for sump that supplement filtering larger tanks. Besides, your kit is for FOWLR only.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:17 AM   #8
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I have a skimmer, so that's not an issue. I realize this is on the small side, but is on the large side of the nano-tank side of the house.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
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Nanos have been done on a way smaller scale. Twenty gallons is fine. For fowlr or reef
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
My favorite starter coral are duncans. Easy to keep, flow nicely, and are a couple of different color varieties.

In terms of lighting, figure out what kind of corals you'd like to keep and that will basically determine the lighting you'd want to put above the tank.

Regarding ones that will grow and cut off the tank, I would shy away from encrusting and plating corals to avoid this issue.

w00t...wife gave the thumbs up to the duncan. Just gotta let the tank cycle and get the first swimmers in there now...the long waiting game begins.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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Just a word of precaution, your 20 gal tank is too small for salt water and even corals for that matter. You need other necessary equipment to maintain a good reef tank such as skimmer. The size of your tank is only used for sump that supplement filtering larger tanks. Besides, your kit is for FOWLR only.
I've seen some 10 gallon reef tanks that blow away 100+ tanks.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:57 PM   #12
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Look into Zoas easy to keep and great colors Here's a 2 gallon pico. http://www.melevsreef.com/pico.htm Frag them and get your money back.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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My tank is a little over a month. It cycled in 2 weeks. I've added a torch, mushrooms and zoas. It's only a 5 gallon tank. Everything seems to be going well so far
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:14 PM   #14
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OP, in terms of lighting you can start researching at this point. I'd start off at 4 bulb T5ho, but also consider MH and LED. MH will run a 20 gallon quite hot and LEDs will need to be hung higher above the tank to avoid burning the coral.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
OP, in terms of lighting you can start researching at this point. I'd start off at 4 bulb T5ho, but also consider MH and LED. MH will run a 20 gallon quite hot and LEDs will need to be hung higher above the tank to avoid burning the coral.
Would HO be needed for a 20 gal tank, or will NO suffice? I was pondering the use of the Marineland Reef Ready LED system. I have read good reviews on it, esp since it has a built in timer for the white/actinic blue LEDs, and the LEDs last...forever...or close enough to it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:27 PM   #16
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HO would be required. As per the marinelands, they are a lie and joke. They are unable to support coral.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #17
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Roger that...and 4 bulbs vs 2 bulbs?

Any opinions on HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture: Coralife Lunar Aqualight HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture (or it's 2 bulbed little brother)?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #18
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No less than 4 bulbs and you should be able to keep anything you'd want.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #19
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Roger that...gotta get the slush fund built up while the rock is curing...$$ for the light and the HOB skimmer...HA...the wife'll love that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #20
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look into the TaoTronic dimmable LED $ 149.00 on ebay these will let you keep any coral or nem you may want. Also you wont need a skimmer so you can save some $$.
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