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Old 02-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
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new tank

haven't posted here for a while, but after spending alot of money on halides, LR, etc. for my 85 gallon only to have the tank wiped out by ich from a powder blue, I gave up for a while and sold everything.

I have decided to give it another go with an empty 45 gallon tank, but I'm looking to spend alot less money and keep a very simple setup, my plan is to use alot of lava rock seeded with a small amount of live rock, no skimmer (as I bought an expensive one for my 85 gallon and really was not that impressed with the results), I'm going to use a couple of NO fluorescents as I already have starters for them, I still have a couple of maxi-900's so that should sort the flow out, I'm also going to use a 1000l/r filter I have and pack it with bio media. I'm thinking of using instant ocean salt, and RODI water (just need to replace the filters).

a couple of questions,

- would it be possible to make it sort of semi-reef (a few soft corals placed high in the tank, or would there not be enough light?)

- would there be any drawbacks to using base rock instead of live, assuming I stocked it slowly?

-any stocking suggestions?


thanks. I would really appriciate any comments or suggestions,
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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Welcome back!
I'm not sure on the corals.
I used 150Lbs of base rock from marcorocks.com and have not had a problem. I am mixing some LR from my LFS as they get good looking stuff in.
Stocking, you have a decen sized tank and a lot of possibilities.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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Welcome back. I agree with roka.

About the corals, I wouldn't attempt keeping any under NO lights. If you upgrade at all, even to PC, your choices expand greatly.

I'm setting up a 45 right now to, check my thread in this forum if you wish.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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I agree, NO just wont give you the light you need for coral. Try a PC fixture they aren't that expensive and you coud have a great looking reef!!!
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks. I got the stuff i need to set it up today and added some shrimps after seting it up, now just need it to cycle, I'll post some pics if I get a chance.

I'll wait a while anyway before getting coral, but an upgrade would probably be best.

stocking wise, I was thinking dwarf lions and valentini puffers, but changed my mind because that limits my invert choices,

are butterfly fish difficult to care for? I'm now thinking of an all-butterfly fish tank (with various inverts),

I want to avoid tangs due to their potential size (would limit stocking capacity).

any other ideas/suggestions, thanks.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:55 PM   #6
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From what I have read butterflies can be tough to keep, if you can get them to eat then you should be ok.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:45 PM   #7
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I`m going to sort of echo Ziggy about the eating part. I would make the LFS show you that they are eating before you get them. Dont think you`ll train them to eat because most times it does not work out. If you plan on getting corals then the butterfly fish will nip at them and destroy them. I also agree that corals will not do good under NO lights
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:17 AM   #8
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thought I would add a couple of pics of my tank, let me know what you think, please add any suggestions.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:36 AM   #9
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That's a pretty sweet tank! Very nice aquascape too.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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looks great!
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:06 PM   #11
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The aquascaping looks great! As do the LR...very colorful already! And with PC fixtures (if you go that route), it'll all look better! Good luck!

I'm not as experienced as others who've posted, but I've been told constant times that Butterflies should only be kept in well established aquariums.

One question to ask, though: why did you take the original aquarium down after the ick outbreak? I had an outbreak in my 45 gallon that wiped out all my fish, but kept my tank running for 10 weeks with just a cleanup crew as I waited for the ick to starve out. It's been 2 weeks since I've started re-stocking and so far (knock on wood) I haven't seen any traces of the ick returning. Should I be concerned of the parasite reviving?
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:47 PM   #12
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Very nice looking
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:10 PM   #13
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Looks great! With a PC fixture your tank is going to be just awesome!
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:34 AM   #14
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The rockwork is awesome. Looks like the beginning of a very nice reef. I only hope mine will look as good. Good job!
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:06 PM   #15
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Thanks for the nice comments everyone,

Quote:
The aquascaping looks great! As do the LR...very colorful already!
- It's not live rock, it's actually dead lava rock, I chose it because it's darker than ocean rock so it develops a nice purple colour under actinic lighting. (i'm just hoping it wont mess with the PH or anything too much).

- Iv'e since added another white fluorescent tube (I don't really want to add PC's at the moment) and I've added reflectors to all of them- I think this should be enough to keep basic softies for the moment if placed high in the tank.


Quote:
I'm not as experienced as others who've posted, but I've been told constant times that Butterflies should only be kept in well established aquariums.
- yes, this has been one of my concerns, so I will probably start with a bannerfish (poor man's idol) as I've read that they're hardier than most butterflies.

Quote:
One question to ask, though: why did you take the original aquarium down after the ick outbreak?
- I suppose it was just the frustration of it (easiest option I guess).

Quote:
I haven't seen any traces of the ick returning. Should I be concerned of the parasite reviving?
I think the life cycle of ick is only a few days if it doesn't have a host, although don't quote me on it.
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:26 PM   #16
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Just some input about the lighting...

I know for some odd reason alot of people like the PC bulbs, But they are expensive to start, and expensive to replace.

You can get yourself a VHO setup for ALOT less than a PC setup would cost you, and would have plenty of wattage (110w Per Bulb) with just 2 VHO bulbs, which are alot cheaper than PC's to replace.

Also You might want to consider your stocking ideas... I don't want to shoot down your dreams by any means, But I do want you to be successfull.

It sounds like you are wanting to jump in with the difficult, and of course most beautiful fish. I would rather see you start with cheaper more hardy fish and go from there.

My tank is 1.5 years old, When I first started I too wanted all the beautiful expensive fish, I've lost several hundred dollars by going that route.

The temptation is hard to shake, but if you can hold off ahwile, You'll be alot less stressed out, and have much better success with your tank.


Just my $0.02.

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Old 02-25-2007, 02:38 PM   #17
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If you add some LR will the Lava Rock eventually become live?
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:18 PM   #18
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With most base rock, it's best to place the LR on top of the base rock and it will eventually turn into LR. I'm not sure about Lava Rock in particular? I don't know the difference between different types of base rock. I used all LR in my tank, cuz it's only a 20 gal Seahorse set-up. Someday when I set-up my dream reef tank, I'll def be using alot of base rock to cut down on cost.
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:44 PM   #19
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I have a 120 gallon tank and I plan on using about 60% base rock. I've seen tanks that have rocks that have a beautiful purple tint to them. If it is Lava Rock that gets that color then that is what I want to use as the base rock but only if it will become live when mixed with LR.
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase33
I have a 120 gallon tank and I plan on using about 60% base rock. I've seen tanks that have rocks that have a beautiful purple tint to them. If it is Lava Rock that gets that color then that is what I want to use as the base rock but only if it will become live when mixed with LR.

That purple is probably coraline algae.

I purchased 2 pieces of LR from the LFS that they purchased from a guy who was moving and took down his tank, the rocks were about 99% covered in purple coraline algae.

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