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Old 08-16-2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Advice on the next step in building a fish&coral tank

We have a 90 gallon bowfront tank with a wet/dry bio ball filtration system (see my tank info and photo albums for more details) and plenty of live rock. The system cycled a couple of times before we recently added some fish (clowns and tang). We are intending to add some anenome and corals (and more fish later) in time, but we would like to make the best next step to ensure success for the beginnings of the reef tank.

Here are my immediate concerns/questions:
1. Should we get a protein skimmer and can we get one that works with our existing wet/dry filter (proclear 175) under the tank? any recomendations on specific models?

2. Should we setup a refugium and can we do so with our existing wet/dry filter box (I assume this means convert the bioball part to a refugium "tank")?? My thought was that I would need this to add macroalgae to the system to provide food for invertebrates in the main tank - is that true? Or can we simply adda macroalgae plant to the main tank?

3. I would like to add moon lights, but I am not sure which ones would attach best to our existing 48"T5 Marineland light fixture (we have no canopy). Any ideas?

4. When should we add wave pumps and which ones for the 90 gallon bow front tank?

5. I am worried that the clown fish need an anenome (or false anenome) to "hide" in. There are plenty of hiding places in the rock, but they have not found a place of their own and they just keep swimming. Shuld I try to quickly get a anenome for them or wait until my system is completely able to support an anenome?

6. Lastly, when can/should we add shrimps (like peppermint or fire shrimp) ?

I know that is a lot, and thank you in advance for any advice.

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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1 protein skimmer is a neccesity, there are many kinds out there you could use

2refugium is not a requirement, and macro is not the best food source, use nori instead, bioballs are usually in a semi aquatic spot, so it wouldnt be the best for a fuge anyway.

3dont know, mine came with moons

4 I dont use wave makers, I have enough powerheads to create a chaotic flow on top and calm waters on bottom

5Clowns dont need an anemone, theyll be fine

6give time for the cycle to really be complete,(stable ph, and constant low nitrates)
remember everyone has there own opinions, compare info
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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Pretty good advice by Zack. The only thing different I would say is that I know several folks that dont use a skimmer. I use one and think they are very important but I`ve seen Scott and others here with beautiful tank and they dont use a skimmer.


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Old 08-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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One more thing, if you do decide to go the anemone route, wait until your tank matures a little and ensure you get an anemone that your sp. clown will host with.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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ill just throw my 1.5 cents in here lol, I dont have a skimmer my tank is much smaller than your too but without the skimmer you will do more water changes(if my memory is serving me correctly) you clown doesnt need an anemone.. I have three and they love my frogspawn and unfortunately my trach brain but the corals are used to then rubbing and bobbing in and out of them..the also bond well with xenia if you wanted to go that route...there are alot of variations of "moonlights" you can get I have 2 that actually stick on the outside of the tank the look like mini flexible desk lamps but they have suction cups and they were like 20 bucks(do a google search and check Ebay always has good deals on LED's) all moon lights are are blue led lights so all you need is a blue led fixture not specifically a "marine reef moon light" alot of them you can screw to the bottom of your existing light fixture but i have an open lid so I got the little suction cup type and stuck them on my tank, try home epot or Lowes... I do not have a wave maker either like JESSICASMARINE, I just have a couple powerheads one is always on pointed in the same direction the other is on a timer so it runs for 4 hrs then off for 2 and the basically make an x but youll have to position them specifically for your tank I also one high in the tank to help with surface agitation and one lower to really circulate around the middle of my tank ans keep the flow moving minimally but constantly in the bottom of my tank, you dont have a huge bio load so you dont really "need" any shrimp id wait untill you were adding corals..by that time your tank should be stable(i added mine early lol with my cleaner crew but everything made it fine
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
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Thank you all for such good replies. I have a few more Q's:

It is tough to find a good skimmer that fits both in height within the cabinet (30" inside ht) and within the return sump (12"x12") of the wetdry filter box that we have. Currently, the Vertex has too big of a footprint. I am leaning towards the:

Tunze DOC Protein Skimmer 9005
or the
AquaC EV120 Protein Skimmer w/ JG Fitting + Rio 2100 Pump

Regarding the power heads, I am thinking of getting 2 K3's or K4's. Any preference?

Also, over the last few days I getting development of very bright green algae (I think). Is this okay - or is it something else.

AND I getting very little (<1/8") circular white things stuck on the back of the tank and even a few on my turbo snail. they are a little tought to chip off. Anyone know what this might be?
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:01 PM   #7
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Can't remember the name of them, but the "circular white things" are filter feeders and are very beneficial. As for the koralias, aim for 20x-30x turnover per hour. Getting two of the same sizes is best IMO.

Gah! spirorbid worms, that's it!

Here's a link to a bunch of common hitch hikers that come in on live rock: http://www.xtalworld.com/Aquarium/hitchfaq.htm.
Any questions? Feel free to PM me.
Hitchhikers on live rock? https://www.xtalworld.com/Aquarium/hitchfaq.htm
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