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Old 07-14-2003, 11:40 PM   #1
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Live Rock, Lighting, Inverts questions



Here is my setup

Fish and LR only tank
20 Gal
Skilter 250 w/ Protein Skimmer
20 Lbs of Live Sand
9 Lbs of Live rock (working on getting more)
Fluorescent Light 1 18" coralite 50/50

I want to upgrade my lighting (do i need to?) Where can I find a full hooded fixture, I keep finding the light fixtures by themselfes only. And what would be recommeded for my setup.

I got some regular LR (plain) and I also got some fiji LR with all kind of cool stuff on it, can I do any damage by adding only fiji LR? or should it be a balance of both?

My tank is been running for a week as of sunday, everything looks good. Can I start introducing inverts like crabs and starfish and such? Thanks in advance. 8O
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:52 PM   #2
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Do you know what a cycle is? You can get lots of fixtures for that tank. I think that is what Kevin has, but he has a great setup.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:57 PM   #3
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I think I have an idea on the cycle question. As far as the hood all of the ones I've seen are basically the same as I already have, is it good enough for what I want?

Who's Kevin?

What about the invert and rock questions?
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:04 AM   #4
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Well, you need to make sure your water is on track, then you can understand when to add fish. It is better to get a good mix of LR, you get diff. creatures.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:07 AM   #5
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If the water is ok, can I add the inverts or should I just wait another week or so?

I'm just ancious to get something in the tank.....

Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:14 AM   #6
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I know your wanting some things in the tank, but dont get them and have them die on you. I would wait a week and take some water to the LFS. Ask them to tell you and show you the readings, not just if you can add anything. If they sense you are a newbie they will (most will) lead you into buying something you really dont need and will die on you. Trust me, if you wait a month it will be well worth it. Nothing comes fast in this hobby.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:21 AM   #7
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Cool, sounds good, I'll take the water on the 2nd week for testing and wait another week or so before putting anything in. I dont want anything to die on me, I dont mind the cost as long as its worth it. So I'll just play it safe and keep posting my results and progress. Thanks for your help!

I can keep adding rock right?
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:25 AM   #8
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Well, the rock has to be fully cured or it will start more mini-cycles...

Quote:
I dont mind the cost
Now, to what extent can you push this? If I were you I would save for all the LR right away... The tank is only 20 gallons, so 30lbs of LR is a great amount.

Playing it safe is always good
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:27 AM   #9
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The cycle will probably take 4-6 weeks to complete. Do you have ammonia and nitrite test kits? If not, you'll need them. I would also get nitrate, calcium, alkalinity, and pH kits. Calcium and alk are not as important in a FOWLR tank as a reef, but it's something you'll want to keep balanced as the tank matures. Your tank will experience an ammonia spike followed by a spike in nitrites. After the nitrites have died down, you can start adding some cleanup critters...snails, hermits, ect... Echinoderms (starfish) are sensitive to water quality and should not be added until the tank is stable. Are you using RO/DI water or tap water? You need to be using the RO...tap water has too many things in it that can cause you problems. Is the LR you have cured (bet you didn't know it was sick did you )? What I mean is did it come straight from the tanks at the LFS? If so, you may need to add some ammonia to get the cycle started. Go to the home page here and click the link on the left side "articles". Read the one on fishless cycling. Then read the one on the Berlin method of filtration. Also, read the one on the nitrogen cycle...I think that one is FW, but it's the same theory for SW or FW.
For the lighting, I don't know of a full hood that has the lights already in it. You can buy/build a wooden hood and put a retro kit in it. You might want to check out the Custom Sealife Smartlites at www.championlighting.com . One 65w PC would be a huge improvement in your lighting. You could get by with 2x20w NO tubes, but that would be minimum IMO. You can get twin bulb strip lights that house two 20w bulbs...not much cheaper than the CS Smartlite though.
The one most important thing to remember is that NOTHING good happens fast in a SW tank. You have to be very patient and let nature do its thing. If you get impatient and add fish/inverts too soon, you are condemning them to death. The best suggestion I can make to you at this point is to get a copy of "The Concientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner. This will give you all the basic info you need to get started right. That book is worth its weight in dollar bills easily. Don't be discouraged by the waiting...we've all been there...it's worth it. One last thing on the lighting...you can use the light you have as long as you 1) Don't expect a lot of coraline growth...you will have some. 2) Don't add any photosynthetic inverts...they'll probably die. JMHO
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
NOTHING good happens fast
I think this should read... NOTHING...GOOD happens fast
Logan is right, nothing happens fast, except death and problems...

All I need to say is reread logans post a few times, to get it all. It was all right on the money.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:43 AM   #11
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I've been out just about every day looking for rocks, just haven't found the ones I want, 2 of the lfs told to check friday, hopefully I'll find some more so I can get them all inthere. So far I have 9 lbs, I was shooting for 20 - 25 lbs don't know if I can fit 30lbs.

As far as the kits I'm looking on the web for prices. The water I purchased at the LFS, for the hood I'm gona stick with what I have for now. I rather spend the money somewhere else. As far as the book I'll look into it, I'm not good with books I'm more of a learn as you do type person.

So far all the live rock has come from the LFS, but I tought that the more dieoff they had the better when youre cycling. At least that's what I gothered so far. The rock has all kind of little worm looking thingis on it, plus a clam (or at least it looks like it), and some feather dusters (I think thats what they are called) very happy with it so far. The rock had dead coral residue or slime areas is that good?
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:55 AM   #12
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Hmm thats odd that you would get feather dusters with live rock......Sounds more like hydroids can you post a pic otrovago? I also would highly question the clam..unless the LFS is not the brightest??? IMO What do these "feather dusters" look like? The coral slime is common from whta i have heard and it will die off and rise ammonia so you will wanna monitor the tank closely! I have also setup anew tank, I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:17 AM   #13
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I think the little feather dusters are maybe the really small ones?
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:55 AM   #14
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They are tiny about a 1/4" but theres at least 7 sofar that I have counted, as far as the clam, well its encrusted into the rock and it opens up and closes, real cool its about 1.5" wide. I'm concern about the dying coral, this will definately delay my cycle right? 8O

Today I went around and purchased a glasstop with a coralife 24" 65 watt fixture that came with a 50/50 light. Nice improvement definately recommen it. The look of the aquarium alone improved 200%, plus all the benefits to the fish and rock.(so I've read) I also drop in another 4lbs of rock and a rio 400 powerhead. Which should give me an additional 150gph of water flow.

I will take a picture of the rock and post it tomorrow. 8)
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:43 AM   #15
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If the live rock you are buying is Florida aquacultured rock you will get many hitchikers including the clams, featherdusters, macro algaes, bristle worms, etc.

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Old 07-16-2003, 10:07 PM   #16
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I got PICS

Here are the pictures. There's one of a feather duster(if it is that) and there are several of these around the rock. The other pics are of the clam. I got one shot of it close and than some of when it opened up. Let me know what it is.

Thanks...
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:09 PM   #17
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clam closed

clam I think?
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Old 07-16-2003, 11:22 PM   #18
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The top one looks to me like palythoa polyps...sometimes called "seamat". The other looks like small feather dusters. Not sure about the clam. I'd have to defer to someone with clam experience there.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:22 AM   #19
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hmm that rocks man hope it turns out great i wish i would get that lucky when buying LR! Good Luck!
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:58 PM   #20
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thanks! I got another 4 lbs of TB LR and it has all kind all stuff also... my total is now 18lbs, I'm shooting for 25lbs. will having so much rock in there affect the number or fishes I can put in?

Also can anyone help me out on the clam, is it or not?

Thank you everyone for your opinions and advice, they have been very helpful in getting me through my fist two weeks... !!!
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