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Livestock Suggestions

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#1
Howdy,

New to the hobby. Setting up tank for coral and invertebrates. My tank is non-traditional. Here is a picture of the tank. Here is a picture of the proposed layout. It's between 30 and 40 gallons.

In the brown box, where water flows from, I have:
  • a 300gph fountain pump;
  • a ReefGlass skimmer;
  • a heater; and
  • an activated carbon pad.

As far as livestock goes, I have:
  • 1 Percula (love that guy);
  • 3 Yellow Tail Damsels (not sure about them, they dart like roaches and can be aggressive); and
  • 1 sifter starfish (way cool).

I want to add:
  • an anemone for the Percula and his future mate; and
  • some rad coral.

Any suggestions for livestock? Types and placement would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

webster1234

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Location
Pearland
#3
It's hard to tell from your picture. How tall are the sides? What is it made out of? Is that grouted tile? What are your plans for lighting? Maybe more pictures would help.
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#4
It's hard to tell from your picture. How tall are the sides? What is it made out of? Is that grouted tile? What are your plans for lighting? Maybe more pictures would help.
Webster1234! Thanks for the reply. The sides are 14” but the water is about 10” deep. The tank is fiber glass, mad from a “faux slate”, but designed to hold fish or plants by Hager. It’s in the atrium inside my house, which is frosted tile from 1976.

I plan on putting a 36” full spectrum LED made for reefs across the bottom. There should be two pictures. Not sure if the resolution is good enough, may have to reupload.

Here is the link again. If you zoom in you can see the info.

https://boring.host/LFZ7PJ3g

Thanks again!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

sneezebeetle

Director
Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#5
Welcome to MARSH! We're glad your here. Sounds very non-traditional and interesting. I couldnt access the pics through my phone so I will have to hop on the computer and check them out. Your in good hands with Webster1234, he is pretty knowledgable.

Damsels should be called "eithers".....you either love them or you hate them. They do have a tendancy to get agressive and are a pain to get out of your tank when you finally decide you've had enough haha!

No tank is complete with out a pair of clowns and a nem, great choice! Be forewarned though...clowns have a mind of their own and may choose to host something other than your nem. Mine host a Goni, another pair I have hosted a magfloat for months! Blennies, Dragonettes, Fire Fish are good for your size. A good place to start is by checking out Live Aquaria and just seeing whats out there. It's a good source of information for seeing what fish are reef safe, and which are not. There is a compatability chart, and you can also get a good idea as far as which fish are suitable for your specific size tank. I would avoid tangs with your size tank.

Don't know if you said how long your tank has been up and running, but that would be good to know. Are you dosing anything or planning to? Have you started taking readings? If so what are your levels at?



Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#6
OK! I'm a supporting member now and seem to be able to upload larger images. I hope the image below shows up in full resolution.

The tank has been up since December 20th. I put live rock, live sand, and a product called Bio-Start in there. I add some of the Bio-Start with water changes, but will add other stuff if beneficial to the tank. I take my water to my LFS and get it tested on a strip with 5 or so color indicators that have always indicated optimal levels. I also purchased a RO/DI system from BRS which is great. I'm getting what looks to be some brown diatom on my live rock, which I've read indicates my cycle is complete. Not sure if I should be checking parameters other than the ones at my LFS to support a reef?

The picture below outlines what I'm planning to do with the tank for light and flow. The power heads are Tunze 6015's (475gph) and the light is a 36" AquaticLife Edge Reef Edition LED. I plan on running the light all the way across the tank, as shown in the picture, tilted up about 30 degrees to give me some more spread towards the back.

I guess I would keep lower light coral back there and more light intense coral towards the front. I ordered Borneman's Aquarium Corals to do a bit more research and see what would best be suited to this setup of mine. Most resources online say to start with zoas or shrooms. But, I ran across an interesting opinion on R2R where the guy says that, yes, they are easier to maintain, but before you know it, your whole tank is full of them and you have to get rid of them somehow to make room for more gnarly stuff. IDK. Some things I was looking at early on were:


  • ​Ricordea Florida Multicolor
  • Ricordea Yuma Orange
  • Acanthastrea Dark Red
  • Acanthastrea Tiger Red
  • Zoanthus Mix

But not sure if any of these would stymie the tank.

As far as the nem goes, I hope she doesn't kill my livestock or get shredded in the Tunzes. Don't know if I should just let her in the tank first and see what spot she chooses (though I'm sure she could/will move later) then build around that and pray that she is tame and that the clown fish take to her.

Thanks for the replies. MARSH is a great resource and I'm glad there is an active reefing community in Houston. Happy Reefing!

Plan.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Location
Spring 77373
#7
Take some craft mesh and wrap it around that powerhead. That will prevent the nem from getting chopped up.

Being as you are are new to the hobby, I would recommend you start with zoas and shrooms. Learn to test for Calsium, Alkalinity, Magnesium, Phosphate and Nitrate. Dont use API kits. Most people like salifert. Red Sea makes good kits too.

After being able able to get consistent results then learn how to manipulate those parameters. You want to be able to have stable parameters before you add Anything other than soft coral.

Nitrate and phosphate are essentially nutrients where as alk, cal, and mag are coral skeleton building compounds.

To maintain nutrients, think of nutrient export through harvesting macroalgae and use of a protein skimmer. The other three will drop with growth of coralline algae and Stoney coral.
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#8
OK! I'm a supporting member now and seem to be able to upload larger images. I hope the image below shows up in full resolution.

The tank has been up since December 20th. I put live rock, live sand, and a product called Bio-Start in there. I add some of the Bio-Start with water changes, but will add other stuff if beneficial to the tank. I take my water to my LFS and get it tested on a strip with 5 or so color indicators that have always indicated optimal levels. I also purchased a RO/DI system from BRS which is great. I'm getting what looks to be some brown diatom on my live rock, which I've read indicates my cycle is complete. Not sure if I should be checking parameters other than the ones at my LFS to support a reef?

The picture below outlines what I'm planning to do with the tank for light and flow. The power heads are Tunze 6015's (475gph) and the light is a 36" AquaticLife Edge Reef Edition LED. I plan on running the light all the way across the tank, as shown in the picture, tilted up about 30 degrees to give me some more spread towards the back.

I guess I would keep lower light coral back there and more light intense coral towards the front. I ordered Borneman's Aquarium Corals to do a bit more research and see what would best be suited to this setup of mine. Most resources online say to start with zoas or shrooms. But, I ran across an interesting opinion on R2R where the guy says that, yes, they are easier to maintain, but before you know it, your whole tank is full of them and you have to get rid of them somehow to make room for more gnarly stuff. IDK. Some things I was looking at early on were:


  • ​Ricordea Florida Multicolor
  • Ricordea Yuma Orange
  • Acanthastrea Dark Red
  • Acanthastrea Tiger Red
  • Zoanthus Mix

But not sure if any of these would stymie the tank.

As far as the nem goes, I hope she doesn't kill my livestock or get shredded in the Tunzes. Don't know if I should just let her in the tank first and see what spot she chooses (though I'm sure she could/will move later) then build around that and pray that she is tame and that the clown fish take to her.

Thanks for the replies. MARSH is a great resource and I'm glad there is an active reefing community in Houston. Happy Reefing!

View attachment 14885
Here’s a macro view of the setup to give more context.

 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#9
Take some craft mesh and wrap it around that powerhead. That will prevent the nem from getting chopped up.

Being as you are are new to the hobby, I would recommend you start with zoas and shrooms. Learn to test for Calsium, Alkalinity, Magnesium, Phosphate and Nitrate. Dont use API kits. Most people like salifert. Red Sea makes good kits too.

After being able able to get consistent results then learn how to manipulate those parameters. You want to be able to have stable parameters before you add Anything other than soft coral.

Nitrate and phosphate are essentially nutrients where as alk, cal, and mag are coral skeleton building compounds.

To maintain nutrients, think of nutrient export through harvesting macroalgae and use of a protein skimmer. The other three will drop with growth of coralline algae and Stoney coral.
Thank you! I’m definitely going to work within this tank’s limitations. The biggest of which is space. I’ll post a picture soon of the inside setup of the tank where I have the skimmer and such.

I see the elaborate setups online where people have sumps, and refugiums, and custom plumbing. Which is awesome, but for this build, I don’t think any of that is possible. Are things like that necessary for certain types of coral? All types of coral?
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#11
Not necessarily. The biggest limitation for a tank like this is flow. SPS require higher dynamic flow. That may be difficult with the overall shape of your system.
Here’s a higher res picture of planned flow layout from the Tapatalk servers. I’m good with working within the constraints of this system. If only zoa’s will thrive, then I’ll only have zoa’s, for example.

The pumps are Tunze 6015’s (475gph) and the light is a 36” AquaticLife Edge Reef LED. I’m curious to see how the flow will actually play out.

 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#12
Take some craft mesh and wrap it around that powerhead. That will prevent the nem from getting chopped up.

Being as you are are new to the hobby, I would recommend you start with zoas and shrooms. Learn to test for Calsium, Alkalinity, Magnesium, Phosphate and Nitrate. Dont use API kits. Most people like salifert. Red Sea makes good kits too.

After being able able to get consistent results then learn how to manipulate those parameters. You want to be able to have stable parameters before you add Anything other than soft coral.

Nitrate and phosphate are essentially nutrients where as alk, cal, and mag are coral skeleton building compounds.

To maintain nutrients, think of nutrient export through harvesting macroalgae and use of a protein skimmer. The other three will drop with growth of coralline algae and Stoney coral.
Thanks for this. Super helpful. Do all coral require skeleton building compounds? Are soft coral easier to maintain because they only require the nutrients nitrate and phosphate?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Location
Spring 77373
#14
On a very basic level, essentially.

Soft coral do not have skeletons therefore do not use those elements nearly as much. Other critters like snails and to some extent fish do. they are not as sensitive to changes in their solution though.

All Living creatures utilize N and Po. Some in different relative ratios than others. If you want some interesting reading, look up "Redfield Ratio". High Po can be very detrimental to stoney corals but there should be some. There is a balance that reefers try to achieve. Keep in mind that with algae outbreaks such as hair algae, phosphate may show absolutely zero. What may be going on is that it is taking up available phosphate before your test kit can detect it.


Here are my target numbers:

Nitrate- 0.5ppm
Phosphate- .003ppm
Alkalinity- 8.5 Dkh
Calcium- 420ppm
Mag- 1350-1450ppm
 

frankc

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Location
The Woodlands
#15
Here’s a macro view of the setup to give more context.


What a cool house! It wouldn't work for me though - my dogs would be in there all the time. I am very interested in following the progress of this tank.

I am guessing you are not planning to have any sort of cover on the tank. If so, keep that in mind when choosing fishes. Firefish and wrasses are master jumpers, so they would likely be on the floor before you know it. This tank also presents the interesting challenge that you will primarily be viewing the inhabitants from above, so choose fish that are colorful at the top and have cool pectoral fins, such as the dragonettes.
 

Cody

Secretary
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#16
That has got to be the weirdest tank setup that I've ever seen. Gorgeous house, beautiful idea, but I have zero idea how that's going to be a functional tank. If you add led lights to the tank, then it kills the beauty of that room. Those lights are going to spray all over the place. Also, with the size of the tank, you can't place any fish large enough to be able to be viewed from above that would be significant to the viewer. That area needs a fountain, not a saltwater aquarium, and I even advocate ponds outside being saltwater.
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#17
That has got to be the weirdest tank setup that I've ever seen. Gorgeous house, beautiful idea, but I have zero idea how that's going to be a functional tank. If you add led lights to the tank, then it kills the beauty of that room. Those lights are going to spray all over the place. Also, with the size of the tank, you can't place any fish large enough to be able to be viewed from above that would be significant to the viewer. That area needs a fountain, not a saltwater aquarium, and I even advocate ponds outside being saltwater.
Cody,

You are right. The LED sprayed everywhere, and the reflection from the diodes was intense. It looked really, really bad.

So... I'm going to get the Tunze 8850, a submersible 12" full spectrum LED light with ramp timer. This should look way better, and solve the reflection problem. Still putting the little 6015 in there to create flow. We'll see how that works when it arrives.

I'm going to treat this thing as three 10 gallon nano tanks. For now, I'm settling on only one third of the tank being lit and circulated enough for coral. We'll see what happens with the other two thirds. Maybe I'll try to put a Blue Tang in there. Kidding.

I'll post some pics of the inner workings when I do the next water change.

Thank y'all for the interest and help.

Happy reefing!

-N
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#18
What a cool house! It wouldn't work for me though - my dogs would be in there all the time. I am very interested in following the progress of this tank.

I am guessing you are not planning to have any sort of cover on the tank. If so, keep that in mind when choosing fishes. Firefish and wrasses are master jumpers, so they would likely be on the floor before you know it. This tank also presents the interesting challenge that you will primarily be viewing the inhabitants from above, so choose fish that are colorful at the top and have cool pectoral fins, such as the dragonettes.
Thanks! Dragonets look spectacular!

I have three dogs and a 2 year old boy! :peace: By far, the boy is the biggest hazard. He's learning to respect the tank, though.
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#19
Pictures of inside of fountain/tank.

• 300 GPH fountain pump;
• carbon pad/noise dampener;
• heater; and
• Reef Glass skimmer.

All of the cables go under the fountain through that PVC pipe. The air pump powering the skimmer is also under the fountain.

Tunze 6015 pumps arrive Tuesday; light should be here by end of week as well.

Will update.


 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#20
Update:

The tank seems to be doing very well, save for a brown diatom bloom and a couple of casualties that I had along the way. First casualty was the yellow tail damsel who got caught in a crevice when I was out of town and passed a few days later. Second, was a sand-sifting starfish that apparently starved to death because my tank was too clean. I feel bad about the starfish, but impulsively bought it un-researched because my wife wanted one and because the LFS recommended it. Other than that, the tank seems to be doing very well. Two clownfish seem to be paired and the remaining two YT damsels seem to be pacified.

Now, I think it's time to add the BTA for my clown fish! I know some of the downfalls of them: they can grow to be 1'; they can move around; they can be aggressive; and they can get caught in power heads. But, I'm going to chance it. I'm going to place a submersible Tunze 8850 full spectrum light in the side where the clownfish hang and I'm going to put the BTA on the substrate to see where it goes. I tested out the Tunze power head and it worked splendidly. Going to go with the same flow plan shown in previous posts. Diagram attached in reply below.

Any suggestions, cautions, or WTF's would be appreciated. Thanks again to everyone for your help on this. I'm having a blast!

-N
 
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