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questions about starting a saltwater mini reef

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ryan0292002ca

Member
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
18
Location
North Bay, ON, Canada
I am in the late planning stages of a saltwater reef aquarium and have some questions before I get it running, first off, I have a 29 gallon tank with a 200W heater, Fluval Plus3 filter, a Zoo-med 226 powerhead, an elite 800 air pump, a seaclone 100 protein skimmer and a DIY hood with the capacity for 5 20watt fluorescent bulbs.

1. How much live rock should I get, what kind would you recommend, I eventually want to add corals?

2. How do I secure the live rocks together so they dont fall over and how do I add coral later on?

3. do I put the live rock on the bottom of the tank, then spread my live sand (seaflor arograte) around the base of the rock?

4. What supplements (i.e. calcium, trace elements) should I have for live rock and which ones will I later need for corals?

5. as for livestock, would one or two percula clowns, a regal tang and a yellow tang be too much for this setup, and if so what would you recommend for other colorful fish?

6. What type and how many cleaners (i.e. crabs, snails) should I get and how long after I've cycled should I get them? and also can any of those critters crawl out of an open tank or do they need a completely closed top?

7. Would 3 actinic blue fluorescents and two 18 000K power-glo fluorescents by hagen be efficient?

I also already have my test kits (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, calcium, pH, Phosphate, iron, hardness), salt, hydrometer, etc. sorry about all the questions, I'm just trying to make sure I do all my research before I start so that I can try to avoid problems, any advice would be appreciated, thank you.
 

bradreef

always kidding
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
1,620
Location
La mesa CA
The tangs are too big for a 29 gallon. I had a blue tang in a 29 for a couple of months because IT was about 1 inch maybe 1.5.
 

fishermann

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
Location
Searcy, Arkansas
I would get Michael Palletta's book "the new marine aguarium" or any of the modern day written books. Palettas book is not that thick and can be read in an evening. It well answer most of your questions and probably more that you haven't thought of. I would suggest not using a 200 watt htr on a 29gal tank, if it ever stuck it would overheat that tank very quickly. Before you start , get some books and read and go very slow because you can have a tank go south in a heart beat and we owe it to these animals to take good care of them.
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Welcome to Reef Frontiers, Ryan!

The type of live rock you choose is a matter of taste, in my opinion. I like Fiji as it generally has nice purple color, Marshall Island and Tonga as it is extremely light weight and has interesting shapes.

I know others will jump in here to expand on the answers and normally I can go on for a fair piece but it's past my bed time, lol.

We're glad to have you here!

Alice
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Hey Ryan - welcome to Reef Frontiers!!!

Live rock is recommended at 1-2 pounds per gallon for filtration. You can definately add more than that, or less as budget allows, but 1-2 pounds is good. Securing live rock can be done with zip ties - some use aquarium epoxy? Others just stack the rock securely. The type of live rock you order is a matter of personal taste, as Alice stated. If you look at some online vendors that carry rock, then you can get an idea of what the shapes look like. I agree with Bradreef on the tang...Bicolor blennys have great personalities. Following fishermann - I will recommend the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Fenner. For ideas on aquascaping - check out the People's Reefs section.

Hope this helps...keep the questions coming!
 

Ray Pollett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
ryan0292002ca said:
I am in the late planning stages of a saltwater reef aquarium and have some questions before I get it running, first off, I have a 29 gallon tank with a 200W heater, Fluval Plus3 filter, a Zoo-med 226 powerhead, an elite 800 air pump, a seaclone 100 protein skimmer and a DIY hood with the capacity for 5 20watt fluorescent bulbs.

1. How much live rock should I get, what kind would you recommend, I eventually want to add corals? - It would help to know which corals. Your lighting will be fine for softies. Different lighting may be required for other types.

2. How do I secure the live rocks together so they dont fall over and how do I add coral later on? - Some one already gave good advice on this one

3. do I put the live rock on the bottom of the tank, then spread my live sand (seaflor arograte) around the base of the rock? - That is how I do my tanks.

4. What supplements (i.e. calcium, trace elements) should I have for live rock and which ones will I later need for corals? - I do not use any in my tanks. If you do regular water changes with a softy tank you will not need them.

5. as for livestock, would one or two percula clowns, a regal tang and a yellow tang be too much for this setup, and if so what would you recommend for other colorful fish? - In a 29 gallon tank two clowns would be close to the limit. You could add another small fish like a royal gramma, splendid dottyback, one of the smaller blennies. Also a yellow tail blue Damsel would work.

6. What type and how many cleaners (i.e. crabs, snails) should I get and how long after I've cycled should I get them? and also can any of those critters crawl out of an open tank or do they need a completely closed top? - Ocassionally a nerite snail will crawl out. Most crabs and snails used will stay in the tank. About 15 - 20 total should be good. Some people would use more, some less. I like the small brittle stars as part of my clean up crew.

7. Would 3 actinic blue fluorescents and two 18 000K power-glo fluorescents by hagen be efficient? - I would go with 3 of the 10,000K and 2 of the actinic. But it depends on how you like the light to look.

I also already have my test kits (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, calcium, pH, Phosphate, iron, hardness), salt, hydrometer, etc. sorry about all the questions, I'm just trying to make sure I do all my research before I start so that I can try to avoid problems, any advice would be appreciated, thank you.
The books reccomended would be a big help to you. They give good advice and I still refer to them time and time again, especially the Robert Fenner book.

Ray
 
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