Is FOWLR easier to keep than Reef Tank ?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by spillay, 14 Nov 2013.

  1. spillay

    spillay

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    Hi All,

    Based on the reading and research to date,I see a lot of sites with people starting with FOWLR and then quickly moving to reef tanks.

    I don't see much of a difference in terms of equipment, time and effort?

    Equipment appears to be the same, skimmer, power-heads etc. Okay lighting, feeding/additives and water quality seems to be the critical success factors for coral reef tanks but to me appears to be the same amount of work involved.

    The reason is, I was initially thinking of FOWLR tank but now I am starting to consider coral reef as well.

    Any further advice/comments and feedback.

    Thanks
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    fowlr is way easier, no light dependacy, no additives, just need a skimmer and food
     
  4. the fish

    the fish

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    reason why they move to reef is because FOWLR becomes a bit boring after a while.
     
  5. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    It depends on the fish you're keeping. If you're keeping butterflies and certain angels then it can be at least as tricky as a reef tank due to feeding requirements/disease/compatibility.
     
  6. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    You will still also need to do water changes but not as often as with reef systems.
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you can use many other forms of nutrient export
     
  8. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    A fowlr does have challenges of its own, I would say generally a reef tank would be more difficult to keep but if you do a fowlr make sure you know the proper care requirments of each fish (some can be very sensitive)
     
  9. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    Easiest one being?
     
  10. 4age

    4age

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    I actually found FOWLR to be harder than a stable reef tank. when corals sulk you generally have more time to address the issue and are more likely to be able to help the coral recover..which is not always the case with Fish
     
  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    im also enclined to say a reef system is easier.. (not talking sps systems here but softies and LPS) but as 4age says its easier to spot a problem as the corals themselves are a tell....

    as for fowlr i think it should be kept to the same standard as you would a reef tank... theres no excuse to slack because its fish only.. a life is still a life and you as its captor are in control of it..

    you should be perseveering for the most optimal water parameters at all time.. fish are more forgiving for sure (not all).
     
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    there are plenty
    Bio-cubes
    Vodka/Vinegar
    Algae scrubber
    Refugium
     
  13. pkc

    pkc

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    The probs with a fowlr is after a while they look like s—t compared to reef due to the heavy nutrient load and they are quite boring as well.
    A reef aquarium is very easy with two levels and the easiest level can look great, and it has no sps.
    You guys in SA invented the nitra guard range, combine that with cheap leds, a chiller , follow instructions and the sky is the limit, more or less.
     
  14. spillay

    spillay Thread Starter

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    I have made up my mind now, reef it is :)
     
  15. Hussar

    Hussar

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    Can you add several corals at once?
     
  16. flappy

    flappy

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    Interesting topic....the perception is that FOWLR is easier than a Reef Tank, in most cases the FOWLR hobbyist starts out with FOWLR and progresses to reef.In most cases these FOWLR systems do not look as impressive as the Reef system that follows, my opinion is that this is because most people are starting out with FOWLR and perhaps have not invest in quality equipment,livestock etc. This shows in the end product.
    There are a few FOWLR that will blow many Reef systems out the water, excuse the pun...
    These system often have rare fish and fish not compatible with Reefs...these fish are often very impressive visually ...example are the larger Angels.
    Please see an MP4 of my personal FOWLR at www.urbanmarines.co.za
    I have always maintained that if a system is done properly a FOWLR can look spectacular
    When keeping these impressive fish the difficulty level does rise and in my opinion becomes harder to keep than a Reef due to the risk of disease, territory and dietary requirements etc.
    As mentioned above your corals also serve as a barometer for something going wrong with your water quality and gives you time to rectify...you do not have this luxury with a FOWLR...my two bits worth
     
  17. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Well said Blackadder and well said Steve:)
    Both the terms reef and fowlr are rather broad and subjective dint you think...
    When you say reef, what is your interpretation?
    Repeat for fowlr...?
    Most seem to be able to keep a clown alive-ish, and most seem to be able to keep a few acropids and more montiporas and even more the odd galaxea, euphylia, favites and trachyphyllias alive...
    How many have success with oxymonocanthus longirostris, chaetodon meyeri, chaetodon trifasciatus or chaetodon bennetti...
    How many are keeping zanclus canescens succesfully...
    Same can be said or asked for dendronephthya, chironephthya, plexuara, distichopora and even the almost daily visible in lfs tubastrea faulkneri or its near impossible "cousin T. micrantha....
    Yet, every species lives, survives and often thrives on a real reef...
    But then again so do clowns and dorys and friends...
    A real reef, near impossible, some of the abovementioned fish, near impossible...
    A tank with a few fish, sps, lps... As easy as pie.
    A dominant sps "reef crest" biotope, easy as... Pie.
    A tank with a few dwarf angels, damsels and tangs.. With some liverock, cleaner shrimp and cute little pom pom crabs..... Easy as pie too.
    Not sure how a tank with only a few harlequin filefish could ever become boring.... Especially when you dont have the budget to keep feeding them sps polyps...
     
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