Small beginnings...

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Jordan Botha, 26 Apr 2015.

  1. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha

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    Hey guys!
    So this is my first post, and quite fittingly this will also be my first saltwater tank.

    So I have recently decided that I NEED to have a saltwater tank, I grew up in CT but moved to JHB so I miss all the oceanic life and that 'sea' feeling.
    I plan on using my 160 litre tank to start my very first saltwater reef tank, I want some clown fish, some anemones etc etc. basically I want to get a coral reef tank with a population of some clown's (among others), lots of coral etc etc.
    So my question, among many, is what would be the best corals and fish to get. If your a complete newbie to saltwater? Here are some questions:
    *Are there any clown fish breeders where I could get a group of clown fish fry from, at a good price?
    *Any coral breeders where I could get some good beginner corals locally? (coral breeders/fragers, whatever you call yourselves)
    *would I be able to have maybe a small puffer or a trigger in that tank? Also tankmates for that colony of clowns?
    *I would like this setup to pay for itself as much as it can. So say selling the fry and fragged corals as to pay for fish food and chemicals etc.
    *lastly, I am not dead set on clowns so is there something else you guys can suggest that maybe you think would be a good beginners fish?

    Oh I promise this is the last thing, how big of a budget should I plan if I have the tank already with cabinetry, I also plan to use a hang on filter or two with a filter In the main tank, this seem fine?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jordan.
     
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  3. reefer101

    reefer101 Archangel

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    Hi & Welcome :)

    You should have a look at the breeding forum page to see how to raise clown fish fry

    Beginner fish I would say ocellaris clowns, cardinals,
    Beginner coral I would say mushrooms, leathers, zoas, xenia, GSP - I'm also new to the coral part :)
    You would also want a clean up crew

    You can find people selling second hand equipment on the for sale page to cut your costs. There's many people that also sell frags on the for sale page

    Remember to "cycle" your tank first and after cycle has completed then "slowly" stock the tank. Also an anemone should be added only when your tank is mature and have "stable parameters" and good lighting.

    For filtration good quality live rock, you could use a hob skimmer, a hob filter with activated carbon etc and frequent water changes for nutrient export.

    Enjoy
     
  4. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Answers in red.
     
  5. Jason

    Jason

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    Glad to see no one said damsels. The best advice i can add to the list of thing you already got is stay away from damsels. They always look so attractive woth the nice blue and yellow colours but they are the terrors of the sea.
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hello and welcome.
    Raising fry is not easy. Even guys who been in this hobby have not done that. Life food etc.

    Look in the for sale thread section. Might get something you like and your wallet approve of.

    Beginner fish, one pair of clowns. Nice fish.

    I do like my normal small blue yellow tail damsel. They claim a spot that they defend. Cardinals, are good, although I never had one. But they will fight until one male and female is left.

    Lawnmower blennie, Midas Blennie, Yellow Watchman gobies, they are fish with nice personalities. Even a Smiths blennie, as they tend to hang outside the rockwork a lot.

    Lastly, clowns do not need an anemone. First learn to keep your parameters stable. And let the tank mature. Normally a minimum of 8 months are advised before adding an anemone.
     
  7. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    Okay so I was going to use the 160 litre, but i am now thinking about using my 60 gallon tank instead. I make this decision because it will give me more space for corals and fish etc.
    the only problem is I have only the glass tank (no lid no stand, nothing!) so I need to set it up from scratch if I plan on using it and that will be an unnecessary expense.
    will a lid be necessary or can I have the tank without one?

    So for the fish, a pair of clowns and others like gobys. I'll have a cleanup crew consisting of some crabs, starfish, shrimp etc. Will I be able to have a pair of wrasses in there? Maybe a pair of dragon wrasses? I would like some cool corals, anyone frag corals that will be good in my setup, that will be willing to sell me some frags? Can I have an eel in there? I'm completely new to saltwater and know nothing, consider me a total newbie.

    So is there anyone that can tell me where I could buy the skimmer for a good price? What lighting will be good for the reef?
    What other filtration devices will I need in order to make this reef successful, just the skimmer?

    Sorry about asking so many questions but I would like to make this a thriving and growing reef!

    Kind regards,
    Jordan.
     
  8. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    You'll want a lid especially when keeping gobies and wrasses and the likes.

    Rather look at the flasher wrasses and fairy wrasses. Dragon wrasses need big tanks and they will eat your shrimp and stuff.

    I'd rather leave the eel out. They'll eat your shrimp, snails and crabs. You also need a very tight fitting lid to prevent escape.

    Google reef aquatics. It's an online shop and you can buy all your equipment there. Or go to your neatest fish shop.

    Filtration depends on the tank size and if you have a sump or not. Give is more info about your 2 tanks like dimensions and if they have sumps.

    The fact that you're asking so many questions is great. The more questions you ask the less stupid mistakes you make. Use the search bar at the top of the page too.
     
  9. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    Okay so I am definitely going to be using the second bigger tank so as to have more space for corals, fish etc!
    I am so excited about setting up this SW aquarium, so so many fish and corals!!
    So my stocking list so far is 2x clown fish, 2x Synchiropus splendidus (mandarin fish) 1x coral beauty angelfish (this will be my 'boss' of the aquarium), any other fish you can suggest, maybe wrasses or something? I'm looking for something cool!

    The bigger tank that I will be using is 50cm deep, 50cm high and 95/100cm long.
    Is there a list of corals that will work in my tank? I'm thinking an anemony, a brain, what others? I prefer wavy corals (anemonys etc)
    And are there any people that breed any of the fish listed or frag any coral, that are located in Randburg or will be able to ship me some fish and corals?

    Just finding these things out prior to the time, so that when I start setting it up I can get it done as fast as I can!
    Kind regards,
    Jordan.
     
  10. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Mandarin must be added last because they only eat pods. Pods are little things that run around your tank and it takes a while for their population to multiply. Or make a brine shrimp feeder or even better get one that eats frozen food or pellets.

    As for lighting you could get a 39watt T5 HO light. Or LEDs.

    As for wavy corals finger leather, Xenia, colt coral.
    Zoas aren't wavy but you get some pretty nice colors.

    Check out the sponsors page and see who is in your area. They can sell you frags and fish. How far is Randburg from Kempton Park? @Hails always has some nice frags.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  11. Dexter

    Dexter

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    How wide is tank?
     
  12. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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  13. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    Okay so I'll add the Synchiropus splendidus last, as for the wrasses would I be able to keep a pair or even better, would I be able to keep multiple wrasses, each of differrent species or would they cross breed?
    For my clean up crew: the algae attackers will contain some snails (recommendations?) and a crab or two.
    My other clean-up crew will consist of 2 shrimp (those red and white ones),
    I have been recommended 3 Hawaii feather dusters?
    It will also consist of a couple sand sifters: 2 starfish.

    Will I be able to put a couple green chromis in the tank, to call the tank stocked? (Or any other schooling fish?)
    What substrate will be good? Could I just use normal white sand or do I have to use special sand?
    Kind regards,
    Jordan.
     
  14. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Most people use aragonite. But playsand from reggies is also fine. Just wash it a lot before you put it in.

    I wouldn't add sand sifting starfish, especially 2. Rather go for a sand shifting goby.

    2 clownfish
    1 mandarin
    1 flasher wrasse
    2 fairy wrasses
    5 chromis.
    Then I'd say the tank is stocked fully. But then you're going to need a lot of filtration. Are you gonna have a sump?
     
  15. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    Re: sump,
    Negative on the sump filter, I don't have anymore spare tanks that I'm willing to sacrifice for a filter, just going to use the hang on filters.
    Re: stocking list,
    I was thinking:
    1x coral beauty angelfish
    1x Synchiropus splendidus
    2x clown fish
    1x wrass (I don't really like the fairy and the Flasher wrass)
    And others...

    Clean-up-crew:
    Some snails, crab(s), some shrimp, why not a starfish?
    Kind regards,
    Jordan.
     
  16. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Sand sifting starfish will slowly starve to death if there isn't enough food. Maybe when you add the mandarin you can add 1 but not 2. Try and make sure that there is enough food for him in the sand though.
     
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  17. Dexter

    Dexter

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    Isnt deep and high the same thing? Or am I just translating wrongly???
     
  18. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Some people say deep for width. Deep as in how far back.
    It's easier tho to just say width
     
  19. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    Sorry 50cm high, 50cm wide (I was under the impression that depth and wide was the same thing)
    So can anyone recommend any snails for the algae eaters? (I don't want a snail problem in the tank, 4 snails at max!!!!!!!!)
    Some crabs a well? Will crabs not attack and kill shrimp in my tank?

    Okay so Re: starfish,
    So niks on the starfish then! I don't want to be held responsible by the fish gods for the deaths of their friends!

    I'll probably just get regular play pen sand, the cheaper the better right!
     
  20. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Rather get hermit crabs. Dwarf hermits like blue tip, scarlet or yellow tip.
    Snails don't really multiply like freshwater.
    If you really want the starfish then give it a go. If you think it's food source is running out then pass it on to the next reefer.
     
  21. Jordan Botha

    Jordan Botha Thread Starter

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    No I don't think I'll do starfish, I'll get the crabs though! But won't snails do a better job than crabs at eating the algae?
    Okay, so tankmates are getting there but it still looked a bit empty, what are nice schooling fish besides green chromis?
     
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