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Adding Coral?
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dragonlor
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: 2004.08.22(Sun)20:43    Post subject: Adding Coral? Reply with quote

OK, right now I have a 26 gallon tank with a trickle filter and a 180 powerhead. My tank has almost 15 lbs of live rock and about an inch of sand all around and has been established for about 3 months. I have 2 domino damselfish and 1 beautiful maroon clown, not to mention one hermit, two red crabs (who strangely just hide in the sand all the time), and then two other crabs. Nitrite and Ammonia are 0. pH is 8.1. Temp is 76'F.

I want to add coral and make my tank into a reef setup. I understand that the flourescent lighting that came with my tank is not sufficiant to support a reef. In the opinion of you guys:

Is my tank established enough for this kind of setup? How much should I spend on lighting? I found lights for $22 and the LFS was trying to sell me lighting for over $100 that would go in my canopy. Also I understand that I should use "all in one" and Iron supplements for my water. What kind of lighting do I need? What is the growth rate for most soft coral?

Thanks for the info!
Scott
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dragonlor
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: 2004.08.26(Thu)0:41    Post subject: So, answering my own post... Reply with quote

Apparently I am answering my own posts now... (somewhat)... After reading quite a few websites on lighting, I have come to the conclusion that I need anywhere from 3 to 5 watts per gallon for a reef. That puts me at anywhere from 78 to 130 watts. That wattage is not obtainable with flourescents as far as I can tell. And even if it was, the 15 watts that I currently have is definitely not going to be enough.

So I can choose between Power Compacts (2x65Watts) or Halide lighting... Halide is the superior of the two so far as I can tell, but in most cases the PC is sufficient for its purposes. End result moneywise is anywhere from $160 to $300 (or more). So here is what I have found, and I was wondering if someone could give me a little feedback on whether or not this lighting would be sufficient:

http://www.aquariumpros.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CUR1021&Category_Code=LFpc&Product_Count=

What I am really looking at right now is getting some polyps, so is $160 about the right price to go to a reef?
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.08.27(Fri)6:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will also need a good protein skimmer for that reef.
Before you spend that much money on lighting and jump into the advanced hobby of keeping live corals, I would suggest that you invest in a second tank for quarantine. It can be smaller, maybe 10 gallons with an undergravel, but when mixing inverts and fish it will be critical to your success. Think of it as a safe house for any sick fish and use it religiously for all new arrivals. Trust me, a separate system will solve a lot of headaches and heartaches, and you need one now.
Regarding lighting those corals,
here is a wealth of information that will help you.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corllgtg.htm
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dragonlor
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: 2004.08.28(Sat)1:06    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks a lot... That is a good idea... I am still playing with the idea of a reef... it is looking like 150 for lighting plus the skimmer plus the second tank... Even the more I write about it the less I feel I can do it... Maybe LR with fish is the way for me to go now. Thanks a lot. I learned a lot about lighting though Wink
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.08.28(Sat)14:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pleasure.
One option are the many artificial corals which are available now
from Tropical Treasures (ESU) and Coral Impressions (Blue Ribbon) and others. Some of these are stunning replicas, museum quality and very reasonable. ESU offers hard corals, sponges and sea fans in delicate colors to please the eye of the most discriminating hobbyist. The living versions of those animals are difficult to keep even in a reef system, but the replicas can be removed and easily cleaned. I have found over the years that spending a little extra time decorating the tank can make your fish display into a beautiful aquascape, often even more colorful than many reef tanks and a lot less trouble for the average aquarist. You can anchor the replicas to a dried piece of coral rock with two part epoxy and build your own hassle free reef. In my opinion, it is the aquascape, not the fish, that turns your tank into a piece of art. Visit your local public aquarium and you will find that the curators spend a great deal of time on the aquascape in order to capture the imagination of the viewer. I have sold a lot of tanks over the years, but always keep my decorations for future systems. With careful decorating with live rock and coral replicas, even a single fish specimen or two will make a stunning display.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.09.23(Thu)5:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could easily go with pcs with your tank and stick with easier and low light corals like mushrooms and leathers there are many differnt kinds to choose from.
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