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BelfiCat
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Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Location: London

PostPosted: 2004.01.18(Sun)12:49    Post subject: first tank Reply with quote

I've kept freshwater tanks for a while now and I'm planning to start my first 50 gallon marine tank in the summer, and want to do some research before then. I'm planning to cycle the tank with a three stripe damsel and later add a ocellaris clownfish and fidmani pseudochromis. Would these fish be alright together and for a beginner? and I want to have a reef tank, but this seems pretty hard for a beginner, or would it be OK? I'm pretty lost so please help!
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.19(Mon)6:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd avoid all damselfish. They are highly agressive and especially the three stripe its a monster. I'd put in a Dwarf angel, Anthias, or a Hawkfish in his place.
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BelfiCat
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Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Location: London

PostPosted: 2004.01.19(Mon)11:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, update on fish I want (in order I get them)

2 ocellaris clownfish
fridmani pseudochromis
blue tang
green mandarin

would these go together well? and is there enough room? (I know that marine tanks have much less stocking levels than freshwater)

and should I use a damselfish to cycle the tank then take it back, or is it better to cycle the tank fishless (which I've never been able to do - too much temptation to buy fish!)
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Mike612
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.19(Mon)16:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

do not get a mandarinfish, they are very difficult to take care of. they are difficult to get to feed and will never even get any food with a tang and 2 clownfish in there.avoid this fish at all cost. also for the blue tang, it will probably get too big for your tank. I used to have a blue tang in my 75 gallon tank and it got too big and started to bully everybody, and even killed a fish. you can keep it as a juvenile but when you see it start to bully other fish or just seem too big for the other fish to handle, take it out.
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BelfiCat
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Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Location: London

PostPosted: 2004.01.20(Tue)11:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, no blue tang and no mandarin ( Sad they were my favourites!)

as for the clownfish, are they very sensitive to water chemistry or is it OK to put them in for cycling? and I've heard all clownfish are girls, then turn into boys when needed. is this true and does that mean if I get two, then one will end up being a boy, so ill have a pair?

and would the pseudochromis be OK in the tank? they have amazing colours and I really want one so please say yes!

what would be good beginning fish for me that gets on with the fish I want (I still can't decide on reef or fish tank). would a russell's lionfish be a good addition?
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Mike612
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.20(Tue)12:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you get a lionfish and put it in with the clownfish and pseudochromis, you will never see them again because they will be eaten. the pseudochromis is perfectly fine to put in. if you want more fish, I would suggest maybe a firefish and maybe a royal gramma. I am not sure if the royal gramma would fight with the pseudochromis since they resemble in shape so ask someone else about their behaviour together but get it if you can put the two together. royal grammas are very beautiful fish and are normally peaceful, unless someone is near their home. if another fish is near the royal gramma's home, it will probably just scare it off by opening its very wide mouth and chasing the fish near its home until that fish is away which normally takes literally a second.

also, for the clownfish, they do start off as girls and the superior one later does turn into a boy. if you want to keep two in the tank, put them both in at the same time, that way you do not accidently put two males in, if you were to introduce them seperately, there would probably be a war in your tank between them so if you want two, get them both at the same time.

I am not sure how clownfish are as cycling fish but I would assume they would be OK.
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BelfiCat
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Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Location: London

PostPosted: 2004.01.20(Tue)13:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm definatley getting a royal gramma, they are so beautiful and their colours are amazing!

I've heard that you can put freshwater mollies in saltwater tanks, as long as you get them use to it. this would be a much better way to cycle my tank, as mollies are much cheaper tham clownfish incase something goes wrong, and they're also very playful and friendly and it would be interesting to see how they react with saltwater fish and if they interact, but would they be able to live for long periods of time in the SW tank, or would I have to put him back in my freshwater from time to time to keep him healthy?
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8Heidi
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Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Location: Warrington, England

PostPosted: 2004.01.20(Tue)16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't keep saltwater, so am not up on the whys and wherefores. I am just wondering why you are so adament about putting fish in to cycle the tank?

Is it not possible to cycle a saltwater tank without putting fish in? Are the params that different from freshwater to need fish in there to do the job?

I have heard talk about cocktail shrimps being used, perhaps that would save you spending money on fish that you don't really want and may not survive the process.

Just a thought, somebody feel free to correct me.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.21(Wed)8:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best way to cycle a tank is fishless. Get some peel and eat shrimp from the grocery store throw them in the tank and it will kick start your cycle. The old way was to use damsels but even though most of them live it can cause long term damage to the gills and respirtory system. They still go through the ammonia and nitrite poisoning. This cycle is probably 10 times more toxic then the fresh water version of this cycle.

Your first choice of the clown and psudochromis is actually a good choice they are compatable. IMO its best if you get a pair of clowns but the pseudos are better off as a single in a tank. Perculas and false perculas are probably the easiest to pair up. Try to get one thats a little larger then the other, the larger will become the female. You could go with the 3 striped with this combo but its actually better to add the damsel last. Damsels that are used to cycle with and live can become very agressive. Its best to add least aggressive first to most aggresive last. Psuedochomises can be a scrappy little species also and can usually handle themselves. A lionfish will make all your other choices lunch, lions will eat anything they can fit in there mouths. Including fish, snails, crabs, shrimps, and clams.

compatability chart
http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/compatibility_chart.cfm

With the 50 gallon I would pass on the tang most tangs need a min of 75 gallon. If you think about the mandarin you need a lot of established live rock. Its best to let the tank age about a year before adding mandarins. They are only a 3 inch fish but need about 70 pounds or more to support it properly. They eat pods which live in the rock and one single fish can wipe out a pod population faily fast. Most do not accept frozen foods.

There are some good beginner sites to check out, best advice is to read, read, and read. Before buying marine fish check out
1. full adult size
2. min tank requirements
3. compatability
4. aggressiveness
5. look for special feeding habits and or tank conditions

The fish you picked in the first post are all actually good beginner fish and are easier to keep. They eat most food offered also. Its best to stay with a fish only tank until you get the basics down then when your redy then go reef. You can use regular lights for a fo tank also where with corals the lighting needs are critical.

the nitrogen cycle
http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html

reef keeping 101
http://www.reefcorner.com/reef%20keeping_101.htm

sand bed faq
http://www.reefkeepers.org/faq/cache/33.html

starting marines
http://www.shirleyaquatics.co.uk/pages/marine/keeping_marine_fish_printable.html

live rock faq
http://www.thereefweb.com/live_rock.htm
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BelfiCat
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Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Location: London

PostPosted: 2004.01.21(Wed)10:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the info, so it is possible to put in a damsel as long as it's put in last, but this isnt a sure way. I guess I'd better skip with one though, I don't want to put their lives at risk and I know that if I buy a fish, I'd get too attatched with it to take it back if it attacks my other fish. so I'll start off with two clowns, a pseudochromis and a royal gramma. that should be about the right amount for my tank (I think). thanks for all the help, I hope this will work well

BTW, the reason I want to use fish to cycle the tank is that I KNOW I will end up buying fish for the tank before it's cycled, that's just the way I am. I don't want to hurt and kill fish (that's why I'm asking which are OK for cycling) but I know that if I go by my LFS and see a nice fish, and think of my empty tank at home, ill end up buying it. I'm sorry, but I have no patience.
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