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  1. #1
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Net a newbie but...

    Hello, aquarium folks.

    I've been keeping marine tanks for over 20 years. In my current setup I've been having a great deal of success with fish and inverts. My 90 gallon tank has three tomato clowns (4.5", 2.5", and 1.5"), a 4" yellow tang, a 6" narrow line puffer, a 3" blue damsel, a 2" neon damsel, a pair of blue gree chromis, a pair of 4 stripe damsels, and three black bar chromis. I've also got a good population of hermie crabs (scarlet and blue legged) as well as a large spotted hermit (red legs with blue spots in a 3" shell) and a mid-sized grey hermit in a 2" shell. I've also got a good number of snails working on my back glass and had a good population of brown and black nudibrancs until the puffer came along. I've got a 2" thick bed of live sand, lots of light and dark purple coraline algae, a healthy population of amphipods and a healthy population of mysis shrimp.

    The last time I tried to keep coral was back before live sand beds were used (back in the wet/dry and fluidized bed days.) My wife Anita and I have been building a straw bale house since the spring of 2002 and moved the aquarium from where it was parked at my parent's house just over a year ago. I've got a dedicated wet room which was designed to service a 270 gallon glass. It's going to be a while before we can afford to build the new glass and supporting infrastructure so I'm running the 90 gallon tank for now. When I first brought the tank here I was running the same wet/dry that I'd had under the tank since I got it from my uncle 20 years ago. It was a column on BioBalls over a bed of coran sand (very coarse) and a sump. After I found out about live sand I ripped our the coarse coral sand in the sump and put a good 2" layer of fins aragonite in the tank. Things seem to be working much better.

    I've recently setup a 25 gallon annex tank to the main 90 gallon tank for my two biggest tomato clowns. They've been laying and I thought I would give them a little less stressful environment to raise a family in.

    Since I setup the tank it has been running quite happily simply having fresh water added when needed. I haven't done any water changes, I rarely test for anything, and I'm running bad lights. I've actually got a pair of Ice Caps ( a 660 and a 430) but I'm running standard tubes. I plan to get some VHO tubes in the next few weeks.

    So...my questions are these...I know that I'm not doing so well in terms of getting ready to keep corals. I'm actually quite fond of mushrooms and zoos and have never been to keep on the hard corals. Can anyone wuo keeps softies kick me in the right direction in terms of water changes, additives, reactors, etc. that I'll need to do/add/react to be successful with these types of animals (if any?) I'm at home until early April (Anita and I just had a baby girl 4 months ago and I'm on parental leave) so I've got lots of time on my hands to sit and watch the fish.

    Thanks,

    Hank.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Swimfins's Avatar
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    Hello there.

    Congratulations on the new little one. There isn't much to keeping soft corals, (as I'm learning). Lighting soumds about ok for what you already have over the tank, new bulbs will help alot.
    You can keep mushrooms, zoanthids, polyps, soft corals, like leathers and have a colorful tank without a having your own personal sun over the tank.
    Add some phytoplankton once a week and keep the salinity and alkalinty and calcium stable, and your set to go. :geek:

    Oh yes, you'll need test kits for alk, salinity and ca. and maybe one for phosphate.
    Canons shooting coconut creme
    40 guns in a steady stream. :coolmad:

  3. #3
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Thanks for the congratulations. Lily is four and a half months and will happily spendmore than half an hour sitting in front of the 90 gallon tank watching the fish swim around. There's a cute video of her talking to the fish here:

    http://www.dna.ca/lily/media/Lily%20...20fish%202.jpg

    I've got test kits for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite (what we used to test for in the day) and I recently bought a phosphate kit (which didn't register any phosphate in my tank.) I guess I'll have to start looking for test kits.

    I've always been rather partial to polyps. I'm shopping for zoos now.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Hank.

  4. #4
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swimfins
    Add some phytoplankton once a week
    Live phytoplankton?

    Hank.

  5. #5
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    Smile

    for that setup I wouldn't even bother with pyhto but it wouldn't hurt and might be good for the feather dusters. your pretty much good to go.
    adding VHO lamps will really boost growth IMO as most softies still like a fair amount of light.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    meh, VHOs, i still like T5s

  7. #7
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricepicker
    meh, VHOs, i still like T5s
    The VHOs are nice and bright. Why do you prefer T5s to T12s?

    Hank.

  8. #8
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    T5HO's are more effiecent then VHO and NO T12's. Plus you can fit a parabolic reflector around them to get amazing results similar to tanks light with metal halide. I keep SPS/LPS and clams under my T5 lit tank.

  9. #9
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REEFERMADNESS
    T5HO's are more effiecent then VHO and NO T12's. Plus you can fit a parabolic reflector around them to get amazing results similar to tanks light with metal halide. I keep SPS/LPS and clams under my T5 lit tank.
    Huh. I've got the two VHO setups. One 3 tube 24" and one 4 tube 48" that I've had for years. They work great. The new Actinic 50/50s have built in reflectors. I haven't used them yet.

    Is anyone here using VHOs? What type of tubes are you using?

    Hank.

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