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New reef hobbyist


Crossbonez

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I'm a bit new to the whole salt water aquarium deal, and although I've done my homework, there are just some things that baffle me, which leads me to make this thread here :D

I'm hoping the experienced hobbyists on this forum could help pull me through some problems I've come across :jump: Any information you can give me is greatly appreciated; I take each and every tip I can get and make the most of it.

My tank information is as follows:

29 Gallon Nano Cube

2 Live rock of about 14 lbs. altogether

All the essential equipments (Heater, Filter, etc.)

1) I'm now at 3-4 weeks, my tank has cycled and I've added 3 yellow tail damselfish, 2 electric blue hermit crabs, and a snail. How much more can my tank's capacity take?

There are a few fish on my list which I would like to get, but the capacity limit is still unknown to me. Here is the list:

- Cleaner Shrimp

- 2x Clownfish

- Yellow Watchman Goby/Pistol Shrimp

(I'm also a bit worried about the cleaner shrimp and pistol shrimp deal, about how the pistol shrimp eats other smaller shrimps. I hear that if I feed the pistol shrimp to it's satisfaction, it will lessen the chance of it killing my other inhabitants. Overall, I want to know everyone's opinion on if I should do it or not)

2) I can't find much info on marine hermit crabs, so I'm hoping to get some answers here.

Right after I introduced them into the tank, they were more active than I am running on starbucks double shot after eating some candy. They explored and ate everything in the tank, and it was pretty amusing watching them. Suddenly however, they became inactive after a few days, which worried me until I found out they're actually getting ready to molt. Problem is, they molted already but they're still kind of inactive. My tank has good circulation and is around 75-77 degrees F.

My question is, are they sick or is this natural behavior and I should expect them to be active again soon? And they do change shells like normal land hermit crabs right? Any info I can get on hermit crabs will be great!

3) I purchased this nano cube from someone on this forum, and she was generous enough to give me all these extras. Problem is, she didn't give me the instruction booklets or original boxes, so I can't do thorough research on them to properly use them.

There is a surface skimmer thing that came with the cube, and I have no idea where to put it or even how to use it.

The filter is a UV Sterilizer with a powerhead on top to suck in the water through the UV bottom piece and blow it back out; it makes a good circulation throughout my tank, but I really don't know how or when to use the UV part. Should I leave it on all day and everyday? or should I conserve it for when outbreaks of disease occur?

4) I see a lot of people have nice tanks, and a lot of those tanks have very nice and colorful zoanthids/poylps/corals.

I find myself roaming through the Want To Sell section in the forums and finding people selling these interesting frags and the like, and really wanting to buy a few. Problem here is that I have no clue how it works.

They list prices for "heads" and so far I've come to the conclusion that its the oral disk with the little mouths. I don't mind buying these for the prices they've listed, but how does it work? Do they cut the heads off and just hand them to me as it is?

I'm also curious about how to frag; I've gathered that people cut the heads at the core and super glue them to rocks. What kind of rocks can you glue them on?

I realize this is a lot to be asking, and most are basic knowledge things, but they need to be answered if I hope to ever be successful. :)

Thanks in advance for any info you have to offer; It doesn't have to be what I asked for, so long as it helps me in my quest for a successful reef ecosystem.

-Jeff

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1) I'm now at 3-4 weeks, my tank has cycled and I've added 3 yellow tail damselfish, 2 electric blue hermit crabs, and a snail. How much more can my tank's capacity take?

You are going to want to take the damsel fish out then your tank can handle the 2x clowns and watchem/pistol combo no problem. I would recommend keeping this fish load for a 6m to a year and keep feedings to a minimum. This will greatly reduce your maintenance and potential problems. Its very hard to resist adding that other fish but trust me, you want the tank to be a enjoyable thing not a extra job. So go light on fish and light on feedings. I only feed my fish 2-3 times a week.

There are a few fish on my list which I would like to get, but the capacity limit is still unknown to me. Here is the list:

- Cleaner Shrimp

- 2x Clownfish

- Yellow Watchman Goby/Pistol Shrimp

(I'm also a bit worried about the cleaner shrimp and pistol shrimp deal, about how the pistol shrimp eats other smaller shrimps. I hear that if I feed the pistol shrimp to it's satisfaction, it will lessen the chance of it killing my other inhabitants. Overall, I want to know everyone's opinion on if I should do it or not)

pistol shrimp can become nasty. But I have best luck with the tiger pistol shrimp. They do well with watchman and I have never had them attack anything fish wise. he might nuke your cleaner shrimp though. I would choose either a pistol shrimp or a cleaner but not do both to start with, until you get another tank that you can dump the other in if and when there is a problem. Don't worry you will have another tank soon Sucka.

2) I can't find much info on marine hermit crabs, so I'm hoping to get some answers here.

Right after I introduced them into the tank, they were more active than I am running on starbucks double shot after eating some candy. They explored and ate everything in the tank, and it was pretty amusing watching them. Suddenly however, they became inactive after a few days, which worried me until I found out they're actually getting ready to molt. Problem is, they molted already but they're still kind of inactive. My tank has good circulation and is around 75-77 degrees F.

My question is, are they sick or is this natural behavior and I should expect them to be active again soon? And they do change shells like normal land hermit crabs right? Any info I can get on hermit crabs will be great!

hermit crabs are practically bullet proof. Don't worry about them. After they get established in a tank they tend to be the most active at night.

3) I purchased this nano cube from someone on this forum, and she was generous enough to give me all these extras. Problem is, she didn't give me the instruction booklets or original boxes, so I can't do thorough research on them to properly use them.

There is a surface skimmer thing that came with the cube, and I have no idea where to put it or even how to use it.

The filter is a UV Sterilizer with a powerhead on top to suck in the water through the UV bottom piece and blow it back out; it makes a good circulation throughout my tank, but I really don't know how or when to use the UV part. Should I leave it on all day and everyday? or should I conserve it for when outbreaks of disease occur?

UV Sterilizer is not necessary and if its a hassle or reduces flow I wouldn't bother with it. Mainly because most cheap ones don't really work. But if you are going to use it the idea is to use it all the time to avoid the potential of a build up of the nasties. I would research your models reviews and see if others think it worth messing with. The surface skimmer goes on the top intake, the nano ones usually clip on.

4) I see a lot of people have nice tanks, and a lot of those tanks have very nice and colorful zoanthids/poylps/corals.

I find myself roaming through the Want To Sell section in the forums and finding people selling these interesting frags and the like, and really wanting to buy a few. Problem here is that I have no clue how it works.

They list prices for "heads" and so far I've come to the conclusion that its the oral disk with the little mouths. I don't mind buying these for the prices they've listed, but how does it work? Do they cut the heads off and just hand them to me as it is?

I'm also curious about how to frag; I've gathered that people cut the heads at the core and super glue them to rocks. What kind of rocks can you glue them on?

yep a head is a really general term but usually refers to one unit, mouth, or branch of a coral. Depending on your lights I would recommend starting out with some hardy soft corals. Then when your ability to tune your water improves try your hand at some easy SPS like birds nest or montiporia.

The best advice I can give you is don't do anything fast. Don't add fish fast, don't add new chemicals or equipment fast. Do things in long controlled intervals so when a problem arises, and you will have many :jump:, you can isolate and fix the problem in a logical fashion. Also, a small 10gal QT tank for new fish is def a good idea. Its easy, when you get a new fish just take 5 gal of water from a water change and throw a few rock ruble pieces in there and you will have a instant QT. Get the fish strong in isolation for a few weeks at a low salinity to kill off external parasites and then put him in your tank. This will bring your success level WAY up and keep ick and other parisites out of your display. DO the QT, do the QT! I never used to do it but after many headaches and money out the door I am now very methodical and patient and it really pays off. QT!!! Also, when buying corals from other members be very picky about what you choose to put in your tank. You don't want to catch nasty algae and pests and distribute them through out the community. Just adding one infected coral to your tank can wipe out your whole stock and months of hard work. Ideally you would QT coral as well but in most cases this is just not practical, so just error on buying from healthy tanks and knowing what to look for (slugs, bugs, and unhealthy specimens in general.)

Good luck and welcome,

Nick

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I agree with what Nick said.

Get the damsels out, 3 is enough for a 55 let alone a 29. Research, research, research. Don't trust the stores to sell you appropriate livestock. Our sponsors are good and should steer you away from inappropriate choices. You should know what will work before putting it in.

Go slow. QT is a good thing. Ask lots of questions. Join MAAST and Reef Central too. Nothing like having a huge database.

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Welcome!

I think the previous posters answered pretty much everything for you. Like they said slow and steady will lead to a happy tank :lol: You are already on a great start with all the research and questions. Feel free to ask more!

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Awesome, thanks for the tips guys, it pretty much answered what was stumping me. I got my 3 damsels from Aqua Tek, so I was wondering how I should take them back? (As in... In a bucket? or another clear bag with some air on top?)

Will they give me store credits instead of cash back? (Which is fine, of course, I plan on buying something else with that money)

Oh and about the QT, I'll be setting one up ASAP, but when you say rock rubble, I'm guessing u mean pieces of live rock right? I don't know how or where to get some, do I just ask a LFS to make some for me?

So far, this is what I've gathered from the tips:

-Rid myself of the 3 damsels

-Use the UV Sterilizer all the time to avoid nasties

-QT can be set up easily by using the siphoned salt water from water changes and rock rubble

-Either the Watchman goby and Pistol Shrimp or the cleaner shrimp

(Oh and a question about this subject, I read somewhere that Pistol Shrimps are scavengers, so which would be a better addition to my tank? The Pistol Shrimp or the Cleaner Shrimp?)

Thanks again for the tips guys; much appreciated!

-Jeff

If I have more questions, I'll be sure to ask in another post

EDIT: Oh and I've been wondering, I've heard from a few friends that I can and should feed the fish I get later with live krill. I'd like to keep them somewhere where they can actually live and breed as well. How would I go about this? I like the sound of an everlasting live food supply.

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Awesome, thanks for the tips guys, it pretty much answered what was stumping me. I got my 3 damsels from Aqua Tek, so I was wondering how I should take them back? (As in... In a bucket? or another clear bag with some air on top?)

Will they give me store credits instead of cash back? (Which is fine, of course, I plan on buying something else with that money)

In a bucket would be fine. I am pretty sure they would give you store credit, but you might call ahead and ask.

Oh and about the QT, I'll be setting one up ASAP, but when you say rock rubble, I'm guessing u mean pieces of live rock right? I don't know how or where to get some, do I just ask a LFS to make some for me?

Rock rubble is just small pieces of live rock that normally have broken off in transit. Almost all stores have some they they will sell you for relatively cheap. It doesn't even have to be "live" rock, it could be "base" rock rubble also. Basically you just want a porous surface for beneficial bacteria to grow on.

-Either the Watchman goby and Pistol Shrimp or the cleaner shrimp

(Oh and a question about this subject, I read somewhere that Pistol Shrimps are scavengers, so which would be a better addition to my tank? The Pistol Shrimp or the Cleaner Shrimp?)

Well, they both are kind of scavengers... The pistol will on scavenge from the sand, and the cleaner will scavenge from anywhere (sand, rock, right out of a corals mouth! ;) )

EDIT: Oh and I've been wondering, I've heard from a few friends that I can and should feed the fish I get later with live krill. I'd like to keep them somewhere where they can actually live and breed as well. How would I go about this? I like the sound of an everlasting live food supply.

Hmm.. never heard of setting up a live krill tank before. I think most of us feed our fish a combination pellets/flake, and frozen mysis.

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Ah, thanks Seahorsejl, and I think I'll choose the cleaner shrimp over the pistol... just doesn't seem worth it for just a sand scavenger, although I would like to see the goby and shrimp digging a home for themselves.

Are there any other symbiotic relationship fish/inverts besides the clown and anemone?

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There is the sexy shrimp/anemone(rock?) setup.

The cleaner's are kinda cool because they will jump on your hand/arm and give you the full service detail.

Love the avatar, BTW. And....

Welcome!

(Better late than never right?)

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