Advice:Design your system around the creatures you want to keep and try to use nature for filtration as much as possible rather than mechanics. Either build an eco-system or you will give yourself a part time job every weekend.
I would not advise an octagon as a first reef tank as lighting and arrangement is very difficult.
About Yourself:My girlfriend is really big into tanks and for her birthday I got her a 75 gallon that we set up. I got addicted so I purchased a 55 gallon and with my uncle owning his own business, I set it up as a saltwater with his help. So far everything is going good, and I can't wait to upgrade to a larger tank!
Fish Kept:1 - One Spot Foxface
1 - Coral Beauty Pygmy Angel
1 - Blue Line Fairy Wrasse
2 - Clownfish
1 - Yellow Watchman Goby
1 - Japanese Pistol Shrimp
1 - Gold Headed Sleeper Goby
1 - Emerald Crab
Multipe Hermits, Cerith, Margarita, Nassarius, and Turbo Snails.
Corals/Plants:5 different corals, not sure of names.
Advice:From my experience, make sure you use quality life rock and if you don't mix your own salt water buy it from a reputable source. Avoid large chain fish stores when buying salt water fish at all costs.
Get the biggest tank you can get, then save, and get a bigger one before you buy any. I thought a 55 gallon would be enough and I'm already wanting a larger size.
Do smaller water changes more frequently. I do a 5 gallon change every other weekend and that seems to be helping the fish out A LOT.
About Yourself:Im not new to the hobby but I am new to having my very OWN reef tank managed but only yours truly. I have grown up around my parents who are both the crazy avid reefer (700 gallon reef!). That obviously rubbed off on me and when I parted from my parents to my big move here to California, I just HAD to have my own. I tried having a 12 gallon nano... Didnt last too long for many reasons. Lets just say that it was in a gym where lots of kids were present and it was OPEN top. lol bigggggg mistake. So I relocated my reef to my home and got the idea to upgrade to a larger system! Then POOF... Here comes the 50 gallon reef!
Fish Kept:2 black Darwin Ocellaris clowns (Bonnie & Clyde)
2 Pajama Cardinals (Polka & Dot)
1 Banghai Cardinal (Bang-Guy) lol
1 Coral Beauty Angel (Coral)
1 Yellow Tang (Bubbles)
1 Blue Hippo Tang (Dory!)
1 Yellow Watchman Goby (Walter)
2 Domino Damsels (Ritalin & Strattera)
2 Striped Damsels (Adderall & Skitz)
1 Algae Blenny (Lenny)
1 Cleaner Shrimp (Jacque!)
1 Coral Bandit Shrimp (Pierre)
So yes your probably wondering how I keep them all alive.... The trick is lots of hiding places and an excellent filtration system!
1 Sebae Anemone
1 Rose Anemone with Green Base
Tons of snails and hermits.
3 Maxima Clams
1 Purple Eyed Green Favia
Pagoda Cup Coral
Metallic Green Gonipora
Purple Frogspawn with Neon Green Tips (4 heads)
Green Torch Coral (2 heads)
Neon Yellow Zoas
2 Pulsing Xenias
Aussie Duncan (1 head)
Large Headed Dendro (1 large head, 2 small heads)
Neon Green GSP
1 Feather Duster
1 Neon Green Acro
1 Neon Pink Monti Cap
1 Orange Elkhorn
1 Pink Birdsnest
1 Fuzzy Green Birdsnest
1 Tri Color Staghorn
3 Green Staghorns (2 pieces I accidentally broke off)
Advice:NEVER in your life rush to get everything you want. Just remember that you will regret it because its like throwing money away. I learned that the hard way. As hard as it sounds, just take your time and everything will be perfectly fine.
Fish Kept:mandarin,hermit crabs and turbo snails, fireball angel, algae blenny, tiny yellow goby, lettuce slug.
Corals/Plants:metalic blue mushroom,blue spotted + green spotted mushroom,brown and white feather dusters, finger coral, leather toad stool, yellow polyps,brown buttons,pink buttons, green buttons,blue star polyps,brown star polyps, montipora, brain coral, open brain, torch coral,
About Yourself:We live in an apartment on the top floor of our building and originally wanted a cat or a dog but it just wasn't practical. Nowhere to run around outside and where would it poop? Kitty litter does NOT turn me on. Then we went to a friend's house party and we spent most of the night peering into their awesome reef aquarium rather than making conversation or interacting with any of the humans! We knew then, we had to get our own fish tank! They actually lent us their 20L tank to begin our reef love affair and two years later here we are still very much in love with the reef and all its creatures.
Fish Kept:clownfish, a damsel and a mimic tang
Corals/Plants:many! hammer, pipe organ, candy cane, elegance, heliofungia, stoney, star polyp and many coloured morphs
Advice:Don't muck around with a little tank in the beginning. Buy the biggest you can afford as it will be more forgiving of mistakes and you will no doubt want to upgrade in no time anyway!
Read books and online threads to get a wide range of opinions and knowledge before you buy and waste money or lose livestock. Be patient and enjoy the process of your little reef ecosystem evolving. Spend time getting to know your fish and other livestock so you know when they are sick. If they are left too long the ammonia they produce could have a disastrous effect on everything else in your tank.
Description:Nicalex Reef Tank - June 2010
A selection of soft corals plus a Yellow Mimic Tang, a Clownfish and a Blue Damsel.
Fish Kept:was breeding maroon clowns got bored so changed to breeding Seahorses - Hippocampus erectus 3 males 3 females also have 1Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris var. and 1 orange perc 2 mated pair of target green madrine
Corals/Plants:yellow leather coral lighting sponge coral blue exnia, sea whip,and other gorgonians
About Yourself:I was brought up with fish tanks my dad, grandad and uncle always had tropical tanks. I started with tropical around 15 years ago and just progressed to marine. I find they are a good focal point but can be very time consuming and costly.
Fish Kept:Blue damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema)
Fijian blue and gold dameselfish (Chrysiptera taupou)
Corals/Plants:Soft corals (devil fingers, mushroom polpus and sponge)
About Yourself:i've been running saltwater tanks for about 4 years now.
Fish Kept:I only have like 5 fish in the tank for now, i will be adding more. I have a Bartlett's Anthias, Yellow damselfish, Sixline Wrasse, Magenta Dottyback, Fire Dartfish
Corals/Plants:yellow and star polyps, green Zoanthids. Pumping Xenia, Green Polyp Toadstool leather, Neon Star Polyps, White n Green Daisy Polyps, Blue Polyped Cap, Frogspawn coral, Green Montipora, Kenya tree, Red Montipora, Blue Chalice