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Sk8r
02/28/2007, 11:52 AM
When you're starting out your tank, just a word of been-there, got-the-t-shirt caution: raw new tanks lose specimens if they're weak or fragile.

Why is a thing rare? Usually because it doesn't survive well in shipping or live long in captivity except in the stablest of tanks.

Why is a thing cool? Mostly because some seller says it is, and creates a buzz about it and wants you to believe it is. Don't go for it until you're dead certain you're getting value for your money, and equally important, that your tank is old enough and stable enough to keep it and let it grow. The buzz you get from rushing online to say "I got this supercool whizbang eye of whatever zoa/lord," or "I have this supercool three-eyed forktailed gudgeon," may be shortlived, and it's such a bummer to have to say, "it's gone."

Wait...until your ordinary, hardy, sensibly priced specimens are propagating on their own before you invest in the buzz-market. And for gosh sakes, dip your new zoas, etc, to prevent pests getting in. Don't just plunk things in unexamined only to discover a week later that there's something eating ALL your specimens. Hitchhikers ride in on what they eat.

Spend your spare cash on skimmers and other necessary equipment rather than rare specimens. This hobby is a game of patience and caution. These are living creatures, not items in a collection that you set on a shelf for your friends to admire, and like living creatures, they have life requirements that must be met before you take them on.

Likewise, don't plan your tank as the Seattle Aquarium: take a realistic look at what you've got, dismiss your desire for an Achilles Tang until you one day get a 300g tank, and cultivate a yen for fish on a scale with your 20g---nothing over 2" adult size. Remember that fish do not stop growing to fit your tank, and that they have, oddly enough, mental demands for space as well as physical ones. Anthias WILL run and gobies will dig. It's what they do.

HTH to make starting-up easier.

lakwriter
02/28/2007, 12:05 PM
Excellent advice!

FLReefGirl
02/28/2007, 01:29 PM
I've read about the fresh water and iodine dip for the zoos. Does this work for ALL corals and should I use this recipe for ALL new corals going into my tank? Or are there different recipes for different corals?

Sk8r
02/28/2007, 01:48 PM
You don't freshwater dip stonies or softies, in my experience. There's a product called Interceptor, another: Lugols, which I think is iodine---iodine is something your shellfish need, so a trace isn't going to hurt. My best and safest advice is, before you order or buy a coral, go to the appropriate forum, ask what the current best treatment/dip is, and make sure you've stocked the right dip in your house and that you know the precise dosage. Also: don't use your baking spoons to measure with---some of these things are not good for human consumption.

While you don't dose fish with medicines unless you know they're sick [you keep them in quarantine for several weeks, however, and feed them up and make sure they're healthy before you turn them loose in your rocky, uncatchable tank]---corals should be dipped regardless of whether you think they've got anything.

FLReefGirl
02/28/2007, 02:24 PM
Here is the link I found the dip in. So this is no good for other things, only zoos?

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=451720

Sk8r
02/28/2007, 03:47 PM
THat will be good for zoos. Stonies come in two types, the lps which have big fluffy polyp extrusions that, if dinged, should be let alone to heal, and not messed-with. Acroporas have a very thin skin and again have to be protected against dings: if you have a white area, best to frag the piece above the bad spot and preserve that end. They can heal over, but there is a pathology called RTN [rapid tissue necrosis] and if you have this there is probably a chemical issue. Honestly, since my lfs performs this dip service for me, I'm not up on the exact formula, which is why I suggest you go to the specific forum for each type. I believe that lugols is safe for all, and I'm suspecting that dose is the right one, but do get it precisely for each type of coral. ALso with stonies, and particularly for acroporas, a microscopic visual examination is a good idea: you're looking for tiny red dots. Any forktailed hitchhikers are flatworms, which can be a real pain, and Flatworm Exit is the treatment of choice for that. Whenever treating for parasites, also, be sure your skimmer is in top condition, because the dieoff can be bad news, too, polluting the water with waste products. Red bugs is the other major problem with the acroporas, a major reason for dipping. Once it gets into your tank, you have a big problem. If you don't have an lfs that pre-dips for you, and especially if you buy corals online, you need the treatments and the dips, for sure.
Because I should know the answer to your question and am too hazy on the question, I'm including some links to pests, parasites, and treatments that are on the sps and lps sites.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=903839
and re: lps:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1038905

FLReefGirl
02/28/2007, 04:23 PM
Thanks Sk8r, I'll look into it some more.
I want to start adding more coals but I don't want to bring any pests in.