View Full Version : FOWLR: Adding coral later?

12/13/2011, 09:13 PM
I'd like to start out my first salt water tank as a Fish Only with Live Rock, no mechanical filtration...

Is it a good idea to start out with FOWLR and then add corals? Does this get you to a nice stable tank?

If I start out with crappy lights and then add better ones when I want to add corals will this be okay?

Any worries converting a FOWLR to a reef?

Thanks much!

12/13/2011, 10:30 PM
Really no worries about keeping a FOWLR but I would not bank on running no mechanical filtration as I'd at least consider a Protein skimmer. Lights can be upgraded when your ready for coral and I would just pick fish along the way that are reef safe so you are prepared for the future. Tank maturing with fish for a year or so is really better than the coral being present but you'll not require near as much maintenance with a FOWLR IMO.

12/14/2011, 08:49 AM
I agree with ^ and any lights are fine for a fowlr but for corals you will need better lighting for sure. I think it would be good idea to start fowlr because it definitely does give your tank time to balance and then corals will be easier to acclimate.

12/14/2011, 09:28 AM
Here's another +1. I think your plan is fine, but I would absolutely use a protein skimmer - huge help. If you have a sump I'd also suggest you run filter socks at the beginning - it really helps you get your water nice and clear and they are easy to clean.

The only thing you really want to be careful of is your fish selection as so many fish are not 'reef safe'. Any impulse buys can make it difficult to add corals later.

Best of luck and don't forget the pics ;)

12/14/2011, 09:35 AM
+1 on the last 3 statements

12/14/2011, 12:50 PM
Thanks everyone, I definately want a skimmer, being new I'd like the insurance, what I meant is LR + skimmer, thanks for the correction...

I'm hoping for a sump and refuge, so when designing I'll think about how to do mechanical filtration if needed for "spot" issues...

The lighting is just the most expensive initial cost so if I can setup a tank with my freshwater lighting and then upgrade later when I want corals, that'd be great. I'd actually like to go LED and if I buy now I can't, if I save for a bit I probably can... All the marine life is so cool so I think FOWLR to start should be entertaining enough...

I know I'm going to want corals someday though so I'll keep running the stocking by you guys to make sure it's reef safe