View Full Version : Livestock and LFS advice needed!
06/19/2001, 10:50 AM
Hi everyone! I have set up a 29g saltwater tank. I am using about 35 lbs of live rock, 3â€ sand bed (top 1.5â€ live sand), Millennium filter (standard carbon, floss, off the back of the tank configuration), one 55 watt white fixture, one 20 watt actinic fixture, and two power heads for water flow. I am waiting for the tank to cycle due to the live rock. While I am waiting I wanted to look into what livestock I should start with. My LFS has recommended starting with a few damsels. I understand that damsels can be rather aggressive. I would like to eventually have a nice broad spectrum of species in my tank (hard & soft corals, anemones, sand sifters, snails, fish, clam). So, my questions are: Should I start with damsels? If so, what type? Should I add snails or sand sifters early on? What species should I avoid since I want to do a broad spectrum of species? Any advice on my setup is also welcome. Essentially, if you had to start over again, what species would you put in your tank and in what order?
I am currently using Aqua Imports in Boulder as my LFS. Has anyone heard bad or good things about them? So far I am pretty pleased with their service and knowledge. I looked into Exotic Aquatics in Boulder, and I was not too impressed with the employees that I met there. Is there another store in the Boulder/Denver area that I should check out?
06/19/2001, 12:01 PM
I will give you my advice. What you will soon find out is that there is no one right way to set up a tank. First as far as good LFS, I think the best is Reef by Design in Denver. Steve Chang is very knowledgeable and his livestock is very healthy. As far as filtration there are many ways to go. Liverock and a sandbed are my preference. I would personally replace the millenium filter(not needed in my opinion) with a hang on protein skimmer or plumb the tank to a sump with a skimmer or refugium. The first livestock I would add after the tank has cycled is a detrivore kit from either ipsf.com or inlandaquatics.com. This will bring your sandbed alive with "critters"(worms, amphipods, small snails etc.) With your current lighting you will probably want to start with some hardy "low light" corals such as mushrooms or polyps. As far as fish go, damsels are very hardy but can be very aggresive. I like damsels alot but they will limit what other fish you can put in the tank. With salt water it is important not to overload with fish and a 29 can probably only handle a few small fish(no tangs). Despite what some LFS say, anemones are not beginner corals. If you want an anemone then I wouldn't add many other corals as the anenome is sure to wander and sting other corals and you will need to cover you powerheads so the anemone doesn't get sucked in. Also you should try and find a captive raised anenome as they are probably hardier. Lastly if you haven't done so already there are some great books out there, I would recommend Natural Reef Aquariums by Tullock as a good starter. Once again these are only my opinions and there is more than one way to set up a tank. Hope that helps.
11/02/2006, 05:15 PM
11/02/2006, 05:40 PM
Realy LFS are there to help you, the help you recieve will be better if you have a idea of what you want. I dont know how i would start to answer a question like "i want a saltwater tank, what do i do?" Good research before making any purchase will help a LFS help you. If you want a coral tank, you will get a complete different list of equipment then if you asked for a fish tank, and yet a complete different answer for a softie tank. Damsels are hardy and inexpensive. Very condusive to a beginner tank. It sounds like you want a fish tank, and the equipment so far is fine for a fish tank, reef tanks require different techniques (live refugiums, protien skimmers, etc) Fish tanks should use skimmers, but other mechanical means of filtration also work.
The more you know walking into a LFS the better help you will recieve. Research the fish you want to keep, research the feeding needs, and the flow. There are lots of good fish stores around the area, Im a fan of Aqua Imports, every one will have different experences with each one. Not every employee in a LFS can be a expert. You are lucky to get one or two "experts" in any shop. Im assuming the wage base cant support a shop full of experts. So once again, research, shop, ask questions to verify your research, then make a informed buying decision. The internet offers a endless amount of data on saltwater aquariums, the more you know the more successfull your tank will be. Expecially small ones.
Hope that helps.
11/02/2006, 11:03 PM
Check out the dates on this thread. If she still has this tank then she certainly doesn't need beginner advice anymore. :)
11/03/2006, 10:19 AM
Wow, that explains the testing post. That was a good waste of time.
11/03/2006, 11:14 AM
Had me going too.
11/03/2006, 06:10 PM
My first fish were damsels that I got at Liquid Kingdom. They sell them (under $10 when I got them) & then buy them back at half price. Liquid Kingdom is on 120th in Broomfield. Good luck.
11/03/2006, 08:42 PM
If I were you I would do the following:
Go and get a flock of mandarins.... they like to travel in packs, at least six of them should work for your 29Gal. Then I think you could handle one yellow, one purple, & one sohal tang ( they will grow, but you can sell them at a profit once they get too large for the tank ).
Also, at least three sea cucumbers & 100 hermits ought to keep your sandbed clean ( throw in ~4 sandsifting stars just to be sure ).
11/04/2006, 04:08 PM
I think that since you don't have a lot of light, you should go for an apo-symbiotic tank. I would start out with a couple of dendros, a blueberry gorgonian (they're just gorgeous), and maybe a crinoid. Since you'll be feeding the tank, that'll really get your biological filter started out right.
11/05/2006, 12:41 AM
And a Bamboo Shark!! Thats a gotta have!!
11/07/2006, 10:13 AM
I hear Bamboo Sharks do better when kept with Blue Spot Rays. That holds particularly true for SPS tanks.
11/07/2006, 10:20 AM
And a school of Green Chromis'.
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