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Coral Only tank?

Discussion in 'Reef Tanks' started by westwind77, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. westwind77

    westwind77 New Member

    I know a lot of people have FOWLR tanks, then the normal Reef tank with Fish/Coral, but I was curious if people have Coral only tanks (non-frag tanks)?
    Would a coral only tank be easier to maintain, less food = less waste = low nitrates?
    Just curious, thanks!
  2. flower

    flower Well-Known Member


    I don't think it would make any difference and you could have a coral only one but...a tank needs a few fish for movement at least.
  3. daftboy

    daftboy New Member

    not coral movement right ? or do you mean because its boring to look at ?
  4. wangotango

    wangotango New Member

    Would a coral-only tank be easier to maintain? No. You're still going to have to do regular water testing and adding supplements (if needed). IMO some of the best reef aquariums have a pretty large fish population as well. Not only do the grazers help control algae, but fish poo is actually pretty good as a coral food.
    Can it be done? Absolutely, but I think you'd be bored staring at just corals all day personally.
  5. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    Originally Posted by WangoTango

    Would a coral-only tank be easier to maintain? No. You're still going to have to do regular water testing and adding supplements (if needed). IMO some of the best reef aquariums have a pretty large fish population as well. Not only do the grazers help control algae, but fish poo is actually pretty good as a coral food.
    Can it be done? Absolutely, but I think you'd be bored staring at just corals all day personally.

    Exactly...Coral flow with the wave and that's nice, but a fish does stuff, they swim here and there then dart into a rock or chase each other...life...movement. Even a flame changes as you look at it, a coral just says in the current.
    I don’t like too many fish, then it gets a busy look and feel. I love a peaceful reef where you see a few fish here and there, the corals sway and the hermits graze…I can watch that all day.
  6. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    Originally Posted by WangoTango

    Would a coral-only tank be easier to maintain? No. You're still going to have to do regular water testing and adding supplements (if needed). IMO some of the best reef aquariums have a pretty large fish population as well. Not only do the grazers help control algae, but fish poo is actually pretty good as a coral food.
    Can it be done? Absolutely, but I think you'd be bored staring at just corals all day personally.
    +1
  7. speg

    speg New Member

    I used to have coral only tanks and it never got boring. The only reason I have any fish at all is because my wife wants NEMO.....
    I'll admit that the lionfish I've got is cool though :)
  8. king_neptune

    king_neptune New Member

    powerheads create movement. Dont need fish for that. If your doing corals you want to have 30-50x turnover anyways.
    I have a coral heavy tank. Im not a fish person, I do have a few small ones...but mostly corals.
    I feed every other day with a varied diet of coral foods that I choose from.
    Low micron particle foods, rotifers, phyto feast ect.
    Fish poo is, get this... good source of protein for corals.
    As for easier...yep, sure is less hassle since fish are the biggest polluters in a tank. Doesn't mean you will be invincible, your still going to be doing water changes and what not. I don't have algae problems. A little buildup on the glass in a couple low flow spots, but nothing major.
  9. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    The movement I think they were referring to was just that fish tend to add more life to the tank with their movement, not necessarily that they help with flow of corals (at least I hope they didn't mean this).
    Coral only tanks are possible, but I will be honest, IMO and IME, having fish, even if it's just tiny fish and only a few in a reef tank do help out the coral with their waste (as King said) and add a lot of life/color to the tank.
  10. westwind77

    westwind77 New Member

    Ok, well I seem to have an answer :) Water changes are a given, I just wondered how much 'less' of a hassle it was without the fish (food/waste). Not too much of a difference it seems I guess. I was not looking to do a coral only tank, but was just curious.
  11. stanlalee

    stanlalee New Member

    corals seem to do better with fish. I even tried it myself with the biocube and even with one fish the few corals especially the monti cap seem to thrive better. I cant explain the dynamics but there seem to be something to the consistant or maybe even type of nutrient supplied by fish feeding/pooping whatever thats missing in fishless coral tanks. Not that they dont/cant do well but fish seem to be beneficial. I definately dont see how fish are much more of a hassle except for feeding frequency. everything else should be the same and a coral tank should be fed as well even if not feeding the corals directly. microfauna for food will be more important than ever without fish.
    and while a coral tank without inverts would be VERY boring I dont care how nice the corals are if you have a bunch of different shrimp, crabs, stars ect that can co exist it doesn't have to be boring/lifeless.
    Personal feeling a reef tank without fish...well you see all above I call them coral tanks not reef tanks. Fish are just as prodominant a part of a reef as corals are. matter of fact when most people dive reefs for fun its the fish that provide the entertainment not looking at a bunch or tabling corals.

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