Hello All,
New hobby came to me and very expensive one i might add :). But all worth every penny of it. I can sit in front of it and stare for hours, can be over whelming at times. I've had fresh water all my life but always to afraid to get my feet wet in salt water. I have two freah H2O tank (20gl with black ghost knive, tetras, blue & paradise gouramis, albino cats and sucker fish. 10gl with 2 gold piranhas) and ofcourse my 38 gl salt. My tank was born in 06/18/03 and spent hours of reading and money too :'(.
I guess not as much as some people would have spent. My only mistakes was i didnt buy reef tank ready. Originally i was only interested in the fish. The more i am reading and see reef tank the slowly i migrated to reef.
So far ever since my reef has been established my water has been perfect. Calc is at 420-450, PH=8.2-8.4, Amonia=0-0.25, Nitrite=0-0.25,Salinity=1.021-1.023. The only thing is, I live in a 3 flr apt and my temp is hard to keep cool with the 130w lighting i have. I do have a modified hang filter with ice probe (chiller) in it and keeping my lids open to help only at 80-82deg. When it gets hot in chicago is nasty and humid. ickkkk.
I have Magnum 220 canister filter, Powerhead 820, undergravel, protein Skimmer and modified hang filter with chiller and algae in it to keep my nitrite level down but doesnt clutter my tank. With 4lbs of live sand and about 15lbs of crushed corals and 40 lbs of live rocks.
Knock on wood, everything has been safe and healthy, except i did loose 6 fish the first 2 week i establish my tanks. If anyone can suggest anything i could improve please let me know. I greatly appreciated


Yes i do have quite of few in there. I have 14 fish total (2x3 stripe damsel, 2x4 stripe damsel, 2x blue damsel, 2x domino damsel, 2x Yellow Tang, Mandarin Goby, Scooter blenny, Firefish goby, coral beauty).
I have 1 chocolate chip star, 1 large astrea snail & 3 little ones, 1 horseshoe crab, 1 black sea urchin, 4 red legged hermit crab.
As far as corals: i have 1 devil's hand leather, 1 brown torch coral, 1 green daisy flower pot, 1 pulsating xenia, 1 purple gargonias, 1 brwn gargonias, yellow pollyps, button polys. Yesterday i just added 1 blue bubble coral, 1 green star polyps, 1 purple arnation with some orange sponge on it. After reading about carnations, It is very delicate coral with low lighting need and moderate current. Anyone have any luck on these? Mine kinda limp :( ( i tried to put it in front lower right hand corner with good water flow from the power head, but it hasn't stand erected fully. My buble is bubbling little, but not fully, but i think thats just a matter of adapting to its environment. However my star polyps bloomed right away. :)
I also have 2 atlantic anemone and 2 feather duster. All is healthy and bloomed like nuts.
I have a certain shedule pattern as far as water additives (iodine, calcium, and etc) and fed them plankton, frozen brine, and some home made fish food i download online and they seemed to love that stuff. f any of you would like the recipe, i will send it to you.
Thank you all for the compliment. Anything that maybe useful for me to improve, please don't hesitate to let me know.
P.S. Anyone in chicago land areas? It is always nice to have hobbyest localy to share brain powers and helping hand.


What type of lighting do you have on the tank? It seems (from what I have read) that you may have too many fish in that size of tank as stated by Tgreene. Plus I think you may need more light especially if you keeping corals. I wish you the best of luck.


Active Member
The Concientious Marine Aquariast is a great book to take a look at by Robert Fenner. It will help to understand why the tank you are building will be unobtainable. :(
It looks like you jumped the gun a little bit on stocking that puppy but, you can always backtrack while the fish are still alive. You will undoubtably have to return some of the livestock to your Local Fish Store.......hopefully they won't have a problem giving you credit if you explain what size tank you have.
Tangs need at least 4 feet of swimming room with ample filtration and excellent water quality to live in. I personally think that nothing less than 55 gallons will do for any tang.
Chocolate Chip starfish are not reef safe and it will begin eating all of your corals and your anemone.
Anemones need a lot of light and an established tank to have any sort of chance at survival in the home aquarium. Best left to advanced aquariasts.
Undergravel filters have no place in saltwater aquariums.
Airstones have no place in saltwater aquariums either. (unless inside the skimmer)
Looks like you have some work to do and some serious research but, do not fear.........we are all here to help.
Welcome to the board!!!


junbug, Great looking tank EXCEPT way to much bio-load for any tank of that size. Also If I were you (imo) at the first chance I would take you UGF out and save it for FW. Welcome to the wide world of saltwater.:D


i am really hopeing that you reply back saying that this is an established tank that you bought. If not i wish you the best of luck and i hope your wallet doesnt take too much of a hit ;)
tip:


Active Member
Nice looking tank, but, as many others have said and are thinking, it will not last long.
I am not blasting you or anything like that, but your fish need to go. Way to many in there even for a 10 year old tank.
If the rock is cured, you will not have much of a cycle. If it is not, you will see a big ammonia spike and pretty much everything in the tank will die.
I would remove the fish, remove the UGF and put live sad i there..
Thats just my opinion though..
Welcome to the board..


Couple of tips here:
You said you're amonia and nitrites are registering 0-.25 each. They need to both be registering 0. You're tank is beautiful though. If you have a friend with a large tank, I would put some of the sealife in there or maybe your LFS will hold some of it for you in the store.
Also as a few have mentioned, that CC Star will love your aquarium. Good for him, bad for you. When your tank is established, go get a brittle star or a linckia star.
I wish you luck.


Active Member
Unless the bubbles are going up through the corals then the only drawback is salt creep. All that the bubbles are doing is creating water movement, and if you like the look then go ahead and keep them. You will have to wipe up salt creep alot but that is corrected by a lid. Of course with a lid you have then to deal with the heat.