Filling out my reef setup

fishkeepinginaisa

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Hey all,

Any suggestions for a coral that might look good in the bottom lefthand corner. Hoping to find something to really balance out the tank and make the look nice and full.

Thanks friends!
Nathan
IMG_7238.jpg
 

Alwaysbina

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I know I don’t know anything about coral but I just want to say that thing is beautiful boys want to do salt water but they’re so expensive I heard
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

fishkeepinginaisa

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Alwaysbina said:
I know I don’t know anything about coral but I just want to say that thing is beautiful boys want to do salt water but they’re so expensive I heard
Thanks so much! I appreciate that. It's definitely more expensive than freshwater, but it doesn't have to be unreasonable. I first kept corals when I was a broke high-schooler with a part-time job. The hardy corals like mushrooms tend to be less expensive. A lot of places have frags (small pieces of coral you can grow out) for around $20. If you don't mind being patient, you can grow out your own corals for pennies compared to buying big ones.

Now, if you get into hard corals (also called SPS), you really start talking money. You need top notch lighting, calcium reactors, and loads of other stuff I'm not qualified to explain. (I only keep the easy stuff like polyps, soft coral, and LPS.) For me, this is perfectly rewarding and enjoyable.

And if you just want to keep fish, I have the unpopular opinion that saltwater (for the average hobbyist who does a tiny bit of research) is no more challenging than fresh. With corals, you have to manage a few extra parameters, but fish aren't hard.

If you want to try it, start with captive bred species. Unlike freshwater, most saltwater fish are wild caught, and wild caught fish tend to be finicky. But captive bred fish, like clownfish, are easy to keep. I think you can get them for less than $20 now, but I'm not up to date on prices in America because I've been in China for four years now. Fishkeeping here is crazy cheap.

Damselfish are another good choice. A lot of people hate them because they're territorial and aggressive (a bad mix for reef tanks), but I still think they're great for beginners. They're less than $10, nearly impossible to kill, and really pretty. In the early days of the hobby, people called them "tester fish" because they used them to cycle new aquariums because they're so cheap and hardy. (A stressful, unnecessary process. You can cycle a saltwater tank without fish, but lots of people used to use damsels.) But today, if you do everything right, and choose something captive bred, your first fish will survive no problem!

Happy fishkeeping!

Nathan
 

Jesterrace

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IMHO you are going to need to get rid of that long spined urchin if you want more coral (particularly zoas). Mine wiped out the few zoas I had and bulldozed a well glued down frogspawn colony to boot. I replaced it with a Tuxedo Urchin and have been much happier.

As for coral Frogspawns or Duncans would be fun.
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

fishkeepinginaisa

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Jesterrace said:
IMHO you are going to need to get rid of that long spined urchin if you want more coral (particularly zoas). Mine wiped out the few zoas I had and bulldozed a well glued down frogspawn colony to boot. I replaced it with a Tuxedo Urchin and have been much happier.

As for coral Frogspawns or Duncans would be fun.
He's become quite a problem and I have to feed him to make sure he doesn't strip the tank of algae and starve. Biggest regret of the whole tank. I love frog spawn, but I haven't been able to find one here in China. It's weird because it should be readily avaliable, but I only saw one in the market and it was too large for my budget haha
 

Jesterrace

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fishkeepinginaisa said:
He's become quite a problem and I have to feed him to make sure he doesn't strip the tank of algae and starve. Biggest regret of the whole tank. I love frog spawn, but I haven't been able to find one here in China. It's weird because it should be readily avaliable, but I only saw one in the market and it was too large for my budget haha
If memory serves me correctly there can be some issues sourcing them from the wild due to current conservation status. Most of what I find for frogspawns these days are frags from other people's tanks. I think 3 of my 4 are are actually frags from other people's tanks. My LFS is incredibly resourceful and manages to keep in touch with any folks doing frags, tank tear downs, etc. and that has been a big part of what has kept them going. I just scored a little Blasto frag from my LFS for a whopping $10 from a tank tear down.

As for the Urchin, I get it. Mine was purchased small but grew insanely fast (I have lots of coralline alge in my tank). I got a serious wake up call when I went to my local aquarium and saw two long spines sitting in one of their tanks that were easily a foot across. Almost all of the rest are just as bad. Definitely sticking to Tuxedo Urchins from now on.
 

Jesterrace

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fishkeepinginaisa said:
Those are a load of fun. I actually alread have one, but he's a little guy so you can't see him in the photo.
They grow fast and sprout heads fast. Mine went from this:


To this in 4 months:

 

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