First time SW hobbyist

Sam Livingston

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I've had freshwater tanks for many, many years and have had just about every freshwater fish known in these parts during that span. So onto bigger and much more expensive things. My 75 gallon tank is cycled and ready for some amigos! I am looking forward to colorful reef tank. I want a community tank, and looking for any and all ideas. I'm sold on hermit crabs, that's my only 100% choice so far I would also like few snails, and have some spare shells ready to go so the hermits will be less likely to fight snails for their shells. Need suggestions for possible other sifters. And would like to hear suggestions for the fishies. So guidelines are as follows... 75 G community reef tank. So no coral biters, invertebrate munchers, or fin nippers I'm all ears let's hear it guys.
 
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Hello Sam,

Best wishes for your new adventure! I hope you can share some photos with us along the way. I'm not a salt tank keeper so I'll have to let others give you tips and suggestions.

Keep us posted.
Ken
 

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My diamond Goby keeps my sand bright white and is fun to watch. Some people say they've had problems getting them to take regular food or with them spitting sand all over corals. I haven't had either of these problems. He's been a model citizen
 

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75 is a good size to start a SW tank with. I assume you've researched the cycling, skimmers, and outlined all of your filtering needs.

As for snails, avoid turbo snails. They are large and knock over your corals. Not so bad when they fall in front, but I've had to re-aquascape my whole tank before because a coral fell behind the live rock. Nassarius and Astrea snails are good. Nassarius will sift the sand and Astrea will clean the glass (somewhat...not that great at it in my opinion). Astrea are also the only snails that can right themselves after tipping over which is a huge plus.

For fish, do NOT start with damsels. I did and they wouldn't let any other fish swim around the tank. Start with chromis, which are in the damsel family but not territorial when young and only a little territorial when larger. Green chromis are pretty fish, if a little plain. Percula clowns are pretty good, too. Though they're technically damsels they aren't quite as aggressive. Maroon clowns are more aggressive.

Cardinal fish are great for a peaceful tank. Personally I like the PJ cardinals as the other ones seem just a little bland. Important to note is that cardinals do not move quickly. If you should find yourself with damsels and cardinals in the same tank your cardinals won't be able to avoid being harassed by them. This leads to stress and disease.

Most blennies and gobies are good. With the blennies and gobies be sure that you only get one, or if you get two make sure they are different enough as to not cause a problem. I have a tribal blenny who is black and a yellow headed goby who is white with a yellow head so there's no problem there. I also have a neon goby, but I think all fish know not to mess with a cleaner fish. You can get two clowns, but make sure they are the same kind and get them at the same time.

While probably not as necessary with the fish I'm mentioning, you might want to keep a skunk or coral banded shrimp in there. When/if you're ready to move to a tang or other slightly larger fish you'll want a cleaner.

Other fish - some butterflies, like the copperband, are more or less safe in a reef tank. They may occasionally nip at corals but of all butterflies they are the safest. Same goes for pygmy angels.

As with all fish, avoid getting new fish that are smaller and similar in body shape and color than your existing inhabitants.
 
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Sam Livingston

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My diamond Goby keeps my sand bright white and is fun to watch. Some people say they've had problems getting them to take regular food or with them spitting sand all over corals. I haven't had either of these problems. He's been a model citizen
Yeah I've been looking into either diamond or purple fire gobies, I love my monstrous brackish ones, but these little guys look pretty cute, and much more active then their ogre cousins Thanks
 
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Sam Livingston

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75 is a good size to start a SW tank with. I assume you've researched the cycling, skimmers, and outlined all of your filtering needs.

As for snails, avoid turbo snails. They are large and knock over your corals. Not so bad when they fall in front, but I've had to re-aquascape my whole tank before because a coral fell behind the live rock. Nassarius and Astrea snails are good. Nassarius will sift the sand and Astrea will clean the glass (somewhat...not that great at it in my opinion). Astrea are also the only snails that can right themselves after tipping over which is a huge plus.

For fish, do NOT start with damsels. I did and they wouldn't let any other fish swim around the tank. Start with chromis, which are in the damsel family but not territorial when young and only a little territorial when larger. Green chromis are pretty fish, if a little plain. Percula clowns are pretty good, too. Though they're technically damsels they aren't quite as aggressive. Maroon clowns are more aggressive.

Cardinal fish are great for a peaceful tank. Personally I like the PJ cardinals as the other ones seem just a little bland. Important to note is that cardinals do not move quickly. If you should find yourself with damsels and cardinals in the same tank your cardinals won't be able to avoid being harassed by them. This leads to stress and disease.

Most blennies and gobies are good. With the blennies and gobies be sure that you only get one, or if you get two make sure they are different enough as to not cause a problem. I have a tribal blenny who is black and a yellow headed goby who is white with a yellow head so there's no problem there. I also have a neon goby, but I think all fish know not to mess with a cleaner fish. You can get two clowns, but make sure they are the same kind and get them at the same time.

While probably not as necessary with the fish I'm mentioning, you might want to keep a skunk or coral banded shrimp in there. When/if you're ready to move to a tang or other slightly larger fish you'll want a cleaner.

Other fish - some butterflies, like the copperband, are more or less safe in a reef tank. They may occasionally nip at corals but of all butterflies they are the safest. Same goes for pygmy angels.

As with all fish, avoid getting new fish that are smaller and similar in body shape and color than your existing inhabitants.
Yup research is all done tank wise, cycle is steady the water is perfect thus far, it's ready for some fishies

Chromis and/or cardinal fish looks like will probably be the best for centering the community around. I was interested in the 3 striped chromas and any of the cardinals, would there be any problem mixing both together? As I mentioned in first reply I'm very interested in gobies and will almost have to pick up a little bugger. Blenny's look like they'll be a blast, but read they might be shaky for reef tanks, have you had any problems with him nipping at corals?

For this tank, at least for now I want to focus on fish 4-5" and under, so I'll probably stay away from tang and other larger fish for the time being. I'll let the little guys run the joint in this tank, and maybe save bigger one for my next tank. I'd love to get shrimp, but fear hermit crabs would want to make snack out of them.

So let's see how does a couple cardinals, maybe small schoal of chromis, 1-2 clowns, blenny, diamond or purple fire goby, couple hermit crabs, and couple Nassarius or Astrea snails sound? If that looks good, how about throwing in a sea bass or jawfish, would they make a good wildcard to that tank? Thanks
 

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Sea bass - ha!

That sounds like a good mix of fish. Blennies will occasionally nip at coral. My tribal just started recently picking on one particular coral. Not sure why, exactly. Probably not enough algae in the tank for him. I haven't figured out why I scrape algae all day but the tribal goes for the algae inside the corals, instead.

There's a certain number of snails that you're supposed to have per gallon and I can't remember off the top of my head. The number 20 is coming to me for some reason. Some websites sell cleaner crews based on tank size. If you look at those contents it should tell you what you need so you can pick them up at the LFS. They're pretty cheap; if I recall correctly I got twelve astrea for $20.

Edit: You probably already know this, but add your creatures one or two at a time. You'll need to adjust your bio-load after each new creature. If you add too many at once you're tank won't be able to keep up with the ammonia spike and some critters will die.
 
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new_sw_gurl

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I do have a firefish. He looks cool...but he doesn't move around a whole lot. Same goes for the purple one. They just kind of hang out in one spot. Cardinals too. So if you want action....they're probably not your best bet. But...they've definitely got the look! I love them anyway.

I don't have any Blenny or chromis experience...but I know a lot of members love theirs. I'd love to have a jawfish...till I saw the price. i'll wait awhile on him.

Nassarius and Astrea snails serve different purposes. I have both. Nassarius burrow in and sift your sand. Astrea are algae eaters on the glass/rocks.

Also, you can keep hermits with shrimp IME. My hermits don't bother my shrimp at all. Which is good since my shrimp is my favorite little guy in the tank!! He's a riot. He watches til I lift the lid and then swims around like crazy waiting for food. If I stick my hand in, he swims right over and hangs out on my hand to "clean".
 
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Sam Livingston

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Sea bass - ha!

That sounds like a good mix of fish. Blennies will occasionally nip at coral. My tribal just started recently picking on one particular coral. Not sure why, exactly. Probably not enough algae in the tank for him. I haven't figured out why I scrape algae all day but the tribal goes for the algae inside the corals, instead.

There's a certain number of snails that you're supposed to have per gallon and I can't remember off the top of my head. The number 20 is coming to me for some reason. Some websites sell cleaner crews based on tank size. If you look at those contents it should tell you what you need so you can pick them up at the LFS. They're pretty cheap; if I recall correctly I got twelve astrea for $20.
haha i take it sea bass won't do so well? The anthias type
 
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Sam Livingston

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I do have a firefish. He looks cool...but he doesn't move around a whole lot. Same goes for the purple one. They just kind of hang out in one spot. Cardinals too. So if you want action....they're probably not your best bet. But...they've definitely got the look! I love them anyway.

I don't have any Blenny or chromis experience...but I know a lot of members love theirs. I'd love to have a jawfish...till I saw the price. i'll wait awhile on him.

Nassarius and Astrea snails serve different purposes. I have both. Nassarius burrow in and sift your sand. Astrea are algae eaters on the glass/rocks.

Also, you can keep hermits with shrimp IME. My hermits don't bother my shrimp at all. Which is good since my shrimp is my favorite little guy in the tank!! He's a riot. He watches til I lift the lid and then swims around like crazy waiting for food. If I stick my hand in, he swims right over and hangs out on my hand to "clean".
Awesome because I do love my shrimp, used to have a boatload of freshwater cherry shrimp. Thanks hopefully they will have both types of snails. Yeah I haven't seen jawfish prices yet, not even sure if the pet store has them, I'll found out shortly. I'm used to gobies not moving much so that won't be a problem But I would like more active fish so maybe I'll go with schoal of Chromis'.
 

zeeter

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Oh the anthias. Here I was thinking of a two-foot monster that I catch off shore.
 
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Sam Livingston

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haha nope sorry should've been more detailed, I think of the same type you did, but I read the anthias profile on this site and it got me intrigued.
 
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