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  #1  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:07 PM
Marinus Marinus is offline
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One very excited new hobbiest!

Merry Christmas everyone,

This Christmas I bought myself my first aquarium and I'm as excited as my 3 and 4 year old boys are with their new Spider-man web blasters! So this Christmas day, as they are running around shooting everything in sight, I'm here at Reef Central eagerly absorbing everything like a sponge!

I bought a 46 gallon all glass bowfront tank including a glass top. So the first thing I did was enter "46 gallon" in the picture gallery search bar here to admire all the beautiful reefs the members here have in their 46 gallon tanks. I was happy to see such beautiful reefs in this size tank as I was worried it might be too small and I couldn't afford a bigger one. I couldn't really afford this one either but I justified the cost by telling the wife it was for the kids. My two boys are actually very excited about having a fish tank and they have been talking about it ever since I asked them if we should get one.

Anyway, I realise I should probably have chosen the creatures before the home, however, I just got the biggest tank I could afford and will have to make due with what will comfortably fit inside. The boys of course want a couple Clownfish and I must admit I find them very pleasant, especially when they like to hang out in beautiful anemones. I hope a 46 gallon tank is big enough to add some other beautiful fish as well. I found lots of very helpful information in the Anemones & Clownfish forum, however, as the forum is so vast, I was hoping someone of you would be so kind as to help me by summarizing a step by step how to startup a new Clownfish tank. I can then search the forums for information on each step (a link to more information on each step would of course be fantastic!). I understand I will have to stabilize the water to build things up slowly, however, I would love to get an idea of what life forms would share the same environment and in which order I can expect to introduce them to their new home.

I'm a purist and would only want the sand, rocks, corals, anemones and creatures, etc... etc... found in their natural habitat. Of course their are way too many life forms present in a natural reef but I would love to hear your suggestions on what would be the most desirable and essential to the fish that would be living there. Hopefully that will include some vibrant colours and beautiful live corals and anemones. I kind of feel bad that the fish cannot venture out bast the limits of the tank and I really don't want to crowed them, please let me know what fish would deal best in the limited space of the tank. I find them all beautiful, even the crabs and shrimps, so really, it's all about making the life forms comfortable in a 46 gallon bowfront tank.

Please forgive me if I sound completely ignorant, it's because I am. I am no doubt getting way ahead of myself here, it's just that I'm so excited about my new hobby. It's no wonder I'm so drawn to the idea of having a piece of heaven in our living room, I practically lived in the ocean as a surf bum for over 8 years in Hawaii and Indonesia. Now that I'm land locked and depressed in the anything but Tropical Ottawa, Canada, this will let me drift away in never never land and remember the good old days of my youth. I really am a fish out of water and I'm really looking forward to this new hobby. Hopefully I will be able to control this no doubt soon to be full on addiction.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance and a very Merry Christmas to all!

By the way, what a fantastic community! I have a feeling there really is no need to look anywhere else for anything and everything saltwater aquariums and I look forward to make some new friends here.
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  #2  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:19 PM
FragMan07 FragMan07 is offline
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Clownfish are a great addition to a tank.

After you get the cycling process and and live rock which will take a few weeks, you can then begin thinking about adding fish.

The key with clownfish is you need to get a pair when they are both juvenile. At that point they have yet to choose a sex and if you put two young fish in a tank before they have matured sexually, eventually one of the fish will be the male and the other a female.

The female will end up double the size of the male and basically rule his world. Sound familiar??? J/k.

If you acclimate them properly and your water is cycled correctly, two clownfish should be a great addition to your tank. I find them to be friendly, playful, and colorful. I have a 29 gallon tank and it does my clownfish fine.

I've had them together for over a year and now they are paired and mating. She hasn't quite learned how to lay eggs on the rocks yet, but it gives the tank a tasty treat.

The only other fish I have in my 29 gallon is a Damsel fish, which I hear can be aggressive and a nuisance, but mine hangs out with my clownfish like they're all buddies. I got lucky I guess.

Your tank should be able to house 3-4 fish comfortably up to a reasonable size.

Any other questions I will be happy to help if I can. I'm also on the newer side to this game and know how overwhelming it can be at first.
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  #3  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:23 PM
everl0ng everl0ng is offline
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Welcome to Reef Central, Marinus! You picked the most wonderful hobby!

First off, when thinking about clownfish, you want to stick to pretty much one species. you don't want to mix maroons with tomatos, or tomatos with perculas, or anything like that unless you have a MASSIVE tank. the common clowns that people tend to go with are perculas and ocellaris (nemos). if you would like to have a pair it is best to add both at one time. they will establish dominance that way. if you decide to get one now and one later, then you will want to get a smaller one for the second, as it will be the male and the larger of the two will turn to the female.

as for an anemone, it is recommended to wait six months to a year so that you have a more stable tank in terms of salinity, ph, and all other water parameters that can affect the health of the anemone. if you decide to go with other corals you will want to keep an eye on them since the anemone can sting and kill every coral you put in the tank. if the anemone does not like the spot it is in it will move to find better light, flow, etc... you will definitely want to go with metal halides or t-5s for the anemone as they require an immense amount of light, depending on the species you choose to go with, and you may want to stick to only one species of anemone in that size of tank. a lot of clowns will decide to host other things than just the anemone...and some clowns never decide to host an anemone...or it may take days, weeks, months or even years. it is just their choice. there are also multiple posts of the clowns hosting other corals such as hammer, torch, frogspawn, mushrooms, star polyps, even clams, powerheads, heaters, and magfloats. so while you are sitting back and researching while you are waiting on your tank to stable out and mature some, have fun here on RC, and there is ALWAYS someone to help you! and take everything with a grain of salt...get multiple opinions and responses.

i'd wait to see what others say about your plans, and i hope i wasn't too terribly wrong haha

i hope this helps!!
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  #4  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:25 PM
Brewen Brewen is offline
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[welcome]Marinus
  #5  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:30 PM
FragMan07 FragMan07 is offline
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I agree with everl0ng on pretty much every point. I have percula's myself.


Here's a link to my 6 month tank progression. As you can see it is a slow, arduous process to get the tank to where you want it to be.

As many people will tell you in here, you get out of your tank exactly what you put into it.

Do water changes, check your levels reguarly, clean the glass of algae, and try to understand you are now creating a complete ecosystem environment inside your tank complete with millions of little creatures working together to create a balanced environment. When one chemical is too high or low......or when one aspect of the food chain fails, the entire tank suffers as a result.

When everything is in balance and cared for, your tank flourishes.


http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...readid=1273991
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  #6  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:31 PM
Psychojam Psychojam is offline
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You might consider reading the book Clownfishes by Joyce D. Wilkerson. You can't read or research enough in this hobby!

Good Luck!
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  #7  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:39 PM
stevelearnin stevelearnin is offline
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hey marinus, small world, I too am a newbie with a 46 gal bowfront reef tank. Have just installed my new ro/di system. waiting for delivery of a custom made filtration setup made by lifereef (see online) including a skimmer and auto top off. Nothing suitable would fit in the small cabinet space that came with the aquarium and give me the crystal clear water I want. I too am seeking advice and info from this great forum. Great hobby to share with the kids. You are a good dad. My grandchildren love my tank every week when they visit. One thing: I have over spent beyond my beginning expectations, about 3g so far. have more to go to finalize. good luck, and happy to share the bits I am learning, Steve
  #8  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:41 PM
Scuba_Steve Scuba_Steve is offline
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What a great Chirstmas present for your kids (self)
The first place you want to look in is here
http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...readid=1031074
Read a few of the top articles, and follow the basic advise religiously.
It may end up making this hobby more expensive than you want it to be, but trust me, its best to do things right the first time around.
  #9  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:44 PM
stevelearnin stevelearnin is offline
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marinus, I forgot, read everything by "waterkeeper" at the head of this forum. He knows. Steve
  #10  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:45 PM
everl0ng everl0ng is offline
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yeah, i actually had to restart because i didn't spend the money on an ro/di system in the begining...it is MUCH better to up the initial cost a bit and do everything right the first time. you can always save up and buy while your tank is cycling because that can take a while.
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  #11  
Old 12/25/2007, 03:57 PM
tmz tmz is offline
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Great advice in the prvious posts. Just go slowly and enjoy every step. Just like life, this is a journey not a destination. As the saying goes don't forget to smell the roses along the way or at least the skimate.

Lest you feel to guilty about space, Amphipiron (clownfish) generally spend theit entire life in a one cubic meter space in the ocean.

There are also many other species suitable for a small tank. A good reference is:"Marine Fishes",by, Scott W. Michael.
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  #12  
Old 12/25/2007, 04:03 PM
stuccodude stuccodude is offline
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me and my wife bought our tank for christmas last year for each other, besides my kids its the best gift she has ever gave me. good luck
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  #13  
Old 12/25/2007, 04:04 PM
Psychojam Psychojam is offline
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Another book that was a great place to start is "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael S. Paletta.

I spent about a year just researching and reading before I bought a tank.
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  #14  
Old 12/25/2007, 04:31 PM
J-Burns J-Burns is offline
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Hi, I would suggest some good books....Natural Reef Aquariums by John Turlock, Also Reef Notes by Sprung, Also Reef Aquarium volumes 1, 2 and 3 by Sprung. Any of these will help. Also Clown fisk are pretty hardy. You should be OK to set up your tank, mix your saltwater, add sand or gravel. Add a heater. Get your tank and salinity correct. After your temp and salinity has stablized ( a few hours) you can go to the local fish shop and buy 10 or so pounds of live rock put in your rock . Once everythig settles and your water is clear you can add your fish. (2 clowns only) The live rock from the pet shop will be full of the bacteria that your tank needs. You will also of coarse need either a filter or a skimmer. I have set up tanks this way and never had a problem. I do have a good local fish shop though.
  #15  
Old 12/25/2007, 04:40 PM
everl0ng everl0ng is offline
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it depends on where you are getting your rock from. if you get it at a pet shop 5 minutes away there won't be much die off in the rock. if you have to drive a half hour, or have it ordered from the internet and it is in transit for a day or two, then you will have more die off. it is best to constantly test your water and monitor your ph, salinity, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. you want your ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites to all read 0. you want your ph to read 8.1-8.3, and you want your salinity up around 1.024-1.026, and you want it to STAY STABLE without much fluctuation. when your parameters and everything stay the same and are stable for a while, THEN add your clean up crew (snails, hermits, crabs etc...) and then your fish. you may go through some algae blooms which are completely normal for all new tanks to go through. just read, take it slow, and read, read, read and monitor, monitor, monitor before adding anything to your tank. your inhabitants will thank you by being alive and healthy in the long run
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  #16  
Old 12/25/2007, 06:32 PM
Marinus Marinus is offline
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Wow! What a great community. I leave to have dinner with the family and I come back to warm welcomes, very interesting information and great advice! Thanks everyone!

It's nice to learn that Clownfish generally spend their entire life within the same cubic meter of ocean. Thanks for that, tmz.

Thanks for the interval photo's of your tanks progress, FragMan07. It's nice to have a visual idea of what to expect.

Thanks for the water levels, everl0ng!

Hi stevelearnin, 3G already? So far I'm in at about $400 without the live rock which I was quoted another $350. As I was told by the shop keeper, this would get me started. Then of course there's the better lights for the anemones, which will no doubt be over $200 and all the creatures, fish, corals, and anenomes... $500+? That will put me at a minimum of $1450 (CAD). However, I can already see how addicting this will become... Lets just keep these little details to ourselves, all my wife knows so far is that we got a fish tank... for the kids. Haha.

Here's the RC Photo Gallery search results for 46 gallon bowfront tanks:
http://reefcentral.com/gallery/showg...ppuser=&stype=

Cool eh?

Thanks to all for the great advice, links and references, everyone!

Also thanks, I did catch WaterKeeper great sticky New-First Time on RC-Look Here for Answers. I was just wondering if I should do anything different for a Clownfish specific tank, such as: which type of sand, live rocks, coral, anemones, etc... however, I'm sure all the great references will answer all this.

For those also new to this community with similar interests, I also found the wonderful Finding Nemo Article in the Anemones & Clownfish forum, which linked to another great article Time to Quit Clownin' Around: The Subfamily Amphiprioninae at reefkeeping.com. Thanks to the authors of those articles!

Thanks again everyone!
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  #17  
Old 12/25/2007, 06:43 PM
hybridgenius hybridgenius is offline
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Also check out THE CONSCIENTIOUS MARINE AQUARIST by bob fenner. Great book for basic needs and everyone here is great.
  #18  
Old 12/25/2007, 08:48 PM
stevelkaneval stevelkaneval is offline
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probobly a little late but the bow front is a pita to take pics with plus after hours of stareing into it you get a headache. i used to have a 36 bowfront(used to). i would turn it around and put it in a corner and put the rock in the bow so it curves around plus you can take pics and clean it easily.
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  #19  
Old 12/25/2007, 09:24 PM
jccash jccash is offline
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I agree with the above suggestion. Buy "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael S. Paletta. Very practical book, easy to read with a lot of great information. JC
  #20  
Old 12/26/2007, 03:49 AM
Norward Norward is offline
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just my .02 on the book suggestions after having looked through and bought a couple myself: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Fenner is the most comprehensive reference I found, covering set-up, maintenance, and varieties of fish and inverts. Other books provide greater detail on specific topics (like clownfish and reefbuilding). Just about everything you will need to know you can find a post, link, or answer to at RC, but it has been nice to sit back and read this book or quickly pull it out to look something up. The 46g should be a good size for a pair of clowns, anemone, and reefbuilding. Heed everyone's caution to be patient and go slow. Welcome and enjoy!
  #21  
Old 12/26/2007, 08:37 AM
tmz tmz is offline
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Also thanks, I did catch WaterKeeper great sticky New-First Time on RC-Look Here for Answers. I was just wondering if I should do anything different for a Clownfish specific tank, such as: which type of sand, live rocks, coral, anemones, etc... however, I'm sure all the great references will answer all this.

Mine like rock work with an overhang or at least a somewhat concealed piece of flat rock or tile they can lay eggs and raise fry on, One pair hosts in in a bubble tip anemone.the other pair in a seapatrate tank host in a hammer coral (Euphylia anchora) .

Anemones are much harder to keep than clownfish and require a bit more research for success. I have found the bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) to be the hardiest.Most clowns will host in them. Hosting behavior is difficult to predict. It's more of a fish by fish thing. There are captive bred specimens around since many times these anemones split and form clones in home aquaria. I always prefer a captive grown specimen of anything. Not only because it obviates the need to remove a specimen from the wild but because if it has grown and lived in a tnak for a while my chances for success are better.
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  #22  
Old 12/26/2007, 12:05 PM
zotzer zotzer is offline
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Marinus,
Congratulations on the new tank! My 46g bowfront (and very first reef tank) just turned four months old yesterday.

If you click on the red house above this post, it will link you to a thread of my entire journey. At some point today (once the lights come on) I will be adding even more pics, so check back for the latest and greatest.

It's been a really fun couple of months, and I love the way my tank has come along. If you can find a local reef club, your learning curve will be exponentially faster, and you can find great deals on equipment and livestock. Much of the livestock in my tank was given to me by other reefers, for example.

Sit back, keep studying, and remember to *enjoy* it. So many people get stressed about it and forget that the whole point is to have some enjoyment of the darned thing! LOL

Have fun!!
Tracy
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click the little red house to view the progression of my first reef tank. :)
  #23  
Old 12/26/2007, 02:01 PM
Marinus Marinus is offline
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Thanks again for the book references everyone! I'll for sure make my way to a book store real soon to check them out.

Tracy, what a great thread you have kept. Thank you for sharing that with us. The pictures are perfect, it will give me an idea of what I can expect at the different stages. You have done very well I might add and totally agree, your blenny is super cool! Congratulations right back at you.
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  #24  
Old 12/26/2007, 02:16 PM
zotzer zotzer is offline
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Thanks, Marinus! Glad you found it helpful!!
Tracy
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click the little red house to view the progression of my first reef tank. :)
  #25  
Old 12/26/2007, 04:29 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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Welcome aboard. I'm another bowfront reefer with a 54, not too much bigger: you can see my equipment and critter list below. These midsize tanks are great, imho: not the water-change logistics of the big guys, but not the great fragility of the nanotanks, either. We can't keep, say, angels or tangs or anthias---and certainly not sharks and groupers [lol!] because of our size, but we can keep a wide array of fishes that don't mass much, and there's really no coral that's off-limits to us. The smartest thing is to look at a lot of fishes, a lot of corals, [divided roughly into stony and softy] and a lot of tank arrangements.

Our photography forum can be a surprisingly good place to get a 'look' at tanks and such.

Our LPS, SPS, Softie, Zooanthid, and Corellimorphian [mushroom] forums discuss [with photos] those sorts of creatures.

Lighting and Equipment is a good place to go with a technical question.

And at the top of every forum the threads with a * in front of them are information so generally useful they've been 'stickied' to the top of the forum more or less permanently. Read those in particular and you'll find out a raft of stuff.
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