Hi I have just set up my river reef 50.(94L) got 6lb of live rock in now, more coming so will have about 17lb altogether. But as i keep looking i have a few questions. first this will seem stupid, but i really dunno what a protein skimmer is and the instructions do not provide any info at all. so if anyone can explain that it would help tonnes. :) I also wanted to know how many fish i can have, i will get 2 nemos, i was looking at yellow tail damsels, but looks like that is a bad idea, shame they looked good, i also wanted to get 1 of the bicolour dottybacks, (half pink, half yellow), carpenters wrasse, green mandarin (dunno if i can though, but they look amazing) and a flame angelfish. i will obviously not add them all at once, was going to do 2 a month. if any one has any advice it would help. oh and i will obviously have a cleaning crew. of shrimps,snails and crabs. the more i am writing the more i think of something else. I have red algae on the live rock, (i think) is this ok?, or do i just need to keep an eye on it? thanks all
Er ... marines not my area but there are a couple of things I can say until one of our marine keepers comes along ...
Protein skimmers: well your live rock is providing your biological filtration, but you are still left with other undesirables in your tank - dissolved organic compounds etc which are best removed with a protein skimmer. The air bubbles inside the skimmer pick up the nasties, and deposit them as gungy stuff when they burst, which is caught inside the skimmer cup. Not a brilliantly technical explanation but I hope you get the idea.
Mandarin: please abandon this idea for now, beautiful though they are - in the hands of a new keeper in a new tank it will surely die, even very experienced marine keepers can have trouble with them
In general that sounds like an over-ambitious number of fish for a tank that size ...
Hi thanks for the reply. I am new to all this, but this is why when the guy at the aquarium said i could fit 12-14 fish i was a bit amazed. this is why i want to double check. how many fish would be allowed in a tank of this size? I will give up the idea on a mandarin, i had not realised it was difficult to look after. fingers crossed all goes well and i can look at it in the future. lol :P
Hi, first of all protein skimmers, it's really up to you if you wish to run one. Your tank is under 100 litres so it isn't essential, my advice would be to run without then down the line if you having any problems with water parameters or quality then you can always add one. As for how many it really depends on what type you're after. If you want 2 Ocellaris (Nemos) then i'd go with 2 more, 4 in total. A bicolour dottyback can be agressive, if you like the colour then check out a royal gramma instead as colours are very similar and it's less agressive. If these were your choice then i'd add something like a shrimp goby of some sort to make 4. As for Flames they're expensive and aren't the hardiest of fish they also nip at corals prob's best avoided at first, the coral beauty is sometimes bought as a cheaper altnernative. Red algae on the rock is a good sign but you need to keep it in check. Have you got a cuc in yet? If not get a good mix of things like astreas, nass's, ceriths and maybe a turbo. Be careful before adding any crabs, seek advice or do some research on them, remember hermits will normally kill snails for their shells.
the previous answer has delivered you very sound answers. 94 liters is too small for the usual angelfishes. The only species you could host are C.fisheri (6 cm for male in te wild) but it means only a couple of them. as regards the skimmer : the technical explanation is that at the surface of the air bubble in seawater there is an electrical charge that attracts all kind of proteinic compounds, the resulting foam is thus a concentration of decaying products of various origins. This is one thing. Another one is that the skimmer is the best and most efficient place to mix air with water thus providing an excellent oxygen rate for the animals, the consequence is also the providing of a good redox rate. For me, skimmers are a thing to have in one's tank, at all costs.