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Old 11-03-2006, 12:08 AM   #1
JeffDubya
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Default A prop tank? Am I crazy?

OK... so I am stuck with a 29 gallon ďdisplayĒ tank. Heh, donít laugh... Iím making the best with what I have got.

However, I may be catching the frag bug. Iíve sliced and diced some mushrooms as well as some xenia, and itís really cool. I have access to some gear that is pretty darn cheap that would be perfectly suited for a prop tank, and hereís what I am thinking.

Two 29 gallon tanks. In the top tank, I would build a box frame out of PVC and set some egg crate on top of that. That would be my growing platform. I could even do multiple levels to acclimate stuff before moving it out, or giving critters different light levels. Under the egg crate, I could place a bunch of live rock, or just save that for the sump. Either way, natural filtration and a lot of it, plus I could mix in some aragocrete or lace rock and basically be culturing live rock at the same time I am providing natural filtration.

In one or both of the tanks, some Chaetamorpha to keep down the phosphates and nitrates.

I would have a protien skimmer.

For lighting, two light hoods with actinic/T5 or actinic/PC combos. Plenty of light. Which is better, T5 or PCs? I do have the option of metal halides, but I think the added cost would not be justified, as the lower cost lighting solution might work better.

And then... critters? Should I have anything in there besides what I am culturing? A cleanup crew, perhaps? Fish? Iím not sure why I would want fish... wouldnít they only add expense, and add wastes that I really donít need?

I would REALLY appreciate input on this. Iím a little ADD... and I tend to get crazy and follow things on a whim before I have thought things out completely (e.g. marraige, a dog, a kid, a marine aquarium, a house, etc... )

OK. Bring it on. Iím ready.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:03 AM   #2
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Of course, by "OK. Bring it on. Iím ready." I mean I am ready, willing, able and hoping to hear feedback from you folks to see if I am even close to doing this right.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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Hello JeffDubya and welcome to Frag Outpost.
Congrats on entering the fantastic world of coral propagation. It sounds like you are off to a great start. If you have your choice between T5HO's and PC's then I would definitely recommend that you go with the T5HO's as they take up less space over the tank (meaning you can add more later on) and they produce much more lumens per watt then the PC's do. Are you planning on keeping the chaeto separated somehow from the main frag tank? This would be the best option is to have a dedicated refugium. As far as fish and critters are concerned, many people go fishless in a prop tank because of the reduced nutrient/fish poo that is accumulated. Herbivorous fish are usually added in a prop tank to keep algae under control. A good candidate for larger prop tanks is a yellow tang but 29 gallons is a little small even for a small yellow tang. Try to make the most out of a good cleanup crew including variuos snails like astreas, neriths, turbos, etc. and some hermits like blue legs or scarlets. If you happen to develop any parasitic or undesirable worms or other crustaceans then a six-line wrasse is always a good choice, but it will not discriminate and will eat good critters like amphipods and copepods as well. Good luck with your new prop tank and keep us updated on your progress. Pics are always a plus too.
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:40 AM   #4
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Well for lighting, looks like I got lucky. I got a nice MH pendant with a 14K bulb in it, so I get the benefits of the great lighting and no need for anything supplemental.

I have a sketch I would like to upload, but it's tough getting a PDF to 19KB
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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Well my system is up, cycled, and running. I will post photos.

Right now I have a few frags in there...

A friend gave me a small acropora and montipora frags. I have some green star polyps, I have one piece of candy cane coral (inherited, not looking so hot) I have a bunch of mushrooms in there (watermelon, red and purple) as well as two ricordea shrooms. I also have some small samples of pulsing xenia in there and a couple finger leather coral frags.

My mushrooms are all in small glass bowls and are sitting in some crushed coral rubble, I am using the bridal veil method. Once stuff gets healthier and more established, I will remove samples and start fragging them in half or in quarters.

I also inherited a (sp?) poscillapora which is kept away from everything else. I understand these are prone to stinging other corals.

Right now I am truly most interested in growing the soft stuff, mainly because it seems to be easier and faster, and I know there are a lot of reefers in my area who are looking for them. Especially ricordeas.

I'm hoping this site will really provide me with some great information.
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