posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 02:58 PM
Actually, you will find that the bigger the tank, the easier it is to maintain. I've found that a 90 gallon is a perfect size.
The first question I have is do you have live rock in the tank? The formula that works for me is approx 1 lb. of live rock per gallon of water. Now
I'm speaking of live rock, not live sand. You want to find live rock that has nice purple coraline algae growth. Find it in various shapes and sizes,
so you can arrange it so that you have nice little, tunnels and caves for maximum water circulation.
Make sure that your salinity is good - use a good brand of salt, it may cost a couple dollars more, but it really does make a difference.
As far as light goes. For a 90 gallon tank, I have 4 - 48" VHO lights. I use 3 fifty/fifty bulbs, and 1 blue actinic. I have great success with this
combination. I have it on a timer, which has the lights on for approx 14 hours a day.
You have to stay on top of salinity, phosphates, nitrates, alkalinity, and iodine levels. Water temperature is also very important. Try to have the
aquarium placed where actual sunlight doesn't directly hit it.
Now when you have your new tank, make sure you let the water "Cure" before introducing any animals. Live rock helps the curing process immensely!
Now for filtration, in a 90 gallon tank I use 1 wet dry filter, and I remove all of the bio balls. In addition I use 2 Magnum 500 canister filters. I
have 3 minijet pumps inside the tank (They suction cup to the inside of the tank.) and they are attached to a wavemaker. A wavemaker has the three
pumps go off individually at various times to make a "current". This helps to stop all of the detritus from accumulating.
Never use tap water to top off your tank. Your fish store will more than likely have reverse osmosis water that you can buy. Just go out and get a
couple of 10 gallon gas cans, and your set. Tap water almost always contains phosphates, and this is very bad for your tank.
Now for supplements. I use a 2 part solution called B-Ionic. You add the 2 parts - it's liquid and really easy to use - right to the water every day.
At the same time every day. I add it around 7:00 am or so every day, about an hour before my lights come on. The first part is for calcium, and the
2nd part is for alkalinity. I also add a good Iodine supplement occassionaly. Now if ANYTHING dies in the tank, get it out immediately. If you don't
it will drive the nitrate level up to lethal levels within a short amount of time. When you do your water changes, get a length of hose and use it as
a siphon, get as much of the detritus as you can with the siphon.
I have a yellow tang, 2 clown fish, a flamehawk, royal gramma, a wrasse, 2 clams - they're bright electric blue when they open on the inside, and
very beautiful. An arrow crab - you have to get one of those, they're inexpensive, hearty, and fun to watch. They don't hide like most crabs do.
Several cleaner shrimp, a couple peppermint shrimp. I have 11 types of corals, and 4 kinds of polyps. You have to be very careful not to have too much
bio-load, which is a fancy way of saying don't have too many fish, as this will make keeping the water pure that much harder due to their waste. DO
NOT overfeed!!!!!! Waste = nitrates and phosphates, and that is bad bad bad!
My tank has been up and running for 9 years now, and my formula works, at least for me anyway. If you have any questions, do not hesitate. I will try
to help you as best I can. Welcome to the world of reefkeeping!