Setting my Tank up for success for first corals

shew

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Hey all,

As the title says, I want to make sure I'm starting off on the right foot with my tank. I have a 20g cube, good flow, already cycled, been up almost a month now. Tank is currently empty, but I'm looking to add a pair of clownfish next week. I want to take advantage of WWC's fragtoberfest this weekend, but I don't want to rush into anything my tank isn't ready for. Since I'm a beginner, I want to start with the easier corals (LPS/softies). I really like long polyp toadstool leathers and lobos.

Currently I only test for Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. 0 for ammo/nitrites, nitrates range from 20 - 40 ppm

Here's a few questions I had before I start the coral process:
  • is it too soon to add even hardy corals?
  • What steps should I take to ensure success for my first coral tankmates?
  • Should I be testing for calc/alk/phosphate/mag right now before I have any corals? (these all seem quite expensive so I'd rather not buy now if i don't have to)
  • for my CUC, should I drop them in along with my corals, or wait until I see the ugly phase begin to develop? Also, I see a lot of debate on CUCs so any suggestions are great
    • planning to do a snail or two and a blue legged hermit krab to start. I'd rather add just enough versus too much and have things die unnecessarily

Thank you!
 
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Reverend Turtle

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I recently setup a 20 gallon. On day 3 I added 13 frags, mainly brains and cyphastrea. On day 4 I added a small pair of clowns, 2 nassarius snails, 2 blue leg hermits, and 2 astrea snails. It's been 3 weeks now. I am getting some algae growing which I expected, but the corals all look fantastic for the most part. I have a couple of mushroom frags that don't seem to happy.
As for testing, I don't, not right now. I dose brightwell code A and B a couple of times a week. If I notice the corals seem to be unhappy, I'll test then.

Edit: I don't advise doing this, this isn't my first rodeo, that was back in 1985.
 
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Pistondog

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Hey all,

As the title says, I want to make sure I'm starting off on the right foot with my tank. I have a 20g cube, good flow, already cycled, been up almost a month now. Tank is currently empty, but I'm looking to add a pair of clownfish next week. I want to take advantage of WWC's fragtoberfest this weekend, but I don't want to rush into anything my tank isn't ready for. Since I'm a beginner, I want to start with the easier corals (LPS/softies). I really like long polyp toadstool leathers and lobos.

Currently I only test for Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. 0 for ammo/nitrites, nitrates range from 20 - 40 ppm

Here's a few questions I had before I start the coral process:
  • is it too soon to add even hardy corals?
  • What steps should I take to ensure success for my first coral tankmates?
  • Should I be testing for calc/alk/phosphate/mag right now before I have any corals? (these all seem quite expensive so I'd rather not buy now if i don't have to)
  • for my CUC, should I drop them in along with my corals, or wait until I see the ugly phase begin to develop? Also, I see a lot of debate on CUCs so any suggestions are great
    • planning to do a snail or two and a blue legged hermit krab to start. I'd rather add just enough versus too much and have things die unnecessarily

Thank you!
20 to 40 is a little high.
When the h2o params are stable, add the cuc.
Risk to adding corals is only their demise = $$.
 

scabbedwings616

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I would suggest you hold off till you get thru the ugly phase of your tank. i would get a small cuc for right now to help out with the eventual ugly phase. You could probably do a leather or gsp to start off but you could probably get from a local reefer.

as for testing you should get in a habit of testing now and at the same time. It’s all about consistency and creating habits. I would be testing it to learn what your tank likes and doesn’t like. Just keep it consistent and things will be happy in your tank.
 
Fritz

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Provided your water parameters are stable and correct you can add corals straight away, so you need to get test kits for, magnesium calcium and in particular alkalinity

This is a good general guide as to were they want to be


While its empty you could do a few water changes to get your nitrates down to a target of say 5 and also try to keep phosphate below 0.03 and you will avoid many of the issues you read about.

I would hold off on the CUC for a while, unless you think there is enough ‘food’ in the tank for them or they could starve
 

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