What goes into the new tank first? Corals or Fish?

tbrown

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Oh, and best practice is to be sure you add water before livestock. :D
I was going to point this out last night but I felt that several posts were already delving into the weeds and I didn't want to stir up too much more controversy. I mean adding water first before livestock? Fairly debatable but I agree with you for sure! However, do you consider sand and rock livestock? I'm pretty sure I've heard my rock moo once or twice so maybe? But I usually add rock first, then water, then sand, then water, then whatever else I add in the order I add it. I even added coffee once just for science. Or maybe it was an accident? I can't entirely recall. My son added popcorn when he was 2 or 3 (sorry @ShakeyGizzard ).

But I digress. Water before live corals and fish is usually a BMP for sure. I think, for clarity's sake, we should state I add properly mixed and balanced (sometimes aged, sometimes new) saltwater.
 
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tbrown

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Yeah , I never regret those impulse buys lol. Until my wife sees them at least. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing::rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
I came home with 3 bags of jelly beans the other day because they were on clearance. My wife waited 3 days to comment on them. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 

steveschuerger

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As far as order . If it’s a new tank…
Sand-water-live rock-impulse fish purchases-impulse coral purchases(something horribly expensive that’ll die if you look sidewise at I) and then, much later all the things you intended to put in in, in their proper order :smirking-face:
 

tbrown

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The goal of this thread was just to get people talking about this and sharing experiences. I hope most of us realize that either way can and has worked for lots of people. So this isn't really about finding a "right way". It's more of a "Hey, I do it this way... how do you do it?" kind of discussion.

My own philosophy on reefing is that there are 1,001 ways to successfully keep a reef tank. I would rather we learn from those who do it differently rather than being critical. When I find someone who reefs differently than I do, I always find it interesting and kind of just want to sit, listen, and give kudos for thinking about things differently than I do. Haha!

IMO the diversity of methodology is one of the fun things about reefing! :)
This is why I usually end most of my posts with a disclaimer.









DISCLAIMER: Your results may vary, please follow at your own risk.

OR

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a professional nor do I play one on TV.
 

tbrown

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As far as order . If it’s a new tank…
Sand-water-live rock-impulse fish purchases-impulse coral purchases(something horribly expensive that’ll die if you look sidewise at I) and then, much later all the things you intended to put in in, in their proper order :smirking-face:
This Up Here GIF by Chord Overstreet
 

steveschuerger

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Here’s the serious post.
I get the sand/live rock in as well as water(the nano I had up briefly for about 6 months last year had some cured rock direct from the big display) . And a few days later add a couple fish. If I have another go someday at a second tank that procedure would be the way I’d go. Maybe throw a couple shrooms and an easy lps or two as well.
 

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This is why I usually end most of my posts with a disclaimer.









DISCLAIMER: Your results may vary, please follow at your own risk.

OR

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a professional nor do I play one on TV.
Oh come on Tim. I’ve seen you tell everyone you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before ;) That makes you eminently qualified..:rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
 

Troylee

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This was/is actually the intended focus of this thread. Not that the other questions posed aren't good ones, but they aren't really the focus of why i started this discussion. I'll explain my goal for this thread.

I've always done it this way:
Step 1: Rock, sand, and water
Step 2: cycle with bottled bac and fish food (fishless cycle)
Step 3: After cycle (usually a couple of weeks) add fish
Step 4: Wait a few months and add coral (ok...sometimes I added sooner, but I did wait...)

This (at least from what I've seen) is conventional wisdom of how a reef tank is set up.

However, I've been finding some really nice tanks that started with coral first, and the theory that those reefers propose actually makes a lot of sense to me. So I'm considering trying this in my new reef.

The goal of this thread was just to get people talking about this and sharing experiences. I hope most of us realize that either way can and has worked for lots of people. So this isn't really about finding a "right way". It's more of a "Hey, I do it this way... how do you do it?" kind of discussion.

My own philosophy on reefing is that there are 1,001 ways to successfully keep a reef tank. I would rather we learn from those who do it differently rather than being critical. When I find someone who reefs differently than I do, I always find it interesting and kind of just want to sit, listen, and give kudos for thinking about things differently than I do. Haha!

IMO the diversity of methodology is one of the fun things about reefing! :)

Oh, and best practice is to be sure you add water before livestock. :D
So what I’m getting from Brandon is this… stock your tank full of corals and inverts and when it’s completely full it’s safe to add fish.. if not you’re gonna introduce a fish disease with a coral or snail etc.. after it’s grown in and happy buy a bunch of fish and qt them medicate them and lose half of them in the process and add fish last.
 

Reefing_addiction

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This is why I usually end most of my posts with a disclaimer.









DISCLAIMER: Your results may vary, please follow at your own risk.

OR

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a professional nor do I play one on TV.
But did you sleep at a holiday inn express last night?
 

Reefing_addiction

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My own philosophy on reefing is that there are 1,001 ways to successfully keep a reef tank.
This right here.

Between how to start your tank, what to add when to add, testing, plumbing, lighting, dosing, everyone does it just a tad different and some ways work great annnd some don’t!

Some people can keep gonis some cant
Or acros or even zoas!

I think in my tiny 16 gal I did bottle bacteria
Added fish and then overloaded with corals

When I upgraded I order actual live rock
Set up my new tank with live rock and rock from my tank and all new water
 

DanyL

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If I have a good amount of coral, than I would stock the tank first with it, but it really does need to be a good amount to water volume.

Coral will bring the nitrifying bacteria with it and would accelerate its reproduction, which will than allow you to add fish either with it, or after.

One thing to note though - if you’re going with this route you need to have good control and understanding of nutrient management, and a good amount of coral - otherwise it’s bound to fail.

Also, it’s quite a common practice for those who quarantine corals, you don’t even need rocks or media - and yes, even “hard to keep” acros would do just fine.

Edit: Oh and yeah.. no cycle needed at all with this method, at least not by the regular terms of waiting months, you can add coral in the same day you fill the water.
 
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tbrown

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This right here.

Between how to start your tank, what to add when to add, testing, plumbing, lighting, dosing, everyone does it just a tad different and some ways work great annnd some don’t!

Some people can keep gonis some cant
Or acros or even zoas!

I think in my tiny 16 gal I did bottle bacteria
Added fish and then overloaded with corals

When I upgraded I order actual live rock
Set up my new tank with live rock and rock from my tank and all new water
I'm definitely different...!

200.gif
 

Reefer Matt

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I think this depends on the experience level of the Reefer. I suggest beginners start with fish. After keeping a reef tank successfully for a year or so, starting another tank with coral first could be achievable, depending on which ones.
 

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I know there are several different theories on this, so I thought this might be an interesting discussion. What do you think should go into the new tank first? Corals or Fish? What's your reasoning for your position?
I always go fish first, usually a Blue Damselfish, I want to make sure everything is safe and right before adding corals for the first time in a new tank, I don't want my overpriced corals to die.
 
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Reefing_addiction

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I always go fish first, usually a Blue Damselfish, I want to make sure everything is safe and right before adding corals for the first time in a new tank, I don't want my overpriced corals to die.
Unfortunately even when you think things are safe

Overpriced corals die

Because you took their photo wrong

Looked at them wrong

Your fish looked at them wrong

Or just because

Being able to keep fish does not equate to keeping corals
 

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I just started my new tank about 2 months ago. Started with 7 bio bricks and a large rock from my previous tank and put a few fish in immediately . I had coralline growing on my tank in less than 2 weeks. After 1 month I threw in several quality pieces of Acropora and things are doing ok so far. Some are basing out ok and all have good polyp extension. Only time will tell
 

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