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

mikst

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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.
Out of curiosity, what is the theory coral first reefers propose for going that route?

If corals in reef tanks are like plants in freshwater tanks, it makes sense to me. When I build my fresh tanks, it's always plants first, feed it, let it cycle (although likely I use cycled media in the filter so it's ready to roll basically immediately), then fish.
 

KrisReef

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I like the idea of filling the tank with water first.

The decisions get harder after the water goes in but I have found in very, very important to remember the concept of displacement when floating bags or adding significant amounts of rock (dead or alive).

If you listen to your heart and understand Archimedes you can get the order of additions all messed up but still do ok, ime.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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@mikst

reasons include:

-some people aren’t interested in fish/me/ we just like the challenge of keeping corals

-many people use it as a disease prevention strategy. Take a read in the disease forum on the site checking out the help threads Jay runs, the stickies showing how fallow and quarantine works. To add fish first usually means the keeper doesn’t plan on running any disease controls whatsoever, and we can see how that works out in the disease forum readings. Even if someone bought pre quarantined fish as an effort to control disease expression, anything wet added from a pet store to the tank that isn’t fallowed brings in disease as a vector.


So that means to add fish first, and still run a real disease prep effort, anyone who begins fish first must have two reef tanks running. One is the final display, the other is a receiving tank that gets all animals destined to go into the display and that receiving tank keeps the entrants in a fallow state (away from fish) long enough to starve out the top disease components you’ll read about in the disease forum preps (for months)


As you can see, to go fish first usually implies 99.99% of the time the keeper doesn’t plan on any disease preps whatsoever, the buckets of lost fish in the disease forum are the outcome.


This isn’t a Debbie downer post, it’s a summary of reads in the disease forum and the direct answer to your question.

Simply refusing to consider the info from the disease forum and how it impacts stocking order, fish first or last, doesn’t make disease expression just stop. Keepers actually have to run the disease preps in order to stem the losses, or, they can just buy replacement fish every eight months.

If anyone reads the disease forum and can make a different inference about fish stocking order of ops from the forum, let me know.
 

Ben's Pico Reefing

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Out of curiosity, what is the theory coral first reefers propose for going that route?

If corals in reef tanks are like plants in freshwater tanks, it makes sense to me. When I build my fresh tanks, it's always plants first, feed it, let it cycle (although likely I use cycled media in the filter so it's ready to roll basically immediately), then fish.
with what @brandon429 Stated but as you stated as well.

Corals can use some ammonia and nitrate as food source. They also bring over bacteria and other diversity. they also produce little waste. So yes, corals do act like plants. I have both planted and coral tanks. Most corals are much hardier than what we give them credit for.
 

mikst

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with what @brandon429 Stated but as you stated as well.

Corals can use some ammonia and nitrate as food source. They also bring over bacteria and other diversity. they also produce little waste. So yes, corals do act like plants. I have both planted and coral tanks. Most corals are much hardier than what we give them credit for.
Nice, thanks for clarifying.
 

mikst

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@mikst

reasons include:

-some people aren’t interested in fish/me/ we just like the challenge of keeping corals

-many people use it as a disease prevention strategy. Take a read in the disease forum on the site checking out the help threads Jay runs, the stickies showing how fallow and quarantine works. To add fish first usually means the keeper doesn’t plan on running any disease controls whatsoever, and we can see how that works out in the disease forum readings. Even if someone bought pre quarantined fish as an effort to control disease expression, anything wet added from a pet store to the tank that isn’t fallowed brings in disease as a vector.


So that means to add fish first, and still run a real disease prep effort, anyone who begins fish first must have two reef tanks running. One is the final display, the other is a receiving tank that gets all animals destined to go into the display and that receiving tank keeps the entrants in a fallow state (away from fish) long enough to starve out the top disease components you’ll read about in the disease forum preps (for months)


As you can see, to go fish first usually implies 99.99% of the time the keeper doesn’t plan on any disease preps whatsoever, the buckets of lost fish in the disease forum are the outcome.


This isn’t a Debbie downer post, it’s a summary of reads in the disease forum and the direct answer to your question.

Simply refusing to consider the info from the disease forum and how it impacts stocking order, fish first or last, doesn’t make disease expression just stop. Keepers actually have to run the disease preps in order to stem the losses, or, they can just buy replacement fish every eight months.

If anyone reads the disease forum and can make a different inference about fish stocking order of ops from the forum, let me know.
Well spoken, thanks. I definitely plan on. Dedicated quarantine tank but I honestly hadn't thought about corals. I'll read up on fallow. Thank you for your time.
 

Sophie"s mom

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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 would always start with fish, just because corals and really all inverts are rather sensitive, so fish staying healthy would be a good starting point. Just my 2 cents
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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In my opinion, this thread just became a legitimate helping example for another reefer

they had a full disease plan

their question was, how does order of fish stocking affect that plan, and they had our thread to read.

 

CoastalTownLayabout

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Coral first, particularly in smaller tanks provides some time for your system to stabilise under controlled nutrient input conditions.

It also gives your micro fauna some breathing space to develop stable populations without pressure from opportunistic predatory / grazing fish.
 

mikst

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OK, so I did some reading on fallow period. Right now, I have some dry rock I got from a friend. It was sitting on a shelf in his garage for who knows how long so it doesn't have a thing alive on it. It's been in a bucket of salt water with aeration and heater, some bacteria, and food to cycle it. I'm familiar with cycled media from the freshwater world so I'm just being patient on this stuff.



Now, I'm liking the idea of corals first as I usually plant a FW tank before adding fish. However, since the local shops I've visited all have fish swimming in their frag tanks; therefore, I need to have the frags fallow. It seems like fallow is the wet non fish stuff term for quarantine prior to introduction. The post about 45 day fallow period in disease forum references some papers and the conclusion is that a 45 day fallow period is reasonable. I easily have that level of patience as my dedicated FW quarantine tank/protocol is a 6 week cycle of no disease or death.



So, I intend to assemble tank, make sure salinity is on point, add corals, start the clock. I will probably add an invert or two prior to fish as the tank goes through an ugly phase, and the fallow period resets anytime something new and wet goes in, correct? Or maybe I should fallow/quarantine any inverts in the SW QT I have? It's bare bottom and I'd be concerned about the inverts not having substrate to do their normal activities in.



Thanks for any guidance /tweaks to my plan.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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what a solid recap

it took me four months to discern that when I started reading in Jay's forum

*I know disease preps in fish tanks seems like a slow descent into reefing ocd

who says it isn't

it all comes down to % risk people are willing to take

if someone truly wants the medical control venture, the thing that runs zoos and the approach Jay that runs zoos in real life applies to reefing help threads in the disease forum, then fish order of ops matters tremendously along with the plan. it doesn't mean someone has to begin such an effort to reef, it just means you can't run a true disease plan without stocking order of ops consideration. I thought your post really contributed nicely to the thread
 

mikst

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I hope this is an appropriate place to post this.

I had a list of quarantine tank items as I intend to quarantine/fallow anything wet that goes into my tank. I've been cycling my rock in a salt water bucket. I decided to just set up the QT and cycle my rock and filter media in there.

So here we go, I grabbed a filter I had laying around, the Airstone will be stuffed into the filter before the media to help get the water aerated. Got a heater in the tank too. I cut a tight fitting lid out of corrugated clear plastic stuff like you'd see for green house roofing since I had it laying around. I made it to eliminate as much evaporation as possible. I haven't decided on a light, but I have a bin of various lights and timers. Low power to avoid stressing the critters. I grabbed a couple random pvc fittings I had but in the end I'll get some bigger ones before it's actually accepting fishies.

I cleaned the tank this morning, scraped off old algae, used vinegar to scrub any crusties and to sanitize it a bit. After it airs out for the day, I might mix some salt water this evening and put my rock that's been cycling in here.

Please ignore the masking tape lines. I was using this tank as a mockup for various sump configuration designs for the eventual setup.


Edit: the air pump won't reside on top of the tank, it'll be on the bench. I have a one way check valve so it can't back siphon if power goes out.
PXL_20240413_142453983.jpg
 

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