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Any reefers out there?

(81 Posts)
MrsFring Mon 22-Jun-15 18:56:39

I was wondering if any of you kept tropical marines? I'm three months in and have a 275 ltr tank with captive-bred fish and some soft corals. Anyone else?

EauRouge Tue 23-Jun-15 14:02:17

I'm too poor and too lazy grin Although maybe I'll be tempted in the future when the DDs are older and I have more time. What have you got in yours?

MrsFring Tue 23-Jun-15 17:21:32

Oh yes, the expense... no holidays for us this year wink. I've got two clowns, a dwarf flame angel and two wrasses. It's a lot of work, forever testing the water and fretting over the results but fantastically rewarding. My own piece of the reef!

Here's a pic of my boys, Beyoncé and Birdie.

EauRouge Tue 23-Jun-15 18:21:48

Oh wow, they are gorgeous! What sort of shrimp is that? Have you got any other inverts? One thing that fascinates me about reef tanks is that you never know what's going to pop out of the live rock. Have you got a big sump? Do you use a protein skimmer?

Sorry, I am nosy grin

MrsFring Tue 23-Jun-15 19:04:07

They're fab aren't they? I've got two blood shrimps ( one pictured), one cleaner shrimp, two red-legged hermits and a pistol shrimp ( noisy!). Yes, the live rock produced a few star-fish and some sponges. My sump is 50 litres and contains more live rock. The aquarium is an AquaReef 275 which comes with all the kit but I replaced the protein skimmer with a more effective one, I also added a phosphate reactor. I also do a weekly 50 ltr water change.

I won't pretend it's easy or cheap (I've spent c. £1,000) but it's utterly fascinating.

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 11:27:15

Here's my flame angel, very hard to photograph!

EauRouge Wed 24-Jun-15 14:32:28

I love flame angels. I love mandarins too but I've heard that they are so hard to keep.

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 15:43:34

Ah mandarins, my dream fish. The plan is to wait until November/December when the tanks more mature and then get a mating pair. They only eat live food and are very picky, slow feeders so I've kept the livestock low so that the mandarins won't need to compete for food. Have you ever seen their mating dance? Sublime!

EauRouge Wed 24-Jun-15 16:15:42

Wow, breeding mandarins! You'll have to keep me updated on that. Have they been bred much in tanks before?

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 16:40:03

They sometimes do, but the conditions have to be absolutely spot on. The pair will do their wonderful swirly dance and then spawn, the problem is protecting the fertilised eggs from the other fish; I've got a quarantine tank so could grow them in that. I'm currently growing a copepod colony to feed the fussy little things.

EauRouge Wed 24-Jun-15 17:33:26

Are they scatterers or depositors? Could you get them to lay the eggs on something? It all sounds so exciting. I did a bit of fish breeding before the DDs came along, but nothing unusual like mandarins.

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 18:38:49

They recommend some kind of enclosure, a plant pot or summat. To be honest I just want to watch them buzzing shyly around, baby mandarins would be a (fabulous) bonus.

lostscot Wed 24-Jun-15 18:42:26

We've got a 300l tank with 2 clowns, Midas blenny, cleaner shrimp, pink spotted goby and assorted crabs and snails. Converted our tropical tank last year and debating what to add next....

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 19:07:01

Ooh, pics please. How long have you had the marine tank for? Do you have corals? I'm a wrasse fan, so many beautiful colours, although the line- wrasses can be stroppy little buggers; our fairy wrasse spent a few hours flashing and charging at the new dwarf angel until he realised that no one was taking him seriously and he calmed down.

Our tanks are similar sizes, I personally wouldn't consider tangs or triggers in anything less than a five foot tank but that's only my opinion. Have you looked at the shrimp/goby pairs?

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 19:16:03

Sorry, I see you already have a shrimp goby. Do you have a pistol shrimp? Ours is a noisy little fecker, you can hear him two floors up!

lostscot Wed 24-Jun-15 21:06:49

Yes few corals mostly zoas, mushrooms, Kenyan tree and Xenia. We went for cleaner shrimp over pistol as my daughter is sensitive to sudden noises and I wondered how loud the pistol was! They started as my daughters clowns in a 90l but when we moved my hubby got rid of his tropicals so we grabbed the tank while it was empty! Quite fancy firefish, a mandarin and maybe a fairy wrasse. Will try find some pics...

lostscot Wed 24-Jun-15 21:11:27

Terrible pic of naughty Elfie, will take some more.

MrsFring Wed 24-Jun-15 22:52:23

Lovely tank! Firefish are really nice, would like one too. My yellow coris wrasse is so well- behaved; when I switch the lights off he immediately plunges under the sand and comes bursting out of it when I switch them on in the morning, lovely boy.

lostscot Thu 25-Jun-15 10:45:12

Couple more, love the goby he's a complete character and sits there looking at the shrimp cleaning him as if he's only tolerating it for the shrimps benefit!

MrsFring Thu 25-Jun-15 14:35:22

Gorgeous! Gobies are fantastic, yours is a beauty. What are you thinking of getting next? My tank will only have 6 or 7 fish when I get the mandarin pair.

MrsFring Thu 25-Jun-15 18:01:01

Beyoncé, Birdie and Klaus! Pussy coral and zoas doing quite well.

lostscot Thu 25-Jun-15 18:56:22

Your zoas look great! We had a invasion of astarina starfish that munched lots of ours :-( purple firefish next payday I think.

MrsFring Thu 25-Jun-15 20:12:25

I'm dreading pest starfish, horrible things. If you do get a fairy wrasse then the red velvet fairies are lovely ( Beyoncé is one). Do you have a decent fish shop near you?

lostscot Thu 25-Jun-15 20:42:20

Yes we are lucky to have several shops nearby, one is huge and nice to looking out do but I wouldn't buy from them and the other two are small and very good. I've read mixed things about wrasse, are they territorial or eat the corals? Beyoncé is lovely, is that a coral beauty as well?

MrsFring Thu 25-Jun-15 21:07:25

I think all wrasses are territorial to some extent, some, like the line- wrasses can be very aggressive indeed to a fish of similar shape and size. Fairies and flashers are much more peaceful although Beyoncé put on an amazing display of flashing colours and erect fins when the flame angel was put into what Beyoncé clearly sees as His Tank. Neither wrasse has bothered with the corals so far. Another thing to remember is that wrasse jump, so watch them like a hawk when the lid is up!

I'm in Brighton and have two fish shops nearby, neither that great to be honest.

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