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TBS Live Rock (your results/opinions) - Maxima Clams

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Hey everyone! This is my first post on Nano-Reef and i have already taken the plunge! It is very exciting for me, being so young (16) I hope to carry along this hobby with me for the rest of my life. I have spent a lot of time researching, buying books, and reading! Now finally it is time to begin! I just recently purchased my PC lighting system (Coralife Aqualight, 2x65 watt linear strip, actinic, and bright white) for 140 $ I know this is a sufficienct for my aspirations thus far. I have ordered Tampa Bay Saltwater "the package" for a 20 gallon aquarium. Sadly i'll end up spending 350$ in total. Wheeww thats a lot for me. But i was just curious to see some end results of products from TBS or even some opinions. On other forums people have told me that the package comes with too much life (snails and hermits), and many take extras for credit at a LFS. But my LFS doesn't give refunds, only takes animals in :(. Unfair! IMO. So what does everyone think? I will be getting my shipment this Saturday and am really excited! I have been recently began deciding on some nice corals, my LFS has a nice selection. Any imput for me here? Any nice ones that have great color? I also was curious about Maxima Clams. I know many do not believe that they cannot be kept under PC lighting, but is this true? I have seen it done. I really love the color, and have been drooling over the ones from clamdirect.com! Thanks for everyones opinions! I'd also love to see some tanks with good aquascaping, i think this will be the hardest task for me! I am excited to finally post my first post! Sorry so long, just too excited for few words!


-Jonathan (PS- may say TBS live sand isn't that nice. Your Opinion?)

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Reefing is exciting Jonathan, you'll love it and learn alot too. 130w is probably not enough for a maxima clam. If I were you, and I was just dying to have a clam, I'd try to find a deresa...I believe they can take slighty less light than crocea and maxima. Most will recommend that you wait at least 6 months to a year before adding a clam, and by then you may have upgraded your lighting...it happens :D


The first thing to understand is to take it slow. TBS or not, good reefs take awhile to build. I wouldn't start putting any corals in for about 4 weeks IMO. Start with inexpensive corals, so if you run into any issues, you haven't wasted megabucks.


Also, find your local reef club. The members there will help you a lot and may give you some coral frags, like xenia and mushrooms.


Good luck.

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heard that about TBS having too much life. also hear you get a lot of bad hitchhikers...hear, but no personal exp. with it...


as far as corals.

zoanthids, ricordea, pulsing xenia, green star polyps, all cool as hell, all hardy, all doable in your setup...is doable a word? as far as color, ricordeas are sweet. check 'em out http://www.palmettoreefs.com/ricordea.htm



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TBS gets a lot of good press when people first set up their tanks. Then they start posting about how to remove mantis, hairy crabs, why their sponges are dying, etc.


It's not a bad deal, but it's not as great long term as the initial posts make it sound. The rock is dense, real dense. The filtration is not as good as figi, kaelini, etc.


There's also a long thread on reef central about all the TBS owners who are NOT so happy with their rock a year later. Opinions vary, like in any other hobby.


If it were me, I'd use the best natural live rock I could get for interesting shape and filtration, and then find a few reefers to split a small package of TBS. You get all the advantage of the better LR and some color from the TBS you seed with.

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TBS is awesome, i got my first shipment last week. It was awesome. There is so much life on this rock, because they ship in water. There is also very little cycle because there isn't much die-off, besides some sponges which can be removed very easily. I didn't have any bad hitchikers either. I hear that you may get a mantis shrimp or two, but they're usually very small and pretty easy to get rid of.

I ordered the 10 gallon "package" and i told richard the size of my tank, he picked out rock to fit it perfectly. I'm going to get my 2nd shipment this weekend, and i'm really excited. I'd definitely order from tbs again.

About the sand, i used their sand and i really like it, it's not brown or gross or anything, kind of a crushed coral look to it. I think it gives that tank a natural look, plus there's a ton of critters in the sand. I went "pod spotting" last night and there were a ton of them, my tank's a little over a week old.

just my opinion,



maybe i'll post some pics tonight if i can steal my roomies digital camera.

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies! Well, after much thought i decided to go through with the TBS package. I know some have some negative points, but overall i think it is worth it for a small reef like mine! (20 gallon high) Yea, i figured that about the clams, maybe i will look around for some less demanding species in the far furture. So i hear that numerous people have some sponges that die, is there anything i can do to not allow them to die? Such as not letting the rocks sit out for 20 minutes as directed? Thanks everyone,,, also is it okay that i am using tap water with a dechlorinator (PRIME) for my reef. Thanks!!



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I have no familiarity with TBS rock, but i'm willing to guess it's like any uncured cultured LR from Florida, which means it's a mixed lot. I'm not really keen on Florida/carribean LR, it usually has a lot of big bristleworms in it (fireworms most concerning) and occasionally mantis shrimps and some urchins you may not want. You can take each piece and let it sit in a new 5 gallon paintbucket full of carbonated water for a half hour before placing it in your main tank. This will cause mantis shrimps and other problematic critters to climb out of the rock in search of oxygen, while usually preserving most of the life in the rock. Just use plain CO2 water (no sugar, magnesium additives or quinine water).


Also, make sure that you handle fresh LR with new leather garden gloves. They don't call them fireworms and thumb splitters for nothing. If you get bit, don't say I didn't warn ya! ;)


Sponges which are attached to LR are going to die if they are in any way exposed to air, even for 1/8th of a nanosecond. The problem is, the atmospheric air will get trapped in the deep internal grooves of the sponge itself, and it will die off rapidly. You can take a wire brush or a toothbrush and scrape off any orage ball or similar sponge. Don't worry, it usually does grow back. It's better to scrape it off now than have it completely foul the tank later as it turns white and sloughs off and dies. I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.


No, you should not be using tap water for your reef tank. You should be using distilled, RO/DI or RO water (in that order) for your reef. What's safe for human consumption usually isn't safe for reef tanks and corals/inverts. Most die hard reef enthusiasts buy their own Reverse Osmosis/Deionization units when they grow tired of buying bottled water, but you can buy it from a bottled water company or off the shelf at the grocery store (not "Spring" water, distillled or RO water only). Buying an RO unit for your home can be economical, when the bare bones ones start at about $80 and can be hooked up to a garden hose (connect and disconnect as needed). The better ones, with a drinking water tank and ice maker hookup (mount under your kitchen sink) will run you $300-500 plus a plumber to install them.

Believe me, your corals will thank you greatly for it. The water around natural thriving reefs is very very pure. The closer you can get to that goal, the better.


I wouldn't say it's outright impossible to keep a T. maxxima or T. crocea clam under powercompact lights, but those clams really love intensely strong light, and flourescents, no matter how strong, don't pack anywhere near the intensity that a metal halide can produce. They make small wattage MH systems now from around 70 watts and up. Won brothers (big in asia) makes some great little hoods with both MH and C.F. lighting (www.wonbrothers.com). Check under their lighting section and inquire with them for a retailer.


The other clams are hardier, and if you can find a colorful squamosa, derasa or hippopus, you're better off going with one of these. Clams also need to be fed, and appreciate a trace amount of nitrate in their water (especially when younger). You'll still need to keep them below 10ppm nitrate, but if your nitrate is zero, you'll have to add some back. You can feed them a good mix of phytoplankton or marine snow by pipette every few days.

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