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Catherine

Order of introducing organisms to the tank

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Catherine

I’ve been researching about what order to introduce coral and fish to the tank but there are a lot of mixed responses. So far all I know is that I’m going to add a CUC first. My original plan was to do CUC, coral, and then fish but I’ve read that fish are disease prone and I wouldn’t want to get a fish that brings in some type of disease to the corals. I would quarantine the fish I get but I don’t have the space/resources to setup a quarantine tank. But I don’t want to do fish first and then have my water parameters become unstable due to the bigger increase in bio load and stress out my fish. Any tips? Thanks!

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Clown79
21 minutes ago, Catherine said:

I’ve been researching about what order to introduce coral and fish to the tank but there are a lot of mixed responses. So far all I know is that I’m going to add a CUC first. My original plan was to do CUC, coral, and then fish but I’ve read that fish are disease prone and I wouldn’t want to get a fish that brings in some type of disease to the corals. I would quarantine the fish I get but I don’t have the space/resources to setup a quarantine tank. But I don’t want to do fish first and then have my water parameters become unstable due to the bigger increase in bio load and stress out my fish. Any tips? Thanks!

 

The diseases that fish get don't infect coral, rather coral can sometimes have parasite cysts and infect fish.

 

The issue of no quarantine of fish is that if they have a parasite, it infects all fish and cysts are dropped in the tank, leading to removal of all fish for treatment and the tank going fishless for 4-10 weeks to kill off the parasite.

 

Most dip their corals before adding them to the tank and quarantine fish for 4 weeks because fish are the main issue for illness.

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rough eye

i would say add things little by little. don't add CUC all at once; they need something to eat so add them little by little as needed.

 

add one fish, then a second, each time give a month between to see how the water handles it. 

 

as for corals i am not experienced enough with them so i'll defer to the more experienced here.

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billygoat

Honestly, I don't think it matters too much what order you add things in. Clean-up animals should come first so long as there is something for them to eat, but between corals and fish it's mostly a matter of personal preference.  New tanks are delicate, so go slowly with fish no matter what order you choose to add them in. Fish have a much larger impact on your biofilter than corals do. Invertebrates have a smaller impact and can be added a little more freely, but I would still take your time and add a few at a time to make sure you are not introducing large numbers of inverts into an environment that isn't ready to support them. 

 

To sum it up, I'd say that the speed at which you add animals is more important than the order that you add them in. Go slowly and be patient, and you will be greatly rewarded! 👍

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jservedio
18 hours ago, M. Tournesol said:

Funny to see this post when a recent article on reefbuilder speak about a new paradigm of cycling a tank with coral. 
https://reefbuilders.com/2021/05/25/how-to-cycle-a-reef-aquarium-right-away-with-corals-first/

Caveat emptor with that one if you aren't a very experienced reefer...

 

If you have tons of experience keeping a reef and are able to very carefully balance your inputs with the available population of ammonia and nitrite processing bacteria for a few weeks and can avoid all of the pitfalls in this plan, you can get away with adding coral on a piece of rubble on day one of a dry-rock tank. Otherwise you are just going to end up with an ammonia spike and dead coral. For an example of one of the pitfalls not mentioned in the article: if you dip that first coral/rubble for pests before adding it to your brand new tank, guess what? A bunch of die off, ammonia spike, and dead coral!

 

However, if you are experienced enough to pull this off, you know there is a far, far better way at your disposal to add everything you want on day one... If you are experienced, you've probably already got a system and some great live rock and tossing a piece or two of that live rock in your system would be far, far more effective. This is also not a new paradigm and just a shortcut experienced reefers have been using for decades when setting up additional systems. If you put a few pounds of live rock from a mature system into your sump or tank on day one, you can add all the coral you would like, a CUC, other inverts, and even start feeding them.

 

It's also laughable that the author claims this is going to prevent the algae blooms that come with new dry rock tanks as literally any person who has upgraded a tank or just added new, clean dry rock to a mature system can tell you. You are also prolonging the amount of time before you can add a fish to the system by a lot. In order for nitrosomonas and nitrobacter populations to rise (and they rise more slowly than almost any other bacteria - mean doubling time of 24 hours and 13 hours respectively), there needs to be a source of ammonia.

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M. Tournesol

Thank you for your insight, being new to the hobby, I do not have your capacity to judge such methodology.

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