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Am I ready for corals?


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Well, my tank is a 20 gallon. It has a 65 watt Power compact bulb with 1 actinic and 1 daylight. I was interested in keeping low light corals. I have 5 pounds of live rock. Yes, I know I am very understocked in that department, as each day I buy more. The levels are:


ammonia: 0

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 5-10 (10 at the most, usually lower)

temperature: 78-80

ph- 8.3

alkalinity: 225

sg: 1.025



1 pajama

2 clowns

1 royal gramma


7 hermits


and a camel backed shrimp (won't get any corals until he dies...this is for the future post)


Thanks for the help and if it is a no it is a no, just wondering and no I cannot upgrade my lighting

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I am leaning towards no. Personally, I would wait until you have the appropriate amount of liverock, and ensure everything is nice and stable.


You might have good parameters at the moment, but in the future when you add more liverock, it would suck if you lost some corals to an "accidental" cycle. I know plenty of folks that put CURED liverock into their tank, took a few minutes to rearrange everything, so the rock was outside for a brief moment. There was enough dieoff to cause a cycle... eek


Is your tank a 20 high or 20 long? If it is high, I would say if ANY corals, stick with hardy softies, like mushrooms and zoanthids. If it is long, you *might* be able to pull off a few other kinds, but with your lighting, it would be iffy.


Good luck! :)

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The fully cured live rock I bought (the rock spent 4 months at the LFS) still had a cycle. My ammonia never went over .25ppm, and nitrites never went over .05ppm, but it was still a cycle.

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Originally posted by BKtomodachi



If you take it out of the water at any point, there will be die-off.


So if you move live rock from one tank to another there will be dye off? If dyes just from air hitting it?

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From touching it and from squishing it into the sand or touching another rock.


My advice is to be patient...the mantra of salt water aquariums. Keep adding another 2-3 pound rock every couple/few days.


Another thing...your wattage may be low, but things also depend on distance to light. If you can build those rocks up high, you can get some corals close to it that might not do well below.


After you get around 20lbs of live rock, you should be good to go with adding live stuff. I personally would wait like 2 weeks after the last rock, do a water quality test, and then if things are okay, move ahead.

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No, there are very few actual bacteria on the surface of the rock it self.. but when you expose it to air some gets in side and cuases bacterial die-off. You can keep it to a very minimum, though.

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