Anyone was reef and went FOWLR?

t5Nitro

New member
I'm starting to get stressed out a bit on the reef thing. I'm not able to purchase new halide bulbs for the tank and I'm guessing the SPS will just suffer slowly anyway. I thought about selling them off now and switching to a FOWLR. Save on the bulb changes, additives, extra filtration (phosban), the expensive salifert alk/ca test kits. I'm thinking FOWLR can be much cheaper to run, correct?

If anyone has changed from reef to FOWLR, please let me know what you think about it.
 

55gSW

New member
It is cheaper. :) I switched from reef to fowlr a couple of years ago. Main reason is that we had a couple of hurricanes come through my area and it wiped out all of my corals and most of my fish. I did try to rebuild it but my heart wasn't in it.
So now it's a fowlr and it's so much easier and cheaper to care for...the fish are fat and happy and the maintance is minimal. Besides, there are alot of fish that aren't reef safe and you won't have to worry about that anymore!
 

TheSaltwaterGuy

New member
I've never switched from reef to FOWLR, but I have had both at one time. The FOWLR is SO much easier to maintain and so much cheaper.
 

limitedslip

New member
I switched, I still have an anemone and a few pieces of coral (montipora, xenia), but nothing that requires as much care as a full reef tank. (i don't add any additives or do ca/alk tests, and they are still growing like weeds). It is cheaper, and IMO more fun, most fish you can't put with reefs have extreme personality (like puffers). Once you have have fish like that, you will never want to switch back to reef because it'll feel like your losing a dog.


Just remember, reef is an aquascape, FOWLR is a family ^^.
 

j tavares

New member
I did reef tanks for almost 23 yrs I missed the Fishes and Now I can spend less money on lots of things that you find you did not really need after all.
 

krazykarel

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12205117#post12205117 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by limitedslip
I switched, I still have an anemone and a few pieces of coral (montipora, xenia), but nothing that requires as much care as a full reef tank. (i don't add any additives or do ca/alk tests, and they are still growing like weeds). It is cheaper, and IMO more fun, most fish you can't put with reefs have extreme personality (like puffers). Once you have have fish like that, you will never want to switch back to reef because it'll feel like your losing a dog.


Just remember, reef is an aquascape, FOWLR is a family ^^.

I think he makes a good point here. You can still have some corals in a FOWLR and it seems like you need to make the change. Go for it!
 

t5Nitro

New member
I signed up for Drs. Foster and Smith/Live Aquaria's coral frag swap for June. I think I may take the SPS corals out and take them with me (all of them). It will really hurt :lol: but I think it's for the best for them since I'm not able to purchase bulbs at this point. I think the different species of fish would be cool though along with minimum work.

Only thing is I have an extremely aggresive yellow tang to new fish. I would put an emporer angel in there and there is 1 really cool butterfly I looked at before, but I don't think my YT would allow them to enter his home.
 

ladyshark

Premium Member
I saved the best LR for my FWLR switch. The remaining rocks have lots of good sponges that of course don't need a lot of light, but it adds color.

I just have to avoid angel fishes--I love the look of the really wonderful reef tanks we see on this web site, but I just don't have the time to make a great reef tank. Plus, now that I have FO and FWLR, I find it much more relaxing and interesting to watch.

Good luck!
 

t5Nitro

New member
How do you all think the addition of an emperor angel (small 2") and a flame angel would be with my yellow tang?

Possibly a heniochus butterfly too. It's my understanding a FOWLR doesn't need to be exactly as "clean" as an SPS tank, correct? I can still use my skimmer and everything, but it would be OK if nutrients rise a bit and have readings of nitrates etc? I'm guessing by adding a three more fish and an emperor being one, the trates may rise. Just hopefully the ammonia stays 0 :)
 

limitedslip

New member
usually the dwarf/large angel combo works, I tend to see problems more with the large/large and dwarf/dwarf combo combo, as since they seem to fight for dominance, but since one will be larger, I tend to see the dwarf submit dominance to the larger one, or at least thats my experience.

Yellow tangs are good community fish and would get along with both of those.

Just add the fish slowly and you parameters won't spike. Consider Ozone to cleaner water. And you are right, FO tanks don't need to be as "clean", usually FO tanks have higher nitrates (mine are usually around 30ppm to 50ppm, and fish are extremely healthy)
 

t5Nitro

New member
What do you all think of a fish load in a 125 for FOWLR:

1 Yellow Tang
1 Foxface
2 Clowns
1 Mandarin
1 Emporer Angel
1 Heniochus or other butterfly
1 Dwarf angel of some kind

Too much on the load or good to go?

I also think niger triggers are cool, but will those destroy the snails?
 
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limitedslip

New member
Thats a good size for a 125, I would scratch the foxface and replace it with another tang. I'm not a fan of foxfaces, and IMO, you already have enough yellow, go for a little bit of blue, diversify your colors ^^. What kind of skimmer do you have? That'll dictate if your tank can handle the bioload :lol:

and yes, triggers can and will eat inverts.
 

t5Nitro

New member
I already have the foxface. Magnificent foxface, so not really a yellow one :) I use a Euro-Reef 135 skimmer, but it just made some weird noise so I just shut it off. I'll have to check it out tomorrow :rolleyes:
 

t5Nitro

New member
Sounds good. Can I still keep the few soft corals I have by chance and sell off the SPS do you think, or will those be eaten also? I'd like to keep the hammer coral and open brain coral for sure (I would even build an eggcrate box around this one because I want to keep it).

Also, would a saddleback butterfly be a better choice than a heniochus or not?

Thanks.
 
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limitedslip

New member
The softies should be fine, just be careful with the angels, some pick at coral, some don't, its all sort of a luck thing, I would recommend you get them young, so they don't associate coral as a source of food, like some larger ones that are straight from the ocean. I am running montipora with a puffer, as I said, all luck. You aren't getting any fish that are renowned for eating coral, So I don't think you would have to eggcrate teh brain and hammer. The biggest reason people don't put coral with a FO tank is because most puffers and triggers love to eat coral, and those are very common fish to find in many users FO tanks. In those tanks, coral would be an expensive meal.

IIRC saddlebacks are harder to keep (like clown tangs). where as Heniochuses are a bit more hardy, If you were able to keep your reef up and thriving, it shouldnt be to hard to take care of a saddleback. Pretty much, that is all your decision.
 

t5Nitro

New member
I think clown triggers are amazing. If I switched I would definately take one and have the fish load consist of:

1 Yellow Tang
1 Mag. Foxface
2 Clowns
1 Mandarin
1 Emp. Angel
1 Clown Trigger

And also a heniochus butterfly if enough room... or cherub angel.

What do you all use to clean the tanks then since the trigger would eat the clean-up crew? I would think it'd make a lot more work, but maybe I am wrong.
 
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