lnks to low heat/light corals??

Mazzy

New member
After tearing down my last tank over a year ago, I have "the bug" again but wanted to go with a nano/cube type tank this time. With that in mind, I am leaning heavily on a seahorse tank with a single pair of SH, a 24 or so gal cube (I'm just in the planning stages right now, don't have the tank), some macros and a few corals to "pretty it up" a bit.

Obviously the central focus and consideration would be the SHs but I'd like to know if anyone has any links to low heat/light tolerate corals so I could see what might be available for this type of tank. I considered your basic zoas and shrooms but at the same time I don't want them to have to live in a 'bare minimum requirements' type situation. I'd rather get a few species that can thrive in this type of environment instead of just 'live'.

Any input is appreciated.
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
How low of heat and light?
I run at 72-74 degrees and keep several leathers, zoas, gorgs and a few LPS happy. You can keep most common corals at this temperature, but growth rates are slowed slightly. The only things that I have had trouble with come from the med. or red seas.
I keep erectus, but there are other species that need lower temps. What do you plan on keeping?
 

Mazzy

New member
Well, I'm thinking that keeping it REAL simple will be key for me since I've never had SHs and I don't want to be worrying about corals when I'll already be, well, not exactly "flying blind" but brand new to SHs all the same. I really just wanted to see what was available to me while using PC lighting and 74 degree temps. I planned on a pair of H. erectus as everything I've read says they are the hardiest.

I've done several searches but they yield nothing no matter how I try to word "low temp" and that's why I was wondering about any links that specifically dealth with low temp tolerant corals.

I'd love a few gorgonians but obviously light and their higher level of care make that a 'no go'. I figured, though I absolutely hate the thought of it, I'd get a few (hopefully realistic looking) plastic ones to put in the tank for the SHs to have things to hold onto (it's like walking into a house full of plastic plants - yuk!). Off the top of my head I can't really think of anything live that would serve this purpose and meet those tank parameters but I admit, I haven't gone digging through old reef books either - I thought web links would be easiest.

It's been a while since I've been in the hobby now and I just want to come back to it slowly rather than immediately jumping in full force with ever-expending equipment, twelve types of food stuff, endless dosing chemicals, etc etc - you know the drill :) This is another reason I thought a species specific (and one that doesn't require intense lighting) would be a good choice to come back to the hobby.
 

Mazzy

New member
I just reread your post and I must have totally missed where you said you keep "gorgs". Could you tell me what type of lighting you have on your tank and how tall the tank is? - AND if that level of light seems to bother the SHs at all?

TXS
 

Elysia

New member
I have photosynthetic gorgs in tanks w/ PC lighting as well as in my larger tank (that has T5), which I keep at lower temps -- as low as 65 degrees at times (that was a mistake.) This hasn't affected my gorgs, 'shrooms, ricordea, duncans, blastos, acans, Keyna trees, and cabbage leathers.
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
The best advice I can give is think of your tank as a seahorse tank and build from there...

That being said, the temp range of most tropical corals is around 72-78, I think most corals will work just fine in our SH tanks. Check this link http://www.seahorse.org there is a pretty good SH compatability list there.

Specifically, I would recommend colt leathers, finger leathers, the gorgs I mention below and anything else that is a common 'easy' coral.

The gorgs I keep are photosynthetic Pseudoplexaura sp. and Plexaura sp. as well as a erect form of Briareum. I have a 250W MH light on my 60 gal tank, I think its 22" tall. I havent noticed any ill effects from the lighting, they SHs are active and often swim to the surface and back down right into where the brightest part of the tank is. I have heard antecdotely that bright lighting makes the SHs darker or less colorful, but I have not observed this. I dont feel that I need my MH lighting for what I have, but I like the shimmering effect. I went with 250 instead of 175 or 150 because the ballast is mounted separately, less heat near the tank.
 

Mazzy

New member
Thank you for giving me a few specific gorgonians to look for. I've never kept them and honestly - even though I thought they were gorgeous - I immediately dimissed the whole group long ago when I first laid eyes on one red and one yellow D. nodulifer (I didn't remember that off the top of my head - had to look it up :) ) in a tank at a LFS and the clerk told me how difficult they were to care for. After that, if ever I was in a store and happened to see one (i.e. asked the clerk "what's that?" and had them answer "gorgonian") I just went onto something else thinking they were all the same rather than some being photosyntheitc. That obviously makes a huge difference.

I have kept leathers, ricordia yumas, various zoas, and a few polyps and did well with them. And, of course, over time I've kept various corals that were lessons in failure.

Based on what you've listed I think picking corals for my SH tank will be much easier than I anticipated. I'm excited to get started.

It'll obviously be a long wait until I can actually get my SHs but I'm sure I'll be popping in with more questions after the cycling of my system is complete.

Oh, one last thing - did you guys put your SHs in first and slowly add corals or were the SHs the last thing you added to your tanks after being sure no health issues popped up with the corals? Just curious.

Thanks for all your help!! I look forward to several months down the road when I can post a few pics. :)
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
:) no problem, I can feel the excitement coming through your words!!

Going slow is a good thing, I always recommend waiting for at least six months with nothing but LR, LS and a CUC, although to date I think I am the only one that takes my advice ;)

To you last question, I added a few corals (the pseudoplexaura and a finger leather) to give the SHs something to hitch to before I added the SHs and I have been adding stuff ever since (although initially they didnt use either coral, they did later switch and that gorg is their favorite place and it doesnt seem to mind, it switches which polyps are out as fast as the SHs can move). I also had some fake stuff (plants mostly) in initially as well that I removed as I added more. I QT stuff and add it or remove stuff from the tank all the time depending on what is doing well.

I think so long as your tank is cycled and ready to host stuff it doesnt really matter that much as to the order. Just make sure that you always have something for the SHs to hang on to :)
 
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