I'm hoping there is more science to this than just opinion, because of reasons livestock can cause certain things like phosphates or alkalinity to rise and fall but... I would actually prefer some first-hand information on people's own experiences.

When should I introduce my first frags? I'm assuming since water parameters will need to be more precise, then fish first? But then I wonder do fish have difficulty acclimating to introductions of certain corals and would they prefer different coral structures (species dependent?)

There might be a lot of content to cover here, I understand. I would really like an awesome reef setup with a good mix of hard and soft corals, but my wife loves fish. I'll add additional tank details below, but for right now where I'm at, my tank is finishing it's nitrogen cycle (on a different posted question). There is currently nothing in the tank except for maturing dry rock, sand, and saltwater.

Additional tank info:

  • size: 75 gallon (280 liters);

  • rock: 75 lbs (34 kg) from bulk reef supply;

  • sand: 40 lbs (18 kg) live sand;

  • temperature: 27 °C (80 °F);

  • salinity: 35 parts per trillion, specific gravity of 1.026;

  • skimmer is currently not running during cycling;

  • lighting is currently off as well.

Using RO/DI system with out water reading 0 total dissolved solids (mixed and heated in a storage container for all my water changes).

1 Answer 1


I am going to end up adding fish first. My first fish are going to be added right after I get my clean up crew. I searched multiple forums and, as you might expect, it's quite debatable what to add first. Ultimately, it comes down to what you would like to do with your aquarium. Some only grow coral and some, like myself, have mixed reef setups, as well as others having only fish and some rock. I'll include some of the links and discussions I took part in, but you'll see that the main argument people have for a mixed reef setup to add fish first is that they're hardier than coral when it comes to new tank fluctuating patterns.

I have heard arguments about having successful tanks started by adding coral and fish simultaneously, but I have invested a lot of money in this aquarium already, so everything I do will come after a long, thought out, research process.




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