5.5 Gallon Saltwater Tank With Fish And Corals?

ValerieAdams

Is it possible to do a 5.5 gallon saltwater tank with fish and corals? I know bigger is better for saltwater, but I have an extra 5.5 sitting around and nothing freshwater seems good to me.

All I have is a 5.5 gallon tank, an Azoo Mignon 150 HOB, and a tetra preset heater which stays at 78F.

Obviously, I would need to get several things but how hard and how expensive do you think it would be? Any suggestions? Should I just wait for the 20 long I want to do?

Edit: I also have an empty 10 gallon and an extra Mignon 150. I could use the 10 for the main tank and the 5.5 for QT
 
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Coradee

HI Valerie yes it’s possible to do a nano with fish & corals, that was the size of my first salty tank. They can be tricky to keep stable if you're new to Saltwater so take as much advice as you can from our great salty members here, they’ll guide you well
 

ValerieAdams

Stella always gets stuck on my saltwater threads lol. She's full of good info though
 

stella1979

Hey Valerie. Sure, the 5.5g is possible but if you're asking if it's worth it... I'd say no. Sorry! The main reason is that you'd be investing in equipment that would not be able to be used on the 20 gallon you really want. For example, I might need another powerhead or two if I got a 40B, but I could certainly still use the ones that are currently running the 20g.

Also, salinity can be more of an issue in smaller tanks, as it will swing faster in low water volume. We ran our 20 gallon for a year without an automatic top off and topping it off manually once a day kept everything pretty happy. Our 5.5g qt though... that thing could use multiple small top offs daily, which is kind of a pain, so I ignore it most of the time. Yeah, the tank is running, but nothing is living in it, so a top off every day or two suffices. When something is in that tank, I'm topping it off at least twice a day.

However, if you just can't wait and want this smaller tank running now instead of waiting what may be a long time for the 20g, well then, you've got my support and help.
 

ValerieAdams

Hey Valerie. Sure, the 5.5g is possible but if you're asking if it's worth it... I'd say no. Sorry! The main reason is that you'd be investing in equipment that would not be able to be used on the 20 gallon you really want. For example, I might need another powerhead or two if I got a 40B, but I could certainly still use the ones that are currently running the 20g.

Also, salinity can be more of an issue in smaller tanks, as it will swing faster in low water volume. We ran our 20 gallon for a year without an automatic top off and topping it off manually once a day kept everything pretty happy. Our 5.5g qt though... that thing could use multiple small top offs daily, which is kind of a pain, so I ignore it most of the time. Yeah, the tank is running, but nothing is living in it, so a top off every day or two suffices. When something is in that tank, I'm topping it off at least twice a day.

However, if you just can't wait and want this smaller tank running now instead of waiting what may be a long time for the 20g, well then, you've got my support and help.
Well, I wasn't really thinking about using the equipment for the 20 gallon I want lol. If I were to do the 5.5 or the 10, I would just have two salty tanks. The only thing I would use for both is the RO/DI unit, salt, refractometer, maybe something else like that I'm missing.

That being said, I'm away from home for about 9 hours everyday give or take. So if I needed to do multiple top offs during the day, I wouldn't really be able to.
 

stella1979

Would an ATO feel like a worthy investment for the pico tank? That would take care of top offs for you. Hubs made ours, but I wouldn't say it's a simple DIY. You can find details a few pages back on my salty thread if you'd like a look. Also, don't forget to look at second-hand stuff available online.
 

ValerieAdams

Would an ATO feel like a worthy investment for the pico tank? That would take care of top offs for you. Hubs made ours, but I wouldn't say it's a simple DIY. You can find details a few pages back on my salty thread if you'd like a look. Also, don't forget to look at second-hand stuff available online.
I haven't looked into ATOs but maybe. I saw the DIY you guys did, it looks way too complicated for me to try to figure out lol. I live by myself and I don't really know anyone who has the time to look into it for me, I don't want to bother my dad with it. I'm definitely going to look at second hand stuff for this maybe project and the 20!
 

ValerieAdams


Someone is selling a used one of these, asked $50, what do you think?
 

stella1979

Hmmm, well, that system does look standardized, meaning my #1 rule is met for RODI systems. Rule #1 for me is that it can take standardized parts and that you don't need to buy refills from the manufacturer.

Otherwise, I don't love that I can't find many reviews on, it does not appear to be sold anymore, nor is Kent well known for equipment types of products... more so for additives. Low popularity doesn't necessarily make for a bad product but also consider that a used RODI system will usually need filter inserts and possibly the RO membrane replaced. This alone could cost upwards of $50, and is the reason I don't find RODI systems to be the best thing to buy used. IF... you can find that the system is operating well, (producing 0 TDS water), and that the filter parts are not very old, then it would be worth it. Otherwise, I don't know that you'd be saving a lot.

Sorry... it's rare that I can give a clear-cut answer because there are so many products I've never used. I don't like to promote anything I don't have personal experience with, so instead just share the thoughts I'd have if I were considering the buy. Hopefully, it makes it easier for you to decide.
 

ValerieAdams

Yes, I also tried to look up info/reviews on it and can’t really find anything which also made me nervous. It’s also only 50 gpd which I didn’t think was the best. I’ll continue looking for info on it/asking questions.

On another note, I just got a 29 gallon for $20 so I’m one step closer to a bigger salty tank!
 

stella1979

Awesomesauce!!!
 

Jesterrace

Glad to hear you went bigger. You will be happier in the long run as you can have a wider range of fish and can actually have 4-5 fish. With a 5 gallon you are basically limited to one small goby. With the 29 gallon, you could do a pair of clowns (ie Occ and Percula), a Cardinalfish, Royal Gramma and either a Blenny or Goby. You will also have a more stable tank.
 

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