Best thing to put in 13.5g saltwater tank? - Page 2

jkkgron2

Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, I’m going to get a saltwater tank and I plan on buying the fluval evo 13.5 gallon. It will not have a protein skimmer (from what I’ve read small tanks don’t need one) at the start but I may buy one later on. I plan on buying 5lbs real reef rock to help start the cycle and 8lbs dry rock. I’ll also be getting 20lbs of Caribsea live sand. At the beginning I won’t be making any modifications to the filter, but in the future I might.

Right now I need to decide what I’m going to put in the tank. I’m really interested in corals, but I doubt they’re a good option for my first saltwater tank. I’m basically looking for the most hardy fish or inverts to put in the tank. So far I’m thinking of getting a pair of clownfish. Although, I would start out with one just to get the hang of things. I’m not really sure what else to add to the tank. Are there Any corals I could add? Or inverts? I’d prefer to add them a few weeks after adding the clown, but I understand that corals and some inverts can be very sensitive to new tanks.
 

jkkgron2

In theory, as long as it wasn't allowed to dry out any, it should introduce quite a few bacteria into your tank. Maybe not quite an insta-cycle, but pretty close. The zoas may die or take some damage, especially if you're dosing ammonia. If you were to get that rock, I'd stop dosing ammonia, let the tank cycle through whatever ammonia/nitrite is in the tank, and begin adding a CUC and slowly stocking as if the tank were cycled.

Keep in mind that when buying from other hobbyists, you have the potential to get some good deals and introduce good life to your tank. You also have the chance to introduce all of that hobbyist's problems to your tank. Might be something to weigh in your mind.
If it’s still available when I set up the tank I’ll see if I can get that. If I do I won’t dose ammonia and maybe 3 days after I’ll add in a nerite snail. Then I’ll wait a week and if it survives I’ll add in another. After maybe another week I’ll add in two Cerith snails. Then I’ll leave it at that for a couple weeks to let everything stabilize before I get fish. Does that sound ok?
 
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ChrissFishes01

Sounds good to me.
 
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Jesterrace

If it’s still available when I set up the tank I’ll see if I can get that. If I do I won’t dose ammonia and maybe 3 days after I’ll add in a nerite snail. Then I’ll wait a week and if it survives I’ll add in another. After maybe another week I’ll add in two Cerith snails. Then I’ll leave it at that for a couple weeks to let everything stabilize before I get fish. Does that sound ok?

That would be a good plan. Very low cost and safe way to test the waters. Although the Zoanthids will definitely tell you if something can survive on there. If a Zoanthid makes it in that tank then a hardier fish will be more than okay. The only thing to watch out for is whether or not the rock comes with pests you may not want (ie Aiptasia, Vermatid Snails, etc.)
 
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jkkgron2

Has anyone used the SB REEF sBox Elite 16" Programmable LED light? I found a used one for sale, and it looked like it was in great condition. If I were to get that light I probably wouldn’t get the evo, instead I would just get a normal 10g. To me it seems like a great light and because it’s programmable I’ll be able to control the lighting better than the evo. Thoughts?
 
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jkkgron2

How long can the bacteria in Caribsea live sand last without being put in a tank? I’d like to get some before Christmas, so I can set it up on Christmas Day, but I don’t want to kill off the bacteria. Same thing goes for live rock, how long can that last in a bucket with an airstone or maybe the pump, depending on if the flow would be to strong?
 
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ChrissFishes01

Most live sands will have an expiration date on them, I believe.

Although, as long as it stays wet, you should be fine. I don't know that I necessarily buy into "live" sand, anyhow.
 
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Fishproblem

How long can the bacteria in Caribsea live sand last without being put in a tank? I’d like to get some before Christmas, so I can set it up on Christmas Day, but I don’t want to kill off the bacteria.
well the sand comes in a sealed bag and it's got a decent shelf life. think months, not days. so as long as you don't open it before you need to use it, you're totally good to go.
 
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jkkgron2

Thanks, everyone! I’ll go pick some up in a few days, for now though I need to order some dry live rock. Unfortunately the rock I was going to get has been sold, so I’m just going to go with dry live rock. Hopefully I’ll have everything ready by Christmas!
 
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Jesterrace

Did you end up getting the light?
 
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jkkgron2

Did you end up getting the light?
I decided to stick with the fluval, but in the future it might be a good option
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

maybe a pajama cardinal i hear they are very good beginner fish for that size aquarium
 
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jkkgron2

Alright, the tank arrived and I’m going to be doing a 24 hour leak test. After that it’ll be put back away until Christmas, so I’ll have to wait awhile before I can actually start the tank. But, the tank looks great!

825B289C-3049-4EB0-B05E-58CB1B92F140.jpeg
 
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ChrissFishes01

Alright, the tank arrived and I’m going to be doing a 24 hour leak test. After that it’ll be put back away until Christmas, so I’ll have to wait awhile before I can actually start the tank. But, the tank looks great!

825B289C-3049-4EB0-B05E-58CB1B92F140.jpeg
Looks awesome! I've always wanted to grab an AIO (specifically one of the Innovative Marine tanks) but, man, I just can't justify the price tag! They look so nice, though.
 
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jkkgron2

Is the Instant ocean reef crystals a good salt mix for my tank? It’s cheap, and seems to work well. I may still get the water from my LFS, but I’m looking at other options.
 
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ChrissFishes01

Is the Instant ocean reef crystals a good salt mix for my tank? It’s cheap, and seems to work well. I may still get the water from my LFS, but I’m looking at other options.
That's what I use.

I used to use Fritz RPM, and for a while I experimented with Red Sea, but I never saw any major difference in water quality. I'd just stick with one, and especially for a non-SPS dominant reef, I don't think you'll have issues.
 
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jkkgron2

That's what I use.

I used to use Fritz RPM, and for a while I experimented with Red Sea, but I never saw any major difference in water quality. I'd just stick with one, and especially for a non-SPS dominant reef, I don't think you'll have issues.
Alright, I’ll get that then. Thanks!
 
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Jesterrace

maybe a pajama cardinal i hear they are very good beginner fish for that size aquarium

Pajama Cardinals actually get pretty good sized after a few years though. Mine was about the size of a dime when I bought it and within a couple of years it has reached 3 inches. That's nothing compared to this monster I found at my LFS though (for comparison that is a 4 inch Yellow Tang and a 6 inch Blue Tang in the tank with it and it's about an inch thick):

 
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