2 Gallon Tank coral, anemones, and spones, oh my!!! --- help

  • #1

So I think I'm starting a fish tank, mostly some corals and anemones - I guess it will be a reef tank!

I'm still in the research phase....
Fish will be extra, if at all. With my tanks being roughly 3-5 gallons (I got to do the old dump some water and measure trick)... plus its only 7.5inches wide and length... so size is a big issue.

Some corals and anemones that I can get from my LPS are going to be listed, any advice to what would be the easiest level of care and good for newbies....

* Bird Nest Coral
* Brain Coral - Favia Green
* Brain Coral - Green Open
* Brain Coral - Open Red
* Branching Hammer Coral
* Brown Hammer Coral
* Bubble Coral
* Bubble Coral - Green
* Elegance Coral
* Fox Coral
* Green Hammer Coral
* Green Jewel Stone Coral
* Green Octopus Coral
* Green Plate Coral
* Horn Coral
* Leather - Soft Finger
* Leather Coral
* Leather Finger Coral
* Pearl Coral
* Pineapple Coral
* Purple Daisy Coral
* Red Daisy Coral
* Red Plate Coral
* Young Coral
* Tongue Coral

* Flat Anemone
* Purple Condylactis
* Rock Anemone

mushrooms / polyps/ sponges....
Bread Crumb Orange Sponge
Brown Sea Mat Polyps
Mushrooms -Hairy
Sitck Polyps
Yellow Polyps

....the liverock I have to choose from are; Lace Rock, and/ or Tufa Rock

From what I read the corals are mostly from indonesia or indo-pacific waters...
so that might be my theme/ bio-type I'll be heading for....

Thanks soooo much to everyone who reads this and give any advice....


  • #2
What lighting will you be using? What will you be doing for circulation?

Lace rock and tufa rock are not live. People use these as base rock. I really hope you have better choices available. I use FijI in one tank and a mix of FijI and Tonga branch in another.

As I've mentioned before, the footprint and height of your tank are going to make this a difficult project. If you're set on trying a nano, I'd strongly suggest buying either a standard 5.5 gallon or standard 10 gallon tank. The cost of the tank is going to be so negligible compared to the total cost of the project, I think you'll be glad you did.

Anemones are not suitable for a nano IMO. Your coral selection is very much dependent on what lighting you choose.

  • #3
I agree.

See what you like for a live stock. After that, research on the corals/ fish that you like and see if you could give them all of their needs and you have the equipment/ skill to keep them. For example, anemones and SPS (small polyp hard corals) requires metal halides, mature tank, and large tanks (anemones) (a lot others that aren't listed). Which a 5 gallon may be lacking due to multiple reasons.

  • Thread Starter
  • #4
your right, i've been in denial about this tank thing the whole time, and I am going to go with either a nanocube or a standard tank size.....

so lace and tufa aren't really liverock, oh, awkward, okay, I think I can get some fijI rock, that's okay right?
  • #5
You don't have to buy a Nanocube, but IMO it's an easy way to get started. The lighting included is sufficient for easy soft corals and some of the easier LPS corals. Without modification, you can't keep SPS corals or some of the LPS, and definitely not anemones (which IMO shouldn't be kept in a nano anyway most of the time). You can piece together your own tank with better lighting, but you'll need to research to find out what equipment is going to work for what you want to keep. Don't impulse buy or you'll end up buying twice more than likely.

Do you understand what is meant by "live rock"? Lace rock and tufa rock can become live in time when added to a tank with live rock, but are generally sold dry. Nothing that is sold dry is live rock. Live rock refers to rock that has beneficial bacteria and other organisms living in and on the rock. It is your primary means of biological filtration in a reef tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
okay, thank you for your help, I espically didn't know that about liverocks, and what makes it 'live'

can u mix rocks (either 'live' or dry)


  • #7
Yes. You can use base rock mixed with live rock and the base rock becomes live eventually. A lot of people do this to save money. Remember that you won't be able to stock just because you've added live rock. You'll have to keep an eye on water parameters as any die off will cause a cycle. You'll need to take this slow; Saltwater tanks mature MUCH more slowly than Freshwater tanks and bad things happen quickly in a nano.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
thanks for all the info, its great

this may seem silly, but what is the difference (if any) between a reef and a coral tank? as some corals I find have info on them saying their reef safe????

thx u
  • #9
A reef tank is a tank with corals. Reef safe refers to fish or invertebrates- some fish, shrimp, sea stars, etc. will munch on corals.
  • #10
Reef Safe:
Completely compatible in reefs. It will not eat snails, corals. It will not bother the reef aquariums.

Semi-Reef Safe:
Usually fish that might do certain things that can harm a reef. Usually can be avoided so they won't bother the reef. For example a foxface rabbitfish would eat corals if not fed properly so it would consider semi-reef safe since it has a chance to harm it. So on some fish it could be avoided and some fish is a gamble depending on the fish.

Not Reef Safe:
Fish that are completely reef safe with no exceptions. They will destroy reef aquariums apart and would ruin everything.


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