Don't Hate Me But I'm Curious?

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arik wenzel

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So I've always been interested in saltwater but don't have a big tank on hand to get fully into it. I do however have a 2.5 gallon tank sitting empty. This would be my first saltwater tank I have about 15 years of freshwater experience ( yes I know two totally things). I was really just looking into doing a mini coral tank I don't know of fish or critters that would survive in that small of a tank.( If there is any please inform). Just looking for opinions and advice not looking to be screamed at about it. I've seen it on YouTube and read some articles and I want real feedback from all of you guys.
 

OnTheFly

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If you are going to the expense of salt I would get a tank at least a little larger. Smallest salt I ever tried was a 20G but even a 10G would be exponentially more stable than a 2.5G.
 

stella1979

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It's doable... we've seen these pico tanks so we know it's possible.

Two big things to start... cycling is the same but filtration is different. You still need to grow BB but in a reef tank the BB will colonize in dry or live rock, as long as sufficient flow is provided. Generally you want powerheads in a reef tank, with a combined flow high enough to turn over the entire volume of water about 20 times an hour. In your case of course, pumps would have to be very small. This may be where you run into trouble. Need enough flow so there are not dead spots, but you don't want to blast everything.

2nd thing that's different from fresh water... Testing! You will need to be very diligent in keeping parameters in check. You'll need to check and maintain proper levels of Nitrates, Phosphates, Alkalinity, Magnesium and Calcium, (those last 3 will be determined by your salt in the beginning, but depending on the tank and species within, dosing is sometimes involved.)

Oh, and one more thing. Research how to make saltwater. Learn about using a refractometer and maintaining salinity.

It's not impossible... Just not usually recommended because it's easier for a beginner to make mistakes. I wouldn't say you're a beginner with 15 years in the game.

That said, if a 10g is at all possible... it would be easier for you.
 

arik wenzel

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It's doable... we've seen these pico tanks so we know it's possible.

Two big things to start... cycling is the same but filtration is different. You still need to grow BB but in a reef tank the BB will colonize in dry or live rock, as long as sufficient flow is provided. Generally you want powerheads in a reef tank, with a combined flow high enough to turn over the entire volume of water about 20 times an hour. In your case of course, pumps would have to be very small. This may be where you run into trouble. Need enough flow so there are not dead spots, but you don't want to blast everything.

2nd thing that's different from fresh water... Testing! You will need to be very diligent in keeping parameters in check. You'll need to check and maintain proper levels of Nitrates, Phosphates, Alkalinity, Magnesium and Calcium, (those last 3 will be determined by your salt in the beginning, but depending on the tank and species within, dosing is sometimes involved.)

Oh, and one more thing. Research how to make saltwater. Learn about using a refractometer and maintaining salinity.

It's not impossible... Just not usually recommended because it's easier for a beginner to make mistakes. I wouldn't say you're a beginner with 15 years in the game.

That said, if a 10g is at all possible... it would be easier for you.
Awesome I have a local fish store that is willing to help also. This something that just popped intoy mind yesterday so much research has been done on it I just seen some pop up on YouTube last night and caught my eye. As for livestock anything that could even fit in that tank without me seeming like a horrible person. I guess what I'm asking is what fits in the tank that will be safe I don't want to make a mistake of someone putting an Oscar in a 10 gallon.
 

stella1979

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Haha, one more thing... I just thought I'd share these other two threads with you.

1st, a good one about starting a 10g reef from scratch.

10 Gallon Tank Restoration

And another, about stocking a micro tank...

Stocking A Micro Reef Tank

However, I wouldn't put fish in a 2.5g... there are some pretty cool critters you could have though. Inverts and such, maybe even a Rock Flower Anemone. Those guys are cool.
 

bigdreamsinreef

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It's doable... we've seen these pico tanks so we know it's possible.

Two big things to start... cycling is the same but filtration is different. You still need to grow BB but in a reef tank the BB will colonize in dry or live rock, as long as sufficient flow is provided. Generally you want powerheads in a reef tank, with a combined flow high enough to turn over the entire volume of water about 20 times an hour. In your case of course, pumps would have to be very small. This may be where you run into trouble. Need enough flow so there are not dead spots, but you don't want to blast everything.

2nd thing that's different from fresh water... Testing! You will need to be very diligent in keeping parameters in check. You'll need to check and maintain proper levels of Nitrates, Phosphates, Alkalinity, Magnesium and Calcium, (those last 3 will be determined by your salt in the beginning, but depending on the tank and species within, dosing is sometimes involved.)

Oh, and one more thing. Research how to make saltwater. Learn about using a refractometer and maintaining salinity.

It's not impossible... Just not usually recommended because it's easier for a beginner to make mistakes. I wouldn't say you're a beginner with 15 years in the game.

That said, if a 10g is at all possible... it would be easier for you.
Damsels maybe?... of course I would prolly only do one. Cheap fish. Tough fish. Basically the gold fish in the saltwater world.
 

Jesterrace

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No saltwater fish is suitable for a 2.5 gallon tank. . . .PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Personally, I would never attempt to do a pico tank because it's so much effort and expense for very little reward. About the only thing you might be able to do would be a 2 inch crab.
 

stella1979

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Damsels maybe?... of course I would prolly only do one. Cheap fish. Tough fish. Basically the gold fish in the saltwater world.
Sorry I missed this when you wrote it. The alert system here is flawed and I didn't see your post until now. Damsels are very active fish. I agree with above that there are zero saltwater fish suitable for a 2.5 gallon.
 

Jayd976

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As others have said its definitely doable. The thing is it will require moderate daily care to keep parameters stable. So you have to decide on a maintenance regime daily and contemplate if you really have the time to give it that much daily attention. The number one thing in a tank that small is you're going to see constant change sin salinity due to evaporation which if not attended to can wreak havoc on the tank stability. That's one of the reasons its recommended to start with a bigger tank. The more water volume the more forgiving.
 

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Hi, I had a 15 litre nano tank as my fist tank, it is a challenge and it is doable but not recommended, I had lots of coral and some sexy shrimp and hermet crabs, you will eventually want to upgrade though as it is frustrating not being able to have fish, you could try a nano goby like a hi fin red banded goby (I had one).

You will have to check salinity daily and test every other day, at the beginning I did a water change every 3 days but it changed to every week.

Ethan
 

Jesterrace

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I would disagree on adding any fish. A small Goby might work in a 5 gallon, but we are talking about a 2.5 gallon tank here. That's less than 10 litres.
 

IHaveADogToo

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A 2 gallon saltwater tank would work for a colony of dwarf seahorses. In fact, smaller tanks like that are highly recommended for them. As long as they're the dwarfs.

2 gallons is also good for some jellyfish, but usually those are specialized tanks, even if they are only 2 gallons.
 
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