Lorekeeper's Tanks!

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Builds' started by Lorekeeper, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    So, seeing as how this tank is now completely different than it was at the start, I'm gonna redo this post to clue readers in as to what's changed.

    This tank started out as a jar reef, and eventually got moved over to a 2.5 gallon, and then to a 5.5 gallon. I still have the the jar set up, in my other thread (found in my bio), but this is my "main" tank.

    Current Livestock:
    1 4-striped-damsel (around 1" at the time of editing, will probably get moved to a 10 gallon in the coming years)

    1 Mexican Turbo Snail
    1 Red Legged Hermit
    4 Cerith Snails

    Brown/Green Zoas
    Orange Zoas
    Green Star Polyps

    Red Branching Macro (don't have any other name for it)
    Red Dragon's Macro
    Caulerpa Prolifera
    Mystery Caulerpa embedded in the GSP


    Top-Fin 10 Gallon HOB (running carbon)
    Top-Fin 10 Gallon Internal Filter

    Tetra 50W Preset

    12" Freshwater LED Planted Fixture
    12W 6500K CFL

    Tank Info:

    I had hoped to keep this tank pretty softy and macro dominated, and that plan hasn't changed. I do want to eventually get my hands on some LPS and SPS, but those are probably a long way down the road. As for stocking, I'm probably done adding inverts and fish unless the need for more CUC appears. I'm at (probably a little over) stocking capacity with the damsel, and honestly, I don't want another fish in this tank. Too much work for too little gain.

    I'm running barebottom to make siphoning up muck from the bottom of the tank easier, and also to give my GSP free reign to take up the bottom of the tank.

    The lighting situation is a bit jank, but I plan on eventually replacing the current fixtures with a single LED fixture or possibly a PAR 38. Just trying to find something that'll give my macros and corals good color and growth without breaking the bank.

    Tank Params:
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5-10
    Temp: 76F
    (I'm too lazy to list all of my other parameters)

    So yeah, that should catch anyone up to where this tank is as of today. Doing great, just gotta keep on upgrading what I got and filling as my wallet allows.

    The joys of high school.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    Amano shrimp might work, they may be a little big though.

  3. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I was worried about size. I think that even 1 in a 1 gallon jar might be pushing it, although I could be wrong.

    I'm not against setting up a light for this tank, however, I'd like to keep tech out of the tank if possible.

    The "rules" (things I want) for this tank are:
    1) Must be a brackish jar. If no one can come up with anything brackish, then I don't mind venturing into the much more salty side of the hobby with it, as I've got experience there too.
    2) Unless someone can find a micro goby with a bioload less than a shrimp, no fish.
    3) Must either have plants or macroalgae (if we get that salty)
    4) Needs to do okay in room temp water (unless we can't find anything)
    5) Needs to do okay with just the 02 produced by the plants (again, there's wiggle room here)

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2017
  4. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    For plants I think java moss is pretty tolerant of salt
  5. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Oh really? That's interesting! I just bought a big hunk of it for my RCS yesterday. Does the same apply to Java Fern?
  6. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    I don't know about java fern. It's quite tough so you could try it.
  7. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, thanks for all the help. I may throw it together later today and throw a bit of moss and a piece of anacharis in there to see how things go (of course, I'll be raising the salinity over a few days)
  8. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Just set up the "jar" with some light brackish water (1.004), some aragonite (low PH), and some base/lace rock. The plan is to raise the salinity to full saltwater in a month or two.

    The inhabitants will probably be 2 ghost shrimp I got from my LFS, destined to be feeders. Brought them home, and they're acclimating to the brackish water now. I'll probably end up trying to find a snail for the tank as well, any suggestions? I know nassarius are pretty great in marine conditions.

    As for equipment, I decided to go higher tech than I originally wanted. I'm using a Top Fin internal filter (not my preferred brand, but it's all I could find and I got it on sale at Petsmart for $3) and a heater set to 80F.

    The goal for this tank is to maintain a stable, cycled saltwater environment with inverts. I may even EVENTUALLY get some cheap polyps, although that all depends on how the tank matures. For lighting, I'm using a basic desk lamp with a 5500k LED bulb. Not worried about great lighting atm, but eventually I'd LOVE to try out the PAR 38 Leds. Or even just a coralife 50/50 cfl, which I used on a 10 gallon reef for a while.

    Here's a pic of the tank pre-shrimp.


    Only managed to get a little less than a LB of rock in there, because of the size of the filter.

    If you look behind the rock, you can see that the filter takes up the entire height and a big portion of the length of the tank.

    It provides a huge amount of flow, which is great considering the possibility of corals in the next few months.

    Saltwater people, give me some advice on how to go about this. I've kept nanos/picos before (2.5 gallon being the smallest), but this is a new level of tiny.

    I'll get a pic of the tank with the Shrimp here in an hour or two. The lamp is off, letting them adjust for a while.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2017
  9. KaderTheAntWell Known MemberMember

    I don't see the picture... maybe its because I'm on the app. *shrugs* I'm sure it's beautiful though.
  10. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Actually, I forgot to post the pic... Long day!

    I'll post it. It's not exactly beautiful, as its just a piece of dead rock and a couple of shrimp so far lol. But its interesting to me at least ;)

    SG is sitting at 1.004 after mixing for an hour in the tank. I know that's a huge raise for the shrimp, but from here on out I'll probably do +.002 a day. Maybe take a day off to let them chill.

    Just a fun story, but as I was adding the shrimp into the tank one decided to jump out of the net. I had no clue shrimp could crawl out of water! The little guy made it 2-3 inches in about 10 seconds. He seems fine now, but wow!

    Seems like I have a berried female as well as a male (or maybe a virgin female, idk)

    Pics of the tank with the shrimp in will have to wait till tomorrow, as the lights just went out with the timer.

    The temp is sitting at 83F, so I've definitely obtained tropical temps.

    The shrimp have been in the tank for around 2 hours now, and they're both still exploring. I think they're gonna be fine. I may try to feed them a bit tomorrow, and throw in a pinch of flakes to get the cycle going, as the shrimp won't produce enough ammonia themselves :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2017
  11. FlutterFishWell Known MemberMember

    Love to see the pics! It sounds pretty good, I'm glad to see people doing this stuff (I'm thinking of starting one with my 2 gallon fishbowl as well :p)
  12. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember


    I posted a pic in an earlier post. It's a link to Imgur, so you can see the pic in a decent resolution.

    The tank isn't beautiful, and it may never be beautiful. However, it's still pretty amazing to think that you can keep a 1 gallon ocean in a jar!

    The 2 gallon fishbowl would be great! My only warning is that with a bowl, you'd have to use an airstone for circulation. The filter I'm using (which I'm impressed with so far, btw) almost didn't suction cup onto the curved edge, and on a bowl, the edge would be steeper. I'd still LOVE to see you give it a whirl though!
  13. FlutterFishWell Known MemberMember

    Yup, I'm planning to use an air stone for it :) Thanks!
  14. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Just stole a Malaysian Trumpet Snail from my planted tank.

    I know these guys thrive in brackish and low end marine conditions, so I figured I'd see how they did in full marine (my target sg is around 1.023-24).

    At the very least, its an interesting experiment :)
  15. KCaquariumsValued MemberMember

    This seems like a very interesting project! Do keep us updated!
  16. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember


    Just checked my thermometer, and it read 87F.

    Apparently, 7.5W is enough to cook a 1 gallon jar. Lesson learned.

    I unplugged the heater, and I'm gonna let the tank cool down and see how well the filter heats the tank. If it keeps it at 76-80, I'll just use it instead of a heater. If it gets too chilly, I'll switch heaters around and use a preset heater that struggles to keep my 2.5 gallon at 75F (so in theory, it should keep this tank at at least 77F or so) and throw this one into the 2.5, as I'm sure the betta would appreciate it.
  17. KCaquariumsValued MemberMember

    Sounds good, but in the future try not to make steamed trumpet snails... that doesn't sound too appetizing lol
  18. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Lol, that's true.

    I'm not too worried, as Ghost Shrimp do pretty well till 82-84 and the tank's only be at 87F for an hour at the most.

    The MTS won't die unless it's because of the salt.

    So, after a 12 hour cooling period, the tank is at 75F.

    No losses so far, which is pretty good, considering they acclimated to brackish, a HIGH temp and then back to subtropical in 24 hours.

    I'll switch around heaters and see what that keeps the tank at. I want at least 78F, for safety for any SW inverts/corals that might get into the tank.

    Just a quick little update:

    Before I moved the heater into the tank and added a bit of salwater into the tank, I fed some bleached peas.

    I've never seen a shrimp descend upon a helpless little pod so quickly. As in humans, it seems the female is the first to notice and the first to react -  

    The male is hiding in the shade beneath the filter. They've divided up "territories" surprisingly quickly. I seen a bit of skirmishing last night, but they seem to have decided to split the tank pretty equally, and I've seen them stroll around the tank together as well.

      - just a pic of the tank now that everything's settled.

    If a mod could move this to an appropriate spot in the forum, I'd appreciate it. I don't think it really belongs in Brackish anymore :p
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2017
  19. BluePsionValued MemberMember

    This is awesome! It makes me want to also give it a try. Please keep us updated :)
  20. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Just got finished mixing a gallon of SW. I think I measured poorly and it turned out at about 1.018, but I'm just raising salinity, so that's fine.

    I added a coffee cup full of SW, and I'll get the new SG of the water in about an hour.

    Everyone seems okay, but I haven't seen the MTS since last night. However, they love to burrow, so I'd say he's just down in the sand loving life.

    Even with this heater from the betta tank, the jar is just staying arounf 76-77F.

    I thought about buying a new heater, but I think I'm gonna stick with this. I'll just have to get corals that aren't so temperature sensitive if the tank makes it that far, which is fine by me :)

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