10 Gallon Tank Nano FOWLR Tank.

A Sneaky Fatman

I have been researching for months now about setting up a saltwater aquarium, (FOWLR) and need some info about these things.

The Setup:
10g standard tank
Black "live" sand
72W CFL 50/50 fixture on Ebay
Hydor Koralia nano powerhead

The Stock:
1 Black Ocelaris Clown
1 Green Chromis
No idea on how to do clean up crew.
Would love to do a mantis shrimp tank but would have to get one as a hitchiker probably.

Would like it to start out as a FOWLR tank and then move to some soft corals.

Not sure if that light is correct for growing corals.

Link to the light:

x
 

harpua2002

That will be plenty of light for some easy corals. As long you keep reef safe fish (which you are), YOU can decide when you're ready to try corals. It's not like you have to add them at any certain time frame.

You can skip the bagged "live sand" if you would like to save some cash. Dry sand is just fine and will become live once it spends some time with your live rock. Live sand is fine too if there is something you really like, it's just a lot more expensive. Would you mind posting a link to the black sand you were considering? I'll try to do a little digging up of some old threads I have seen (other sites) where folks used a certain brand of black sand, and some of the grains became magnetized and scratched the bejeezus out of the tank when the folks used their mag float.

Will you be adding another powerhead? If that K nano is the only water movement you are planning on, I would suggest one more powerhead, or if you have an extra hang on back filter laying around, you can use that too.

For the clean up crew, there aren't any rules IMO. I'd suggest nassarius snails to stir and clean your sand bed, and you can add a few astreas as well. Hermits are optional. Avoid turbo snails, as they will topple your frags and rock (especially in a small tank).

I'd suggest sticking to the black and white clown only. As it grows, you'll have less room for others. Saltwater stocking is much different than Freshwater stocking IMO.
 

A Sneaky Fatman

I will just use the left over sand from my cichlid tank then.

On setting up the powerheads, am I looking for a more circular flow or something crossing the rock?

And also what are the lighting requirements for anemones? Do they have to have MH/VHO or would the 72W PC fixture I posted be alright?

If not a chromis then what about another clown?

Sorry for all the questions.
 

harpua2002

I have 2 clowns in my smaller tank, but it's a 25 gallon. You'll find plenty of folks that disagree with me, but I really think 2 clowns is too much for a 10. Even the smallest species. If you're really set on adding one more fish, you might want to try a small goby.

When you set up your powerheads, you'll just have to do your best to judge. That's another thing that there are no rules about! LOL. You'll want chaotic flow, rather than circular. You can often do this by setting up your powerheads on opposite sides of the tank, then aiming them at each other. Try to avoid having dead spots in your tank to the extent that it's possible. As long as it doesn't blow your sand around, you're good. Make sure you don't add your corals to areas with direct flow. Most corals really don't like to have a powerhead blowing on them.

No anemone is suitable for a 10 gallon IMO. Unfortunately, most don't survive in captivity long enough to reach decent sizes, but all the species I can think of will outgrow the tank if kept properly. If you want your clown to host something, you might have luck with one of the euphyllia corals like hammer, torch, or frogspawn.
 

ranga97

Would 2 Ocellaris be alright in a 20?
Because I'd really like them in mine when it becomes a Saltwater (at Christmas)
 

locoyo386

I have been researching for months now about setting up a saltwater aquarium, (FOWLR) and need some info about these things.

The Setup:
10g standard tank
Black "live" sand
72W CFL 50/50 fixture on Ebay
Hydor Koralia nano powerhead

The Stock:
1 Black Ocelaris Clown
1 Green Chromis
No idea on how to do clean up crew.
Would love to do a mantis shrimp tank but would have to get one as a hitchiker probably.

Would like it to start out as a FOWLR tank and then move to some soft corals.

Not sure if that light is correct for growing corals.

Link to the light:

x

HI there,

The equipment sounds right for fish only tank. What are you going to use for filtration, power filter? The clown and green chromis will be fine, but the mantis might get too big for that tank. You could go with 2-3 dwarf hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp. In one of mine I have a coral banded shrimp and two dwarf hermits with a clown and a cardinal.

Sorry I can't help you when it comes to corals as I don't keep them.
 

ranga97

Do people actually want Mantis shrimp in their tanks?

Wouldn't they eat tankmates, and even maybe crack the glass?
Cleanup crew preferences vary, but turbo snails are good additions to all cleanup crews,
Peppermint shrimp are good for unwanted aiptasia, and also parasites off fish.

You just have to think about what controllable problems may occur in the future and find an animal capable of eating, killing or whatever they do to it.
Example, I could encounter algae, so I might add two turbo snails,
or, I could get parasite hanging off fish, So I'll add a peppermint shrimp.

There are many more specimens that will qualify to be in a cleanup crew.
 

locoyo386

Would 2 Ocellaris be alright in a 20?
Because I'd really like them in mine when it becomes a Saltwater (at Christmas)

Yes, unless they are True Perculas. If they are True, then just make sure they are a mated pair.
 

locoyo386

HI there,

Do people actually want Mantis shrimp in their tanks?

Yes, people do want to keep them. In the proper set up they are very interesting to watch.

Wouldn't they eat tankmates, and even maybe crack the glass?

Yes, that's why you have to have them in the proper tank setup. The ten gallon tank is not a proper setup for them.

Cleanup crew preferences vary, but turbo snails are good additions to all cleanup crews,
Peppermint shrimp are good for unwanted aiptasia, and also parasites off fish.

You just have to think about what controllable problems may occur in the future and find an animal capable of eating, killing or whatever they do to it.
Example, I could encounter algae, so I might add two turbo snails,
or, I could get parasite hanging off fish, So I'll add a peppermint shrimp.

There are many more specimens that will qualify to be in a cleanup crew.

Cleanup crews are often staved to death if they are not properly stocked. In a small tank like a 10 gallon if you have too many they will just die. Also, the skunk cleaner shrimp is the best shrimp for parasites, but often just eat the dead skin around the wounds. That goes for the reast of the "cleaner" shrimp.
 

ranga97

Thanks locoyo,
I do not have a saltwater, but wanting one so I am researching so I no them when I get one, hopefully well enough to not have unknown problems.
The more you research, the more you know... hehe
 

locoyo386

Thanks locoyo,
I do not have a saltwater, but wanting one so I am researching so I no them when I get one, hopefully well enough to not have unknown problems.
The more you research, the more you know... hehe

HI there,
Well see that's the issue with saltwater fish keeping. No matter how much you read and how much you learn, things are still going to happen, weird, but it never fails.
 

ranga97

I'll make my own thread :;bot
Were hijacking
 

locoyo386

I'll make my own thread :;bot
Were hijacking

True, I will look for it.
 

A Sneaky Fatman

I have no problem with the hijacking. the more beginner problems that are addressed the better.
 

NaturalGothic

Hey guys!
When it comes to saltwater, I’m still pretty new to it. (Depending on the topic, I’m intermediate at best.) I work in an aquarium store so I’m constantly learning and taking notes about saltwater critters and their aquariums. I don’t own any saltwater tanks at home, but, I want to change that. I think it would really help further my understanding of salt and the frustrations of saltwater customers.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a lot of space in my home as most of my bedroom was taken over by my mixed cichlid tank. With that said, I want to do a 5 gallon nano tank. Yes, I’m very aware that small saltwater tanks are difficult to maintain. I’ve actually chosen this size because they’re so hard. If I can create/maintain/and successfully keep a nano, I’ll have a much better understanding of the animals and my clients. I’m fully prepared for this tank to be constant pain in my ass, but, I like a challenge.

My starting questions are the following: What fish can I safely stock in a 5 gallon? What kind of filter would be best? Could I get away with using a 10 or 20 gallon HOB to help create and maintain a cycled tank? What made your nano successful/fail? Is their a way to instant cycle a saltwater tank? Is it like instant cycling a freshwater? Any beginner friendly info on nanos are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Alison
 

Ghelfaire

I don't think any fish can go in a 5g (I'm not an expert either) but you could get away with an invert of sorts.
 

mimo91088

You can instant cycle by starting with enough good established live rock. As for fish, I can't think of any that would fit in a 5 gallon. MAYBE a neon goby if you keep your parameters on point. But you'd probably do better with some inverts like hermits and some soft corals or easy LPS.
 

MomeWrath

A yellow or green clown goby is do-able...but the bioload of any fish in a salt tank that size is going to make it even more of a headache to maintain. There are so many cool inverts you could do...like sexy shrimp! Or just do a little mushroom tank
 

AquaPhilNJ

AIO tank mechanical filter media (filter sock or filter pads), Bag of GAC, plan for small daily water changes. RO/DI water mixed with salt using refractometer, keep track of water evaporation (salt doesn't evap.) add fresh water as needed. AIO 10 gallon preferably, can also buy plastic overflow and create your own AIO tank.

I only do sumps, so not sure about the HOB. 5 gallon tank is cheap I say manually drill hole (or pay glass shop ~40$) then install plastic overflow box and a 20g sump instead of the 20g hob.

I'd say single damsel or clownfish, with cheap easy corals added eventually.
 

Jesterrace

Clown Goby would be my choice for that tank if you are dead set on having a fish. I would strongly recommend an ATO (auto top off system) to keep salinity levels balanced on a tank of that size. It will definitely be a big challenge for a first time person to do that tank. It will require daily maintenance for sure (ie small water change each day).
 

Jesterrace

AIO tank mechanical filter media (filter sock or filter pads), Bag of GAC, plan for small daily water changes. RO/DI water mixed with salt using refractometer, keep track of water evaporation (salt doesn't evap.) add fresh water as needed. AIO 10 gallon preferably, can also buy plastic overflow and create your own AIO tank.

I only do sumps, so not sure about the HOB. 5 gallon tank is cheap I say manually drill hole (or pay glass shop ~40$) then install plastic overflow box and a 20g sump instead of the 20g hob.

I'd say single damsel or clownfish, with cheap easy corals added eventually.

I agree with the first part, but if you read the post she barely has the space for a 5 gallon tank, so a 5 gallon tank plumbed with a 20 gallon sump really isn't an option. Furthermore if she did have space for a 20 gallon sump, it would make far more sense to go with a 20 gallon as a display tank which would improve stocking options considerably (corals, inverts and fish). HOB is perfectly fine for small tanks. As for the fish, 5 gallons is way too small for a Damsel and not well suited to a clownfish long term either. A small goby or maybe a tailspot or barnacle blenny are really the only good fish options for a tank of that size.
 

NaturalGothic

If I could manage to fit a 10 gallon, would I be able to do a clownfish? I’d read that they can be kept in a 5 gallon but I don’t think that’s true at all. I mostly want to do inverts like an emerald crab, or a Halloween hermit, with maybe 1-2 fish. I’m not looking to do anything too crazy.
 

dylan118tang

If you do 10gallons, clownfish should be fine. I think most of us end up getting a pair of clownfish to start with. That being said, a pair of clownfish would be close to the maximum load I would stock in a 10 gallon. I personally did a pair in a 20 gallon because I saw how big the adult clownfish were. Seems like you got some experience with freshwater husbandry already, so keeping a saltwater tank would be a lot easier than jumping right in with no aquarium experience.

Cycling-basically the same, feed 4ppm ammonia until ammonia/nitrite test 0. Only difference is live rock, it's basically equivalent to cycled media that is full of beneficial bacteria, and people also put it in their display.

Making water-try to use RODI water if you can. Any salt for SW tanks should be fine. Use a spare water pump/powerhead to mix the salt in the bucket. Make sure salt is dissolved before adding to the system.

Parameter-Same mentality, frequent testing to get desired levels. Big difference is stability for saltwater tanks, especially if you want to keep corals. When you make changes to water parameter, it needs to be SLOW. Like slowly dripping sometimes. Get a trustworthy hydrometer/refractometer for salinity, and keep those nitrates low through water changes like a FW tank.

Feeding-SW Pellet/frozen food, similar to keeping FW fish.

Flow-important especially for corals. The turnover rate of your HOB should be higher than what you would pick for a FW system. Most people use HOB for larger tank size on a nano, so they can just use the high flow from the return of the HOB as a flow generator.

Good Luck!
 

Jesterrace

If I could manage to fit a 10 gallon, would I be able to do a clownfish? I’d read that they can be kept in a 5 gallon but I don’t think that’s true at all. I mostly want to do inverts like an emerald crab, or a Halloween hermit, with maybe 1-2 fish. I’m not looking to do anything too crazy.

5 gallons is too small for clownfish long term. Even experienced keepers struggle to keep them in 5 gallons for more than a year or two. Ideally 20 gallons or more is what is recommended for clownfish, but you could do one in a 10 provided you stick to the Ocellaris (ie Nemo) or Percula varieties. The others get larger and more aggressive. Emerald Crabs are opportunists so not sure if you plan on corals, but they can be an issue with certain types of corals. Hermits are generally pretty good. About the only issue with them is that they will periodically pick of snails (happens no matter what you do).
 

kanzekatores

For fish I suggest the yellow clown goby. Very tiny but bright fish. A clownfish might be too big for five gallons, but you could keep some corals and inverts.
With a ten gallon you could do a clownfish pair for sure, or maybe another kind of goby. also ATO is also pretty much a must with nano saltwater
 

Jesterrace

Agreed, clown goby is a much better choice for a 5 gallon.
 

fish 321

If you don't want to use live rock you can also instantly cycle your tank using bottled bacteria. I used instant ocean bio-spira and it worked awsome.
 

Jesterrace

Bottled Bacteria and instacyle type products tend to have mixed results. Personally I would never use the stuff. Also IMHO it's worth it to go through a regular fishless cycle at least for your first go around to teach you the patience you need for this hobby if nothing else.
 

NaturalGothic

I think I wanna start with a Halloween hermit and a turbo snail. After a few weeks, I might add a clown goby or something.
 

Jesterrace

I think I wanna start with a Halloween hermit and a turbo snail. After a few weeks, I might add a clown goby or something.

Turbos are too big for 10 gallon tanks. A single Turbo could literally clean the entire glass of my 36 gallon bowfront in an hour. I would strongly recommend a couple of Trochus snails instead. A lot more hardy than Turbo snails (ie last longer and can flip themselves over).
 

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