15 Gallon Tank New tank - what should i do to it?

Miss Mouse

HI guys! I'm back and I've got a nice new project - I got a 55 litre/14 US gallon tank and want some ideas for some things...I'm going back to basics because i've forgotten a lot of stuff!


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I want to create a minimalist tank that can be viewed from all the way round as it's going in the centre of my lounge as a feature. For this reason, I don't want an internal filter because I think it will detract from the minimalist look.

I want to put a stack of live rock in the centre and have an air bubble running underneath to create a rising stream of bubbles from the centre.

I think I'll get 2 little clown fish and maybe a star fish and a hermit crab, but was also thinking of a small goby or something similar.

So the things I need to know are:
- what external filter would be suitable for this small tank? I have had the large fluval external filters before and they are good but not very subtle! I was thinking an eheim or a hydor. Any recommendations?

- How many marine fish can I keep in this tank? Would it be cruel to keep more than 2 or 3 fish in this small space?

- What substrate do you think would be better? I found sand a chore when I had it in my big tank because it always looked grubby compared to pebbles.
Could it be substrate-free?

- Do I need a filter if I have live rock? Would just a powerhead suffice?

Many thanks,

Ursula
 

au01st

what external filter would be suitable for this small tank? I have had the large fluval external filters before and they are good but not very subtle! I was thinking an eheim or a hydor. Any recommendations?

You could look into drilling the center for an overflow tube. Also, if you use good live rock with good water flow, and feed correctly, you shouldn't NEED a filter.

- How many marine fish can I keep in this tank? Would it be cruel to keep more than 2 or 3 fish in this small space?

Yes it would. 2 clownfish and something like a goby, firefish, or small blenny would be fine IMO. I would not put more than 3 fish in there. Also, if clowns, they will need to be the smaller species like percula or ocellaris.

What substrate do you think would be better? I found sand a chore when I had it in my big tank because it always looked grubby compared to pebbles.
Could it be substrate-free?

Sand is what makes a salt tank, IMO. Some people use crushed coral, and it doesn't look right. In my large tank I have "reef substrate" which has crushed shells, large grains, and small grains of sand. If I had to do it over, I'd go with 1-2mm particles in that tank. My nano has ultra fine grade oolitic sand particles as that is the look I wanted for that tank, and the flow won't be enough to kick it up. It's all about what you want. Check out some pics and see if you want the look of larger or smaller sand.

"bare bottom" is also an option. It's usually used by people keeping SPS tanks or people not wanting to deal with detrius, it has its own +/- reasons for running that way.

Do I need a filter if I have live rock? Would just a powerhead suffice?

You do not need a filter, but a protein skimmer would be great. Honestly it will be hard to have this in a central location without having a bunch of wires and stuff hanging down at least one side, which IMO would ruin the look. I think placed in a corner, the tank would still be viewable from 5/6 sides and look great!

If you're wanting to have corals, you need to research some lighting, but I think a 70watt Viper MH fixture would work great over that tank.
 

melodicone

As far as filters you should be fine with the canister and live rock. otherwise if you don't want the bulk of the canister, I know you said you don't want anything in-tank, however they do have a nano protien skimmer (very small) which might be a better choice.

For the fish, I might rethink putting 2 clowns together in such a small space, seeing as how territorial and aggressive they can be. I honestly probably wouldnt keep more than 2 -3 very small fish in the tank. I keep 4 small fish in my tank and its a 30 gallon and that's about enough that they all have their own areas without having to bump into each other all the time and worry about their territories.

As far as substrate I think you can probably use whatever you want since you already have the live rock. in my FO tank I have pebbles on the bottom, not sand, and my tank has done just fine. I wouldnt go the no substrate route because even pebbles hold the beneficial bacteria even if it doesn't keep the organisms like live sand does. It will also give your hermit crab and starfish (if you decide to get those) something to dig through to find food other than the rock.

Hope this helps!
 

agsansoo

Welcome back Ursula ! I've missed you !

Live rock, live sand and a couple of powerheads plus weekly water changes is all you need in that size tank. You might want to get a Phosban Reactor later to run carbon for a few days (gets the yellow out of the water).
 

JohnnyOcean

HI MissMouse,
Since your going minimalistic in the rock scaping perhaps you can really showcase a particular type of species. Something out of the ordinary. Like sea horse, mantis shrimp, HelfrichI Firefish, box fish, octopI etc.. but keep in mind, unusual specimens are often difficult to keep and more costly. Just a suggestion.
 

Miss Mouse

HI guys - thanks for the input - it's really interesting reading your comments.

Hey Andy! Really good see you're still here and you've got babies!!! WOOO Last time I spoke to you, you weren't having much luck with fry.

I have decided to go for 2 percula clowns - I've always had them in pairs and they've been fine together. I'll see how they get on and maybe introduce a goby in time.

I think I'm gonna go for that reef substrate - I like the look of it and its not as fine as sand. It's almost pink too which in my opinion is always a good thing. Not so sure if boyfriend agrees lol.

JohnnyOcean - I like your idea about a feature-creature but like you say, it could get expensive and specialist. Bare in mind I travel quite a lot and have to leave the tank in the hands of my lovely lodger so need hardy little guys that don't need specialist food or anything like that. I would love a box fish

Au01st - I would love to go back into the route of big tank with mushrooms and corals etc but I don't have the time or the budget these days I don't want to go drilling either - eeek! lol

Right, I'm off for the weekend - hopefully chat to you guys soon - have a good one! I'll keep you updated xx
 

JohnnyOcean

Clowns are really hardy. So are damsels. Your choice are good ones. Good luck.
 

Miss Mouse

Hey guys!
Any recommendations for small inconspicious powerheads? Does anyone know if there's a company that makes clear ones?
I am having mental dilemas in trying to make this fish tank look as "minimalist" as I can lol. I have seen some beautiful decorations made by reef one (I like the clam-shell or the spanish dancer) and I plan to put in 1 or 2 of these in the middle with my tower of live rock.


I want to hide the heater inside this tower so it won't be one show and would somehow like to hide the powerheads too.

Thanks guys, nearly the weekend!
Miss Mouse
 

Miss Mouse

P.S Andy your member spotlight is awesome!
 

JohnnyOcean

Hey MM,
There are some propeller pumps by Vortech and Hydor. They are small and have a magnetic base (so no clamps or suction cups. I haven't tried these yet so I couldnt give you a review but one of them claims it can move 500 to 2000 gph.
 

Hypnox

I've been less than impressed with the hydor koralia nano I have. It claims 256 gph but it currently is pushing less water than my MJ-400 rated at 106 gph. From reviews i've read the propeller based hydors and tunzes tend to be rather hit or miss on performance.
 

agsansoo

P.S Andy your member spotlight is awesome!

Thanks !

I 'm looking at your tank and thinking that would make a great seahorse tank !
(something I'm been wanting to do myself) Just a thought !
 

Miss Mouse

Oh Andy, you're dangerous! I love seahorses but they're really pricey here in the UK and also, as I mentioned above, I go away quite often and don't want to have to leave my lodger in charge of something that delicate. My folks have moved to Canada so I visit them every 6 months and my Gran is in south africa so I visit her every year and then lots of my friends live around the country so I am away weekends...it gets tricky! If I didn't worry so much about things, I would definitely get some seahorses and maybe some pipe fish. They're so amazing to watch. One day...one day!
 

Miss Mouse

I think I'm just going to go with a normal MaxiJet - I guess I'll have to try and hide it somewhere behind some rock or something- do some clever aquascaping
 

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