10 Gallon Tank Nitrates in SW tank (and other concerns)

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funkman262

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The tank has some live rock and sand with several hermit crabs and snails (no fish or corals). I'm using my API Freshwater Kit until I order the Reef Kit. I just purchased the whole setup used on Monday (more info here: https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/saltwater-tank-equipment/71198-possibly-getting-used-sw-setup-need-advice.html). Using the color cards for the saltwater tests that I found online, my ammonia and nitrite is zero while my nitrate is around 10ppm. I don't think that's harmful for the tank right now but I would eventually like to get some corals. Is this just because the denitrifying bacteria need more time to establish? I'm running a Penguin Biowheel 200 and I've read that you shouldn't use the filter with it because it's a nitrate factory. Is that true? What about the biowheel, should I take that out also? I've been doing a lot of research over the past couple days but am unsure about this.

On a separate topic, with just the rock and inverts, do I NEED to be running the lights right now? Or can I just have them on for a few hours a day?

I also have a 5 gallon tank sitting around so if anyone has any suggestions for using it as a sump, let me know.

With the HOB filter, should I still add a powerhead in the tank? I was thinking a Maxi-Jet 600. And if I end up doing a sump, can that powerhead also be used as a pump (the sump would be directly below the display tank).

I know that's a lot of questions but I really appreciate all of the great help everyone here gives me ;D
 

harpua2002

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10 ppm nitrate is not going to be a problem for the corals that you're going to be able to keep. Stick to easy low light soft corals like mushrooms and zoanthids/palythoas, etc. unless you upgrade the lighting. There are a lot of really colorful varieties of those available and you can have a really cool looking tank.

The term "nitrate factory" is debated somewhat. If you keep up on the filter maintenance it should be fine. Just keep an eye on things.

You don't need to run the lights until you get corals. However, it does help with coralline growth so a couple hours a day is good.

The only way you're going to be able to do a sump is to drill the tank or use a hang on overflow. The hang on overflows are more trouble than they are worth IME. I will never use one again.

Adding a powerhead depends on whether there are dead spots in the tank at all. A little extra flow never hurt anything.
 
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funkman262

funkman262

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Thanks a bunch Harpua. I think I'll order a small powerfilter just in case (they're cheap anyway and I could use it to stir the saltwater before I put it into the tank).

Here's my shopping list:









36W 50/50 Bulb
 

harpua2002

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Looks good, but I have a bunch of those digital thermometers and I don't think they are very accurate. Just a normal glass one saves a little cash and is more reliable IMO.
 
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