Question Snail-owlr


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Hello all! I've read through the starting a saltwater aquarium guides, and I have some questions.

Just for some background... I'm starting a land hermit crab tank to include a bioactive system, which includes a fresh and saltwater system. I'm quite familiar with fresh, but salt is a new world for me. I thought I would get your opinion to see if this is enough of a saltwater system, too complicated, or lacking something.


The saltwater tank will be SOWLR (as opposed to FOWLR) 5.5gal. This 5.5gal is located inside a 100gal tank which will also have a 5.5 gal freshwater tank. The 100 gal tank in general is heated to 80F / 80% relative humidity.

For the saltwater set-up, I was thinking of:
- Live rock (a center piece of a sort)
- Live sand
- 1 turbo snail, or some other snail that may have a trapdoor
- 1 Powerhead

With this... Snail-only-with-live-rock... set up:
1) Is 1 snail one too many? The land hermit crabs may track sand, poop, or food into the water, so ammonia levels may vary, but I don't want beneficial bacteria to die if none of the land hermit crabs decides to take a dip for a few days.
2a) Do I need a sump? I do have a 10gal to make into a sump (this will be a fun project). Not sure if this is overkill, or just right.
2b) If I do need a sump, could I get away with an external filter?
3) Do I need specific lighting, or will full spectrum suffice? It seems like only corals have specific lighting requirements.
4) Temperatures should be no hotter than 80F. If it is lower at 75F, will this be an issue?
5) Do I need a second powerhead to make a circular flow?
6) This feels like a stupid question, but as live rock is just a porous rock, parts of it can stick out of the water, right?

Thanks for taking the time to review this completely different / weird post!


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1 year
wavemaker/powerhead are basically the same thing (simulate underwater current), the difference is that a wavemaker generally has a timer to simulate a more natural ebb and flow (ie powers up every few seconds to create current). Either will work fine though.

As for the turbo snail, I wouldn't recommend one for a space that small. Turbos simply can't get enough to eat in a tank of that size as they live up to their names. What I would recommend is a Trochus snail as they are still decent sized and would be fine as a single snail in that space. Also unlike Turbo snails they have the ability to flip themselves over which is a big plus (can't tell you how many times I've had to flip Turbo snails over).
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