Starting Saltwater

outlaw
  • #1
If it's ok, I would like to pick your brain for a lot of questions.

Tank Size: As with FW, bigger is better BUT what would be a good starter size? I was thinking of 125Gal (assuming my wife wouldn't say no). She wants one really bad though

Lighting: Not sure, depends on fish would would be looking to get if we did coral or not(I'm thinking no). Otherwise hopefully comes with tank you guys can direct me to a good one.

Filtration: 20Gal Refugium? Skimmer, not sure on exact parts or if 20Gal is enough. Still researching. I have a 1000GPH pump that I could use with it if that is not too powerful.

Rock/Gravel: Probably do LR with the typical white sand or crushed coral if that is better for it.

Fish: As stated in the Fish stats: Clowns are hardy and are a good choice to start with. Also was thinking of a Blue Tang (kids and obsession with Nemo, lol). And my wife wants Fairy Basslet, Royal Gramma I think. She likes the yellow and purple. Not sure what else as far as fish or cleaners(if possible with the Basslet). Is there anything else close to it that won't nip/eat coral or is very aggressive?

Stand: Either with tank or probably custom with 4x4's. This would most likely be going in a basement and preferably built into the wall to hide everything and have a room behind it for maintenance.

Power Heads: Use the Refugium pump to create flow? Otherwise I can get some more. Would a UGJ work to help keep debris off the bottom like it does in a Freshwater or would that be risking damage to the LR and other livestock? It isn't a lot of pressure that comes out but don't want to chance it.

Hopefully this is everything as far as the bare basics go. Please correct and fill in where needed. I am not looking for quick answers as this won't happen for a while (we need a house first). But like everyone says, research, research, research. Why I'm starting now.

Thanks in advance.
BTW, I did try searching some of this on here and good and couldn't find specifics (probably just not searching it correctly or because I do it mostly from work).
 
ray
  • #2
yes bigger is better! it gives more room for error! haha

lighting is a tricky thing... unless you aren't doing any coral or anemonie etc... in a FOWLR setup it doesn't really matter

I'm not really familuar w/ Refugium setups yet... from what I understand though having a 20gal sump/refugium will bring your totaly water up to 145gal which would be great!

the other stuff I'm not really sure about... more of the experienced Saltwater people hopefully will come on to help you... but I think you are on the right track... like you said research research research!!
haha
good luck...
 
Oil_Fan
  • #3
LR is pretty much a must in a Saltwater tank so you're on the right track there. I also have live sand but I now wish had gone straight with the pure white sand. Mine has some black gravel type of stuff in it. The problem is that over the last number of months, my snails keep bumping up those pieces. I would love a tank of that size but I guess I will have to settle for my 65 gallon tank. heh

As for lighting, it's far less important to the fish/inverts but with corals it's a must. I ended up upgrading my lighting because I saw some corals that were just beautiful and I just had to have them!! heh That started me down the path of a reef tank.

A skimmer is a must. Get one rated for the tank size. I've only ever had one but it works just fine (Coralife Super Skimmer).

Clownfish are great to have. Lots of personality and just cool to watch. The pair that I have actually treat one of my corals like a anemone. The royal gramma is another great one. Easy to feed and mine is rarely aggressive. Not sure on the other basslet but the tank should be large enough for the blue tang. And since a tang is on the list, I would also consider either a skunk cleaner shrimp or a fire shrimp (fire is more expensive). They like cleaning tangs and such. I also have a flame angel and he's another great addition to my tank.

I'll let other more experienced Saltwater types answer the other questions.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I would like to do sea anemone eventually and maybe to start with the Clowns. I do understand it isn't needed but I think it would be cool to have if the anemones aren't insanely hard to care for.

Thanks guys for the input.
 
ray
  • #5
all I know about anemone right now is that they require a lot of light... so I think you would have to go with MH for those...
after that I don't know if they are insanely hard to care for... I just know I don't have the light required to care for them so I haven't looked much into them.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks.. If I did that would I be better off with 2 shorter units or 1 huge one. Looks like the standard 125Gal is about 6' if I am correct. Thanks for the help... please keep them comin!
 
Tumbleweed
  • #7
Thanks.. If I did that would I be better off with 2 shorter units or 1 huge one. Looks like the standard 125Gal is about 6' if I am correct. Thanks for the help... please keep them comin!

This depends on price and availiblility. Also another thing to look out for is how you are going to mount the lights. If you are going to hang them from a hood or your sealing either one will work, but if you were going to use legs for them, you need to see if there is a spot in the middle of your tank that can hold the legs and if they can hold both sides.

IN short if you are going to hang them you can get either 1 long one or 2 shorter ones. If you are going to just have them on legs ontop of your stand get 1 long one.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
This is still my thought/dream, lol. I would like to have some type of hood or maybe something to hang the lights with since they are going to be behind the wall, it really wouldn't matter. I'm sure by the time were ready to do this, there will be some type of sale some where for some of this stuff. I would probably just be using the stand(maybe) and a plexI or glass top as I am hoping to have this built into the wall. Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks again.
 
ray
  • #9
dream big man! make it happen!
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Dreaming big won't be the problem. making that dream the reality is a different story. lol Anybody know if that pump (1000GPH) will work with the ref.? And does anybody think that tank is too big to start? I know bigger is better but is there a too big, at least for a starter?

Thanks again
 
Allie
  • #11
I don't know much about salt water, but the boyfriend had a 30 gallon Saltwater last year. Too small. 55g+ would be a good starter. We could keep anything in with our clown fish, they were breeding much to our surprise (the tank was only set up a month). They attacked and bit the bf's hand all the time. lol
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
What happened that it didn't stay setup? Just too small?
 
Allie
  • #13
What happened that it didn't stay setup? Just too small?
Yeah, the bf wasn't happy with it. And we spent $1000 on the set up with 50lbs live rock and corals. My bf wanted fish who weren't compatible for such a small tank. The day we sold the clown fish is when we noticed fry. The wigglers were hanging of a piece of rock. The guy who bought them that to this day said they are his best breeders.
To be honest with you I am not Saltwater fan. To me it looks fake and this fish look cartoon like. I can see why people like it tho, the colors are amazing.
I like the natural planted look much more. But that's just me.
These pixs are from the first week of being set up.
 
agsansoo
  • #14
Allie, How long was it running before you took it down ?
 
Allie
  • #15
Allie, How long was it running before you took it down ?
Just over a month.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
To be honest with you I am not Saltwater fan. To me it looks fake and this fish look cartoon like. I can see why people like it tho, the colors are amazing.


At least for me, that is what I like about them. You can escape reality and go to a "fantasy land" for that brief moment.
 
ray
  • #17
man I think if I could have started out with a 125gal tank I would have wanted too! I believe the problem with my 55gal is that I'm gonna want to upgrade soon... there is just too much I can't keep in there... so id say 125 is a good starting place it keeps your options open... if you can afford it... cause that 125-200lbs of live rock is gonna be a bit pricey! haha... but I think it will be fabulous once its set up!!!
I know I'll be jealous...
but I mean I couldn't turn down a free 55gal w/ stand (or the free 26 gal w stand or the 75 gal someone is offering me haha... its already out of control!)
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Wish it were that way here. lol but we have nowhere to put it. We could just get rid of the couch, but then it would be in direct sunlight. Not sure if its the same as Freshwater and will grow algae like crazy. Is it possible to add LR as I go or would that damage a lot of beneficial bacteria and living organisms? If I have to do at once, I guess I should start saving. The other thing is I think the stand and obviously the light are going to be more expensive then the tank. I am definitely looking for used first but I guess we'll see what happens.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #19
You can add the LR as you go just make sure the rock is cured befor you put it in. As for the stand and lights, yeah they can get expensive, but if you are handy you can build your own stand and put together a DIY light system and save yourself a lot of money.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Thanks. For the stand I think that would depend on the style of it and what the basement looks like. I like to think I'm pretty handy. I have messed with quite a bit of electronics before. This would just be a higher voltage/wattage then I typically deal with. Some of the stands look like a standard piece of cabinetry which is what I would want to go for. I think I could build something but depending on the house we would get, might be easier to buy.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #21
A lot of people build the stand out of satanderd 2X4's and then use a sheet of table cloth to cover the front so you can't see what is under it. And others leave it open so you can see everything that is happening. It all just depends on the look that you are trying to achieve.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Obviously this is all part of my grand plan, but I would like I nice clean look and little noise from the viewing side. The noise and whatnot can be done on the other side. If it looks like standard cabinetry then there can be other storage that looks similar used also and it will just kinda blend in. At least that is my idea. I would like the aquarium to be the center of attention (obviously).
 
eric_m
  • #23
hefully this will help your research. I came across this site and had tons of info with Saltwater setup's.. when I got my aquarium my first question was salt vs fresh .. price and lvl of work dictated fresh for me.. at least for now anyways..
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Thanks for the link. I'll have to try from home as most of the links are blocked from work. We have 3 Freshwater tanks right now. 1 46Gal, a 20Gal and 2.5Gal (in my info). The price is definitely something that was looked at which is why we did Freshwater first. Last I looked it was about a $600 difference between the two starting from scratch. I love our fish and freshwater but want to do this.. It's just going to take time and lots of it.
 
Adriifu
  • #25
Title says it all. I'd like to get some extra information. I have a ten-gallon tank with Aqueon10 as the filtration. I'm going to start setting it up after Christmas. I've made a list of things I'll need based off of my research:
I'll be making this a FOWLR tank, although I'd like to turn it into a reef tank once I've gained more experience. My questions are as follows:

  • Which fish/invertebrate will be appropriate for a ten-gallon tank?
  • Will I need to top off the water (without salt) every day?
  • If I ever do get into reefing, should I purchase a sump? What corals could I get?
  • Does anemone need to be treated the same way as coral?
  • What type of lighting do you think I would need based on the tank size/future reefing set-up?
  • How much live rock is necessary? I've heard of the 1.2-1.5 lbs rule, although I don't know if it's true.
  • I'm going to try to achieve a total of 300 GPH. Is this appropriate for my tank size?
  • Should I even try to get corals/anemones for a ten-gallon tank, or is it too risky?
  • Should the powerhead be positioned to the surface of the water to create agitation?
  • What companies do you suggest for salt?
  • Can Chaetomorpha Algae thrive in the actual tank rather than a sump?
  • Would a sump be absolutely necessary in my situation? If so, can you further explain how to set it up?
Here's a small list of fish I've been told I could keep in a ten-gallon:

Any other information is welcome. Thanks for reading
 
Claire Bear
  • #26
Hi, glad to hear you are giving it a go. With a FOWLR you don't necessarily need a sump but if you are planning on changing to reef at some point, you will want an hob like a CPR those are easy.
1. water-top off daily with fresh water (mark your tank water line and each day check it and add as necessary fresh water)
2. fish-I would maybe get a goby and a pair of clowns with a plan to not go larger-unless you plan on upsizing to a larger tank. Salt water requires much more water for fish and a tank needs to be established for a long time before fish are added or closely monitoring
3. live rock-I use 1.5 per gallon but for FOWLR you can do 1 lbs per gallon.
4. You could purchase two powerheads on timer and put one to agitate the surface since you don't have a sump to help aerate the water. The second could be on the opposite side and help with movement.
5. Don't get an anemone for a long time. They require a well seasoned tank and need good water conditions.
6. Testing-get an API saltwater test kit and look at some of the Hannah kits for phosphorus, etc.
7. I would get a nano tumbler for media if you need to add something-like the seachem products.
8. Read, Read, Read!
9. Lights depends on money. Light depends on your plans. You can get one with a timer, all sorts of bells and whistles but budget dictates.
10. Chato-most people do not like the way it looks in the tank and it needs to tumble and oxygenate for its health and to help it do its job which is removing nutrients. However, there are other macro algaes that I happen to think look good in the tank like Dragon's breathe.
Good luck and remember to research, research and research!
 
Adriifu
  • #27
Hi, glad to hear you are giving it a go. With a FOWLR you don't necessarily need a sump but if you are planning on changing to reef at some point, you will want an hob like a CPR those are easy.
1. water-top off daily with fresh water (mark your tank water line and each day check it and add as necessary fresh water)
2. fish-I would maybe get a goby and a pair of clowns with a plan to not go larger-unless you plan on upsizing to a larger tank. Salt water requires much more water for fish and a tank needs to be established for a long time before fish are added or closely monitoring
3. live rock-I use 1.5 per gallon but for FOWLR you can do 1 lbs per gallon.
4. You could purchase two powerheads on timer and put one to agitate the surface since you don't have a sump to help aerate the water. The second could be on the opposite side and help with movement.
5. Don't get an anemone for a long time. They require a well seasoned tank and need good water conditions.
6. Testing-get an API saltwater test kit and look at some of the Hannah kits for phosphorus, etc.
7. I would get a nano tumbler for media if you need to add something-like the seachem products.
8. Read, Read, Read!
9. Lights depends on money. Light depends on your plans. You can get one with a timer, all sorts of bells and whistles but budget dictates.
10. Chato-most people do not like the way it looks in the tank and it needs to tumble and oxygenate for its health and to help it do its job which is removing nutrients. However, there are other macro algaes that I happen to think look good in the tank like Dragon's breathe.
Good luck and remember to research, research and research!
Thanks for the response! I’ll make sure to continue my research. I think I’ll be ready to start cycling by Christmas
 
stella1979
  • #28
HI Adriifu How exciting that you're getting so close to starting your cycle!

I run a 7 month old 20 gallon long closed system reef, so no sump. I also do not use a protein skimmer, but that's a personal choice, a skimmer sure doesn't hurt. I'd say that it doesn't need to be part of your initial start up though. You certainly don't need it for cycling and you could always add one later when you're ready to get your reef on.

Speaking of reef.... one thing I do not like to have to buy twice is lighting! Here's the thing, most FOWLR tanks don't stay that way for very long. Reef tanks of course need a very good light. So, just consider that buying a good light once is usually better for the budget than buying an ok light, then having to upgrade within the year. I did that, and it stinks!

Also, consider better test kits. API is great for ammonia and nitrites. Not so great for nitrates, as it's best to get an accurate reading below 10ppm, and API can't do that. Phosphates are a big one too, you want phosphates as close to zero as possible... I'm talking like 0.2 can be considered high. Nitrates and phosphates lead to algae. For corals, you also need to be sure of calcium, alkalinity and magnesium levels. So, I would suggest looking into Salifert, Red Sea or Hanna for everything but ammonia and nitrites.

  • Which fish/invertebrate will be appropriate for a ten-gallon tank?
  • Will I need to top off the water (without salt) every day?
  • If I ever do get into reefing, should I purchase a sump? What corals could I get?
  • Does anemone need to be treated the same way as coral?
  • What type of lighting do you think I would need based on the tank size/future reefing set-up?
  • How much live rock is necessary? I've heard of the 1.2-1.5 lbs rule, although I don't know if it's true.
  • I'm going to try to achieve a total of 300 GPH. Is this appropriate for my tank size?
  • Should I even try to get corals/anemones for a ten-gallon tank, or is it too risky?
  • Should the powerhead be positioned to the surface of the water to create agitation?
  • What companies do you suggest for salt?
  • Can Chaetomorpha Algae thrive in the actual tank rather than a sump?
  • Would a sump be absolutely necessary in my situation? If so, can you further explain how to set it up?

1. I am unsure about some of the fish on your list. I definitely wouldn't do the six line wrasse in a 10 gallon though. I'm not the best with stocking, but perhaps our stocking wiz KinsKicks can chime in.

2. Yes, you will need to top off the tank with RODI water everyday. In fact, an automatic top off system, or ATO, is usually recommended, particularly for smaller tanks. You'll need to top off because water will evaporate, but salt will not. Saltwater tanks generally evaporate more than Freshwater because flow and surface agitation is usually greater in marine tanks. With a smaller water volume, salinity can vary greatly in a single day and an ATO is the best way to keep it stable. That said, I'm currently running a 20 gallon reef without an ATO... though I'd like one.

3. You most certainly should get into reefing! A sump isn't necessary on nano tanks, but it adds water volume and can store your equipment, so it's never a bad thing. Reefing is really not quite as complicated as it seems at first and corals are so much fun!!! Some easier, beginner type corals are the softies, so leathers, green star polyps, pulsing xenia and maybe zoanthids. I got my first softies only a few weeks after being cycled and adding the first fish. Some LPS, (large polyp stony), corals that have been great growers in my tank are Duncans, Favias and Favites. Each coral will have it's own requirements as far as flow, lighting and feeding. Just remember that a good light and steady parameters are key to coral success.

4. Anemones are photosynthetic and sensitive to water parameters, so yes, they are treated pretty much the same as corals.

5. An reef LED light would be best in my opinion. Which light you go with will depend on budget of course. A good lower budget option are Current USA Marine LED's, or if you can spend a little more, you would be very happy with an AI Prime HD.

6. Pounds per gallon is a decent general rule, but like most, it's imperfect. It really depends on the type of rock you go with and how much surface area it has. Dense and heavy rock is less porous, so will in fact have less surface area for bacteria to colonize than a more porous, lighter weight rock of the same size. I'd look at Bulk Reef Supply for any dry rock you want, and speaking of BRS, head over to YouTube and check out their videos on rock... they have several good ones.

7. 20-30 times your water volume will be good for flow. Different species within the tank, like corals and anemones, may require lower or higher flow, so consider things carefully as you set up your pumps and rockscape.

8. It's up to you. Your plan to start with a FOWLR set up sounds good to me, but once you're familiar with maintenance, parameters and testing, and are sure your tank is stable, there's no reason not to try some easy corals. I will say that an anemone will prefer a more aged tank, but I've seen folks do well with them after only a few months. A nem is capable of moving around and harming corals though, so there is a risk in keeping them in a reef tank... again, not impossible though. A lot of nems get pretty big too, so there's that to consider. If you want to see a great example of anemones in a reef tank, check out grantm91 's thread here...
Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist

9. Yes, you want good surface agitation, but you also want good flow throughout the tank. This is what is best for your stock and will help to eliminate dead spots and detritus build up. The big warning about nano Saltwater tanks is all about keeping parameters steady... you will want to keep your tank very clean.

10. I've liked Instant Ocean or Red Sea for salt. Don't concern yourself with getting salt that is specifically for reefing just yet, as these salts are meant for tanks with lots of corals growing in the tank. So, get regular Instant Ocean (IO) or Red Sea Salt (RSS) instead of Instant Ocean Reef Crystals (IORC) or Red Sea Coral Pro (RSCP). I'm wondering what your source water will be, or what type of water you're adding salt to. Will you have RODI water?

11. Nope, you don't want chaeto in the tank... it'd be messy. You might be able to run a minI refugium in your HOB though. If there's room and you can attach a small plant light you can have chaeto growing in there, and chaeto is great for nutrient export. I have a minI refugium going in my slightly modified Aquaclear HOB. I'll be glad to share if you'd like to know more about it.

12. Yeah... pretty sure I already covered this in the novel I've written above.

Hope this helps!
 
KinsKicks
  • #29
  • Yellow Clown Goby (fine if you do one)
  • Purple Firefish (also fine if you do 1 but they aren't very active; they sort of just hover in one spot lol...they also enjoy jumping)
  • Pajama Cardinal (also fine)
  • Six Line Wrasse (not right for a nano)
  • Royal Gramma (personally, I wouldn't; they are active swimmers and you lose quite a bit with rock)
  • Chalk Bass (not right for a nano)
  • Teardrop Blenny (also a good choice)
  • Watchmen Goby (also a good choice...this might be the most interesting if you get him a shrimp to pair up with)
  • Plectranthias (also a good choice, but provide plenty of rockwork/ nooks and crannies; they're pretty shy so you won't see them too much, but they are pretty)
  • Clownfish (ok if you go with the smaller variety, like an occellaris...you could do a pair, but it comes with usual territorial behavior)
You could only really do 2 (possibly three) at the most to make it easy in yourself and without overstocking. I would suggest choosing something for the top and the bottom.

May I also suggest a tail spot? Pretty active, great color, hardy, and a really really cute face lol real fan favorite
 
Adriifu
  • #30
HI Adriifu How exciting that you're getting so close to starting your cycle!

I run a 7 month old 20 gallon long closed system reef, so no sump. I also do not use a protein skimmer, but that's a personal choice, a skimmer sure doesn't hurt. I'd say that it doesn't need to be part of your initial start up though. You certainly don't need it for cycling and you could always add one later when you're ready to get your reef on.

Speaking of reef.... one thing I do not like to have to buy twice is lighting! Here's the thing, most FOWLR tanks don't stay that way for very long. Reef tanks of course need a very good light. So, just consider that buying a good light once is usually better for the budget than buying an ok light, then having to upgrade within the year. I did that, and it stinks!

Also, consider better test kits. API is great for ammonia and nitrites. Not so great for nitrates, as it's best to get an accurate reading below 10ppm, and API can't do that. Phosphates are a big one too, you want phosphates as close to zero as possible... I'm talking like 0.2 can be considered high. Nitrates and phosphates lead to algae. For corals, you also need to be sure of calcium, alkalinity and magnesium levels. So, I would suggest looking into Salifert, Red Sea or Hanna for everything but ammonia and nitrites.



1. I am unsure about some of the fish on your list. I definitely wouldn't do the six line wrasse in a 10 gallon though. I'm not the best with stocking, but perhaps our stocking wiz KinsKicks can chime in.

2. Yes, you will need to top off the tank with RODI water everyday. In fact, an automatic top off system, or ATO, is usually recommended, particularly for smaller tanks. You'll need to top off because water will evaporate, but salt will not. Saltwater tanks generally evaporate more than Freshwater because flow and surface agitation is usually greater in marine tanks. With a smaller water volume, salinity can vary greatly in a single day and an ATO is the best way to keep it stable. That said, I'm currently running a 20 gallon reef without an ATO... though I'd like one.

3. You most certainly should get into reefing! A sump isn't necessary on nano tanks, but it adds water volume and can store your equipment, so it's never a bad thing. Reefing is really not quite as complicated as it seems at first and corals are so much fun!!! Some easier, beginner type corals are the softies, so leathers, green star polyps, pulsing xenia and maybe zoanthids. I got my first softies only a few weeks after being cycled and adding the first fish. Some LPS, (large polyp stony), corals that have been great growers in my tank are Duncans, Favias and Favites. Each coral will have it's own requirements as far as flow, lighting and feeding. Just remember that a good light and steady parameters are key to coral success.

4. Anemones are photosynthetic and sensitive to water parameters, so yes, they are treated pretty much the same as corals.

5. An reef LED light would be best in my opinion. Which light you go with will depend on budget of course. A good lower budget option are Current USA Marine LED's, or if you can spend a little more, you would be very happy with an AI Prime HD.

6. Pounds per gallon is a decent general rule, but like most, it's imperfect. It really depends on the type of rock you go with and how much surface area it has. Dense and heavy rock is less porous, so will in fact have less surface area for bacteria to colonize than a more porous, lighter weight rock of the same size. I'd look at Bulk Reef Supply for any dry rock you want, and speaking of BRS, head over to YouTube and check out their videos on rock... they have several good ones.

7. 20-30 times your water volume will be good for flow. Different species within the tank, like corals and anemones, may require lower or higher flow, so consider things carefully as you set up your pumps and rockscape.

8. It's up to you. Your plan to start with a FOWLR set up sounds good to me, but once you're familiar with maintenance, parameters and testing, and are sure your tank is stable, there's no reason not to try some easy corals. I will say that an anemone will prefer a more aged tank, but I've seen folks do well with them after only a few months. A nem is capable of moving around and harming corals though, so there is a risk in keeping them in a reef tank... again, not impossible though. A lot of nems get pretty big too, so there's that to consider. If you want to see a great example of anemones in a reef tank, check out grantm91 's thread here...
Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist

9. Yes, you want good surface agitation, but you also want good flow throughout the tank. This is what is best for your stock and will help to eliminate dead spots and detritus build up. The big warning about nano Saltwater tanks is all about keeping parameters steady... you will want to keep your tank very clean.

10. I've liked Instant Ocean or Red Sea for salt. Don't concern yourself with getting salt that is specifically for reefing just yet, as these salts are meant for tanks with lots of corals growing in the tank. So, get regular Instant Ocean (IO) or Red Sea Salt (RSS) instead of Instant Ocean Reef Crystals (IORC) or Red Sea Coral Pro (RSCP). I'm wondering what your source water will be, or what type of water you're adding salt to. Will you have RODI water?

11. Nope, you don't want chaeto in the tank... it'd be messy. You might be able to run a minI refugium in your HOB though. If there's room and you can attach a small plant light you can have chaeto growing in there, and chaeto is great for nutrient export. I have a minI refugium going in my slightly modified Aquaclear HOB. I'll be glad to share if you'd like to know more about it.

12. Yeah... pretty sure I already covered this in the novel I've written above.

Hope this helps!
Thanks! Here's my upgraded list for equipment:

  • Current USA Marine LED or good quality lights from LFS
  • Less than 10 lbs of live rock
  • Two powerheads/wavemakers.
  • Instant Ocean salt
  • Protein skimmer for 20-gallon tank
  • RO/DI unit
  • Chaeto for HOB
  • MinI light for Chaeto
  • Hannah Test Kits (nitrate, phosphate, magnesium, calcium, alkalinity) --> Could you possibly send me a link to all of these kits?

How does this stock sound (under/overstocked or fine):

  • Watchmen Goby
  • Three Shrimp (I need help choosing which type)
  • Two Tail Spot Blennies


I'll be adding water from my kitchen sink. When I add it to the tank, won't the RO/DI unit make the parameters appropriate for my fish?

I would love to get more information on your Chaeto. I'll most likely do the same thing.

I have cycled filter media in my 55-gallon freshwater aquarium. Could I use this to cycle the tank, or will the bacteria not survive the change from freshwater to saltwater?
 
stella1979
  • #31
I wouldn't go straight to Hanna with all of those tests. Hanna checkers are digital and a little pricey, but more importantly, I've heard that not everyone likes their nitrate test. The Hanna phosphate test, while considered super accurate, is not exactly user friendly, or at least takes some getting used to. Anyhow, I would start with Salifert and/or Red Sea. After some time and research, you'll know better which tests you'd like to upgrade to Hanna checkers. Here's links to the different brands at Marine Depot's website ... I have to mention their rewards program, reward dollars are awesome from this place.


Red Sea Water Test Kits for Saltwater Aquariums - Marine Depot
Hanna Instruments Testing Equipment for Saltwater Aquariums - Marine Depot

Keeping 2 Tail Spots is a no-go in smaller tanks. They are unlikely to get along with their own kind. It may be territorial, I'm unsure, but I've read that 2 Tail Spots need at least 75 gallons to coexist. How about the Watchman Goby, the Tail Spot Blenny and a clown or cardinal? It would be best if your 3rd fish was a top dweller.

Your RO/DI unit will produce pure water, which you will collect and mix with marine salt for the tank. This reminds me, don't forget to add a refractometer to your shopping list. Do not go with a hydrometer for measuring salinity, they are notoriously inaccurate.

My HOB filter/refugium with chaeto is an Aquaclear 70, so is fairly large. We used some black acrylic plus some pieces of plastic grid which were carefully cut from the media basket included with the filter. Using these pieces, we baffled off a narrow area to hold a floss pad and direct water to flow down, then over and up through bio media and chaeto. We use this light over it, but you'd likely want a smaller one.

Here's some pictures. There are tons of videos on YouTube about modifying HOB filters.

20170826_143150.jpg
20170826_143155.jpg
20170826_152839.jpg
20170826_152936.jpg

You will not be able to transfer the cycle from Freshwater to SW, but you could still reuse the media.
 
Adriifu
  • #32
Alright; because the test kits for calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity are on the pricey side, I'll buy them later on (when I think I'm ready to care for corals). However, I will purchase the Salifert Nitrate and Phosphate Test Kits.

Is this the cheapest possible refractometer, or is there something better?

Could you send me a link to a good RO/DI unit that isn't too expensive? I don't really know what to look for. I may also need an explanation of how it works. This is what I found:

After seeing the price of everything, I've decided to use chaeto later on (around the time I get corals). I'll definitely use your advice when I'm ready.


Here are the links of everything else I could find:


Coralife BioCube Aquarium Filter Protein Skimmer
Instant Ocean Sea Salt for Aquariums




I will buy live rock, fish, and lighting at my LFS.
I know for sure that I want the Watchmen Goby. Could I add shrimp with it, as KinsKicks said? If so, what type? Snails, crabs, etc. would also be nice. I would just like to get a basic idea of what I could stock the tank with. My LFS may or may not even have the listed fish. If they do, I'll most likely go for what you suggested.
 
Claire Bear
  • #33
You might check spectrapure-they sell refurbished RO/DI units somewhat cheaper. BRS, Marine Depot, and other stores have sales at times so keep your eye out. Also, you will want to join your local facebook area reef/salt groups and sometimes you can pick up lots of cool coral, fish and equipment for pennies on the dollar. Make sure that you dip your coral and acclimate as directed so that you have a healthy tank.
I love my Milwaukee refractometer but it is pricey!
Here is spectrapure link:
 
Claire Bear
  • #34
I also wanted to tell you that you can ask your LFS if they can order you a yellow watchman with a shrimp. I had a yellow watchman but be warned, they will jump out of your tank. Mine jumped into the drain line area of a 90g tank and lived there till I sold the tank. You may want to do an egg crate lid as it won't interfere with gas exchange and it will keep your watchman in. Plus, you can cut out the shapes of your equipment that extend beyond the top. I got mine at my local home depot in the lighting dept.
 
stella1979
  • #35
I have that exact refractometer, am happy with it, and it's a very fair price.

RODI systems are not cheap...ead: Keep in mind, whatever you go with, you need to consider that you will need filter replacement parts, maybe once or twice a year. For that reason you want to be sure you go with a system like this....
Marine Depot KleanWater 4-Stage Economy RO/DI System - 100 GPD - Marine Depot
because it doesn't use proprietary parts. Some brands do, and then you're stuck buying from them whenever you need to replace the inserts or membranes.

A pistol shrimp is the type that you want to go with your goby. You'll either want to buy them paired, or introduce them to your tank together and in a nice spot in hopes that they will pair. They can form a symbiotic relationship. The shrimp is nearly blind, so it will dig a burrow for both of them, and the goby will keep watch and alert the shrimp of danger. Totally fun to watch! There are different types of pistol shrimp too, so look into them a bit... personally, I like the Randalli.

You can get snails and crabs too if you'd like. Lots of snails aren't capable of righting themselves if and when the fall, If you're not there to flip them over they could die... For that reason, I like trochus snails. They are great little algae eaters and are capable of righting themselves. As far as crabs, look into a scarlet hermit. Be careful with crabs though, some are known to eat corals and/or inverts.
 
Adriifu
  • #36
I have that exact refractometer, am happy with it, and it's a very fair price.

RODI systems are not cheap...ead: Keep in mind, whatever you go with, you need to consider that you will need filter replacement parts, maybe once or twice a year. For that reason you want to be sure you go with a system like this....
Marine Depot KleanWater 4-Stage Economy RO/DI System - 100 GPD - Marine Depot
because it doesn't use proprietary parts. Some brands do, and then you're stuck buying from them whenever you need to replace the inserts or membranes.

A pistol shrimp is the type that you want to go with your goby. You'll either want to buy them paired, or introduce them to your tank together and in a nice spot in hopes that they will pair. They can form a symbiotic relationship. The shrimp is nearly blind, so it will dig a burrow for both of them, and the goby will keep watch and alert the shrimp of danger. Totally fun to watch! There are different types of pistol shrimp too, so look into them a bit... personally, I like the Randalli.

You can get snails and crabs too if you'd like. Lots of snails aren't capable of righting themselves if and when the fall, If you're not there to flip them over they could die... For that reason, I like trochus snails. They are great little algae eaters and are capable of righting themselves. As far as crabs, look into a scarlet hermit. Be careful with crabs though, some are known to eat corals and/or inverts.
Awesome! I'll try to save up for that RO/DI system. I won't need to replace any parts of this one, right?

Here's a stocking idea, then (Is this too much?):

 
stella1979
  • #37
Yes, you will have to purchase replacement parts for all RO/DO systems. This is because the filtration media (carbon) becomes exhausted, the RO membrane will wear out and DI resin will get used up. This is totally normal and how they work, also why it's good to purchase a system without proprietary parts. This way you can by new media inserts, membranes and DI resin wherever you'd like instead of from the manufacturer.

Honestly, I don't have experience with the pistol shrimps... yet. I'm planning on a RandallI as soon as I can though, (waiting on a very long cycle in my qt tank, so I can get a goby and shrimp together.) You know they can be noisy, yes? Their name comes from the sound they make... it's a loud pop, kind of like a pistol, lol. Here's a video, the shrimp shows himself at the :50 mark.
I don't know of a reason not to put a tiger pistol in a 10g, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Perhaps KinsKicks could chime in on this query as well.

Also, having 3 fish in a 10 gallon is kind of pushing it stocking wise. It's not impossible, but you'll have to be careful and keep a close eye on your parameters at first, just to be sure you're maintenance plan is keeping things stable. fishfanman has a beautiful 5 gallon reef tank with a pair of clowns. Perhaps he'd be willing to share some of his wisdom with you.
 
KinsKicks
  • #38
The Tiger Pistol will be okay for the 10 gallon

Also, while you could do the pair and the goby (with this shrimp) you need to be careful with your parameters like stella1979 mentioned (remember, small tanks are more viable to parameter changes much more quickly); if you really wanted the clown, Id stick just to one (she will be fine on his own lol)
 
Adriifu
  • #39
The Tiger Pistol will be okay for the 10 gallon

Also, while you could do the pair and the goby (with this shrimp) you need to be careful with your parameters like stella1979 mentioned (remember, small tanks are more viable to parameter changes much more quickly); if you really wanted the clown, Id stick just to one (she will be fine on his own lol)
Alright. Should I start with the pair at first and get the clownfish once I know for sure that my parameters are stable?
Yes, you will have to purchase replacement parts for all RO/DO systems. This is because the filtration media (carbon) becomes exhausted, the RO membrane will wear out and DI resin will get used up. This is totally normal and how they work, also why it's good to purchase a system without proprietary parts. This way you can by new media inserts, membranes and DI resin wherever you'd like instead of from the manufacturer.

Honestly, I don't have experience with the pistol shrimps... yet. I'm planning on a RandallI as soon as I can though, (waiting on a very long cycle in my qt tank, so I can get a goby and shrimp together.) You know they can be noisy, yes? Their name comes from the sound they make... it's a loud pop, kind of like a pistol, lol. Here's a video, the shrimp shows himself at the :50 mark.
I don't know of a reason not to put a tiger pistol in a 10g, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Perhaps KinsKicks could chime in on this query as well.

Also, having 3 fish in a 10 gallon is kind of pushing it stocking wise. It's not impossible, but you'll have to be careful and keep a close eye on your parameters at first, just to be sure you're maintenance plan is keeping things stable. fishfanman has a beautiful 5 gallon reef tank with a pair of clowns. Perhaps he'd be willing to share some of his wisdom with you.
I have $175.00 to spend at the moment, so I'll be purchasing the system immediately along with a refractometer.

I didn't know that. Sounds like it would be fun to watch.

Thanks for all of the help. You guys are awesome
 
KinsKicks
  • #40
Alright. Should I start with the pair at first and get the clownfish once I know for sure that my parameters are stable?

I have $175.00 to spend at the moment, so I'll be purchasing the system immediately along with a refractometer.

I didn't know that. Sounds like it would be fun to watch.

Thanks for all of the help. You guys are awesome
Yes, [hopefully] get your goby+shrimp to pair. And once they're solid and got a little tunnel (you could even provide a PVC cave...they may not even use it, but the option is still there haha). Then add your clown

You want to make sure your parameters are good before adding any livestock anyways lol
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
7
Views
561
Jesterrace
Replies
19
Views
860
Vladhasky
Replies
30
Views
1K
2714fish
Replies
18
Views
2K
Nestea
Replies
24
Views
4K
JimTheFishGuy
Top Bottom