Thinking About Saltwater - Going Small

BRDrew

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Hey everyone.

I`m a freshwater aquarist and want to get into saltwater. I`ve done some research and I am pretty confident that I understand the needs, the dos and donts of a saltwater tank.

I know everyone says it is best to go big when starting a saltwater aquarium. However I would like to get a smaller tank.

The stock I want is pretty simple. A couple of ocellaris clownfish, a hectors goby and a firefish, some crabs, shrimp and or snails (havent set my mind on the inverts) (the stock is yet hyphotetical and can chance). I would also like to keep some coral (not sure on what type).

I`ve seen some pico setups and I reallly like them.

The true question is...

How small can I go?
 

Esimm03

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BRDrew said:
Hey everyone.

I`m a freshwater aquarist and want to get into saltwater. I`ve done some research and I am pretty confident that I understand the needs, the dos and donts of a saltwater tank.

I know everyone says it is best to go big when starting a saltwater aquarium. However I would like to get a smaller tank.

The stock I want is pretty simple. A couple of ocellaris clownfish, a hectors goby and a firefish, some crabs, shrimp and or snails (havent set my mind on the inverts) (the stock is yet hyphotetical and can chance). I would also like to keep some coral (not sure on what type).

I`ve seen some pico setups and I reallly like them.

The true question is...

How small can I go?
Hi,

I've been keeping a nano reef for about 3 weeks so far, this thing is tiny, 15 litres,

I wouldnt reccomend going small since you can't put any fish in smaller tanks (I think 20gallons is the minimum size for clowns)

I would go as big as your space and budget allows, the bigger the tank the more stable the peramiters will be, mine can change in a matter of hours and my salinity can go from 1.025-1.027 in just 24 hours.

While reefing is hard, I'd reccomend a bigger tank to make it Easyer, you can go small but it's tonnes of extra effort.

This is mine a few days ago...
560394162887e2129eeba0d4bab5ea64.jpg


I hope that helps,
Ethan

P.s try to get others opinions in case I got any facts wrong.


Edit:

My coral and stocking is as follows:

Inverts (haven't got all of these yet.)
2 red legged hermet crabs
1 nassarius snail
3 sexy shrimp

Coral:

Acan
Gsp*
Candy cane
Zoa X2
Mushroom
Kenya tree
Tube worm

* Putting this on its own island is a must since it will overgrow everything and look horrible (it's the purple stuff in the middle of the sand in my pic, it isn't green as I had just put it in when the pic was taken)
 

Tragic13

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Welcome to the dark side! I wouldn't go any smaller than a 20 gallon long... I am one of those who do agree with the "Bigger is better" but a lot of saltwater enthusiasts here have nano style aquariums. grantm91 Nart stella1979 have smaller systems and Culprit has been doing a lot of research to prepare for his aquarium as well. 20 gallon L gives you quiet a bit of room and the price isn't as bad. I tell people to check craigslist just to see if you can get maybe a 75g+ set up for the same price as a new nano style. Maybe even a 36g bow front, I see a lot of these in my area already setup for reefs, and are usually stocked already. Maybe the other 3 can get a better idea of what you would like and go from there but most of them are probably going to tell you a 20 gallon L as well just because of the stock. (If not bigger)
 
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Xbox62 said:
Hi,

I've been keeping a nano reef for about 3 weeks so far, this thing is tiny, 15 litres,

I wouldnt reccomend going small since you can't put any fish in smaller tanks (I think 20gallons is the minimum size for clowns)

I would go as big as your space and budget allows, the bigger the tank the more stable the peramiters will be, mine can change in a matter of hours and my salinity can go from 1.025-1.027 in just 24 hours.

While reefing is hard, I'd reccomend a bigger tank to make it Easyer, you can go small but it's tonnes of extra effort.

This is mine a few days ago...
560394162887e2129eeba0d4bab5ea64.jpg


I hope that helps,
Ethan

P.s try to get others opinions in case I got any facts wrong.
Hey.

Thanks for the opinion. I know the variation in parameters can go quite wild in a small tank but I don't have a limiting budget and I am pretty confident I can keep them in check. I'm trying to get a better notion of how to stock and some limitations I should follow.
 

Esimm03

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BRDrew said:
Hey.

Thanks for the opinion. I know the variation in parameters can go quite wild in a small tank but I don't have a limiting budget and I am pretty confident I can keep them in check. I'm trying to get a better notion of how to stock and some limitations I should follow.
Ok,
By how to stock do you mean how to acclimate fish/coral or what you could get in different size tanks?

Ethan
 
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Tragic13 said:
Welcome to the dark side! I wouldn't go any smaller than a 20 gallon long... I am one of those who do agree with the "Bigger is better" but a lot of saltwater enthusiasts here have nano style aquariums. grantm91 Nart stella1979 have smaller systems and Culprit has been doing a lot of research to prepare for his aquarium as well. 20 gallon L gives you quiet a bit of room and the price isn't as bad. I tell people to check craigslist just to see if you can get maybe a 75g+ set up for the same price as a new nano style. Maybe even a 36g bow front, I see a lot of these in my area already setup for reefs, and are usually stocked already. Maybe the other 3 can get a better idea of what you would like and go from there but most of them are probably going to tell you a 20 gallon L as well just because of the stock. (If not bigger)
I have found a 40 gallon bowfront for quite cheap and I can reeinforce it for a little expansion and I'm pretty sure I can get it to about 55 gallon with a sump on the back.

Xbox62 said:
Ok,
By how to stock do you mean how to acclimate fish/coral or what you could get in different size tanks?

Ethan
What could go in different size tanks. I already know how to acclimate fish and coral, dispite not having any coral.

Also. I have been doing some research and most people tell me what does the filtering in a Saltwater tank is mostly the skimmer and the live rock. So why should I have a filter in the first place. Wouldnt it be better to run a good powerhead and a skimmer?
 

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BRDrew said:
Also. I have been doing some research and most people tell me what does the filtering in a Saltwater tank is mostly the skimmer and the live rock. So why should I have a filter in the first place. Wouldnt it be better to run a good powerhead and a skimmer?
Hi,
That confused me to..
From what I understand the live rock acts as biological media, and skimmer removes protine from the water? (Still unsure on what it does)

From what I understand, filter spounges work, but turn into phosphate/ammonia traps after a while if not cleaned regularly and that can be harmful to the tank, especially a nano.

I think the clean up crew is there in place of the sponges, getting rid of food partical ect..

BRDrew said:
What could go in different size tanks. I already know how to acclimate fish and coral, dispite not having any coral.
Ok,
You could definitely fit a pair of clownfish in a 55G, probably some gobies too, again if get more opinions, for clean up crew you would want some inverts like, cleaner shrimp, hermet crabs, turbo snails, nassarius snails and maby some sort of urchin, but again i'd get more opinions.
Ethan
 

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Alright, lets go over how I run my system (It being 75 gallon with a 20 gallon sump). My tank is plumped, meaning the sump is in the stand underneath, the plumping runs down my tank into the sump, and back up into the tank. First it goes down the pipe from the back overflow into a filter sock (Filtration method) into the first chamber (Skimmer is here), then it goes through a small section that has Chaeto (more filtration) into a sponge block (more filtration) into the last chamber, and this chamber has the return pump that pushes the water back up. So for Saltwater filtration I have Live Rock, Live Sand, Filter Sock, Chaeto, Skimmer, and a sponge block. I do have 1 wave maker and 1 powerhead. These help push the water around your live rock and keep the debris from gathering in one spot, which it still may but makes cleaning so much easier. The also keep your fish and corals happy because some corals and fish love high, medium, or low flow. It depends on the species and where they originate. It's about the same as freshwater in a sense.
 
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BRDrew

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Xbox62 said:
Ok,
You could definitely fit a pair of clownfish in a 55G, probably some gobies too, again if get more opinions, for clean up crew you would want some inverts like, cleaner shrimp, hermet crabs, turbo snails, nassarius snails and maby some sort of urchin, but again i'd get more opinions.
Ethan
The thing is I want to go as small as possible. I know I can fit a lot of things in a 55g. But how small can I/should I go with the stock I proposed?
 

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BRDrew said:
The thing is I want to go as small as possible. I know I can fit a lot of things in a 55g. But how small can I/should I go with the stock I proposed?
Ok,
So a Hector's gobie needs 10 gallons minimum and a firefish also needs 10G

From what I understand a pair of clowns need 20G minimum so I'd go for in the range of 20-30 gallons for the stocking you suggested. Id go for 30G since you have room for potentially adding more fish in in the futre.

But is also hear Tragic13's opinions too.

BRDrew said:
Hey everyone.

I`m a freshwater aquarist and want to get into saltwater. I`ve done some research and I am pretty confident that I understand the needs, the dos and donts of a saltwater tank.

I know everyone says it is best to go big when starting a saltwater aquarium. However I would like to get a smaller tank.

The stock I want is pretty simple. A couple of ocellaris clownfish, a hectors goby and a firefish, some crabs, shrimp and or snails (havent set my mind on the inverts) (the stock is yet hyphotetical and can chance). I would also like to keep some coral (not sure on what type).

I`ve seen some pico setups and I reallly like them.

The true question is...

How small can I go?
BRDrew said:
The thing is I want to go as small as possible. I know I can fit a lot of things in a 55g. But how small can I/should I go with the stock I proposed?
 

Tragic13

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So for a 55 gallon aquarium you could do a lot of different things. You could do:

1.) Pair of clownfish
2.) Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel
3.) Goby (Of your choosing, I personally like the pink spotted watchman gobies)
4.) CUC (Your snails, shrimps, crabs, etc.)
5.) Firefish

or

1.) Pair of clownfish
2.) Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel
3.) Goby (Of your choosing, I personally like the pink spotted watchman gobies)
4.) CUC (Your snails, shrimps, crabs, etc.)
5.)Dottyback

or

1.) Pair of clownfish
2.) Goby (Of your choosing, I personally like the pink spotted watchman gobies)
3.) CUC (Your snails, shrimps, crabs, etc.)
4.) CardinalFish
5.)Damselfish


You can use any of these combinations and there are even more including certain wrasses and dartfish. It really depends on what you like and what you want your tank to look like. Most of your Saltwater fish are temp compatible so it makes choosing fish a lot easier, the only thing you really have to worry about is how aggressive they are, and the swim space they need.

BRDrew said:
The thing is I want to go as small as possible. I know I can fit a lot of things in a 55g. But how small can I/should I go with the stock I proposed?
Yes, I am sorry let us stay on topic. I would recommend a 29 gallon Biocube, that would give you plenty of space for corals, and the fish you like.

EDIT: Nanologist What do you think with this stock? I should have added you before, sorry bro.
 
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BRDrew

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Tragic13 said:
Yes, I am sorry let us stay on topic. I would recommend a 29 gallon Biocube, that would give you plenty of space for corals, and the fish you like.

EDIT: Nanologist What do you think with this stock? I should have added you before, sorry bro.
I like the idea of the Biocube. Specially because it comes with all the equipment I need.
 

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Obviously the 40 with a 15 gallon additional sump would be best for that stock but you could get away with 30 gallon and the smaller gobies/clowns. I'd recommend the former though and do a refugium.
 

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I would get a 29 cube. You can stock:

2 ocellaris clown fish
1 hectors goby
1 firefish
CUC

Nanologist he wants to go as small as possible. I feel like the 29 cube will be a good match because it isn't too big and long, its cheaper to maintain, and it looks really good. And it comes with a lot of the equipment
 

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OP said they didn't have a "limiting budget" and could get a good deal on the 40. If it's good enough of a deal to buy the other equipment that's included with the biocube then I'd go that route. I personally just don't like the biocubes either. Overpriced, for what you get, imo.
 

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True, but it does look better. You could also go for a Innovative Marine Peninsula 30... That would look amazing.
 

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I think the op just needs to look at tanks, the bare basic starting thing for anything, and decide what they like, ie do they want, long, cube, rimless, sump, aio, ? then go from there because for me the tanks important I don't like those black lids and rims on the bio cube I think its horrid and I don't get how bio cube thinks its good. I do like the innovative marine tanks they are worth filling with nice corals, real thought went in to those, I think an actual reefer must have designed them. Sorry to any bio cube fans out there for this.
cc7068dc995a9395d914de40d0e64dc8.jpg
but you may as well go and get one of them .
 

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Just not 16 liters though LOL way too small for the stock he wants but yeah, I think just a simple 29 gallon biocube would probably be the safest bet for his stock.... I do like the innovative tanks they can just get pricey.
 

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I agree with grant the innovative marine look way nicer imo but biocubes tend to be cheaper. But OP did say budget wasn't a problem... I would advise going somewhere like marine depot and just looking through their All In One tanks.
 

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If budgets not a issue id get a IM straight up, well I'm uk and clear seal are like the big dogs here for rimless tanks and the new 20 gallon AIO is £450 but its gorgeous. Personally I couldnt pay that as I'm like a hyena trawling the buy and sell sights for the rare gems. (Bargain tanks)
 

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