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Skimmers for Small
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Bare Bottom or Coarse Shallow Substrate for Coral-Only
Nano -- 10/05/11
I'm setting up a 28-gallon NanoCube for coral only (plus a few
Nerites, Ceriths, and hermits for cleanup duty).
I have never tried coral before, so I am a total beginner at this.
<<If you haven't found it yet, have a look here and among the
links at the top of the page
I've read most of the substrate discussions here,
but the vast majority concern DSB,
which I don't want.
Also, fine aragonite is not possible, as I know from prior experience
that in this small tank my powerhead will shift it into sand dunes.
So I'm left with the choice of bare bottom (possibly carpeted with
star polyps, xenia, Zoanthids, which is appealing) or about 1/2 inch of
coarse (0.5 mm - 5 mm) aragonite. The aragonite will (I assume) support
valuable benthic organisms better than a bare bottom.
<<Yes'¦or at the least, likely a wider
'selection' of organisms>>
It will also provide a bit of buffering, though admittedly not as much
as fine grade. So... considering that I am a beginner and want to keep
this as simple and foolproof as possible, do you think I would be
better off with a bare bottom or the thin layer of coarse
<<For aesthetics I prefer a sand/gravel
substrate'¦though the bare-bottom does facilitate better
monitoring and removal of accumulated detritus. But I think you would
be fine 'either way.' The use of a very shallow substrate as
you describe will be easy enough to clean periodically as you would a
bare bottom'¦and with no fishes in the system (and the
subsequent possibility of overstocking), probably a moot point. I
suggest you make a decision based on 'your' sense of
aesthetics'¦what does 'Tim' want here?>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Bare Bottom or Coarse Shallow Substrate for Coral-Only Nano --
Thanks for your prompt and thoughtful response!
The aragonite I've been looking at is black, which will make a
great background for well lit corals. So per your suggestion,
that's what I'll go with.
<<Excellent'¦ Do keep that black substrate well vacuumed
to keep it looking good as it will certainly 'show off' any
detritus as well. EricR'¦>>
Should I buy a Biocube?
I was thinking it is time to transition into saltwater aquariums. After
doing research I learned about the Oceanic Biocube. From what I have
read, they seem to come with everything (except a protein skimmer and a
few others) that I would need to have a healthy aquarium; even
sufficient lighting for some basic soft corals. Though, I have one
question. Is it better to buy a regular tank then buy the other
supplies or should I simply get a Biocube and do some upgrades as I go
I know a Biocube is expensive but wouldn't having to buy everything
separately even more expensive?
Thank you very much for the reply,
<Good questions... Years back, when we had/ran retail fish stores,
the "all-in-one" units were, to put it absolutely,
"crap"... Starting 5-6 years ago, some very nice boxed
systems have been produced... and I do like the Oceanic line. As a
related note, the last 2-3 years I've penned a "small marine
system" column for the UK hobby 'zine "Ultramarine
Aquarium"... and now an example small system column for TFH here
in the US (and abroad to be accurate)... Have had occasion therefore to
make close examinations of
these units... and I like most all that I see.
How to put this succinctly? We're it me, I'd purchase
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
24g cube, SW, set-up principally
Hey crew! I've had a 14G Biocube for 2 years now, and all of the
inhabitants including a now near 2 year old peppermint shrimp and
Percula have remained alive. (I've read 1 year is the life
expectancy for a peppermint shrimp, so I expect it to die off soon
Recently a friend offered so sell me his 24 gallon JBJ nanocube for 150
dollars so I bought it. I'm going to use the 14 gallon as the new
quarantine, and was wondering if it is safe to transfer the Percula to
the 24 gallon (which has nuisance algae and worms) without any special
The live rock in the 14 is blue and pink with coralline, but I will let
it stay simply because I don't want the bristle worms going
<Mmm, you could likely remove (most) all with "spritzing"
(even immersing) the rocks in "soda water">
Would there be any chance of something spreading to the 24 gallon by
moving the Percula there?
<Very little, no>
I have already added 10 pounds of live sand and 25 pounds of aragonite
to the 24 gallon, and was wondering if base rock would be necessary for
a tank of this size.
<Mmm, no; not necessary>
Long term I plan on adding Montipora to the tank, and I assume that
with base rock in addition to live rock with spreading Montipora will
result in restricted swimming spaces.
<Easy enough to curtail, break pieces off... generally this genus
grows slowly in such small, change-able settings>
Could I get away with simply picking out choice pieces of live rock and
arranging them against the back? Or should I purchase some base rock
"just in case".
<I think you'll be more than fine w/o>
Ah, and I nearly forgot about this one. The 24 gallon included bagged
"pellets" of activated charcoal, which I ran through water
until the water going through it was clear. After running the tank for
about 48 hours with the filter on (just sand and saltwater at this
point) I can easily smell the charcoal when I put my nose a few inches
away from the water. Should I remove the charcoal and replace it with
another brand, or does the smell indicate nothing wrong. I'm not
exactly sure of what the effects of dissolved charcoal could have on
the water quality.
<I'd leave it where it is... not move any livestock for a few
Because it is a nanocube, it is self contained and doesn't leave
too much room for modification. I was wondering if, when I introduce a
bioload of 3 or so fish, several crustaceans and possibly Montipora
(several months from now, of course) to the tank with a simple trickle
filter which goes through sponge, charcoal, and some ceramic rings,
leading to a pump with a 250 gph flow will be able to handle that
I may be able to add a small canister filter if I punch a hole through
the lid if necessary, but want to know beforehand if that will be
<Not needed, but nice to have redundancy in function, extra margin
in filter, carrying capacity should the inevitable
"something" go awry>
If you are aware of any high quality filter media that I could use in
place of what I have said I would appreciate it, because I'd rather
not blindly buy something that I won't need.
<Eheim's products here>
Sorry for the multitude of questions, but I really don't want to
make too many mistakes this time around.
<And you. Bob Fenner>
Small Marine Nano Cube With Mushroom Coral (not for
the inexperienced aquarist) -- 03/20/11
While visiting LFS, found that there was a supposedly established 6 gal
marine Nano cube for sale.
<<Such 'small volumes' can be difficult to
maintain'¦and certainly not for the beginning marine aquarist
in my opinion, as so often touted>>
It has only mushroom corals.
<<A noxious organism, and often deadly in such a small volume of
water if/when mixed with other inverts'¦best kept alone
The set up was pretty and quite tempting to put on my desk.
<<No doubt'¦though I must admit to not being a fan of
'office' aquariums due to their tendency to be
When I questioned the extremely young clerk about maintenance, he said
it would require only monthly water changes and little else.
<<Bunk'¦ If anything, more frequent (weekly) maintenance
will be required as such small volumes of water 'Go South' much
more quickly than larger volumes>>
Currently I only have a freshwater setup and I haven't owned a
marine aquarium in nearly 30 years (F.O.W.L. R. back then-successful
but sold it during move) but even with my limited and antiquated
experience, his maintenance claims sound pretty light to me.
<<Indeed'¦ A lot has changed in 30 years; technologies
have improved along with our understanding of both what/how to
keep'¦and what NOT to keep. I suggest you get a good book or
two, as well as doing some research and reading here and elsewhere on
the NET before making any sort of impulse buy. Here's a few links
on WWM to get you started: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/bookswwmsugg.htm
Do also follow and read among the associated links at the top of the
When I said so he replied it was so easy because the "corals
only" set up required little care.
But that wouldn't stop evaporation changing salinity would it?
<<Nope'¦and any and all changes come very quickly in
such a small volume>>
And I thought corals were sensitive to water conditions?
<<Some more than others, but yes>>
Anyway, I thought I would ask an expert before sinking money into this
<<I see it as three strikes against you at the moment'¦
a 'Nano' tank'¦ a planned 'office'
tank'¦ and an 'inexperienced' aquarist'¦
I'm not saying this can't be done, but to avoid disappointment
you really need to 'bone up' for a while before you set out on
What would the optimal maintenance be for a 6 gal mushroom coral only
<<Can be as varied as the animals kept in it (do check out the
links provided)'¦but at the least it will need to be
Thanks for any reply!
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Cycling up new tank/Ammonia
Hi again WWM crew,
I'm starting up a new 28 gallon tank. Specs thus
JBJ 28g HQI
150w MH lighting
M-J 1200/Accela stock power head, on Wavemaker
25 lbs. aragonite sand
45 lbs. Fiji live rock
3-part Filtration chamber - filter floss, carbon (to be replaced by
Chemi-pure elite after cycle), Chaeto ball under lighting (after cycle)
I wanted to preserve as much diversity on the rock as possible; I
'cured' from LA, two-day shipping. The plan was to use this
rock to cycle the tank. In the face of two different schools of opinion
on the issue of how best to preserve as many of the hitchhikers as
possible, I elected not to scrub the rock; only to remove and large,
clearly dead organisms.
<Pretty much what I do too.>
I expected a healthy ammonia spike but for the last four days the rock
has been in the tank the ammonia has been steadily off the charts of my
API test, over 8ppm. After a little under 24 hours the nitrite
showing up and is now around 1.5 ppm. So we're cycling, but the
nitrite is climbing very slowly. Not sure if there's a 1:1 linear
relationship in converted ammonia / nitrite. I'm concerned that in
trying to preserve the life on the rock by not scrubbing I'm
actually causing more of a problem by nuking the rock with way, way too
<You are...in the territory distinguishing between normal curing and
the ammonia killing off more than needed. The latter is happening at
I've done two 10% water changes two days apart, and even after
these changes I'm still enough above 8ppm that I can't detect
the true value.
<You need to change much more, even 100% a day if need be for a few
I'm trying to decide a course of action - time and effort not
factors, just hoping to keep as much life as possible;
1. Remove/Scrub all the rock, flush the water, try again.
<Would help, but I prefer not to personally. You do lose more than
needed doing this.>
2. Ride it out with 10% water changes every other day as I've been
<You need more here.>
3. Ignore it and let the cycle do its thing.
<Well, what you will end up with is "cured" rock that is
all too common.
So many LFS sell cured rock that show no life. They simply get live
rock and throw it in a holding tank until it is bought. So much life on
the rock is lost. We have all seen the bare white "live
rock". It is live to
a point, but not the live rock we all wish to start out with.>
4. Increase the size and frequency of the water changes, trying to keep
the ammonia within my testable levels.
<Yep, tis the route. As low as possible. A scale going up to 8 is
ridiculous. There is no reason to be anywhere near that high!>
It would also be possible to start running the Chemi-pure and Chaeto
now, though I have heard this isn't the best idea.
<You could, but it would just be a waste. You will need significant
water changes anyhow. Do be sure to clean the filter floss at least
There's a ton of advice on WWM in this regard, but it seems there
are differences in opinion as to the best course of action to take. All
<Live rock curing is where many reefers diverge in opinion. Oh, do
you have a skimmer you can add? Would be very beneficial here.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Powerheads, sm. reef 1/10/11
I'm planning a trip to the LFS within the month for a coral (Last
time I checked they had Montipora, "Chalice - possibly
Oxypora", and Heliopora which I am interested in) but first I was
wondering what your opinion is as far as a powerhead goes.
The tank is a 150 watt MH 28g nanocube (Cycled, lightly stocked) but as
of yet has no water movement other than what comes from the filter
<Ahh, "not enough">
That being said, I was wondering if it would even be worth getting a
fixed powerhead if, as I have read, unilateral water flow can be
damaging. If I can get an oscillating one for a deal then of course
I'll jump on it, but they (at least to me) seem unreasonably
expensive for what amounts to a self contained desk fan oscillator.
<Heeee! I agree>
The powerheads I have looked at from the $25-45 range have quite varied
flow rates (from ~200 to ~500) and all said they were appropriate for
marine tanks in the range of 30 gallons. That said, which would be most
appropriate for one of these stonies?
<A good brand... will give you a citation presently... Set/placed in
a back corner near the surface, jetting the water in a gyre/vortex
along one edge... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/pwrhdselfaqs.htm
and the linked files above>
I don't want to end up blasting them from their foundation before
they even have a chance to begin calcifying.
Any input you could give would be greatly appreciated. I am leaning
towards A Tunze or Koralia just based on their quality, but my question
is whether they are "too" good.
<These are fine brands/manufacturers. A smaller unit of your
Many thanks as always,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: setting up a quite <quiet> 30 gallon
saltwater tank 6/23/10
Thanks for the feedback.
Now I am second guessing going with any aquarium that is not
<I personally will never own one that is not. You can do this
yourself too. See Glass-Holes.com.>
I am very concerned with flooding if siphon breaks on overflow
<Me too! These should always be run with a second, redundant
overflow as backup.>
Should I consider a canister filter instead?
<I would not, canister filters tend to accumulate detritus just as
the bioballs mentioned in the previous email. Add to that it is way too
easy to have the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality when
it comes to cleaning them and many aquarists run into trouble.>
What are your feelings about the Rena XP2 or XP3 models?
<I love these for the price if one needs a canister.>
Any other canisters you might recommend if I go that route?
Also, I have never done live rock.
<Oh I would with just about any marine tank.>
If I go with live rock how many pounds would you recommend (30 gallon
<Anywhere from 20-30 pounds depending on how dense you want the
aquascaping to be.>
What type of lighting would I need to provide?
<Minimal for just the rock, a few fluorescent bulbs will do.>
With the volume of rock displacing water, will I still be OK with a 30
gallon tank, now probably less than 30 gallons?
<Again depends on what you want to keep in the tank.>
If I use live rock, what is the purpose of the sump(wet/dry with no bio
<Nothing but a crap trap.>
It will just have a protein skimmer and heater now, both of which I can
hang on the back of the tank.
<Yes, but you lose extra volume in the system and some aeration to
<Welcome, I do recommend some more reading here before you proceed.
Get the "basics" down before you plunge into this project.
WWM has all the answers to these question and many others. Look for
Robert (Bob) Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist",
this book will serve you well here. Scott V.>
Questions On Base Rock (Dry Rock), Decorations,
Microbes, And Carbon Filters - 6/12/10
I have some questions about base(dry) rock, plastic decorations,
microbes, and carbon filters?
First the Dry Rock.
I hear you can get dry/base rock instead of live rock. I hear you can
seed it with a piece of live rock or substrate from an established
<You are correct.>
I have some questions about dry rock though.
Can you use marine bacterial additives (such as Instant Ocean's
BioSpira) to seed the dry rock?
<To seed with denitrifying bacteria, yes.>
Can you use commercial live sand to seed dry rock?
<Will work also, but I'd prefer using the rock with the
How long will it take to prepare and cycle dry rock compared to live
<With a source of ammonia/waste, anywhere from 21 to 28
Can dry rock stay dry indefinitely, or do you need to get it into
saltwater by a certain amount of time?
<Can stay dry forever.>
About the Microbes
Also, there is a product called "Reef Bugs." Marc Weiss makes
Petsolutions sells them. The product supposedly recreates marine snow.
The product is actually tiny microbes. The product states this food is
good for live rock, sponges, gorgonians, Zoanthids, clams, scallops,
and star polyps. It is evidently safe for fish. Would this be okay to
add to the dry rock as a food source for fish that eat small foods?
Would a Tailspot blenny eat such microbes? Would such microbes aid in
the filtration process like nitrifying marine bacteria do?
<Don't waste your money.>
About Plastic Decorations
Also I have some rock-like decorations made from plastic resin. Could I
use this to culture nitrifying bacteria instead of live door dry
<Would be far from efficient compared to live rock which is porous
thus providing a much greater area for denitrifying bacteria to
Final Question on Carbon Filters
Also I have carbon filters. They say these act like biological filters
after a while. Could I culture enough nitrifying bacteria for a 12 gal.
tank containing 1 Tailspot blenny, just using a carbon filter?
<They can/will act as biological filters but will also promote
nitrates if not changed on a regular basis. Best to read here and
linked articles in the header.
James (Salty Dog)>
First Time Saltwater Tank Questions/Marine Set-Up
I have written to you before on freshwater aquarium and fish related
questions. You gave me excellent and helpful advice and help on all my
questions. For that I and my fish are very grateful.
<You're welcome, and glad we could be of service.>
However, now I plan on starting a small saltwater tank.
The tank itself is 10 to 12 gallons.
<I'd prefer to see a newbie get into something a little bigger,
not too much room here for error.>
It has a bio-wheel filter with a carbon filter insert. I have a few
fresh water Platies in there currently. I will be moving them to a
larger tank when I am ready to start setting up my saltwater tank. I am
trying to take my time setting up the saltwater system. But so far I
have a tank I plan to use.
<OK, and yes, do take your time/plan.>
I have also done some research on small saltwater fish (sometimes
called Nano fish) for small tanks. I saw several species such as pygmy
<Not suitable for the volume of water you have.>
<Ditto here also.>
very small Chromis and damsels, red fire fish, and gobies. I chose to
go with some of the smaller gobies.
So I have a tank and decided on what fish species I would like to
I did some research and found what requirements I would need to keep a
goby. Both large and small breeds.
<Stay with the smaller species.>
After my research I decided on small gobies ( 2 inches or under).
I got substrate that was suitable for most of the species I was looking
at (clown gobies, pygmy gobies, greenband gobies, redhead gobies, etc.
.) The substrate I got is 10 lbs. of reef sand. Enough (I think) to
make the deeper sand beds gobies seem to favor). The substrate contains
aragonite and live bacteria that supposedly help cycle the tank.
The substrate is Nature's Ocean brand. I believe it is their
"Australian Reef Sand". I think that is what their company
calls it. Upon examination, the substrate appears to be fine but
gravely, just how the gobies I plan to get like it.
<Aren't you going to share your choices with us?>
I also got marine salt. "Instant Ocean" brand I believe. Then
I got some Essential Trace Elements (A.P.I. brand). I did the best I
could to be sure I got Trace Elements suitable for marine aquariums. I
also Got some Bio-Spira (Instant Ocean Brand) to help keep the
beneficial bacterial going. I also got Reef Accelerator (again Instant
Ocean Brand) that contains iodine, calcium, magnesium, and strontium to
keep these important elements going. I also already have Amquel+,
Stress Coat+, and Tetra Aqua Safe (with bio extract) that I already use
for my freshwater aquarium.
<These products used with your below mentioned protein skimmer will
cause the skimmer to go bananas, do not use, isn't
I checked to be sure these products will work with saltwater aquariums
Apparently they do. I also got a small protein <protein> skimmer
with a wood airstone (wood airstones are supposedly good to use with
protein skimmers and saltwater tanks).
<Yes, the Limewood type works best.>
I got test kits for calcium , iodine, and magnesium. I do not plan on
keeping live corals, so strontium is not exactly necessary. (Or so I
have been led to believe.) And I already have test kits that test, pH,
water hardness, nitrate, nitrite, phosphates, and ammonia that work in
freshwater and saltwater. I got a hydrometer to test the salinity and
gravity in my future saltwater tank. I already have a floating
thermometer in the 10 to 12 gal. tank I will be using. The lighting is
already in place (it is a florescent daylight type). This should be
okay to use because I will not have any corals (which require different
lighting than what I already have).
<Will depend on the wattage of your present lighting.>
The tank has a built in pump and has fairly good circulation as it
<What is fairly good?>
I also have a separate pump I plan to use for the protein skimmer. And
I got a replacement bio-wheel and carbon filter cartridges for when I
start up my saltwater tank. I also got a few ornaments that offer some
cover and small caves for the fish to hide in.
<Live rock would be much better.>
I also got a marine safe substrate cleaner, to help clean the substrate
when it gets too full of sludge.
<Do not use this, much better to vacuum the substrate during water
I also already have a gravel vacuum I can use on the substrate with no
I have decided for the most part what species I plan to add to the
tank. My first two choices are both carnivores. They both require small
foods. They are both around two inches. And they are both peaceful with
other fish, expect <except> for their own kind or similar
species. So I got my footer
fish a vitamin supplement for saltwater or freshwater systems, a
Vitamin C supplement (which I use with my freshwater fish as well),
<Much better to use a product such as Selcon.>
micro food for saltwater fish (whish I already had for baby fish and
brine shrimp in the past), a granule type food called "Red Tiny
Bits" (the super fine type), PhytoPlan Advanced Plankton Diet (a
plankton food for filter feeders), Instant Ocean Cyclop-Eeze (a soft
gel food), myis <Mysis> shrimp, and brine shrimp eggs.
<How do you plan on using the shrimp eggs?>
The species I plan on getting are :
1 Green Clown Goby (Gobiodon artangulatus species, not the Gobiodon
histrio species. Yes, there are apparently two different species of
green clown goby. Ah, But you probably already know this.)
1 Red Head Goby
<If you are referring to Elacatinus puncticulatus, they are a little
more difficult to keep than the Clown Goby.>
and perhaps 1 Nassarius snail ( the type from the Sea of Cortez, not
the Tongan species. The ones from the Sea of Cortez can grow to be as
large as Tongan species. However, the Cortez ones seem to be a little
cheaper to buy.) I plan to get the snail as an additional helper to
keep the substrate clean.
<Also consider a few Blue Leg Hermit Crabs for your clean up
I have some Spirulina I can add to the tank if the snail needs any
vegetable matter it its diet.
I know the snail would work with both goby species I have chosen.
Neither species is reputed to harm invertebrates as large as the 1 to 2
inch snail I plan to get. However, my concern is with the gobies
themselves. Most gobies are territorial. And the two species I chose
are no exception to this rule.
<They are rather peaceful, should get along fine.>
The exception apparently being mated pairs, or small groups being
introduce to the tank at the same time. They both require a 10 gallon
They have the same specific gravity, temperature, and dietary
requirements. They are both 2 inches maximum. They both seem to fight
for territory with their own kind, or species that look similar. And
they both seem to leave species that are completely different than
My question is, if I introduce these two goby species to the tank at
the same time, will they get along?
Or will they still feel too close (both in terms of space and looks) to
each other and fight?
<Providing ample safety zones in the form of live rock will have a
Also, if the gobies will both get along in the same tank, can I also
include the snail?
<Sure, and the hermits I mentioned above.>
Or would the two gobies and the snail overload the system and cause a
spike in ammonia, nitrates, etc..? If all three would cause problems,
would just one goby and the snail work?
<Should be fine here.>
Also do you know how long Red Head Gobies, Clown Gobies, and any of the
pygmy goby species tend to live? (If not, that's okay. No one else
seems to know either.
<The life span of a fish in a closed system will be largely
determined by environmental conditions and diet.>
At least not that I was able to find anyway.) I did find differing
information that the pygmy gobies (depending on the species) can live
anywhere from 59 days to 20 months. And Clown Gobies can live 3 to 5
Yet most of the information I found on the lifespan of these two
species was scanty and not the most accurate in the world. And I found
nothing on how long Red Head Gobies live. I think the snail species I
looked at tends to live 2 years or so. If you find better (and
especially more species specific) information on how long the life
spans of the three mentioned goby species are, please feel free to let
me know. Thank you for you time.
<You're welcome, and I will provide you a link to our Marine
James (Salty Dog)>
Re First Time Saltwater Tank Questions/Marine Set-Up,
Thank you for your help with my saltwater tank setup.
I will be getting all three species. The green clown goby, the redhead
goby, and the snail.
And I think Stress Coat + has a marine version of its product that they
claim was developed to work with protein skimmers.
<Yes, I was not aware of this product at the time I
It is very important for me to watch the chlorine, chloramines, and
heavy metal content in the water I plan to use for my tank. I have a
way to filter the water. So that will help with chlorine, Chloramines,
and heavy metals. Yet I live in the desert.
We have very hard water with a high mineral content. The hardness is
good for most marine fish. However, there is still the concern of
chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metal content. The heavy metal content
in our water is quite high as well. And Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate
are also things I have to worry about. So naturally I need something
that will work to reduce phosphates, and remove chlorine, chloramines,
heavy metals, Ammonia,
nitrite, and nitrate. It would be nice to find a single product that
can do all this and help replace slime coats on fish as well as add new
good bacteria to the water to help biological filtration.
<There is no chemical product that can do all this that I'm
aware of, but the use of a RO/DI purification system should produce 99%
I cannot find a product that specifies specifically if it does what I
described previously. In your previous reply you said the 3 products I
listed (Amquel+, Stress Coat +, Aqua Safe) were not necessary. Would
the Marine Version of Stress Coat + be good to use on its own? Should I
use it at all?
<I've been in the saltwater hobby for 30+ years and I've
never used any of the products you mention, never found a need to use.
Healthy fish will have a protective slime coat. Chlorine can easily be
removed from make-up water by aerating for 24 hours.>
And you said to add live rock. I agree live rock has its benefits.
Unfortunately, I am on a rather tight budget, and live rock can get
expensive. Live rock also tends to take up quite a lot of space in the
Unfortunately, I have limited space in the tank as it is. And the care
and cleaning of live rock would make it harder for me to maintain my
<Should not have to clean live rock.>
Not to mention the possibility of harmful parasites and other small
harmful creatures hitching a ride on the rocks. I do not want these
hitchhikers hurting anything I put in my tank. These are some of the
reasons why I chose
not to include live rock. I plan on a fish only system. Well, except
for the snail. And the reef sand I am placing in my aquarium is
"live sand." Or so the company that sold the reef sand
claims. And during my research on goby
species, I discovered no live rock is fine. You just have to feed the
gobies more often.
<They will require security zones/hiding nooks and crannies.>
I will follow your advice on the gravel cleaner and just use my gravel
And the phrase "footer fish" that appeared in my 1st letter
was a typing mistake. I meant "future fish" not "footer
fish." My computer put footer in the letter instead of the word I
was really looking for. Darn finicky spell-check! Anyway . . . back to
our previous discussion.
I also plan to follow your advice on the Selcon.
And in answer to your question about the brine shrimp eggs . . . I plan
to use them as part of the food I will be providing for the gobies. The
gobies like to eat microscopic crustations <crustaceans> and
copepods. I figure if
the eggs hatch in the tank, the newly hatched brine shrimp would make a
<Much better nutritionally to feed the Cyclop-eeze rather than brine
There is always the danger of the fish ingesting/eating the egg shells
which can cause digestive problems.>
And I have heard gobies except <accept> brine shrimp as a food
source. I figure if they won't eat the eggs, maybe they would eat
the hatched shrimp. I also have some freeze dried brine shrimp I can
moisten and offer to them as
<Again, not a very nutritious food source.>
And if they do not eat the eggs, or the eggs never hatch, I am sure the
snail would not mind enjoying them. And saturated eggs or baby shrimp
can burrow into the substrate.
<Will not happen, brine shrimp are attracted to light.>
The snail and the gobies like to poke at and sift through substrate. If
the eggs are not eaten on the current, they can
eat what gets in the substrate then (if they prefer eating that
And yes, in regards to goby species the Redhead Goby species I am
referring to is Elacatinus puncticulatus. I have made arrangements to
see to the Redhead Goby's needs as far as food goes. Will this
species of Redhead Goby
still get along with the Green Clown Goby species I mentioned in my
<Why are you asking this again? We've gone through this in the
Is the snail still safe around this species of redhead goby?
And I did consider hermit crabs. However, due to the small size of the
snail and fish, I am very reluctant to include crabs that will be
almost as large as my fish.
<Blue Leg Hermits are not that large.>
Some crab species will also eat fish. Also the hermit crab might get a
little peeved and snap at the fish with its tiny claws. And also, more
importantly, I have not had much luck caring for crustations like crabs
and shrimp in the past. I have tried land based hermit crabs before.
Sadly they died. And I tried three or so freshwater shrimp before.
Sadly they too perished. I do not want another crab or shrimp to suffer
because of my poor management of them. and a saltwater species is even
more vulnerable than land based hermit crabs and freshwater shrimp.
Thank you for the suggestion,
but I just can't stand the thought of making (even if it is
unintentionally) the little critters suffer because of me. So I think
it is probably best if I just stick with two little gobies and a
<I think you need to do a little more learning/reading and less
writing before attempting this venture.
A good place to start is here, and do read related
Thank you so much for all your wonderful help and advice.
<You're welcome, James (Salty Dog)>
Re First Time Saltwater Tank Questions/Marine
Set-Up... more chatting re issues gone over and over on WWM. Now
Cl/Chloramine, Artemia... just sm. SW sys. f'
Thank you for your reply.
And I agree that chlorine can be removed by letting water sit for 24
However, Chloramine supposedly cannot be aired out like chlorine. And
cities will sometimes add Chloramine to their water. This is because
Chloramine is more stable than chlorine. And both chlorine and
Chloramine are used to
keep the water clean of algae, most parasites, and other disease and
illness causing organisms. Chlorine can be dleat <dealt> with
easily enough. Yet Chloramine is stronger than chlorine.
<Chloramine is a combination of ammonia and chlorine which makes it
more stable in solution and makes it easier to attain the legal level
of chlorine in the water.>
A water conditioner that removes Chloramine must be used, therefore. I
know of no other way to remove Chloramine safely from city water
sources. If you happen to know how to remove Chloramine in a better
manner, feel free to let me know.
<Have you tested your tap water, was any ammonia detected, likely
indicating that Chloramine is used in treating your water supply. If
so, than you have to deal with it with one of the products you
And in regard to the "Stress Coat Marine" probuct
<product> I meantioned <mentioned> in my last
letter to you . . . This product is relatively new. It is possible they
only released it to the public a few months ago. That Fish Place store
and website has the Stress Coat Marine protuct <product>. The API
company produces it. I
have used some of API's other products before. Their products, when
used in corect <correct> proportions as per their instructions,
usually work like they are suposed <supposed> to. At least for
the purpose the products were desinged <designed> for. If you
wish to test out Stress Coat Marine you can try That Fish Place's
Or you could also try API's website.
<No reason for me to do such.>
And thank you for the information on the shrip <shrimp> eggs. I
shall hatch the shrimp in another tank or container and feed the baby
shrimp to the gobies.
Not the eggs. And I also got the gobies Instant Ocean Cyclop-Eeze. A
soft gel food with Cyclops in it.
<Am aware of the product, have used it myself occasionally.>
I also got some freeze-dried Mysis shrimp for them.
I plan to soak the Mysis shrimp in some aquarium water for a few
minutes before feeding them to the gobies. To make the Mysis shrimp
easier for them to eat.
And I have made sure the decorations I am adding also provide places
for the gobies and snail to hide.
And I am also getting a book on saltwater aquariums that offers help on
setting up saltwater tanks. Thank you for you links to the helpful
Again, thank you very much for your help. My future saltwater
inhabitants and I are extremely grateful to have the help.
<You're welcome. In future queries, please run your message
through a spell/grammar checker before sending. Saves me time if I
don't have to correct. James (Salty Dog)>
Stocking question, Nanos 3/16/10
I have a 15 gallon Nano reef tank that has been established for about 4
months now. I have lost many fish and finally discovered the problem
was a VERY aggressive Arrowhead Crab (I discovered this thanks to your
Arrowhead Crab section).
<Can be problematic.>
I am now looking to restock my tank after this expensive feeding that I
gave the arrowhead and removing him. I have a Percula Clown, a Pom Pom
crab, 6 snails (not sure of the type but they are very small), 6 blue
hermits and about 15lbs of live rock. I would really like to have as
much going on in my tank as possible (which I know isn't much). My
first question is, how many more fish would you keep in this small of a
tank assuming the fish are all as small as a Percula Clown or
<None in my opinion, at most perhaps another Perc, but even then I
think you are really pushing it.>
My second question is I was thinking of adding an Anemone Crab (I have
a white Sebae Anemone in there as well) and maybe an emerald crab as
<No such thing as a white Sebae anemone, is bleached and housed in
far too small of a tank See here for more
. Crabs are opportunistic omnivores, and will eat anything they can
catch or find.>
Will the two of them have any problems together? Will either of them
have a problem with the Pom Pom crab?
40 Gallon Marine Set-Up (Livestock & Equipment)
First of all I must compliment you all on this first rate site, you are
all very speedy with your answers and obviously very committed.
The knowledge here is absolutely astounding.
<Bob has certainly built an impressive database.>><Mmm, not
alone by a long shot. RMF>
I have a question about my short list of possible tank companions,
after I have added my clean up crew.
2 x common clowns
<<I'll assume you are referring to A. Ocellaris or A.
1 x royal gramma
1 x dwarf angel
<<Which one? Some may be appropriate choices for your system (40
gallons is right on the cusp of being acceptable for a dwarf angel,
depending on the dimensions)'¦however, others certainly
1 x watchman goby
1 x pistol shrimp
Is this short list viable in the system I have, if so all is well. If
not can you tell me why and what you would change.
<<Just what I have noted above.>>
If all is well, what order would you put them in and would you put the
2 clowns in at the same time.
<<I would attain an established/mated pair if at all possible or
two viable juveniles.>>
My Tank stats are below.
40 Gallon Juwel Vision 180 with internal filter removed.
24 Pounds of Live Rock.
20 Pounds Coral Reef Live Sand.
Lifeguard FB 300 Fluidized bed filter.
<<I personally find these to be quite antiquated as far as
filtration for marine systems go. In my experience they end up being
more trouble than they are biologically worth, becoming detritus traps
and thus causing dissolved organic/nutrient issues. I would much rather
see a macro algae refugium or just the protein skimmer and liverock
with weekly water changes. With the liverock, I really think this extra
biological filtration would be redundant.>>
Protein Skimmer with a needle wheel venturi pump flow rate: 1850
Wave Maker 6000L/H Powerhead.
Wave Maker 3000L/H Powerhead.
MaxiJet 600L/H Powerhead.
Thanks in advance
<<Gary note what I have written above, if you have any questions
feel free to continue the correspondence. Good luck.>>
Re: 40 Gallon Marine Set-Up (Livestock & Equipment)
Thanks for the answer, OK what dwarf angel do you suggest, I am open to
suggestions and if not a dwarf angel what other fish would you replace
it with. I know you don't want to make my choices but I want to get
balance right from the start.
So if that's OK with you if you could point me in the right
<<Hey Gary good to here from you again, I will direct you to our
page on dwarf angels and I will also make some suggestions myself if
you don't mind;
I would look at these;
Centropyge argi (Probably your best bet)
.....and of your list I would add this fish last after the tank has
sufficiently matured a few months at the least.>>
<<Anytime, good luck! - Adam Jackson>>
Re: 40 Gallon Marine Set-Up (Livestock &
<<Welcome back Gary.>>
Cheers and just one more question I forgot to include, about my
fluidized bed filter you say these are a bit antiquated.
<<In my experience/opinion'¦yes.>>
I'm fine with that comment the only reason I included it was
because I haven't got a large amount of live rock in 24 pounds. Is
24 pounds of live rock sufficient in a 40 gallon tank with no other
<<Depends on how porous the rock is, for example; a 1 pound piece
of rock could take up 4 square <<Cubic?>> inches or 10
square inches depending on how dense the rock is'¦so the
answer is yes if you have very porous rock this could be
Now I will look on the link at those dwarf angels you suggested.
<<That's the fun part.>>
What should I put in my extra 15g tank? Ala
Hey! I've been on your website multiple times and I love it, its
very helpful. Well here's my question. I have a empty 15g tank (
the standard AGA one ) and im now sure what I should fish ( fresh or
saltwater ) I should
use for it. Ill give you some background info on myself, im 16 right
now I have two tanks set-up, a 40g long reef ( upgraded from the 15g)
and a 6.6g planted tank, I've had fish tanks for about 6-8 years,
so I know what's going on, I just need some suggestions on 1 fish,
that's cool that I could put in the 15g.
<Mmm, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/smmarsysstkgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above for marine input and here:
and the linked files at the bottom for fresh>
I was think maybe a pair of clowns, but I already have 2 clowns in my
I want just 1 interesting fish to have, I think a leaf scorpion fish is
too big for 15 gallons so that's out, I really don't know what
Thanks, Rob =
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Request for graphics... Do you have useful Nano PIX
RMF might use? 9/30/09
Hello there, am working on an article series that I intend to publish
later this year in a book title:
Pico, Nano, Mini-Reefs; Small Marine Aquariums: Design, Set-Up,
Stocking & Maintenance
Subtitle: Successfully Keeping Under 40 Gallon Saltwater Systems
Would like to include image-work of your systems. Can you secure
permission for my use and send them along?
University of small SW systems, design 101
I have written in to this amazing website before and was hoping that I
could receive yet again some of your wisdom. I am planning on setting
up a new 20 gallon reef setup to house softies as well as maybe some
LPS such as an open brain of some species.
<Whoa! This is a good deal of disparate life for such a small
volume... care should be taken to develop a stocking plan... less
toxic/stinging to more... go slowly/ploddingly, introduce small, stable
I had an inquiry as to see if you could give me some of your input on
my proposed tank, I honestly don't know how well it is going to
work out due to the fact that I just came up with it randomly about 20
<Ah, the "youth of today" (or any age for that matter).
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above>
Well anyways I would
start out with just a bare 20 gallon long tank (it is all my university
allows me to have in my dorm room.) I would then add in two walls of
Â¼ inch Plexiglas using the method outlined in the do it
yourself pressure-locking sump baffles. Each wall would be on either
end of the aquarium 3 inches from the outside walls, one with an
underflow and the other having an overflow with small cut-outs so as to
have better surface skimming of DOCs. The end in which the overflow is
would be the mechanical and chemical filters, I plan on employing
carbon and Phoszorb or Chemi pure, as well as a potential protein
skimmer (if I can find one to fit great if not it will be another do it
myself skimmer, which I might prefer.) On the opposing side with the
under flow would be a deep sand bed of 4 inches, I am debating on
whether to put this atop crushed coral
and or a under gravel filter plate. Above this would be some possible
live rock rubble and Chaetomorpha and then the overflow back into the
main display. The light would be a T.A.A.M. rio mini sun on an
alternating day/night cycle from the main display.
There would be about 20 pounds of live sand bed in the display along
with 20 or so pounds of porous live rock, some of which I might take
from my 29 BioCube set-up. As for lighting I was planning on using a
Hagen High Output T5 Glo ballast and 1 24w marine Glo and 1 24w life
Glo or power Glo. I am unsure as to whether or not I will get a second
set of bulbs or not.
<You should... with this life...>
As far as flow in the tank which is of utmost importance
<Along with other factors>
I plan on using a Â¾ inch SCWD with Hydor flo's placed on
each output somewhere around the top 1/3 of the tank with a 150-200 gph
pump. I might also put a Hydor Koralia Nano to blow the overflow from
the refugium across the live rock and corals. Also I would have a 120
gph pump set into the bottom back part of the wall for the refugium so
that water would be forced into the refugium. It would be angled such
that the output be horizontal and there be a 'baffle' of sorts
so that the water is not blasting up through the DSB. I really
don't like the idea of this being the way that the refugium gets
water flow so if there are any other ideas please20give me your
<Read on WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm
"The green dome" (sorry, just finished watching the 60's
Prisoner series); The second tray down>
The only other
idea that I have is to move the baffle closer the to side by a
½ inch and place in an overflow baffle that leads to the
underflow. However, I am concerned that this would cause two problems
those being creating noise and also that I would be required to lower
my water level to do this properly. Also is there much structural
support gained from the upper trim of the tank, if not I would like to
<Can be removed in most brands>
I plan on building a 'frame' of sorts so as to cover both
sections of the filter and then be a housing for the lights but with
about 2 or so inches of open space from the top of the tank to the
bottom of the canopy. As far as livestock there wouldn't be much in
the way of fish due to the volume of the tank, I was thinking something
along the line of a bicolor Pseudochromis or royal gramma and 3 green
<Not the Chromis>
If you have any questions as to clarify my unusual plan just ask,
also any and all inputs would be graciously accepted and like all other
advice I have gotten from your site, adhered to.
Thank you very much,
<Keep reading, cogitating furiously Esteban. You'll do fine. Bob
Re: University of small SW systems, design 101
Thank you for your quick response to my question. When it comes to the
coral compatibility I was thinking mostly Zoanthids and mushrooms,
maybe a leather or an open brain but if those are incompatible I
not pursue this endeavor.
<... see WWM re>
I need to stick to the fairly hardy coral and fish because I will have
to break the tank down and transport it 2 1/2 hours worth of driving
twice a year. The brand of tank that I plan on removing the trim from
would be an AGA/Aqueon 20 gallon long. Do you think that this
filtration setup would be successful so long as I kept
it well maintained?
This would be done by 10% partials every two weeks or more often if
dictated by water tests, cleaning out sponges once a week, not
overstocking or overfeeding. My overall goal is to get this tank setup
like my 29 BioCube in which I keep my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate
undetectable, pH at 8.2, and calcium at 420. As far as your response to
the refugium I am unsure as to what you meant by the second tray
<Self explanatory... go to the link, scroll down to the next
I will keep reading these articles of course, just because I have
become addicted to saltwater aquarium. In place of the chromis do you
think that a royal gramma, a clown goby, and a 6 line wrasse would be
compatible in this setup?
<I think you should search, read on WWM re>
Thank you again for your amazing website with great advice and
dedicating your time and effort to help out the common hobbyist.
<Please use it. BobF>
Marine Aquarium: Setup Reading, Lots of reading.
Hi WWM Crew!
I was pondering about my saltwater aquarium. It is a 29 gallon FOWLR
with a 20 watt 5000 k. light, Sea Clone 100 protein skimmer (do you
know about any problems with that skimmer? I haven't tried mine
<A Sea Clone is not a good skimmer.>
and a Marineland 150 filter( no bio-wheel just two filter pads). My
fish are one spotted Hawkfish one coral beauty two ocellaris clownfish
and one fire fish. my <question> was do I need a sump? Because I
can not build one and I can not afford one.
<Then I guess you will not have a sump.>
Oh, I have one other <question>, :} could I keep an anemone in
<No, a 20 watt light with a color temperature of only 5k is not even
<All of these questions, and many more that I'm sure you have
not thought to ask yet can be found here:
From FW to SW 29 gallon\Reading 6/27/2009
I was wondering if I have a 29 gallon freshwater aquarium can I switch
it to a saltwater?
I am going to take everything out except the water and add the sand,
live rock, and let it cycle.
<I would change out the water as well and mix it up in
I was planning on setting up a FOWLR aquarium. If I have a SeaClone 100
protein skimmer, a fountain pump, and an Eclipse 3 5000k fluorescent
light would that be all I need to set it up?
<That will get you started. Do read here:
I was hoping on having 2 tomato Clowns, a Coral Beauty, a Firefish, a
Spotted Hawkfish, and a Peppermint Shrimp.. (do you know how many
snails I need and what they do?)
<Too many fish for a 29 gallon. Do review here:
Replacement Pump For Solano Nano Tank
my husband and I both have Solano 34g Nano tanks. Set up as reef tanks
we've had great success with them but recently both our pumps have
gone out, mine being the latest. And we've had to rig replacements
since I can't seem to find a true replacement from Solano or
anywhere else. Do you'll suggest anything else I should or could do
to continue to have optimal skimmer performance. I appreciate any
<Have you contacted Current USA on this? Forward this to
<Your welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
30 Gallon Saltwater... not using WWM, or mistaking
it/us for a bb 4/19/09
Hello, I have emailed you before and have gotten great advice in
return. My issue now is that I have a 35 gallon tank that use to be
inhabited by a Tiger Oscar who out grew his temporary tank and is now
in a larger system.
My girlfriend would like to use the 35 gallon to start our first
saltwater aquarium. I plan to filter the tank with a canister filter
that is able to filter a tank up to 55 gallons in size. The tank will
be sand bottom of
course and also have live rock. My first question is approximately how
much live rock should I place in this aquarium to give sufficient
hiding places and to assure that the fish will live happily in this
My second question is about the livestock. My girlfriend has FINALLY
chosen her desired livestock and it consist of the following fish who
are all relatively small in size; 1 Saddle Valentini Puffer
, 1 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 Blue Sapphire Damselfish, 1 Royal Gramma
Basslet and 1 Six Line Wrasse.
Will this work?
<Could, but there is going to be too much antagonism with this mix
in this volume to suit me>
And if not could you please send me something in return about what fish
to put in this tank or something you would stock it with yourself.
She is into bright, colorful and flashy types of fish. Also any other
tips or facts would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks.
<Have her peruse WWM's many stocking files, articles... Maybe
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Upgrading from 25g to 40g reef, 2/24/09 Hello
everyone, <Hi> I currently have an Aquapod 24 gallon tank with
30LBS of live rock. I also have a 20 gallon refugium with sand, Chaeto
and skimmer upstream. I am looking at purchasing a tank around 40
gallons with a stand that I would be able to fit my existing refugium
underneath. <Ok> My question is when I do get the other tank can
I just move everything out of the Aquapod water, rock, sand, fish into
the new tank hook up the refugium and turn it on or is that going to
cause a crash because it is a new aquarium and not cycled? <You will
probably be ok, but will need to monitor the water quality very closely
for ammonia spikes that may occur. Feed lightly and be prepared for
water changes.> My current tank is 9 months new and the refugium is
4 months with lots of pods. I have a few corals and 3 Nano fish. I
don't want to jeopardize the life I have in the tank in anyway. If
this is a bad idea could you give me a better recommendation please.
Thanks Steve <Welcome> <Chris>
New tank, Small SW, var. 2/3/09 Hi
Crew, I just finished my move from my 5 year old 10 gallon to an
Aquapod 24 gallon. My spotted cardinal, clown goby and neon goby took
one night to be brave enough to come out. It has all new sand and rock
(cured) and the Aquapod ran for a week before I made the switch (after
testing water). I did have one old rock plus carbon in a sock from the
old tank just to help with the bacteria population. <Good> I have
a couple Astrea snails and Ceriths. Are they going to find enough to
keep themselves alive? <Likely so, yes> I do not see any algae.
When I removed my old rock from the old tank I did not notice that the
neon goby was in his hole in the rock, After I placed the rock in a
pail I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and there he was
at the bottom of the pail. So I put him back in the tank. Afterwards I
noticed that the end of his tail is a bit shredded. Would this have
been caused by him thrashing to get out of the rock when it was out of
the water. <Sure> He seems fine otherwise and is swimming and
eating and he found a new home in the new tank between the bottom of a
rock and the sand. Another issue I am having is with the sand which is
very fine. The water flow in this tank is fairly strong and it is
blowing the sand quite a bit so that after a few hours there are some
places with sand dunes and others with a bare bottom. I have the
nozzles (there are two) pointed horizontally so that they make waves at
the top but it still is causing a strong current below. Any
suggestions? Thanks, Sam <Direct them more toward the back, toward
the rock-work... to dissipate, complex the currents. Bob
Nano Reef question 1/27/09 Hi. <Hello
Jeff.> I am an experienced reef keeper, I had a 130 gal reef tank
that's flourished for years, unfortunately I had to move and sell
of it off a few years ago. <Sorry to hear that.> Well, I knew it
would happen but I got that itch back but just want to keep a Nano
reef. <I know the feeling!> I've been looking at 2 models and
want to know your opinion on them. One is the new 28gallon JBJ Nano
Cube with 150 HQI lighting and all in one filtration. The other system
is the 34gallon Red Sea Max 130D tank. I only plan on keeping some
leather corals and polyps, no Acropora corals!! I'm worried about
the HQI lights on a small tank. It says it has 4 cooling fans and some
people in articles have complained about overheating, but I don't
think they would make a tank that would have such a problem with
overheating, do you?? <Well, the argument is that it will not
overheat in certain environments. These tanks are fairly common in my
neck of the woods, all the successful tanks with the HQIs have
chillers. The short of it is these systems do not necessarily have
everything you could possibly need, if they did Ca reactors would be
standard too!> Just wondering if you know of or have heard of anyone
who has had these tanks and what you think or have heard is a better
choice. <I have seen both in action over a period of months (well,
years now I suppose) and both are nice units if you are looking for an
all in one. If you are into the lower light intensive corals and do not
want to run a chiller the Red Sea model does get a bit of an advantage.
Although there is never any guarantee you will not need a chiller.>
Thanks. Jeff. <Do also price out/consider building your own system
piece by piece. It may cost a bit more initially, but I have found that
most end up replacing components on these all in ones with something
"better". Many end up spending more on these in the long run,
but not everyone! Welcome, Scott V.>
Need your EXPERT advice on heaters for Nano reefs :-)
01/11/09 Are there any new heaters out there that will really
keep a 6 gallon reef at a consistent decent temp? I was into reefs for
about 12 years - got out of it for a while - recently got back into it
with a friends 6 gal Nano cube. The heater she gave me will not keep a
consistent temp and goes anywhere from 78 - 84 plus degrees. Your
EXPERT advice on heaters would be appreciated :-) thank you!
<I've always been a fan of the Hydor products. They make this
mini-heater that I've used myself. I don't know if it would
work for you, but it worked for me and I like it.
They also make other heaters that haven't disappointed me. Best,
Re: Need your EXPERT advice on heaters for nana reefs
:-) 01/12/09 :-( That's the one I have.... the temp is
swinging really bad... will check my thermometer... <Hmm...
strange... have you tried a second thermometer? Thermometers are
notoriously inaccurate.... try 2 other thermometers. They don't
have to be for aquariums necessarily... can be the cheapo outdoor ones
from Home Depot even. Just anything you can dip in water will work...
Critter Biotope 12/2/08 Hi Crew, <Hi
Sam, Mich with you tonight.> I currently have a 10 gallon saltwater
tank that is 6 years old with some coral and fish. The fish are over 4
years old <Congrats to you!> and WWM is what made this
successful. <Nice to hear.> Anyway, I am toying with the idea of
a critter tank, no fish or coral. <What a cool idea! A really
different biotope. Scott Fellman will enjoy reading this.> Hermits,
crabs, shrimp etc. Whatever I think can coexist. <May be some
learning here.> Will probably not have snails since my experience is
that the hermits will eventually take their shell. <You are wise
here.> It will be a 10 gallon with sand and live rock. <OK.>
What do I need as far as filtering and water movement. Will a foam
filter be enough? <I think the tank would benefit from some carbon
filtration.> Do I need a cover? <Mmm, not a bad idea, if it
we're me/mine I would, because I don't like finding
"carpet jerky" if you will.> Standard fluorescent light
strip. <Likely will be sufficient.> Any algae needed like
Caulerpa or Chaeto? <Need is a strong word. I would add some Chaeto
myself and would avoid Caulerpa like the plague. Caulerpa just causes
too many headaches in my experience, some like it, but not worth the
risks in my opinion and is illegal in California.> If yes how much
light will I need to keep it growing. <Chaeto appreciates light, but
in my experience can survive with surprisingly little.> Anything
else to consider? <You will just have to be careful with which
critters you mix. As you know, hermit crabs and crabs in general can be
rather predatory. Even shrimp can behave aggressively towards each
other. I've generally had positive experiences with a single or
pairs of shrimp, but in my experience odd numbers tend to become even
numbers.> I assume I can feed them the same as my fish. <Yes,
just be cautious not to overfeed, especially without a protein skimmer
to help you out.> Thanks <Welcome and good luck, it is an
interesting system and think you'll enjoy it!> Sam
29 gallon bio-cube marine tank, 10/8/08 Hello
to all. <Hi> I work at a pet store and saw a 29 gallon bio-cube
tank. My husband and I have been wanting to start keeping marine tanks.
We live in an apartment so space is limited. We want a fish only tank
with a starfish. <I would suggest at least investigating live rock,
it makes maintaining a marine tank much easier. As far as starfish go,
stick with serpent stars for this sized tank.> I have talked to
several people about the bio-cube and have heard several opinions on
weather it is good for a small reef tank. <It is ok, but I prefer a
more normal shaped tank with more surface area and ala-carte equipment
which tends to be of better quality than what you get in all-in-one
packages. If memory serves this setup also lacks a protein skimmer
which I personally would not run a tank without.> I have always
gotten great advise from you guys when it come to my fresh water tank
so I was wondering what your thoughts were on this tank. Thanks again
for all the great advise.. Virginia Hulse <My personal opinion is to
get a regular 29G, a quality skimmer, LR, and a couple powerheads. I
think you could probably do this cheaper than with a Bio-Cube.>
29g Reef Question, set up 9/30/08
Hello! Love the site and have been educating myself in
anticipation of the jump from FW to SW for 3 years!! <Wow,
great!> I'm just getting ready to move into my new house and
will be setting my 26g bowfront back up, but as a SW reef this
time. Was hoping to layout my plan, looking for input, along with
some questions along the way. Also, keep in mind that this is my
test with the hopes of upgrading to a 120 display in the future and the
26g switching to QT duty. With this in mind, some of the
filtration I will be building with a larger tank in mind. <Okay.>
Stocking plans for the 26g will be to start with plenty of LR, LS, 2-3
small fish (Perc clown, few gobies), a few inverts (1 shrimp and some
snails) and then some SPS and LPS (possibly a clam?). I will be
purchasing an overflow from glass-holes, with the recommendation from
them of the 2 hole, 1.5' bulkhead, 1500gph model. I
understand the recommendation with the thoughts of using it on the
future, larger system and 2 drains is better than one, but is this too
much for a 26???? <If you were to actually flow 1500 gph through it
would be too much. You can run less flow by choosing a smaller pump or
throttling your pump back with a ball valve.> From there, the 2
drains will drop, pass through the back wall and gravity feed a 55
gallon sump/fuge on the floor in another room. The 1st drain will
drop into a skimmer chamber on one side and the 2nd drain will drop
into a refugium chamber on the other side. There will be baffles
to separate each of those from the center return section, which brings
me to my first question, what would be your recommendation on a return
pump or GPH rating? <About 500-600 gph will take care of your
flow needs in the display.> There shouldn't be much of a return
run as the sump will be just on the other side of the wall resting on
the floor. I was also thinking of splitting the return into 2
lines and having it release into the display on each of the back
corners of the tank. What would your recommendation be for return
line sizes? <A single Â½' per corner.> I will
be adding at least 1 Tunze Nanostream depending on the additional flow
I feel needed, so the return(s) will not need to be the only
flow. <I would wait and see if you even need the powerhead, I
doubt it.> Do you think purchasing a Skimmer rated high enough for
the future 120 would be silly or even bad for the small system
(over-skimming?) and should just go with a smaller in sump model
(Coralife Superskimmer 65)? <If you have the funds and room I would
just go for the larger skimmer now.> Lastly, I'm torn on
lighting. I would like to go with either a 24' MH fixture
(1X150w or 250w?)/2X65w Actinic and 2 moon lights, or a T5HO fixture
with 96w (2X24w 10K Daylight/2X24W -- 460nm Actinic) if it would be
enough'¦especially at 1/3 the cost. Dimension on the
tank are 24'w x 21'tall by 15' deep. <For the cost and
depth of the tank I would likely choose the T5 fixture, swapping on of
the actinics for another daylight.> Any input would be greatly
appreciated!! Thanks. <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>
Nano reef & natural water movement, 8/4/08 Hello
guys and gals! <Hello> I have a small 10G Nano reef tank, close
to 1000 G/Hr water movement/circulation. The temperature is between
78-80 F without using any chiller. It has been set up bout a year now.
I have a very healthy and good lookin' livestock. So here I come
with the question of the century:-) I was always wondering how many
Gallons of water exchanges in an hour in the natural seawater? Is there
any estimate on this? I'd love to know that! <From diving I can
tell you lots, even in relatively calm areas you are still talking
about a complete change of water every few minutes at most, every
minute or less in areas of stronger current. This is why many people
say you cannot have too much flow.> The other thing I was wondering
about if you accept any kind of donation, or anything like that.
I'd love to appreciate all the efforts you guys put in this
website. It is like a library for me. <I believe we have a
"begging box" on the front page.> Thank you for your time
and answers, have a salty day! Sonny <Thanks for the note.>
New Nano reef, total > 100 gal.s, overall
set-up! 7/24/08 Hi, <Hello there>
Please could you have a look at some questions I have for a NANO
tank plan. <Sure> I was looking at the various NANO tanks
people have and how nice they look (better than my 120 gal).
<Can> So I was thinking of creating one myself (I already
have a 120 gal from the last 2 years). I am still in the design
phase. <Good> However, I designed for a RDSB and sump of
almost the same size as the display tank. <All right> The
tank size is 50 G The RDSB (below the tank) is 23 gal Sump is 35
gal My tank, sump and RDSB specs Inches RDSB (12") sump
Display Length 24 18 28 Width 18 24 24 Depth. 12 18 18 Vol in gal
22.4 34 52 108 Vol in liter 85 127 198 411 Questions 1. Is this
big DSB going to give me a super advantage or should I reduce the
RDSB? <I'd leave as is... really, the bigger the
better> 2. Is it good to take a direct feed from the RDSB to
the return pump location? <Is fine> 3. Will the return pump
(standard powerhead) kill all the plankton? <No. Most all
"passes through" alive> 4. I plan to use one Hydor
koralia-3 propeller pump on one side and the sump return on the
other side facing the Koralia and a siphon that fires OUT of the
tank (down to the sump)? <Mmm... a siphon? Not a drain?>
The siphon should fire in around every 10 seconds for 2-5 seconds
duration taking approx 10-15 liters with it. Will this work for
circulation? <Mmm... I would NOT do this. What if the siphon
should fail? Where will all the water in play go? On the
floor?> 5. Plan to go bare bottom as I have a RDSB. Will use
egg-crate or acrylic boxes drilled for water flow to lay the
foundation for the live rock. Will this have problems? <Can be
done... depending on the needs, desires of your main system
livestock...> Plan to use 60 pounds in the display. 6. Sump
will have carbon and skimmer. 7. Will a 1/4th HP chiller be too
much for this volume? (I have one in spare and can use it)
<Likely will provide sufficient draw-down here> 8. Lights I
plan will be Compact Florescent for 12-14 hours and MH will be
only for 2-4 hours. Something like this
9. Tank theme is Zoanthid / Palythoa garden with LOTS of feather
duster worms and SPRINKLING of mushrooms and ONE cup coral
". 10. Fish would be a shoal (5-7) of blue or green Chromis,
1 Purple Fire fish, 1 Psychedelic Mandarin. 11. Inverts would be
2 skunk cleaner shrimps, 1 Pom-Pom Crab, Snails, Blue Linckia
(don't ask why but this works for me rather than a Fromia or
any other sea star) have had this Linckia almost a year now.
<Might I ask: What do you attribute your success to with this
genus/species?> Cheers Ranjith <Other than the
"siphon" this set-up sounds fine. I would read on WWM
re overflows: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Peruse
the first few trays... Bob Fenner>
Re: New Nano reef... plumbing/circ., and Linckia
fdg. 7/25/08 Hi Bob, I had planned the
siphon to try and give some bit of a wave effect. <Ahh! I
see...> I presume, if a surge in is good due to moving water,
a surge out should also be good as it moves water out.
<Agreed... but/and a further cautionary remark... such devices
are fraught with inherent dangers... at the very least one should
plan on overflows.... where the water might actually end up...
Better to do a bunch of reading re various "Surge
Systems"... Perhaps a beginning read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/surgesysf.htm and the linked files
above... Or better, a search on the Net with the term:
"Bruce Carlson Surge System" to start with> Would it
be fine if I have an emergency overflow hole above the siphon
pipe? <This would definitely set my mind to greater ease>
The sump will be deep enough to take the load incase the pump
fails and all the water till the siphon pipe opening flows down.
<Good!> The advantage being no salt crepe near the lights
and electrical. The sump does not need light and will be covered
and can be cleaned at intervals to maintain salinity. <Very
good to understand that you are aware of all this> Would I be
totally off my mind if I tried to run the skimmer from the output
of the tank surge?? <Mmm, I would NOT do this... Best to
situate the skimmer in a part of the sump that will be constant
volume, have its own pump...> At a very basic level, would it
provide enough flow to be able to skim? <No> Could you tell
me what plumbing part I can use to siphon from the display?
<Mmmm.... I'd rather not. Please understand, what
"we" discuss here is posted, viewed by many folks going
forward... I do not want to either encourage you or be seen to be
encouraging siphoning as such a mechanism... IS fraught with
danger, again, I assure you. Most easy example... what happens if
the "higher" safety overflow becomes occluded, the sump
overfills the tank?> A bulkhead would not be helpful as the
inside part does not have a facility to attach a tube or the 90
degree elbow. <Again... I would fashion or buy the parts to
make one of a few types of proven surge systems instead. Though
these too often include a siphon mechanism/trigger, they are more
reliable> Regarding the Linckia, I feed it fresh minced fish
(marine origin) or prepared food (dried krill, minced fish,
Cyclops eeze, Nori, shelled prawns, ocean nutrition (Nano coral
food) blended and frozen in small cubes. Feeding method is to
wedge the food in a flat rock structure and then actually pick
him up and put him on the food so his mouth cavity is directly on
it. He does not find food if it is near him sometimes so I put
him on the food. <Thank you for this> Surprisingly I have
seen Fromia stars waste away and not accept food. <Me too.
There are other important sources of mortality than nutrition>
Ps: Initially he demolished my population of small squirts
(that's what they looked like) Cheers Ranjith <Ahh! You
likely have very healthy systems if you're able to sustain
Ascidians. Cheers! BobF>
Tom Walsh, nana tanks 7/18/08 Dear sir I have
just read your article about your friends Nano marine tanks and I would
just like to say thank you, it has put my mind at rest as to whether I
should start my own. I have a 68l tank and to be honest was worried
about whether the tank would be big enough or not, <Small systems,
marine and otherwise "can be done"... just with more care,
attention than larger, more stable, flexible systems of size> I have
a Fluval 303 filter and will fill that with living rock to filter the
tank. As I am on a tight budget to say the least the article has given
me the confidence to try and set up a reef tank, I have had tropical
fish for a long time and am looking forward to getting my little reef
tank up and running, once again thank you David <Ahh! Do consider a
small skimmer as well... even a modified Skilter as Tom used. Bob
Starting in Saltwater Aquarium - Cycling and More,
6/27/08 Hello- <Hi> I just started to get into saltwater
aquariums and bought a JBJ 24 gal Nano. I know a lot of people say
anything less than 60gal is not good, but I also know that staying on
top of everything is key. <Yes, but it is much harder to do in a
small tank.> I have 24lbs of Tonga live rock, plus 12 lbs of live
Sand. One of the issues I have is Cycling with the live rock, do I turn
my lights on or off during this process? I have heard both, which one
is it? <I would run them normal hours.> Also, I plan on only
adding up to 6-8 fishes. <Too many, 2-3 for this sized tank.> 2
Clown, 1 goby, 1 Bi color blenny, 1 bubble Anemone, <Skip the
anemone, way to difficult to keep in this sized tank and not for
beginners.> several blue hermit crabs, 1 brittle starfish,
<Careful with these, some are fish eaters.> 2 peppermint shrimps.
Does this sound okay? <See above comments.> Do you suggest
anything else or is this too much? <Take it slow and stock
lightly.> I would like to add some coral to this as well, what do
you suggest if any? <Mushrooms and zoos are pretty hardy and not too
demanding, I would not go for anything demanding at this time.>
Also, do you suggest any plants (Halymenia, Pink Galaxy)? <Would
skip unless you have a refugium to place them in.> Also, the pump
that came with the tank says it pumps 240 gph, should I add another?
<I would add a couple of powerheads.> I was thinking of putting 2
Hydro Koralia 240 gph powerheads in as well. Too much? <Should be
fine.> Should I get a wave maker? <I would not.> Do I need a
skimmer? <I won't run a tank without a quality skimmer.> What
do you suggest? <get a good one.> And do I need to get a R.O
Filter? <Depends on the quality of your tap water.> If so what do
you suggest , I would like something I can attach/detach to a faucet?
<Most have this adapter, I like www.airwaterice.com if you decide
you need one.> One last thing, the tank also came, with 6 bioballs
and ceramic biomedia, I have heard I could run with out these, what do
you suggest? <I would remove these.> Sorry for all the questions,
but I'd appreciate your help. Thanks again. Marc P. Carbotte
<Please see here for more on new tank setups.
Setting Up a Small Species Specific Marine
Tank -- 05/31/08 Dear Crew, <<Andy>>
Although my wife doesn't know it yet, I am thinking of
converting the empty 30 gallon (long) tank I use as a quarantine
tank into either a species specific goby/shrimp combination or a
collection of a Jawfish and a couple other small fish (so many
decisions in this hobby!). <<Ah yes'¦but kudos to
you on planning such a tank (species-specific).
Biotopic/species-specific systems have a much higher rate of
success over 'garden-style' systems, in my
opinion'¦and they look nice too!>> I'm sure
you know the dark powers of an empty, unused tank'¦
<<Indeed>> My questions relate to how best to set
this tank up. If possible, I would like to make this tank as
low-maintenance as possible. I've read the articles/FAQs on
goby/shrimp pairs so I have a general idea of what they require.
1. In either case, how would you suggest filtering this tank
assuming a pretty small bioload? <<A small refugium and a
skimmer>> I think it's too small to warrant an
overflow/drilled tank with a sump. <<Not 'too
small''¦but can be done without'¦if you
keep the stocking level down and are diligent about other
maintenance/husbandry aspects (performing timely water changes,
not over-feeding, etc.)>> I could use a small 10 gallon
tank as a sump and fit that under the cabinet, but I would like
to avoid the extra pieces of equipment if possible. <<I
see>> I was thinking that I could simply use 20-25lbs of
live rock for filtration and some strong power heads for
circulation. Would this be okay (will this provide sufficient
aeration/oxygenation)? <<It would be best, in my opinion,
to add some type of surface extraction (perhaps a small hang-on
skimmer with such a device) to remove the accumulated surface
film, as this film will inhibit gas exchange>> I have a
spare (and crappy) skimmer sitting around, but (a) I'm not
sure whether it would be needed for this setup and (b) it's
kind of big for a 10 gallon sump--I really don't want to
spend a hundred+ dollars on an AquaC urchin if I really don't
need a skimmer. <<Perhaps their 'Nano' skimmer
would be right up your alley re this tank>> 2. I've
read that the goby/shrimp combo would need 2-3" course
substrate and rock rubble. <<A 4' depth would be
better>> Of the following, what would be the best
"course" substrate: CaribSea Aragamax Select
(0.5mm-1.5mm), Seaflor Special Grade (1mm-2mm), Super Reef
(0.5mm-2mm) or Bermuda Pink (2mm-5.5mm)? <<The
latter'¦mixed at a 1-3 ratio with fine Aragonite
sand>> Also, regarding the rock rubble requirement, does
that mean that I shouldn't include larger pieces of live
rock, or just that I need to make sure that I have enough rubble
to keep them happy? <<You can have the larger
pieces'¦just be sure to leave a good deal of
'open' sand bed>> I think using larger pieces of
live rock for the bulk of the rockwork would be more
efficient/cheaper in the long run. <<Maybe'¦but
you don't want to 'fill-up' the tank with large
pieces of rock>> If I used larger pieces, I would set them
on the glass bottom before I added the substrate to ensure
stability/safety of the animals. <<Okay>> Is it
possible to mix more than one goby/shrimp combo in this small
volume? <<Maybe'¦but I wouldn't>> 3.
I've read that Jawfish need 3+" of substrate--three
quarters fine substrate and one quarter course.
<<Mmm'¦pretty much the same as the Goby/Shrimp
combo, yes>> For the fine, would you suggest sugar fine
sand, or something a little larger like the Aragamax Select
(0.5mm-1.5mm)? <<I prefer the sugar-fine'¦along
with a mix of larger bits as discussed previously>> Do you
mix the fine with course, or layer the fine on top of the course?
<<I would 'mix' the courser material in to the top
inch or so of sand>> 4. I don't plan on keeping any
corals or light-craving inverts in this tank, so I assume a
standard NO fluorescent light would be sufficient?
<<Yup!>> I appreciate all your help. Andy
<<Happy to share. EricR>>
Re: Setting Up a Small Species Specific
Marine Tank - 05/31/08 Thanks Eric! <<You are
quite welcome, Andy>> Do you know anything about the Finnex
brand of tank? <<Afraid I don't'¦but I do use
their Titanium heaters>> My LFS is selling a 30g complete
setup (tank, fuge, skimmer, T5 lighting, PC fuge light, pumps,
and cabinet stand) for $599. When I add up all the things I would
need to make my current 30g doable for a species tank (skimmer,
stand, small fuge, etc.) I am not too far off of that price.
<<Maybe a bargain then>> I'm sure the component I
would add would be better than the Finnex, but'¦ Andy
<<Ah yes, I do know what you mean. It is my preference to
'build my own' systems for this very reason. Cheers, Eric
R2: Setting Up a Small Species Specific Marine
Tank - 06/02/08 Dear Eric, <<Hello Andy>> Just a
note to tell you that I went ahead and purchased the Finnex 30g
cube. <<Cool>> It had a small scratch on the side, so
the LFS owner gave me a slight discount. <<Always
nice>> It is a slick little tank in theory--we'll see
how well it actually works. <<Indeed>> It has a built
in skimmer, wet-dry filter (whatever that means . . .),
<<Really? Are also known as 'trickle'
>> a compartment for a heater, a small built-in refugium
with a PC light, a return pump, 4x24W T5 HO, 2 actinics and 2
10,000K (although it can also come with a 150W HQI), and a
cabinet stand. It was very easy to setup. <<All-in-one for
sure but'¦these units are generally lacking (filter
size/capacity, water flow, et al) in my opinion'¦though
they can be utilized with thought to their
shortcomings'¦or modifications of'¦>> I
took your advice and set it up with 4" of mixed aragonite
sand/course substrate, with about 15lbs of cured live rock and
some clam shells. <<Very good>> I seeded it with a
cup of substrate and a few pieces of LR rubble from my 110g, and
then threw in some Chaetomorpha from my fuge into the fuge.
<<Excellent>> It is a very neat setup. Once I am sure
the water is stable, I'm going to purchase a Yellow Watchman
Goby and Pistol Shrimp. <<Do keep an eye out for/request a
'collected pair' if possible as the animals do not
'automatically' pair up just because you place them
together in your aquarium>> I may add the mushroom rocks
that are currently in my 110g reef, which is SPS dominated. I
figure the lighting is adequate for these Corallimorphs and
getting them out of my SPS tank would be beneficial to the SPS.
<<If in great quantity or in physically encroaching, yes,
probably so>> Cheers, Andy <<Be chatting mate.
R3: Setting Up a Small Species Specific Marine
Tank - 06/03/08 Eric, <<Andy>> I do know what a
wet-dry is--just skeptical of this particular one. <<Ah,
okay'¦(and 'whew!' [grin])>> It is
basically a box with a piece of foam in it.
<<Hmm'¦maybe replace this with a bag of chemical
media'¦or a piece of Poly-Filter pad>> The water
is supposed to flow from the skimmer, up and over the lip on the
filter box, down through the filter, under the fuge compartment,
out to the return pump, through the fuge, and into the display.
<<This sounds fine/good>> I removed the foam and
replaced it with a bag of activated carbon. <<Ah well,
great minds'¦>> My return pump (475 gph) was dead,
so my LFS swapped out a Rio 800 (how do they even sell the
Rio??--it's basically a bubble maker) <<Is
cheap'¦and easy to push on to the uninitiated>>
until he can get me a replacement pump tomorrow.
<<Excellent>> For now, the filter box is completely
submerged--maybe that will change when I get the right pump.
<<Yes, probably so>> The one thing I will say about
this tank is that the manual is totally inadequate/basic and very
hard to use in reality. I contacted the manufacturer, and it was
responsive but not very insightful. <<A
shame'¦considering these are assumedly
'plug-and-play' units>> Take care. Andy <<And
you my friend. EricR>>
What do you think about my tank,
Marine Setup 5/2/08 Hello my name is Sony Onatte and I am a newbie
in terms of saltwater tanks, although I have had a freshwater tank for
about 2 years. <Hello> I started my saltwater tank around mid
January 2008. I have a 30 gal long Aqueon (all glass) tank, 20lbs of
live sand, at least 40lbs of live rock and an extra 4 lbs of live rock
rubble in an AquaClear 110 that only has the rubble and ceramic holes
in it. Although they said it couldn't be done; my filtration system
is made up of (2) AquaClear 110's (500gph)one with just rubble and
ceramic and the other with one foam pad ceramic hole and a Chemi pure
pad with a prefilter pad on the entrance to both intakes. I have an
AquaC remora with a MaxiJet pump 1200 (295gph) with prefilter box, and
have modified it by connecting a tube to the cup and draining it so the
skim never falls back into the tank due to overflow. 1 AquaClear 70
(400gph) and a Hydor Koralia 2 (600gph) power heads. My lighting system
is a Current USA power compact with Dual Daylight Lamp (6700K &
10,000K), 1 Dual Actinic Lamp (420nm/460nm) and 3 Lunar Lights. Which
the actinic turn on at 8am -- 10pm and the daylight 12pm -- 8pm then
the lunar's turn on. <Ok> I have 2 small black Amphiprion
ocellaris and 2 small orange Amphiprion ocellaris, <Chances are one
pair will kill off the other in this sized tank.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfishart2.htm > 1 small flame angel,
<Needs a larger tank
> 2 small engineer goby's, < Pholidichthys leucotaenia? They
get huge. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pholodichthyidae.htm > and 1
green spotted dragonet. <Also needs a much larger and mature tank,
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm .> 20 -- 25 scarlet crabs
and zebra's. 15 snails, 1 lettuce slug, 2 scarlet shrimp, 1 camel
and 1 peppermint shrimp, <the camel has been known to get
aggressive.> 1 two in maxima clam and a 3 in crocea clam, 1 sand
sifting starfish <the star needs a larger tank and will clean out
your live sand bed, making it not so live.> and at least 2500 cope
and other pods. As for corals I have a 3in Mycedium sp, 3 in encrusting
purple Montipora nodosa, 4in Trachyphyllia radiate, 3in Turbinaria
peltata, 4 stalks of pulsating xenia, 3in hammer coral pink, 3in green
frogspawn, 3 stalk grey frogspawn, orange and pink Zoo's and green
Zoo's, 2 different species of trumpet corals and tiny Actinodiscus
sp. <You have a lot of life in a new tank, need to slow down
here.> I supplement the tank with Kent marine: ZooPlex, iodine,
Xtreme garlic, and marine C. Brightwell aquatics: zooplanktos S,
zooplanktos m, zooplanktos L, alkaline 8.3m and liquid reef. I also
feed marine S and new life spectrum, brine shrimp, mysis, and squid. My
nitrate, nitrite, ammonia are all at 0. My ph is at 8.2, DKH 11, and
calcium 470. I started to add fish in Feb because my tank cycled fast
since I used live water, live sand and live rocks. <Cycling is not
all that happens, new tanks are prone to rapid shift is water
parameters, not all of which are measure/tested.> Everything was at
zero and ph was stable before I added fish though. All my corals are
doing fine and have been for a while and some have actually grown in
these few months. Now that this is all been said I just wanted to know
if my lighting is insufficient for my inhabitants and what you thought
of my set up. I know this might be a little crowded even though
everything is very small now. I'm planning to upgrade to a bigger
tank in a year or so. Also if you had any tips or recommendations for a
beginner like me let me know. Sony M. Onatte <I would think about
removing all the fish except 1 pair of clowns, the others are not
appropriate for this sized tank. Also, while you have chosen generally
hardy corals you will most likely run into problems with allelopathy
with so many corals in such a small tank. Frequent water changes will
be necessary to keep these chemicals in check.>
Aquapod Pump/Water flow 4/11/08 Hi there,
<Hi Alex.> I have one simple (hopefully simple) question.
<OK> I currently have a Hydor Koralia 1 providing the majority of
water flow in my 12 gallon AquaPod as well as the output from the
filter that came with the tank. What I am looking for is something that
will change direction and not constantly flow water in the same
pattern. Is there something out there that perhaps toggles it's
direction continuously so as to minimize the "dead spots" for
grunge and build up? <Hmm, yes. SeaSwirls, Ocean Motions, SCWD, and
WavySea are a few that work well. They are also large and expensive for
a 12 gal (except maybe the SCWD). For your output on the pump look at
the Hydor Flo Deflector. It is not the best, but it is cheap and works.
You just need to clean it as part of your regular maintenance. You can
achieve about the same results by directing the powerhead and pump flow
at each other. This will give you a varied flow.> Any suggestions
would be appreciated. Thanks, Alex <Welcome, Scott V.>
Tank upgrade 03/27/2008 Hello to the Crew!
<<Afternoon, Andrew today>> You have been a great help in
the past so here it goes - <<Thanks>> I have a few
questions concerning upgrading tank sizes. I currently have a 29 gallon
marine aquarium with the following: About 25 pounds of live rock
2" of substrate Protein skimmer Large hang-on filter 2 30"
Coral Life T-5 fixtures each with 1-10,000k and 1-actinic 1-Scopus Tang
<<Yikes!!!!>> 1- Ocellaris Clown 3-Chromis 1-Cleaner Shrimp
Clean-up Crew - Snails, Crabs Etc. Several Soft Corals and a couple LPS
I am contemplating upgrading to a 46 Gallon an am looking for the best
advise on the transition: 1 - I would like to change substrate (to a
smaller particle size) Is this possible and what is the best way?. I
may keep the original tank and substrate as a coral propagation tank
and quarantine. <<Aragonite sugar grade reef sand, made by
Caribsea is a good choice>> 2 - What is the best sequence for the
change i.e.. all at once or in phases? <<As long as your taking
all the filtration over to the new tank and you have enough containers,
then do it all in one go>> 3 - How much Live Rock do you
recommend for a 46 Gallon Tank. <<Min 46lbs>> 4 - I am also
looking into upgrading some of the equipment i.e.. lighting and filter,
sump or refugium <<Sounds good and will benefit the system in the
long run>> Side issue - I seem to have a major outbreak of
limpets. Is there a way to control or rid the tank of these little
guys? <<Just simply remove by hand, leave a couple in there
afterwards if you like>> Any help would be appreciated. <<A
side note on the above stocking. The tank is neither suitable for the
current tank, nor the suggested upgrade, I would suggest a minimum of
100 gallons for this SP. of tang, preferably more. Please do fine a
bigger home>> <<Thanks for the questions. A
Re: Tank upgrade 03/30/2008 Thanks for the
info <<nopro For my clarification, you think is would be ok to
provide all new substrate in the larger tank and move everything else
at once including water. Will there be any establishment period using
all new substrate? <<Yes, I would actually prefer to use a new
sandbed. Yes, it will take time to re-establish. Maybe take a couple of
cups from the top few centimetre's of an established reef to give
it a boost>> Also should I fill the remaining 17 gallons of water
using newly mixed water or water from an established tank from my
trusted LFS? <<You may as well go ahead and use new mixed
saltwater, it wont harm anything>> Lance <<Thanks for the
follow up Lance, hope this helps. A Nixon>>
Re: Tank upgrade - additional
question regarding pump 04/05/2008 With my new 46 gallon bowfront
now in place I am trying to determine the best way to get the water
circulation that is desired for fish and coral. I am thinking of
placing two Koralia 1 (400 GPH) pump in each upper back corner. In
addition to that I my also place a Mag 900 with a rotating diffuser in
the upper middle on a timer. I also will have the return for the
skimmer and filters entering the tank as well. Ultimately the question
is do I use Koralia 1's (400 GPH) or 2's (600 GPH) <<I
would go with 2 Koralia #2, this will give you a good amount of flow
for a reef. I feel the #1 are a little under rated for this
tank>> What are your thoughts? <<Thanks for the follow-up.
29 Gallon Marine Set-Up...Not much detail...or
proper grammar [3-23-08] Hi there <<.>> <Hello
Gene.> im <<I'm>> thinking about getting a 29 gal.
oceanic tank and going salt water with it. <<Okay.>> what
<<What>> do you think about the set up on the tank,
<<I'm not sure I understand what you mean'¦I
don't see a described set-up, just the proposed tank. I can tell
you that if this is your first marine system I would much rather you go
with something in the 40 gallon range with more surface area (perhaps a
'breeder' variation). While not necessarily qualifying as a
Nano aquarium you will run into many of the same challenges. Please
read this; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nanoreefsysart.htm . Without
knowing what the targeted livestock will be it is difficult to go into
any more detail. As far as the oceanic brand, it is reputable/reliable
as far as glass tanks go.>> thanks <<Thanks>> for
your time Gene<<.>> <<You are welcome --Adam
Starting an AquaPod reef... 3/14/08
Hey Crew! Quick question...I've got a 12 gallon Nano reef, up and
running for 2 months now with one small clown, blood shrimp and 4 blue
legged hermit crabs occupying this tank. Prior to putting the shrimp
and clown in the tank I did my water tests and everything was perfect.
Since putting in the shrimp and the clown and eventually the 4 crabs
(who were supposed to be a clean up crew but as far as I'm
concerned they make more mess than they clean - I'll be getting rid
of them tomorrow and replacing them with smaller blue or red hermit
crabs) my ammonia has shot through the roof to 2.0. <How much did
you suddenly start feeding the tank when you added the livestock? The
combination of the added livestock and food might have been too much
too soon.> I know the obvious way to bring the ammonia down is to do
more aggressive water changes or perhaps more frequently, but as I
experienced last week; when pouring in the salt due to it's small
nature of the Nano the corals get burned from the contact with the salt
(mental note....pre-mix)...can you recommend any piece of equipment
that can help me with keeping the ammonia down? If it was a normal
setup I would immediately purchase a protein skimmer but as I am now
realizing, these Nano tanks aren't all they're cracked up to be
<Bingo. They're often without adequate filtration.> as there
is NO space for a skimmer or at least not one that I can find. Any of
the Nano skimmers I have found involve me altering the hood which I am
not confident in doing. Is there a Nano skimmer out there that will
help me, perhaps if I threw in a mangrove plant? <A mangrove
won't help. It wouldn't do well in such a tank anyway.
Honestly, there's not a whole lot you could do that wouldn't
involve altering the hood to add filtration or drilling the tank to add
a sump. This is the trouble with Nano tanks systems. If you don't
want to alter the tank, you'll have to find a way to do the heavy,
frequent water changes (i.e. pre-mix your water, etc.).> HELP ME
PLEASE!! Thanks so much! I've been a reader for over 5 years now
and have enjoyed every minute of it! <De nada and good luck, Sara
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner