Jump to content

Reef tank


Lennie
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys,

Hope you are all doing well.

I know we are mainly freshwater hobbyists here, myself included.

I have been searching a lot about reef tanks for the last 3 months, but have always been reading about them in our local forum since I was a kid. 
 

People in the reef2reef forum helped me a lot, and the popular guides as well.

 

Meanwhile, I wonder if there is anyone among us that has a reef/saltwater tank? 
 

Would love to talk about the new setup I am planning to have and learn from personal experiences if there is anyone who keeps a reef tank

 

Cheers,

Lennie

79F48F8B-D040-40B6-9BBD-70C817FD5810.jpeg.bd88cb78d3a588e479ba5d6248fd0083.jpeg

Edited by Lennie
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/5/2024 at 1:06 AM, MrGibson said:

I’ve had a few reef tanks. I’ve got an 18gal AIO right now that I actually just got coral back into after a period of some issues. What’s the plan you have in mind? 

Hello there. I have some questions on my mind that would be helpful to hear from experiences.

First thing is tank size. I LOVE shallow tanks. Majority of my tanks in the fishroom are shallow tanks. But, I cant be sure what tank size should I use for this tank.

I have 50x40x25h cm, 110x40x25cm and 50x50x50cm cube I can use. I normally love cubes but when I checked many cube reef tanks, not a fan. So I wanna decide between the two shallow tanks.

I wonder if 110x40x25 would let me try many more fish, critters and corals that would make up for spending more money of a bigger light, more rocks and substrate, more salt, and so on. Or am I just good to go with 50x40x25h. Obviously longer tank would let me keep more fish as it would provide bigger swimming space and let fish have their territories if needed. What do you think? 

So far I love firefish goby. I want a tank and stock build around this fish. Do you have any stocking suggestions for easy corals ( I especially love soft corals) and fish?

——————————

The next question is light. I found this light, it is a local brand, and I wonder if it would be good enough to grow corals that are not super needy

  • 445nm Royal Blue
  • 460nm Blue
  • 20.000K cool White
  • 430nm Violet
  • Pink

Length: 31.6cm
Width: 11.6cm
Height: 1.8cm
20Watt
69 LEDs

—————————

I bought Tropical’s Reef Base salt. The preparation on its back is based on higher salinity than 1.025 which seems to be the common point of many corals and fish from what I see. Do you prepare your water at home or buy it? If you prepare it, whats your method of doing it? 
I thought about keeping a big container with a lid ready at 1.025 to be used during water changed and I can top up with RODI whenever needed

——————————

lastly whats your way of having a lid? Mesh lids look nice but we dont have them jn my country. I may need to  DIY 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/4/2024 at 5:40 PM, Lennie said:

Hello there. I have some questions on my mind that would be helpful to hear from experiences.

First thing is tank size. I LOVE shallow tanks. Majority of my tanks in the fishroom are shallow tanks. But, I cant be sure what tank size should I use for this tank.

I have 50x40x25h cm, 110x40x25cm and 50x50x50cm cube I can use. I normally love cubes but when I checked many cube reef tanks, not a fan. So I wanna decide between the two shallow tanks.

I wonder if 110x40x25 would let me try many more fish, critters and corals that would make up for spending more money of a bigger light, more rocks and substrate, more salt, and so on. Or am I just good to go with 50x40x25h. Obviously longer tank would let me keep more fish as it would provide bigger swimming space and let fish have their territories if needed. What do you think? 

So far I love firefish goby. I want a tank and stock build around this fish. Do you have any stocking suggestions for easy corals ( I especially love soft corals) and fish?

——————————

The next question is light. I found this light, it is a local brand, and I wonder if it would be good enough to grow corals that are not super needy

  • 445nm Royal Blue
  • 460nm Blue
  • 20.000K cool White
  • 430nm Violet
  • Pink

Length: 31.6cm
Width: 11.6cm
Height: 1.8cm
20Watt
69 LEDs

—————————

I bought Tropical’s Reef Base salt. The preparation on its back is based on higher salinity than 1.025 which seems to be the common point of many corals and fish from what I see. Do you prepare your water at home or buy it? If you prepare it, whats your method of doing it? 
I thought about keeping a big container with a lid ready at 1.025 to be used during water changed and I can top up with RODI whenever needed

——————————

lastly whats your way of having a lid? Mesh lids look nice but we dont have them jn my country. I may need to  DIY 

 

Alright I’ll to my best to be thorough and go point by point here 🙂

 

Tank choice:

 

I’d go for the biggest tank you have available and a shallow tank would be just fine. There’s a whole subset of reef tanks called lagoon tanks that fit that bill. I would love a tank with the dimensions of your larger one to play with. 
 

Now given you have previous freshwater experience, you know that more water is more stable. When it comes to coral, stability is of the absolute utmost importance. More water is very helpful im doing that, and if you can swing it I’d put the biggest sump you can manage on the tank to further this. That said my nano reef is AIO with no sump so it’s not absolutely needed.
 

 

Fish choice:

To go along with your choice of tank and keeping things stable I think it’s probably a good idea to keep stocking fairly light for your first go. For example in my 18gal reef I have a pair of clownfish and a tailspot blenny and that’s it, and I’m pretty well at my limit for fish there. With your larger tank you could do more than that but do a ton of research on each fish species and their compatibility, and I’d focus on “nano” species primarily. A smaller bio load per fish potentially means more fish and more variety if that’s what you’re after. That said there are no hard rules, just like freshwater, and the same concepts of stocking slowly and allowing your biological filter time to adjust work the same way. 
 

Fire fish are super cool and you can have more than one of them per tank. The things to look out for with them are that they’re crazy jumpers and you need the absolute tightest lid you can possibly get, and they can be somewhat sensitive from what I’ve seen, though my experience with them ends at me working in an lfs years back that had them frequently. They’re super peaceful so they’re great for a community, but I wouldn’t put them with anything that’s aggressive as that can stress them a bunch and really get them trying to carpet surf. 
 

Another thing to consider with salt water and specifically reef fish is that very few are readily available captive bred unlike the freshwater hobby, and many of the fisheries they come from are in trouble. If you can find a fish available captive bred, take that route even though it’s more expensive. I say that because they may be in trouble in the wild, but also because in some areas of the world the capture of reef fish is done with things like cyanide to stun the fish. This absolutely decimates any coral near where the cyanide is released and often these fish will make it to the LFS just in time to die in the hobbyists tank. All that is to say if you’re interested in a fish, see if you can source it captive bred, and if not try to find where they come from and if methods like cyanide are used on those reefs. 
 

Light and coral choice:

 

It sounds like that light may be fine but I’m not an expert on exactly what wavelengths coral need to thrive. Likely that light would do fine for hardier corals. I’d recommend potentially just sticking to soft corals, and maybe some low demand LPS corals if you want.

 

Mushroom corals are super tough and easy, but be discerning in what you get as some will take over. My absolute favorite soft corals are zoanthids or zoas. Most of them are super easy and many are stunning under blue lights, but be cautious with these as they produce a compound called play toxin that can be very dangerous. That said in the 10 years I’ve been in the reef hobby I’ve heard 2 or 3 stories total of people having issues, and those were mostly anecdotal.
 

For LPS I think frogspawn is a great choice for a beginner as they tend to be very bright and they have huge polyps that will move with the current, though I’d shy away from other Euphyllia like hammers and torches when you’re just getting started. Cyphastrea is another really cool one that’s pretty easy. 
 

All in all there are tons of great beginner coral options and I couldn’t possibly list them all here.  You’ll have success with some but you will absolutely have some failures too, especially as a beginner. For that reason as with fish I’d push you towards aquacultured corals rather than wild collected to start. Many of these corals are actively dying off due to ocean acidification, so having one plucked from the ocean and dying in your tank due to inexperience is not ideal. Aquacultured corals tend to be hardier as well which can help you gain some confidence, and then when you get more advanced and really get good with coral you can look into wild corals that you may be able to frag and spread around the hobby through your own aquaculture efforts. 
 

Salt water mixing:

 

So I do mix my own salt and I’d recommend it especially if you already have an ro/di unit. It seems like you may already be aware that mixing your salt with tap water can lead to trouble so I won’t go in depth with that here. 
 

My setup is a 20 gallon Rubbermaid trash can with an ro line in and a float valve. I have a power head in there to mix and a pump with some vinyl tubing to get mixed water out. There’s also a heater in there to temperature match my tank. Especially with sensitive corals temperature matching is very important. Skip hygrometers and get yourself a decent refractometer from the start and you’ll have more consistent salt water and an easier time over all. 
 

Regarding water changes I don’t do them on a schedule, I do them when my test results say I need to. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with regular scheduled water changes if you prefer it, I’m just lazy lol. I also would recommend you not worry about dosing your water for quite some time. With soft corals and easy LPS water changes alone should be sufficient to keep your water where it needs to be. Dosing can get complicated and expensive, and I think can be a vector for a newbie crashing a tank. 
 

Lid options:

 

so my current tank has a glass lid as the manufacturer sells one and that was easier and it cuts down on evaporation. My previous reef had a diy mesh lid that was also great and I don’t think there’s a wrong answer between them. It depends on what you want out of the tank regarding light penetration and evaporation. As I mentioned earlier with fire fish a lid is a must, and there can be no gaps at all. If any fish can find that gap it’s a fire fish. 
 

Final thoughts and advice:

 

Reef keeping is awesome, and I’m always happy to see new people getting into it. You mentioned reef2reef, I’d also recommend checking out humble fish and reef. I find it to be a much friendlier place than reef2reef and it has some very very very knowledgeable people on it. I’d recommend checking out the reef beef podcast if that’s your thing. The hosts are two very knowledgeable people with lots to discuss and teach. 
 

As far as philosophy goes, I highly recommend you focus on enjoyment rather than optimization. Myself and many others have driven our selves mad and arrived at tragic and expensive heartbreak through chasing parameters, getting the perfect dosing cycle, fiddling with reactors and on and on. At this point with reef keeping I want to keep things simple and fun. I’m not an aquaculture business, so I’m no longer trying to grow my corals as big and as fast as possible. If I can keep them happy and healthy, then they look nice and that keeps me happy and healthy 🙂

 

One more thing(and this applies to freshwater too) is that if anyone is dogmatically telling you there’s one “correct” way to do things, they’re either trying to sell you something, or it works for them and it’s how they do it so for them that means it’s best. There is no one way to do literally any of this. There are people out there who break every preached rule in every way they can think of. Hell I know of people who grow coral in unfiltered jars.


In reef keeping (or just general fish keeping and many other aspects of life) the so called rules are not prescriptive, they’re descriptive. They don’t exist to say “this is how it’s done and it’s only done this way.” My philosophy is that they exist to say “this is how we can explain how things have worked in the past, so build upon this, learn, and innovate.” Being dogmatic and treating descriptive concepts as prescriptive stifles innovation and holds the hobby back. Don’t be afraid to try things out, but really out thought into what could go wrong ahead of time, and how you can minimize risk and respond to outcomes. 
 

Anyway this is getting pretty ramble so I’ll cut it off, but please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on anything I’ve said or point out that I missed something you asked so I can loop back and address it. 
 

Good luck and happy reefing!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have kept reef tanks in the past, but do not currently. Some guys in local fish club have started and my LFS has started carrying saltwater fish and inverts so it is making me want to set up another reef tank. @MrGibsongave some great advice above, but a couple of things I would add, make sure that you have plenty of flow in the tank. If you watch the ocean, it is constantly in motion. Get a good wave maker or two, depending upon tank size. If I set a tank up, I am going to go bare bottom, no sand. there is a lot of thought by a lot of reef keepers now that sand is a huge nutrient sink and holds nutrients. and, if you have a lot of flow in the tank, the sand will get moved around a lot. If you check out Tidal Gardens YouTube channel, he discusses it in depth. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/5/2024 at 6:57 AM, Andy's Fish Den said:

I have kept reef tanks in the past, but do not currently. Some guys in local fish club have started and my LFS has started carrying saltwater fish and inverts so it is making me want to set up another reef tank. @MrGibsongave some great advice above, but a couple of things I would add, make sure that you have plenty of flow in the tank. If you watch the ocean, it is constantly in motion. Get a good wave maker or two, depending upon tank size. If I set a tank up, I am going to go bare bottom, no sand. there is a lot of thought by a lot of reef keepers now that sand is a huge nutrient sink and holds nutrients. and, if you have a lot of flow in the tank, the sand will get moved around a lot. If you check out Tidal Gardens YouTube channel, he discusses it in depth. 

flow is indeed very important. Depending on what corals end up in the tank and which tank size you go with a decent return pump may be enough, but a power head can really make a difference. Getting one that can turn on and off to create a wave pulse is what’s I’d recommend, as what I’ve found really will make a difference is RANDOM flow. When you have a pulse going around and through your rocks, colliding with itself and the current from your return you get lots of little currents in different directions. This will gently blow coral back and forth and every which way seemingly at random, and many of them will appreciate it. It happens to look really neat too 🙂
 

Tidal gardens is a great recommendation for a resource and I can’t believe I forgot to mention it lol. That channel is where I started really learning about coral all those years ago. 
 

Personally I’m not one for bare bottom, but I’m also not one for the old school deep sand bed. I prefer to have the extra surface area for my nitrifying bacteria that 1.5-2” of sand provides, but you can definitely have a gorgeous healthy tank without it. As I said, no one way to do anything 🙂

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My pc is dead so I didnt want to say a few words and send it in the morning when I saw your text. Thank you veery much for your time and helping. You explained everything in detail and even more than I could ask for. 

I appreciate the fact that you voice your concern about wild caught fish and corals collected from the nature. This might be the first topic I have ever checked when I started considering a reef tank.

The thing lately motivated me to do it again is I ended up having extra equipments on hand that I dont use. I bought a 1000l/h small wave maker for another shallow tank but I didnt like it much there. I started a brackish tank for my f8 puffer and bumblebee gobies, but the difference between the 10kg and 20kg reef salt was so tiny that it would be very silly to go for 10kg or less so suddenly I ended up having lots of reef salt on hand. I had a small hob I got that is 250liter/h, I had a tank ofcourse, a heater and a hydrometer. So It turned into a utilize these stuff into a dream reef tank project instead. 
 

That’s why, today I considered if I will be utilising the stuff on hand if I go for the large tank, and the honest answer is no. Instead it will be majorly a new investing project, and I would rather spare money for light corals, fish and critters instead of buying a new filter, bigger wavemaker, a sutiable lid, anso on. So I decided to go with the 50x40x25 tank.
 

Painted the backgroun black, bcoz I made lots of reading and checked pictures, and to be fair even tho I dont like blue on freshwater, I like it on reef tanks. Blue and black seem to have unique ways to compliment corals and fish. However, blue seems to work great for larger tanks where you can add the feeling of depth. So I painted black instead

I also ordered the RODI system ( We have RO system at home but I always wanted something specific for the fishroom so I ordered mine for the use, this was a plan for ages).

I am also never into deep sands in any of my tanks, even tho I never tried reef/saltwater before. So I got me only 2kgs of live sand just to cover the floor. If I happen to get fish and snails that like to burrow, I may add more but for now I dont wanna cut from swimming space. Not my type.

btw, you said u prepare your own salt water mix. The reef salt I bought says approximately use 390gr for every 10 liter for 1.035. The most common choice I have seen so far is 1.025. Is there a way to calculate these to know how much to add to approximately reach 1.025? Or until I figure it out, I add salt wait to dissolve and check with hydrometer over and over again until I find my own ratio?

I will check the websites and all the beginner friendly recommendations above.

If I be successful and enjoy the reef hobby, I may consider starting the bigger tank in the future too. 

Many thanks again

——————————-

We dont have so many saltwater specific bottled bacteria here. I used stability many times in the back for freshwater successfully. So It says for both fw and marine, I ordered a 50 ml tiny bottle. I also have live sand. Let’s see how the cycling will go

We dont have something like Dr Tim’s ammonia in where I live, so I gotta introduce either fish food or something else to go bad and release ammonia like shrimp. Do you directly add ammonia or what’s your way? 
 

Normally I cycle my filters in a tub with fish food and before moving them to new tanks I squeeze clean them so no bad food particles and stuff go into the tank. However, I need to cycle in the tank now and I wanna do it clean, fishless, but without uneaten particles floating around and going bad. Any ideas?

Also people seem to keep nitrates almost to none after the cycling is done. What’s your way of doing it? Tons of water changes?

—————————————————

Exactly as you mentioned, just like in fw, people seem to have their own styles and finding success. 

I wonder, what’s your time of adding corals to the tank? And when do you start lighting the tank for the first time?

From what I read, people can go from introducing not super sensitive corals pretty fast within a couple weeks and some waiting up to 6 months or so. I am patient but not patient enough to wait 6 months not gonna lie

——————————

On 2/5/2024 at 2:57 PM, Andy's Fish Den said:

I have kept reef tanks in the past, but do not currently. Some guys in local fish club have started and my LFS has started carrying saltwater fish and inverts so it is making me want to set up another reef tank. @MrGibsongave some great advice above, but a couple of things I would add, make sure that you have plenty of flow in the tank. If you watch the ocean, it is constantly in motion. Get a good wave maker or two, depending upon tank size. If I set a tank up, I am going to go bare bottom, no sand. there is a lot of thought by a lot of reef keepers now that sand is a huge nutrient sink and holds nutrients. and, if you have a lot of flow in the tank, the sand will get moved around a lot. If you check out Tidal Gardens YouTube channel, he discusses it in depth. 

Yes! I will work around finding a good flow. Because from what I remember the videos I watched, way too much flow might also damage especially soft corals?

Come join me and let’s set up a tank together! 🙂

If youd like to share your experience whenever you have time please see the questions above

thank you,

Lennie

Edited by Lennie
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mix my salt to 1.026 and it just took some trial and error with the refractometer to get a feel for how much salt to add. Sometimes I do overshoot a tad so I just dilute with ro. 
 

For the cycling I would just directly dose ammonia. If you’re starting with live rock and sand you may not have too much cycling to do. As with the fish be mindful of where live rock is coming from. 
 

With nitrates some corals will use them up but I also think many people are overly worried about it. If my nitrates hit 10ppm and I’m not having major algae issues I don’t worry about it too much. If I we’re keeping SPS I might worry about it but there are SPS guys out there who will straight up dose nitrate and phosphate like we do in freshwater to encourage growth. Many ways to do it right, it just depends on what you’re looking for. 
 

I don’t do water changes very often, but I also don’t feed super heavily. That’s something you’ll need to feel out with your system as there’s not really any one way to go. 
 

As far as adding corals the more mature and stable the tank the better, but with hardier corals, especially softies like zoas and mushrooms, I wouldn’t personally worry about putting them in within the first month. Honestly even with SPS I don’t think I’d wait more than three months unless I was having trouble with something. If everything is coming back stable in your system and you’re cycled, you’re probably good for basic easy corals. 

 

happy to help 🙂

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve kept a 10 gallon reef for years.

I was always worried that it would be significantly harder to master than freshwater aquariums, but it is just a little different. As with all things, a little practice/ trial and error goes a long way.

My setup runs with no filtration, just a circulation pump. I found the filtration to be unnecessary in a lightly stocked setup like mine (single clownfish).

In my super low tech setup, I’ve grown various SPS (monti caps, encrusting montis, digitata, etc), LPS of all kinds, spawned rock flower nems, etc. A simple 25% water change every few weeks where I blast up all the detritus out of the sand with a turkey baster and the tank just keeps chugging along.

Now, is my setup the world’s flashiest reef tank? No, not even close, but everything is healthy and I quite enjoy it. Even reefs can be done with low maintenance with the right setup.

IMG_1518.jpeg

Edited by DallasCowboys16
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2024 at 6:20 AM, MrGibson said:

I mix my salt to 1.026 and it just took some trial and error with the refractometer to get a feel for how much salt to add. Sometimes I do overshoot a tad so I just dilute with ro. 
 

For the cycling I would just directly dose ammonia. If you’re starting with live rock and sand you may not have too much cycling to do. As with the fish be mindful of where live rock is coming from. 
 

With nitrates some corals will use them up but I also think many people are overly worried about it. If my nitrates hit 10ppm and I’m not having major algae issues I don’t worry about it too much. If I we’re keeping SPS I might worry about it but there are SPS guys out there who will straight up dose nitrate and phosphate like we do in freshwater to encourage growth. Many ways to do it right, it just depends on what you’re looking for. 
 

I don’t do water changes very often, but I also don’t feed super heavily. That’s something you’ll need to feel out with your system as there’s not really any one way to go. 
 

As far as adding corals the more mature and stable the tank the better, but with hardier corals, especially softies like zoas and mushrooms, I wouldn’t personally worry about putting them in within the first month. Honestly even with SPS I don’t think I’d wait more than three months unless I was having trouble with something. If everything is coming back stable in your system and you’re cycled, you’re probably good for basic easy corals. 

 

happy to help 🙂

Ah I see!

Then I will calculate the amount of salt I use in grams and water in liters, and find my own ratio.

I will use live sand(claims to be live sand, not directly from a tank but storebought, so I believe it’s clean) but not live rock. If you cant source live rock well, it may come up with nasties from what I understand. I have no issues waiting for cycling and stuff, but I don’t want to risk having unwanted pests and stuff introduced, especially considering I dont know how to deal with them right now.

I know no hobbiyst that keeps live rocks and I am not willing to buy from stores in where I live. So I got dry rocks instead. Maybe these would be my own live rocks if I happen to upgrade the tank size 🙂 who knows!

Thanks again

 

On 2/6/2024 at 9:19 AM, DallasCowboys16 said:

I’ve kept a 10 gallon reef for years.

I was always worried that it would be significantly harder to master than freshwater aquariums, but it is just a little different. As with all things, a little practice/ trial and error goes a long way.

My setup runs with no filtration, just a circulation pump. I found the filtration to be unnecessary in a lightly stocked setup like mine (single clownfish).

In my super low tech setup, I’ve grown various SPS (monti caps, encrusting montis, digitata, etc), LPS of all kinds, spawned rock flower nems, etc. A simple 25% water change every few weeks where I blast up all the detritus out of the sand with a turkey baster and the tank just keeps chugging along.

Now, is my setup the world’s flashiest reef tank? No, not even close, but everything is healthy and I quite enjoy it. Even reefs can be done with low maintenance with the right setup.

IMG_1518.jpeg

That’s relieving to hear. Your fish and corals look lovely. I checked many setups and yes, filter or skimmer does not seem to be necessary. I will install a small HOB as I have on hand, but I have seen many people utilizing live rocks and sand to keep the tank cycle just with wakemaker like you even in much much bigger tanks. But may require a bit more knowledge I guess

I also consider clownfish, as they are probably the easiest to find captive bred and I usually see them in nano setups. But also I see that fully grown adult one needs 20g or so… I will check for more experience based comments. This site mentions as 10g or above too. 

https://www.ocellarisclownfish.com/ocellaris-clownfish-care/

but the pic above, is that an ocellaris or percula?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clownfish are great. I have a pair. If you want a pair start with a known established pair or two very small fish. They’re sequential hermaphrodites meaning they hatch as males, then the most dominant fish will become female. If you end up with two females you’ll be in trouble as they’ll try to kill each other. A male kept alone will eventually become female as well. 
 

I think starting with fry rock is a good idea and it’s what I’ve always done. You’re correct that many different hitchhikers can come in on the rocks. Some can be beneficial, others can be outright dangerous for your tank inhabitants. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2024 at 11:32 PM, MrGibson said:

Clownfish are great. I have a pair. If you want a pair start with a known established pair or two very small fish. They’re sequential hermaphrodites meaning they hatch as males, then the most dominant fish will become female. If you end up with two females you’ll be in trouble as they’ll try to kill each other. A male kept alone will eventually become female as well. 
 

I think starting with fry rock is a good idea and it’s what I’ve always done. You’re correct that many different hitchhikers can come in on the rocks. Some can be beneficial, others can be outright dangerous for your tank inhabitants. 

These are what my LFS has. I took a pic of some fish there to check them and their needs online when Im home. Are clowns small enough? There were also other butterflies and tangs but they are too big for me anyway

81C25E49-AF7D-4F53-BD0C-29A45715C39A.jpeg.75d6fada9c9796165e83013c5e8366ad.jpegD0BC14FD-46A1-4A17-B4E9-29E986119D72.jpeg.2a6ab91c5dbe1b5ac958582f9773d1bf.jpeg6F40FBCE-DE2A-439B-80C8-A3A2E6C37EBA.jpeg.ae8a26a01c27339fd581dba9b65998e1.jpegE1A8C398-71EC-4408-9096-6EB63426D2C6.jpeg.abcd57b74244b68b874b36d7725ae1a9.jpeg960628E8-05A4-4DB2-8642-594B676C38F7.jpeg.c5e961a21731bddc05b265c2b1d2d4c2.jpeg

 

9824C799-0057-482B-B1AA-9031EFEBD613.jpeg

7E421BAD-0EBE-4ABD-A414-2790C29A31D7.jpeg

3C2EAD18-8E60-4831-A1F5-41A465FDE2B2.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have thought about doing a small salt water tank in my 29G a few different times but every time I price it out I get sticker shock and bail on the project.  I think my main issue is that I live in South Louisiana and we get hurricanes that can knock the power out for several days (sometimes weeks) and I would be distraught if I lost all my fish and coral because of it.  With freshwater it would also be sad but it would only be a fraction of the cost to replace. 

I also find that freshwater youtube is much better at explaining the basics than saltwater youtube is. I'm sure there are some good sources out there but I have never found am aquarium Co Op type channel that will explain everything in palatable 5-10 minute videos. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2024 at 11:55 PM, NOLANANO said:

I have thought about doing a small salt water tank in my 29G a few different times but every time I price it out I get sticker shock and bail on the project.  I think my main issue is that I live in South Louisiana and we get hurricanes that can knock the power out for several days (sometimes weeks) and I would be distraught if I lost all my fish and coral because of it.  With freshwater it would also be sad but it would only be a fraction of the cost to replace. 

I also find that freshwater youtube is much better at explaining the basics than saltwater youtube is. I'm sure there are some good sources out there but I have never found am aquarium Co Op type channel that will explain everything in palatable 5-10 minute videos. 

To be fair, I thought the same. But actually, it is not very different if you make the calculations in total from what I understand.
For freshwater, ideally, you get stuff like med trio, aquarium test kits, plants, airstone, airpump, light, aquasoil or any other substrate, roottabs, filter, wood and rocks, and many more. In terms of fish, even if you buy a pair of apistos, let’s say it goes up to 100bucks or maybe even more. Add a group of tetras, corydoras, a couple otos, one bristlenose… all these equipments, fish and plants and the tank already cost actually A Lot if you think about it. Even setting up a random MD Fish Tank aquascape tank would cost a lot all alone with that tank soil wood rocks and many plants.

You can technically go for a high tech setup to make any tank even more costy!
 

Freshwater is not cheap at all. But has two advantage. If you like breeding, you can sustain your hobby by having some income. Secondly, you can collect some rocks, wood, leaf litter and use dirt to make dirted tank, can buy extremely cheap fish if you have no intention to keep rarer species or try different fish that falls into more experience category.

I believe it works the same for sw. If you want expensive corals, lights, nutrition needs, fish etc. then it must be very costy. Otherwise, there are many videos that teach you how to set up a budget friendly tank. And people try to enrich their tank and add equipments if they like gradually in a 6 month period or even longer. You dont exactly need to have everything at the start other than the must requirements

The info above is great. I will also dm you the topic I created on reef2reef couple months ago, I think it may help to understand a few concepts.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2024 at 2:08 AM, Lennie said:

That’s relieving to hear. Your fish and corals look lovely. I checked many setups and yes, filter or skimmer does not seem to be necessary. I will install a small HOB as I have on hand, but I have seen many people utilizing live rocks and sand to keep the tank cycle just with wakemaker like you even in much much bigger tanks. But may require a bit more knowledge I guess

I also consider clownfish, as they are probably the easiest to find captive bred and I usually see them in nano setups. But also I see that fully grown adult one needs 20g or so… I will check for more experience based comments. This site mentions as 10g or above too. 

https://www.ocellarisclownfish.com/ocellaris-clownfish-care/

but the pic above, is that an ocellaris or percula?

Thank you! It is a really poor quality picture, but I swear it looks better in person lol.

It is an Ocellaris clown. Percula have nearly identical care requirements though.

I used to have a second black Ocellaris in there, but after a few years it became hyper dominant and nearly beat the smaller one to death so I just rehomed her. Many people have success with a pair in a 10 gallon tank, but I did not and decided to just keep things nice and peaceful.

A single adult clown can be kept in a 10 gallon completely comfortably for their entire life. In fact, I worked at a fish store back in the day that had a 20+ year old clown that had lived in a 10 gallon biocube for nearly its entire life and it was one of the largest and healthiest clownfish I have ever seen.

They tend to stick to their host coral/anemone for the most part and don't need a ton of swimming space generally so they are well suited to nano tanks, but of course the larger the tank the better.

I had an Aquaclear on my tank for a few years when I first set it up, but kind of realized all it was doing was just adding flow to the tank and it was another piece of ugly equipment, so I just removed it. I will say it was nice to be able to run some chemical filtration occasionally though to polish the water.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/7/2024 at 3:43 AM, DallasCowboys16 said:

Thank you! It is a really poor quality picture, but I swear it looks better in person lol.

It is an Ocellaris clown. Percula have nearly identical care requirements though.

I used to have a second black Ocellaris in there, but after a few years it became hyper dominant and nearly beat the smaller one to death so I just rehomed her. Many people have success with a pair in a 10 gallon tank, but I did not and decided to just keep things nice and peaceful.

A single adult clown can be kept in a 10 gallon completely comfortably for their entire life. In fact, I worked at a fish store back in the day that had a 20+ year old clown that had lived in a 10 gallon biocube for nearly its entire life and it was one of the largest and healthiest clownfish I have ever seen.

They tend to stick to their host coral/anemone for the most part and don't need a ton of swimming space generally so they are well suited to nano tanks, but of course the larger the tank the better.

I had an Aquaclear on my tank for a few years when I first set it up, but kind of realized all it was doing was just adding flow to the tank and it was another piece of ugly equipment, so I just removed it. I will say it was nice to be able to run some chemical filtration occasionally though to polish the water.

 Black ones look very cute too. My lfs has them as well. But, I panted the background black. I was between blue and black, but after checking many pictures and reading about it, blue seemed like a better choice for bigger tanks, especially if you can work around creating shadow and sense of depth, like this tank

30DFE6AE-283F-4D45-A58C-E05134C7FC96.jpeg.26c2b6888af45d3bd1784b3d1048c996.jpeg
 

So black fish on black background does not go well together. How do I know? I have one black angelfish, Wednesday, in my 160 liter tank with a black background. Not a good choice, at all. But I love her 😄

Edited by Lennie
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello @Lennie, for the size aquarium that you are going to use, I would recommend something similar to what I did with my initial setup and go with the firefish, a clownfish and maybe shrimp, few hermit crabs and some snails. Here is a picture except I had a maroon clownfish with gold bars that was given to me. In this picture I had a blue green chromis though instead of the firefish. 
IMG_1007.jpeg.019efe74ec718f9c475c2a7a6bed0437.jpeg

Given how shallow your tank is, I do not think you will have an issue growing basic soft corals (mushrooms, zoanthids, etc.) I would also add that given how shallow your tank is, make sure you keep some sort of lid or netting to keep the firefish from jumping out as they are prone to do that.
 

Also, this is my clownfish that @Guppysnail was referencing haha 

IMG_7512.jpeg.8ec99bd28becb39944e26f0b1f44a662.jpeg

  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello @Isaac M!

thanks for the response. That is a very cute tank and an adorable clownfish.

Today I talked to an importer and breeder guy that has a marine only store. For my tank size, he recommended clownfish, cardinals, wrasse(a lit bit googling says too active for my tank tho), pipefish and gobies. He also recommended starfish, sea urchin and snails. For the corals, he also suggested soft corals. These recommendations were based on the updated new stock list today, so there were no firefish or maybe some other suitable critters like shrimp to recommend.

I really like star polyps and zoas so far. I am also interested in anemones, especially if I will get a clownfish. But I saw that they can move themselves and even may hurt other corals if it touches. Is it risky to have an anemones in my 50x40x25cm tank?

Also I see that there are soo many different color variations of clowns. Are keeping the color variations is as easy as keeping the normal ones, or are they known to be more aggressive and/or sensitive I wonder.

Like black german blue rams are more aggressive than other color variations, and usually fish that are bred for colors may be more sensitive overall. Orange is my fav fish color anyway, so I will probably just go basic but I am just curious

 

I love the idea of starfish. I saw they need target feeding but I can provide that. Also I surely want the fire shrimp you have! Absolutely great looking creature

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Lennie I think a cardinalfish can get a bit too big for a tank of your size but a smaller goby can definitely work. Pipefish require too much specialized care and wrasses are definitely way too active. 

I would also stay away from an anemone as you said, they can move around and damage the rest of the corals in the tank. I would start out with beginner level soft corals. 

I do not know about the different clownfish variety and their temperament but the maroon clown that was given to me was aggressive in the other persons tank but perfectly fine in my tank. The current clown I have that I show in the picture is the nicest creature I have ever seen, he tries to be friends with each fish I put in there (blennies, royal gramma, bangaii cardinal).  

Starfish can be tricky and can grow quite large. I have a brittle sea star in my 40 gallon and it looks huge, my fiancee actually nicknamed her “GG”, for gentle giant haha 

I would definitely recommend the fire shrimp though. Beautiful creature. 

  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...