Taking the leap! Planning a 10 gallon nano
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Taking the leap! Planning a 10 gallon nano

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Taking the leap! Planning a 10 gallon nano
Old 07-05-2013, 12:25 AM   #1
 
Taking the leap! Planning a 10 gallon nano

Hello all! My name is Amanda and I have MTS. I have been keeping freshwater tanks for about a year now (75 gallon planted community, 30 gallon planted with 2 SAPs, 5 gallon male betta, and 10 gallon snail tank to feed the piggy puffers) and have decided to take the plunge into saltwater. I have been researching for months and buying equipment here and there. My husband has let me turn our formal living room into the aquarium room, how lucky am i!!!

I want to do a 10 gallon nano reef. So far here is my equipment:
10 gallon tank
Hydor pico evo mag circulation pump 180 GPH ( i bought 2 of these, one for mixing the RO/DI water and salt)
Current USA Nova extreme 2xT5HO saltwater light (36 watts 1x18watt 12k daylight, 1x18 watt 460 nm actinic)
Rio nano skimmer rated at 110 gph
API Saltwater master test kit
Marineland visitherm heater 75 watt
thermometer
Light timer
Caribsea Arag-alive special grade reef sand 10lb
API reef master test kit (im slightly OCD about water params)
100 GPD 5 stage RO/DI system
Elos aquarium kit for Magnesium
10lbs of Instant Ocean sea salt
Salinity refractometer

Some of the stuff is still being shipped to me so I am waiting until I have everything I need and then I am buying 10-15lbs of live rock.

Here's my plan. I'm going to mix my RO/DI water up with a powerhead and heater in 2 5 gallon buckets (how long does this need to mix? overnight? until dissolved?) After I have all the saltwater I need at all the right paramaters, I will lay my sandbed (wanting about 1 1/5-2 inches) and began aquascaping my LR ( I will have the base of the LR directly on the glass and put the sand around it). Here is another question, do i do this with some water in the tank or do i just do it as quickly as possible with no water and get water in it when done? (our vision is to have 2 10 gallon and 1 20 gallon nano reef tanks in the aquarium room. The 20 will be in the middle with kind of a wall of LR and corals with the 2 10 gallons on each side with their LR sloping up towards the 20 gallon tank. if that makes sense...)

Once i have it aquascaped and filled up, Im going to leave it alone and let it cycle for however long it takes. I know that with the amount of live sand and LR I plan to have I may not even see a cycle, but regardless I will wait atleast a month-2 months before moving on.

Next I will add my clean up crew. This is where I have ran into some hangups... to hermit crab or not to hermit crab. I have read the pros and cons from a couple of different places, but I just dont know... They are cute lil buggers. As of right now I am looking at this set up:
4 astraea snails
3 margarita snails
3 nassarius snails
1 blue leg hermit
2 scarlet reef hermits
1 peppermint shrimp
Thoughts? Opinions?

As for corals, I am not planning anything crazy until I am sure I got a grip on keeping my water params in close check (I'm mainly concerned with the salinity seeing as it's such a small tank. I live in alabama so my house stays at 72 degrees all the time. My freshwater tanks stay at 78 degrees constantly, I've never had a problem there. I plan to top off daily with RO/DI water and carefully monitor salinity as well as everything else. The water maintenance is one of my favorite things about fishkeeping. Am I nuts?) I don't think I want anything seen as a "weed" coral so no xenia and no GSP. I would like some mushrooms and ricordea. Maybe some leathers and somewhere down the line meat coral ( I LOVE these things lol). What do you all think?

I have planned long and hard for this and hope to start next week. Any suggestions? Does my setup and plan seem legit? Any foreseeable problems? Anything I am missing? I value the opinion of this site's members greatly and can't wait to hear your thoughts and opinion! Thanks for taking the time to read my book lol.

Also, how do you guys keep your mixed saltwater? Do you always have some mixed and stored or do you mix it as a need basis? If storing, what is the best way and wouldn't that cause some problems with evaporation and salinity? I'm trying my best to cover all my bases.

Last edited by NewFishFiend; 07-05-2013 at 12:30 AM..
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewFishFiend View Post
Hello all! My name is Amanda and I have MTS. I have been keeping freshwater tanks for about a year now (75 gallon planted community, 30 gallon planted with 2 SAPs, 5 gallon male betta, and 10 gallon snail tank to feed the piggy puffers) and have decided to take the plunge into saltwater. I have been researching for months and buying equipment here and there. My husband has let me turn our formal living room into the aquarium room, how lucky am i!!!

I want to do a 10 gallon nano reef. So far here is my equipment:
10 gallon tank
Hydor pico evo mag circulation pump 180 GPH ( i bought 2 of these, one for mixing the RO/DI water and salt)
Current USA Nova extreme 2xT5HO saltwater light (36 watts 1x18watt 12k daylight, 1x18 watt 460 nm actinic)
Rio nano skimmer rated at 110 gph
API Saltwater master test kit
Marineland visitherm heater 75 watt
thermometer
Light timer
Caribsea Arag-alive special grade reef sand 10lb
API reef master test kit (im slightly OCD about water params)
100 GPD 5 stage RO/DI system
Elos aquarium kit for Magnesium
10lbs of Instant Ocean sea salt
Salinity refractometer

Some of the stuff is still being shipped to me so I am waiting until I have everything I need and then I am buying 10-15lbs of live rock.

Here's my plan. I'm going to mix my RO/DI water up with a powerhead and heater in 2 5 gallon buckets (how long does this need to mix? overnight? until dissolved?) After I have all the saltwater I need at all the right paramaters, I will lay my sandbed (wanting about 1 1/5-2 inches) and began aquascaping my LR ( I will have the base of the LR directly on the glass and put the sand around it). Here is another question, do i do this with some water in the tank or do i just do it as quickly as possible with no water and get water in it when done? (our vision is to have 2 10 gallon and 1 20 gallon nano reef tanks in the aquarium room. The 20 will be in the middle with kind of a wall of LR and corals with the 2 10 gallons on each side with their LR sloping up towards the 20 gallon tank. if that makes sense...)

Once i have it aquascaped and filled up, Im going to leave it alone and let it cycle for however long it takes. I know that with the amount of live sand and LR I plan to have I may not even see a cycle, but regardless I will wait atleast a month-2 months before moving on.

Next I will add my clean up crew. This is where I have ran into some hangups... to hermit crab or not to hermit crab. I have read the pros and cons from a couple of different places, but I just dont know... They are cute lil buggers. As of right now I am looking at this set up:
4 astraea snails
3 margarita snails
3 nassarius snails
1 blue leg hermit
2 scarlet reef hermits
1 peppermint shrimp
Thoughts? Opinions?

As for corals, I am not planning anything crazy until I am sure I got a grip on keeping my water params in close check (I'm mainly concerned with the salinity seeing as it's such a small tank. I live in alabama so my house stays at 72 degrees all the time. My freshwater tanks stay at 78 degrees constantly, I've never had a problem there. I plan to top off daily with RO/DI water and carefully monitor salinity as well as everything else. The water maintenance is one of my favorite things about fishkeeping. Am I nuts?) I don't think I want anything seen as a "weed" coral so no xenia and no GSP. I would like some mushrooms and ricordea. Maybe some leathers and somewhere down the line meat coral ( I LOVE these things lol). What do you all think?

I have planned long and hard for this and hope to start next week. Any suggestions? Does my setup and plan seem legit? Any foreseeable problems? Anything I am missing? I value the opinion of this site's members greatly and can't wait to hear your thoughts and opinion! Thanks for taking the time to read my book lol.

Also, how do you guys keep your mixed saltwater? Do you always have some mixed and stored or do you mix it as a need basis? If storing, what is the best way and wouldn't that cause some problems with evaporation and salinity? I'm trying my best to cover all my bases.
Good for you, you're taking it slow and doing research! My experience with blue/red legged crabs is that they will kill nassarius snails. I've seen them do it, and it really makes me mad, because I do want my nassarius snails I'm not sure if they just kill them for the shell (all mine have moved into nassarius snail shells) and/or for the meat. So, be warned. I've been thinking about throwing my crabs in my sump. You can scape without water, as long as you don't take "forever" and let the LR dry out. I believe 20 minutes out of water is fine. Many probably go longer :)

Also, re. mixing salt. It's advised to let mix overnight or for 6-8 hours. You will always top off with freshwater, because evaporation does not take salt out of the tank, so you only need to mix salt if you are doing a water change. Because you're tank is so small, you probably will need to do regular water changes, and you'll find what will work for you. You want to keep your nitrates at 0 and with live rock (get as close to 10 lbs of it) you'll have no problem doing that.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
Good for you, you're taking it slow and doing research! My experience with blue/red legged crabs is that they will kill nassarius snails. I've seen them do it, and it really makes me mad, because I do want my nassarius snails I'm not sure if they just kill them for the shell (all mine have moved into nassarius snail shells) and/or for the meat. So, be warned. I've been thinking about throwing my crabs in my sump. You can scape without water, as long as you don't take "forever" and let the LR dry out. I believe 20 minutes out of water is fine. Many probably go longer :)

Also, re. mixing salt. It's advised to let mix overnight or for 6-8 hours. You will always top off with freshwater, because evaporation does not take salt out of the tank, so you only need to mix salt if you are doing a water change. Because you're tank is so small, you probably will need to do regular water changes, and you'll find what will work for you. You want to keep your nitrates at 0 and with live rock (get as close to 10 lbs of it) you'll have no problem doing that.

Welcome to the forum!
Gwen, that is what I've read that hermits will kill snails and fight with other hermits as their need to move to a bigger home increases. The remedy to this, so I've read, is to make sure you have different size, empty shells for hermits to move to. IDK if I want a bunch of empty shells cluttering up my aquarium, and I definetly do not want to waste money on snails just for them to eventually wind up as an expensive home for hermits. There is a lot of mixed reviews on whether hermits are a + or - in a reef tank. One major plus is seeing them eating up different types of bad anemones and algea that snails don't usually readily take.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by NewFishFiend View Post
Gwen, that is what I've read that hermits will kill snails and fight with other hermits as their need to move to a bigger home increases. The remedy to this, so I've read, is to make sure you have different size, empty shells for hermits to move to. IDK if I want a bunch of empty shells cluttering up my aquarium, and I definetly do not want to waste money on snails just for them to eventually wind up as an expensive home for hermits. There is a lot of mixed reviews on whether hermits are a + or - in a reef tank. One major plus is seeing them eating up different types of bad anemones and algea that snails don't usually readily take.
This could be true, but I have lots of empty shells, so I'm just not sure. I'm leaving all my empty shells of my nassarius, hoping they'll take those if the need arises, vs killing a snail I still have a few left. I see them come out of the substrate when I feed.

Gwen
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:32 AM   #5
 
Getting started. Got the rock, sand, and water in :)
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
 
Another pic.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
 
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I love that rock shape on the left side! Looking very nice. Keep posting those pictures
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
 
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I love that rock shape on the left side! Looking very nice. Keep posting those pictures
Girl my husband is the aquascaping master hahaha. He and i glued those rocks together last night. We were very please with the results :) thanks for giving us props on the hard work!
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
 
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Ya' all did good!

Perspective is so interesting. Your tank looks like it could be huge Funny to think that is only a 10 gallon!
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
 
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Ya' all did good!

Perspective is so interesting. Your tank looks like it could be huge Funny to think that is only a 10 gallon!
that is so true. Hey guess what, I think we got a CLAM!!!! i'm naming him Will Ferrel
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