Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Ultra Nano Reef project (or semi reef) ...my new project (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/nano-reef/ultra-nano-reef-project-semi-reef-26603/)

SuperFishFan 07-30-2009 02:21 AM

Ultra Nano Reef project (or semi reef) ...my new project
 
So I'm about to start my new project and was curious as to what you guys/gals thought......

I'm gonna start a 5 gallon rimless open-top glass cube "semi-nano reef" set-up (which is actually a decent size little cube).... I was suprised.

Anyway, I say "semi- reef" because I won't be housing any hard or soft corals, no sponges, no nudibranch's, etc. etc.- and anemone-wise I'll probably only have a couple smaller Candy's and a feather duster or two. It'll be built on very carefully chosen smaller pieces of live base rock and contain a substrate base of about a half inch of live sand. I was in my local shop today making calculated decisions as to what I'm gonna stock it with:

Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish
(2) small Pajama Cardinals (beautiful fish but hoping thier smart enough to stay away from the Candy
Anemones)

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small 1.5 inch blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby
(1) 3/4 inch Six Line Wrasse [OR] (1) small 1.5 inch juvinille Red Coris Wrasse (which should be fine with
no live corals in tank.. am I right?)
Inverts:
(2) small Indian Ocean Condilactis (Candy) Anemones
(1-2) small Feather Duster worms
(1) small Fire shrimp approx. 1 - 1.25 inches

Feed Back??

Filtration, Lighting and Heating:

Main Filter- Fluval 105 tri-module Canister filter
125gph(two modules with Bio-media and one module with filter media) haven't decided exactly what yet (ideas welcome) my only concern is that the output back into the tank may be too strong??? Probably not but... well, we'll see.

Lighting- 2 separate clip on mini aqua light fixtures
One with white trichromatic
One blue actinic

Heating- Marineland 10watt Shatter Proof submersible
Presets to 78* F (feedback on this please) several other aquarists have expressed to me that this would be perfect for this tank, but I would like your opinion as well


I will not be mixing my own salt for this tank. It's so small that I'll be buying one -two gallons pre-mixed water from my trusted shop for water changes.


I want to share the whole process with everyone here, and will be photographing everything as i go along, as soon as I start (probably next week)

onefish2fish 07-30-2009 02:35 AM

candy? dont you mean condy? the lighting your talking about wont support an anemones. anemones require reef enviroments.

this tank is also to small for any of these fish. if anything i suggest 5 sexy shrimp or and yasha goby/pistol shrimp would make a nice addition.

SuperFishFan 07-30-2009 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 220293)
candy? dont you mean condy? the lighting your talking about wont support an anemones. anemones require reef enviroments.

this tank is also to small for any of these fish. if anything i suggest 5 sexy shrimp or and yasha goby/pistol shrimp would make a nice addition.


No I mean "Candy" Candy Anemone is the common retail/distributor name/nickname for Condylactus.(obviously deriving from the Condy in Condylactus).

I wasn't concerned with the actual 'fish' choices I made. These fish are absolutely not too big. Not for an experienced hobbyist,and actually with todays aquarium technology, not even for the intermediate saltwater hobbyist these days. These particular fish I've listed are very hardy and don't need the 'quintessential reef set up' to survive. They're very much community type fish, persay (though I think I actually may cut out the Pajama Cardinals and leave the Small Coral Beauty to be the only Topwater/Mid column fish, in the cube). I also may nix the Sixline Wrasse, but we'll see as I go along.

If I was talking about sustaining exo-corals and soft corals, and more fragile inverts like Nudi's and Sponges, then I would say that this system would fail me, but that is why I'm calling it a 'semi-reef''. Also, I was keeping "Condylactus" succesfully 15 years ago in a 2.5 gallon Leemar glass betta tank with under gravel filtration, once a week 15% water changes, one small powerhead, and feeding them a liquid and solids diet directly. They don't get much 'hardier' than a Condylactus; they're a very hard anemone to fail with. Also, the lighting I am having to go with would definitely not support any of the coral species, but in regards to a Condylactus Anemone, the light really makes very little difference. I had one 18" white flourencent Sunlight, lighting that 2.5 gallon betta tank I was talking about, and the Condylactus did very very well. Some other more fragile anemone species are definitely more sensitive to light quantity and quality, but the Condylactus are not nearly as requiring of specific / more scientific lighting configurations.

But I guess we'll all see as I document the process as I go along.

P.S. I agree, the Pistol Shrimp would actually make a much better choice than the Fire Shrimp. Good call.

wake49 07-30-2009 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperFishFan (Post 220289)
I'm gonna start a 5 gallon rimless open-top glass cube "semi-nano reef" set-up (which is actually a decent size little cube).... I was suprised.

Sounds like a nice little project.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperFishFan (Post 220289)
Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish
(2) small Pajama Cardinals (beautiful fish but hoping thier smart enough to stay away from the Candy
Anemones)

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small 1.5 inch blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby
(1) 3/4 inch Six Line Wrasse [OR] (1) small 1.5 inch juvinille Red Coris Wrasse (which should be fine with
no live corals in tank.. am I right?)
Inverts:
(2) small Indian Ocean Condilactis (Candy) Anemones
(1-2) small Feather Duster worms
(1) small Fire shrimp approx. 1 - 1.25 inches

At this point in the thread, I thought to myself, "Is this a joke thread? He can't be serious". But it seems you are serious. I count seven fish you plan on putting in this tank. Did you mean 55 gallon?

Seven swimming fish to five gallons (probably closer to 3.5 after rock and sand, I suspect) of water volume. In addition to that, you want to add three inverts. This bioload will be huge on 5 gallons of water. That Coral Beauty will have no room to turn around in this tank, much less roam around! I myself never had this many fish in my 46 gallon bow at one time (just for volume comparison).

As an experienced hobbyist, I would assume that you would recognize the physical restraints put on these animals. I don't think that the mechanical filtration you have chosen to use will do anything to improve water quality. The bioballs and filter media will trap detritus and create a Nitrate factory, unless cleaned on an every other day basis.

At least think about the crowded house you are creating. Definitely post pics so we can see your progress, no matter what avenue you take.

SuperFishFan 07-30-2009 01:12 PM

Hi wake49,

I want to respond to your post, but I don't want you to think I'm coming off as harsh or defensive or arrogant at all.... please know this; I just want to be explanitory, that's all. :grin: I totally appreciate your input and respect your knowledge as well.

I've been a hobbyist on a serious level for almost 20 years, and have tried alot of cutting edge techniques back in the day (which have now become standard techniques) when saltwater "Nano-Aquatic-Environments" where "unheard of", back in the early 90's (I'm 30 yrs old, by the way...became very serious as a hobbyist at the age of 11-12)<just stating this for reference purposes>.

I was dabbling successfully in saltwater "nano" environments back in the early 90's without using sophisticated bio-filtration (i.e. - wet/dry 'sump' filtration, etc.). Please read post #3 in this thread -
http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-aquariums/ultra-nano-reef-project-semi-reef-26603/#post220303

OK, now if I may, allow me to respond to your post:


Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 220343)

At this point in the thread, I thought to myself, "Is this a joke thread? He can't be serious". But it seems you are serious. I count seven fish you plan on putting in this tank. Did you mean 55 gallon?

LOL. I can understand how you may have misunderstood at first, but yes, I do mean 5 Galllon.;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 220343)
Seven swimming fish to five gallons (probably closer to 3.5 after rock and sand, I suspect) of water volume. In addition to that, you want to add three inverts. This bioload will be huge on 5 gallons of water. That Coral Beauty will have no room to turn around in this tank, much less roam around! I myself never had this many fish in my 46 gallon bow at one time (just for volume comparison).

As an experienced hobbyist, I would assume that you would recognize the physical restraints put on these animals.


A bio-load is only as large as the maintenance that you practice on any specific artificial aquatic environment, and is based on generally four things:
1). feeding habits
2). eating habits (different than feeding habits)
3). maintenance practices (including the maintenance of the chemical and biological well being of the tank)
4). suppliment knowledge and applications (both in food <diet > and protein/mineral suppliments)

If these things are understood and practiced properly by the aquarist, then the relevance of the size of the environment is then only relative to 'maintenance practices' and proper 'live stock balance'.

Also understanding the physical nature of any given species is important to 'stocking fish' vs. 'size of the environment' (I believe this, in a sense, was one of your concerns). This, I actually took into consideration when choosing the community that I listed in the initial post I made in this thread (though the list was a "loose list" and not a 'solid list' persay), and I have actually made some adjustments to my livestock list.

The Coral Beauty Angel, is a pygmy species, and has a very slow growth rate. It is also not a schooling fish in any way, shape of form, and is considered a "gate keeper" type of fish, meaning it hovers over its specific territory for the most part, and does not need 'length' in a tank to prosper like some other angel species. This is why it is known to be a quintessential fish for "nano-reefs". Plus it is non-aggressive towards inverts/corals of almost all types and is for the most part, strictly vegitarian (though will eat micro-shrimps of various types - brine, etc.). The actual specimen that I chose, is very small (you'd have to see it), and I'm experienced enough to know that when a fish gets too big for it's environment, then it's time to find it a new home. The other species of Goby that I chose, are even less of a 'traveler' and are also considered "hover'ers" or "gate-keepers" and are very comfortable and can thrive very well in a tiny environment. Most of the Goby and Blenny species in our hobby live their whole life in the ocean in a radius of less than 5-10 feet; almost never leaving their territory (I find that amazing!) This is why I chose these animals for this project.





Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 220343)
I don't think that the mechanical filtration you have chosen to use will do anything to improve water quality. The bioballs and filter media will trap detritus and create a Nitrate factory, unless cleaned on an every other day basis.

Well, that's what bio-media is FOR... to trap detritus, and create Nitrate(good levels), that feeds bacteria. Nitrate can be controled through proper maintenance... you have to find its balance and maintain it, as in ANY aquarium. That's the whole nature of an artificial aquatic environment... it's not any different in any tank; the 'actual science behind it' is the same.

Again, it's all in how you maintain the aquatic environment, and that includes maintaining filtration, and of course I do realize that maintenance in this size tank will be more frequent and more involved than it would be in a 10 gallon, which is more involed than in a 20 gallon, and so on and so forth.


I do however listen to everythng that everyone has to say, because I believe that everyone here brings something to the table, and I never denounce that. There's always someone that not only knows more, but someone that may know something better (or) different, that can be a big help. In saying that, I want to post what I believe will be my final 'stocking list' and again, feedback (positive or negative) is always welcome with me, because to me it's all constructive, which is always good.


Top Water / Mid column dwellers:
(1) 2.5 inch Coral Beauty Angelfish (actually it's more like 1.5 inches)tiny juvinille

Lower Column / Bottom dwellers:
(2) small <1 inch - 1.5 inch> blue Scissortail Goby
(1) 1.5 inch Tiger Watchman Goby

Inverts:
(2) <<small>> Indian Ocean Condylactis (Candy) Anemones
(1) small Feather Duster worms (maybe two.. will decide after everything else is in)
(2) small Pistol Shrimp (thanks to the suggestion of 'OneFish2Fish')

SuperFishFan 07-30-2009 11:53 PM

Eventhough "Wake49" and "OneFish2Fish" may have a difference of opinion from myself i still respect them for it.

wake49 07-31-2009 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperFishFan (Post 220435)
A bio-load is only as large as the maintenance that you practice on any specific artificial aquatic environment, and is based on generally four things:
1). feeding habits
2). eating habits (different than feeding habits)
3). maintenance practices (including the maintenance of the chemical and biological well being of the tank)
4). suppliment knowledge and applications (both in food <diet > and protein/mineral suppliments)

I would think that maintenance is dependant on Bio-Load. I am looking at this algebraically: x amount of fish produce y amount of waste per day, based on z times feeding. x becomes a constant, for example: 4. y & z becomed scheduled: feed once per day, fish produces (for arguments sake) 2 ml. If we wanted no more than 20 ml of waste in our system at one time, we would have to clean the filter every other day. If we had 10 fish in the same system, we would have to clean the filter every day. That is why I would say that bio-load is independant of maintenance. These fish will produce waste and compete for food no matter how often we clean. But on the other hand, maintenance depends on bioload; obviously the more animals in our system, the greater the maintenance.


Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperFishFan (Post 220435)
The Coral Beauty Angel, is a pygmy species, and has a very slow growth rate. It is also not a schooling fish in any way, shape of form, and is considered a "gate keeper" type of fish, meaning it hovers over its specific territory for the most part, and does not need 'length' in a tank to prosper like some other angel species. This is why it is known to be a quintessential fish for "nano-reefs". Plus it is non-aggressive towards inverts/corals of almost all types and is for the most part, strictly vegitarian (though will eat micro-shrimps of various types - brine, etc.). The actual specimen that I chose, is very small (you'd have to see it), and I'm experienced enough to know that when a fish gets too big for it's environment, then it's time to find it a new home. The other species of Goby that I chose, are even less of a 'traveler' and are also considered "hover'ers" or "gate-keepers" and are very comfortable and can thrive very well in a tiny environment. Most of the Goby and Blenny species in our hobby live their whole life in the ocean in a radius of less than 5-10 feet; almost never leaving their territory (I find that amazing!) This is why I chose these animals for this project.

Can you please reference this section to a study done, or an group observation proving that these creatures are "gate-keepers" or "hover'ers"? I have searched every resource I can think of and they all say that this fish is a roamer. The reccommended amount of tank for this fish averages 50 gallons minimum. I have seen as little as thirty, and one that said sixty. Every time I read up on this creature, I read something like: "The Coral Beauty Angel should be kept in a tank of 50 gallons or larger, so it'll have ample room to roam." (1) These creatures also like lots of room for algae grazing and rockwork to hide in. I personally don't think that 5 gallons can provide that.

You are suggesting putting this fish in an enviroment 1/10 the size reccommended. If I were in a room 1/10 the size of one that I live in (for an extended period of time), I wouldn't get the proper exercise, and with cell-mates I would compete heavily to eat.

I am a very stubborn person, and after someone bought a Hippo Tang for me, I threw him in my 46 gallon as a juvenile. I fought tooth and nail to keep him in my 46. I was wrong. I realized that I have a responsibilty to make this enviroment as comfortable as possible for my inhabitants. About six months later I upgraded my tank for two reasons: 1) to give the Hippo ample swimming room, and 2) to never make that mistake again. I will never again purposely put a fish in a tank that is too small for him to appropriately grow and flourish in his juvenile state.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperFishFan (Post 220435)
Well, that's what bio-media is FOR... to trap detritus, and create Nitrate(good levels), that feeds bacteria. Nitrate can be controled through proper maintenance... you have to find its balance and maintain it, as in ANY aquarium. That's the whole nature of an artificial aquatic environment... it's not any different in any tank; the 'actual science behind it' is the same.

I use the Berlin method, I believe it's called. Live Rock, Live Sand (4" depth) and a protein skimmer. I used a Fluval canister filter for six months, and I couldn't keep up with it. If I had missed a cleaning, or fed heavy, it was a disaster. I got rid of anything that resembled a spongle or filter floss after that. My Nitrates are zero, and I have no problems with excess nutrients. But I see no problem with using a canister if you are planning on keeping up with it. It's just not my cup of tea.

I am glad to invite difference of opinion. I love to learn about new ways to do things and thatdifference of opinion has helped me to change things for the better on my system. I still would love to follow this build, no matter what route you go, so keep us updated!

Reference:
(1) http://www.reeftime.com/profiles/dwa...uty/100011.htm

SuperFishFan 07-31-2009 04:00 PM

P.S. Wake49 - hey buddy, I'll respond to your post/questions as soon as I get home tonight and settled (in my office right now), cool? Alright, Peace.

Mike 07-31-2009 06:41 PM

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jwalker314 08-01-2009 12:19 PM

i enjoy watching builds from start to finish, so please post some pictures as you progress..thanks!


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