Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
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:evil: 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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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:evil: 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
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:-D I still have a few left. I see them come out of the substrate when I feed.

Gwen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
I love that rock shape on the left side! Looking very nice. Keep posting those pictures:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I love that rock shape on the left side! Looking very nice. Keep posting those pictures:p
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!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Ya' all did good!

Perspective is so interesting. Your tank looks like it could be huge :lol: Funny to think that is only a 10 gallon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ya' all did good!

Perspective is so interesting. Your tank looks like it could be huge :lol: 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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Will ferrell the clam
Cool! I saw one of those once in my rock, but I couldn't get at it, and wasn't sure if it was alive or dead. Never have seen it since. Lost track I think with all the life I do see. I love saltwater!

Gwen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Here is a pic of my aquarium room. The 75 gallon is in the family room
Nice. I like your room paint color and picture over tank too. Matching stands are nice! I assume you're now planning a tank stand for that little tank in the corner? He looks so lonely other there!:lol:

Gwen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Nice. I like your room paint color and picture over tank too. Matching stands are nice! I assume you're now planning a tank stand for that little tank in the corner? He looks so lonely other there!:lol:

Gwen
Yeah that's Masta Betta. He was upstairs in the manroom on top of a shelf, but since the summer time, it's been hard to keep that room cool. His water was getting over 82 degrees so I moved him downstairs to keep it stable. My husband has been looking for a nice table to put him on, just haven't found one yet.

Also my hubby picked out the pictures and the paint color and did all the painting. I stained the stands :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
oh hey, guess what i found today on my live rock.... a featherduster!!!! I named him tom. Then after more careful inspection, i found a whole colony of them on the other side of the rock. I didn't name those. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
Wow, your SW tank rocks!!! :)
If it wasn't for the heater, i would think it is a 40 or something :)
Can't wait to see were this goes :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: NewFishFiend

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I'm only in day 4 so no new updates other than the exciting lil critters i find when I actually have the time to look lol. I'll def post as i go along tho :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: GwenInNM

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Yeah that's Masta Betta. He was upstairs in the manroom on top of a shelf, but since the summer time, it's been hard to keep that room cool. His water was getting over 82 degrees so I moved him downstairs to keep it stable. My husband has been looking for a nice table to put him on, just haven't found one yet.

Also my hubby picked out the pictures and the paint color and did all the painting. I stained the stands :)
LOL on the name of your Betta! I work with a teacher that named her's the same name! I wonder if that is the most common name for Betta's?
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top