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Several questions, you guys ROCK!


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First off, this forum has been great. I've learned so much reading from topic to topic.


Secondly, I have a 5.5 nano that is not necessarily perfect, but is clipping along just fine. I wanted to do an office setup and after a month or two of research, two weeks letting the water cycle, another week with LS/LR and now two months with a varied cleaner crew and even a zoo colony, things are going quite well.


I'm getting into some of the newbie realm though and would appreciate some clarification from what I've learned on a few topics.


First off, my tank setup and "cast"


5.5 AGA, AquaClear HOB Filter, Micropump 250GPH for circulation, Visitherm 80W heater (water has been between 77.2 and 78.4 since inception) 11 lbs Tonga LR, 6 lbs LS (crushed corraline), 1 pepp shrimp (yes, confirmed pepp), 1 sm-med green brittle star (hasn't bothered anything yet, enjoys hand feeding and tolerates the pepp playing pile on quite often, they both sleep in the same "cave"), 1 blue legged hermit, 1 emerald crab (recent addition due to some hair algae, seems to be loving his new home isn't even scared of me anymore :) and the hair algae is down a great deal), 3 margarita snails, and one small zoo colony. Oh, and of course, two 13W CF, one 10000K, one blue actinic


Water for initial and cycling purposes grocery store distilled water. Used instant ocean for salt.


Readings: Ammonia 0.25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 15, SG 1.027 (Yep, gonna fix that in a day with water change, read below)




1. After research, I cleaned out a lion's share of the cyano (some hard to reach left) and put about 1/3 of a crushed maracyn tablet into the tank to get rid of the rest for now. I plan to do a 20% water change in 24 hours and a second 10-15% in 72 hours to help with the salinity, ammonia and to get rid of additional ammonia from the cyano die-off. Any other comments on this portion??


2. The zoo colony seems fairly happy, but it did seem happier at one point (will post a pic or two this evening) I had one asternid star on the glass (now gone) and have several of the polyps with small white dots between the tentacles. I removed some hair algae and cyano from the tentacles by hand (they seemed to LOVE this after they reopened). What should I spot feed them to make them a little happier (heard about the eye dropper feedings, but can't seem to find out what to feed.)


3. Can you recommend any other additions to the cleaner crew? I'd love to get a small false clown, but will wait another month or two until I have happy, stable readings for at least two weeks consecutive.


4. I would love to get a second coral, but will also wait for things to stabilize somewhat. What would you recommend? I'm still looking for hardy, newbie corals.


5. Yes, the hobby has taken me and I plan to set up a 75 or 90 gal at home so I'll have places to transfer things from, but this will be at least a month or two before I even start to get water in, let alone LR/LS to cycle. Any other ideas of what I should be checking on this tank??


Thanks again and I'm sorry this is so long-winded. That's me :)



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Third, the zoo colony. The polyps were deeper green a while back, and the white spots that I'm concerned about between the "tentacles" are visible here.

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1)Sounds right.


2)You can direct feed frozen brine. They'll love it.


3) In my 5.5 I have 7 blue legs, 2 tiny emeralds, 2 teeny tiny decorators, 6 turbo snails and 2 1.5" FL Keys Cucumbers. If I were you id get a few more Blue legs and about 5 turbo snails.


4) Good, hardy newb corals: Any shrooms, zooanthids, Green Star Polyps, brown star polyps.......


5) So far so good. You may wanna look into a lighting upgrade, although its not completely necessary... I have 2x28w'ers on my 5.5 and its jamming, new corraline growth everyday. By the looks of your hood youve got more than enough room. Another thing, ya might wanna check out B-ionic. Its a great additive, easy to dose and pretty cheap too. Just to keep levels desirable


Welcome to the 5.5 club, if you have anymore questions ask.

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  • 11 months later...

Hey paramedic, tank is looking great. One recommendation for you. Look into green brittle stars and their fish eating habits. There are many threads on this website and on reefcentral.com that dont recommend green brittles because they have a nasty habit of sneaking up on sleeping fishes. I would trade that in for a red or brown brittle. Mine is quite large now since I have had him for over a year in my nano, and my fish sleep nearby with no ill effect . Hate to see you lose any fish because of the star. Good luck!

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