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livnletfly

Dippin a toe into Nano Reefin, (the hard way)

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livnletfly

Hello all!

 just discovered this site and forum, giving the Aquarium Diary a try..

 

I decided after years of running planted, freshwater tanks that it's time to advance into something more challenging.  My freshwater tanks were 55 gal and 2 ten gal, with a couple terrarium type Betta "tanks" spread about the house. Now I am down to one 10 gal freshwater and the newer beginnings of a salt water 6 gal. Nano tank. It is a Fluval 6 G on 3rd week of cycling.

My hope is that the tank will not be high tech, I love some of the Nano and Pico tank designs shown on this site and they are so inspiring.

this Nano was started in part because the entire Refugium thing is a bit confusing and seems more complicated than just running a Nano tank without one.

 

So here it goes as of today;

 

Tank- Fluval 6 gal cube (originally a freshwater tank retired to the garage)

Filter- well currently its a no brand name with sponge, no media, for 10 G with spray bar removed to provide more of a wave type circulation, seems to work.

50 W heater - no brand from china

Current inhabitants; 2 Hermit Crabs, 2 roundish looking snails, and somehow i inherited a soft coral (i think?) that the LFS had put in my bag along with the snails. see photo below. no idea what type of soft coral it is but too far to drive to return it and i cant beat free (frag?).

I didn't think my tank would be ready for corals yet though but the thing has not died so far , possibly could be more green looking but that could be the lighting? I've been looking through photos online but either the coral is NOT happy so doesn't look the way it should or i'm not knowledgeable enough to identify it.

Lighting- is currently a Fluval Halo LED, it does switch from blue to white manually but its a crappy light, the new but small light for this tank will be delivered Monday. I have learned to turn off all lighting for water changes and that has seemed to help., the new light yet to arrive is here;

Amazon.com- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071LJC8HL/ref=pe_861660_138883610_fxm_4_0_n_id

 

No skimmer or refuge thing, doing daily water changes of 1 gallon (trying to control nitrates and ammonia)  combined with a 9$ filter, 14$ heater and a inexpensive light from amazon on the way.

 

Current water testing shows:

Salinity 0.24- Salt is Red Sea Pro and mixed myself after purchasing poor quality and low salinity from LFS, i gave up threw all the purchased salt water out and started over with my own mix using their RO water ( though i tested it first).

Lesson  2 learned, always test all water prior to adding to tank. (lesson 1, don't start a saltwater tank without more research and all supplies)

Ammonia Zero to .25 ppm (its kinda hard to read but in the middle of that)

Nitrates  no. 3, 5 to 10 ppm

So far everything seems happy even with some nitrates and ammonia, lighting is an issue hence new light on the way. I did observe some rock bleaching initially so until the new light arrives i am using the blue light more often, then switch on the white light for an hour or so (or when i see the coral close up)., trying to gradually extend the daylight time to 12 hours then hopefully the new light will be here and we can do it right with a timer.

 

My first observation;

 

 Was having some difficulty getting to the correct salinity level due to odd advice (well now i know), and purchasing premix from my LFS, which tells me immediately that if I create a much larger tank i may be mixing own and having a RO/DI system in place.  week 1 was daily water changes of more than 40% trying to get a stabilized salinity due to a combination of advice received from 4 LFS that we visited. Mainly what they thought mine should be, and what salinity theirs actually was compared to what they said it was at. after throwing it all down the drain in frustration I mixed my own and got above the . 16 i was getting from theirs.

After applying some tips learned in the Reef.com forums things have calmed down. Salinity is at a more acceptable level and my creatures are doing well so far, the coral I recently acquired doesn't seem to be doing too badly, it must be of a hardy variety.

My hope is to make this mainly a coral tank with some inverts and maybe a Goby so as soon as ammonia and nitrates more in control ill be starting to obtain a collection of 

Soft Corals then possibly a small fish, i might add one more crab too., they are sorta cool. I am researching fish though since was hoping for something more interesting than a Goby.

 Originally i was thinking there would be some soft coral and a small clown fish but now sorta feel it wouldn't be fair to the fish to be in such a small tank.

I feed the inverts a sliver of frozen shrimp every other day so as not to pollute my tank but initially the LFS told me to feed Bloodworms which they refused to eat and just polluted the tank.  Haven't noticed any Algea yet and it sounds like i need some to grow before the tank is considered established.

The hermit crabs have chosen new shells from a few I placed in the tank to keep them away from my snails and their pretty shells.

So that is all for now, gonna see how this goes and will give an update next week after the new light arrives.

 

Thank you for letting me participate and i appreciate greatly any advice anyone offers by way of comments to the diary.

 

 

 

 

 

Tank week 2 photo 4 08.03.2017.jpg

Tank photo week 2 photo 3 08.03.2017 (2).jpg

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Weetabix7

:welcome: to N-R!!!

 

After reading your first post, I suspect you'll do quite well with a Reef tank. 

The coral you have is called Green Star Polyps, tho it usually gets abbreviated to GSP on here. 

It's a very hardy Soft Coral. 

 

Mixing your own water is a good call. What salinity are you keeping it at?

From what you've said above, I'd strongly recommend that you not listen to any future advice from that store, really doesn't sound like they know what they're doing. 

 

Greenbanded Gobies are really cool, you should check into those. 

They're also small enough that you could get away with a pair in that tank. 

There are also lots of cool inverts you could keep. 

You could keep Rock Flower Anemones and and put some Anemone Shrimp with them. 

 

I don't know anything about that light but it looks interesting, I bookmarked it to check into it further. 

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livnletfly

Appreciate the information and critter idea/ feedback. :)

Right now salinity is at .24. Seems like a good middle ground for adding some soft coral in a week or so?

I actually just checked the Ammonia and its down to zero!

So thats progress anyway. Now to get those nitrates down and ill be good. 

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Weetabix7
24 minutes ago, livnletfly said:

Appreciate the information and critter idea/ feedback. :)

Right now salinity is at .24. Seems like a good middle ground for adding some soft coral in a week or so?

I actually just checked the Ammonia and its down to zero!

So thats progress anyway. Now to get those nitrates down and ill be good. 

 

Zero ammonia is great, you're past the biggest and earliest hurdle. 

I think most people on here keep their tanks at 1.026 SG, I keep mine at 1.025. 

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SaltyBuddha

:welcome: If your hermit crabs are still alive, your tank should be doing okay. Inverts are pretty sensitive to changes; from what I have seen mainly SG (specific gravity) and nitrates.

 

Your nitrates at 5 to 10ppm are fine for the corals/fish/inverts you want as well. My tank currently runs between 10 and 15 but I am trying to get it down under 10 again. It has been like this for a month though with no issues. The only time you really need nitrates down towards 0 are when you have more sensitive SPS like acroporas. 

 

http://saltwateraquariumhobby.com/water-parameters/nitrate-in-the-aquarium/

 

Not sure where you got your rocks, but it looks like it has coralline on it. Coralline is a calcified algae. I'm thinking it most likely bleached with the ammonia spike. It is not affected by lights and should grow back with stable parameters. 

 

I'd keep testing for ammonia over the next few days. If it stays at 0, then I would say you are safe to put in a coral or two to test the waters! Sounds like you have done your research and will be successful here.

 

Funny thing that you mention live plant tanks. I've always had a FW tank and unfortunately I was not the best owner. Since getting a SW tank, I have been keeping up on the FW tank much more frequently. I added live plants, a new light and started dosing to keep the plants healthy. I am actually having a worse time with the liveplant tank than my SW tank lol now that I'm dosing trace elements and CO2 I am hoping things go better.

 

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Lula_Mae

:welcome: to Nano-Reef!  The coral is GSP as Weetie said, and sometimes LFS are notorious for terrible advice lol.  I use distilled water to mix up my own saltwater and always have because I rarely have lived close enough to an LFS to bother with their water.  Plus, this way I know what is in it and what salt is used and can make it the specific gravity I want. 

 

I second the suggestion for green banded gobies.  They are adorable and I was going to put a pair in my 5.5 gallon (lost them in an unfortunate mishap while quarantining :().  Great little fishes!  There's other small gobies and a few small blennies (like the tailspot blenny or TSB) that would work in this size tank, too.  I do think it would be a bit small for a clown long term.

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livnletfly
19 hours ago, SaltyBuddha said:

:welcome: If your hermit crabs are still alive, your tank should be doing okay. Inverts are pretty sensitive to changes; from what I have seen mainly SG (specific gravity) and nitrates.

 

Your nitrates at 5 to 10ppm are fine for the corals/fish/inverts you want as well. My tank currently runs between 10 and 15 but I am trying to get it down under 10 again. It has been like this for a month though with no issues. The only time you really need nitrates down towards 0 are when you have more sensitive SPS like acroporas. 

 

http://saltwateraquariumhobby.com/water-parameters/nitrate-in-the-aquarium/

 

Not sure where you got your rocks, but it looks like it has coralline on it. Coralline is a calcified algae. I'm thinking it most likely bleached with the ammonia spike. It is not affected by lights and should grow back with stable parameters. 

 

I'd keep testing for ammonia over the next few days. If it stays at 0, then I would say you are safe to put in a coral or two to test the waters! Sounds like you have done your research and will be successful here.

 

Funny thing that you mention live plant tanks. I've always had a FW tank and unfortunately I was not the best owner. Since getting a SW tank, I have been keeping up on the FW tank much more frequently. I added live plants, a new light and started dosing to keep the plants healthy. I am actually having a worse time with the liveplant tank than my SW tank lol now that I'm dosing trace elements and CO2 I am hoping things go better.

 

Hi Thank you for the input and encouragement, im so excited to finally be getting somewhere with my water parameters. 

as of this morning, Salinity .25 (  i increased after last post), Ammonia , a big fat 0, nitrates below 10. ! whoop whoop!! lol.

Anyway, i have been looking all morning on line at different types of soft corals, would like to begin there then a fish or two.

i bought the rocks at the same LFS (whose salt water tested twice at a different LFS with refractometer and once by me with a plastic one.).

the paler piece of live rock was more purple but bleached out on the second day, now that the ammonia has leveled out the bleaching seems to have stopped for now. Maybe the good quality rocks have really helped with getting things going. (that and my obsessive , constant tweaking with the water).

Today we are going to go to a different LFS i found online just to check it out and well i might also researching a larger tank as well, lol. 

 I would really like to find a local source for coral and fish but so far online options are looking better. Yesterday I  did look at photos and information for both a Green Banded goby and a Green Clown Goby, would a GCG get along with a GB Goby do you think? I definitely want to find an Anemone and Anemone Shrimp those are very cool.

 

My freshwater tank is now located next to the SW and is doing well also. I agree, my FW does receive more attention now that I am nurturing the SW tank.

i had run Co2 on my 55 gal FW for about 5 years, with the tanks, regulator and all that but i got tired of messing with it . My current FW I am trying the Co2 tablets with Diffuser and though the tank is not as lush and health looking as it could be the treatment seems to have helped more than no Co2 at all.

Personally I thought it would be ineffective but seems to be holding things steady. I think the tablets can create an accumulation of copper though so just have to monitor as usual.

my current FW is shown below, all my fish seem to be hiding in that pic though but the current inhabitants; 1 Blue shrimp, giant snail, 2 pair endlers, 2 neons, a baby chocolate striped angel, a temp. resident female betta, and1 small long tail pleco.

 

FW tank 08.05.2017.jpg

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livnletfly
20 hours ago, Weetabix7 said:

 

Zero ammonia is great, you're past the biggest and earliest hurdle. 

I think most people on here keep their tanks at 1.026 SG, I keep mine at 1.025. 

i brought the salinity up to .25 so for the next two days now i am just going to let it run, try not to obsessively check the water every 4 hours and see what happens.

then Monday im going shopping! Well ive sort of already been shopping online but am nervous about buying frag, coral , etc online.

What are your thoughts on that?

thank you for the support, i am totally addicted.

d

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Weetabix7
15 minutes ago, livnletfly said:

i brought the salinity up to .25 so for the next two days now i am just going to let it run, try not to obsessively check the water every 4 hours and see what happens.

then Monday im going shopping! Well ive sort of already been shopping online but am nervous about buying frag, coral , etc online.

What are your thoughts on that?

thank you for the support, i am totally addicted.

d

 

If your nitrite is also at 0, I think you're okay to add some Soft Corals. 

Mushrooms, Xenia, Anthelia, Clove Polyps, that sort of thing. 

Welcome to the Reef Addiction!!

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livnletfly
4 hours ago, Weetabix7 said:

 

If your nitrite is also at 0, I think you're okay to add some Soft Corals. 

Mushrooms, Xenia, Anthelia, Clove Polyps, that sort of thing. 

Welcome to the Reef Addiction!!

So...this happened today.

I may have a tank hoarding problem started. Let the building begin! Well, slowly. Lol

20170805_124058.jpg

One is a 29 gallon the other is a 20 long.

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.Boris

I wish we had "dollar a gallon" sales in Europe.
What do you plan to put in them?

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Weetabix7
1 hour ago, livnletfly said:

So...this happened today.

I may have a tank hoarding problem started. Let the building begin! Well, slowly. Lol

20170805_124058.jpg

One is a 29 gallon the other is a 20 long.

 

Whoah!! :blink:

20L has always been one of my favorite tank sizes to work with.

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livnletfly

Its exciting, no idea what will be in them yet, still working on the nano.

Went back to that same LFS i got the GSP from and got some new inhabitants for the Nano cause you know im weak that way..

I JUST placed thwm in the tank, no fish yet tho but i swear i just saw a teeny tiny whitish looking starfish on the bottom of the  frag rock. The one on the left with that round button looking one on it.

Hes so little cant show up on my camera lol.

Hope he makes it!

20170805_151800.jpg

20170805_152505.jpg

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livnletfly

Do you think my hermit crabs will eat the tiny starfish?? :unsure:

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livnletfly

My stowaway..hes about the size of a pencil eraser.

20170805_175439.jpg

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Weetabix7
1 hour ago, livnletfly said:

My stowaway..hes about the size of a pencil eraser.

20170805_175439.jpg

 

Asterina Star, honestly don't remember if hermits would bother those. 

I think they usually don't, but who knows what would happen if they get hungry.

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heifinator
Just now, Weetabix7 said:

 

Asterina Star, honestly don't remember if hermits would bother those. 

I think they usually don't, but who knows what would happen if they get hungry.

 

The amount of asshole behavior a particular hermit crab presents is usually directly proportional to how much it has eaten recently. :D

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livnletfly

LOL, well i try to feed the hermits every other day or so, just a tiny sliver. dont want to pollute the tank..but they are starting to be kinda bad so maybe they need more.

23 hours ago, Weetabix7 said:

 

Asterina Star, honestly don't remember if hermits would bother those. 

I think they usually don't, but who knows what would happen if they get hungry.

Question; 

do you use any online resources for Corals or etc.? the LFS does not carry much in the way of chemicals, testing supplies or corals. When the new tank is ready , would like to get some of the more unusual corals if possible. im all for supporting the LFS but not much of a selection of anything there.

 

Can't wait for the larger tank so there will be at least one starfish. They are very cool.

Hubbie said when we get the other tank done it will be nice because we wont have to have other small tanks around..um, rrrriiggghht. sorry dude. lol.

 

2 more days til that darn light for the Nano tank comes, that's amazon prime shipping for ya. 2 days my ass its been more like 5 by then.

 

and Thank you :D

 

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livnletfly
On 8/5/2017 at 0:44 PM, livnletfly said:

So...this happened today.

I may have a tank hoarding problem started. Let the building begin! Well, slowly. Lol

20170805_124058.jpg

One is a 29 gallon the other is a 20 long.

 

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livnletfly
On 8/4/2017 at 7:14 AM, livnletfly said:

Hello all!

 just discovered this site and forum, giving the Aquarium Diary a try..

 

I decided after years of running planted, freshwater tanks that it's time to advance into something more challenging.  My freshwater tanks were 55 gal and 2 ten gal, with a couple terrarium type Betta "tanks" spread about the house. Now I am down to one 10 gal freshwater and the newer beginnings of a salt water 6 gal. Nano tank. It is a Fluval 6 G on 3rd week of cycling.

My hope is that the tank will not be high tech, I love some of the Nano and Pico tank designs shown on this site and they are so inspiring.

this Nano was started in part because the entire Refugium thing is a bit confusing and seems more complicated than just running a Nano tank without one.

 

So here it goes as of today;

 

Tank- Fluval 6 gal cube (originally a freshwater tank retired to the garage)

Filter- well currently its a no brand name with sponge, no media, for 10 G with spray bar removed to provide more of a wave type circulation, seems to work.

50 W heater - no brand from china

Current inhabitants; 2 Hermit Crabs, 2 roundish looking snails, and somehow i inherited a soft coral (i think?) that the LFS had put in my bag along with the snails. see photo below. no idea what type of soft coral it is but too far to drive to return it and i cant beat free (frag?).

I didn't think my tank would be ready for corals yet though but the thing has not died so far , possibly could be more green looking but that could be the lighting? I've been looking through photos online but either the coral is NOT happy so doesn't look the way it should or i'm not knowledgeable enough to identify it.

Lighting- is currently a Fluval Halo LED, it does switch from blue to white manually but its a crappy light, the new but small light for this tank will be delivered Monday. I have learned to turn off all lighting for water changes and that has seemed to help., the new light yet to arrive is here;

Amazon.com- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071LJC8HL/ref=pe_861660_138883610_fxm_4_0_n_id

 

No skimmer or refuge thing, doing daily water changes of 1 gallon (trying to control nitrates and ammonia)  combined with a 9$ filter, 14$ heater and a inexpensive light from amazon on the way.

 

Current water testing shows:

Salinity 0.24- Salt is Red Sea Pro and mixed myself after purchasing poor quality and low salinity from LFS, i gave up threw all the purchased salt water out and started over with my own mix using their RO water ( though i tested it first).

Lesson  2 learned, always test all water prior to adding to tank. (lesson 1, don't start a saltwater tank without more research and all supplies)

Ammonia Zero to .25 ppm (its kinda hard to read but in the middle of that)

Nitrates  no. 3, 5 to 10 ppm

So far everything seems happy even with some nitrates and ammonia, lighting is an issue hence new light on the way. I did observe some rock bleaching initially so until the new light arrives i am using the blue light more often, then switch on the white light for an hour or so (or when i see the coral close up)., trying to gradually extend the daylight time to 12 hours then hopefully the new light will be here and we can do it right with a timer.

 

My first observation;

 

 Was having some difficulty getting to the correct salinity level due to odd advice (well now i know), and purchasing premix from my LFS, which tells me immediately that if I create a much larger tank i may be mixing own and having a RO/DI system in place.  week 1 was daily water changes of more than 40% trying to get a stabilized salinity due to a combination of advice received from 4 LFS that we visited. Mainly what they thought mine should be, and what salinity theirs actually was compared to what they said it was at. after throwing it all down the drain in frustration I mixed my own and got above the . 16 i was getting from theirs.

After applying some tips learned in the Reef.com forums things have calmed down. Salinity is at a more acceptable level and my creatures are doing well so far, the coral I recently acquired doesn't seem to be doing too badly, it must be of a hardy variety.

My hope is to make this mainly a coral tank with some inverts and maybe a Goby so as soon as ammonia and nitrates more in control ill be starting to obtain a collection of 

Soft Corals then possibly a small fish, i might add one more crab too., they are sorta cool. I am researching fish though since was hoping for something more interesting than a Goby.

 Originally i was thinking there would be some soft coral and a small clown fish but now sorta feel it wouldn't be fair to the fish to be in such a small tank.

I feed the inverts a sliver of frozen shrimp every other day so as not to pollute my tank but initially the LFS told me to feed Bloodworms which they refused to eat and just polluted the tank.  Haven't noticed any Algea yet and it sounds like i need some to grow before the tank is considered established.

The hermit crabs have chosen new shells from a few I placed in the tank to keep them away from my snails and their pretty shells.

So that is all for now, gonna see how this goes and will give an update next week after the new light arrives.

 

Thank you for letting me participate and i appreciate greatly any advice anyone offers by way of comments to the diary.

 

 

 

 

 

Tank week 2 photo 4 08.03.2017.jpg

Tank photo week 2 photo 3 08.03.2017 (2).jpg

 The pictures below the 29 gal in progress are of the Nano tank as of today with the new light and a tiny speckled Bubble Tip Anemone (just added yesterday).

20170813_104355_001.jpg

20170813_104237_001.jpg

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