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The Saltwater Sunset

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Have a Cichlid tank that was doing well, so I wanted to try my hand at a saltwater tank. Not sure if we are headed in the right direction or not? Was hoping for opinions, constructive criticism or whatever just please keep it to ideas that will improve the quality of life for the tank. 

It's a 15 gallon tank. (I personally think the 15gal should be the quarantine tank and use the larger 40gal tank as the "Ta-da-da Tank" , the "aren't you so jealous of my absolutely gorgeous aquarium tank?" . But he thinks that is aiming a little too big, so here we are... Compromising with a 15)".

I am just learning about all this; lighting, coral, flow, zooplankton, etc. So please tell me if I havethings that aren't compatible or if something else would work better.

But a CoraLife T5 light, but it's just white so there is also a blue LED light.

Just the regular filter that came with the tankI was unsure if I would need a better one if I got a protein skimmer, but some have said such a small tank doesn't need a protein skimmer.

The small heater that came with the tank. I live in Central CA, and the heater has kept the water 77-78.6. Check it 2x a day along with the SG which is staying between 1.0228-1.0247. I have not checked the PH, nitrates or nitrites. HoweverI take watersamples to the Aquarium Store and he tests the water weekly and says consistently good. 

Everything I have read online says to start with rock then a clean up crew so there is dry rockstacked in there. Then we added some crabs and snails. When they did good, we added a couple more and two of the most beautiful little perculas (Bruce and Nemo). 

I am thinking a Red Dragonette but have since been informed of their difficulty. So maybe just a scooter blenny and some coral. I have never tried to raise coral before so I think I should start with Toadstool. It's not my favorite, but they say it is hardy and if I can get it to thrive maybe a birds nest and go from there. I guess I am just not sure how many crabs, lobsters, snails and fish can go in the tank. I know not many that's why I want the larger tank I would love a Mandarin gooby or a tang. But I want tank inhabitants quality of life to be what's on the forefront, not how many differentcolors I can fit in my computer desk tank.

But any questions just ask.


"A woman without a man, is like a fish without a bicycle."





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10 minutes ago, Mssa9188 said:

Took me a minute, but I think I got all the duplicate repost down.






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15g is fine if it's set up correctly.


Did you cycle the tank prior to adding livestock?

Dry rock on its own will take over 4 weeks to cycle without dosing ammonia and bacteria.


How much light do you have on the 15g? 1 bulb?


When you say the filter the tank came with, is it a hang on filter- what media is being used?


To be help you better we need more detailed info.


Red scooter- they are as difficult as mandarins, these are very demanding fish that require a lot of care. Basically, not a fish for newbs.

Tangs need 70g +


Mandarins need constant supply of pods as they eat constantly. It is a fish that needs the dedication you would give to a dog.

There are threads on here on Mandarins. Check it out.


In a 15g you could add a small goby but that's it for fish.


As for inverts. Snails are needed but only add what you need or they starve and die.

Shrimp- 1 cleaner shrimp is good or 2-3 sexy shrimp.

A few hermit crabs are cool. Scarlet or Halloween hermits are great.


Your salinity needs stability. With corals as a plan it should be 1.025 or 1.026 (1 or the other)

Are you testing it with a refractometer? 

The uneven numbers is due to uneven amounts of top up water being added.


When the tank is full and at correct salinity. Make a small mark on the side of the tank.

The next morning, top up with fresh water to that mark. Check salinity, it should be spot on.


Top up daily to maintain stability.


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:welcome:Cute clowns. Clown79 always has good advise. No Scooter blenny please, it will slowly starve to death in an unestablished tank. There are lots of "easy" corals to choose from. Most leathers and mushrooms will do fine with the lighting that you have.Green star polyps (GSP) is also an option, as are xenia.  Acans may also be an option but you have to feed them. once a little more established and you have some nutrients in the system Zoanthids can add some color and variety. If you want to do more than these, then you need to do some research on lighting, as your blue LED is probably just a moon light and will not do much for growth of corals.

If you've had success with discus, then you understand the importance of pH and alkalinity stability. Same goes here. You shouldn't chase pH, but rather keep your alkalinity as stable as possible. Invest in an Auto Top Off unit to keep your salinity stable and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.

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