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2.5 Gallon planning. Sage advice needed.


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I'm toying with the idea of setting up a 2.5 gallon tank on my desk at work.


Here's my thoughts, and I'm hoping someone that has more experience can provide some advice and help me refine my plan.



2.5 Gallon AGA tank.

50 Watt submersible heater

90 gph power filter (Whisper 10).

Possibly a Mini-Jet 404 pump (106 gph)

Coralife Mini 18 Watt PC lighting (1 9W 10K, 1 9W Actinic).

Egg Crate to cover top of tank.

A siphon hose.

1 Liter soda bottle converted into an auto top of.

A few lbs of LR from my established 75 Gallon, or going to the LFS to get a few lbs of branch rubble and curing it at home.


I'm planning to keep it bare bottom for easier cleaning.


I have a 1.5 hour train ride from my house, by the PA border, to DC and then a block and a half walk from the train station, so I worry about the LR and any potential inhabitants. My plan was to bring all the dry goods down one day, 2 gallons of salt water the next day, set all the equipment up and let it run, and bring the LR a day or two after that.


In my office we have Deer Park bottled water. I'm assuming it's RO water, because I tested it with my TDS meter and got a reading of 4ppm. Other than that, I haven't tested it, but I was planning on using this for my top of water. I can always bring in a gallon of RO/DI to refill the auto top off.


I'm thinking weekly 50% water changes, so I'd have to bring a gallon of saltwater from home for the water changes. I can adjust the Alk and pH before I bottle it and bring it in, but I'm not sure how I'm going to bring it up to temp before I dump it in the tank. I'm guessing a heater will fit inside the mouth of a gallon jug, so maybe I need two heaters?


I'm still not sure how I'll keep the LR warm on the trip down. I can bag it and put it in a styrofoam box, but I'm sure it will cool off several degrees on the trip down. Any ideas on how to keep the LR warm?...oooh, just remembered...the train has 110 Volt outlets, might be able to keep a heater and a mini pump running.


After that...the usual wait, test, get all the parameters nailed down, and then stocking.


I'd like to put some zoo's, ricordia and mushrooms in it. What are some other suggestions for stocking? I don't want GSP or Xenia. For a clean up crew I was thinking about some Astrea and Cerith snails.


My other question is feeding. I can't see feeding it more than once or twice a week. I use frozen Cyclopeze at home for my planktavores, but since I don't have a freezer at work that I trust, I was thinking about using a dry pellet or flake food. Anyone have experience with the dried Cyclopeze?


Sound advice will not fall on deaf ears and is most appreciated.


Thanks in advance and happy reefing,



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welli wouldnt do a 50% water change every week that seems a lil much try doing half a gallon a week....i feed my coral marine snow it works fine....other then that it sounds fine

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Sounds like this is going to be an awesome tank. Can't wait to see pictures once it is up and running. Also, can you please post some info on your 1-liter auto top off system when you build it? I am very interested in this.

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The only reason I'm contemplating a 50% weekly water change is because I won't have a skimmer to remove DOM. I may not have to do 50% changes, but I want to at least be prepared to do it if I have to because of going BB and skimmerless. It's the only solution I've been able to come up with that deals with organic and phosphate loading.

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since everything in the tank will probably be softies some organics in the water should be fine. also i do have a 2.5 gallon and i'm doing like a 1 or 2 - 16oz cup water changes per week. Everything seems to thrive. If you are setting this tank up soon i wouldn't worry too much either about the temp. just keep it wet and transport in stryofoam cooler, should be fine. and again as far as water temp when doing water changes...u could use a heater but as long as the office is realtive warm 72 degrees or so i tink thats fine. this is how i do mine and the tank temp never drops more that a degree. i keep an aquaclear mini on the back for flow and this is where i add my b-ionic and water for topoffs and changes. i run 40 watts of pc on this tank and really have little to no evap. 4-5 oz per day, which i add back when i get home from work everyday. 2.jpg


Good luck!

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