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FishyTheManokit

Help with wishlist equipment for my 9 gallon reef, possible overkill?

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FishyTheManokit
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So I've had my Eheim 9 gallon aquarium set up as a reef for about 7-8 months, in terms of equipment I've had: the standard filter with a strip of activated carbon, a corallia powerhead (the kind you see on pretty much every nano aquarium), and an Eheim heater.

I have nothing in terms of dosing or ATO, so my chemistry probably isn't the most stable, and I have next to nothing in terms of testing kits, I dose haphazardly with kents marine essential elements and vitamins about every other week and my coral seem fine (a collection of zoas, lps, and sps, as well as an anemone and a gorgonian)

 

But with my birthday approaching in august and with a growing urge to improve upon my skills as a reefer I decided that I'm going to get some better equipment for my birthday, but the question is what?

 

What I did was go on BRS and look around for a fair chunk of time, I even called them and had a great talk with someone for about 20 minutes, and end the end I found quite a few pieces that I'm now looking into in more depth, these are as follows:

Reef Octopus classic 90 HOB skimmer

Reef Octopus octo pulse 2 wave pump

Xp Aqua duetto dual-sensor ATO system

CPR Aquatics small aquafuge 2 HOB refugium with LED lighting

Hanna Instruments professional reef test kit

 

All in all this is nearly 1 grand, which is a terrifying thing to think off, so my question to you all is this: Would it be worth it in the long run to get all of this equipment? I know getting a skimmer and an ATO are practically necessary for a thriving reef tank, but would it be overkill for a tank as small as mine?

 

and with a refugium and skimmer, how exactly do they benefit the tank? I know they both kinda serve as filtration but I'm having a hard time seeing the benefits that they hold over the classic HOB filters.

 

and would it be easier to get all of these things online? since I did find all of them on BRS, or would it be better to try and find them in my LFS? Which one would be more cost effective? 

 

And finally, would all of this benefit the health of my corals? or would the difference be negligible?

 

Any and all feedback is welcome, I really need some advice from fellow reefers.

Edited by FishyTheManokit
forgot to insert some information

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hotdrop

A grand is too much for a 9g tank. 

 

At 9 gallons- less with rocks you can easily do 50% weekly water changes, you don’t need a skimmer they can be really loud outside of a cabinet. You can keep you nitrates in check without one. 

Buy a used ATO for 100-120. Get one with redundancy 

You don’t need a Hanna except for phosphate. But it does make it a lot faster to check water parameters. How much time do you want to spend adjusting alkalinity?

The Hob fuge is a solution to a problem you probably don’t have. You’ll drive your nitrates to zero but now you’ll have to dose them back. You just created a lot of problems for yourself.

If you don’t have a nice light get a prime, kessil or Radeon 

If you don’t like the look of you powerhead a MP10 is nice but it won’t make your corals grow any better than a $30 wave maker. 

 

 

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FishyTheManokit
1 minute ago, hotdrop said:

A grand is too much for a 9g tank. 

 

At 9 gallons- less with rocks you can easily do 50% weekly water changes, you don’t need a skimmer they can be really loud outside of a cabinet. You can keep you nitrates in check without one. 

Buy a used ATO for 100-120. Get one with redundancy 

You don’t need a Hanna except for phosphate. But it does make it a lot faster to check water parameters. How much time do you want to spend adjusting alkalinity?

The Hob fuge is a solution to a problem you probably don’t have. You’ll drive your nitrates to zero but now you’ll have to dose them back. You just created a lot of problems for yourself.

If you don’t have a nice light get a prime, kessil or Radeon 

If you don’t like the look of you powerhead a MP10 is nice but it won’t make your corals grow any better than a $30 wave maker. 

 

 

got it, thanks for the help man.

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hotdrop

Figure out what you want to do with your tank that you can’t now and people here many with more experience than I can help you figure out how to get there. 

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blasterman

Bubble magus QQ1 HOB skimmer is perfect for a 10 gal tank and costs less than $100. If anything it's overkill, but it's the best performing HOB skimmer I've ever used for a small tank.

 

Also, I strongly disagree with not needing a skimmer on a small tank. I only skim every couple of weeks in my small tanks because the Magus scrubs every protein out in about 48 hours and I can't keep my nitrates up in a heavily growing mixed zoa / montipora tank anyways. The rest of the time it's acting as a beneficial aerator , and pH is a huge freakin problem with small tanks. 75% of the time my Magus isn't skimming because there's nothing to skim, but it's eliminating the need for kalk and I no longer worry nor care about pH. Or, you can be one of the thousands of nano  reefers who whine about poor coral growth with shriveled up zoa colonies with no skirt extension and stunted euphyllia. It's pH, and water changes don't help pH. If anything they make it worse for a short time.

 

Also, 50% water changes a week are a joke, If you want to keep a pico tank in a big whine sniffer that's one thing, but in a standard tank that's ridiculous. I do a water change maybe 2x a year, but I also have enough fast growing coral to not need nutrient export and don't over stock. Alk is the only thing you really need to test for on a weekly basis with a small tank anyways.

 

Get a good heater.

 

ATOs are a luxury. I avoid them on a small tank because if they malfunction you have an instant mess, but it's your store.

 

 

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Clown79

It's not necessary to have a lot of equipment to run a pico or nano.

 

Each system is different. 

 

A skimmer isn't necessary, it has pros and cons on smaller tanks. This really depends on the system. Low nutrients can have consequences just like very high levels.

 

A refugium is nice since it can help produce pods which are competitors to some nasty things, they help provide food and clean.

It can also help control nutrients.

 

If you don't have a good light, that's where I would upgrade.

 

An ato is helpful but manual top ups work.

 

Dosing pumps are helpful but can be done manually.

 

Hanna alk and phosphate kit I think are great. 

The others have hit and miss reviews.

 

Salifert for ca and nitrates is good.

 

Koralia powerheads are good. If you like something where you can customize your flow to your tanks needs, the Aqamai kps is nice.

 

 

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Afropenguin
15 hours ago, FishyTheManokit said:

So I've had my Eheim 9 gallon aquarium set up as a reef for about 7-8 months, in terms of equipment I've had: the standard filter with a strip of activated carbon, a corallia powerhead (the kind you see on pretty much every nano aquarium), and an Eheim heater.

I have nothing in terms of dosing or ATO, so my chemistry probably isn't the most stable, and I have next to nothing in terms of testing kits, I dose haphazardly with kents marine essential elements and vitamins about every other week and my coral seem fine (a collection of zoas, lps, and sps, as well as an anemone and a gorgonian)

 

But with my birthday approaching in august and with a growing urge to improve upon my skills as a reefer I decided that I'm going to get some better equipment for my birthday, but the question is what?

 

What I did was go on BRS and look around for a fair chunk of time, I even called them and had a great talk with someone for about 20 minutes, and end the end I found quite a few pieces that I'm now looking into in more depth, these are as follows:

Reef Octopus classic 90 HOB skimmer

Reef Octopus octo pulse 2 wave pump

Xp Aqua duetto dual-sensor ATO system

CPR Aquatics small aquafuge 2 HOB refugium with LED lighting

Hanna Instruments professional reef test kit

 

All in all this is nearly 1 grand, which is a terrifying thing to think off, so my question to you all is this: Would it be worth it in the long run to get all of this equipment? I know getting a skimmer and an ATO are practically necessary for a thriving reef tank, but would it be overkill for a tank as small as mine?

 

and with a refugium and skimmer, how exactly do they benefit the tank? I know they both kinda serve as filtration but I'm having a hard time seeing the benefits that they hold over the classic HOB filters.

 

and would it be easier to get all of these things online? since I did find all of them on BRS, or would it be better to try and find them in my LFS? Which one would be more cost effective? 

 

And finally, would all of this benefit the health of my corals? or would the difference be negligible?

 

Any and all feedback is welcome, I really need some advice from fellow reefers.

Bruh you tryna get a skimmer rated for a 130 gallon tank and slap that on a 9 gallon tank. That skimmer is gonna be the size of your tank. At a 9 gallon tank you should just buy a wavemaker, some liverock, a 5 gallon bucket, and 2 5 gallon water containers and do water changes to fix all your problems. 


The ATO is a good idea so that you don't have to worry about topping off the tank every day. And if you HAD to buy something, just get a nice light like an AI prime and youre only 200 dollars in 😃

 

Personally with a small tank, I think having less equipment on it looks wayy cleaner. 

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