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Punk_Rock_Blenny

First Saltwater Aquarium - Planning Stage

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Punk_Rock_Blenny

Greetings all,

 

A little about me, I have been interested in picking up my first ever Aquarium since the start of the year, However I have been reading, reading and reading. I plan to start off with a FOWLR tank.

 

This weekend i stumbled across a Tank while I was selling off a few things around the house at a car boot sale, its a 15 gallon (90L) Freshwater set up. I already know that I will want to eventually switch out the lighting for LEDs that will support coral growth, but this is going to be a long way down the line. I need to measure out the LED strip placement within the lid. The Internal Sponge Filter is rated at 5x the tank volume so 75GPH so I am looking at picking up a Powerhead also. I was initially looking at the Evo Sea 13.5G as my first tank but have gone for bigger and cheaper. 

 

The Tank is 2 Foot, by 1 foot, by 1 foot. So a nice size tank and potential scape to work with.  I am initially thinking of 3-4 Fish for the tank, I want to include different levels as well as colours and movement so have decided more or less initially on a Blenny or Goby as my bottom feeder. (or Mandarin - Probably not)

 

First question comes with stocking, I don't really want a Clown having read as much as I have on these, I would like some colourful and active fish in the tank. I really like the Purples and Yellows so I am thinking; Have I picked anything that would be unsuitable either in aggression or tank size that I should reconsider (Probably Mandarin)

  • Flashback Pygmy Basslet
  • Strawberry Pygmy Basslet
  • Gramma (False)
  • Red Speckled Coral Goby
  • Firefish - Purple
  • Mandarin

 

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Ratvan

Hi, welcome to the Hobby and this great forum.

Hope someone will help you out soon.

 

I am no expert but I think that the Bassslet's need a larger sized tank then you currently have, also the Mandarin I have looked at for a while now and seems generally that it is a more difficult fish to keep.

 

The Firefish and Goby Combination sounds good though. 

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pappadumplingz

Congrats on starting a new tank! I would highly recommend you buy an appropriately sized hang on back (HOB) filter rather than use the sponge filter. HOB filters basically act as little sumps, which allows you to add different filter mediums like marine pure or carbon separate from the display. They are also a lot easier to maintain overall, as it requires only cleaning the pre filter material. Other than that, it seems you've done your research, so good luck for now!

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
57 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Hi, welcome to the Hobby and this great forum.

Hope someone will help you out soon.

 

I am no expert but I think that the Bassslet's need a larger sized tank then you currently have, also the Mandarin I have looked at for a while now and seems generally that it is a more difficult fish to keep.

 

The Firefish and Goby Combination sounds good though. 

Thank you for the welcome

Can you point me to where you got that information? My LFS was adamant that they could go in smaller tanks (10G) unless this was sales based selling?

 

57 minutes ago, pappadumplingz said:

Congrats on starting a new tank! I would highly recommend you buy an appropriately sized hang on back (HOB) filter rather than use the sponge filter. HOB filters basically act as little sumps, which allows you to add different filter mediums like marine pure or carbon separate from the display. They are also a lot easier to maintain overall, as it requires only cleaning the pre filter material. Other than that, it seems you've done your research, so good luck for now!

The thing is, I really dislike the HOBS and the looks of the HOBS. Do I Need a filter? Could I not remove the filter media and replace with my own?

Could I go Powerhead or two and Live Rock and call it a day?

I was also looking into the Cannister Filters as an option

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Ratvan
3 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Thank you for the welcome

Can you point me to where you got that information? My LFS was adamant that they could go in smaller tanks (10G) unless this was sales based selling?

I use Liveaquaria.com, they have a pretty good database and care sheet. 

 

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colinadam

I think if you went powerhead and water change only you will want to keep the boiload down, meaning less fish. 

 

Skip the Mandarin as they are very difficult to keep in nanos

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
17 minutes ago, colinadam said:

I think if you went powerhead and water change only you will want to keep the boiload down, meaning less fish. 

 

Skip the Mandarin as they are very difficult to keep in nanos

So a Firefish Pair and a Interesting Goby/Shrimp Pair? 3 Fish would that Bioload be adequate? Would i be likely to see the fish?

 

What makes the Mandarin so difficult?

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Ratvan
28 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

So a Firefish Pair and a Interesting Goby/Shrimp Pair? 3 Fish would that Bioload be adequate? Would i be likely to see the fish?

 

What makes the Mandarin so difficult?

The Diet essentially, they require a "Mature Tank" and eat lots of Pods. Very hard to take prepared or frozen foods. I've longingly stared at them as well. Unless you plan on breeding a food source in a 'fuge or something?

 

What Power heads are you looking at at the minute? 

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Superdave
6 hours ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Thank you for the welcome

Can you point me to where you got that information? My LFS was adamant that they could go in smaller tanks (10G) unless this was sales based selling?

 

The thing is, I really dislike the HOBS and the looks of the HOBS. Do I Need a filter? Could I not remove the filter media and replace with my own?

Could I go Powerhead or two and Live Rock and call it a day?

I was also looking into the Cannister Filters as an option

I use a HOB, but provided you have enough live rock/sand and flow from powerheads/pumps of some sort, a HOB is not entirely necessary.  If you went that route, you will want to think about how to get rid of excess nutrients (especially if you want several critters!) which could be done via good water changes/sand cleaning.  I use a HOB as it allows me to utilize floss to "trap" excess nutrients/gunk.  I see where you are coming from as far as the "look" of the HOB is not for everyone.  This is mostly why the all-in-one or overflow/false wall setups are so desirable.  Sumps serve this purpose and (as they are usually hidden) save display for just livestock and not equipment.  

 

Canisters work, but from what I have read the hassle/trouble of cleaning them out weighs the rewards.  

 

I have read dozens of posts about people who get mandarins and while they might last for a while, will eventually starve.  They are just too difficult to keep in anything smallish.  Some species are good are taking food, others not so much and it seems mandarins are definitely finicky.  Usually I see them in tanks close to 100 gallons or more.  Can it be done and or is/has someone kept one in a nano?  I am sure they have, but the odds are not in the favor of even the more seasoned reefers. 

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pappadumplingz
10 hours ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Thank you for the welcome

Can you point me to where you got that information? My LFS was adamant that they could go in smaller tanks (10G) unless this was sales based selling?

 

The thing is, I really dislike the HOBS and the looks of the HOBS. Do I Need a filter? Could I not remove the filter media and replace with my own?

Could I go Powerhead or two and Live Rock and call it a day?

I was also looking into the Cannister Filters as an option

Was probably sales based selling from the LFS. Heres a r2r thread on HOBS: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/anyone-use-an-hob-filter-succsessfully-on-a-reef-tank.142900/. Honestly though running a tank with a HOB will have a very similar maintenance schedule to any other filter medium

 

You can definitely change out the media in a HOB, I wouldn't do otherwise when running any tank with one. As long as you have some pre-filter material for particles, some decent quality biomedia, and some carbon, you'll basically be set. Canisters are harder to maintain long term purely due to their out of sight, out of mind nature. You can't see the detritus build up like a sump or HOB filter. I'd also highly recommend starting off with dry rock and seeding the tank with a bottled bacteria supplement, it'll save you a lot of hassle with pests in the long run, and its cheaper too.

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
14 hours ago, Superdave said:

I use a HOB, but provided you have enough live rock/sand and flow from powerheads/pumps of some sort, a HOB is not entirely necessary.  If you went that route, you will want to think about how to get rid of excess nutrients (especially if you want several critters!) which could be done via good water changes/sand cleaning.  I use a HOB as it allows me to utilize floss to "trap" excess nutrients/gunk.  I see where you are coming from as far as the "look" of the HOB is not for everyone.  This is mostly why the all-in-one or overflow/false wall setups are so desirable.  Sumps serve this purpose and (as they are usually hidden) save display for just livestock and not equipment.  

 

Canisters work, but from what I have read the hassle/trouble of cleaning them out weighs the rewards.  

 

I have read dozens of posts about people who get mandarins and while they might last for a while, will eventually starve.  They are just too difficult to keep in anything smallish.  Some species are good are taking food, others not so much and it seems mandarins are definitely finicky.  Usually I see them in tanks close to 100 gallons or more.  Can it be done and or is/has someone kept one in a nano?  I am sure they have, but the odds are not in the favor of even the more seasoned reefers. 

Ok so i'll bow to common knowledge and the Mandarin, like i thought is out. 

I like the idea of Powerheads and Live rock and water changes.  

I'm still looking for Cannister Filters with an In Line Heater. I hear what you say regarding cleaning but i'd honestly prefer something I can maintain separately so to speak.  

9 hours ago, pappadumplingz said:

Was probably sales based selling from the LFS. Heres a r2r thread on HOBS: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/anyone-use-an-hob-filter-succsessfully-on-a-reef-tank.142900/. Honestly though running a tank with a HOB will have a very similar maintenance schedule to any other filter medium

 

You can definitely change out the media in a HOB, I wouldn't do otherwise when running any tank with one. As long as you have some pre-filter material for particles, some decent quality biomedia, and some carbon, you'll basically be set. Canisters are harder to maintain long term purely due to their out of sight, out of mind nature. You can't see the detritus build up like a sump or HOB filter. I'd also highly recommend starting off with dry rock and seeding the tank with a bottled bacteria supplement, it'll save you a lot of hassle with pests in the long run, and its cheaper too.

Yeah I have been reading a few Journals (especially @Ratvan's) and I think that starting with Dry seems to be the safer way to get started. 

Although some of those Hitch hikers seem to be either useful or interesting...

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Ratvan

Nothing wrong with hitch hikers, i just like to poke 'em

its my own way of welcoming things to my tank lol

 

I might have an external knocking around somewhere, what gph you after?

Might be an old Pond Pump

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SaltyBuddha

There are lots of different opinions on forums. Keep doing your research and go with what you are comfortable.

 

Going without an HOB means you will want to have a lower bioload (less fish) in your tank. I love the look of these tanks. Super clean.

Going with an HOB gives you the means for mechanical, chemical and additional biological filtration.

 

FOWLR tanks have more room for nutrients because you only worry about the fish. 

When you start adding coral, that is when you will see problems with a nutrient rich tank.

 

4 fish in a 15 gallon are pushing it in my opinion. You need to remember that after sand/rocks/equipment you will probably only have 11 to 13 gallons of actual water. My IM10 only holds 6.5 gallons of water and my 20 gallon has 16.5.  

 

Live aquaria is a great resource for basic information on fish species. From there, you can narrow down compatibility choices and do further research if you want. 

 

I would also recommend adding some macro algae. Highly underrated. They give great movement to the tank, give fish places to hide, allow pod populations to increase, and reduce nitrates/phosphates in the tank naturally. If you go without an HOB, the macros can help be your chemical/biological filtration. 

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
19 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Nothing wrong with hitch hikers, i just like to poke 'em

its my own way of welcoming things to my tank lol

 

I might have an external knocking around somewhere, what gph you after?

Might be an old Pond Pump

Anything higher GPH than what I currently have to be honest, as long as it is adjustable i'm sure that it can work. I'd prefer to overfilter the tank rather than anything else. If not have found some online that i would try out. 

19 hours ago, SaltyBuddha said:

There are lots of different opinions on forums. Keep doing your research and go with what you are comfortable.

 

Going without an HOB means you will want to have a lower bioload (less fish) in your tank. I love the look of these tanks. Super clean.

Going with an HOB gives you the means for mechanical, chemical and additional biological filtration.

 

FOWLR tanks have more room for nutrients because you only worry about the fish. 

When you start adding coral, that is when you will see problems with a nutrient rich tank.

 

4 fish in a 15 gallon are pushing it in my opinion. You need to remember that after sand/rocks/equipment you will probably only have 11 to 13 gallons of actual water. My IM10 only holds 6.5 gallons of water and my 20 gallon has 16.5.  

 

Live aquaria is a great resource for basic information on fish species. From there, you can narrow down compatibility choices and do further research if you want. 

 

I would also recommend adding some macro algae. Highly underrated. They give great movement to the tank, give fish places to hide, allow pod populations to increase, and reduce nitrates/phosphates in the tank naturally. If you go without an HOB, the macros can help be your chemical/biological filtration. 

I'm most likely going to drop it to 3 fish, or three fish and a shrimp

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Ratvan
6 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Anything higher GPH than what I currently have to be honest, as long as it is adjustable i'm sure that it can work. I'd prefer to overfilter the tank rather than anything else. If not have found some online that i would try out. 

I'm most likely going to drop it to 3 fish, or three fish and a shrimp

I think it is 105GPH, i'll take pictures and pm you later on this evening

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Punk_Rock_Blenny

Ok so I have decided against any forms of filtration other than that provided by the Live Rock.

What is the difference between a Wavemaker and a Powerhead? Is it randomisation of the flow or something?

Anywho leaning towards picking up a couple of cheap power heads/wave makers, I feel fairly confident that I can hide these within the tank for a clean look

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Ratvan
13 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Ok so I have decided against any forms of filtration other than that provided by the Live Rock.

What is the difference between a Wavemaker and a Powerhead? Is it randomisation of the flow or something?

Anywho leaning towards picking up a couple of cheap power heads/wave makers, I feel fairly confident that I can hide these within the tank for a clean look

I believe that is correct yes, the Power heads are directional flow. Wave makers are more dispersed over a wider area.... I think

The external no use to you?

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
7 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

The external no use to you?

I need to play around with it still. I think that I have a use for it, maybe just not on this one.

You sure you do'nt want/need it?

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Ratvan
Just now, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

I need to play around with it still. I think that I have a use for it, maybe just not on this one.

You sure you do'nt want/need it?

Nah it's fine, plus if i give stuff away it pleases the missus. Happy wife happy life and that

If you don't want it, trade it away/sell it/pass it on. Fairly sure that's how i got that years ago, just forward on that favour bud 👍

Also you want some Xenia? I'm getting tired of it now lol

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
On 5/30/2019 at 10:12 AM, Ratvan said:

Nah it's fine, plus if i give stuff away it pleases the missus. Happy wife happy life and that

If you don't want it, trade it away/sell it/pass it on. Fairly sure that's how i got that years ago, just forward on that favour bud 👍

Also you want some Xenia? I'm getting tired of it now lol

Thanks, maybe when I have a tank

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Ratvan
23 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Thanks, maybe when I have a tank

Not a worry. I might also have some other frags (Zoa's & Palys) that I can give you.

The Sump Zoa's are starting to grow like mad for me now as well.

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Punk_Rock_Blenny
3 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Not a worry. I might also have some other frags (Zoa's & Palys) that I can give you.

The Sump Zoa's are starting to grow like mad for me now as well.

Thank you that is awesome.

So I have seen a tank that I really like and a Fish as well.

 

Purple Firefish in a 5.5G Cube? As only fish? FOWLR most likely

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Ratvan
30 minutes ago, Punk_Rock_Blenny said:

Thank you that is awesome.

So I have seen a tank that I really like and a Fish as well.

 

Purple Firefish in a 5.5G Cube? As only fish? FOWLR most likely

I think that you would want a larger size to be honest. 

This, is a great guide on here. Shows Firefish at 10G. I wouldn't do it myself

Really you are looking at Gobies and Maybe a single Juvie Clown? (not a combo) 

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Clown79

I had a bicolor blenny in a 5.5g.

 

There was lots of room for it. 

 

 

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