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My 10 gallon Diary


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Hi, Here I will be keeping a diary of my first ever Nano-reef. Please feel free to post comments/suggestions or anything you like.



10 Gallon All Glass Aquarium (Free)

20-30 Watt incandescent hood with bulbs (Will be ordering the Drs. Fosters & Smith 20" Dual 36 Watt PC Fixture when available on the 15th of October which will be 46.99$)

Penguin Mini Bio Wheel Filter (14.07$)

Rio 600 Powerhead (12.99$)



50 gal bag of Instant Ocean Sea Salt (11.25$)

Deep Six Hydrometer (6.11$)

SW Master Liquid Test Kit, (PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) (16.99$)

13lbs Cured Fiji Live Rock (65$)

~19lbs(2.5-3") CaribSea Tahitian Moon sand (20lb bag, 17.99$)




Started this Aquarium on the 24th of September


6.3 lbs first piece of LR



26th of September, bought 6.7lbs of LR



After 30 mins came out with this Aquascape



27th of September, worked on my Aquascape a bit, and added my Sand to begin my cycle!!



28th of September Tank cleared up and here is my new Aquascape which I really like



Stay Tuned,....

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Smokez: Glad you decided on the Rio, they have been very reliable to me. I like the last aquascape pic as well as the black sand, I think so long as you have a good clean-up crew and do regular waterchanges you shouldn't have a problem. I have some silicate sand in an extra 10 gallon and there were slight diatom out breaks at first, but that passed in a couple weeks. Anyways, the tank looks great so far, keep us updated!



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Originally posted by bill33

ahh,   black sand,     imo   black sand carrys to much silica  thats what diatoms feed on   among other things


First off all, we dont even know if the sand contains silica. Secondly, if it does, the silica doesnt leach out much if at all. The whole silica sand = diatoms thing is a misconception. Yes silica in your water can cause diatoms, but silica sand is fine.

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Thanks for the comments, my LFS tested my water for me today, he said the pH was a bit low, 7.8, and he pointed me out to a pH buffer,


Kent Marine Superbuffer dKH (8$)



he said the ammonia was 0, nitrite 0, and no trates either, that brought a smile to my face, he also tested my tap water and AC water to see if it was safe to use for the tank, he said the tap had a little lower pH and the phosphates were really high so it was bad, and he said the AC water was almost perfect with a little higher pH with no phosphates, so yet again another smile so i dont have to buy jugs at my local wal mart (LWM)


i wanted to buy the last conch they had since they sell them for 2.99, but it would have no food, i sure hope they get more instock because those suckers are really neat


also i wanted to start adding some snails but they wouldnt have any food either, so i ill just wait another week or so for some algae to grow and let the pods reproduce.


When will I know to start adding a clean up crew?

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Your tank is still new you don't need PH buffer yet. After a week the same thing happened to me. I tested my PH at 7.9 and ran out and bought buffer. Waited another week and it came up to 8.2 on its own. Haven't opened the buffer yet.

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eww... black sand. looks soo unatural.

rios suck... you'll find that out eventually.

also, no need for a pH buffer... atleast not yet. you can add a clean up crew a couple weeks after adding LR IMO.

and who sold you brown rocks? sorry, if i'm being a bit harsh. the cool thing is that you haven't started adding any coral. your tank is still young so the possibilities are endless. try to stay away from anything brown. although i don't like your black sand it'll make bright colors stand out and appear even brighter. good luck to ya. keep us updated on how the tank progresses.

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Dr. Saltwater
Originally posted by serjuanca88

First off all, we dont even know if the sand contains silica. Secondly, if it does, the silica doesnt leach out much if at all. The whole silica sand = diatoms thing is a misconception.  Yes silica in your water can cause diatoms, but silica sand is fine.


First off all, it doesn't look naturally. Secondly, it won't have better effect on the lightning witch already is on the lower side, it surely doesn't reflect light but absorbs more. Three, IF it contains silica, the sand is to thick, bacteria have no chanche of surviving witch automatically leads to deritus and means no bottom filtering. If it doesn't contain silica you're lucky ... I honestly don't believe anyone would like to take that risk.


And so on ... Oh, I really don't think it looks ugly, it's just different and can look nice but I'm no supporter of it :P

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Black sand is more of a person to person thing. I really am starting to like the stuff more and more. Besides, when does light reflection become that big of a deal? If more than enough lighting is provided, there would be no reason for it to *have* to reflect off the bottom.


Oh yeah, and most of it is made out of calcite. It will turn a little grey and start to dissolve, but it isn't an instant change. But, no silicates :).


I like your aquascaping too.

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i know it's hard to have a "natural" look to a tank... but we should atleast come sorta close. it reminds me of the rainbow gravel and porcelain figures in community tanks... it's just the reef version of that. not natural at all?

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I tend to agree that black sand is merely a personal preference kind of decision...really is no right or wrong decision when it comes to that.


Only reason for going as "natural as possible" (given that even attempting to place fish and coral in a box of water is inherently "unnatural"), is when doing the unnatural thing for the particular decision would lead to detrimental results in our livestock's health, viability, etc.


But the decision to use black sand (tho one could argue that it is less effective than aragonite in terms of buffering, adding calcium, etc) does not seem like one of those significantly detrimental decisions. Purely aesthetic decisions such as this one should be left to the decision maker (smokez01).


If he wants to add a bubbling treasure chest and a miniature replica of the Titanic...so be it. So long as it doesnt harm, it's all good, man. Unless you care about having to spend more time cleaning it since particle matter will show up more clearly on black sand...then it becomes matter of practicality.


Sorry for lengthy response...=P

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OK so two beaches in Hawaii have black sand. that's not a lot considering how many reefs in the world. does the black sand even occur in reefs? and do you have any hawaiin corals? it's illegal to collect from there. having hawaiin corals is pretty rare. i have one and it was legally collected.


tigah, we know it's all good and everyone here can do whatever they want. if you wanna keep a tang in a 5gal that's up to you. everyone's opinion is different and we're just expressing ours. that's what forums are about. i don't think black sand is "wrong" i just don't like it... better? ;)

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Marlooney. It's all good, bro. I agree w/ you 100% on the purpose of the forum. You expressed your differing view...so did I...everything you just said about exchange of ideas and freedom of expression was basically prefaced at the beginning of my comment...so yes, express yourself galore, dude. Have fun.

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Black sand also ocurs in the central american and south american countries, in my homeland Guatemala,m all of the beaches are pure black sand, and boy during the day it does get hot!


anyways, im still wondering when i should start adding, but odnt know what, i i adda clean up crew they wont have anything to eat, so they proly will die cus there isnt any algae growing


so im not sure, any suggestions?

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MarLooney...relax...I was just pointing out that there is natural black sand... I have no idea if it occurs in any reef areas...I just thought you might find it interesting to know that there really is natural black sand since you made it sound you thought it was completely unnatural. The stuff is actually derived from ground lava from volcanic eruptions. I just think it's neat...I don't even have a sw tank...yet anyway...lol

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nature black sand+saying its live(i guess it would be...)=money:bling:


any one who lives in near a blacksand beach you should take some and sell it...

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What lfs do you go to Smokez01 because Im also in Coral Springs? I would wait a little bit longer just to make sure your tank is fully cycled.

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i goto beverlys pet center near publix in the ramble wood square area


i got my liverock from fish and reptiles near the new walmart on atlantic,


i know to wait on adding livestock but i dont know what to start out with

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I have pink fiji sand in my tank, its got small specs of pink crushed rock or so in it, but basically algae and bacteria has turne dthe sand multicolored. I have brink pink/reddish patches, green patches, brown patches, the tank is fine and has been setup since January.

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Whatever you do dont listen to the people at beverlys because 99% of the time they dont know what theyre doing. There a place called fish empire on wiles and coral springs drive thats were I go sometimes. Start out with some astrea snails and nassarius snails and some blue leg hermit crabs.

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Well all of my params are pretty much 0, I would like to start adding a few snails, particuarly, a turbo, cerith, nass, astrea, and a conch


or maybe just 1 or 2 snails to start with, the tank is currently 2 weeks old and there is no algae what so ever, so i dont know if itll be a good idea to sstart adding snails since they wouldnt have anything to eat? what do you guys think? my temps are around 82

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