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NanoOceanio

Hello all reef keepers,

      I have just made the transfer from freshwater to saltwater by purchasing the Fluval EVO 12 gal. aquarium tank and I can not tell you all how excited how I am to add some livestock. I am looking for a pair of clowns, a watchmen goby and pistol shrimp, also would really love a royal gramma but do not know if the tank is big enough for one. And of course a cleaner crew, but unsure if I should wait until after I get fish. I am honestly more intrigued about the coral life and would love to hear your opinions on how I should establish/stock my aquarium.  The whole setup is stock, and I will not be using that clear tube as my output flow do not worry I have ordered the dual output flow nozzle because for some odd reason that piece was missing from the kit. Anyway, I needed an opinion on my aquascape. Is there too much live rock? Also, if any of can share any beginner coral recommendations and placement ideas for the aquascape it will be greatly appreciated. I have a few ideas in mind, but I am open to others and would much appreciate any tips, feedback, or advice that any of you can share. Thanks!

 

44E2D638-9705-4DCF-87B2-FD4748502648.thumb.jpeg.806830a6eb61a2f9114054051f4f987d.jpeg8B1B829C-A9B8-423F-A07F-D6D7CA0411AD.thumb.jpeg.ad5509fdb62e691b27d186429067d7dc.jpeg

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Matteo

I'd stick with just a clown pair or a single clown and goby shrimp pair. 

 

12g isn't very big. Just remember to start very slow. 

 

Scape looks great! 

 

You can ask the admins to move this to the journal section.

 

Once you get cycled and get some fish there give it another two weeks and go ahead and grab you self some zoas, musbrooms and other easier Corals. 

 

Cheers! 

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Clown79

Scape looks good. As long as there is room for cleaning and corals, you should be fine.

 

I think for a 13.5 2 clowns and a small goby is max for fish. 

 

As for adding a clean up crew vs fish first, everyone does it differently. I start with cuc and wait an additional month to add a fish.

 

Some add fish first.

 

For corals, I'd choose what you like rather than the "beginner" corals. Then you don't waste money and stock the tank with thing you necessarily may not want down the road.

I wouldn't pick difficult corals.

 

 these are fairly easy.

Frogspawn, hammers, blasto's, duncans, trumpets, favia's, plates, leathers. Ricordea, chalice. 

 

Do research on each corals needs. This will help with placement as well.

 

Go slow, ask as many questions as you need to

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Seadragon
3 hours ago, NanoOceanio said:

Hello all reef keepers,

      I have just made the transfer from freshwater to saltwater by purchasing the Fluval EVO 12 gal. aquarium tank and I can not tell you all how excited how I am to add some livestock. I am looking for a pair of clowns, a watchmen goby and pistol shrimp, also would really love a royal gramma but do not know if the tank is big enough for one. And of course a cleaner crew, but unsure if I should wait until after I get fish. I am honestly more intrigued about the coral life and would love to hear your opinions on how I should establish/stock my aquarium.  The whole setup is stock, and I will not be using that clear tube as my output flow do not worry I have ordered the dual output flow nozzle because for some odd reason that piece was missing from the kit. Anyway, I needed an opinion on my aquascape. Is there too much live rock? Also, if any of can share any beginner coral recommendations and placement ideas for the aquascape it will be greatly appreciated. I have a few ideas in mind, but I am open to others and would much appreciate any tips, feedback, or advice that any of you can share. Thanks!

 

Welcome to NR!  I agree that you'll want to start a Journal thread for your tank so that you'll have something to look back on over the years and see how far you've come.

 

As you can see from the other posts, there's many different opinions and ways to set up a reef tank, no wrong answer really as long as nothing is harmed or dies in the end.  There's a couple things as a beginner that you'll need to know:

  1. Take it Slow.  Make sure you understand the Nitrogen cycle and never put in too much too quickly.  You'll need to establish good bacteria early on with either Instant Ocean BIO-Spira or established Live Rock.  And then slowly add your livestock.  I personally would start with a pair of clownfish because they are hardy fish.  Losing something like a $30 cleaner shrimp because you added it first and your tank wasn't cycled completely is too much for me to lose.  (Saltwater livestock and corals can add up quickly so this is something you should never rush.)
  2. Do Lots of Research.  Once you know which fish and corals you like, research it thoroughly and understand what it takes to care for it properly and to keep it alive.  You'll want to be on top of testing water parameters (not only for seeing where you're at for the Nitrogen cycle, but once you're ready to keep corals, test the Calcium and Alkalinity and other parameters and make sure it's in the proper range to support the corals that you want), make sure your salinity is within the proper range, and dose Ca/Alk/etc if needed.

Your aquascape looks nice and I love the arch!  Your future cleaner shrimp will thank you for that and will hang upside down from it staring back at you all day as the fish pass by.  If you do decide to get GSP (Green Star Polyps), you'll want to put them on their own isolated rock so it can be trimmed back easily otherwise it will encrust over other corals and kill them in the process. 

 

As for coral recommendations, this is where you should take a look at all of the available coral options and start making a list of the ones you LOVE.  And then whittle down that list to your top favorites and then research the hell out of it and ask questions on here about your final choices.  In the end, you only have so much space in a tiny slice of the ocean so why not fill it up with only the things you love to look at all the time?

 

Good luck, keep us updated (and make that journal or ask to move this to the Journal section), and keep asking questions!

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Tamberav

My fav beginner coral is green nepthea. Enough that I still have my original nepthea from my first tank over 10 years ago. Not invasive, hardy and beautiful.

 

Many softies, zoas, frogspawn, hammer, duncan, canycanes are all easy. 

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WV Reefer
6 hours ago, NanoOceanio said:

Hello all reef keepers,

      I have just made the transfer from freshwater to saltwater by purchasing the Fluval EVO 12 gal. aquarium tank and I can not tell you all how excited how I am to add some livestock. I am looking for a pair of clowns, a watchmen goby and pistol shrimp, also would really love a royal gramma but do not know if the tank is big enough for one. And of course a cleaner crew, but unsure if I should wait until after I get fish. I am honestly more intrigued about the coral life and would love to hear your opinions on how I should establish/stock my aquarium.  The whole setup is stock, and I will not be using that clear tube as my output flow do not worry I have ordered the dual output flow nozzle because for some odd reason that piece was missing from the kit. Anyway, I needed an opinion on my aquascape. Is there too much live rock? Also, if any of can share any beginner coral recommendations and placement ideas for the aquascape it will be greatly appreciated. I have a few ideas in mind, but I am open to others and would much appreciate any tips, feedback, or advice that any of you can share. Thanks!

 

44E2D638-9705-4DCF-87B2-FD4748502648.thumb.jpeg.806830a6eb61a2f9114054051f4f987d.jpeg8B1B829C-A9B8-423F-A07F-D6D7CA0411AD.thumb.jpeg.ad5509fdb62e691b27d186429067d7dc.jpeg

:welcome:

 

Looks like you are off to a great start. I like the rock scape a lot. 😊

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NanoOceanio
8 hours ago, Matteo said:

I'd stick with just a clown pair or a single clown and goby shrimp pair. 

 

12g isn't very big. Just remember to start very slow. 

 

Scape looks great! 

 

You can ask the admins to move this to the journal section.

 

Once you get cycled and get some fish there give it another two weeks and go ahead and grab you self some zoas, musbrooms and other easier Corals. 

 

Cheers! 

Thanks!! I am planning on getting my water tested today from my LFS and if the parameters are good, then I'm going to purchase some fish this weekend. Now, you don't recommend having a pair of clowns + goby/shrimp pair? Is that too much? Also, I am unsure how to contact the admins to move this post to the journal section, but thank you very much for your feedback 

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NanoOceanio
7 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Scape looks good. As long as there is room for cleaning and corals, you should be fine.

 

I think for a 13.5 2 clowns and a small goby is max for fish. 

 

As for adding a clean up crew vs fish first, everyone does it differently. I start with cuc and wait an additional month to add a fish.

 

Some add fish first.

 

For corals, I'd choose what you like rather than the "beginner" corals. Then you don't waste money and stock the tank with thing you necessarily may not want down the road.

I wouldn't pick difficult corals.

 

 these are fairly easy.

Frogspawn, hammers, blasto's, duncans, trumpets, favia's, plates, leathers. Ricordea, chalice. 

 

Do research on each corals needs. This will help with placement as well.

 

Go slow, ask as many questions as you need to

Great! I honestly am looking to purchase a pair of clowns over the weekend if my water levels are okay, the tanks has been cycling for two weeks so far. I am also going to look for a CUC after I add some fish in there so there's something that the CUC can feed off of (waste, excess food, algae buildup). And I will definitely look into some of those coral species, I would really love frogspawns and hammers in the tank, I am just unsure of where to place them and also do not know if they are too aggressive to keep next to other corals. Any other tips you have in mind would help me out so much! Thanks!

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NanoOceanio
5 hours ago, Seadragon said:

 

Welcome to NR!  I agree that you'll want to start a Journal thread for your tank so that you'll have something to look back on over the years and see how far you've come.

 

As you can see from the other posts, there's many different opinions and ways to set up a reef tank, no wrong answer really as long as nothing is harmed or dies in the end.  There's a couple things as a beginner that you'll need to know:

  1. Take it Slow.  Make sure you understand the Nitrogen cycle and never put in too much too quickly.  You'll need to establish good bacteria early on with either Instant Ocean BIO-Spira or established Live Rock.  And then slowly add your livestock.  I personally would start with a pair of clownfish because they are hardy fish.  Losing something like a $30 cleaner shrimp because you added it first and your tank wasn't cycled completely is too much for me to lose.  (Saltwater livestock and corals can add up quickly so this is something you should never rush.)
  2. Do Lots of Research.  Once you know which fish and corals you like, research it thoroughly and understand what it takes to care for it properly and to keep it alive.  You'll want to be on top of testing water parameters (not only for seeing where you're at for the Nitrogen cycle, but once you're ready to keep corals, test the Calcium and Alkalinity and other parameters and make sure it's in the proper range to support the corals that you want), make sure your salinity is within the proper range, and dose Ca/Alk/etc if needed.

Your aquascape looks nice and I love the arch!  Your future cleaner shrimp will thank you for that and will hang upside down from it staring back at you all day as the fish pass by.  If you do decide to get GSP (Green Star Polyps), you'll want to put them on their own isolated rock so it can be trimmed back easily otherwise it will encrust over other corals and kill them in the process. 

 

As for coral recommendations, this is where you should take a look at all of the available coral options and start making a list of the ones you LOVE.  And then whittle down that list to your top favorites and then research the hell out of it and ask questions on here about your final choices.  In the end, you only have so much space in a tiny slice of the ocean so why not fill it up with only the things you love to look at all the time?

 

Good luck, keep us updated (and make that journal or ask to move this to the Journal section), and keep asking questions!

I definitely need to figure out how to move this post on to the journal feeds if that's what you guys recommend! 

Thanks for the tips SeaDragon, my tanks been running for almost two weeks now and I added Dr. Tim's 'One and Only' bacteria on the second day to speed up the cycle. The levels are not suitable enough yet, my Ammonia and Nitrites are too high. I am going back to my LFS to get the water tested again, hopefully it's ready for some livestock! I currently also have 3 small pieces of live rock on the sand bed and also added a "pre-cultured" bio block in the back of the filter. So, I am thinking the water levels should be good to go by this weekend. Thanks for complimenting my aquascape, I really hope it works out for cleaning corals (which I don't understand right now). And now I can not wait to have a cleaner shrimp in there Lol! 

My favorite corals that I have in mind right now are: Xenia, Hammer Coral or Frogspawn, plates, candy canes, duncan, some species of mushrooom, and I would also love to have an open brain coral if possible but I have to do my own research to figure who which corals are peaceful and will get along next to eachother. Zoanthids are really beautiful and I'd love to have that species in the tank but I've heard that they grow extremely fast and can/will harm nearby corals. I will 100% make sure I keep updating you guys on how my tank is doing, and I greatly appreciate your feedback! 

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NanoOceanio
5 hours ago, Tamberav said:

My fav beginner coral is green nepthea. Enough that I still have my original nepthea from my first tank over 10 years ago. Not invasive, hardy and beautiful.

 

Many softies, zoas, frogspawn, hammer, duncan, canycanes are all easy. 

The Green Nepthea is beautiful! I would love to have that in my tank and I am for sure going to do more research on that species. And all those categories of coral that you listed are all the ones that I have been researching and planning on adding into the tank. Only thing is the placement that I need to figure out before I purchase any coral. Thank you for your reply!

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NanoOceanio
2 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

:welcome:

 

Looks like you are off to a great start. I like the rock scape a lot. 😊

Thanks! Im excited to start the journey and looking forward to sharing it with you all!

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Clown79
55 minutes ago, NanoOceanio said:

Great! I honestly am looking to purchase a pair of clowns over the weekend if my water levels are okay, the tanks has been cycling for two weeks so far. I am also going to look for a CUC after I add some fish in there so there's something that the CUC can feed off of (waste, excess food, algae buildup). And I will definitely look into some of those coral species, I would really love frogspawns and hammers in the tank, I am just unsure of where to place them and also do not know if they are too aggressive to keep next to other corals. Any other tips you have in mind would help me out so much! Thanks!

Hammers and frogspawn can sting so you want to give some room in between them and neighbouring corals.

They are fine next to each other though.

 

Placement is trickier because each tank is different. It will depend on 

 

1. Where you want it

2. Lighting and flow in the area

3. Neighbour corals

 

Frogspawn and hammers are moderate light and flow. Too much flow can damage them, they will not fully expand.

Light, some tolerate more than others. 

 

Always start corals on the bottom, allow them to acclimate for a few days, then slowly move them.

 

Try not to move them around too frequently as it causes issues. 

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Matteo
1 hour ago, NanoOceanio said:

Thanks!! I am planning on getting my water tested today from my LFS and if the parameters are good, then I'm going to purchase some fish this weekend. Now, you don't recommend having a pair of clowns + goby/shrimp pair? Is that too much? Also, I am unsure how to contact the admins to move this post to the journal section, but thank you very much for your feedback 

It can be done but clowns can get pretty big and you'll just have higher nutrients is all.

 

Get a smaller goby if you can. 

 

@Christopher Marks mind helping this guy out and moving his thread to the journal so we can follow along there?

 

Thanks! 

 

Also what @Clown79 it's true to maybe get Corals you really like rather than what's easy. Nice thing about a small nano is it doesnt take much to fill up! 

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Clown79

I think clowns are great fish and they take a while to get large. 

 

I'd do the clowns before gobies if that's what you really want.

They will be fine in a 13.5g.

 

The fear of high nutrients isn't a necessary given to occur in every system. 

We have also learned through advancement in this hobby that higher nutrients isn't really that bad.

 

In my 15g I had 2 clowns and a blenny

I struggled to keep nutrients in my tank.

 

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NanoOceanio
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Hammers and frogspawn can sting so you want to give some room in between them and neighbouring corals.

They are fine next to each other though.

 

Placement is trickier because each tank is different. It will depend on 

 

1. Where you want it

2. Lighting and flow in the area

3. Neighbour corals

 

Frogspawn and hammers are moderate light and flow. Too much flow can damage them, they will not fully expand.

Light, some tolerate more than others. 

 

Always start corals on the bottom, allow them to acclimate for a few days, then slowly move them.

 

Try not to move them around too frequently as it causes issues. 

Ok, so you recommend that when I purchase the corals that I should leave them all in the sandbed for a few days, then figure out where I want to placement? Also, when I do purchase corals, should I buy a bulk of them like 5+ or just one or two at a time? Thanks again for the help..

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NanoOceanio
3 hours ago, Matteo said:

It can be done but clowns can get pretty big and you'll just have higher nutrients is all.

 

Get a smaller goby if you can. 

 

@Christopher Marks mind helping this guy out and moving his thread to the journal so we can follow along there?

 

Thanks! 

 

Also what @Clown79 it's true to maybe get Corals you really like rather than what's easy. Nice thing about a small nano is it doesnt take much to fill up! 

Ok, what kind of nutrients do you mean, are they bad nutrients? Also, Im going to look for a small watchmen goby and shrimp pair because they are just so cool to watch! Does any shrimp have the symbiotic relationship with the goby or is it a specific species. I would love to have a fire shrimp, but unsure if they are good cleaners or if they benefit the goby's existence. Thanks for helping me so much!

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Matteo
1 hour ago, NanoOceanio said:

Ok, what kind of nutrients do you mean, are they bad nutrients? Also, Im going to look for a small watchmen goby and shrimp pair because they are just so cool to watch! Does any shrimp have the symbiotic relationship with the goby or is it a specific species. I would love to have a fire shrimp, but unsure if they are good cleaners or if they benefit the goby's existence. Thanks for helping me so much!

They need to be pistol shrimp and it needs to be a shrimp goby species. 

 

Nutrients in the sense of bioload like fish waste and food waste. 

 

Like mentioned I think three fish max in that tank you'd be fine. Just start with little cute baby clowns and get some sort of Banded goby. They stay small.

 

If you take a look at my build, I think page 7ish there's a really good picture of my goby shrimp pair you can see 🙂

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NanoOceanio
36 minutes ago, Matteo said:

They need to be pistol shrimp and it needs to be a shrimp goby species. 

 

Nutrients in the sense of bioload like fish waste and food waste. 

 

Like mentioned I think three fish max in that tank you'd be fine. Just start with little cute baby clowns and get some sort of Banded goby. They stay small.

 

If you take a look at my build, I think page 7ish there's a really good picture of my goby shrimp pair you can see 🙂

Oh okay, that is great to know. I do not want to have so much nutrients in my tank so I have to take my live stock options in to consideration. I looked at your 40 gallon aquarium, let me first say that a tank like that is what I dream of lol. I seen the goby/shrimp pair, I would love to have that specific combo in the tank, how do you think that would work?  If not, then Im leaning towards a pair of clowns and a banded goby. Let me know what you think..

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Clown79
2 hours ago, NanoOceanio said:

Ok, so you recommend that when I purchase the corals that I should leave them all in the sandbed for a few days, then figure out where I want to placement? Also, when I do purchase corals, should I buy a bulk of them like 5+ or just one or two at a time? Thanks again for the help..

Yes, that's the safest way to let them get accustomed to your lighting and flow.

 

How many you buy is up to you. If the tank is young I'd start off with 2-3 frags.

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Matteo
2 hours ago, NanoOceanio said:

Oh okay, that is great to know. I do not want to have so much nutrients in my tank so I have to take my live stock options in to consideration. I looked at your 40 gallon aquarium, let me first say that a tank like that is what I dream of lol. I seen the goby/shrimp pair, I would love to have that specific combo in the tank, how do you think that would work?  If not, then Im leaning towards a pair of clowns and a banded goby. Let me know what you think..

Wow thanks! I've been reefing now for close to 15 years and have learned a ton. 

 

Yellow Watchman Gobies and Tiger Pistol Shrimps are great pairs. 

 

But for your tank I'd get a HI Fin Banded Goby. https://m.liveaquaria.com/product/181/hi-fin-red-banded-goby?pcatid=181&c=31+181

 

They only reach 2" and are super cool looking. 

 

Nothing wrong with the Yellow Watchman but they get 4" which is a good size fish. 

 

You'd be totally fine with two clowns and HI Fin Goby shrimp pair. The most common pistol shrimps are the Tiger (mine) and they Randall's. 

 

Both such cool little dudes to watch! Perfect for a nano so you can watch them up close. I give my shrimp rumble and broken bits of dead coral every now and then and he'll use it to build fortifications under the rock and sandbed. Super cool! 

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NanoOceanio
1 hour ago, Matteo said:

Wow thanks! I've been reefing now for close to 15 years and have learned a ton. 

 

Yellow Watchman Gobies and Tiger Pistol Shrimps are great pairs. 

 

But for your tank I'd get a HI Fin Banded Goby. https://m.liveaquaria.com/product/181/hi-fin-red-banded-goby?pcatid=181&c=31+181

 

They only reach 2" and are super cool looking. 

 

Nothing wrong with the Yellow Watchman but they get 4" which is a good size fish. 

 

You'd be totally fine with two clowns and HI Fin Goby shrimp pair. The most common pistol shrimps are the Tiger (mine) and they Randall's. 

 

Both such cool little dudes to watch! Perfect for a nano so you can watch them up close. I give my shrimp rumble and broken bits of dead coral every now and then and he'll use it to build fortifications under the rock and sandbed. Super cool! 

It seems like you know a lot! I cant wait to understand this hobby and watch my coral aquariums thrive like yours. I visited this local fish store today for the first time and I was lucky enough to meet this gentlemen who told me he'd guide me through the whole process and tell me everything I need to know about maintaining nutrients and water levels. That is so awesome that you interact in various different ways with your pets.  I need to get me a pistol shrimp for sure, and I really love the yellow watchmen goby I might just have to take the risk and get it. 

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SliceGolfer
13 hours ago, NanoOceanio said:

Thanks!! I am planning on getting my water tested today from my LFS and if the parameters are good, then I'm going to purchase some fish this weekend.

How long has your tank been set up? Has it completed the initial ammonia to nitrate cycle? 
 

Edit: I see two weeks. Missed that above 👍

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NanoOceanio
11 minutes ago, SliceGolfer said:

How long has your tank been set up? Has it completed the initial ammonia to nitrate cycle? 
 

Edit: I see two weeks. Missed that above 👍

Yeah, its been cycling for about two weeks now and I am going to get the water tested tomorrow

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