Jump to content
Axl2reef

Basic help.

Recommended Posts

Axl2reef

Hey guys,

 

I have recently made the jump from fresh water newts to my first salt water nano reef attempt. By attempt I mean assisted attempt as my local shop has been helping me learn and get the right stuff. Brief summary: I’ve started with a 5 gal tank (cycled for a month) with live rock, bio ball from the local clownfish/coral frag display tank, and water from the shops system. I just added a palm tree polyp frag and it’s doing quite well! My goal is to just start my ecosystem then move it to a 20 or 30 gal tank and then add an adolescent pair of clownfish and eventually when I’m ready a bubble tip anemone (don’t grill me I know I need time to research and get my setup ready before I can maintain one). What links/ advice do you guys recommend for starting/cycling my 5 gal tank and then transitioning the ecosystem to a 20/30 gal tank when ready? I do not plan on adding fish or anything else until I get everything transferred to the larger tank.
 

ive raised axolotl for years so I’m not new to aquariums, but man this salt water stuff is wild!!!! 
 

any positive help or energy is greatly appreciated!  

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

7 hours ago, Axl2reef said:

What links/ advice do you guys recommend for starting/cycling my 5 gal tank and then transitioning the ecosystem to a 20/30 gal tank when ready?

If you've had your live rock for a month already, then it sounds like it's already cycled.  When transferring it to a larger system, you'll want to cycle/cure any new rock before moving anything from your current tank into it.  Obviously you'll need bigger pumps, lights, etc. for the new system.

 

7 hours ago, Axl2reef said:

My goal is to just start my ecosystem then move it to a 20 or 30 gal tank and then add an adolescent pair of clownfish and eventually when I’m ready a bubble tip anemone (don’t grill me I know I need time to research and get my setup ready before I can maintain one).

Sounds like a reasonable goal.  Don't be too intimidated, it's not as hard as it might seem right now.  The differences are just new to you at the moment.

 

7 hours ago, Axl2reef said:

By attempt I mean assisted attempt as my local shop has been helping me learn and get the right stuff.

There are some reputable shop owners out there (as well as not so reputable ones).  A lot of us have been soured by a bad experience with a local fish store (LFS).  However, it sounds like they didn't push you too fast or too big all at once.  It's nice to have someone local to bounce things off of.

 

While you might get some conflicting information here, we generally agree on most of the main topics.  In my experience, I tend to trust information found on this site over what my stores provide (at least compare the two or get confirmation here before doing anything major).  Do you have any pictures?  It's nice to see what you are dealing with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef

So here is what I’ve got so far. Usually for my fresh water tanks I piece everything together, since this is my first salt water tank I just started with the Fluval 5 gal kit. I got the live wet sand, bio ball, and the live rock Then cycled for a month. I’ve been battling with the brown algae flair ups (I’ve read up on other posts about this stuff and how to get rid of it.) it first appeared around week two, I usually clean up as much as I can weekly when I do my %20 water changes or my fresh water top offs to mitigate the evaporation. It basically rid the tank of it then it flavored back up 3 days after I added the first polyp. (Photos attached of the latest flair up) These photos are about week 5-6 from original setup. I want to get a better light to help the coral and other bios in the tank so that will be my next step. Do you guys have any tricks for ridding my tank of the brown algae? I would like to stay away from chemicals but if it would be efficient and safe I’m not supposed. I’ve also read up on “clean up crews” like shrimp or crabs. Will that help and can I even put shrimp or crabs in a 5 gal tank?

F0B6DAF8-BF78-4909-B42B-140AB34AA661.jpeg

0F60D266-4175-47AC-95F7-5445F9033BD7.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

The tank looks so young.  I'm guessing the brownish patches are diatoms.  They will consume the available silicate, then should go away.  I just siphon them out during a partial water change.  Don't expect the rock to stay that white, you actually want it to color up.

 

1 hour ago, Axl2reef said:

I’ve also read up on “clean up crews” like shrimp or crabs. Will that help and can I even put shrimp or crabs in a 5 gal tank?

Sure, a scarlet reef hermit or dwarf blue leg hermit would be fine.  Snails are the go-to cleaners.  A shrimp would be alright, but I wouldn't consider them part of a cleanup crew.  For a shrimp, I might consider a blood red fire shrimp.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef
52 minutes ago, seabass said:

The tank looks so young.  I'm guessing the brownish patches are diatoms.  They will consume the available silicate, then should go away.  I just siphon them out during a partial water change.  Don't expect the rock to stay that white, you actually want it to color up.

 

Sure, a scarlet reef hermit or dwarf blue leg hermit would be fine.  Snails are the go-to cleaners.  A shrimp would be alright, but I wouldn't consider them part of a cleanup crew.  For a shrimp, I might consider a blood red fire shrimp.

 

My buddy at my LFS said the same thing 😂 I just did an array of water tests and everything came out okay. Just added a small protein skimmer today, figured I’d get it up and running so when I make the shift to the larger tank it will be ready to rip. For some reason the this tank is taking way longer to develop. My water temps were at tad low at 72 degrees, would a heater boost the natural growth? 

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
2 minutes ago, Axl2reef said:

For some reason the this tank is taking way longer to develop. My water temps were at tad low at 72 degrees, would a heater boost the natural growth?

Natural growth of what?  You hardly have anything in there.  But yes, almost all of the corals in the trade are tropical and would grow faster closer to 80 degrees.

 

5 minutes ago, Axl2reef said:

I just did an array of water tests and everything came out okay.

That could mean a number of things.  And one person's idea of okay, may not be another's.  For example, some people might feel that phosphate being undetectable is either acceptable or even desirable; however, corals need nutrients (nitrate and phosphate), along with good reef lighting to be happy (some even require periodic feeding).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79

Everything Seabass said.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef
6 hours ago, seabass said:

Natural growth of what?  You hardly have anything in there.  But yes, almost all of the corals in the trade are tropical and would grow faster closer to 80 degrees.

 

That could mean a number of things.  And one person's idea of okay, may not be another's.  For example, some people might feel that phosphate being undetectable is either acceptable or even desirable; however, corals need nutrients (nitrate and phosphate), along with good reef lighting to be happy (some even require periodic feeding).

By natural growth I mean the bacteria in the live rock and in the tank. As well as my single palm tree polyp, I want it to grow big and strong. I will look into heating options.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
37 minutes ago, Axl2reef said:

By natural growth I mean the bacteria in the live rock and in the tank.

I assure you that it's already there.  It will adjust as the bio-load changes.

 

Yes, warmer temperatures should increase the growth rate of your coral (assuming everything else is good).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef
15 hours ago, seabass said:

I assure you that it's already there.  It will adjust as the bio-load changes.

 

Yes, warmer temperatures should increase the growth rate of your coral (assuming everything else is good).

When I ran my tests salinity was at 1.023, alk 8.4, mg 1120. The mg came in low so I need to get those numbers up. I’m going to my lfs to pick up a submersible heater to keep the tank 78-80 (I live in Pittsburgh and last night was in the low 50s so it’s time to get one). I picked up a fluval protein skimmer and installed it yesterday, probably should have just got the heater then but whatever. My 5 gal tank is slowly becoming mostly equipment but I don’t mind because I’m buying larger equipment that will be able to transfer to the larger 20 or 30 gallon when I acquire one. In your opinion what is the best way to bump the mg up in the tank? Also, I’m looking into the snail options you recommended, I keep seeing that when you add a snail into the tank you should put a drop of iodine in as well? Is there reasoning behind that? 

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Any magnesium product will work fine.  If you like supporting your local store, I'm sure they have one that's easy to use.  If not, we can provide some links for you.

 

34 minutes ago, Axl2reef said:

I keep seeing that when you add a snail into the tank you should put a drop of iodine in as well?

I personally have never saw that.  I wouldn't recommend doing that.

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79
35 minutes ago, Axl2reef said:

When I ran my tests salinity was at 1.023, alk 8.4, mg 1120. The mg came in low so I need to get those numbers up. I’m going to my lfs to pick up a submersible heater to keep the tank 78-80 (I live in Pittsburgh and last night was in the low 50s so it’s time to get one). I picked up a fluval protein skimmer and installed it yesterday, probably should have just got the heater then but whatever. My 5 gal tank is slowly becoming mostly equipment but I don’t mind because I’m buying larger equipment that will be able to transfer to the larger 20 or 30 gallon when I acquire one. In your opinion what is the best way to bump the mg up in the tank? Also, I’m looking into the snail options you recommended, I keep seeing that when you add a snail into the tank you should put a drop of iodine in as well? Is there reasoning behind that? 

If you aren't planning corals anytime soon raising mag at this point isn't necessary.

 

Your tank is young and parameters will change. Starting dosing magnesium and other elements aren't really needed or advised at this stage.

 

Dosing iodine or anything you don't test is also not good.

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef
1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

If you aren't planning corals anytime soon raising mag at this point isn't necessary.

 

Your tank is young and parameters will change. Starting dosing magnesium and other elements aren't really needed or advised at this stage.

 

Dosing iodine or anything you don't test is also not good.

I currently have 1 frag of palm tree polyp and plan on slowly adding much more frags with further research. I currently just want to get in the routine of checking my levels and making adjustments as needed. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Axl2reef
1 hour ago, seabass said:

Any magnesium product will work fine.  If you like supporting your local store, I'm sure they have one that's easy to use.  If not, we can provide some links for you.

 

I personally have never saw that.  I wouldn't recommend doing that.

Picked up magnesium and my submersible heater today and finished install. Added a turbo snail a few hours ago and he went straight for the coral frag to start munching on that algae. Slowly coming together here!

A37C6BC1-DC66-44F8-ACFF-B87B13E4E108.jpeg

FE036ABB-C8FE-4E93-B638-F35045690CE5.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

An astrea snail; good pick, it'll graze on algae on your glass too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...