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Broseff

Pest Tank

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Broseff

Alright, so I'm trying to figure out how to setup a saltwater "tank" that is as little maintance as possible. 

 

I have another thread up where I'm trying to use macros similar to how FW tanks use plants, but this tank is just for things that people can't seem to get rid of. 

I'm hoping that pests and nuissance algae will survive me taking little to care of them.

 

For the last month I've been using a Gelato container (less than 16oz) to house aiptasia and valonia.  

 

So far everything has been fine: 

  • The valnia does need dosing though.
  • Aiptasia goes through sad periods where it doesn't open up.
  • I don't test anything other than water salinity.

 

I tried adding amphipods, I don't know where they are anymore (probably eaten?). 

 

I'll be updating the "tank" to be a little less than a quarter of a gallon. I post pics when the water clears. 

 

I would love to get some majano anemone and ball-tip anemone. I'll try adding asterina starfish and maybe some detravores too (most likely bristle worms? they might get too big though). Pest suggestions are welcome!

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king aiptasia

following brother

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Murphych

Yeah sweet

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Tired

If you want lower maintenance, a bit more water volume would help. A gallon jar might be nice. That would provide much more stability, and would keep the water from being near-instantly drained of nutrients as soon as nutrients are dosed. Both the algae and the anemones need nutrients to grow, and you're going to want to add a bit of rock and/or sand for beneficial bacteria to colonize. 

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Broseff

I won't be able to amp things up to full gallon because I lack the space. 

 

But I do intend trying to keep the lb per gallon rule. 

 

I know chaeto isn't a nuissance, but I thought about adding it as a place for copepods/amphipods hang out. 

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Broseff

So, I'll be adding new pics soon. 

 

But, until then my update:

  • My aiptasia are all MIA - this happened before, one hid in some of the rubble but was still alive. Idk why they're not out. 
  • 1 of the aiptasia is just floating around not attached to anything.
  • My nitrates are rising - I either dosed too much or something died. I'm not sure what to do about this. 
  • There are amphipods.
  • I added a new rock covered in valonia.
  • I just added some dead coralline branching algae - just though it looked cool. 

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king aiptasia
8 hours ago, Broseff said:

So, I'll be adding new pics soon. 

 

But, until then my update:

  • My aiptasia are all MIA - this happened before, one hid in some of the rubble but was still alive. Idk why they're not out. 
  • 1 of the aiptasia is just floating around not attached to anything.
  • My nitrates are rising - I either dosed too much or something died. I'm not sure what to do about this. 
  • There are amphipods.
  • I added a new rock covered in valonia.
  • I just added some dead coralline branching algae - just though it looked cool. 

the polyps might be close to screwed if they are acting like that, when i was just starting years ago id crashed aiptasia before with too low salinity and they all ended up dying when they did that. once i had something die in a half pint enclosure and over night they did that same thing and all died

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Tired

How high are the nitrates? You want nitrates to feed everything. 

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Broseff

 

58 minutes ago, king aiptasia said:

the polyps might be close to screwed if they are acting like that, when i was just starting years ago id crashed aiptasia before with too low salinity and they all ended up dying when they did that. once i had something die in a half pint enclosure and over night they did that same thing and all died

Any reason they would die but not the amphipods? My salinity is like 1.025

 

56 minutes ago, Tired said:

How high are the nitrates? You want nitrates to feed everything. 

Like 10-20ppm, hard to tell with the test kit I have.

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king aiptasia
16 hours ago, Broseff said:

 

Any reason they would die but not the amphipods? My salinity is like 1.025

 

Like 10-20ppm, hard to tell with the test kit I have.

amphipods are much less delicate than the average anemone, and no matter how tough aiptasia is claimed it is still a pretty standard tropical to subtropical anemone in its survivable conditions

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Tired

10-20ppm nitrates is perfectly fine for pests, and fine for a lot of corals, too. Your algae and anemones will probably like it, I wouldn't bother trying to lower it. 

 

There's a reason people don't generally keep tanks that small. I would expect salinity to continue to be a problem, and there's the potential for a lot of needed elements to crash, fast, or for a dying organism to fatally pollute things for the rest of the tank. Do you really not have room for a gallon jar? You're potentially looking at multiple topoffs a day to keep salinity stable, otherwise, especially if you don't have a solid lid. For a mini-pico, you really need a lid that's at least mostly solid, or an automatic topoff system. Or both. 

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Broseff
1 minute ago, Tired said:

10-20ppm nitrates is perfectly fine for pests, and fine for a lot of corals, too. Your algae and anemones will probably like it, I wouldn't bother trying to lower it. 

 

There's a reason people don't generally keep tanks that small. I would expect salinity to continue to be a problem, and there's the potential for a lot of needed elements to crash, fast, or for a dying organism to fatally pollute things for the rest of the tank. Do you really not have room for a gallon jar? You're potentially looking at multiple topoffs a day to keep salinity stable, otherwise, especially if you don't have a solid lid. For a mini-pico, you really need a lid that's at least mostly solid, or an automatic topoff system. Or both. 

I have a FW tank, a SW tank, loads of plants, a bird, etc. I don't even have enough room for all the things I have now.

 

I have a lid on it, no openings. So salinity doesn't really swing (it might when I dose). 

 

I dose the same stuff I use with my other tank (which has visible macro growth). 

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Broseff

Update: The aiptasia and asterina starfish died. I took the whole 1/4 gallon tank apart and looked for them everywhere. Definetly gone and probably the reason for the rise in nitrates in the tank. 

 

The copepodes and dwarf snails I put in are still alive. 

 

The valonia is growing, but of course without flow it can't really spread that well. 

 

Think I'm gonna go back to the Gelato container, and just add some gravel/sand and a rock or two. 

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Tired

Oh, yeah, you'll definitely need substrate and rock. You need a place for your biofilter to live, even in a pest tank. Otherwise you just have a shipping container.

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Broseff

Update:

  • Rocks and sand were added.
  • Valonia - still growing. I'm waiting for it to attach to the rocks.
  • Aiptasia - I've been pulling the babies that I find in my macro tank and putting them in here. But they're super small, so I haven't caught any pics of them in here. 
  • I added a rock covered in some weird red algae. 
    • The rock came with bristle worms! Most of them are super tiny, but new pests have been acquired.
    • There was a baby/micro brittle star, but I added it to my macro tank, another score!

I'm gonna try getting some asterina stars from my lfs, they sell pretty much anything in their tanks. Thought I'd add one here. 

 

Also saw something that I can't ID, maybe baby bristle worms? Like do they hatch or have a larval stage?

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Broseff

Update:

I gave the container a new lid. Well, I cut a hole in the original lid, put some acrylic in, and then added some smaller holes in the acrylic just to keep it from being completely sealed off. 

 

Also, the guy at my lfs gave me their biggest aiptasia. Hopefully it enjoys its new home. I'll take more pics when it stretches out and looks happy. 

 

I was thinking about dosing bacteria. I'm worried that without flow bacteria growth will be minimal, assuming there's any there at all. 

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Tired

If there's enough oxygen for the animals (and they don't use it all up and die), that should be enough oxygen for a small amount of bacteria. What you need for bacteria is surface area. Besides, if there isn't enough flow to breed a large bacterial colony, there isn't enough flow to keep an introduced large colony alive. 

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Broseff
4 hours ago, Tired said:

If there's enough oxygen for the animals (and they don't use it all up and die), that should be enough oxygen for a small amount of bacteria. What you need for bacteria is surface area. Besides, if there isn't enough flow to breed a large bacterial colony, there isn't enough flow to keep an introduced large colony alive. 

There's no flow at all, which is why I'm thinking about dosing bacteria. I think the stuff I bought doesn't mass reproduce in tanks in general and that's why it needs to be repeatedly dosed. I think the dosing just adds more bacteria than what can be supported. 

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Tired

But wouldn't you want a stable population of however much bacteria that tank can hold, instead of a fluctuating population? If dosing bacteria worked that way, I'd think people would massively overstock and dose bacteria to make up the difference. 

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Broseff

 

18 minutes ago, Tired said:

But wouldn't you want a stable population of however much bacteria that tank can hold, instead of a fluctuating population? If dosing bacteria worked that way, I'd think people would massively overstock and dose bacteria to make up the difference. 

 I would prefer it to be stable, but also this is a 16oz cup (at most). I think stability isn't super likely with this setup. 

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Tired

Well, you can have a stable amount of bacteria. They'll naturally multiply until they reach the maximum that can be supported. You're right that parameter stability isn't really going to happen, but I don't see why bacterial stability can't. I would also worry about the dosed bacteria using up resources that the established stuff needs. 

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Broseff
27 minutes ago, Tired said:

Well, you can have a stable amount of bacteria. They'll naturally multiply until they reach the maximum that can be supported. You're right that parameter stability isn't really going to happen, but I don't see why bacterial stability can't. I would also worry about the dosed bacteria using up resources that the established stuff needs. 

I would assume that parameters may affect the bacteria population.

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Tired

Not unless the parameters are bad enough to affect everything else. Bacteria is sturdy.

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