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kmanuele

nano "pest" tank

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kmanuele

Hi all,

First I'd like to say I usually keep freshwater tanks so I'm new to this side of the hobby.

I'm very interested in microorganisms, including all the inverts and stuff that are traditionally considered pests. Flatworms, polychaetes, apistas, planaria, copepods, snails, ostrocods, even hair algae and cyanobacteria are all interesting to me.

I want to set up a nano tank with the aim of maximizing biodiversity and creating an interesting ecosystem, but I don't want to bother with expensive fish and corals. I was thinking of putting some live rock, sand, and macro algae in a low tech 20 gal set up, and just sorta see what happens.

Basically, if I end up with a variety of algae, small invertebrates, maybe some hardy soft corals and apista-like anemones that all coexist in a semi stable equilibrium I'll be more than happy.

Do you guys think this approach would work, or would I get an algae bloom that just kills everything?
Any ideas for organisms I could introduce easily and cheaply, even if they're small/ugly/weird looking? Bonus points if they can form reproductive populations.

Thanks all

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M. Tournesol
Posted (edited)

Hi and welcome to nano reef.

 

A 100% live rock tank is easily feasible and more quickly stable than 100% dry rock tank. My tank is such example. I keep easy SPS in a less than a years old tank (PS: I do not remove the algae as one of my fish only eats pods and they make a good home for them). I had for hitchhiker a small gorilla crab (killed) and a Gonodactylus smithii (mantis shrimp) not to mention an assortment of worms and pods. 

 

You should look at the price of live rock before starting your project. Such rocks are costly.

Edited by M. Tournesol
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Instant_taco

Life rock from the ocean is your best bet for biodiversity and hitch hickers i don't know what part of the globe your on but most places it's illegal to harvest live rock from ocean unless it's permitted or licensed in your area. Contact your LFS see if they can get you some natural Live riock and your local wildlife management and see what's permitted in your area. Unless you live in an area that's cold water cause you said you want a simple tank and cheap. Cold water not that simple or cheap. 

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Tired

You can absolutely get a really nice tank out of just some very good ocean rock. In fact, that's the best way to NOT get algae. The best way to get a ton of algae is to start with dry rock, which has no competition. Algae runs rampant all over it, causing the "ugly stage". Eventually, the pest algae is slowly outcompeted by other algaes, which keep each other in check. Ocean rock has already been through that maturation process, leaving nowhere for pest algae to be. Unless you have absolutely zero algae-eaters, or nutrients are horribly awry, you don't really tend to see pest algae on mature rock.

 

My advice: go to KP Aquatics or a similar website, and buy 10 pounds of live rock, shipped in water. It'll be expensive, but you'll get algae, macros, possibly shrimp and crabs, possibly even coral. Go check out the live rock websites and see what people have found, there's all sorts of testimonials. Put a half-decent light over it, buy some snails to keep the glass cleanish and keep algae relatively in check, and viola. You'll also need a pump for water movement, a heater with a controller like an Inkbird, and, if you have shrimp or fish, a lid.

 

You may need a fish or two to feed in order to keep nutrients up (you want a bare minimum of 0.03ppm phosphate and 5ppm nitrate, or photosynthetic organisms will suffer), but there are some pretty inexpensive fish. A pair of clownfish would be nice, or a damsel of some sort. You might like a shrimpgoby and pistol shrimp. 

 

Do NOT collect your own rock. It's illegal most places. 

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WormLicker

Just keep in mind that some microalgae doesn't care about other things and will efficiently smother inhabitants like macro. That's the real reason it is "nuisance" algae.

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NoOneLikesADryTang

Sounds like you need a polyclad! 
 

 

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