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Darby’s Antediluvian Reef 🌊🦑


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Welcome to my 5 gallon





When I was a sprout, I had a 10 gallon freshwater aquarium. Blue Gravel. Fake silk plants. Mystical Castle. One of every fish from the store. It was a masterpiece, let me tell you. Around that time I remember a few gruff friends of my dad had marine tanks (back when oak trim glass tanks and metal halides were the thing to have). I’ve always appreciated those “old school” reef tanks and the salty folk that have kept them running for what seemed like decades. Very few of them I have found rely on technological doodads and focus more on simple methods. 

That brings me to a crusty little 5 gallon aquarium that I currently have set up as a planted tank. It’s been growing more algae than plants I’m afraid, but then again, it has grown to be so due to neglect. Heck, the heater went out and the light broke a while back and I’ve been using a grossly oversized LED to keep things kind of going. 

The Plan:

Instead of fixing it up as a planted tank again, I’ll be overhauling this 5 gallon aquarium as a little “old school” reef using some admittedly archaic and outdated, but interesting to me, methods of filtration, lighting, etc. I kind of want to just keep easy corals for the most part (this is my fist saltwater tank after all). Maybe a small fish but we’ll see what happens? Will it be successful? I hope so! I’ll try to keep it going for as long as I can that’s for sure. I’ll need to drain the tank and give it a good scrub with diluted vinegar to get rid of the hard water stains and gunk, but I’m excited to get it going!


  • 5.5 gallon tank
  • T8 aquarium hood
  • 50w heater
  • Reversed Undergravel Filter
  • Sicce Syncra pump for flow



  • Idk yet



Before Photos:







After Photos:

Stay Tuned! 🤭

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On 10/2/2022 at 5:06 PM, Looselyhuman said:

I'm not sure about the undergravel

If I'm being honest, neither am I haha. A long time ago I saw some amazing tanks with under gravel filters (running them in reverse) and I have always enjoyed how simple their setups were, and I'm a sucker for simple. It will be an adventure regardless.

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