Jump to content

Mr. Fosi's 5.5AGA fish/coral mix

Mr. Fosi

Recommended Posts

Well, after mis-posting the wrong area (sorry again), here is my origional post:


I have had my 5-gal nano running for three weeks and I haven't had any problems (except for the mysterious death of a hermit crab). I haven't witnessed any sort of algae bloom or any die-offs. The animals aren't stressed...


After reading hundreds of posts here and on other forums I am beginning to think that I am some kind of idiot savant when it comes to SW.


Here are my params (I'll post pics tomorrow):


- 5 gal All-Glass aquarium

- Retrofited perfecto hood with 2x13W 50/50 PCs

- Change my water 1gal/wk, topoff around 5oz every evening

- Tap water (through a Pure filter) and Instant Ocean at approx 1.024-1.025

- Keep my water at 80F with a 100W heater

- Run a Current Fusion skimmer

- Have 9lbs of live rock (fiji, tonga, aquaculture)

- <2lbs aragonite sand

- A minijet/PVC spraybar

- Generic HOB spillover filter w/4-5 tbsp of carbon in a media bag


What I am going to say next will probably cause some gasps, but I have followed the intrustions of a guy at the LFS that I have done business with for the 6 years I have been doing planted FW.



- 2 percula clowns ~1" each, added about a week after beginning (not cycling) the tank

- 2 astrea snails

- 2 (used to be 3) blue legged hermit crabs

- There are several small feather dusters that came in on the rock, all of which are getting bigger and adding onto their tubes

- I have seen some amphipod carapaces floating around when I blow off the rock and sand

- I once saw what I believe to be a bristleworm, but failed to knab him

- Pleanty of what I believe to be coralline algae (hard and clings closely to rock)

- Some hard red branchy stuff that I can't identify


I have a swingbar hydrometer, but I don't yet have a pH/etc test kit (blew all my $$ on the rest of the stuff), but I have my water tested at the LFS once a week.


So, give me your thoughts. Am I some kind freak, am I lucky, or have I just not had the tank going long enough to run into trouble?

Link to comment
  • Replies 266
  • Created
  • Last Reply

9lbs of rcok helps.


3 weeks really aint sh!t, but Im supprised about no blooms.


Its kinda weird man. Its a balance of aquarists skills and animals addaptability. You are def flouting convention, but I dont think Id go so far as to say impossible. Esp if you are taking the advice of this LFS vet who know his stuff. Id say very difficult, but good Luck.

Link to comment

Tip #1. Stop using tap water. It's only a 5gal tank. Unless you test it all the time I would never trust tap water even after you filter it. IMOP.


#2. To much to fast. I've seen tanks as new as yours apear to be doing great and then out of the blue it will cycle again. Spiking and killing all in it's path. with two clowns in the system at only three weeks your system could be in limbo. You might want to lay off the 1gal water change for a couple of weeks and take out a clown. By taking the water out and that much, you could be preventing the tank from fully cycling. I don't think you should have two clowns at any point in time but two after only three weeks is potential suicide.


How long before you put the clowns in, did your tank "cycle" for?

Link to comment

The skimmer is going to help with that bio-load but those two clowns are not going to make it in a five gallon, too much fish there. The may look ok for a few weeks... but it won't last in all likelihood.

Also... I would use RO water rather than just generally filtered tap when mixing salt. ...and I'm someone who tends to top off with tap water on occasion, depending on the quality of your water where you are you might be asking for trouble down the line if that is all you use.

and don't worry about that bristleworm, they are generally beneficial to your tank.

Thinking of keeping corals or is this going to be FOWLR?


Best of luck and keep posting your progress.

Link to comment

Id recommend switchin up to RO water from the LFS. Tap water isnt the best of ideas.


Also, like mentioned above thoe clowns are too big for that tank. Maybe a single royal gramma or something

Link to comment

Yes, I know it is "too little time", but rock was in the tank for a week before anything else went in. The rock was at the LFS for months before I got it (I know b/c I am there every weekend), and in a bag for a 20 min drive home.


Before the livestock went in, the LFS tested the water and said that there was no NH3 and a some NO3, which is a sign of at least some cycling.


I was thinking about using the RO water that Culligan sells at Wal-Mart. I know I should have it tested, but they SAY they run it through carbon, then RO it.


Everything I have read said that two clowns was too much. I figured that if a problem develops, I can move one out.


As for the rest of the dire predictions, I guess we'll see what happens... For better or for worse, I have always been a person that seeks many opinions and much advice, but I only heed what I think is true.


Here are some pics.



My darling clownfish.



My biggest duster (in the middle of the crappy blurry picture) and the crab on the left.



The obligatory FTS.



Closeup of my ghetto-rigged water movement system.



The red things I can't identify.



I know this is a SW forum, but I couldn't resist a couple FTSs of my 20 gal FW tank. This one is with the flash.



This one without.



Oh, and right now it is just FWLR. I may try some shrooms, leathers, or zoos, but I have to get the micro-bubble problem solved first.


I was also thinking of adding a 2.5 DIY refugium on the back, but I haven't ironed out all the bugs yet.

Link to comment

The red stuff looks like a type of coralline algae that is in my 30g. I would definately run a skimmer full time, especially if you don't have test kits. Ammonia kills quickly and those fish will produce alot as they mature. Good luck!

Link to comment

Thanks for the identification. I run my skimmer all the time.


Also, I feed them one flake each every evening.


UPDATE: I just noticed something kind of strange: I have three hermit crabs in the tank. Yesterday when I came home from work I found what I thought was a dead crab that had been pulled out of it's shell. It must have been a shed carapace. Well, I guess that's a good sign...

Link to comment
I just gotta ask, Fosi, is that/your avitar you? if so, total props; if not partial props


No, it isn't. I am quite a bit smaller than the guy in the pic (by about 200 lbs).


I just couldn't resist using it because I think he deserves credit for his accomplishment.

Link to comment
red things are foraminiferans.

The red things I have seem to look similiar to yours. I am not sure about foraminiferans. I did a google search and found this-- foraminiferans My first attempt at adding a link. Not what I have.

Link to comment

I personally would switch out the 100w heater with a 25w. I have a smaller heater in a 30g.


The only reason is that, if for whatever reason, your heater goes on the fritz, you'll have very little time to notice/react before everything gets cooked.

Link to comment

I second puma on the heater malfunction. I noticed my heater staying on all the time in my 30g and the water temp was at 84. That's not too high but if I had a larger heater it would have fried the tank.

Link to comment

I think you guys are probably right. Perhaps I will get one of those Hagen 25W submersibles.


As you can see from the pics, I don't have a whole lot of room in the tank, but that that will change once I finish the 2.5gal refugium that I am building. I have the box built, I am just waiting for the silicone to cure.


Also, I finally began to see some diatoms on the sand yesterday, so I bought a couple nassarius snails and they stirred it up really well. I also bought a clump of razor caulerpa b/c it was a pretty cheap way to get some macro for the 'fuge.


While I was at the LFS I had them test my water (with an AP test kit) for NO2, NO3, and NH4. I was 0 on NO2 and NH4 (as it should be) and I was around 15 (ppt? ppm?) on NO3 (to be expected with two fish in it).


Not good enough for a peppermint shrimp and may be hostile to corals, but that is why I don't have either one.


Everything else seems to be doing very well and I think I may have some other species of macro coming out of the rock; I'll get pics tonight if I can.

Link to comment

There are goby clowns that are similar to the true clowns. You could get away with two, maybe even three of those. They will also host I believe.

Link to comment

AD: I'll look up those gobies.


RT: I am pretty sure what I saw was a bristleworm since it was long, bristley, and worm-like. I have also looked at other pics of them online and it matches with what I saw in the tank. Additionally, I haven't seen it since the first time and aren't sponges sessile?

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I looked up the gobies, but decided against them for now. I also haven't seen the bristleworm for weeks.


Well, the tank is now just more than 5 weeks old and I haven't experienced any losses. Still running the same filtration and skimming 24/7. The skimmate produced by my fission nano has gotten a somewhat darker, and the microbubbles that it spits out have died down to almost nothing; so poo-poo to all you people who are down on it.


I am still using Pur filtered tap water for both topoff and change water. For those of you who are big "NO-TAPWATER" people, I dug up some data for you: When I was playing around more with the H2O chemistry in my FW tanks, I kept a pretty good log of chemical parameters to see what additives and substrates generated favorable conditions. During that time, I also tested my dechlorinated tap water:


NO3 0 mg/l

NO2 0 mg/l

GH 150 ppm

KH 120 ppm

pH 7.2


Yes, I know there is no PO4 in that list, but I don't care. I live right next to Lake Erie and PO4 is heavly regulated, plus PO4 isn't generally a limiting factor in marine ecosystems.


I experienced a diatom bloom on my sand from the end of week three and half way through four. I didn't do any special water changes or change photoperiod. I did pick up some some razor caulerpa, though. I was going to put it in a DIY refugium, but the 'fuge didn't work out; bad design. I have the calurpa in the tank and I have been trying to get my hands on an old HOB filter to turn into a 'fuge.


I picked up a couple nessarius snails when I got the calurpa and they have done a good job of keeping the sand bed stirred around. Yes I know that they are carnivores.


The halimeda that sprouted out of my LR is doing well, as are the feather dusters.


The clownfish have been establishing their heirarchy for the last 1.5 weeks, but they have calmed down a lot in the last 4 days. They have grown almost 0.25in each since I got them.


Red, purple, pink, and green corraline aglae continues to proliferate throughout the tank, but I haven't seen any on the glass.


I have noticed some red cyano on a couple of the coral skeletons in the last 4 days. I think the reason that it hasn't been eaten is that it is hard for the snails and hermits to get into the nooks and crannies to get it. I'm not that worried about it, though, since today is my once-a-week-one-gallon water change day.


As usual, I am interested in people's comments...

Link to comment

i recently had a death of a hermit...cept someone ate him!!! lol the red stuff is coraline...and its not a sponge its a bristle........and yes the bristle could have killed the hermit!

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...