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2 week old 15 gallon tank


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Well, I have a 15 gallon that has been running for a couple of weeks and wanted some input on my plans. First, some background:


standard (24x12x12) 15g

55w PC lighting

2" deep "dead" sand

8 lbs live rock

10 lbs base rock

Flow is provided by a 170 gph powerhead and an empty medium Aquaclear (not sure on exact model)



sp. gravity - 1.026 (measured with a swing arm hydrometer)

temp. - 78-81

ammonia - 0

Nitite - 0

Nitrate - ~50

Alk - Red Sea test kit says ok (I know LOL)

Top offs and original fill with RO/DI


Since I live in Cincinnati and lead a boring life, I will probably be headed to Premium Aquatics (2 hr drive) this weekend and will be picking up the following hard goods:


New heater (75w) that is capable of stabilizing the temp.

Real alkalinity test



Since I am disappointed with the live rock I bought locally I will also be picking up 10 lbs or so of their famed live rock (fully cured) to replace the base rock currently in the tank. I will also purchase a few pounds of their Fla. live sand.


I am going to hold off on a water change until I get a refract so I can adjust salinity if the refractometer proves (as I expect it will) that my hydrometer is off.




Since the tank appears to be fairly stable I am thinking of adding some critters such as PAs scarlet hermits, nass. snails etc. Should I wait since I will be adding some new LR?


Water changes should abate the nitrates eventually correct? How toxic is a high nitrate level to the tank's inhabitants (LR hitchers and maybe the snails/hermits if I buy them)?



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In a two week old 15g an addition of 10lbs of live rock is likely to cause a NH3 spike. IMO I would wait a week or so after you add the new LR to add your clean-up crew.


High nitrates = algae. Also high concentrations not only stress fish but also make them more susceptible to disease. Inverts are way more sensitive to nitrates than fish so in our reef tanks we should never let the concentration rise above 20mg/l.

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Fish stick covered it pretty well. No sense in adding inverts now, they may not fare well until the tank is better stabilized after the new live rock and live sand.


So far I think you are on the right track.


I would also suggest picking up a small powerhead...maybe a maxijett...to add some more flow. In that size tank you can easily do 300-450+ gph without a problem.

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Thanks for the advice.


Found out I also have aptasia so adding a bottle of Joe's Juice to the list for PA :angry:


I will also pick up a maxijet 600 to increase flow.

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