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Newbie setting up a 5 gallon. IS THIS A GOOD SETUP?


saltman123

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I am finally setting up a nano I was going to do a few months back. I had a long vacation planned so I put the tank plans on hold. Well I am back at it since a friend is taking down his established (2 year+) tank.

 

He is going to hook me up with some live rock, live sand, and even the first batch of water. I figure the opportunity is good so I am going to go for it.

 

My plans are to use:

-5 gallon acrylic I have around - Click for Dimensions

-2 -10Watt 50/50 Coralife Bulbs (20 watts total)

-HOB Aquaclear type filter to add more circulation and water to the setup

-Powerhead I have from an old freshwater setup

-Heater I have around

-Purchasing a saltwater test kit

-I have a digital salinity Meter (Refractometer/hydrometer)

-Plan to buy the water from my LFS or from Walmart bottled

 

I hope to keep in the tank:

-Live Rock

-Live Sand/substrate

-Critters (Shrimp, Snails, etc)

and then anything that is recommended in a tank like this such as: Polyps, Mushrooms.

-NO FISH For now- but hope to eventually get a clown if at all possible, but I understand it may not.

Anyone recommend any critters or starter soft corals, or polyps, or anything else I can keep in here. What is a good combination of things to keep??? If you have pics even better.

 

SO, DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE A GOOD SETUP???

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I have a small tank that holds 6.6gal (link is in the signature)... I actually have 5gal of water in it with the sand and rock.

 

Everyone upgrades the lighting so if you have not bought those bulbs or used them take them back and get some more watts. check out www.premiumaquatics.com that is where i buy most of my stuff.

 

You are on the right track. Good Luck

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I have a small tank that holds 6.6gal (link is in the signature)... I actually have 5gal of water in it with the sand and rock.

 

Everyone upgrades the lighting so if you have not bought those bulbs or used them take them back and get some more watts. check out www.premiumaquatics.com that is where i buy most of my stuff.

 

You are on the right track. Good Luck

 

 

Awesome tank!!

So do you think these lights will cut it even if I just want to keep the basic stuff? The reason is because I hope to graduate to a 12/24 gallon aquapod once the fall arrives. This is sort of my tester tank and I already have 1 of these bulbs so it will only cost me another $10 to complete the lighting on this one. I hope to just keep a critter crew more or less. I want a clown but most say it is not ideal in a tank this small....or at least for a beginner like myself.

 

Filtration:

Think my tank will be ok with just live rock and a small aquaclear or whisper hang on the back type filter? I see you have those 2 internal filters. I was hoping to just get away with a HOB that I can put more liverock in, or a carbon bag/floss every once and a while. Opinion on that?

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sounds good to mee!

 

So what exactly is an ideal critter crew? A fire shrimp? some snails?

How about for soft corals?some polyps?

 

I am not sure what is ideal in a tank of this size for a newbie.

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I ditched the 2 internal filters...I am currently running a maxijet PH, an elite PH, and a small HOB filter with some LS LR and a bag of purigen. Get some purigen its great and you can also regenerate it since it is synthetic. So it will last a while.

 

I use the catalina prepared saltwater from Petco because its $9 for 5 gals and it lasts me for 5 weeks on water changes. Make sure and get some RO water for top offs... wal-mart @ 37 cents per gal.

 

When you get the tank cycled with the LR and LS I would go out and pick up some snails and a possible hermit crab. My crabs have the tendency to eat my snails and take their shells....

 

Wait on the shrimp for a week or so after that because loosing $8 in snails is better than $20 on a shrimp.

 

Wait a bit longer after the shrimp an get a low light coral and see how that does.

 

You sound like you have almost everything ready. The 20W of light should give you about 5W/gal if it holds 4 gals of water after the rock and all.

 

As far as the ideal size for a new person would be IMO 10gal min. I did the 6.6gal because it fit nice on my desk. Most people say bigger is better for newcomers. More room to play around with and more room for error.

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What size powerhead is recommended for a 5 gallon tank???

 

Or should I say, how many Gallons Per Hour should it turn over? Curious to know how many times it should be done, thanks.

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sounds like you are on your way to a nice start. I agree with the earlier coment on upgrading the lights.

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EL CHUPACABRA
1- He is going to hook me up with some live rock, live sand, and even the first batch of water.

 

My plans are to use:

2- -5 gallon acrylic I have around - Click for Dimensions

3- -2 -10Watt 50/50 Coralife Bulbs (20 watts total)

4- -HOB Aquaclear type filter to add more circulation and water to the setup

5- -Powerhead I have from an old freshwater setup

6- -Heater I have around

7- -Purchasing a saltwater test kit

8- -I have a digital salinity Meter (Refractometer/hydrometer)

9- -Plan to buy the water from my LFS or from Walmart bottled

 

I hope to keep in the tank:

10- -Live Rock

11- -Live Sand/substrate

12- -Critters (Shrimp, Snails, etc)

13- and then anything that is recommended in a tank like this such as: Polyps, Mushrooms.

14- -NO FISH For now- but hope to eventually get a clown if at all possible, but I understand it may not.

15- Anyone recommend any critters or starter soft corals, or polyps, or anything else I can keep in here. What is a good combination of things to keep??? If you have pics even better.

 

16- SO, DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE A GOOD SETUP???

1- live rock already cured+ (tank will cylce faster)

2- word- acylic scratches be careful cleaning

3- ok I guess to start, may barely support some corals, but they certainly wont thrive

4- what model #? but this is a good filter, very popular, do a search on here to learn more about mods to make fuge, hopefully you have the AC110, you can get it for $39.99 on petsmart website, click here , then just trying it out and so it to the store and convince them to sell it to you of for the online price,just say they have done it before in the past.

5- more info? maxi jet is cheap and very reliable

6- more info, just make sure it works well, if it malfunctions you can cook your tank in hours

7- salifert is great, saltwater liquid master test kit as well, API is cheap and works ok.

8- Make sure its calibrated with fresh batteries too

9- Test it either way, you can trust your test result, perhaps not always others claims, this includes the walmart RODI, my local one didn't test out to zero

10- 5-7lbs would be great

11- just vacum regularly, if you go w/ shrimp goby cobow (talked about below, you will want it deeper)

12- clean up crew: 2 margarita snails (clean glass), 2-3 Astreas (clean everything, there great), 4 Nassirous (spelling?) (super cool, move fast, go under substrate and keep it clean, but are all over) 2-5 blue leg hermits (good fun to watch, and clean ok, good at getting excess food, BE SURE TO BUY LOTS OF EXTRA SHELLS (>8), hermits out grow their shells, if you have lots of choices they will never kill your snails) Drip acclimate, especially if you out them in at end of cylce before its complete.

13- Honestly the lights are very limiting, zoos will do mediocre, mushrooms will do ok, maybe some ricordias and green star polyps (gsp) would make it. Nothing will be thriving, if you upgrade there is so many more you can do. Watch the classifieds often, cheap lighting goes on sale every now and then but is snatched up quickly.

14- the False Percula is pretty much your only choice for clowns and its pushing it, get a juvinile and make sure to closely watch the bio-load, it may outgrow the tank as it matures. This is a hot topic of debate, but I have done it and so have many others. 1 is the MAX though hands down.

15- You could also get a goby, shrimp combo instead, just do a search to find out which ones live together, (a tiger pistol shrimp and a yellow watchman goby dig eachother) ( there are many more goby shrimp combos), the shrimp is good at digging caves and scavergeing but can't see well or defend its self. The goby chills in the cave and protects the shrimp, they are supposed to be great fun to watch in action, and are sized for your tank

 

Here are some examples w/ pics: click here

Do more searches for shrimp goby combos, they are a really cool combo.

 

16- this will be a decent starter setup, its a small amount of water so bad things will happen fast. Just be sure to go really slow and test all the time, and read, read, read. Also I can't stress the importance enough of a quarantine tank/buket, with a tiny tank, if any thing throw the balance out of whack a the cycle will begin again and will be like the angel of death passed over your tank, with the quarantine your display will be safe.

 

For filter media I recommend, chemi-pure, purigen, activated carbon (same as chemipure, but seems to make water clearer when you add it ontop of Chemipure as well), and phosgard (<-great if you have any unwanted algae growth. They all last a long time, and are cheap, the purigen can even be recharged.

 

Eventually get some cheato of the classifieds and mod your power filter into a refugium with a reverse photo-period, just search for it.

 

Good luck, you can read my thread to see what I did successfully, and what did not work out at all for me. EL CHUPACABRA...

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Good luck, you can read my thread to see what I did successfully, and what did not work out at all for me. EL CHUPACABRA...

 

 

WOW! Now THAT was a reply :D

 

I appreciate all of the info. You have definitely answered all my questions and then some. I never knew about the Goby/Shrimp combo so if that is a possibility, I definitely want to give it a try:)

 

I actually have an aquaclear 110 from an old freshwater stingray setup so maybe I can strap that on. I am just not sure if it is too big for the small 5 gallon since I remember it being pretty hefty.

 

LIGHTING

I am trying not to spend too much on lighting because I hope to upgrade to a larger tank in the next few months. I was considering either a Nano Cube/Aquapod(12/24) gallon, or possibly just piecing together my own custom tank. So I am trying to spend lightly just to get into the hobby.

 

Right now it will have 2-10Watt bulbs to equal 20 Watts. I did see the same bulb in a 20Watt but it won't fit my hood. Maybe I can build something custom and get 2 of those to equal 40Watt. Would that make MUCH more of a difference in what I could keep/and what would thrive??

 

POWERHEAD

Any real difference between a MiniJet and the MaxiJet?? Are both good or is one recommended over the other?

 

I don't want it to look like a tidal wave in the tank so whatever is best I will put in there.

 

I see available:

Maxijet 400

Maxijet 600

Minijet 404

Minijet 606

 

Is the Minijet's body just a little smaller ??

 

Thanks

 

PS-Your tank looks NICE!!! :)

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EL CHUPACABRA
1- I never knew about the Goby/Shrimp combo so if that is a possibility, I definitely want to give it a try:)

 

2-I actually have an aquaclear 110 from an old freshwater stingray setup so maybe I can strap that on. I am just not sure if it is too big for the small 5 gallon since I remember it being pretty hefty.

 

LIGHTING

3- I was considering either a Nano Cube/Aquapod(12/24) gallon, or possibly just piecing together my own custom tank.

 

4- So I am trying to spend lightly just to get into the hobby.

 

5- Right now it will have 2-10Watt bulbs to equal 20 Watts. I did see the same bulb in a 20Watt but it won't fit my hood. Maybe I can build something custom and get 2 of those to equal 40Watt.

 

6-Would that make MUCH more of a difference in what I could keep/and what would thrive??

 

7- PS-Your tank looks NICE!!! :)

 

1- I always kinda wish I had it too while I had my clown because they are a cool partnership, don't get me wrong I loved my clown but, those are better suited for a tank our size.

2- If it fits on you can always cut the empeller to reduce flow, but don't do it yet I will get you more info later, there is also some other mods you do to it to make it super-duper

3- Unless you really like the aesthetic appeal (how it looks) of the all in one tank, there are way better setups than this for your $. Both of those tanks are often modified due to their very limited out of the box capabilities. Did I mention the cubes are notorious for cracking, nothing like filling it with hundreds of $ worth of stuff to find it leaked all its water out and everything died while you were out.

4- Word, that is how I started, I can tell you some tips later to greatly reduce the cost of your purchases.

5-Don't buy anything, just wait I will show you several options on lighting including a ultra cheap Metal Halide, that will let you get pretty much whatever you want. Hold off and I will make you well informed on lighting. But as for that, no don't upgrade from the baseline to slightly above baseline you'll just be wasting your money.

6- the corals would do better, but not much, I will show you a variety of options that will make your corals not only thrive, but grow and could potetially make you back some $ later down the line. You can get some select corals now with your current lights.

7. try to read my entire thread, and when you get to the rare pink zoos that caused my crash click on the link to the pink zoo thread to read and see where most of the crash was discussed. I think it sucks, that is why I am building the new one. I will try to borrow a camera and upload some current pics, a lot of my old stuff is dead, and out of the tank. But my tank is finally recovered and looks fine just a little bare.

 

I have to go take my summer school final, I haven't slept in 2 days and spent 12.5 hours in the library studying yesterday alone, I am going back there now to study until 11am when my final is. I will try to remember to get you that info, if you haven't heard from me by this afternoon, just PM me again and remind me. Sorry for the poor sentence structure and misspellings I am tired... Be patient grasshopper....

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I have to go take my summer school final, I haven't slept in 2 days and spent 12.5 hours in the library studying yesterday alone, I am going back there now to study until 11am when my final is. I will try to remember to get you that info, if you haven't heard from me by this afternoon, just PM me again and remind me. Sorry for the poor sentence structure and misspellings I am tired... Be patient grasshopper....

I can tell I have LOTS to learn from your experiences and I appreciate your willingness to teach me :)!!!!! I am all ears.

 

1-Definitely excited to have learned about the goby/shrimp combo. I've always admired the clown fish/anemone relation so I will hope to get to this when I get a bigger tank. For now, it is Goby/Shrimp:) and even the goby I am going to wait on until I gain some confidence in tank knowledge.

 

2- I am going up to the attic to see what I can stir up from my old freshwater setups.

 

3-As for the NanoCube/Aquapod, I am slowly growing away from the idea. At first it sounded like a no brainer but I truly don't want to have to mod the hell out of it. If I can spend ideally the same price and get a nice setup I am open to it. I can't afford it yet but was even considering the 24 Gallon HQI Metal Halide Aquapod. Again, if I can do something better in the same price range I am open to it for the future. Guess this will be considered down the road since I won't be doing this anytime soon.

 

4-Any of your spending knowledge to help me keep costs down will be cool.

 

5-As far as the lighting I have, I have the 2-10Watt bulbs already. It is 20 watts so I am hoping to give this a try for now if it will work.

 

I've seen the Metal Halide plans and have considered them but am a little worried about their reliability, and possibly burning down the house. I definitely don't want to do that!!!:)jk

 

6-I am definitely interested to learn more about the corals I will be able to keep, etc. Just keep in mind that I am a complete newbie to salt water setups. I kept a freshwater stingray which was extremely sensitive and I was very successful with that. So I am not worried as I will learn, and probably have growing pains like everyone else. I just don't want to invest too much until I learn. I've heard people say zoo's, polyps, and shrooms are good starters. I will definitely hope to learn some specific combinations as the tank comes along.

 

7- I'm definitely going to read about the zoos and the crash. Anything I can learn from someone elses experience I am up for. Its shame and sorry to hear about it.

 

 

GOOD LUCK ON THAT SCHOOL FINAL! I remember those days well. I am 25 so college is only a few years back. I was not sleeping much either....and partied too much!!:)

 

I definitely have the patience, and am ready to start this up!:)

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EL CHUPACABRA

Sorry for the late reply, I just got back from vacation where the internet was hiding.

 

1-I am leaning towards one of these for my next tank.

2-Hope you find something cool. let me know

3-nano cube's glass cracks all the time, just do a search on it. They are cool, but unless you are set on the clean bent corners, there are much cheaper ways of mimicking their setup.

 

4-make stores price match their own online prices, but used, shop, shop, shop, and finally do it yourself. Just let me know what you need and I will try to find it cheap for you in my spare time.

5-your current lights will work for now, you can support some zoos and mushrooms which are good corals to start with anyways.

 

Fire is bad, but if you are smart about it and do your home work they can easily be achieved. I am in the process of building one know so I will be able to answer more questions once I have completed it.

 

6- I cannot stress testing enough. YOU MUST WAIT FOR YOUR CYCLE TO COMPLETE BEFORE YOU CAN BEGIN. Nano-reefing is all about patience. "I've heard people say zoo's, polyps, and shrooms are good starters."- I agree.

 

7- Quarantine tanks are the moral of my crashes story.

 

I did well on the final. I am confused by your comment is it possible to party to much?

 

I definitely have the patience, and am ready to start this up!:)- that is all you need, feel free to send any other questions my way...

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Thanks for the reply!!!

 

Well after getting the live rock, sand, and some critters, I split it all up into 2 different 5 gallon tanks. It is currently maintaining in there.

 

I realized that I did not have as much stuff as I originally though. So after doing some number crunching, I decided to go with a 12 gallon aquapod. I got a really good deal on a complete setup with the tank, heater, upgraded power head, and all of the other stuff I need to get me off the ground. The math between the 5 gallon and the 12 gallon aquapod wasn't too far off....so I just bit the bullet and have the aquapod arriving early next week.

 

I figured it was probably easier to go this route, and will be beneficial to have 12 gallons instead of the 5. I am hoping to learn plenty on this, which will eventually graduate me to try something smaller that is 100% custom. I've always liked the idea of a desk pico so that may be the future.

 

For now, I have TONS to learn with the 12 gallon.

I appreciate all of your knowledge and hope you can help me out in stocking the tank. I am hoping to start with all sorts of critters, polyps, mushrooms, and eventually grow to a fish maybe?

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