View Full Version : + New To The Hobby

08/07/2006, 02:19 AM
Hey guys,

I've become really interested in Salt Water tanks recently and would love to give them a try.

I figured I'd start with something small to get familiar with everyhting, and if I find myself wanting more I can always upgrade.

I was thinking a 5, maybe 10 gallon tank.

I would like to keep a few corals in there, maybe a fish or 2 as well.

Now I don't know a single thing about salt water, I've been reading through the topics, and will continue through the following days to get some better knowledge onthe topic, but meanwhile maybe you guys can help answer some of the question I have.

For a 5 Gallong Tank, what equipment would I need, what supplies, to get me started.

Do I cycle the tank for a month like a freshwater tank?

How expensive will it be to get a 5 gallon reef tank going?

Those are just some of the questions I could think of now, I will post more as I come across them.


08/07/2006, 02:50 AM
hey, i posted this in the other thread of yours, but i'll put it here for convenience lol.


actually, if this is your first saltwater tank...5 gallons isnt really a good idea. Yes it is much cheaper, but its also much harder to maintain the correct levels in smaller volumes of water...so instead of starting w/something small to get familiar w/the hobby, try and get as big of a tank that you can. This will make it much easier. I would say try the bigger tank first, and then if you have success, try a smaller one down the road.

but it can be done of course, and if you're careful and keep up on it, you shouldnt have too many problems

to answer your questions tho...

All you will really need for a 5 gallon is about 5-10 pounds of live rock. This is your filter. NO OTHER FILTER IS NEEDED. Many people getting into the hobby think that they have to have some really fancy filter...i say nay...imo filters are more often bad than good...the media (stuff that you put in them) can build up nitrates fairly easily and cause lots of problems...where live rock doesnt, and its a completely natural way to filter...

so all you need for filtration is live rock and FLOW. i'd say get a powerhead that pushes out about 100 gallons per hour...that will give you 20 times the total volume turnover per hour, which is a good range to be in. But in a tank this small, imo a better bet would be to get bigger hob filter that pushes out about 100 gph and just run it empty....something like an aquaclear hang on filter would work good...the reason i say get the hob filter isntead of powerhead is because the return on it will give a much wider flow than a single powerhead, which will give a more concentrated flow, and in a tank so small, the flow wont spread as much which will give you "dead" spots (spots w/no or little flow)

Plus if you wanted you could make the HOB filter a small refuge for some chaeto algae and to help grow pods (little white bugs). Just put some live sand in the bottom of the hob filter (an inch or so will do) and then put a few pieces of live rock rubble, and some chaeto algae...the pods will grow in all 3 of those, and the algae will consume a bit of the excess nitrates which is good.

Or if you dont wanna have a fuge, you can use it to run carbon in. Or like i said above, you can just run it empty :)

For cycling...no you dont gotta wait that long....IF you use live rock...CURED live rock. If you add 5-10 lbs of CURED live rock, your tank will be instantly cycled pretty much (the rock is whats cycling...not the water. All the good bacteria grows on the rock and not the water) You would just have to wait a few days to make sure everything stays stable before adding stuff. Then after about a week with live rock in, i'd say you can add a bunch of corals and maybe a fish.

If you get UNCURED live rock, then it will cycle itself...but it will take about a month, because uncured rock is just regular rock, but it has "die off" (bacteria die off) on it that will take about 3 weeks or so to grow back.

Lighting on this tank will be a piece of cake, but i wouldnt worry bout that till you get all your stuff planned out...lighting for now is the least important thing imo.

hope this helps, and ask more questions...make sure to get it right the first time, cuz smaller tanks give less room for newbie errors.


08/07/2006, 03:11 AM
Just an FYI I just started a 20 gal. and I have almost $1000.00 invested in it. Dont let this price tag scare you though. My 55 gallon only cost me about $400.00 Of course It didn't have all the neat lil toys but it was succesful nontheless. So it can be done. And yes starting with a bigger tank is going to be easier.

08/07/2006, 07:32 AM
If your wanting something tiny (like a 5 gallon) you can find special Nano Tanks that will meet your needs. They are very in-expesive (especially for Salt Water) and you can raise a few corals in them and maybe even add a fish or two.

It's accually a good way to start. Just to see if you like the hobby before you go spending thousands of dollars on larger, more complex systems only to find that 6 months down the road, your burned out.

Just know that small tanks are high maitanence. Be prepared for constant monitoring and water changes.

08/07/2006, 11:03 AM
It's accually a good way to start.

i dissagree...like i said above, smaller tanks are harder to keep everthing in balance, which imo wouldnt be a good starting point for a newbie. But that being said it can still be done w/out too much trouble, but it takes a high maintainence to keep it running successfully.

IMO, the BEST thing you should invest money in for a tank this small is an auto topoff unit. that way the salt level never fluctuates due to evaporation (which will happen)

08/07/2006, 01:11 PM
People start at different levels of comprehension. You can be new to the hobby and be a success at smaller tanks if you do the research and progress carefully. If they have experience keeping freshwater fish successfully, this only helps. It is a good way to get into the hobby but maybe not good for everyone.

08/07/2006, 01:25 PM
yea i agree. you really have to research BEFORE goin out and getting a bunch of stuff (which you seem to be doing lol)

08/07/2006, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the amazing advice guys.

I've decided I will try the smaller 5 gallon tank. The reason being I'm very short on space in my room. 4 Other tanks occupy all of it.

Here's a list of things to buy...

5 Gallon Tank

Aquaclear hang on filter (not sure what size I need for a 5 gallon, any suggestions?)

topoff (not really sure how this looks so I was hoping you guys can point me to exactly what it is so I can do some research. I buy all my stuff form here...


Could anyone find a topoff for my 5 gallon there?)

5 - 10 pounds of Live Cured Rock (hopefully my store sells it)


When you get the rock, can you break it up into pieces to fit the tank, or do you have to look for smaller pieces in the store?

Salt Water Test Kit


Did I miss anythign else. do I need a filter, and what kind of lights would you suggest, I noticed on the smaller hoods their usually the round bulbs, I will have to look for a strip light correct? and what kind of strip light will I need.

That all I can think of for now, you guys have been a great help.


An additional Question...

This may sound dumb, but when you purchase liverock, will stuff grow out of it?


Thanks again,

08/07/2006, 02:51 PM
you list looks fine to me. For the HOB filter, i'm not sure which AC model is the right one, but try to get something w/about 100 gph.

as for the rock, you sure can break it up and do whatever to it that you wish.

for the light, i'd go w/one of those coralife mini fixtures...theres prolly one thats around 24 watts total or something...go to drsfosterandsmith.com (i think thats what its called...if it doesnt work do a google search for them)
anyways, they've got all those mini lights i think.

as for the topoff, i dont know which ones are a good kind... just go for one thats cheap i guess...it wont hvae to be anything special. Or you could just make one...they're supposedly really easy to make.

I dont have one on my 55, but if i was gonna get a small tank like yours i would def. have one...otherwise you'd have to top off like 4 times a day to make sure theres not much of a swing lol.


08/07/2006, 03:07 PM
For ease of learning and space availability why don't you just go with a 10 gallon? They are not that much bigger and you will find lights that fit easier as well as more room for landscaping, HOB filters, or even a skimmer if you decide to go with that later. Also If something goes wrong you have 5 extra gallons of forgiveness. Besides 10 gallons are only like $11 dollars at most big box pet stores like petco. Lol I alos noticed your list was missing salt the key ingredient. I would recommend buying the 5 gallon bucket of instant ocean that is usually the best deal, however its like $50, Compare that to a whole bunch of $20 boxes. As far as test kits go I would make sure to get a quality kit. Dont get one that has lil tablets they usually suck and give false readings. For water movement you might need a power head I recommend going with a Maxi Jet maybe a 400. This should get you going. Good luck and remember be patient. When your ready to start your cycle use a coctail shrimp from the grocery store as opposed to a live fish or animal. You willactually see the shrimp decompose as the tank cycles. Have fun and Welcome to this wonderful hobby.

08/07/2006, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the great answers.

Next week im going to stop by the store and pick up all of my supplies, probably on a wed or thurs, I will post pics up of what I got any any further questions I may have before putting everything together.

Another question I have is, I see alot of people using Skimmers, would you reccomend one for a 5 gallon, and what exactly do they do.

Money really isnt a issue here, but space is thats why Im going with the 5 gallon, is there any other equipment that would make my life alot easier.


08/07/2006, 03:18 PM
When your ready to start your cycle use a coctail shrimp from the grocery store as opposed to a live fish or animal. You willactually see the shrimp decompose as the tank cycles

i dissagree.

if you have live rock already, why would you put a shrimp in there? that will only cause problems if you've already got live rock.

theres no need to bring in a shrimp

08/07/2006, 03:40 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7895439#post7895439 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sir_dudeguy
i dissagree.

if you have live rock already, why would you put a shrimp in there? that will only cause problems if you've already got live rock.

theres no need to bring in a shrimp

Live rock isn't going to come completely cured. Also if the tank hasn't been cycled why add live rock. If you did you would just accelerate the die off and you willl see the same spikes as if a shrimp were introduced. Besides you can't SEE the effects of the cycle on live rock as opposed to a shrimp. So IMO as well as many others I believe that a shrimp is a good way to go. I would hold off on the rock for a bit and add those as soon as there has been a cycle that way you have better chances of saving anythng that might come on the rock.

08/07/2006, 03:49 PM
If I were you I'd either go with either a 10 gallon or my choice would be a nano cube tank such as a 12 gallon aquapod or similar.
They already have everything you need except a heater and by the time you buy all the equipment seperately it will prolly cost you that much anyway.

I just set up a 10 gallon fresh for my kid. Got the tank for like 9 bucks and it still cost me $80 total for just a cheap hood, tank and the filter.
You need much better lighting such as power compacts for any corals.

You can't stock fish in saltwater like you can fresh so a 5 gallon is pretty small if you want a fish especially when you fill it with live rock.

Most people start with the live rock so if there is any die off it cycles along with the tank.
If you put a shrimp in and then wait to put the rock in if theres die off it will take longer to cycle.

IMO you do need to cycle the tank or at least wait to see if it does cycle after adding the rock.
It needs to be tested for ammonia and nitrites.

You should really read up alot on here before just jumping in.
As you see theres also alot of different opinions on how to do it.


08/07/2006, 03:56 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7895635#post7895635 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kass03
If I were you I'd either go with either a 10 gallon or my choice would be a nano cube tank such as a 12 gallon aquapod or similar.
They already have everything you need except a heater and by the time you buy all the equipment seperately it will prolly cost you that much anyway.

I just set up a 10 gallon fresh for my kid. Got the tank for like 9 bucks and it still cost me $80 total for just a cheap hood, tank and the filter.
You need much better lighting such as power compacts for any corals.

You can't stock fish in saltwater like you can fresh so a 5 gallon is pretty small if you want a fish especially when you fill it with live rock.


I am total agreement with Kass. 10 gallon would definately be the way I would go. Like I said real estate. Thats the key especially for a noob. You don't want to end up hating your 5 gallon due to lack of possibilities and then lose heart in the hobby that would be a shame. I say go with a 10 might be only a few inches bigger but way better.

08/07/2006, 04:01 PM
Thanks guys, I will see what size can fit on my shelf, I know a 5 gallon will fit, but a 10 might have problems, which is why im leaning towards the 5 gallon.

I will let you know the measurments I have to work with, and we can see what can fit.

As for the cycling, I will read up some more on it to see exactly which method I will follow, and ask more questions when I have all the equipment in place.


08/07/2006, 04:13 PM
Also if the tank hasn't been cycled why add live rock.

because live rock is what cycles the tank. of course there will be a bit of die off, but if you get cured rock from an lfs and take it home and get it in the tank, there will be minimal die off, and in a few days to a week, the bacteria on the rock will have a chance to grow back and be cycled. Also, the water isnt what cycles...its the bacteria on the rocks that cycles (the bacteria also grows on every other surface i think, but the rock is the main thing). The bacteria on the rock i believe just breaks down amonia into nitrites, and nitrites down itno nitrates. This is the cycle process.

If you get cured rock, you're basically getting cycled rock, and adding a shrimp will only cause nitrate problems, and probably amonia as well, idk.

If you did you would just accelerate the die off and you willl see the same spikes as if a shrimp were introduced

yes and no...again, the water isnt whats being cycled...its the rock...so adding live rock to "un-cycled water" wont have any affects on the live rock.
And you wont see the same spikes form rock as you would with a shrimp. If you get cured live rock, the "cycle" will only take about a week or so, and you will see only minimal spikes if any at all. If you cycle with a shrimp it WILL cycle, yes...but it can take a month or so to completely cycle, and you will see WAY more of a spike than if you cycle w/cured live rock

If you get uncured live rock, it will also cycle itself, but it will take more than just a week...probably closer to the same as a shrimp would and probably with the same spikes.

there were a couple of polls in the "new to the hobby" forum about a month ago. They were both on what people prefer to use to cycle a new tank. Cured live rock got BY FAR more votes than ANY other method, including shrimp. There were actually quite a few people saying something about "dead shrimp is the old/outdated method of cycling"


08/07/2006, 04:14 PM
and yes, please ask about cycling in the newbie forum...see what response you get.

08/07/2006, 04:18 PM
What kind of shelf is it? A 5 gal can get kind of heavy once you add water, sand, rocks, lights and whatever else.

My mother started a 5.5 gal and its totally a mess because she isn't very diligent keeping up with the water changes or if she does, she does too much and strips it of benefinicial bacteria.

In comparison of my 30 to my 10 the 30 is amazingly much easier. I started with the 30 and after a month or so inherited a 10 gal so I started that. The 30 has matured and stabilized (looking pretty good too) and the 10 is fighting through the slime algae stage and it is a pain keeping up with water changes and not taking to much beneficial bacteria. Stripped it once luckily I just threw some water from the 30 in.

The 30 the levels have been very easy to maintain which makes me excited to build a house and get a 125 or 150. IF I would have started with the 10 I think I would have just thrown it out the window.

08/07/2006, 04:21 PM
I agree with Sir dudeguy about the dead shrimp not being a good idea.
I would start with live rock. Another method is adding a pinch of flake food every day.
To me you need to add the rock anyway so might as well start with it and have less of a cycle. Look for rock that's been at the LFS for awhile.

I just set up my aquapod 6 weeks ago using live rock and sand from my 150 gallon and it never cycled at all.
I still tested and waited before I added alot of corals to be sure.
Well I only waited about 2 weeks lol but that's because I could put them back in my other tank if it did cycle. A newb does'nt have that option.

4mb the benificial bacteria live in the rock and sand.
The reason it is'nt good to do a large water change is because it can change the pars too much and stress the animals.


08/07/2006, 05:32 PM
Just take things slow. I researched for about 8 months before I bought my tank. Lots of patience, and lots of research will get you far in this hobby.

08/07/2006, 07:34 PM
So I guess the first thing to focus on is going to be the shelf and what kind of space you have to work with. Keep in mind that Saltwater weighs 8lbs per gallon if I remember correctly. Thats not including rock and sand nor the equip. You won't have exactly 10 gallons after all that stuff is in but you do need to be conscious of the weight that might be exerted on the shelf.

08/07/2006, 07:39 PM
I had on my 16 gallon bowfront the ac 200 gave me plenty of flow. If you are DIY capable try building a small skimmer yourself. Or the nano remora is supposed to work well. For a 5 gallon I would recommend going with two strip lights rather than a more expensive lighting system. I have had a selection of tanks from a 1 gallon pico to a 200 gallon fowlr and as long as you keep up on regular water changes everything tends to do well. In a five though be careful not to let even one slide because you don't have much give there.

Good Luck

08/08/2006, 12:04 AM

Thanks for all the input guys, alot of useful information here.

Sorry I called it a shelf, it's actually a part of my desk, the weight won't be a problem.

As for the water changes those wont be too hard either, I clean my frog tank every week, and do a weekly water change on my 55, always enjoyed seeing the tank spotless afterwords.

I will stop by the store and see what tank sizes they have and let you guys know what im using when it comes time to set it up. ( I will try to go for the biggest I can )

Im also on the lookout for some cured rock, I will call the store to see if they sell any, if not is it common for people to be selling this? Im located in Canada so we don't have any LF's around here.

Im really looking forward to this, so for the next week I'll do some serious reading and before I hit the store I'll ask any last questions I may have.

Thanks again guys, if there's anything else anyone wants to add that would be great.


08/08/2006, 12:52 AM
the aquaclears make great fuges for the 5-15 gallon range, that is what i would go with.

one thing to concider would be the Eclipse tanks. Have a look at the Eclipse Hex and Corner 5 tanks,

or my Hex 5


if you like what you see id love to help you out with problems and tips for those little beauties.

by researching and following along other peoples threads your off to the best possible start, good luck

08/08/2006, 09:46 AM
the aquaclears make great fuges for the 5-15 gallon range, that is what i would go with.

and for 55 gallons lol. I've got a hob filter on my 55 that i converted to a fuge. Its not an AC, but its the same basic thing, and the same size. but its worked great so far.

08/11/2006, 12:21 PM
Hey guys,

I Finally got the funds to begin purchasing some equipment, so I will be stopping by the local Big Al's today.

First of all I meanured the amount of space on my desk.

7.9" depth

17.7" width

Unlimited Height.

Thats what I have to work with give or take a inch or 2. I made sure to leave about 10 cm behind the tank to hang everything.

I measures my 5 gallon ( I think thats a 5 gallon ) and the measurments were right on to what my space requirements were. Now I was thinking maybe they make something taller in that footprint size, but then I would need some serious lighting to reach the bottom. So I figured that tank size will be good enough.

Does anyone have any opinions on the size I have chosen. Thats about all I can fit.

Now I wanted to ask about the Topoff, How does it work, does anyone have a link? Does it require another tank to pull water from? Not sure how it works or how much room it will take up.

Also, will I require a heater for a tank this size?

Also, can someone suggest a lighting setup for a tank this size? What kind of bulbs will I need?

Here's what I have on my list of things to buy today.

1. AC filter to use as a fuge ( I'll look for a decent sized one to fit onto the back of the tank.

2. The Tank, 5 Gallon I believe.

3. Topoff, I'll need ot get some more info on it before I go out and buy it though.

4. Some substrate, I will read the topic int he New To The Hobby Thread and decide what kind I'd like. ( If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them ).

5. I'll see if they have any Cured Live Coral ( If not I'll call around and see what other stores in my area have. ( If I purchase the coral today but don't put it in my tank for a few days will it die off?)

6. And some salt water, someoen suggested some a few replys back I'll go back and see exactly what kind to buy.

7. Some kind of water test kit, not sure which one would be best. ( Suggestions are welcome )

That's all I can think of now, Can someone go through the list and let me know if I'm ont he right track, maybe alter a couple items?


08/11/2006, 02:11 PM
for the toppoff...i believe their are diy ones that are really cheap. you can get jsut a small jug and rig itup to that...you dont need a seperate tank...just a jug or something...you cold make a gravity fed one that would sit on a shelf just a little above the tank, but i dont know hw to make it.

for substrate, jsut get a small thing of aragonite.
And i'm guessing you meant cured live rock? live rock is often made up of just coral skeletons smashed together but ya...go forcured live rock if you can. if you dont put it in your tank yes it will die off...mostly all of it i would think if you waited a few days...unless you were to put it in like a 5 gallon bucket...that would be fine...just put saltwater in there, and something for circulation if possible.

salt...you wont be using much, so it would proly be better to get the best kinds...i know tropic marin is sposed to be raelly good. Its expensive, yes, but you'll be buying such a small amount of it at a time that it wouldnt be too bad.

but if you wanna go w/just isntant ocean thats fine...i've had problems w/oceanic so i woudlnt do that tho...reef crystals (by instant ocean) is good too.,

most everything else looks cool tho..on lighitng just go for something like a 40 watt total or higher w/pcs

08/11/2006, 04:46 PM
like I said before I would get the 5 gallon bucket of instant ocean, its the best bang for the buck and it should last you a very long time. As far as Substrate I would go with something that catches your attention aragonite or crushed coral is a bit big in grain size for my liking so you might want to go with something that is a bit smaller. Also avoid the tahitian moon sand, the black stuff, because it adds no buffering qualities to your tank. (in other words it doesn't help sustain a pH).

If you buy a HOB filter makes sure it doesn't come with a biowheel. Corallife makes a real good PC that comes with built in fans. You might be able to retrofit it into whatever canopy you are going to use.

08/11/2006, 06:56 PM
neither does aragonite. it says that it does, but theres been plenty of studies on here that showed that it doesnt. I also think that the bag even said that it wont buffer unless the water is a low pH...for example if your pH is already around 8....its not gonna do anything. Its only when the pH is really low like around 7 that it will buffer the water.

and for the hob...y not get one w/a biowheel? i know i'd never use a biowheel because they cause nitrate problems, but you can just take the biowheel off. If a biowheel filter is all that fits, by all means get that and just take off the wheel part.

for the salt. yes you definately would get more bang for your buck by buying the bigger one...however if you were to get one of the expensive ones like tropic marin, the bucket is gonna be pretty expensive. Sure it will be more bang for your buck, but w/a 5 gallon tank, its really not nessesary to get a whole ton of salt just because its cheaper in bulk...imo get the best salt (i'm not sayin tropic marin is...but it might be idk...) but only get like those 50 gallons worth packs. This is only if cost is an issue...if its not, by all means get the big guy...but i know for me i dont have the money to buy a big jug of the best salts, but i'm going to use them for my 2.5 gal. tank. I'm just not going to buy the big ones because its more practical **for me because of money issues** to keep paying as i get the money for it, rather than blow off a big chunk.

08/11/2006, 10:26 PM
I only mention that because bio wheel filters are nitrate factories. Not many peeps that are new to the hobby know that. Besides for space I would suggest you get a cartridge filter that way you can add a bag of carbon or something along those lines, in place of the regular cartriges that are usually overpriced anyway.

08/12/2006, 01:05 AM
in place of the regular cartriges that are usually overpriced anyway

and can prolly give nitrate problems also.

08/12/2006, 02:10 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7924697#post7924697 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sir_dudeguy
and can prolly give nitrate problems also.

I'm sure you know from experience right? Tell me Dr. Quinn what exactly should this new reefer do to become such a successful reef keeper like yourself. I sure am interested.

On a lighter note. Ethics, pick what suits the kind of tank you will be putting together, and what suits your wallet. Lots of people "ACT," like they know what is best. Truth is, things that work for some don't necessarily work for all. I can tell you from experience that this is the case. For instance I kept a 55g with VHO (Very High Output) lighting and no skimmer that had beautiful corals and fish, and no algea probs. Many will say this isn't possible. It worked for me, the strange thing was I couldn't keep a 10 without a skimmer. Each tank is it's own fingerprint and each carry with it the finess of their particular owner. This is a live and learn hobby, have fun with it. You will learn what works and what doesn't, regardless of what people recommend. It's not such a touchy hobby that you "Have" to do things in a certain way with certain equipment. Hell My 55 was basically a fresh water tank with nice lighting, but looked great! So give it a shot and don't get caught up on Auto top off this... and necessary HOB that.. Besides I think it will be a learning experience having to manually do your own water changes, and get "Hands on" with your lil piece of the ocean. So good luck, have fun.


08/12/2006, 01:39 PM

Thank you for the input guys, I really appreciate the help from both of oyu.

I actually decided to see if I can do this on a budget, Sure I can spend a few hundered and buy the best things, but last night I had seccond thoughts on wether I wanted to buy all this stuff.

The same thing happened with my 55 gallon, I decided to go the expensive route and in the end I wasted close to $400 on things I didn't need.

So I decided to see what I have around the house.

I have a 5 gallon tank I can use.

I have a spare filter laying around, it's a Marineland Filter Penguin 100 W Bio-wheel. Will this be good to use as a fuge?


So today when I go to the store im gogin to buy...

A topoff, I'll askt he guys at the store for some more info on them, hopefully they help me choose the right one.

Some lighting, 40 watt total with PCS, could someone tell me what pcs is so that I don't look like a idiot whne goign into the store? :)

Substrate, I'll get some aragonite.

And im about to call up a few stores to see if they ahve cured live rock.

If there's anything I missed can someone point it out quickly, going to hop in for a quick shower and get going before the store closes.


08/12/2006, 02:42 PM
If you go Auto top off just remember that you are changing from a tub and a pump to mix salt in, to, floats, solenoids, pumps, wiring, tub, and most of all "Electricity" which also means that you might have to ground your tank depending on how you set it up. I would say keep it simple especially since this is your first tank. I would spend the money on stuff that you actually "Need" to get the tank going. As far as the penguin it will provide water movement and a place to put some carbon, you could find a way to put a light in it and turn it into a fuge but I think that you will have size issues, and whatever macro algea you select will outgrow it too quickly. Look into a canister filter. I think you can squeeze way more space out of them and they are easy to conceal. There are many canister mods you can find from some of the posts on here. I can't remember the name but someone had a 2" cube on his desk at work that was connected to a canister that was very impressive. The best part about that is you can find one used easily and you can still set your tank up without it for now.
as far as lighting goes I would just go to your LFS and ask the guy(or girl) what he has that will keep the kind of corals your interested in. I think your going to probably end up going with PCS, which means "Power Compacts" they look like this.

and like this:

They are pretty strong lights that don't use as much juice as MH(Metal Halide) VHO(Very High Output) lighting.

I think this is good, if I missed something let me know.


08/12/2006, 02:54 PM
that filter should be fine..just dont have the biowheel on it or any other media that would go in. Since you wanna do it as a fuge tho, you dont put that stuff on anyways. Just throw in a couple inches of live sand, few pieces of rock rubble, and some chaeto algae in there and you'll be fine. You may want a tiny grate or piece of eggcrate to stop the chaeto from flowing out and into the tank. Also, a light over the chaeto will help it grow and function, altho i know a few people who dont put any light over it and it works just fine. I myself just use a regular house bulb (one of those spiral fluorescent ones that screw into a clamp lamp) and it grows fine, but some people like to go all out and get the 10K and everything. IMO its not really nessesary

08/12/2006, 02:57 PM
and yes, if you get a light over the fuge, the algae will grow quick...but just chop off a chunk every week or so or whenever needed, and you'll be fine...some people will even buy the stuff from you if you've got enough of it. That stuff is sold so much and so much cross country that i probably have some from someone way the heck in florida lol.

08/12/2006, 04:28 PM

I just got back from the store witha bunch of goodies.

I really need ot knwo a few things quick!

How long can Cured Live Rock survive out of water?

And for mixing the salt with water, ont he package it says I need some special RO water, can I just use simple tap water?

I'll have some pics of the stuff I bought a little later.


08/12/2006, 05:32 PM
You'll want to get it into water as soon as possible. Looks like you havent mixed your water, so I would go ahead and wrap the rock in newspaper to keep it moist. Tap water will contain many unwanted nutrients: nitrates, phosphates, so on. Your local LFS should sell RO water or you can use drinking water to get that LR in water as soon as possible.

08/12/2006, 05:53 PM
for now i would just put the rock in a seperate container of saltwater using tap water. Then as soon as possible go to water mart and get your ro (unless you can go right away...that way you'll save 5 gallons of water)

and not all tap water is that bad mine comes out pretty good, so when i have to i use that. But for just holding your rock for a little bit, i dont see any problem w/using tap. Just untill you get ro water.

08/12/2006, 05:53 PM
for now i would just put the rock in a seperate container of saltwater using tap water. Then as soon as possible go to water mart and get your ro (unless you can go right away...that way you'll save 5 gallons of water)

and not all tap water is that bad mine comes out pretty good, so when i have to i use that. But for just holding your rock for a little bit, i dont see any problem w/using tap. Just untill you get ro water.

08/12/2006, 06:50 PM
If you do use tap water and it is'nt well water you need to treat it to get rid of the chlorine and chloramines before using.


08/12/2006, 07:17 PM
yes that too. forgot about that. I just use one of those dechlor things, but i dont know how affective they are...i'm sure that they vary in affectiveness tho

08/12/2006, 08:31 PM
Hey Guys,

Here's the list of things I purchased today...

Red Sea Salt 50 Gal Worth

CU Fission Nano skimmer ( I asked the guy for a top off, and this is what he gave me )

Arag Alive Sand Fine 2 / 20lb

A 12" 36 Watt Corallight Lamp

10 lbs of Cured Live Rock ( 7.88 a lbs :O )

Saltwater Master Liquid Water Test Kit

Calcium Test Kit

So I got home and found out I had to keep the cured live rock in some salt water so here's what I did.

I measured 5 gallons of tap water and put it ina bucket. I looked ont he package of Red Sea Salt and put in the amount required for 5 gallons of water.

I put the live sand int he tank and filled it up with the water I made.

I crushed the rock into smaller pieces and put it in the tank.

Then I assembled the skimmer and my old filter. I put some pieces of crushed rock into the filter.

I setup and light and the tank, here's how it looks.







Thats how the setup looks, I got lucky and put the light ona shelf I cut a few minutes ago which fit prefectly.

Now I have a few questions...

What can you guys tell me about the way I set everything up, was anything done wrong?

I didn't realize you had to buy water, so I guess I will have to buy some tommorow, is this stuff expensive? and do you need it to do every water change?

The light that ona shelf, will it need some kind of fans to stop from overheating, or is it fine the way it is?

Im also planning on building a top off tommorow to solve the dissolving issue.

Oh Now when I was mixing the salt I noticed it needed the water to be a certain SW level, or some abreviation, not sure what it was, do I need ot buy a test kit for this also?

There also seems ot be a ton of little bubbles comign form the skimmer, will this go away or is there some way of fixing this?

And finally if you guys have any last tips to help me get going ont he right track I'd love to hear them.


08/12/2006, 10:20 PM
Now I have a few questions...

What can you guys tell me about the way I set everything up, was anything done wrong?
So far looks like a SW tank, hard to say if anything is wrong yet.

I didn't realize you had to buy water, so I guess I will have to buy some tommorow, is this stuff expensive? and do you need it to do every water change?

-An Reverse Osmosis(RO Unist) is usually the away many people handle the water issue. You should really get that stuff ASAP but since you already started your tank with tap, just use RO for water changes and top off and it will eventually cycle out.

The light that ona shelf, will it need some kind of fans to stop from overheating, or is it fine the way it is?

- You need a temperature gauge that way you can see what its doing. You should be around 77 - 80* F

Im also planning on building a top off tommorow to solve the dissolving issue.

Oh Now when I was mixing the salt I noticed it needed the water to be a certain SW level, or some abreviation, not sure what it was, do I need ot buy a test kit for this also?

- The abbreviation was SG which means "specific gravity" I would have already had one of those, you might find your tank has too little or too much salt in it. Both easily remedied hold off on testing the params until you get one of those. They are only a couple bucks for the cheap one.

There also seems ot be a ton of little bubbles comign form the skimmer, will this go away or is there some way of fixing this?

-This will go away soon, its just until the oils from the pipe and your hands dissolve, also you are probably too light on salt, again I wouldnt just add more until you get a test kit.

And finally if you guys have any last tips to help me get going ont he right track I'd love to hear them.

- Be patient, your tank has a lil journey to make before it's ready for any animals. I would research RO/DI units and decide if it's in your budget to buy one. Until then use drinking water. Also it is VERY important you know where your salt levels are, so get a tester asap. Just get a cheap one and if you decide you like the hobby enough maybe you can buy a little more expensive refractometer. Other than that It looks great! =) You made the leap of faith a lot sooner than I expected. Thats how I do it. "Get er done"!! WOOHOO.


08/12/2006, 10:37 PM
i'm not sure why the guy gave you a nano skimmer for a topoff...topofs and skimmers are completely different. but those nano skimmers are junk so i hear...i'd suggest taking it back..he prolly just wanted to sell stuff.

08/12/2006, 10:51 PM
Thanks guys for all the input.

The guy that gave me the skimmer is the worst sales person I've ever delt with, he's also a manager there.

If you ask him for help with something he'll make it seem like your a complete idiot and try to sell you 100 things you don't need. I asked him for a top off, he said he didnt have one there, but like 10 minutes later he came back and he said heres your top off, me not knowing what one looks liek I took it.

Will the skimme rhelp at all or is it usless? I rather just keep it if it will do some good to the tank.

Tommorow Im going to go to the local fish store and pickup a SG test kit, and some RO Water to get things going.

Im also goign to look up how to build a simple top off so I don't get too much evaporation.

Once I get all that i'll post some water parameters for you guys.

Also a weird thing I noticed when breaking up the Live rock. There were a few Big Worm type of animals in the rock. Not sure what they were but their in my tank now, any idea on what they could be?

Also how big of a water change do you gusy reccomend weekly on a 5 gallon tank?

And do I doa water change with RO water with the salt mixed in or just plain RO water. And for the topoff do I use saltwater, or plain RO water, the guy at the store told me plain RO water.

Thats all the questions I can think of right now, you guys have been great.

Oh and for the filter, I used a plain filter, with no biowheel and no media, just a empty filter and I put some live rock int here, what else should I buy to put in the filter?

Ah and forgot to ask, what kinds of things should I be looking out for now that I have a new tank, anything bad that might grow out of the live rock?

One last question, how long should I leave the lights on? My lights don't have a moonlight, is that bad?


08/12/2006, 11:45 PM
I'd take the skimmer back, but if you can try it and it works, then i'd keep it...its gotten pretty poor reviews, which is a shame because i know it was pretty anticipated (spelling)

the worms are likely bristleworsm which are beneficial. The more the merrier :) (and trust me...i fyou've got 1...you've got a thousand lol)

water change...i'd only do about a 1 gallon, and yes, thats w/premixed saltwater. just mix your salt in w/some ro water about 24 hours before, and use that.

Topoff is w/freshwater, because when water evaps, its fresh...not salt...the salt will stay in the tank and build up if you top off w/saltwater.

for the filter you can leave it how it is w/the live rock, or you can do a fuge. in which case you'll need a light over it.

some things you should expect...algae...most new tanks go thru an algae bloom. Mine sure as heck did, but that may have been because of high nitrates, not simply because the thing was new.

plan on finding a bunch more things from the rock...featherdusters possibly, and little tiny white worms that go on the glass or any other surface and curl up into a spiral...they're called spirobid worms i believe, and are harmless.

by the way, you've got pm if you didnt know :)


08/12/2006, 11:53 PM
For lights I recommend a 12 hour period, but for now I dont even think you need them. Eventually you are going to need a timer.

As for top off you only top off with fresh water no salt. Salt does not evaporate only water. But you do water changes with the same EXACT sg salt water as what you took out.

The worms in your rock sound like fireworms. No big deal on those. Most tanks have them as far as I know. I had them and they never caused any probs.

The filter sounds good empty for now, later you can add carbon, or you can attempt to mod it into a fuge. You need the water movement. Make sure that the top of the water is being broken to allow for aeration.

As for water changes usually you do a 10 percent change. In your case that won't be much at all. You don't want to put salt directly in the tank in granule form either, you want to pre mix it test it for sg and then aerate it with a pump, for awhile, I have never done a small tank like yours, but I would think that you would want the water the same temp as well, as not to shock your animals.

Did I miss anything?


08/13/2006, 09:31 AM
ya 12 hours is good...but timers arent completely nessesary if you're always gonna be home to manually turn them on in the morning and evening. Corals can even go days w/out light...but if they dont have flow, they will quickly die off.

the worms..if they're fireworms the yes they are a problem...but they probably arent...i'm hoping oddiseus meant bristleworm, because those are the good ones and help clean and stuff...fireworms are a completely different *bad* worm i believe. I dont know exactly what they do, but i'm sure its probably something to do w/eating corals maybe.

this is a bristle worm. They can also be just solid pink too. I've never seen one fully brown/black before, but they could be i spose.

this is a link to a yahoo search for fire worms...you can see the difference.
Fire worms (http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=fire+worm&ei=UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-img-t-t400&x=wrt)

08/13/2006, 01:13 PM
What you need is a hydrometer to measure the salinity. If you want to spend more you can get a refractometer which are more precise.
Seatest makes one with the arm that tells you.
Dont get the glass thermometer type as they're harder to read.
I have the seatest and I keep mine around 1.024. Some people keep theres higher but I figure thats a good start and allows for evaporation and if the hydrometer is'nt accurate.
When you use it be sure to bang the bottom on something to get the air bubbles off the arm so it's more accurate.

Did you add anything to the water to get rid of chlorine and chloramines? Don't you guys think he was suppose to?
I have well water so don't have to but if I were you I'd still get some and add it. It's cheap. I thought I read chlorine goes out in a day but not chloramines.

You really need to research on here about everything a bit before jumping in.
I'm sure they're bristleworms and good for the tank and normally seen on live rock. Fireworms are rare.


08/13/2006, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, yeah they werent fireworms, they were mor eliek long tubeish brown worms. They kind of looked like earth worms, but shorter and thicker.

Im going to get the SG test kit today and some RO water to start topping it off and prepare some for my water change in 6 days.

I know I jumped in a little to quick, but I love to learn things as they happen. I don't plan on puttin anything live in the tank till all the parameters are good so no harm done right?

I will get some pictures of this green stuff I have growing in the tank, I have a feeling it may be bad.

Oh and I saw my first feather duster yesterday :)

I'll post my water results later, thanks again guys.

08/13/2006, 01:41 PM
It is'nt really a SG test kit it's a hydrometer or refractometer. It measures the salinity.

You already put something live in as far as the rock and thats why I'm concerned about the chlorine/chloramines. It could kill all the creatures on the rock.
Plus you don't really know what the salinity is.
I can't believe the guy at the store who wants to sell you everything did'nt sell you a hydrometer lol it's the first thing you need.
Do you have a thermometer? I like the coralife digital ones theyre much more accurate than those strips.

heres a good hitchhiker id page if your wondering what things are on the rock


08/13/2006, 05:05 PM

Yeah the guys at the store aren't very helpful in getting you started, but im part ot blame for that for rushing in so quick.

I went into the store and asked for a SG test kit, only to realize it was a meter like mentioned above lol, anyways got it along with 5 gallons of RO water, whcih im goign to be using to top off my tank for the next week, then do my weekly water change.

I ntoiced my salt levels are a bit high, so I asked in another thread on how to bring them down to the right level.

I will now test the other parameters in ym water to see whats going on. I'll be back shortly with the results.

Thanks for the input kass.


08/13/2006, 05:16 PM
what was the sg at? 1.024 is fine, but i like going for 1.025 or 6. I tested the sg in the ocean in rocky point and it was 1.027. I know thats just rocky point, and other places are probably higher or lower, but stil...1.027 is a bit higher than many people go for.

And i really dont think that the tap water would hurt any of the life forms on the rock. Yes, the dechlor stuff is good to use tho. Thats all i use and my water comes out pretty good out of the tap. I am going to use ro water for my 40 tho.

08/13/2006, 05:46 PM
Ok guys here are the results, if someone can analyze them for me and maybe let me know if there's osmehting horrible in my tank that would be great.

Nitrates - 0ppm

Saltwater Ammonia - 0ppm

Nitrites - 0ppm

Saltwater High Range PH - 8.0 to 8.2 ( a little hard to tell )

Calcium - 280ppm

Here's a image of the test results and the test kit I used...



And I noticed a few things in the tank, couldn't find the feather duster, but this green stuff is in about 3 places, I think it's algae but im most likely wrong, can someone identify?


And finally, this thing, thought it was just a rock, but it's become a bit bigger since last night, any idea on what it might be?


The SG was 1.031, any idea on how to lower it?

Thanks again guys,

08/13/2006, 06:05 PM
the tests all look good. I use the aquarium pharmaceuticals brand too, and i think they're pretty acurate...only can you take another more focussed pic on just the amonia card? i've lost mine lol. I'm also setting up a nano now. 2.5 gal. You prolly saw my thread a little bit ago. After 3 days of adding lr i think my amonia is 0 but i cant tell.

that does indeed look like just algae...hair i think...snails should munch that down pretty quick, or you can just pull it out i think.

i've got no clue what that white thing is tho..might be some macro algae, or it could be a freebie coral...but i doubt that...doesnt look like a sponge because its coming off the rock...so i'd leave it till you can figure out what it grows to, unless someone else can nail it now.

for the sg i posted in your other thread.

08/13/2006, 06:06 PM
oh, and your pH is fine imo. anything above 8 (well...not some rediculously high number..but you know what i mean...around 8.2 or 3) is fine.

08/13/2006, 06:19 PM
walmart sells knock off eclipse tanks, that are identical, i found this out after i bought my brand name eclipse. the eclipse works, just not as flexible IMO as the other cube systems. but you can definately have a cool softy tank with a 12 gal bowfront eclipse. I added a 22 watt 50/50 screw in bulb for like 15 bucks and all did well.

08/13/2006, 06:24 PM
jessp I think you hit reply for the wrong forum, but maybe not, maybe i missed a post.

sir_dudeguy heres a better picture of the ammonia card.


Hope that helps.

Thanks for all the help.


08/13/2006, 06:29 PM
oh sorry this was wrong forum, damn laptops and there small keys make me crazy

08/13/2006, 06:33 PM
lol its all good i've had that happen before.

mario-thanks so much for that! i know my amonia is at 0 now...only my rock couldnt have been cured when i got it..nasty lookin.

08/13/2006, 06:41 PM
No problemo. And to answer your other questions all my rock was cured, and the substrate is live aragonite. If everything goes well my cycle shouldn't be long.


08/13/2006, 08:17 PM
correct. id even venture to say you wont see a cycle. just give it about a week now, and if still nothing...i'd say its done. Oh, and i heard from bertoni that one way to tell is to put some flake food in...if it causes amonia...the cycle is obviously not done...but if nothing happens (well the nitrates might go up but thats normal) then the cycle should be done.

08/13/2006, 09:13 PM
not sure if any one has told you this. but your going to need to mix your water for atleat a day before adding it to your tank. for you you can get a 5 gallon bucket, a small power head and a little heater( do you have one for your tank?). keep the heat at the same temperature of your tank and the sg the same. the power head will mix the water. you have to mix it for at least over night.

once your cycle is done you can add a clean up crew (some hermits and snails) maybe 3 hermits and 1 turbo snail. wait a week then you can get one fish and one invert of your choice. (not anemones, urchins or sea stars you cant have any of these till you hit the 6 monthe mark.) so like a shrimp,cuke,crab or feather duster.

then after that you can get about 1 invert per week. and one fish every monthe. youll only have 2 fish tops so yeah haha. oncw you hit the one monthe mark you can start adding corals!

let us know if you have any more questions!
nate :beer:

08/13/2006, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the info on the mixing I will definately do that when the water change comes around.

I do not have a heater in my tank right now, I wasn't informed to buy one, should I make that my next purchase? and does it have to be a speciall heater? or any old one that I use in my freshwater tanks.

I do have a powerhead so I'll throw that in the bucket when mixing.

I'll wait a few weeks before adding anything to the tank, I want to see what is going to grow out of the liverock.

I noticed today this little guy crawling ont he glass, not sure what kind of snail he is, but Im pretty excited. He's maybe 1mm long.



08/13/2006, 10:23 PM
sweet! any one out of a fresh water will work and a thermometer for reading temp. youll need 2 of each for mixing water

08/13/2006, 10:30 PM
Aim for a temperature range of 78-80. I als0 highly suggest getting a small Coralife Thermometer or something like it opposed to those temperature reading strips. You can find them for around 7 dollars.

sir_dudeguy, wheres Rocky Point? I just moved here from Cali and I hear people here and there talking about it.

08/13/2006, 10:53 PM
your going to need to mix your water for atleat a day before adding it to your tank.

yeah...and not yes at the same time...IDEALLY you want to airate/circulate for around 24 hours like i said earlier. But depending on the salt i think, you can add it minutes after its been mixed...advisable? no, not really...waiting 24 hours is best...but in emergencies you can add w/in minutes. Most of the good salts say that now i think. This was something i've looked into myself on the newbie boards a while back...and i'm basically relaying my answer to you, which i got from a few very creditable people here.

HaKs...where at in queen creek are you, and when did you move into the valley?

Rocky point is about a 3 and a half hour drive from phoenix (well...if I drive...then prolly only 3 lol...if my dad drives...4 :) )Its down south of here...in mexico...not too far over the border, maybe an hour or so?? Its on the sea of cortez...right where baja cali meats w/mexico basically (the main part of mexico that is).

we had never gone untill this summer, because the summer is their slowest time of year, so we got 3 days for the price of 2 at the condo we rented. We had also heard everyone talk about it, but never gone, and finally due to such low cost and getting tired of other people go on about it...we went lol. All i have to say is that the town is pretty old and not bad, but not nice...really dusty...but then once you go 2 minutes out of the town and to the coast...BEAUTIFUL! The beach was amazing, and the water was SO blue. Nothng like in cali (we always go to san diego and sometimes more north). The water was around 83 or so, so when i went snorkeling it wasnt cold at all. This is probably the wrong time and too off topic to discuss it here tho lol, so if you'd like to know more on how our trip went and everything, feal free to PM me...i had a blast in the water tho...nicest water ever (well...so far that i've been in)

08/15/2006, 08:57 PM
hows it coming? find anything new? what are the latest test results?

08/15/2006, 10:59 PM

Everything seems ot be going great. The SG was a little high today but I evened it out, besides that everythings good.

I noticed there was 2 snails in my tank, was pretty happy to find the other guy. He's twice the size of the first one.

I also noticed 2 more Feather Dusters, they seem to be very shy, everytime the camera comes out they go into hiding. I'll get a pic of them sometime sooner or later.

Meanwhile there's a few things Im curious about in my tank. There's some kind of jelly thing growing out fo the side of one of my rocks. It's in the picture below, see if it's anything.





Anyone knwo if that purple stuff above is anything? I noticed it growing in several parts of my tank.

I also purchased a heater today to keep the water temp at 80 degrees.

A quick question, will the heater harm any of my live animals in the tank once I get some?

And I see some condensation inside the heater, do you think it might be cracked somewhere, or is this normal?

Besides that Im just waiting for my very first water change coming this sunday, hopefully all my parameters are good and I can start assembling a cleanup crew.


08/15/2006, 11:32 PM
Ah Ha! Cought him out of his tube. Not the clearest shot but it'll do!


As you can see it's got a band around it, not sure what kind of feather duster this is, but im really excited about it being in the tank.

If anyone can Id any of the above that would be awesome.

Thanks guys,

08/16/2006, 12:13 AM
the seconf to last picture in your fist post i a hermit crab not a snail. have you got a heater yet? temperature is very important. and how are the saltwater mixing supplies coming?

08/16/2006, 12:21 AM
Ah great to hear, then it was 2 hermit crabs that I saw. Thanks for the ID nate.

Yes I went out and bought a heater today. I have the temperature set to 80.

I also bought a extra heater for when I do water changes, and I have a old powerhead I'm going to use to move the water around.

As I asked above, will the heater hurt anything in my tank? Maybe when I get fish?

And can anyone identify anything else thats in te pictures aove?


08/16/2006, 01:36 AM
the last picture is a very small feather duster.

if the heater has any moister in it its cracked. not good. electicity+water+your hand/fish=bad news. get a new heater and try to return the heater thats broken. the heaters i use are marine lands stealth heaters. you would get a 25wtt. good up to 8 gallons. they are plastic. and have a temperature dial at the top for easier programing. theyre also all black. so if you have a balck background (which you might also want to look in to. it blends right in.

nate :beer:

08/16/2006, 03:07 AM
Make sure you get a good submersable heater for saltwater.

Your salinity was 1.031? how did you lower it and what is it now?
Well ok I know how you lowered it lol but it needs to be lowered slowly over time. You should'nt just change it quickly although you don't have alot of live animals in there yet. It can kill them if done too quick.

I keep mine at 1.024 always have. That way it allows for evaporation or if my hydrometer is wrong I figure. Yes I just use the cheapo seatest one. I have since they came out with them lol.
Most of my reefer friends have refractometers and say the seatest are off though. I should really test mine and see how far off it is.

get a coralife difital thermometer. Temp is important and just cuz the heater says 78 don't mean the tank is 78 lol. I usually have to set all my heaters lower than they say.

I mix my salt and use it right away sometimes but it is'nt recommended. It's better to premix.
Yes in a pinch you can use tap water but please add something to get rid of chlorine and chloramines. The stuff is like 2 bucks lol.

Calcium should be around 400. Otherwise so far you havent cycled it does'nt look like. And no that doesn't mean dump a bunch of kalkwasser or calcium in there to raise it lol you HAVE to do things SLOWLY in a reef. I'm not sure why yours is that low as saltmix should be higher than that. I would test it again.
Read up on calcium as theres many ways to raise it.

Also PH can change from when the lights are on and off because of photosynthesis.

Keep testing the ammonia if you do cycle that will be the first to go up followed by nitrites.

I gave you the hitchhiker page above you can look things up on there.
You could also get a turkey baster ( I use mine every day) and blow off those bubbles on your rock.


08/16/2006, 10:02 AM
Otherwise so far you havent cycled it does'nt look like

why do you say that? are you making that judgement by the picture? i hope not, because you cant tell if a tank is cycled or not just by looking at the picture.

08/17/2006, 02:04 PM
Of course you can't tell by a picture if the tank is cycled lol.

I meant because all of the water pars are at 0 after testing.
It either did'nt cycle yet or is'nt going to cycle.
Thats why I said watch the ammonia cuz it's the first to go up.


08/17/2006, 02:38 PM
whew! lol ok, i was just checking. I read stuff weird sometimes...like i wont read it how it was supposed to have meant. So when i saw that, i'm thinkin "how in the heck..??" lol.

anyways...one way that i've heard you can see if it really is cycled is to throw in some flake food. If amonia and or nitrites show up in a couple days or 3, then you're just starting the cycle.

08/18/2006, 03:42 PM
hey, what are the last test results showing?

08/20/2006, 12:45 AM
Hey guys, sorry for the long delay, been a bit busy with work lately.

But today was day 6 that the tank has been up and running.

I did a 20% water change and everything seems to be going great.

I also just did some water test and here are the results.

Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0
Ammonia - 0
PH - 8.0
Calcium - 260 ppm

The only thing I noticed a little off int he tank is the algae on the liverock, but I was told thats only normal.

So now I was thinking it's time to introduce a cleaning crew, to take care of the algae problems, and give some life to the tank.

This is where I'd like to ask for your opinions, what should I get and what quantity?

Remember it's a 5 gallon tank.

I was also wondering, will the snails crawl out of the tank since there is no lid?


08/27/2006, 01:13 PM
might also be a good time to invest in some of the excellent reef books out there.

08/27/2006, 01:47 PM
nope they wont crawl out. and if you really want it to look like a really nice reef id go with maybe 3-5 chestnut cowries or 1-2 tiger cowries. and 5 or more scarlet hermit crabs.

and if you dont care about them looking nice then 5 or more normal hermits 2 turbo snails.

nate :beer: