A little critique for this new reefer?

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by tehSAC, Nov 17, 2016.

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  1. tehSAC

    tehSAC Plankton

    Nov 5, 2016
    Be gentle. LOL

    Hello reefers, new reefer here looking for a few suggestions/hints/comments. I’ve been lurking for a few months now and feel that I have a grasp of all that I need/desire by doing my research and reading others advice. However I am still a little hesitant so any advice or criticism you have I greatly appreciate it.

    Due to size restrictions I will be starting my first nano with a 10 gallon tank. I understand this isn’t ideal, as things fluctuate so quickly, but I understand this and have been in the freshwater hobby for well over 10 years this month actually. My plan is to do weekly 2 gallon water changes, clean the glass 2-3 times a week, and switch out the filter floss ever 3-4 days. I also only plan on keeping beginner type corals (soft, maybe some lps), and a couple fish for my children to admire. Heck who am I kidding, I wanna watch the little guys swim too. So this is what I have planned so far:

    Standard 10 Gallon Tank (Already Have - would love to buy a used 10 nuvo)

    15 Lbs Fiji Pink Sand

    10 lbs Pukani Rock from BRS

    Aquaclear 70 (already have) with Chemi Pure Blue and Filter Floss

    Hydor Koralina Nano 425 (Would love an MP10 but it might be too much and not in the budget at this time.)

    AI Prime HD or Kessil A80

    50W Finnex Heater

    As for a topoff I am not sure what would be the best as I am still a bit confused on what style is best. Any suggestions on this would be great. For now I will just keep the water level in range with daily top offs. I shouldn’t have much evaporation as my home stays at a constant 70 degrees and I will be running an LED Light.

    Speaking of the light I'm not sure which would be the best option of my two choices. I want the control of the Prime but love the price of the A80. Is there a cheap ramp timer to use on the Kessil to slowly ramp up and down the light. I know of the spectral controller but that's another $100 bucks.

    As for livestock, my ideal tank would include:


    Ocelaris Clownfish
    Tailspot Blenny
    Purple Firefish


    2-3 Nassarius Snails
    1-2 Hermits
    1 Cleaner Shrimp


    Candy Cane
    Purple Gorgonian

    I understand that might be too many inhabitants or aggression would be too high between one or two of them, so any criticism/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. With my water change schedule I may have to up it to 4 gallons weekly due to the bio load. Yes/No?
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  3. PatW

    PatW Plankton

    Apr 3, 2013
    A 10 gallon tank is tiny. I believe that your tank is over stocked. Live Aquaria lists the minimum tank size for an Ocillaris clownfish as 30 gallons. I think your fish selection is decent and they should get a long with each other. Your cleanup crew looks ok. A caution on hermits: they are opportunistic. If they get hungry, they will eat anything: corals, each other, algae, you name it. Snails are better but snails tend to be determined to fall off of rock and not right themselves and die.

    I would suggest for you to looks at an Innovative Marine or Red Sea Reefer all in one aquarium or a similar type. A 30 gallon in that would be just about right for what you want to do (a 50 would be even better and allow a couple of more fish). Bulk Reef Supply lists them. I got an Innovative Marine tank recently from my local fish store (LFS) and their price was far lower than list. I would suggest a skimmer. It is good at removing gunk from the water.

    Marine systems are far different than fresh water unless you are trying to mimic a tide pool or an esterine environment. You want a reef. Reefs are extremely stable. So any fluctuation is your enemy. That is the really tough part of the hobby. Another thing is anything you feed your fish comes out as poop which ends up increasing the nutrients in your water. High nutrients results in algal blooms. So you have to have a reliable form of nutrient export.

    You can get an inexpensive auto top off from AutoTopOff.com and they work well.

    Also, buying salt water or RODI water at the LFS is a real pain and gets old fast. It is far better to get an RODI system and make your own RODI water and mix your own salt water. It is also far, far cheaper to do so.

    I would suggest reading and thinking this over. Going too small and having a major failure is not what you want. Keeping a viable reef is hard enough in the best of circumstances. You want to give yourself as much room for success as possible.