Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bristol, PA
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank
So every time I go to a LFS and see their SW display tanks, And I see everything moving constantly from all the flow, it makes me feel like my tank doesn't have enough flow.
Anyway, I've been going to the one LFS to get my water tested for calcium, ALK, and the other things I can't test for yet, and the woman was surprised to hear I didn't have any filter media/foam in the tank. After a little talking i decided to add the filter back into my tank. She suggested I try "The incomparable Poly-Filter." I bought it, figured it was worth a shot.
The selling point was one of their display tanks sitting on the counter. It is one of those seamless 5 gallon cube tanks. Some xenia and mushrooms for coral. A few pieces of live rock, sand substrate etc. Simple little clip on LED light. Little Ocelleris clown for the only inhabitant. Well anyway, all it had for filtration/circulation was a penguin 100 (minus bio wheel) and the Poly Filter for media. The tank has been set up for at least a year and it looks amazing for what it is.
So in my tank, right now I'm running the 80 gph wavemaker in the top right corner shooting across the back so it breaks up the surface and hits the rock. I have the 85 gph filter with Poly-Filter in the center, and on the bottom left corner, I have the 50gph powerhead pointed at the rocks at an angle.
Anyway, what spawned all this, the corals haven't been doing bad necessarily, but they aren't doing great like they were. Strangly, the hard corals have been looking great this whole time. The yellow polyps haven't been the same, the toadstool doesn't put its "Arms" out as much as it used too, the kenya tree doesn't inflate and look as rigid as it used too.
I learned that I was using the nitrate test kit wrong and that my nitrates were a lot higher than I thought. I didn't know you had to shake bottle #2 for so long so vigorously. So that wasn't helping. And I let calcium get a little low too. (~350 ppm) So I'm going to do more frequent water changes to remedy both those situations and see where that takes me.
55 gallon FW community with Blue Rams
20 gallon Goldfish 700 gallon pond
10 gallon Honey Gourami
5.5 nano reef 10 gallon Nano reef