Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank - Page 6 - Aquarium Forum
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post #101 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 10:49 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Yea, pretty much snails come and go, but unless you have a ton of snails in your tank, the snail is usually food for them.

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post #102 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 10:50 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Hermits may have actually killed your snail as they crave shells and often don't wait for last tenant to move out before deciding they want it!



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post #103 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

It's possible, but i doubt it. Like I said, he didn't move for a day before the hermits were on him. And there are 3 shells and 2 hermits in the tank.

I mean, that doesn't really mean anything. It is still possible that the hermits killed the snail and than ate him a day later.

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post #104 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 12:44 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

I sign that a snail is on his way out is that he can't right himself.

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post #105 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Yea. Well anyway, I just got home and guess who is living in his brand new shell that he found.

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post #106 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 04:09 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

RoFL.

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post #107 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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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.

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post #108 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:03 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

DOH. Right on, at least you caught it in time. But strange that the Hard Coral is ok and the corals that like Trates aren't doing ok.

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post #109 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Ammonia might be causing it too. I forgot to ask the woman at the LFS to test my ammonia. I don't know if my kit is getting a false positive or not. (I don't think it is) But lately I have been getting an ammonia reading for no apparent reason. The tank is months old and was obviously cycled per test results. I have since cut back feeding to see if that makes a difference. It hasn't really made a difference.

Should I stir up the substrate to see if I uncover something rotting? (Nobody is missing) Do the hermit crab sheds decay and cause ammonia? Or are they pretty much just inert exoskeleton? Should i pull the snail shell out?

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post #110 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 09:23 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

No, don't stir up the sand bed, that would definately make it worse. Shedding from the hermits usually get eaten in a couple days, and they aren't going to cause any spikes, don't think thats the issue. If you have no one missing, I have no idea where the Ammonia would be coming from. You haven't added anything to the tank recently?

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post #111 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

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No, don't stir up the sand bed, that would definately make it worse. Shedding from the hermits usually get eaten in a couple days, and they aren't going to cause any spikes, don't think thats the issue. If you have no one missing, I have no idea where the Ammonia would be coming from. You haven't added anything to the tank recently?
Haven't added anything since the beginning. Right now there are the 2 hermits, the ocelleris, an I saw the 2 stometella snails last night. I even saw my little star fish last night too.


I just thought of something, I had at least one bristle worm. I haven't seen him in a while now. It is possible he has died and is rotting away in the rock somewhere...

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post #112 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Test tap water with your kit, see what is says for that. Then test some straight RO water see what that reads.

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post #113 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

I just tested the tank, tap water and RO water side by side for ammonia.

The tap water tested .25 ppm

RO water tested 0ppm

Tank tested .25ppm

The tank water test solution forms a precipitate when I add the second solution and it gets cloudy after I shake it up.

The tap water and RO water remain translucent and no precipitate. Guessing the test is reacting with the saltautolinker.com autolinking image?

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post #114 of 125 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Everything is looking up today. All the soft corals are looking better and the hard corals look excellent.

Guessing it is a combination of the increased flow and the recent water changes.

My next question is, what kind of light cycle should I be looking to achieve? How much acintic only and how much both on? Usually I turn the blue lights on for about 15 minutes when I wake up and than turn the whites on before I leave for school. And at night when I get home I turn the whites off and leave the blue on for an hour or so.

Anyway, yesterday, I left only the blue lights on all day, or about 13-14 hours and today the corals look a lot better than they did at the beginning of the week. Do they need more blue only light periods?


With my light I can turn everything off, blue only, and both white and blue.

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post #115 of 125 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

This is the beginning of a killer reef junkies journal.
I've enjoyed reading the roller coaster since page 1. Thanks

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post #116 of 125 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

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Originally Posted by SavingOurSeas View Post
This is the beginning of a killer reef junkies journal.
I've enjoyed reading the roller coaster since page 1. Thanks
I think you're right. Even though it is the simplest and one of my smallest tanks, I think I enjoy it the most.

and Thank you.

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

I really enjoy this too. I would love to follow in your footsteps one day. Maybe when I get money for Christmas. Any who great read and I encourage you to keep on posting.
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post #118 of 125 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

The plan is to upgrade the 5.5 to 10 gallon as an early Christmas present from my sister. The LFS that my sister works at is having their annual blowout sale tomorrow. 20% off all dry goods/tanks. 25% off SW fish, 50% off FW fish. Raffles and give aways. They have live rock advertised at $1.79 a pound for the sale. So the plan is to get a 10 gallon, a class canopy, and another 6-7 pounds of Live rock. I already have a bag of crushed coral and a little bit of sand leftover. My 2 pumps and filter add up to 210 GPH, so I'll be looking at over 21X circulation.

Also getting a bunch of RO water and a box of salt for the tank swap. Eventually get a better light. I've been looking around to see what is out there.


And the tank update: The clown is doing well. He is growing and very active. The hermits and snail are doing well too. I started getting some good coralline algae growing.

The hermits are fighting over a small piece of algae wafer and he is investigating.


He's bad at holding still and my camera isn't that great.

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Last edited by dvanbramer88; 11-22-2013 at 08:14 PM. Reason: added pics
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post #119 of 125 (permalink) Old 11-23-2013, 05:16 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Been following along, enjoyed your experiences with you. The pico systems are definitely pleasant to care for. I'm happy for you in adding the clown to the system.
This is one more system that's a drop in the bucket towards going smaller. Currently the baby in the family is an 8 gallon. I have a 2.5 gallon sitting and waiting for something to be done with it, but currently there's too much on the plate to be involved with yet another system. Perhaps in 2014 sometime.
Keep up that system it's nice following along.
Happy reefing my friend, looking forward to watching your system age and that clown grow up.
Thanks again for sharing!

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post #120 of 125 (permalink) Old 11-23-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank






Washed some new substrate.



New and old. Starting to place new rock


Filling it up. Under the towel to the right is a bowl with the hermits and clownfish with a small piece of live rock. I put the snail in first. added the hermits as it started to clear up. Than I tested the water and dripped the clownfish for about 35 minutes.





Here she is. I'm really happy with it. I added 10 pounds of live rock to my original 7 pounds.

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