Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

I'm going to be keeping a goby/shrimp pair and a firefish.

I will be mixing live sand and crushed coral for substrate. About 3" deep. Plan on using pvc to make premade burrow for the shrimp/goby.

I plan on getting live rock and waiting a few weeks before adding first fish.

Also planning on some other inverts down the line.

My question is, does anyone recommend a HOB protein skimmer? Is it even worth my while? If I were to buy one, I would prefer one that is a skimmer and filter in one. Seen mixed reviews on the Rio nano skimmer/filter.

I already have the tank/hood; heater, HOB filter rated for 10 gallon, and the crushed coral.

Need sand and rock that I will buy locally.

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post #2 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

My thought is, I'm not going to get a protein skimmer and just use the filter I already have. The money for the skimmer would be better spent on a power head anyway.

And the box of saltautolinker.com autolinking image mix that does 15 gallons being ~$10, that comes out to less than a dollar per 10% water change. Works for me.

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post #3 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 05:09 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

You don't need the skimmer as you said you can effiecently change water to remove nutrients.Careful with the depth of your sand;any deeper and anarobic pockets can develope and poison your tank,and you are giving up precious space in a very small tank.The fire fish will probably not be happy in such a small tank, but if you get him keep the lid closed tight as they are know to jump from decent sized tanks.Good luck!



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post #4 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

My fish selection is based off of a 5 gallon suggestion I read in a book. They suggested the 2 fish and the sand depth. But I guess if I'm doing the pvc burrow/tunnel the depth of the sand becomes less important at that point.

More reading suggests that a filter is more or less to move water and less about filtering in SW tanks. So my filter should only have some floss and a few pieces of rubble; correct?

How about some extra crushed coral in the filter bag? Would that make a difference?

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

With live sand and live rock in such a small tank you really don't even need a filter as all (most)bio activity will take place in tank.Ya crushed coral(more) is probably better in the filter than bio media.Macro algaes like caluerpe are most useful in filter.The filter as you said is really only going to be a source of circulation.



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post #6 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Thanks a lot. Hopefully getting this show on the road soon.

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post #7 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

While we're at it, is there any fish that would would recommend as a substitution to the firefish? Through my reading, most fish that are suitable for these smaller tanks are also relatively aggressive and territorial.

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post #8 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 08:40 AM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

No, your tank is to small for what your stocking it with now. I would only recommend Inverts and Corals only.

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post #9 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

So what you're telling me is the author that wrote the book i got my idea from is full of it?

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post #10 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:57 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Sorry, come up with what you want. Look up pretty much any fish care site, and it will give you minimum tank size of any given fish. Once you add in sand and rock, your 5 gallon tank is now 2-2.5 gallons. Not sufficient for any Nano Fish in my book. Most take this into account on set up, that's why 10g is the smallest recommended FISH Marine Tank suggested.

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Not to be a further bummer but small tanks(in saltautolinker.com autolinking image water world)are much harder to manage(water quality).Although a 1 gallon water change equals 20%, 1 gallon of evaporation will throw levels 20% out of whack(things like specific gravity).So smaller tanks don't necessarily need "more"work they need closer attention.Little changes can have big effects.



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post #12 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

I went to the LFS tonight, and now I agree. Seeing Gobys and firefish first-hand makes me wonder what the author was thinking.

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post #13 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:34 PM
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

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Originally Posted by dvanbramer88 View Post
I went to the LFS tonight, and now I agree. Seeing Gobys and firefish first-hand makes me wonder what the author was thinking.

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Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

The reason I'm stuck on the 5.5 gallon is this is the biggest tank I can have a school. All my other tanks are too big to bring and I have been planning this project/experiment to bring to school with me in the next fall semester.

Under any other circumstances, I would just buy a 10 or a 20 and have a better set-up but I can't trust or expect my parents and sister to properly care for a marine tank while i am away. They do a great job feeding and taking care of my 3 FW tanks, but I can't expect them to be responsible for a SW tank. Not to mention, that would still leave me tankless at school.

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

So for lighting, I'm looking at those 50/50 blue acintic and full spectrum daylight CFL's.

My question is, should I use the 10w that is available locally to me at Petsmart or should I order a 20w online?

I feel like the extra wattage would be worth the expense of shipping. But reviewers of the 10w bulb claim they keep corals under it just fine in small tanks. The 20W bulb has dozens of reviews that claim it is acceptable for corals. one reviewer said the bulbs lasted about 8 months before they got dim and he would be replacing them with the same because they work so well.

So that being said, 20w it is?
either this or something similar. Still haven't checked ebay yet.
Amazon.com: Coralife Energy Savers ACL54210 50/50 Mini Compact Bulb, 20w: Pet Supplies

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Link looks like good light.If you still plan on coral most do better with more light(most).



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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

Even with the corals being less than 8" away from the light? And ~5w per gallon?

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

CLFs do not provide the quality of light that Corals need to thrive. I believe you would be disappointed in that light to say the least. T-5 or LEDs would be recommended. And you can get a really good LED cheap as all get out for that little tank.

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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

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Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
CLFs do not provide the quality of light that Corals need to thrive. I believe you would be disappointed in that light to say the least. T-5 or LEDs would be recommended. And you can get a really good LED cheap as all get out for that little tank.
Understood.

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post #20 of 125 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a 5 gallon Marine Tank

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Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
Not to be a further bummer but small tanks(in saltautolinker.com autolinking image water world)are much harder to manage(water quality). Although a 1 gallon water change equals 20%, 1 gallon of evaporation will throw levels 20% out of whack(things like specific gravity).So smaller tanks don't necessarily need "more"work they need closer attention.Little changes can have big effects.
I understand how evaporation "condenses" the tank because only pure water evaporates everything else dissolved in the water remains causing the parameters to increase. This is why real water changes are important on FW tanks as opposed to just constantly topping off.

In regards to this, would it be logical to to mark a full line on the inside of the top frame to track evaporation. And every day-couple of days top the tank off with a little RO water to keep it full and keep the salinity in balance?

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