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Stable Tank?
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aspychalla01
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Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Location: MN

PostPosted: 2009.04.15(Wed)20:33    Post subject: Stable Tank? Reply with quote

Hello!

First SW tank, first post, etc, etc. So here it is - I'm starting a small SW tank (yes, I know, a larger tank would be easier but I don't have the space or the funds as of now) - I've got it all set up (Eclipse6 System with a heater and Instant Ocean salt/substrate, etc) and I've been letting it run for a few days. I've been told I should wait at least a week to put in any LR, but every necessary level of my tank is ideal already. I'm just wondering if I could get some thoughts on this as well as general comments, suggestions, etc.
Thanks a bunch!
=)
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2009.04.16(Thu)9:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dechlorinate water and add live rock right away... there is no need to wait IMHO.

The live rock will experience some die off and the tank will cycle so you should be changing water VERY frequently... daily even.

No fish, inverts or anything other than rock until ammonia and nitrite are 0 and nitrate is under 5ppm. Preferably 0.

An eclipse 6 is pretty small... what sort of tank were you aiming for?
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2009.04.16(Thu)15:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. I would add the live rock immediately. I would, however, not add any livestock until after your first diatom bloom. This will be after the cycle completes. Personally, I like to see some good coraline growth take hold and even some copepods and amphipod populations before adding fish.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2009.04.16(Thu)19:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkLehr wrote:
I agree. I would add the live rock immediately. I would, however, not add any livestock until after your first diatom bloom.
I've been told, and often followed the advice, that during the bloom is actually a good time to add the clean up crew as snails, etc. will start to clean up the 1st of the many blooms. Since you mentioned it, can I ask what you do? I don't mean to thread jack but I think it'll help me and aspychalla01, so I'm going for it! LOL

I have a friend setting up a new tank and wanted to give them good advice!
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aspychalla01
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Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Location: MN

PostPosted: 2009.04.16(Thu)21:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great! I think maybe Ill get some LR in the next few days then, since the tank seems to be doing great without anything in it. I know its small - I'm just thinking some LR maybe a little bit of simple, hardy coral, a coral banded, a small crab, a snail or two and a few small fish. I plan on sticking to small species.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2009.04.17(Fri)1:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

aspychalla01 wrote:
. I know its small - I'm just thinking some LR maybe a little bit of simple, hardy coral, a coral banded, a small crab, a snail or two and a few small fish. I plan on sticking to small species.


IMO it is too small for fish.
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carbon-mantis
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Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: 2009.04.17(Fri)11:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta watch out with coral banded shrimp, they can be nasty little suckers sometimes. I've seen them wreak havoc upon the other inverts, and they'll sometimes kill smaller fish/crustaceans. As for fish, the only thing I could recommend would be a single small goby or something similar. Neon gobies stay pretty small, but even so, in a 6g I'd stick with only one.

Neon goby-


As far as snails go, I'd stay away from turbos, as they tend to knock things over and grow quite large. The best snails for a nan are probably stomatellas, but usually the only way to get them is finding them as hitchhikers on live rock. Cerith snails stay pretty small, and you could put several in a 6g. Nassarius are good for keeping your sand stirred, but keep in mind that they don't like algae, and prefer to eat organics and microbes instead. Or fish food, if you want to feed them during the evening/night.

Stomatella-

Cerith-

Nassarius-


As far as crabs go, it's a mixed bag. Small hermit crabs are very good scavengers/algae eaters, but they sometimes kill snails for their shells. Emerald crabs and their kin will eat bubble algae and some other pest varieties, but occasionally dine on corals. Porcelain crabs are my personal favorite. They'll eat drifting particles in the water column, and anything you feed them as well. Never had a problem with them bothering corals either...

Porcelain Crab-


If you're sticking with the stock lighting, your selection of corals is probably limited to mushroom corals and zoanthids of they're placed higher. Stay away from non-photosynthetic species. Even though it may sound nice that they don't require much/any lighting, most if not all species require pristine water conditions and daily feedings. If you wanted an anemone, there aren't many species available that would live in such a tank. One exception, though rather uncommon, is a Caribbean ball anemone. Rather difficult to find, they are usually found as hitchhikers on pieces of premium florida live rock. They're non-photosynthetic, but can be fed just about anything you feed your fish(ie. flakes, pellets, frozen/freezedried foods). Another rarer anemone that you might be able to keep is a mini carpet anemone. I've not kept these, however, but I've heard some pretty good reviews on them. From what I've heard, they need around four watts per gallon and bi-weekly feedings.

Ball anemone(rarely this colorful)-

Mini carpet anemone-


I'd recommend following other's advice and get some live rock, and allow your tank to fully cycle. Add the clean up creatures first, allow maybe a few weeks or even a month before you think about larger livestock. Corals and related invertebrates should always be added last. Be sure you're well versed on each and every creature's care and requirements, and have access to whatever food may be required. Considering the tank's small volume, keep close tabs on it's parameters, and don't skimp on monitoring the salinity. As for the possibility of keeping a fish, remember that even one will add to the bioload considerably. As well, if you intend to acquire any palys or zoanthids, be warned that they're rather toxic. If you touch one and then have the misfortune of touching your eyes, there is a chance of a very bad reaction or even blindness. I believe there is a story out there somewhere about someone's dog being killed by palytoxins... Not to discourage keeping them, however. A set of gloves would do just fine, and would provide the added bonus of protecting your hands from cuts by the live rock or being stung by bristleworms.

Best of wishes for you and your tank Very Happy
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2009.04.18(Sat)18:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post above. Good advice.

As for adding livestock during the diatom bloom... I should have been more clear. I would add hermits and snails, but not fish or corals.

By the way, a Banded Coral Shrimp is an absolute NO in an aquarium this small. This species gets VERY aggressive in small quarters. Anything under 29 gallons is a recipe for disaster when keeping a BCS.

When it comes to fish, I have to agree that your aquarium is probably to small. One fish at most, and even then I would recommend you focus on other livestock and skip the fish.
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Tigerissey
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Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Location: Lancashire - UK

PostPosted: 2009.04.18(Sat)21:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add to the great advice already given. You will need to keep a very close eye on the SG of your system. I would check it every day as in a system this small you will get a lot of evaporation very quickly. You will need to top off probably every day to ensure the sg remains constant and does not increase too much.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2009.04.18(Sat)22:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice photos CM...
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