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Old 02-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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Question 15g build questions (hermit crabs)

Good afternoon folks,
I'm interested in starting a 15g nano-reef, but have some important questions to ask before I take the plunge. I've posted this in the nano-reef forum as well, but there seems to be far more people (and thus advice) in this questions forum.

My goal:
I hope to have a (relatively) self-sustaining 15g nano-reef with two or three species of hermit crabs living happily within. I'm a touring musician, and I don't want to get it setup unless I know my little buddies will be safe and happy on their own for severals days at a time.

Questions:
- What equipment will I need for a 15g nano-reef setup?
- Is it possible for two or three species of hermit crabs to live in a 15g nano-reef?
- What items/living rock(s) will I need to create a (relatively) self-sustaining environment for multiple hermit crabs?
- Do saltwater hermit crabs enjoy climbing on terrain? (I am looking at a taller 15g tank setup and love designing unique environments.)
- What's the best way to check for sickness or disease before transferring new livestock into your nano-reef?
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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I have a 12 gal CAD nano setup in my office and I love it. It is a super heavy duty tank with nice lights and a built in 3 chamber fuge. Given that it is an open tank my evaporation is quite large around 8oz a day I would guess.

Your equip will be based on what you are going to put in the tank. You mention nano reef so I am assuming some types of corals. That will require some specific lighting based on what stock you want to put in. You may want to consider a Bio Cube 14g or something as it will come with everything you need to get started and it is a closed top system as well.

You can put more than one species of hermit crab together in the tank but as in all stock you will want to research compatibility and care needs. There are several species to choose from.

You will want to put in some live rock for a few reasons. One it will provide much of your filtration, secondly it will give places for your crabs to live, climb, explore, etc.

As far as sustainability. The needs of a nano tank are actually greater than that of much larger tanks (i.e. water parameters can fluctuate quickly). With your stock though it will be mostly tank care as the crabs will help with clean up as well.

As will all stock you will want to QT before adding to your stock tank to help eliminate the possibility of introducing unwanted diseases. Although if you are only doing hermits you could be "ok" but ideally you should QT.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Thanks Starchar!

Is it possible to run a SW tank for the hermit crabs without coral? If they can still enjoy life without, then it's one less thing to worry about.

Also, coral & live rock - are these the same or different? I've seen lots of mentions of both.

I plan on getting some snails as well and hope to create a little invertebrate city.

This is the tank I'm looking at, though I'm not sure if it's only meant for FW:
Aqueon 15g column

(Kit includes aquarium, integrated fluorescent light hood, QuietFlow power filter, filter cartridge, premium fish food, water conditioner, thermometer, fish net and setup and care guide)
Dimensions: 13.6" x 13.8" x 24.8"
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Coral and Live Rock are two different things altogether. You can run a SW tank without coral for sure. You are correct the setup that you linked is meant for FW, but it could be used for SW as well.

On the bright side your stock, (snails and crabs) don't have a huge requirement. Basically you want to get your tank setup, add sand, mix or buy saltwater, add your rock, and put in an ammonia source to start your cycle. There are some helpful guides on this forum to explain the cycle process.

You will need a SW test kit so that you will be able to track your cycle process and when complete you can add your stock. Since you are basically building a CUCOWLR (Clean Up Crew Only With Live Rock). Your live rock will basically do all of your filtration so you will want to put about 10-15lbs of it in your 15 gallon tank.
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