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Old 12-12-2015, 12:48 AM   #1
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Advice on Ten Gallon Reef

Hi guys. It looks like Ive finally succumb to the dark side and have decided to set up a reef tank as my second tank. Ive got a ten gallon tank and stand that I plan on using. I've already built a screen lid, have a heater and am going to order the stuff I need after Christmas.

Sump: Im going to setup a five gallon sump and I wanted to ask about that. What is the best setup for a sump? Im going to get a small protein skimmer and want to keep my heater in the sump along with a good amount of macro algae so what would you guys recommend in terms of sump design. Also, Would the Eshopps nano HOB overflow be fine for this job? Based on reviews Ive read it should be fine. I would also like a recommendation on a return pump as this is all brand new to me.

Lighting: For lighting I want to get a nice wifi enabled fixture, and right now the AI Prime fixture is top on my list. Any comments on this? Anyone use this light or hear anything about it?

Sand and rock: I'm thinking about the caribsea arag alive bahamas oolite sand. However, I am open to any suggestions if this isn't the best. For rock I have a nice source of aquacultured live rock at my LFS.

Circulation: I have a Hydor Koralia 400 GPH model from when I used to use it on my freshwater tank but I think it may be too strong for this small of a tank. What would be a good strength of pump to start with for a standard ten gallon reef?

Stocking: Im thinking a shrimp and goby pair of some kind or maybe a single clown goby or something like that. Any recommendations would be welcome. Ill be taking it slow when it comes to fish as this tank will be my first saltwater tank so beginner friendly fish would be nice. For corals I would also be open to suggestions. Im not a complete noob to this side of it because I always help my friend out with his reef and corals so I have a basic working knowledge of coral keeping.

Thanks for checking this out and if you feel compelled to chime in and give me a tip I would appreciate it.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Just be aware that smaller nano tanks will need more diligence. They are less forgiving then the bigger tanks. I always tell people to start with a 55 gallon and the after that you can move to the smaller tanks. But it can be done with constant care and I wish you the best. Your plan looks good. If you can try to get a goby shrimp combo that have already been together. No guarantee if you get them separate they will be together.
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:34 AM   #3
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Just be aware that smaller nano tanks will need more diligence. They are less forgiving then the bigger tanks. I always tell people to start with a 55 gallon and the after that you can move to the smaller tanks. But it can be done with constant care and I wish you the best. Your plan looks good. If you can try to get a goby shrimp combo that have already been together. No guarantee if you get them separate they will be together.
Thanks for the input. Do you think that weekly 50% water changes would be adequate to keep levels stable or will this tank end up as a constant headache? I'm going to stock very lightly and will go even lighter than the goby and shrimp if I have to.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:27 PM   #4
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No need for 50% water changes, 10% weekly should keep you inline.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:35 PM   #5
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I agree 10% weekly will keep parameters on point. The nice thing about small tanks is if you do really need to change out a lot of water it isn't a big deal. You may have a tough time finding a skimmer for that size sump. IMO it really isn't a necessity on that size system. Maybe just turn the sump into a big Refugium?


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Old 12-13-2015, 04:00 PM   #6
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I agree 10% weekly will keep parameters on point. The nice thing about small tanks is if you do really need to change out a lot of water it isn't a big deal. You may have a tough time finding a skimmer for that size sump. IMO it really isn't a necessity on that size system. Maybe just turn the sump into a big Refugium?


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Yeah, the sump is just going to be a refugium with some egg crate to keep the algae away from the return. Im going to have sand, some live rock and tons of macro algae. Will micro bubbles be a concern? Can I literally just run the pipe into the sump on one end and have the return pump on the other and be fine or will I have to cut some glass for some baffles?
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #7
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It should work just fine but you can very possibly get a whole bunch of debris collecting down in the sump. It may go without saying but find a way to implement a filter sock. A 5 gallon sump is small but you can get it to work. Baffles are nice because they direct water flow through filtration media but with a small sump like that it'll take some really careful planning to fit equipment in there along with a fuge. I'd skip a skimmer. Find a way to filter the particles and chunks of things getting down there and I think a sock will actually help with micro bubbles. Baffles would hinder more then help in this case I think.


And like you said protect your return pump with egg crate.


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Old 12-18-2015, 05:50 PM   #8
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I would get a watchman goby and pistol shrimp. Ai prime is a great choice, works great. Sump sounds good although it is not necessary. A canister and skimmer would work fine. I think a hydor slim skim nano skimmer would be a good choice.


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Old 12-19-2015, 02:54 AM   #9
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It should work just fine but you can very possibly get a whole bunch of debris collecting down in the sump. It may go without saying but find a way to implement a filter sock. A 5 gallon sump is small but you can get it to work. Baffles are nice because they direct water flow through filtration media but with a small sump like that it'll take some really careful planning to fit equipment in there along with a fuge. I'd skip a skimmer. Find a way to filter the particles and chunks of things getting down there and I think a sock will actually help with micro bubbles. Baffles would hinder more then help in this case I think.


And like you said protect your return pump with egg crate.


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Ok, Thanks for the help. I want to make sure that I get this right the first time.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:30 AM   #10
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If there's anything I learned from having a nano reef for 6 months...

Sump is the absolute way to go. A little protein skimmer and a refugium and you are set.


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