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Old 04-21-2015, 09:20 PM   #11
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Fish only systems are just as simple as freshwater tanks. You are just making it harder than it is in your head.
1. If you have a HOB filter it will do. It isn't best, but will do. When you want to reach a different goal to better something in your tank, we can talk other things like ATS, refugium...whatever.
2. If your heater is submersible then it'll be just fine.
3. Yes you need a powerhead. Just a small one will do, you are just looking for CO2 exchange.
4. Tanks under 30 gallons do NOT need a skimmer. You can easily do larger water changes to address parameter issues.
5. Cycle the tank? Get a cocktail shrimp and tie it in some panty hose. Walk away. See you in a month!
6. Check what the sand is. Some people use pool filter sand...I think aggregate based is the way to go.
7. You just need porous rock. Macro, base, live...whatever fits your budget. Get one lbs per gallon. Same for your sand. Good to go.
8. If you aren't doing coral, then light doesn't matter. Put whatever makes you happy there.
9. The shrimp goby/pistol shrimp combo is a neat relationship. Might not see them much, but never seen it in a small nano sized tank personally. Just have to make sure they will bond up. Not all goby and not all pistol shrimp care about one another.
10. Saltwater isn't hard, so stop thinking it is. Get yourself a refractometer. One of the best items in your toolbox. Accurate salinity compared to a hydrometer.

EDIT: Just saw you say you have ro/di. You win the saltwater lottery. Less algae issues. I run my reef off of distilled water, but I'd be much better off if I had ro/di with my TDS at 0 like I did when I started it.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
Fish only systems are just as simple as freshwater tanks. You are just making it harder than it is in your head.
1. If you have a HOB filter it will do. It isn't best, but will do. When you want to reach a different goal to better something in your tank, we can talk other things like ATS, refugium...whatever.
2. If your heater is submersible then it'll be just fine.
3. Yes you need a powerhead. Just a small one will do, you are just looking for CO2 exchange.
4. Tanks under 30 gallons do NOT need a skimmer. You can easily do larger water changes to address parameter issues.
5. Cycle the tank? Get a cocktail shrimp and tie it in some panty hose. Walk away. See you in a month!
6. Check what the sand is. Some people use pool filter sand...I think aggregate based is the way to go.
7. You just need porous rock. Macro, base, live...whatever fits your budget. Get one lbs per gallon. Same for your sand. Good to go.
8. If you aren't doing coral, then light doesn't matter. Put whatever makes you happy there.
9. The shrimp goby/pistol shrimp combo is a neat relationship. Might not see them much, but never seen it in a small nano sized tank personally. Just have to make sure they will bond up. Not all goby and not all pistol shrimp care about one another.
10. Saltwater isn't hard, so stop thinking it is. Get yourself a refractometer. One of the best items in your toolbox. Accurate salinity compared to a hydrometer.

EDIT: Just saw you say you have ro/di. You win the saltwater lottery. Less algae issues. I run my reef off of distilled water, but I'd be much better off if I had ro/di with my TDS at 0 like I did when I started it.

Thanks hank this helps a ton I am of course doing some basic YouTube videos and websites for extra info but I trust more what comes from you guys.

I will need a new heater and probably going to beef up an HOB for extra circulation and media. Thinking aquaclear will do the job.


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Skip the beefing up of the HOB. Just get a small powerhead and be done with it.
Koralia's are great for the price. Once you get a magnetic powerhead you'll never want a suction cup on a tank ever again. And look...on sale...
Hydor Koralia Nano Circulation Pump/Powerhead
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:51 PM   #14
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Will this make for more water changes because of the lack of a constant cycle? Sorta like running an air stone in a small freshwater tank... No BB to hold a cycle. Correct?

Don't get me wrong that sounds like a great, simple, cheap, idea. Just want to clear that up.


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Old 04-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ImACoolguy View Post
Will this make for more water changes because of the lack of a constant cycle? Sorta like running an air stone in a small freshwater tank... No BB to hold a cycle. Correct?

Don't get me wrong that sounds like a great, simple, cheap, idea. Just want to clear that up.


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Think he is saying not to beef up HOB(but still use one) AND use the hydor along with it for circulation?
BB will take up house on any surface it can,so beefing up HOB only add more surface in filter(should be plenty in tank?).
That being said it is my opinion that excessive bio media will yield higher nitrates in the end and only increase maintenance .
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
Think he is saying not to beef up HOB(but still use one) AND use the hydor along with it for circulation?
BB will take up house on any surface it can,so beefing up HOB only add more surface in filter(should be plenty in tank?).
That being said it is my opinion that excessive bio media will yield higher nitrates in the end and only increase maintenance .

Ohh gotcha. Makes sense now!


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Old 04-21-2015, 10:27 PM   #17
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Your primary filtration will be your live rock and sand upon completion of the cycle. The powerhead will get circulation going in the tank and help with CO2 exchange. Your HOB will then help filter out poop and food that will not be allowed to settle by the powerhead. Then you can of course run whatever media in there you want besides a filter floss type like Purigen or whatever you want.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
Your primary filtration will be your live rock and sand upon completion of the cycle. The powerhead will get circulation going in the tank and help with CO2 exchange. Your HOB will then help filter out poop and food that will not be allowed to settle by the powerhead. Then you can of course run whatever media in there you want besides a filter floss type like Purigen or whatever you want.

Perfect 👌🏼 I know I have some extra ceramic media laying around somewhere I can use. Or just use colorful dish cleaners like Mebbid's.


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Old 04-21-2015, 10:38 PM   #19
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Don't use ceramics. The dish cleaners will work as long as there isn't any of that anti-mildew stuff in them. If it were my tank with the HOB, I'd have a purigen in there. I know they come in filters that will slide into a HOB, but I run mine out of a canister and haven't used them. Floss or sponge before it would only be to prevent food and poop from gunking it up.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:42 PM   #20
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Don't use ceramics. The dish cleaners will work as long as there isn't any of that anti-mildew stuff in them. If it were my tank with the HOB, I'd have a purigen in there. I know they come in filters that will slide into a HOB, but I run mine out of a canister and haven't used them. Floss or sponge before it would only be to prevent food and poop from gunking it up.

I've used Purigen with success on my planted tank. Maybe a small bag of it on top after the pad. Don't you replenish/rejuvenate Purigen with a bleach solution or something?


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