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Old 07-13-2016, 06:55 AM   #1
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Super nano marine tank?

Hey all! I am a freshwater guy who has yet to get into the saltwater scene. I was looking through my tank stuff and saw that I have a 3 (yes 3) gallon tank with filter and everything and I thought "is it possible for that to be my first saltwater?" Maybe one or two fish? maybe a small live rock? I know nothing. If any of you think of a cool setup that is possible please fire away (and while you are at it tell me everything i need to do to set up and maintain a micro saltwater tank) I have a spare ten gallon too and I know it would be much easier to work with but I would prefer to keep it as back up for my 40 gallon tank. If I am crazy to even think about this just tell me. I know nothing about saltwater tanks. Anything welcome. Thanks in advance.


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Old 07-13-2016, 02:52 PM   #2
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Definitely possible. No fish can go in there though. You could do small interesting inverts and coral though.


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Old 07-13-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
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But I have seen one with fish before. Read this: How to make a 3 Gallon Reef tank. One Day Set-up.


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Old 07-18-2016, 02:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jfran View Post
Hey all! I am a freshwater guy who has yet to get into the saltwater scene. I was looking through my tank stuff and saw that I have a 3 (yes 3) gallon tank with filter and everything and I thought "is it possible for that to be my first saltwater?" Maybe one or two fish? maybe a small live rock? I know nothing. If any of you think of a cool setup that is possible please fire away (and while you are at it tell me everything i need to do to set up and maintain a micro saltwater tank) I have a spare ten gallon too and I know it would be much easier to work with but I would prefer to keep it as back up for my 40 gallon tank. If I am crazy to even think about this just tell me. I know nothing about saltwater tanks. Anything welcome. Thanks in advance.


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Good evening, congrats on taking your first steps to your first SW tank!

The 3 gallon tank can absolutely be used for SW! But, I would not house fish in here. I know this might sound like bad news but to be honest, how entertaining can a fish be in a 3 gallon tank anyway? In the article you're referring to, he housed a yellow tail damsel. The damsel being the death defying rodents of the saltwater world. Seriously, they are hard to kill! But, they like room to swim. If you put a fish made for a 20 gallon tank into a 3 gallon: 1. It's wrong to box the fish up like that 2. The fish won't have much room to swim and therefore won't provide much entertainment other than just looking pretty 3. It's just wrong for the fish's sake. It may eventually die of stress living in such a small space. Live Aquaria is a website that can be used as an excellent reference to identify fish and their housing requirements.

You would be surprised at how beautiful and entertaining corals and inverts are though! You will be happy to select a few of your favorite corals, a few colorful snails (bumblebee snails recommend), a couple hermit crabs (these come in a variety of colors from blue, red, orange and white) and a shrimp or two (depending on the species). You could house 2 peppermint shrimp in there but if you choose a different species, I would only house one.

This would still be an absolutely beautiful and peaceful setup that will give you the opportunity to (pardon the pun) test the waters and build up your SW knowledge before moving on to bigger setups and really investing into the hobby!

Best of luck to you, feel free to post any other questions you may have!


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