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Old 12-26-2021, 01:37 PM   #1
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What should I be expecting to set up a 10 gallon reef tank?

Iím new to saltwater, but work in a exotic pet store where I do take care of saltwater fish and corals. I want to get into the hobby without a huge tank or massive expenses, so Iím choosing to start with a significantly smaller tank size.
I plan on having a few hardy corals and at most one fish and a pair of inverts
What should I be expecting in terms of equipment needs? What are the best options for fish in a nano tank?

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Old 12-26-2021, 03:43 PM   #2
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Pistol shrimp and gobies are fun to watch. But the smaller tank size will make for more maintenance
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Old 12-26-2021, 04:07 PM   #3
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Pistol shrimp and gobies are fun to watch. But the smaller tank size will make for more maintenance


Iím okay with more maintenance, Iíve got a 5 gallon fresh that I try to clean 3 times a week. Some websites say that a pair of clowns (no bigger than percula species) whatís your opinion on this? Would it be too much bio load?
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Old 12-26-2021, 06:49 PM   #4
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I wouldnít do a pair of clowns in a 10, but 1 and a shrimp goby, or other small perching goby would be doable. In terms of maintenance thereís really no difference between a 10 and a 100 other than the importance of daily top offs which take 30 seconds, 10-20% or more weekly water changes and I like to give my rocks a good blasting with a turkey baster 10-15 minutes before I do the change and Iíll turn my flow all the way up to keep it suspended in the water column and most of it will get trapped in my filter floss. Toss that with the change and Iím done, total time on my 20 is 30 minutes start to finish doing 5gs.

As far as equipment goes that depends on a couple of things, how much your looking to spend and what kind of coral your interested in. For a standard 10g tank Iíd get a aqua clear 50 and a small power head or 2, fairly impressed with the hyger mini Iím using, and a heater and a light, options there depend on budget, and some rock and sand. Iíd say 7-12 lbs of rock should be ok, more importantly than weight of them is the ability for water to flow through and around them, so build your rock work in a way thatís itís not just piled in pthe center. This will eliminate dead spots and allow more surface area for biological filtration
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Old 12-26-2021, 07:02 PM   #5
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I wouldnít do a pair of clowns in a 10, but 1 and a shrimp goby, or other small perching goby would be doable. In terms of maintenance thereís really no difference between a 10 and a 100 other than the importance of daily top offs which take 30 seconds, 10-20% or more weekly water changes and I like to give my rocks a good blasting with a turkey baster 10-15 minutes before I do the change and Iíll turn my flow all the way up to keep it suspended in the water column and most of it will get trapped in my filter floss. Toss that with the change and Iím done, total time on my 20 is 30 minutes start to finish doing 5gs.

As far as equipment goes that depends on a couple of things, how much your looking to spend and what kind of coral your interested in. For a standard 10g tank Iíd get a aqua clear 50 and a small power head or 2, fairly impressed with the hyger mini Iím using, and a heater and a light, options there depend on budget, and some rock and sand. Iíd say 7-12 lbs of rock should be ok, more importantly than weight of them is the ability for water to flow through and around them, so build your rock work in a way thatís itís not just piled in pthe center. This will eliminate dead spots and allow more surface area for biological filtration


Thank you! I knew I couldnít do a whole lot with fish, but I wanted to double check because thereís a few articles that say otherwise. Iíve got one more question, will anemones hurt fish that I put in the tank? The only non-beginner coral I want is a rainbow bubble tip anemone, thereís some at the store I work at and itís gorgeous, but I do t know if theyíd try to eat any fish I put in there (outside of a clown)
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Old 12-26-2021, 08:43 PM   #6
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Iíd say a 10 is to small for a bubble tip. Itís doable but they get pretty large and need higher lighting requirements. They will also sting corals as they move around a tank and in a 10 thatís not much room. Youíre gonna spend more on lights if you want a nem.
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Old 12-26-2021, 09:06 PM   #7
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Iíd say a 10 is to small for a bubble tip. Itís doable but they get pretty large and need higher lighting requirements. They will also sting corals as they move around a tank and in a 10 thatís not much room. Youíre gonna spend more on lights if you want a nem.


Alrighty thank you! Might wait on that then
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Old 12-26-2021, 10:11 PM   #8
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You could look into flower menís, they stay smaller and usually donít bother corals and are less demanding. They wonít host a clown obviously but mine do host a porcelain crab, and would probably host anemone shrimp.
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Old 12-30-2021, 02:51 AM   #9
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A couple of my favorites are Anemone shrimp and Rock Flower anemones! Great fun and a smaller tank with some macro algae (just skip the Caulerpa). One cute little buddy I have really enjoyed and love is my Yellow Clown Goby about 7/8 years old at this point.

After the tank is cycled and stable, get the critters. Pom Pom crab
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