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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well like the title says - I am going to put together a 10 gallon reef tank and will document the trials and tribulations here along with pics when you are bored.

You may have seen my other thread where I started out to do this and ended up using a spare 75 gallon tank I had. That tank is assembled and cycling right now but I came to realize I have enough equipment laying around to set up a 10 gallon as well.

Equipment on hand:

  • 18x12x14. 10 gallon tank
  • Fluval 104 canister filter - 95 gph flow
  • 15lbs of dry rock
  • 15 lbs of arogonite sand
LED “reef rated” light (It says reef rated but is off brand) worked well on planted tank and is adjustable light modes.
  • 100w heater
  • small power head if needed.
  • intend to build low tech gravity fed auto top off. (Thank you Paul b)

Speak up if you see a problem there. The filter would give me about 10x change over per hour and I could use the power head if needed but I am thinking with the physical tank size it would not be needed.

I have no idea what I would put in it at the moment. Yes, I see you all making the face - same face I make when someone does performance upgrades in a motorcycle but doesn’t think about how they want to ride it - you should build to what you want to do with it.

That said, what would you guys do with a 10 gallon tank? Species tank? If so what? Crab tank? FOWLR? I have been watching videos and looking at images for ideas. Let me know what you would do if you had a free tank to play with. A manatee would be fun but I think they are more brackish….
 

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Don't ask Vinnie.....Fry Daddy will send Ya some Sea Horses. 😁
And a 'manatee'....:unsure:......let me check Live Aquaria.....NOPE! 75 gallon minimum. ;)

Fellas, the Guys been bitten hard by the Reef Bug.....ain't no going back now.

A 10 gallon .....:unsure:......possibly a Watchman/Pistol Shrimp combo?
A few of these scurrying amongst the corals would be groovy.....They're some of my favorites! SMALL...dear goodness Pal they are small.

COOL,
Hack
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. I love the symbiotic relationships in the marine tanks. I thought about the goby/shrimp. I also thought about just having a pair of clown fish with the tank to themselves. Dunno.
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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I'm curious if your low tech topoff is the same as the one I put on my 25G! I use just a little mechanical float valve and put the RO water above the sump. I found that having it an inch above isn't sufficient, there needs to be a couple inches of difference between the water line in the tank, and the topoff water line for it to work well. Just a heads up on that one.

I like the energy here! One tank is never enough!
Whiskey
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually I tried to get one of those little float valves last time I was at my LFS but they didn’t have one. I have been reading the book by Paul b and he has one using a glass bottle and two tubes. I will be inverting the bottle with two tubes coming out of the cap. A longer tube to supply water and a shorter tube cut at about the water level. Water only drains if the short tube can get air. No moving parts. It worked for him - I will let you know how I make out.
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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Oh! I've seen one of these where the bottle is inverted over the tank and set at a level where the rim of the top is right at the water line. Same concept where if air can sneak in the side it glugs some water out. Neat idea! And I've seen it work for a number of people.

Whiskey
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Same principle as the pet drinking water dispensers. We will see. Haven’t made it yet. It has been a week and I evaporated about a half gallon. I will keep up manually for now.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I aquascaped yesterday and filled the tank. I dosed it with the bacteria and let it circulate all day. I got two nice yellow tail damsels - maybe 3/4” long. I drip acclimated them and they just went in. Now we monitor and wait. I have a running tab of all my readings for the bigger tank and will do the same here. Will compare my findings when I have some data. I am starting out with 1.025 - 79F - and 8.0 PH. Bone stock tank so no ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates.

There is absolutely no use in pics at the moment as the two damsel fish dove for a cave the second they got in the tank. If I manage to see them out or can coax them with some mysis shrimp I will post but I am sure you have all seen damsel fish.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What bottle bac did you add?
This wasn't the one I had intended to buy as it was out of stock. This was highly recommended and what they used at the store. The best before date is October 2022 so I gave it a shot. Will see. I will do some water tests tonight.

 

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Fry Daddy! Multiple tanks, reef, seahorse
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If you haven’t finished the video on bacteria that HumbleFish and Tom did. It’s worth watching it. Tom is in the business of selling bottle bac but is also knowledgeable on the subject.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I watched the whole thing. Very interesting and informative. There was another one I watched that was fiulmed as a lecture that I want to watch again. I will post the link here if I find it.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the one. More in general reef chemistry and likely more basic than you would be looking for. As a newb I got a lot from it.

 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The tank looked good this morning, my two damsels were actually out and about on a tentative swim around the tank. Yesterday they were hiding after being transfered and one seemd to be displaying territorial behaviour chasing the other if they saw each other. I think it was just scared and protecting it's little cave. When I saw them this morning they were swimming around together and exploring. They came out of the same tank at the store and that group was very peaceful.

Is it just me or do marine fish swim and move differently than freshwater fish? These are literally my first marine fish and I am facinated by how they move. I have no explanation, perhaps the added water flow in a marine tank is a factor? I also wondered if salt water being more dense had an effect. A slightly more dense medium would allow for smaller fins and be more efficient than using the larger tail and body method like a fresh water fish.

Maybe I think too much...but then again, I have cool fish to look at while I do.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
True. My koi just bend in the middle and swash it back and forth, you are right, the little reef fish almost slither through the water.
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, so the latest readings using the bottled bio method.

Day 3:
1.025
78.5F
PH 8.0
Ammonia. .5
Nitrite. .5
Nitrate. 10.

Notable is that ammonia is down and both nitrate and nitrite now read on the scale. Given that ammonia dropped by 1 it should be 0 in a couple days. I expect nitrite will follow and a water change on Thursday night SHOULD Have things sorted out. Supposedly. We will see.
 

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You're getting close Rick....

API kits are notorious for an ammonia reading when you know there ain't any. The NO3 coming up is great, and 10ppm is about what to expect for a newly cycled system. If in doubt there's always the lfs asking them to test for you. It's a 'confidence booster' knowing that your tests are good.
Hack
 
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