The Reef Tank banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.. So I have had a 55 gallon fresh water set up for a good long time. I wanted to do a salt water set up, but a small one. I researched and read a lot about saltwater set ups and the bad end of having such a small set up. The end goal being if I can keep the ecosystem decent in a small set up then I would eventually transfer everything over to my 55 gallon. So I went out and bought a Biorb 16 gallon set up. here is my set up:
16 Gallon Biorb
10 pounds of cured live rock
the stupid bioballs that come with the biorb (Since you can not use live sand)
Set up with NutraSeaWater
1 blue Damsel
1 Azure Damsel
1 Clown Fish
5 Margarita Snails
I added the fish slowly after the tank had cycled... So here are my questions:
1. the ammonia levels are still none.. How many more fish can I get away with before I add to many?
2. Due to having a shitty API test kit the Nitrates when checked are all over the place. I have been doing 5 gallon water changes with NutraSeaWater once ever two weeks to be safe. The fish do not seem stressed and are eating properly. Any suggestions?
3. So when the tank is topped off, the filter is powered by the air stone and foams at the top, sort of like a protein skimmer. Should i Lower the level or just be happy I have a half-Assed protein skimmer?
4. Any comments suggestions or just random banter are appreciated!
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+28+108&pcatid=108
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,065 Posts
I think you've reached your limit with fish in a 16g tank (honestly maybe a little past). Each of those fish can be territorial and damsels are downright mean. There are many other considerations to take into consideration when stocking besides bioload - you'll often reach these other limitations well before you run into bio problems. Swimming needs, aggression, territioriality, size, etc all factor in.

Are you following the nitrate directions properly? You really have to shake the crap out of that second bottle. Or it could be the Nutrisea water - one reefer reported ammonia readings straight from the jug. You can have your LFS double check the results. Are you topping off with fresh water?

As for the Biorb, if I were you I'd get your 55 ready as soon as possible. They had it on clearance at my LFS and as a sucker for a deal I eyeballed it for a few minutes - the manager actually warned me away from it. Serious filtration issues with small surface area for oxygenation. I'm not a fan of airstones in a salt tank for the exact reason you listed - the "skimmer" effect. This can cause issues with your pH. And correct me if I'm wrong, but if you lower the water level to below where the bubbles are introduced you have 0 water movement, it'll just be stagnant with no oxygenation. You also have no type of water movement which means waste will just settle on your rocks and soak in which will feed algae and lead to water quality issues.

Sorry to be a downer. :( The manager got a free one and by the time he made it into a usable tank he'd spent enough money to buy a better one. He also had so many returns and complaints that they decided to stop carrying it altogether.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks for the thought out reply. As for aggression, there is none at all yet. I have the live rock set up with little caves and they hang out there some time during the day but most of the time the fish swim around freely without noticing each other. I would love to eventually stock it with 1 green clown goby, a few more snails, some sort of crab (be it a hermit crab or traditional) and maybe some shrimp. as for switching to the 55 gallon.... still need wife's approval since it will cost a bit in live rock and setting up the water....
The Biorb is not really that bad of a tank in general... I mean I hate the fact that you can not upgrade the filtration system on it as I usually try to over filtrate by 5x. Forgot to mention that I didn't like the factory air pump and upgraded to one that is good for 110 gallons.. Since I did that that is what caused the foaming. But on the other hand the filtration is better, like a lot better.. I have hosed out the sponge twice since doing it. For water moment, it moves a good amount.. I can see at night the fish i guess you can say sleeping and swimming to fight the current and stay in place. As for any other water quality issues.. none that I have seen yet. the PH is perfect, ammonia 0 Nitrates.. well i got to get a good read on them..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,065 Posts
Glad to hear it's working out better for you than it did for him. He had a look on his face like he kind of wanted to set the display on fire. :p We love pics around here so get to snapping when you get the time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
I absolutely love the biorb! But I think it's one of things where you really have to consider the limitations of the environment it creates. I have a 4 gallon that I've been running for years with a male betta, then switched over to a crystal shrimp tank. My BF loved mine also and got the 8 gallon to make into a nano reef. I would agree with ChiWing that you are pushing it with those three fish. In my opinion, the Biorb does best when understocked. I think it gets a bad rep because it's a bit gimmicky with it's claims of being a low maintenance tank which attracts a lot of first time fish keepers who don't know any better.

Just to take into consideration, my bf uses an additional underwater filter for floss and purigen (and extra flow), and also uses Seachem SeaGel and floss in place of the manufacture's cartridge. Also does water changes 2x a week.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top