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  • Results 1 to 11 of 11

    Thread: Looking to make a small reef with invertebrates

    1. #1
      inazuma28 is online now Senior Member
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      Looking to make a small reef with invertebrates

      My questions-

      What tests do i need?

      What lights do you suggest?

      Does instant ocean salt also have calcium and magnesium or are those purchased separately. If so, what should I buy.

      Optimally I want to have a small coral reef with 2 dwarf cuttlefish. Im obsessed with S. bandensis and want two.

      The plan is to get a 29 gallon aquarium with 2 50 gal rated over the back filters, a good light set up ect... Im also thinking about doing a pvc tube filled with ceramic media and creating a DIY shower. Then i will stock with live rock and a handful of small fish to get it cycled. Once cycled ill start with cheap invertebrates to make sure its safe. Then corrals, than cuttlefish eggs. Once the cuttles hatch it wont take them long to eat all the other tank mates but they are only my cycling squad.

      Does this sound like a feasible plan?

    2. #2
      KurtG's Avatar
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      Going down that road is like a koi addiction, it doesn't stop and prices are similar. I think 29 will be too small if it is your first real go at this. Have you looked at anything larger? I had a small reef for 10+ years before going outside ponds and then eventually to koi. The lower the light needs of your corals and the larger the tank, the easier it is to balance everything.

    3. #3
      inazuma28 is online now Senior Member
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      Maybe ill wait on it. It was never really about the coral, its about the cuttlefish. I thought having a few corals would add to the look. And I know larger volumes make for more stable tanks, but I am of the belief that I can manage stability with a smaller volume and quadruple filtration. There are a lot of folks who successfully manage "nano-reefs". Also, there is a saying, happy coral, happy cuttle- I figure if im able to keep a few corals my tank is ready for the cuttlefish

    4. #4
      jimfish98's Avatar
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      Look at the JBJ 45RL tank. It is 45g and comes with a stand. It has a back wall with filtration behind it that is built for the basics but has room to add heaters, protein skimmer, and more. There are ATO systems that function well with it too. The tanks are nice and are a good starting point for a small system.

      This link has the tank, but if you go through the photos there is a video showing them upgrading the system too.

      https://www.marinedepot.com/JBJ_Nano...FIAQML-vi.html

      As for dosing stuff, I would talk to your LFS for some information.



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    5. #5
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      With small reefs, the stability is as much about lighting and evap/salt as it is nitrate. Mine was a 20g high so wont discourage you, but bigger is exponentially easier within reason. Since mine was small and intensely lit, I had to have a constant water drip on my reef, but you had to make sure salt did not clog up the drip. I had two bad events in 10+ years, one where I got bad seafood from the grocery store that killed an anemone and almost cascaded through my entire reef. The other is when I went on vacation and the salinity got out of whack because my drip stopped. I was able to salvage the corals, but the house was a stinky mess when I got home. In the end the work was more than I wanted for a hobby as compared to the koi pond.

    6. #6
      rcmike is offline Supporting Member
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      I have tried bandensis before and they are pretty tricky to raise. I started out with 6 and got 2 to about 2 months I think and then lost them while gone to a convention. When they hatch they are about the size of a pea or smaller. They will have to be kept in something smaller for quite a while. I kept them in a small critter keeper that I pumped water from my reef tank into and made an overflow that went back to the reef. Finding suitable food can be hard also. I fed mine mostly amphipods. When they get a little larger they can eat grass shrimp or similar. Cuttles usually only have a lifespan of about a year.

      The lighting isn't really important for cuttles but some people say bright lighting can be bad for them. It really depends on if you are keeping corals and what type.

      For test kits you probably want the major ones like pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite. If you keep corals the calcium, magnesium, alkalinity, phosphate.

      Calcium and magnesium are in instant ocean and if you don't keep corals then I wouldn't worry about it. If you keep corals, especially LPS or SPS then these will need to be monitored and added as necessary. You can use 2 part mixes, kalkwasser, calcium reactor, etc. There are many ways to do it. Water changes might be enough if coral stocking is low.

      As far as filters I would just use live rock and a good protein skimmer. I've kept reef tanks for over 20 years and have found that is the most reliable method.

      I would find a local reef club and go see some other people's setups. Also check out reef2reef.com. I would definitely run the tank for a while before I worried about the cuttlefish. Reef tanks can be pretty tricky until you get the hang of them.



    7. #7
      rcmike is offline Supporting Member
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      Btw, here is a wonderpus I am keeping now. A LFS had an order mix up and got it. I traded a few clownfish I raise for it. I definitely wouldn't buy one since they are pretty rare in the wild and don't live very long. I figured I had as good a chance as anybody to keep it alive.



    8. #8
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      Very coool!
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    9. #9
      gray cat's Avatar
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      That is very cool.
      Nancy



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    10. #10
      inazuma28 is online now Senior Member
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      I wanted octopus but I hear they are very very difficult to keep in the tank.

      I am not worried about filtration. Ive built my own sumps before, plus live rock. I enjoy the DIY filter game. Its easy and effective. It would not be an issue for me to move to 55gal, but the lecture I watched on this species said that 2 fit well in 30 gallons and because they are so small, its hard to feed them in such a large tank. I read multiple articles that say start from hatch to 1.5 months on Mysid shrimp, then offer frozen. It keeps feeding easy and way cheaper than buying live. Ive done my research, but Ive never kept a reef. So what the idea was is start a small reef. Get acquainted with the process (hands on). Then once i can keep a healthy reef, fish and coral, ill know im ready for the cuttlefish.
      Last edited by inazuma28; 01-25-2018 at 06:01 PM.

    11. #11
      rcmike is offline Supporting Member
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      Yep, most types of octopus will crawl out of a tank if it isn't sealed pretty well.

      Keeping a mysid culture can be pretty difficult. The adults will eat the juveniles unless you can find a way to keep them separated. There are ways but it is tricky. I tried culturing them but didn't have very good luck. If you can keep a culture going that is great food.

      I wasn't trying to discourage you. They are really cool animals and I am hoping to try again at some point.



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