View Full Version : 10 Gallon Slice of the Reef

08-31-2014, 03:50 AM
Giving a reef tank an attempt for a fourth time. I figured I'd give it another go since the tank will cost me nothing out of pocket besides the living organisms.

10 gallon tank equipment:
- Koralia 1 (400gph)
- CPR BakPak w/MJ 1200 (295gph)
- Hydor Pico Evo-Mag 180 (180gph) [maybe]
- 4x24w T5HO (might run only 2 or 3 bulbs)

- pair of Picasso clowns or some other nifty clowns
- 6 blue/orange legged hermits
- 3 nassarius snails
- 6 cerith snails
- 3 astrea snails
- 1 turbo snail
- 1 scarlet skunk shrimp
- soft coral (primarily zoas and ricordias)
- lps (acans and anything else I fancy)

Current FTS:

Plans for the week:
- clean up tank
- repaint stand
- get base rock
- get live rock
- cycle

08-31-2014, 03:57 AM
I did not realize SW was even DOABLE in a 10G...this will be fun to watch develop

08-31-2014, 04:02 AM
SW is doable in a 10 gallon. However, that stocklist is not.

I would stick with some of the smallest of the gobies and not add the turbo snail or more than one hermit crab

08-31-2014, 05:31 AM
Not sure what's so wrong with the stock list... I mean, the clowns could be pushing it. I don't see an issue with the turbo. I honestly thought my CUC was a little light.

08-31-2014, 12:07 PM
The CUC is fine, but I wouldn't have clowns in a 10g, you could do 2 clown gobies, or a firefish or a goby pistol shrimp pair. Oh amd don't mess up I will document this for my tank, no pressure :).

08-31-2014, 12:48 PM
No, that CUC is not fine. Hermit crabs need a lot to eat. You won't have enough to support 5 of them in a 10 gallon tank unless you spot feed each of them. Even then, that will no guarantee a peacefully co-existence. They will end up fighting over food and territory until there is only one crab left. This is why I suggested to start with only one of them (orange legged ones would be better). Same thing for the turbo snail. It will get to be 2 to 3 inches in size once fully grown and would likley have a hard time moving around in a 10 gallon tank with live rock. They also need a lot to eat which I can not see you providing naturally in a 10 gallon tank. Unless you start spot feeding him, he will not survive for every long.

To put your listed CUC plan in prospective, I have one hermit crab and ~10 astra snails in my 120 gallon tank with 150 to 160 lbs of live rock in it. They have been keeping that tank clean for about a year now. This is less of a CUC than you were planning for your 10 gallon tank

Clown fish really need at least a 29 gallon tank at the minimum. Even the smallest ones get to be 3 inches (females a little bigger). A 10 gallon is not even close to what they will need.

Sorry if I may be coming off a little strong here, but you current stocking plan will not end well for you in a 10 gallon tank.

08-31-2014, 12:59 PM
have to agree with Cliff.

Also, another point is - crabs and the like will walk all over your corals and steal their food. Corals can handle the walking, tho you may get annoyed seeing them closed so often, but they really will steal ALL the food from the corals, even if you spot feed, the shrimp/crabs will scamper right over.

Once I realised what hermits were like, I was quite mean to them. I didn't buy any more to keep up their numbers AND I never provided them bigger shells to grown into, they had to make do with snail shells. I had a 50gal tank with ten hermits to start, with almost 100 lbs of lr, and they were down to two before I was happy with their balance in the tank.

You might add your planned number of them to clean up a diatom problem as you start the tank, but I would return the bulk of them once your tank stabilises.

08-31-2014, 12:59 PM
General rule for a SW tank is less is more. Don't overstock. Cliff is spot on. You may not see anything right away if the inhabitants are small you have to project the timeline into the future and when they get bigger.

09-03-2014, 10:26 PM
I've had my live rock and saltwater going for a few days now. Plans are to repaint my stand tonight, clean up the tank, and get it set up dry. Then whenever I have time later this week, rock and water will be transferred from the buckets to the tank.

09-04-2014, 12:00 AM
Sounds good, pics?

09-15-2014, 10:02 PM
Got busy with stuff. Was waiting for a skimmer o-ring, thermometer batteries, and sand to come in the mail. Finally it is all here. Putting in water and LR tonight.

Here is how she has sat last night and currently (respectively top to bottom):



09-16-2014, 02:11 AM
Andddd the first real FTS


09-16-2014, 12:52 PM
I like the rocks and really like the one on the right. I am looking forward to following this build! :)

09-16-2014, 12:57 PM
Looks good, the rock on the right looks like a diver doijng the OK signal.

09-16-2014, 12:59 PM
I am loving this.
Seeing this is really tempting me. Will be reading your build very closely.
Have to agree about the rock on the right side with the hole in side it.

09-16-2014, 01:23 PM
It does look like the "OK" hand signal. Never even noticed that! Good eye.

09-16-2014, 01:29 PM
Haha, thanks.

09-16-2014, 01:36 PM
and now? Critterwatch?

09-16-2014, 10:22 PM
Now, I gotta wait till my next paycheck to buy a new maxi jet 1200. The one I have is probably 15-20 years old and doesn't seal, so it just leaks micro bubbles all over so badly that you can't see more than 2 inches into the tank. Hate to be going forward without a protein skimmer running. So, critters might have to wait until the last week(end) of September. But, I'll keep an eye on the cycle.

09-16-2014, 10:36 PM
Oh, put a whit and red coral(if there is one) in the ok signal, it also looks like a catchers mit.

09-22-2014, 09:58 PM
Went shopping this weekend while I was down with my old lady. Came home with more than I wanted thanks a buy two, get one free special on zoas and shrooms. Also dragged home a piece of base rock. And last, but not least, I'm planning on taking a trip to the LFS tonight to see what kind of critters I can come home with.

New FTS will be posted later this evening. All my coral were happy and open as soon as the light came on today, so I must be doing something right this time.

09-22-2014, 10:03 PM
Sounds good. Really, you had to say "I must be doing something right" now you reminded me of a song and I am now going to type a line from it, I mustbe doing something right, I just heardher sigh, leaning to a kiss and close, those deep blue, need you eyes, I told you.

09-23-2014, 03:41 AM
Here be the latest FTS. Got myself two little red legged hermits, and I now have a hold on a pair of clowns till after I get paid.


09-23-2014, 11:19 AM
Looks awesome, I especially like the orange ricordia.

09-23-2014, 12:08 PM
Got myself two little red legged hermits, and I now have a hold on a pair of clowns till after I get paid

That's too bad. I always hate to see fish become stunted. Try to rehome them once they start getting too big for your 10 gallon tank to avoid that

09-23-2014, 09:32 PM
I will look into it. Might just upgrade when that time comes. I have a spare 20 high laying around, which my light would work on(that's the only plus). But, I HATE the awkwardness of a 20 high. I ideally would like a 30 long or 40 breeder, so many more options especially with the 40 breeder. The only thing I would need is another Koralia and a new light fixture.

In other news, there seems to be a widespread shortage of cerith, astrea, and turbo snails around me. Bummer.

09-23-2014, 09:46 PM
I highly recommend 40 breeder. The extra depth is great for scaping and they're not so tall that they're difficult to work on when you need to clean or move stuff around. Add to that they're only 36" wide so they fit more easily in most spaces. I have one and love it.

09-23-2014, 09:48 PM
A 40 breeder is my dream tank, besides something 10-12ft long. Should only cost me $250-$300 to get one going. Gonna try to start putting some money away., but before I know it Christmas will be rolling in.

09-26-2014, 10:29 PM
Today has been nothing be perfection in the fishy portion of my life.

Got my RO water tested to see how my RO membrane has held up over the past 4 years; it is still pumping out water with 0 tds.

Did a 20% water change on the tank today.

Zoa heads that weren't even open at the LFS are all open now.

And I got my pair of clowns! They are beautiful and just an amazing pair.



09-26-2014, 10:35 PM
Everything looks amazing, I love perculas, I like the zoas too, do you plan on geting a hammer, or frogspawn coral for them?

09-26-2014, 10:50 PM
I'd like to. More so for the colors. But, if they decide to host it I won't be complaining.

09-26-2014, 10:55 PM
Ok, my lfs has like 5 different color morphs of frpgspawn, and like 5 species of anemones.

09-26-2014, 11:48 PM
Those are some pretty clowns. I'm glad your zoas are doing so well. Any chance of seeing some closer pics of those?

09-27-2014, 12:44 AM
I will get some close up shots tomorrow when the lights are on. They went off right after I put the clowns in to let them relax.

09-27-2014, 12:51 AM
Can't wait to see pics.

09-27-2014, 01:16 AM
+1 to that!

09-28-2014, 02:38 AM
New FTS and some other shots thumbs2:

Starting to get some algae finally :thumbdown:





09-28-2014, 02:41 AM
Looks awesome!!! I love the ricordias, and zoas,.and clowns, well ilove the whole tank, I can wait till I'm 15 so I can get a sw.

09-28-2014, 03:03 AM
Great pics! Thank you for posting. :)

07-29-2016, 01:46 AM
2 year update:
Tank is still kicking. Clowns are still kicking. Shrimp is still kicking. A handful of snails and hermits are still kicking. Algae is kicking more than anything and a never ending battle that I have yet to come close to beating in the past year since it has giving me problems. I feel bad thinning out the biggest tuft because my clowns decided to host it.

The only thing not kicking is the coral, they made it almost a year before they all pretty much self destructed in one week, doing a 40% water change every other day wasn't even able to save them. It wasn't uncommon for me to find stink bugs in the tank, so maybe it was plausible their excrement poisened the corals.

I'm going to start piecing together equipment for a 20 or 30 long upgrade and turning this tank into the sump for it, mainly just need a new LED light and an in-sump skimmer. Hopefully I can get that build going before the end of next month.