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Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 09:16 PM
I know, i know, everyone says "start bigger" but have done TONS of reading and i am willing to put in the time to make a succesful 10 gallon salt water tank. But, i have a couple questions for the experts (namely fish whisperer, and reptileguy2727)

1. What exactly is live rock?
2. Does live rock have to have live sand? or can it just have sand or gravel?
3. I wanted to try to grow a small bit of coral. I found one, i think it is called a mushroom polyp. Is it easy to maintain? If not, what is a good starter choice?
4. Does coral need live rock/sand?
5. Would one damsel fish be a good start?
6. What is a reasonable price for a hyrdometer?

You response is apreciated.

f1oored
02-15-2007, 09:41 PM
I was looking into setting up a 15 gallon tank for saltwater. After looking into all of the cost I found it was much cheaper to buy one of the nano cubes. They come with the protein skimmer, proper lights, proper filter, and the little aiming jets which are helpful when doing a reef tank.

Live rock is what takes care of your ammonia and nitrites. Live sand can even reduce nitrates. Live rock is usually taken from the ocean and contains the bacteria you need in a saltwater tank. You can mix live rock and dead rock and hopefully the dead will seed and become live. Same with the sand, this is more common. It is often recomended that you get 1-2 lbs of live rock per gallon of water. The stuff is usually about 5 bucks a pound.

I'm no expert, this is just what I have discovered through reading and pricing materials online.

Chrona
02-15-2007, 09:44 PM
Live rock also breaks down nitrates too, because many of the pores on the rock do not recieve oxygen, so they harbor anaerobic bacteria that converts nitrates to free nitrogen that leaves your system.

I was looking around, and it seems alot of people are foregoing the protein skimmer for models like the JBL Nanocube, and just putting a sponge filter and live rock rubble in the media bins in the back.

Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 09:45 PM
Do you know if you need live sand to accompany live rock?

f1oored
02-15-2007, 09:48 PM
I don't think it is a must but I'm not 100% certain.

Chrona
02-15-2007, 09:52 PM
Heh, so the rage on these forums is shifting from malawian cichlids to nano reefs? ;)

I saw an article on this.....lemme see if I can find it

Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 09:54 PM
Heh, so the rage on these forums is shifting from malawian cichlids to nano reefs? ;)

I saw an article on this.....lemme see if I can find it

I guess im a trendsetter! (not)

cocoa_pleco
02-15-2007, 10:01 PM
I had success with crushed coral and live rock.

Good luck with a 10g! mine was alot of work, but beautiful.

For fish, clownfish, yellow tangs, and condylactis anenomes are good

for cycling fish, damsels are 10$ and hardy

Chrona
02-15-2007, 10:02 PM
Still looking for the article, but if you use live rock and dead sand, the sand will become live (harbor bacteria) within weeks. The only difference is that it will take longer for the tank to cycle with only dead sand.

Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 10:03 PM
I had success with crushed coral and live rock.

Good luck with a 10g! mine was alot of work, but beautiful.

For fish, clownfish, yellow tangs, and condylactis anenomes are good

for cycling fish, damsels are 10$ and hardy

Uhhhh dont tangs get like 8" unless they have dwarf tangs, i think they are DEFFINATLY out of the queston for a 10 gallon.

Does anyone have any answers about the coral parts?

cocoa_pleco
02-15-2007, 10:07 PM
yeah, if you can get a dwarf, not a big one

Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 10:23 PM
two more things (sorry)
1. Does coral need live rock?

2. Back in 2nd grade, one of me mates went to cancun and brought me back a peice of coral. if i put it in the tank, would it help/hurt it? would it become live?

Chrona
02-15-2007, 10:30 PM
Actually, just ignore my thing about live sand. Live sand you buy also contains lots of other organisms that effect the reef. I forgot about that.

f1oored
02-15-2007, 11:03 PM
Heh, so the rage on these forums is shifting from malawian cichlids to nano reefs? ;)


I feel this comment is somehow directed at me lol. I'm no Sherlock Holmes but it was posted directly after one of my post and I do happen to frequent the malawi section of the forum. Are you trying to say something Chrona?

The coral isn't going to become live coral again. It may get some of the bacteria and small organisms growing on it but that is it. It shouldn't hurt your tank either.

Here are the basic needs of coral.
http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/coralidprofileresource/a/aa072704coralne.htm

I don't think you need live rock for coral but it is needed for it to be a reef tank.

Chrona
02-15-2007, 11:05 PM
I feel this comment is somehow directed at me lol. I'm no Sherlock Holmes but it was posted directly after one of my post and I do happen to frequent the malawi section of the forum. Are you trying to say something Chrona?

The coral isn't going to become live coral again. It may get some of the bacteria and small organisms growing on it but that is it. It shouldn't hurt your tank either.

Here are the basic needs of coral.
http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/coralidprofileresource/a/aa072704coralne.htm

I don't think you need live rock for coral but it is needed for it to be a reef tank.

lol, no my comment wasn't directed at anyone. Hanging around these forums, it has seemed to me that the malawian cichlid thing is the "trendy" thing to do (not that theres anything wrong with it, since I want a cichlid tank too lol). I guess it is just coincidence that I happened to have the thought right after you posted. Mea culpa, mea culpa

Drumachine09
02-15-2007, 11:28 PM
What is the difference between having coral in your tank, and having a reef tank?

Chrona
02-15-2007, 11:31 PM
What is the difference between having coral in your tank, and having a reef tank?

From wikipedia, a reef tank is a tank containing live coral and organisms related to coral reefs, so they are basically the same thing. I'm almost positive most live rock you get will contain coral of some kind that will grow out under strong lighting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reef_tank

EDIT: But here comes the experts, so I'll step aside ;)

Fish Whisperer
02-16-2007, 12:02 AM
1. What exactly is live rock?
LR is usually one of three things. 1) Crap base rock that has been in the ocean but is practically devoid of any life other than bacteria. 2) In cases of killer premium LR from fiji, tonga, marshall isles, etc the rock is actually chunks that have been broken off of the reef. 3) LR from the carribean/coastal Florida is usually base rock that has been thrown in the ocean and allowed to sit for several years, enabling organisms to overtake it just as if it were natural reef.
LR #1 is cheap by comparison and is essentially used to serve as a home for bacteria in place of, or in addition to, a UG, canister, trickle, etc. LR#1 is also used under the killer/expensive live rock to build a nice reef.
LR #2 & #3, is EXPENSIVE-but you really get what you pay for-loaded with not only hard and soft corals, but sponges, clams, crabs, shrimp, copepods, tons of tiny critters, beneficial algea, on and on. Not only are you paying for what you see, but you are getting thousands of microscopic critters/corals etc, that will grow out for yearsto come, given care, light, calcium, etc. Sometimes you also can get undesirable hitchhikers such as predatory crabs & shrimp (mantis) and even parasites-but these can be dealt with.

2. Does live rock have to have live sand? or can it just have sand or gravel? You dont HAVE to have a sand bed. However, they are great. The trend these days is to have a deep sandbed 6-8". The point being that the LR is mostly aerobic denitrification & the sandbed is ANaerobic. Between the two, as I've mentioned before, you can get by with out any other means of filtering (However, in a 10g a good skimmer is going to be necessary because your not going to get your sandbed deep enough to be anaerobic.) BUT the sand must be live. You can either buy live sand-that which already has critters/bacteria in it (which is what makes it "live") or you can use regular playsand from home depot and make it "live" by buying a "kit". These kits are simply a variety of sand dwelling critters(woms, copepods, etc.,think of them as sand bugs) that move about the sand, gently sifting it continously. I do the latter. If you buy some killer LR, it already has many many critters in it that will migrate to the sand anyway; but I would still buy a starter kit. You can also propagate your own pods in a separate tank to use ongoing, cause fish eat 'em when they can find 'em. Whichever way you go, remember that the sand has to be 6-8" deep to make it anaerobic (which doesn't leave much room in a 10g), and you have to feed the sandbed as well-the bugs gotta eat too.

3. I wanted to try to grow a small bit of coral. I found one, i think it is called a mushroom polyp. Is it easy to maintain? If not, what is a good starter choice?
Shrooms are a great starter coral and come in a myriad of varieties

4. Does coral need live rock/sand?
The true "rock" is dead coral (skeletons) Corals grow out of rock, sand, shipwrecks, whatever-The rock is just the place where the spore took hold.
Corals don't need sand-You've probably seen coral frags sitting in bare bottom tanks resting on pieces of PVC at your LFS

5. Would one damsel fish be a good start?
In a 10g one fish is all you could have-the fish is your choice as long as you consider its size. percula clowns are nice

6. What is a reasonable price for a hyrdometer?
They're cheap plastic-I havnt bought one in years-maybe $8

You response is apreciated.
anytime