3 gallon set up, born 10/10/2013

Wingity

New member
picture.php


]So, I am setting up a 3 gallon cube.

I upgraded the filter to a 10 gallon filter. It's a Aqueon hang on back type.

for now I am using a clip on LED tetra light, but my gf ordered a clip on LED reef light for me. Should be here next week.

put about 2 cm of sand in the bottom.

used the water from the refrigerator filter dispenser, mixed it with Tetra marine Salt, and added to tank.

Added a 50 watt submersible heater

added an overpriced petco "live" rock

waited a week

went to a good lfs and bought some well seasoned live rocks. On the live rock there are 4 blue mushrooms, coralline algae, and a spaghetti/hairy worm. (thanks for the help identifying these)

added a pin-head of Coral Frenzy

current readings:
temp: 76.5 F
salinity: 1.025
Ca: 460
PO: .25
N0: 30
KH: 10

I would like to have corals and invertebrates in this tank.


So, my questions:

Will my mushrooms die while the tank cycles? Should I take them out? Do a water change?

Is the flow too high from the filter for the mushrooms? Will reef lights be too strong for mushrooms, in such a shallow tank?

What other tests do I need?

What other types of coral could I add?

the GF wants to add brine shrimp to bring the phosphate in line. Is that a good idea?

I had a 50gallon FOWLR tank a decade ago, and a few freshwater tanks, that's it.
 

dclownd

New member
I have a 5.5 set up with zoos and a mantis plan on more corals.
I am using a led clip on called Solarflare 115.
I am not to good with mushrooms the only one I have ever kept were 3 purple rics I got when I set up my tank several months ago.
I am not sure about the phosphate and brine shrimp? Why not set up a 30g filter and throw chaeto in it?
 

Wingity

New member
I don't have space, or I would love to set up some something like that.

I'm thinking about zoos also.
 

FTDelta

New member
So you never given your tank a chance to cycle yet?

Tap water is a big no-no for saltwater (depending on the source) because there are harmful metals. Always invest in an RO/DI unit or in your case buy distilled water.

The HOB filter looks to big for the tank your size. Why not invest in a skimmer for nano/pico tanks? They do a far better job keeping your tank clean. A coupel examples:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4392+25228&pcatid=25228

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4392+24911&pcatid=24911

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=21416
 

Wingity

New member
I regret buying rocks with quality life on them so early. I don't want to loose the mushrooms, or the other life that climbed out of them, so I am planning on doing large water changes daily to soften the cycle. I think it will be manageable in such a small tank, although I am under the impression it will take months.

What are the draw backs of having too large a filter?

Looking at your links now... I didn't realize they came so small :)
 

thegrun

Team RC
Mushrooms are hardy so they have a good chance of surviving the cycle. To test for the cycle you should have an ammonia test kit and a nitrite test kit. Brine shrimp will not help your phosphate levels. I would strongly recommend you use either RO/DI water or distilled water for your salt mix. The refrigerator filter will not remove many of the problematic pollutants (like phosphate). With such a small tank, even a small amount of contaminates can quickly lead to a disaster. I would limit the corals to soft corals and LPS corals. SPS corals, clams and anemones are too difficult to keep in a small tank.
 

Wingity

New member
Just did a partial water change with distilled water, being careful to maintain the temp and salinity. Nitrites were through the roof, so I replaced 1/2 gallon. How much water should I replace at a time during the cycle?

It looks like it's going to be a long time before I can add any more life.
 

gbru316

Active member
Could you please expand on this? I'm not sure I follow.

the GF wants to add brine shrimp to bring the phosphate in line. Is that a good idea?

And I don't think you need a smaller filter. It won't work any better, and it will reduce the water movement in the tank. Besides, you can't have "too much" mechanical filtration.

Your cycle should take about a month, although a few weeks on either side of that isn't uncommon.
 

Wingity

New member
She read that brine shrimp help control phosphate levels. But I can't find anything to support that claim. She was reading around for some form of life that could survive in such a small tank. She went ahead and ordered some eggs, as she is enjoying watching the life in the tank. I figure if nothing else they might make good food for a larger creature if we decide to put anything in there after the cycle completes. Not sure if I really want to subject anything much bigger to that small of a tank.
 
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Wingity

New member
can I cover the filter intake with a pantyhose foot, or would that prevent the filter from working effectively? I've seen people do it...
 

FTDelta

New member
That filter looks well... kinda clunky for a 3 gallon tank.

Again, I'd invest in a nano skimmer for they do a better job keeping your tank clean.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
one cool thing about pico reefs is there is enough work on them online by now that its not as much of a guessing game like it used to be a decade ago. it comes down to two methods, methods that come from the longest lived/documented 3 gallon tank in history or any other method :)

so, if you ever want a baseline to compare to, the longest lived 3 gallon pico tank (other than just claiming hey mine is 18 years old) has details, pics, and vid. you can search under El Fab's 3 gallon SPS tank to get the details. thats not the longest lived pico reef, just the longest lived 3 gallon so it is a nice backbone for your setup if you ever wonder what definately works.
 

gbru316

Active member
That filter looks well... kinda clunky for a 3 gallon tank.

Again, I'd invest in a nano skimmer for they do a better job keeping your tank clean.

A skimmer won't remove detritus, and detritus is usually the biggest problem in small tanks. I siphon it out of mine daily because I don't utilize mechanical filtration.
 

Wingity

New member
I'm interested in hearing more about your tank, gbru316

edit- looked up your thread about it, beautiful!
 
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