Small Saltwater Tanks

On or around December 10th, 1998 I started two new saltwater tanks.
I had just torn down my old 30 gallon marine tank, and so I was able to use the live rock to give these tanks a head start.

The 10 Gallon Saltwater Tank

10 gallon tank Presently in the 10 gallon tank there is only one full grown Clownfish, no anenome as yet, and several turbo snails and hermit crabs. This picture was taken after the tank had been set up for about 2 weeks. As you can see there is no real filter; I’m using the live rock as the filter and there is a power head for circulation. I’m not adding a protein skimmer because I haven’t found one that works well without costing a fortune or filling the whole tank with bubbles. I will be changing about 1 – 2 gallons of water a month using distilled water and “Instant Ocean” salt water mix. This way I won’t have to add any additives because the new saltwater mix will take care of it. (SIMPLIFY) I’ll also use distilled water as the make-up water, for evaporation loss.
I used a standard 10 gallon under-gravel filter on the bottom, then covered this with inorganic quilt batting and about 3 – 4 inches of aragonite gravel. This is a adaptation of a system called “natural nitrate reduction” and once it gets broken in it will greatly reduce any algae problems.
I used a double fluorescent light fixture for the lighting, that should be adequate as I’m not planning on having any really light loving corals, but I am going to try to keep a carpet anenome for the Clown and maybe some “low light tolerate corals” in the future.
The 5 Gallon Saltwater Tank

5 gallon tank The 5 gallon was set up at the same time and the same way.
It currently has only the “Yellow Tail Damsel”, and a few hermit crabs and snails. I’ll add a shrimp or two or maybe a starfish and a small goby to finish out the inhabitants of this tank. I’m using the 36 inch double fluorescent light fixture from the old 30 gallon tank on this 5 gallon and on another 5 gallon “Plant Tank”.

An update is now available, see:
Small Salt Part 2 below.