15g, new to sw, lots of questions!


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Hi all!

I recently purchased a 15 gallon (all I had space for) AIO tank from Waterbox along with some equipment (light, heater, thermometer, ATO, mesh lid). I will not be running a skimmer.

I have done lots of research and have experience with a 40 gallon freshwater planted tank already but I’m still a novice aquarist and still have some questions so please bear with me :)

1. I want to prevent dinoflagellates but I have seen conflicting information online, how do I prevent this scourge from infesting my tank?

2. Phosphates. Good levels they should be at? What produces them? What do they do? Should I add something to my filter to remove them?

3. How effectively will “real reef” rock that has been sitting in a tank at my lfs for a few months (can’t get real wild live rock in my area) cycle my tank along with caribsea sand and possibly bottled bacteria? Will it be instant?

Now, on to my stocking plan + questions:

I only want to have 1 fish but I would like lots of inverts, as I love sw inverts! For the fish I would like something hardy but also interesting and able to be seen a good amount. I do not want clownfish.

As for inverts, I will include a “wish list” of possible interest species below but I am open to all recommendations! This list does not mean I want to put all these species together. It’s just ones I’m interested in.

CUC inverts:
- trochus snails
- nassarius snail
- cerith snails?
- astrea snails?
- hermit crabs (maybe blue leg)? (Will put empty shells in tank for them)
-tuxedo urchin???? (BIG maybe)

Other inverts:

- Blue coral banded shrimp (stenopus tenurirostis)??
- Fire shrimp (REALLY like these guys)
- Pom pom crab?
- Peppermint shrimp?

My overall stocking plan is an invert-focused tank with one noteworthy fish. I don’t plan on keeping corals or macro-algae.
Top Shelf Aquatics


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1. A young priest and an old priest. A UV sterilizer can help, but this isn't necessarily a silver bullet...
2. As with everything, "it depends". I like to keep mine in the 0.1-0.2ppm range. Opinions will vary on this...
3. Pretty much, yes.

As for cleanup crew - sure - all of those will work. Stick to blue leg or scarlet hermit crabs - those are the most peaceful. The only thing you may run into is not enough algae for everyone to feed off, so I wouldn't add the blue tuxedo urchin until much later (4-6 months) and get a very small one. If you only have one fish you may need to supplement with a 1/4 square of seaweed wrapped around a rock once or twice a week.

All the shrimp are doable as well - just make sure the one fish you get doesn't have a hankering for inverts.

Reef beverage: Do you feed liquid foods to your tank?

  • Yes, regularly.

    Votes: 195 43.6%
  • Yes, occasionally.

    Votes: 140 31.3%
  • No.

    Votes: 107 23.9%
  • Other.

    Votes: 5 1.1%
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