5.5 Gallon Macro "Pest" Tank!

Discussion in 'Macroalgae (all types of desirable algae)' started by Fisker, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Fisker

    Fisker Member

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    Hello!

    I have a 5.5 gallon set up as kind of a "catch-all macroalgae tank with pesty friends" - basically the tank that catches my excess macros and anything that proves to be non-reef-safe in my DT.

    I'm running an old 12" Finnex LED fixture, and a 5000K LED bulb screwed into a desk lamp. Seems to be doing the trick, for both diatoms AND macros. I'm just using an old Tetra preset heater, and a couple of Top Fin internal filters I had laying around from Petsmart. No substrate right now.

    The tank has been set up for, I don't know, 3 weeks? Although the rock and equipment came out of a 5 gallon bucket that I was running to keep my devil peppermint shrimp alive in. All of the macros were put in here either because A) They were overgrowing my reef, or B) They weren't doing well in my reef for whatever reason. So far, it's been sorta *****, but I enjoy it. It sits on my desk and lets me enjoy creatures that I probably should have boiled and had for dinner a long time ago.

    For stock, here's what I have, with a true story behind each critter:

    A yellowtail damsel. My new LFS literally gave him to me for $1, because he was terrorizing the other damsels in the damsel tank. He'll need an upgrade at some point, but he's a beautiful fish with a lot of (abusive) personality. I like him!

    A peppermint shrimp. This guy came in from a surprise fish/coral order, and decided that anemones and corals are yummy! He's also the reason this tank exists.

    A scarlet hermit crab. For being a snail murderer.

    A "Milk Conch", who turned out to be a Crown Conch - AKA a whelk. I bought him to be an awesome algae eater, and he turned out to be a snail murdering snail. I threw him in here once I caught on, and I've just been feeding enough mysis to hope he gets some.

    As far as macros, I've got a pretty basic list:

    Caulerpa Prolifera
    Codium
    Dragon's Breath

    Nothing special, but it's what I have available. I do plan to eventually get some more macros for my 10 gallon, so I'm sure some of those will trickle down to this tank.

    The tank gets a 1 gallon WC every week with old water from my 10 gallon - I keep on telling myself that it's just pre-fertilized, and will save on salt and water. Seems to be working so far!

    The only issue I've had so far is that the macros seem to be suffering from some sort of deficiency - new caulerpa growth turns yellow/brown, and new dragon's breath growth turns white. Nitrates are reading around 5 PPM, and phosphates are reading around 0.1 PPM or so. What could this be?

    FTS 26.jpg
    Peppermint Shrimp.jpg
    Caulerpa Deficiency.jpg
    Crown Conch.jpg
     
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  2. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I love it. I think its great. I've got 3 ytd and they are doing well with other tank mates. I was told they should be chill. Had for a year. So far so good.
     
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  3. Larry L

    Larry L Well-Known Member Partner Member 2019

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    Re. the pale new macro algae growth, you might have an iron deficiency, especially if you are doing water changes with water from another tank that might have already depleted the iron.
     
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  4. Fisker

    Fisker Member

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    I definitely think damsels are on an individual basis - some seem to be model citizens, while others are satanspawn. This guy is the latter, for sure!

    That's a good point! I hadn't thought of an iron deficiency. I may start doing water changes with new water, and if that works, I can go back to my old regiment and just dose iron.
     
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  5. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Valuable Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Is that not a dancing shrimp? A neat idea for a small tank though..
     
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  6. Fisker

    Fisker Member

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    They're called peppermint shrimp and dancing shrimp - not sure if there's a specific species that are considered each name, or if it's simply a regional thing, but both names refer to the 3 species of shrimp that are red with white markings and are bought to eat aiptasia. Some of them tend to find more than just aiptasia yummy, sadly.
     
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  7. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Valuable Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes definatly, peppermints may eat aiptasia and are more safe around corals, dancing shrimp a different breed are a nightmare, coral munchers... shops quite often sell them mistakenly as peppermints though
     
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  8. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I was gonna tag you...I knew this would be up your alley!
     
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  9. norfolkgarden

    norfolkgarden Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019

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  10. Subsea

    Subsea Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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  11. Fisker

    Fisker Member

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    Yikes, this tank had lights on for 3 days straight! I was away on a trip, and apparently the timer failed when power went out overnight. Everything seems to be okay, but I'm watching the Caulerpa closely.
     
  12. DanInMichigan

    DanInMichigan Member Build Thread Contributor

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    how's the tank doing? did you figure out why some of your macros were getting yellow?
     
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  13. Fisker

    Fisker Member

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    This tank was actually taken down and merged with my 10 gallon, as I no longer really had the time to care for two tanks (even with maintenance being super quick on this one). The damsel is living in a heated/cycled bucket at the moment, as he was crowding my clown into a corner. He'll get a tank at some point - for now, he's ruling his little land of caulerpa, PVC joints, and rock rubble. The shrimp died at some point, and I never found the body - I assume it got eaten. The Whelk escaped the tank, and dried up on my desk. All the macros got put into the 10 gallon, but most of the caulerpa ended up dying - the Codium is doing fine, and the dragon's breath has repaired itself for the most part. I think it was a simple lack of iron/other essential nutrients, since this tank was getting mostly 2nd hand water.
     

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