A Beginner’s 5 gallon Marineland Pico reef

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Hey all!

I’m brand new to Reef2Reef, just got a tank of my own! I’ve kept brackish aquariums for a job and my family had a reef aquarium when I was a kid, and I’ve always loved and been interested in the hobby and life forms associated with the hobby, being a huge nerd for marine wildlife.

I live in a space-restricted area right now, and settled on a 5 gallon tall Marineland aquarium with a Coralife light. I’m hoping to get into the hobby slowly, learning as much as I can as I strive to understand the intricacies of coral care. I’m going to be (hopefully) keeping softies, and am planning to start with GSP’s, mushrooms, and either zoa or pulsing Xenia’s in a few months, once everything is cycled and functional.

This tank is too small to keep fish comfortably, in my opinion, so I kick-started the cycling process with “fishless fuel,” pictured. Let me know if anyone has had luck with this, or if I should try another method. I have 6 pounds of live rock and a three inch sand bed; this may be too much but I want a very healthy biological filtration system so I can more readily and more safely keep plenty of corals. I’m new though, so please, any and all advice would be appreciated!

image.jpg image.jpg
 

Klyle

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
188
Reaction score
87
Welcome! Nice tank. Good looking rocks. You will surely get tons of advice here and someone will answer any questions you may have! The r2r community has helped me a ton. My two cents- if you put gsp and / or xenia in a pico it will soon overgrow the whole tank, leaving you little room for anything else. I just set up my first pico this weekend and feel the same as you, not enough room for fish! I'm going to do some rock flower anemones. They will host sexy shrimp and porcelain crabs. I think an all invert tank will be awesome. I plan on keeping a feather duster and gorgonians also...if you do keep gsp put it on a small rock and make it an island that way it doesn't take over! Same for xenia. Good luck with your tank! I'm sure you will do fine
 
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Tank update! With as much live rock and sand relative to water volume as I have, my cycle has been going rather rapidly (I think). Ammonia has dropped to <1, nitrites are falling, and I think things are decent. Had a bloom of Cyanobacteria(?) and decided to pick up a nerite snail and Mexican red-legged hermit crab at my lfs, as well as a cheap zoa plug! I may be going too quickly but I really wanted to see more life than the tiny copepods on the glass. The zoas seem happy, fully extending and reaching for the light already, and I’m hopeful they’ll grow well. I’ve heard zoas actually tend to do a bit better in somewhat dirty water, so here’s to hoping they take off! For the time being this is all I’ll have, I’m getting some hopefully hardy mushrooms in ~2weeks from a reefer on here, so until then unless anything radical changes, this is where I’m at!

if anyone has advice or ideas, or knows what kinda zoas those are, I’d be appreciative!
 

Attachments

  • E947D56E-57CD-4129-A6A6-24E11D8A2501.jpeg
    E947D56E-57CD-4129-A6A6-24E11D8A2501.jpeg
    185.7 KB · Views: 15
  • 7D13662A-D680-456D-AD23-905030711A00.jpeg
    7D13662A-D680-456D-AD23-905030711A00.jpeg
    144.9 KB · Views: 14
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    208.3 KB · Views: 14
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    177.6 KB · Views: 15
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    189.8 KB · Views: 20
AS

Klyle

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
188
Reaction score
87
Tank update! With as much live rock and sand relative to water volume as I have, my cycle has been going rather rapidly (I think). Ammonia has dropped to <1, nitrites are falling, and I think things are decent. Had a bloom of Cyanobacteria(?) and decided to pick up a nerite snail and Mexican red-legged hermit crab at my lfs, as well as a cheap zoa plug! I may be going too quickly but I really wanted to see more life than the tiny copepods on the glass. The zoas seem happy, fully extending and reaching for the light already, and I’m hopeful they’ll grow well. I’ve heard zoas actually tend to do a bit better in somewhat dirty water, so here’s to hoping they take off! For the time being this is all I’ll have, I’m getting some hopefully hardy mushrooms in ~2weeks from a reefer on here, so until then unless anything radical changes, this is where I’m at!

if anyone has advice or ideas, or knows what kinda zoas those are, I’d be appreciative!
I set up a 6g pico a week ago today. Started with new Caribsea live sand and a 1/2 lb rock from my established reef. And 2g of tank water. No bottled bacteria. It's being monitored by Seneye. On Sunday, I fragged some gsp from the DT and tossed it in, along with 2 hermits and a snail...canary in a coal mine situation. On Monday, I built the aquascape with reef saver dry rock and put it in the tank. I've been feeding miniscule amounts of TDO pellets to the hermits, as I'm worried if the tank is cycled it will stall without some type of biological processes happening. I have the lights cranked way back too because without a doubt algae is on its way. The point of this being i have not seen NH3 go above .001 once this first week. I haven't checked trites or trates. I've changed out less than a gallon of water 3 times this week also, using new water. Not sure if any of this info will help or not, but I thought id share it anyways. It looks like you already have established rock in which case, if what I'm doing is working you will be fine!!
 

Attachments

  • 20210416_195953.jpg
    20210416_195953.jpg
    90.4 KB · Views: 31
  • 20210422_193109.jpg
    20210422_193109.jpg
    141.4 KB · Views: 33
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
I set up a 6g pico a week ago today. Started with new Caribsea live sand and a 1/2 lb rock from my established reef. And 2g of tank water. No bottled bacteria. It's being monitored by Seneye. On Sunday, I fragged some gsp from the DT and tossed it in, along with 2 hermits and a snail...canary in a coal mine situation. On Monday, I built the aquascape with reef saver dry rock and put it in the tank. I've been feeding miniscule amounts of TDO pellets to the hermits, as I'm worried if the tank is cycled it will stall without some type of biological processes happening. I have the lights cranked way back too because without a doubt algae is on its way. The point of this being i have not seen NH3 go above .001 once this first week. I haven't checked trites or trates. I've changed out less than a gallon of water 3 times this week also, using new water. Not sure if any of this info will help or not, but I thought id share it anyways. It looks like you already have established rock in which case, if what I'm doing is working you will be fine!!
I love how your rock looks and how you’ve got it set! You managed to fit so much rock in there, while setting lots of places for corals and good nooks and crannies. It looks great! Do you recommend a Seneye system? For $200 does it monitor all parameters of your water? Buying one would essentially double my costs so far, I’d love to know if you think it’s a worthwhile investment. At the very least it’s gotta be better than the API test kit I got

Update for my tank: Zoas seemed happy with the water, lighting, etc. and so I went and splurged on some softies! I got another frag of zoas that broke into two frags (lucky me!), a Kenya tree, GSPs, and a cabbage leather frag! The cabbage leather doesn’t look so hot but I hope he’s just adjusting. Everything else is looking pretty good! Also got a pic of my humble, hardworking nerite, Bartholomew. He’s been chugging along like a little tank since day 1, chowing down on all kinds stuff! I’m spot-feeding my corals with a diluted phytoplankton blend, they seem to be enjoying it. I’ve also got a growing culture of copepods coming out at night, large numbers living in the sand and showing up on the glass. Overall, feeling pretty good! My sand bed has bubbles forming in it, should I get some sort of sand-sifter to keep toxic gases from building up? Not sure the best way to keep the deep sand bed healthy.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    228 KB · Views: 26
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    183.2 KB · Views: 16
  • C8E48347-FA35-4FF0-82F3-9265C9745214.jpeg
    C8E48347-FA35-4FF0-82F3-9265C9745214.jpeg
    201.5 KB · Views: 11
  • BFD6C7CA-A042-47D5-883F-B9E29319CDCF.jpeg
    BFD6C7CA-A042-47D5-883F-B9E29319CDCF.jpeg
    187.1 KB · Views: 13
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    190.5 KB · Views: 10
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    192.2 KB · Views: 9
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    159.6 KB · Views: 14

count krunk

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,314
Reaction score
4,178
Location
ATL, GA
Clown gobies require very little space, they are perchers. They are also very smol.

Like some others have said, sexy shrimp would be what I would put in this tank. As well as rock flower anemones for them to host.

Add in one or two soft corals and done zoa's I think you would be set
 
Fritz
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Clown gobies require very little space, they are perchers. They are also very smol.

Like some others have said, sexy shrimp would be what I would put in this tank. As well as rock flower anemones for them to host.

Add in one or two soft corals and done zoa's I think you would be set
Sexy shrimp are what I’m gonna aim for down the line, got a rock flower anemone and some other cool stuff so hopefully the tank would be good for them
 
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Update time! Since last time around I’ve added... a lot. I bought some ‘shrooms from a local reefer, two orange ricordeas and a bunch of cute blue discosomas. Got a finger leather frag, a rock of zoas, a candy cane polyp, a beautiful rock flower anemone, and a gorgonian.

Don’t become friends with people at your LFS folks, you’ll feel compelled to buy when they give you really good deals! I’m loving the progress so far, it’s not been a long time but I’m starting to see some growth from my zoas, gsp, and cabbage leather! I may be moving too quickly, but I think I’m maxed out on corals and space at this point.

Loving it all though, I sit and just watch my tank when I come home from work, it’s so relaxing. My favorite coral is probably my little green cabbage leather, I’m so hopeful he’ll grow into a big awesome leather! Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the leather corals, and that certainly hasn’t changed. I’ve half a mind to do a leather only tank eventually, I find them so cool. The gorgonian is also super nifty, has nice movement in the current and will hopefully add a cool vertical component once it starts growing.

I would love advice or suggestions for what to do from here by more advanced reefers, though! Don’t know if I should get a small power head or upgrade my flow somehow; my pump does 85 gph I think, and there’s decent flow, but I just don’t know.
 

Attachments

  • 3B958602-8BB3-42FA-A77E-1FA9B143B03D.jpeg
    3B958602-8BB3-42FA-A77E-1FA9B143B03D.jpeg
    223.3 KB · Views: 9
  • 4B2B84DD-3230-409D-8839-A673E26C3F76.jpeg
    4B2B84DD-3230-409D-8839-A673E26C3F76.jpeg
    201.9 KB · Views: 9
  • 9E96C701-F37D-4203-9185-AC9445A13EF0.jpeg
    9E96C701-F37D-4203-9185-AC9445A13EF0.jpeg
    161.1 KB · Views: 10
  • 0FFC61BA-128C-4089-963B-1BFFE1E0C780.jpeg
    0FFC61BA-128C-4089-963B-1BFFE1E0C780.jpeg
    187.1 KB · Views: 9
  • BDA9AF81-0322-42AB-A2C6-B2C414536324.jpeg
    BDA9AF81-0322-42AB-A2C6-B2C414536324.jpeg
    224.9 KB · Views: 9
  • 6939D274-20B0-49F8-95FF-2114938AC372.jpeg
    6939D274-20B0-49F8-95FF-2114938AC372.jpeg
    203.5 KB · Views: 9
  • 56A2F5D9-A1C9-453D-99F5-6AD089DADF5A.jpeg
    56A2F5D9-A1C9-453D-99F5-6AD089DADF5A.jpeg
    150.8 KB · Views: 9
  • D84F644F-CB6C-4102-BF06-296D3F1B5832.jpeg
    D84F644F-CB6C-4102-BF06-296D3F1B5832.jpeg
    128.2 KB · Views: 8
  • 2BABFC31-0D5B-4719-8749-FD9D4F19A326.jpeg
    2BABFC31-0D5B-4719-8749-FD9D4F19A326.jpeg
    214.4 KB · Views: 8
  • 1AC133D5-161E-4712-B599-B2C6C1931AD8.jpeg
    1AC133D5-161E-4712-B599-B2C6C1931AD8.jpeg
    143.1 KB · Views: 8
  • 7531FCB9-5C01-41EB-8CF4-5940A8BD4343.jpeg
    7531FCB9-5C01-41EB-8CF4-5940A8BD4343.jpeg
    179.4 KB · Views: 7
  • D970D9D2-7619-4583-8C79-A5539A88ADED.jpeg
    D970D9D2-7619-4583-8C79-A5539A88ADED.jpeg
    216.5 KB · Views: 6
  • 75514232-3195-4AFB-B322-23A9CB182436.jpeg
    75514232-3195-4AFB-B322-23A9CB182436.jpeg
    236 KB · Views: 5
  • A7FECC27-9ECD-465B-827B-331236BF62C2.jpeg
    A7FECC27-9ECD-465B-827B-331236BF62C2.jpeg
    181 KB · Views: 5
  • C3132E3F-3147-45CE-9A61-0B4D6FBC3C1E.jpeg
    C3132E3F-3147-45CE-9A61-0B4D6FBC3C1E.jpeg
    173.9 KB · Views: 5
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Clown gobies require very little space, they are perchers. They are also very smol.

Like some others have said, sexy shrimp would be what I would put in this tank. As well as rock flower anemones for them to host.

Add in one or two soft corals and done zoa's I think you would be set
I plan on getting a clown goby if my plans for future pan out in a direction where I don’t have to move; I’ll find out in a month or two.

Wanted to get some sexy shrimp, but went on vacation (nothing died other than maybe my bristle worms, haven’t seen them since returning) and came back to lots of GHA and a few aiptasia. Instead ended up adding an Emerald Mithrax Crab (who’s been going to town munching algae), another nerite, and a peppermint shrimp! I want to add some red discosoma shrooms to go with the blue ones, and then I think this baby is all set to grow!
 

Attachments

  • 7B29D8F7-1E3C-4D46-ABDE-A58A5B836F03.jpeg
    7B29D8F7-1E3C-4D46-ABDE-A58A5B836F03.jpeg
    190.6 KB · Views: 8
  • 615761AD-C953-48C6-B8F7-2FF941D35178.jpeg
    615761AD-C953-48C6-B8F7-2FF941D35178.jpeg
    209.7 KB · Views: 8
  • 85ACC54D-0FB8-4DF6-9850-3EB6A98781AA.jpeg
    85ACC54D-0FB8-4DF6-9850-3EB6A98781AA.jpeg
    178 KB · Views: 6
  • D64EE763-0BBD-431C-8DD0-F86EA52DACFA.jpeg
    D64EE763-0BBD-431C-8DD0-F86EA52DACFA.jpeg
    228.8 KB · Views: 7

fachatga

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
608
Location
oak park
Hi and welcome. Things look great so far. But be careful and go slowly. Small tanks like that are a lot harder to keep than a bigger one since the smallest miscalculation has a much bigger effect on the tank. They said looks like you’re off to a great start.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
LegalReefer

LegalReefer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
121
Location
Greensboro
Hi and welcome. Things look great so far. But be careful and go slowly. Small tanks like that are a lot harder to keep than a bigger one since the smallest miscalculation has a much bigger effect on the tank. They said looks like you’re off to a great start.
It survived me being away for two weeks, and some of the corals are even visibly growing, so I hope I’ve managed to get things off to a good start! I’ve doubled the number of blue shrooms I have, have grown a handful more zoas (that I’ve noticed), and have seen my little adorable cabbage leather put on polyps, so I’m hoping I’m doing it right. That said, my rhodactis shrooms are occasionally fussy, putting out mesenterial filaments and looking shriveled, but other times they’re great. I dunno, getting my water tested by my LFS tomorrow, wanna make sure everything is in good order. Thank you for the advice, this forum is so helpful! Any suggestions for additives and things like that?
 

fachatga

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
608
Location
oak park
That’s great. It’s not impossible. Just something to be aware of. Seems it’s all going really well so far. Much better than I can say when I started
 

fachatga

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
608
Location
oak park
Water changes in a small tank weekly can probably give you all you need for some time without dosing. At least IMO. That’s a positive of small tanks. But I would say for now test test and test. Keep a journal of when you tested during the day and what the parameters are and anything else you did. You’ll eventually see what your tank might need and can dose that. To add amino acids and other things I use redsea AB+ reef nutrition. Tropic Marin makes great additives and such lots of people here use too. Probably lots of threads here that will give you better advice then I can
 

Do you own a fish trap and acclimation box or just one or the other?

  • I own both a fish trap and acclimation box

    Votes: 63 15.8%
  • Just a fish trap

    Votes: 50 12.5%
  • Just an acclimation box

    Votes: 105 26.3%
  • Neither

    Votes: 174 43.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 7 1.8%

New Posts

AVAST
Top