Brand New 8 gallon bio cube

Katrina71

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I am brand new to saltwater. My son got an 8 gallon bio cube. I know this is too small, but I promised I'd try. I have 1 piece of dead coral for decor and that's it. We hope to have 2 tiny fish and maybe 2 shrimp. We also like hermit crabs. What equipment, substrate would you guys suggest? I'd like to use easy (forgiving) live macro algae to help balance this tank. Please be kind with responses. I have been called names elsewhere and was referred here to learn.
 

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What kind of fish do you have? For easier macro algaes, you could go with codium, caulerpa, or red grassilara (all of which look nice on display imo) you'll still want to do weekly water changes (I'd do 1.5 gallons) to help keep down nutrients. For equiptment a simple HOB filter with a bag of bio media, carbon, and a filter sponge would work fine. You'll obviously need a heater, and any .5 watt or 1 watt LED lighting will be fine for the macro algaes. Substrate will be whatever you prefer (get something more fine if you have any sand sifters)
 

dbl

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Welcome to R2R. I too would have referenced the thread above, but @KJ beat me to it!
 
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Katrina71

Katrina71

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What kind of fish do you have? For easier macro algaes, you could go with codium, caulerpa, or red grassilara (all of which look nice on display imo) you'll still want to do weekly water changes (I'd do 1.5 gallons) to help keep down nutrients. For equiptment a simple HOB filter with a bag of bio media, carbon, and a filter sponge would work fine. You'll obviously need a heater, and any .5 watt or 1 watt LED lighting will be fine for the macro algaes. Substrate will be whatever you prefer (get something more fine if you have any sand sifters)
I have an empty tank and a piece of dead coral. I have a heater that was handed down with the tank. I'm confused with live sand and live coral. What would you use as a substrate that might have benefits to help keep the tank balanced? Do you think 2 tiny fish and 2 shrimp would be possible?
 

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I have an empty tank and a piece of dead coral. I have a heater that was handed down with the tank. I'm confused with live sand and live coral. What would you use as a substrate that might have benefits to help keep the tank balanced? Do you think 2 tiny fish and 2 shrimp would be possible?
I'd go with live sand... aragonite is a good brand. For small fish, you could go with a fire fish, barnacle blenny, hectors goby, green banded goby, or Catalina goby. I'd only go with 1 shrimp, and start it off as small as possible.. you could go with a peppermint or scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. Just know that the more fish you add, the more macro algae you should add to help you keep nitrates within a safe range. You'll still want to do weekly water changes. For other clean up crew members, I'd go with 2 cerith snails, 2 trochus snails, and 4 assorted (small) hermit crabs
 
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Katrina71

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Oh ok. More than I expected. Water changes are not a problem. Live sand? I assume I can get it at the local saltwater aquarium store? I went there to ask questions and they were too busy to help. I think I can handle live sand and macro algae and frequent water changes. Do I need a protein skimmer?
 

Best Fish-Jake

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Oh ok. More than I expected. Water changes are not a problem. Live sand? I assume I can get it at the local saltwater aquarium store? I went there to ask questions and they were too busy to help. I think I can handle live sand and macro algae and frequent water changes. Do I need a protein skimmer?
Wouldn't hurt as long as you don't mind looking at a hang on back one. Your LFS should carry a couple brands of sand, my preference being Carib Sea.
 
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Katrina71

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I don't mind. I'm genuinely trying to make this tank healthy despite the size. Any specific tiny fish you recommend? I'd like vivid color if possible.
 
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Katrina71

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Thanks for the welcome. I'm wanting to learn from you guys. I'm excited and scared to death about the new tank.
 

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You may want to consider an auto top off unit. It mat seem silly for a tiny tank but evaporation can cause swings in your salinity. It's important to keep the environment stable.

Find some build threads for nano tanks and you can see what other people have done.
 

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Welcome!!! You may want to checkout the sponsors on the site for macro algae. An ato is a great addition to this tank.
 
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Katrina71

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What is an ato? Told ya I'm brand new.
 
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Katrina71

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Another newbie question. Should I get a sterilizer? Will it kill macro algae?
 
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Katrina71

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What kind of fish do you have? For easier macro algaes, you could go with codium, caulerpa, or red grassilara (all of which look nice on display imo) you'll still want to do weekly water changes (I'd do 1.5 gallons) to help keep down nutrients. For equiptment a simple HOB filter with a bag of bio media, carbon, and a filter sponge would work fine. You'll obviously need a heater, and any .5 watt or 1 watt LED lighting will be fine for the macro algaes. Substrate will be whatever you prefer (get something more fine if you have any sand sifters)
This really gave me a place to start researching. Any input is appreciated.
 

Best Fish-Jake

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What is an ato? Told ya I'm brand new.
Ato= auto top off. It basically maintains the water level of your tank so you don't have to manually add it. Does a great job with preventing salinity swings. A UV sterilizer isn't a 'must have'. Sterilizers essentially kill any micro organisms (including algaes, protozoans, parasites, and bacterias) by altering their genes causing them to die sooner. Can't hurt to have one, but definetly not something that's essential.
 
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