What Problems Will I Likely Face Turning My 5 Gallon Into an SPS Dominant Tank?

livinlifeinBKK

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So I've always been a big fan of LPS such as Scolys but have always wanted to keep SPS as well (harder SPS such as ACROS...I have successfully kept some SPS species). I want to convert my 5 gallon nano into an SPS dominant system with some of the more sensitive species. To control nutrients I plan to only have 1 fish and of course keep everything as stable as possible. It's all live ocean rock in there and equipped with a Noospsyche K7 V3 light which is far more powerful than I need so I won't have it turned all the way up. Is there anything I'm forgetting here or any problems I'll likely encounter along the way. I'll take out the LPS and move them to my other tank because they wouldn't be able to handle the light intensity. Words of advice are appreciated.
 

MnFish1

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So I've always been a big fan of LPS such as Scolys but have always wanted to keep SPS as well (harder SPS such as ACROS...I have successfully kept some SPS species). I want to convert my 5 gallon nano into an SPS dominant system with some of the more sensitive species. To control nutrients I plan to only have 1 fish and of course keep everything as stable as possible. It's all live ocean rock in there and equipped with a Noospsyche K7 V3 light which is far more powerful than I need so I won't have it turned all the way up. Is there anything I'm forgetting here or any problems I'll likely encounter along the way. I'll take out the LPS and move them to my other tank because they wouldn't be able to handle the light intensity. Words of advice are appreciated.
1. LPS can tolerate a lot of light but - agree with a tank that small - best to keep one type of coral
2. I would consider renting/borrowing a PAR meter - such that you can determine exactly how much light is 'too much'
3. Flow may be an issue - since a 5 gallon tank would require quite a small pump.
4. Good luck - am sure you'll be successful - I'm considering doing the same thing!

EDIT - were I you I would consider using more water changes as compared to other removal techniques.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Stability in a small tank
I have thought about that but since the ATO should minimize fluctuations and I don't plan to go overboard with stocking it, having only one fish and daily testing along with the chiller should keep everything stable, wouldn't you think?
1. LPS can tolerate a lot of light but - agree with a tank that small - best to keep one type of coral
2. I would consider renting/borrowing a PAR meter - such that you can determine exactly how much light is 'too much'
3. Flow may be an issue - since a 5 gallon tank would require quite a small pump.
4. Good luck - am sure you'll be successful - I'm considering doing the same thing!

EDIT - were I you I would consider using more water changes as compared to other removal techniques.
I am a big fan of frequent water changes actually! I also have a spare powerhead and understand the importance of flow. I think I can adjust well enough to achieve adequate and optimal flow. Thanks for having faith in my success!!
 

MnFish1

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I have thought about that but since the ATO should minimize fluctuations and I don't plan to go overboard with stocking it, having only one fish and daily testing along with the chiller should keep everything stable, wouldn't you think?

I am a big fan of frequent water changes actually! I also have a spare powerhead and understand the importance of flow. I think I can adjust well enough to achieve adequate and optimal flow. Thanks for having faith in my success!!
No problem!
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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These are a few of the pieces I was thinking about starting out with... thoughts? All are pretty inexpensive with the most expensive being ablout $20. Im not sure about how well the strawberry shortcake will do...is it not a good idea?
The guy I buy from is always willing to offer small deals...
Screenshot_2023-10-22-02-13-54-518_jp.naver.line.android.jpg Screenshot_2023-10-22-02-11-53-617_jp.naver.line.android.jpg Screenshot_2023-10-22-02-11-45-322_jp.naver.line.android.jpg Screenshot_2023-10-22-02-10-19-575_jp.naver.line.android.jpg
 

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I have thought about that but since the ATO should minimize fluctuations and I don't plan to go overboard with stocking it, having only one fish and daily testing along with the chiller should keep everything stable, wouldn't you think?

I am a big fan of frequent water changes actually! I also have a spare powerhead and understand the importance of flow. I think I can adjust well enough to achieve adequate and optimal flow. Thanks for having faith in my success!!
That’s a pretty good plan of action. Shows you’re not just going off half cocked.
 

ryanjohn1

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Hygar has a small wave maker. I think it’s like 70 bucks. I have one in my one nano tank. It’s programmable.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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That’s a pretty good plan of action. Shows you’re not just going off half cocked.
I've been in the hobby long enough now to know nothing but disappointment comes from jumping into things without thinking it through and preparing properly! I've only tried SPS a few times in a different tank but I don't think it was stable enough. That was a while ago and I was keeping too many fish I believe as well as lacking experience. What do you think of those corals to start out?
My wave maker is programmable as well and I can arrange the rocks to affect the strength of the flow and direct it if necessary but since most SPS thrive in some pretty strong flow, I think the lowest setting will be ok.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Btw, the few times I've tried difficult SPS in another tank the had STN over the course of 2 or 3 weeks. Other SPS did fine such as digis and an orange branching Psammacora
 

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Temp: stronger light will cook the water so you will need to cool via evap.
Salinity: you will need to top off 2-3 times a day depending on room temp/weather.
Alk/Ca/Mag/trace - you will need to dose to keep stable (I use AFR)
Water Changes - once a week to keep your PO4 and NO3 in check (I do 40%)
Flow: find a sweet spot where your acros get enough flow but not blow their flesh off.
LPS: you'll need to move them to a shaded spot. My pico is shallow and the high light have caused all but one to morph color.
Zoas: they can handle the higher light, but some may morph color.

In my experience, the temp swings has been the biggest factor in my tank. There was a day in the summer when I forgot to place the fan on top of the tank and the temp got up to 86 (maybe higher). Started to see STN a couple of weeks later.

Acros/SPS in a pico can be done. You just need to be on top of things.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Temp: stronger light will cook the water so you will need to cool via evap.
Salinity: you will need to top off 2-3 times a day depending on room temp/weather.
Alk/Ca/Mag/trace - you will need to dose to keep stable (I use AFR)
Water Changes - once a week to keep your PO4 and NO3 in check (I do 40%)
Flow: find a sweet spot where your acros get enough flow but not blow their flesh off.
LPS: you'll need to move them to a shaded spot. My pico is shallow and the high light have caused all but one to morph color.
Zoas: they can handle the higher light, but some may morph color.

In my experience, the temp swings has been the biggest factor in my tank. There was a day in the summer when I forgot to place the fan on top of the tank and the temp got up to 86 (maybe higher). Started to see STN a couple of weeks later.

Acros/SPS in a pico can be done. You just need to be on top of things.
I have an ATO to address evaporation, a chiller instead of a fan to keep temperature stable, just 1 fish, will move LPS to a different tank if needed, and I don't plan to stock heavily enough to need to dose for a while until I know the corals are happy.
What do you think about the particular corals I posted above as starting out with?
Also will be doing water changes at least weekly.
 

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I've been in the hobby long enough now to know nothing but disappointment comes from jumping into things without thinking it through and preparing properly! I've only tried SPS a few times in a different tank but I don't think it was stable enough. That was a while ago and I was keeping too many fish I believe as well as lacking experience. What do you think of those corals to start out?
My wave maker is programmable as well and I can arrange the rocks to affect the strength of the flow and direct it if necessary but since most SPS thrive in some pretty strong flow, I think the lowest setting will be ok.
It can be done. You have a plan. Start cheep and see where the tank wants to go.
 

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I have an ATO to address evaporation, a chiller instead of a fan to keep temperature stable, just 1 fish, will move LPS to a different tank if needed, and I don't plan to stock heavily enough to need to dose for a while until I know the corals are happy.
What do you think about the particular corals I posted above as starting out with?
Also will be doing water changes at least weekly.

The bonsai and shortcake are pretty hardy. Not sure what species the first pic is. Is the green one a smoothskin? Those might be a bit more sensitive to changes.
 

danimal1211

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In my experience salinity can not be overlooked in a small tank. I have a 10 gallon and even with an ATO I have to be vigilant. Testing parameters effects salinity. Every time I take water out to test I replace the same amount with new water. I keep about a liter of fresh mixed saltwater on hand. If I need to take something out of the tank I turn off the ATO first.

I have an inkbird controller for temp and that keeps things stable.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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The bonsai and shortcake are pretty hardy. Not sure what species the first pic is. Is the green one a smoothskin? Those might be a bit more sensitive to changes.
First species is a millepora and the green one I thought might be a green slimer that's just very small. I thought the fact that it has grown well over the plug shows it's been doing well
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Where do small millepora frags rank on the difficulty scale from you guys' experience? Should I avoid them at first or try a small frag like I posted?
 

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