What's new

Dipping Into The Salty Side

The FOTM Contest Poll is open!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to vote! 🏆

I broke down two 20L tanks and will be using one to upgrade my 10 gallon saltwater. I am going to keep my current live rock and re-home the camel shrimp so I can add some corals (mushrooms, devil's hand...) to the tank.
I have the Fluval 107 set up for reverse UGF. I wil be modifying the reverse UGF on the 20 by using two reverse flow cascade pumps and the 107 is going to get a spraybar for added surface agitation. I may add another rock to the tank but not sure.
Undergravel filters aren't the best for tanks with lots of rocks. The rocks stop/ reduce the water flowing evenly through the substrate and you end up with gunk in the substrate trapped around the rocks.
I have been running a reverse UGF for a while with the 10 gallon and have had no issues with debris build up. I will be adding a snail only clean up crew for the tank as well, a lot of the snails will be cleaning the substrate where the others will be focused on algae and cyano cleanup.

Also because I have a pistol shrimp/goby pair the live rock will sit on the UGF plate and the substrate will fill around (again like I already have in the 10 gallon). To prevent the pistol shrimp from causing structural issues amongst the live rock.
Lol, so yesterday I finally switched the 10 gallon to a 20L. Tank went from a 5, to 10 and now 20. This is going to be as big as it gets.

I kept the majority of the sand (except for the bits covered with cyano), the live rock, any snails in the sand and large enough for me to see, my bleni- Barnabus, my clown- Kirby and my pistol shrimp and goby pair. Also my bubbletip anemone and feather duster worm survived the move, they are attached to the same rock but on opposite sides. I hope the anemone perks up as it has been a bit moody this past month.

For filtration I kept my Fluval 107 but instead of it being the flow for the reverse UGF, I bought a spray bar attachment and am using it mainly for mechanical filtration and water flow.

I am continuing the reverse UGF for the 20L using two Aquaclear 50 reverable power heads to push water into the sand bed. As I took down the 10 gallon I was surprised at the amount of large copepods (think freshwater scuds) living in the UGF space.

I also have the live rock as my bacterial filtration, and all of the sand I transfered over from the 10.

Along with the Hydor nano 240 circulation pump I also added a Sicce wave 1000 as I would like to add corals to this tank. The total current if I include the Aquaclear is a bit over 35 times turnover which is low flow, adequate for the corals I want to possibly add. BTW there was a camal shrimp in the 10, I chose to not put it in the 20 so I could have corals. It was taken to Fish Planet so it can find a new home.

I will be getting a cleanup crew for the tank, snails only as I am not the biggest fan of hermit crabs after the one in my Sister's tank ripped another apart for absolutely no reason, leaving body parts and empty shell littered in the sand.

I am also planning on adding another bubbletip anemone, strawberry conch or two, another feather duster as well as the corals I mentioned above.

More specifically on the coral; I would like to try a larger bubble coral or two medium, devil's hand leather coral, some mushroom coral and possibly a xenia (which is a weed in the coral world and will exist on its very own island away from other corals and real estate, lol. This is one that likes a bit more flow so not 100% on it right now.




Say Hi to Barnabus, my mai-mai looking bleny.
Below is Kirby my male clownfish, lol he is actually photo bombing Barnabus.



The pistol shrimp and goby pair have found their new home, and I will be lucky to see them again...

Below is the last camel shrimp of the 3 I had. Think the other 2 has issues molting or the pistol shrimp got them after molting. Didn't know they were detrimental to most corals but am taking advantage of catching this one to give him to Fish Planet and add corals to my tank.

I am currently enjoying the pristine glass, equipment and substrate know in a couple days I will have rampant diatoms, algae and possibly cyano. I had a small Azoo HOB filled with chaeto to take on any nutrients in the tank and think that led to an imbalance and multiple cyano outbreaks.
Last edited:
Crabs and shrimp have high metabolisms and when they are used as a clean up crew, they often starve and start eating things they shouldn't. Hermit crabs fit into this group and unless they get fed well, they eat anything they can catch.

Blennies have to be one of the best fish out. They have so much character and watch everything that is going on.
Crabs and shrimp have high metabolisms and when they are used as a clean up crew, they often starve and start eating things they shouldn't. Hermit crabs fit into this group and unless they get fed well, they eat anything they can catch.

Blennies have to be one of the best fish out. They have so much character and watch everything that is going on.
Yeah, Barnabus is quite the character. Love that when I watch him(her?), s/he watches me back.
So I added some corals to the tank.
View attachment 326671
Photos from last night. Excuse my spelling...
Spaghetti finger coral (leather, they sold out of Devil's Hand). It's the tall one by the intake.
View attachment 326672
In the front left in the photo is a lobophyllia (also first photo below)and to the right is a clove polyp (also second photo below)
View attachment 326674
View attachment 326675
Small riccordia
View attachment 326679
View attachment 326683
And a green mushroom colony
View attachment 326684
Oh almost forgot my green bubble coral, it was the first to start opening while I acclimated and dipped them.
View attachment 326685
Hope it does better than the two little ones I had.
In a week or two I will add the snails cleanup crew and another one or two tube worms and a strawberry conch .

Hoping when I get home today that they have perked up. I do have two 30 watt reef lights I need to setup on the tank as the current light is nice but no blues available for the mushrooms. Project for this weekend. Would like to see how affordable PAR readers are nowadays
Not sure what happened with the photos.

The leather: spaghetti

In front on the left is the lobos and to the right is the clove. Better pics below.


The riccordia


The green mushroom coral colony

And the green bubble coral

Unfortunately some of the corals had some dinoflagellates as almost overnight I noticed some in the substrate.
Corals all good happy they have opened up to varying degrees. My urchin seems happy too as he is wearing a shell cap.

I will be adding a inline UV sterilizer to the Fluval to help with the fight against the dinos. Also will do a 4-5 day blackout to fight them as well.
Currently at Navy Pier, going on a cruise on Lake Michigan.


It's a great day and hopefully night to be on the lake.
Ordered a snail only cleanup crew from Reefcleaners for 29 gallon tank. Also added 2 more dusters and strawberry/tiger conchs. UPS delivery by noon tomorrow, hope it's earlier as I start work at noon and will need at least 20 minutes to acclimate to temp and plop and drop (their instructions).
Last edited:
Forgot to mention, I did get and install the UV light, have it on for 4 hours at night when the dinos are supposed to go into the water column. Also in the cleanup crew will be a lot of substrate snails helping with the dinos on the substrate. The conch will also aid in that. I have also gotten the Dr. Tim's line of probiotics, refresh and waste away to build up colonies of other bacteria in order to out compete the dinos. I have been doing 1/2 doses on alternate days only once a week. I know it isn't going to be a instant fix, and will take a month(s-maybe?) to be rid of them completely.
Good news is that they haven't gotten worse or spread and seem to be diminishing in the areas were I initialy saw them.

The new coral is still being temperamental and may continue for a few more days. When they decide to stop pouting I will try to get some pictures of them.
Ok got an updated video of the new corals.
Also the snails finally arrived and have a few more minutes of temp acclimation before I add them, the 2 conchs and the bristle tubes to the tank.
Everything is doing well in the tank. I am overfeeding a bit to encourage a "dirty" tank. Also done phytoplankton daily and once a week on alternative days I add half a dose of Dr. Tim's waste away, refresh or eco-something. The dinoflagellates seem to be gone-or they aren't visible on the substrate or on the coral that brought it in. Haven't changed the lights yet but have to finish the DIY light stand so I can hang them over the tank. Corals seem to be ok with the current situation, so not rushing it.

If I am able tonight I will try to get some photos. I did add a kryptonite coral frag to the tank too, such a vibrant green.
Tanks looking great.

Did you add another Bubble tip or just keep the existing one? They look fab but a bubble tip is one of my biggest regrets in my 20g as they multiply like crazy and make a total nuisance of them selves.
Thank you.

The anemone is struggling, but has been for a couple months even in the 10 gallon.

I have the one green bubble coral for about 2 weeks now. It has been doing well.
So I had a little incident with the tank. As I was working to increase the other bacteria in the tank to keep the dinoflagellates at bay (hopefully outcompete them entirely) I dosed Dr.Tims probiotics, just half a dose for the tank while keeping the aeration/filtration and unplugging the UV sterilizer. The next day there was no sign of Kirby or Barnabus, my active clown and blenny. Not having time due to work, I left the search till I could later that day when I found the blenny under the rock arch, and the clown on the powerhead; both dead. I had a red banded goby (paired with my pistol shrimp) and a red cap goby. I have not seen them so am assuming they also died. Sis and I believe the tank went low/no O2 for a short time due to the probiotics and it was enough to kill the fish. No corals, snails, pistol shrimp or anemone suffered. I am very sad to loose Kirby and Barnabus. Not sure if I will get another clown but today I brought home a line blenny as well as a pygmy hawkfish. Still deciding their names. I would like to add a couple gobies, a green clown goby and unsure of the other. I also want to add a possum wrasse.

Most reactions


Staff online