The 10g Experiment

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by denzil, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    I'm contemplating build a 10g system to test out the hypothesis of a self-sustainable aquarium that requires no water changes that was discussed here. I currently have a 10g AGA tank, base rock, live rock, sand, and an AC20. I'm thinking of picking up an inTank media basket for the AC20, Tunze 9002 with inTank collection cup, Jager TruTemp 50W, and Hydor Koralia Nano 425GPH. The Hydor Koralia Nanon 240GPH won't be enough I'm thinking but I'm open to hearing your guys' thoughts.

    I'm not sure what livestock I'm going to put in there for this experiment but I imagine Nassarius snails, some crabs, and corals. I'm not sure yet which poor fish will have to suffer through this but Brandie suggested some Mollies. Thoughts?

    Also, does anyone by chance have some equipment to let go for cheap so I can conduct this experiment, particularly the Tunze, inTank, and Hydro equipment? :)
  2. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Aren't mollies freshwater ? If there is a fish that could survive less than optimal's a damsel.
  3. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Mollies can handle SW if slowly acclimated. Damsels might be cheaper and a lot cooler colors.

    10g is a small system. Keeping it stable will be hard. Good luck!
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member


    It all depends on what you are really trying to prove. You need a lot more detail.
    I think you need to start with a specific hypothesis, and go from there.
    The thread was really more about general ideas, not a specific system.

    KEY : What does it mean to "succeed".
    One damsel in a tank manages not to die?
    Finicky SPS in a heavy bio-load tank thrive and grow?
    Makes a big difference.

    To do any sort of real experiment, you usually need two identical tanks, and change minimal variables.
    Although if you are just proving it is "possible", then not required.
  5. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Its been done before on at least one of the larger forums so I don't think you'll run into any problems...Just that you'll get bored with a tank full of macros and one fish ;)
  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    That ratio sounds about right...damsel(small):macro algae(very large)
    You will get a huge micro fauna population
  7. houser

    houser Past President

    I set up a 10g in my garage about a yr ago.
    A few rocks with aptasia, some macro, no heater, no direct light. Only topped it off.
    After 6 months boatload of pods, aptasia population on the rise. Seemed like it could have gone that way for a while, but I tore it down.
  8. saltwatersig

    saltwatersig Volunteer

    hmmmmmm......I think that there is a tunze 9002 skimmer in my garage some place . Let me look around and I'll get back to you

  9. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, was going to acclimate them over time but I was just going off of Brandie's suggestion. I suppose if Damsels are cheaper, that's what I'll go with!

    How many can I get away with putting in the 10g? 2?
    Yeah, I'm sorry, I was pretty damn vague. I just want to prove that it's achievable and not necessarily a scientific experiment (hence the title).

    To me, a success would be for the tank to run for at least six months without any water changes. This includes having a CUC, LR, LS, and one or two damsels for livestock. Having an assortment of corals would be included, as well as an ATO. I thought about doing a matching sump-fuge but not entirely sure if I really want to do that... this is a pretty rough draft so I may make some changes.
    Heh, well, I'd be happy to read any previous success stories (if you can manage to find them). :)
    Good to know.
    Hrm, thanks for the input. :)
    Oh, that would be awesome if you could find it.
  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Presumably with the caveat that there is no special nitrate export equipment.

    I have gone 6 months+ with my old 55G tank, which had lots of fish + simple coral. But it had an external algae scrubber.
    Others have done it with really big refugiums.
    Others have done it with chemical nitrate/phosphate export.
    Search RC. You will find some threads.

    But doing a tiny tank, with a fish and a few coral, and no external equipment - that will be something.
  11. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    All About Fish in Concord (Pleasent Hill?) usually has acclimated mollies.
    Don't remember price.

  12. anathema

    anathema Guest

    The thing that is key, in my worthless opinion, is building a system that has the complete cycle in it.

    If you don't want to have a build up, you won't want to feed. So you need to build a system that can support the fish without food input. With that in mind, I'd suggest a fish such as a small blenny. There are some tidepool blennies that are pretty damn tough, and they are also omnivores. They might snack on the pods, but they won't be 100% depending on them for food because they can graze on algae also.

    If you plan to feed, you'd need to plan to export nutrients somehow, and all the methods I know of include removing some of the useful nutrients and minerals with the waste.

    Think of it like those sealed shrimp globes.
  13. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Mollies will eat the pods and also graze on algae.

  14. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Oh... and they are smaller than damsels... lighter bioload.

    They have live young... be interesting if they would be coral food........

  15. saltwatersig

    saltwatersig Volunteer

    Found it ......





  16. saltwatersig

    saltwatersig Volunteer

    The magnet on the body was originally removed by previous owner but he epoxied it back in place and it works just fine.
  17. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Thanks for the info. I'll look into it further. Doing this on a small tank will certainly prove challenging. It seems I have to build it specifically to make it a success rather than doing a general mockup of a "typical" tank with equipment. There's definitely some variables (equipment and live stock) to toy with to truly make this a more successful experiment. Is there actually equipment specifically for nitrate exportation?
    Ah, good to know.
    Thanks for your "worthless" opinion. I do agree that having the complete cycle would make help this experiment make this a success. Are there any other fish that require very minimal feeding? It's too bad there isn't any device (that I'm aware of) that can specifically remove the useless/harmful nutrients.

    All input is appreciated, no matter how worthless you deem it. :)
    Ah, didn't know that.
    Sweet. I'll PM you to follow up. :)
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Bio pellets or sulfur based denitrator both target wastes.

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