New to Saltwater


MFK Member
Oct 3, 2019
Hey, I’m new to saltwater but not fish I actually have 7 freshwater tanks, but I’d like my empty one to be a reef tank it’s currently empty and it’s 5g

here’s what I need:

what kind of coral and decor should I get?
What kind of fish can I get?

I like predatory fish, but don’t think a predator can go in a 5g but if one can let me know
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Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
Flint town!
Small tanks are harder to do then larger, especially if you are doing stoney corals. It's amazing how much alk calcium can drop in a short time almost over night. That makes it hard to keep a consistent pH among other things. Salt is kind of the same as fresh in the fact that keeping parameters consistent is key to healthy tank inhabitants. It's easier to learn on a larger tank then move to a "desk" tank later. Certain corals and anemones have stinging cells used to capture prey or kill competing corals so if they come in contact they will kill other corals. Some have extremely long reach that you'd not guess. A 5g tank with a piece of galaxia in it would become a tank with just galaxia in it pretty quickly. Galaxia is a small lps coral that is in essence an encrusting coral. It's polyps are smaller with short tenticals mostly, typically around maybe .5". It can extend those tenticals a foot or more. Those are called sweeper tenticals, they are primarily used to grab morsels of food but when they come in contact with other corals they burn the other coral. It's a pretty common coral to find for sale at a good price and it looks nice.
Why did I tell you all that? Because it's just 1 single piece of reef keeping that is so over looked compatibility. That's just a super small part of it but it's 1 coral that can wipe out a whole tank. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting a reef tank of any size. I just want you to not jump in without doing enough research like so many do. I did it too. I was given a 10g biocube from a friend. I had all kind of issues corals kept dying, algae you name it. I was treating it like fresh water, it's not and you cant. It's a completely different animal. My lfs instructed me to get a larger tank and the correct equipment first and then try a smaller tank. I found a used 75 with sump and skimmer. It was great and I started to have success. Then learned about water quality before it hits the tank and got a rodi unit and had more success. Then learned about calcium and alk issues and learned about kalkwasser and how to properly use it and had more success. And so on. Before all those success moments there were failure moments, but that's how we learn. The problem is learning that way in that hobby is expensive and frustrating and causes people to quit all the time. Keep learning don't rush in.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 24, 2020
5 gallons is really restrictive for a reef tank, but it can be done quite nicely if you play your cards right. I think a 5 gallon Zoanthid tank with a Pistol Shrimp/Goby pair could be very cool.