Converting a MiniBow? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-22-2006, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Converting a MiniBow?

I have a 7gal minibow sitting round doing not much good to noone, i REALY want a salt tank, while id love a nano reef id also be interested in doing a FOWLR system too.
Ive been told there Are ways to convert the minibows into a nano
Anyone done this who would be willing to do a set by step walkthrough.

My biggest questions would be filtration and lighting.
my friend with a 6yr old 130gal reef is going to be donating 14lbs live sand and 5lbs live rock when im ready (untill then its safely living in his big baby

Course right now its a stock 7gal mini, 1 15watt bulb fixture and a whisper hang on the back filter...

right now im thinking id love to do a full nano but cant afford the extra lighting for most corals, mabe a couple of lowlights some live rock a nice clean up crew (hermies and mabe a shrimp or 2) and a fish...though im unsure of what yet.

Any help woudl be apreciated.

7 is the biggest i can go right now, id love to go bigger (i drool over my frineds tank) but ive got very limited space and an even more limited budget for equiptment. its gonna be one of work with what youve got as much as possible projects...
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-22-2006, 08:25 PM
Your should have a protein skimmer
maybe the current usa nano skimmer-30bucks
Or if you want to go the right way a Aqua C Nano Remora Protein Skimmer This is rated from 5-20 gallon tanks and this would be very nice on your tank.-150 on ebay
Once you buy a good skimmer you could just do a canister filter maybe the eheim classic series.These fillters plus your live rock and sand would be owsome!!I think this is all you need for filtration
For lighting you could do two coralife mini aqualight powercompact fixtures-30 each you could have a diy plexiglass hood and run two of these going side by side it would be 36 watts so you could keep some nice stuff in there :D
so i think thats it
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-22-2006, 08:50 PM
sry for all the typing errors but my brother so rudly kicked me of the comp but anyway that setup would cost you 300 it would be inexpensive to maintain and very cool I think you might be able to use your powerfilter but i would recemend the canister.
I have a 5 gallon mini bow and im pretty familiar with it and i think they could make great nano reefs.
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-22-2006, 08:57 PM
Oh ya as for the hood you should buy a peace of plexiglass make a cardboard stensil of the top of your tank and use a razor to cut out the hood you could put in a feeding hatch,some ventalation slits,and make some room for you filters on the back
A powerhead
a nice 50-100watt heater
a backround
salt-and apropreat additives(calicium trace elements ect)
some distilled water and you would have a sick setup
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-22-2006, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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sounds great...
hmm now to just find and aquire verythign im gonna need and set it all up.
im in no real rush so plenty of time to Do it Right!

Thanks for the advice!
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-23-2006, 01:58 PM
no problem :D -and oh ya by the way i told you (you could cut the plexiglass with a razor)It is much tuffer then i remember you will probly need a saw.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-23-2006, 03:05 PM
OK OK hold on. I happen to have a mini 7g bowfront. I'll get up some pics this evening.

I got it in a box of other crap from doing trades. I have the original top but tossed out the light and did a custom install with a 36W PC dual 12K/20K bulb. Just using the garbage little hang on Whsiper that came with it. No protein skimmer.

Break it down.

7g AA black seal mini

Whisper HOT. Filled it with live rock rubble and a little piece of foam at the top.

36W PC fixture added to original hood.

20lbs live sand

20lbs live rock

2 adult fire shrimp

2 tiger pistol shrimps

1 tiger goby

1 red reef goby

1 scooter blenny

2 warratah anemones

1 Tiny RBTA

1 mouth hammer coral

8 ricordia mushrooms

1 4" watermelon mushroom

2 4" clupms of zoas

8 10 head clusters of colored zoas and or paly's

10 head trumpet candy cane coral

2 pieces 3 heads pink trumpet

2" alevopora

2" lord acanthestrea

2 large feather dusters

2" piece of SPS that grew out of the rock work.

The trick is to feed very lightly.

There is never any algae to clean. The biodiversity makes sure of that. About twice a week I'll dip a frozen rotifer cube into the water for a second before adding it to my main tank. This is a relatively maintenance free tank and everything is thriving well.

Total cost, about $40 in corals that we bought. Everything else was donated by friends.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-23-2006, 06:00 PM
so your saying trash the skimmer all together.
but if he bought the skimmer and ever wanted to upgrade he could go up to a 20g.I think protein skimming is a good idea because It totaly removes wastes that would otherwize build up in the form of nitrate shortening the time between water changes.
Now correct me if im wrong but i think Live rock only proseses amonia and nitrite Or does complete nitrification occer on the rock?Cause all the biofiltration in the world isent going to help when your nitrates pile up in that tiny tank You need either inerobic bacteria to prosses the nitrate or a skimmer to slow the build up.He said he wanted a fish so im assuming prolly a clown or something and i Think a skimmer would be a awsome idea
I said a canister filter cause after the skimming and the rock all he would need would be some mechanical filtration and a bit of bio so ya i gess he could use a powerfilter but he is not planing on purchasing live rock so yours filter setup would not be a option

And i never new there was a builb that would fit on the 7g minibow so of course go with that one it would be cheaper and easier

Accualy mike that tank sounds pretty awsome that you have please post a pick It sound overstocked but i have to see it to belive it :D
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-23-2006, 10:03 PM
No there is not a bulb upgrade available. I gutted a cheap PC fixture for the end piece and for the ballast. I removed the old 40w flouro bulb and replaced it with this. I can send out the parts for a few bucks to Salty Wench cause I like your profile name.

Well my girl and I do not run a skimmer on the tank and I do agree with you that they are very important. However as the tank is mean to be absolutely maintenance free we don't run one. It is entirely possible to run a small nano without one. I don't figure they are of much importance until 15 gallons or larger. There just isn't any waste in our little tank. Again I do stress that it does not get fed. Don't add any nutrient and there is no nutrient to export. It is a fine line to dance. The tiny amounts of food we do add gets synthesized into building protien, not into waste. The fish and shrimp wastes feed the corals and the corals trap the waste as buidling blocks. I've let the tank go for about a month between a water change and could not get any signiifcant numbers using my test kits. Everything was at zero's. Wish I could say the same on my 75g with a Euroreef (highly regarded as one of the best skimmers) rated for a 300g tank. I would like to add that a 1g water change takes place about once a week.

Not feeding the tank is one of the hardest things to get over. it really isn't necessary in an established tank. Most of the critters will grow right in the tank and feed it.

I'm having a tough time getting pics loaded right now but I was able to get this one general shot.

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post #10 of 26 Old 10-24-2006, 03:44 PM
Wow thats reely cool Im shocked you dont feed the tank that must be a very well balanced little ecosystem
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