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Converting a MiniBow?

This is a discussion on Converting a MiniBow? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> There is a power compact flourescent lightbulb that will screw into the fixture on the small mini bow tanks, I have them on mine ...

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Converting a MiniBow?
Old 10-26-2006, 09:08 PM   #11
 
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There is a power compact flourescent lightbulb that will screw into the fixture on the small mini bow tanks, I have them on mine here at home and they work great for many of the corals. One of the nice things about the nanos is that they're shallow enough to make lighting pretty easy.
For my 15 designer seahorse tank, when I had corals in there, I used 2 incandescent fixtures (2 bulb) with the compact flourescents and I had no problem with mushrooms, capnella, and a handful of other "easy" corals. If the rock structure is built right you can easily set the corals closer up to the top for more intense lighting.
With the filters... I use aquaclear hang on filters, and they work fine. I have added a small rio power head to some of the tanks to increase flow, but I've been keeping nanos for years, and they're not as difficult as some make it out to be. The trick is not to overload them and to do FREQUENT small water exchanges. Instead of the skimmer (which I have found to not work very well on small tanks of less than 30 gallons) I use paper toweling to manually skim any organics from the surface. I always do this at night during feeding time, it takes about 3 minutes.
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Old 10-28-2006, 11:48 PM   #12
 
Will a 18 watt bulb be enuff over a 5 gallon mini bow?
I am going to move my 5gallon to a 20 long and i will have a extra tank and i want to keep a mantis shrimp and some peaces of live rock will 3.4 watts per gallon be enuff?
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Old 10-29-2006, 01:52 AM   #13
 
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For just the mantis and the live rock? Yes, this should be plenty. If you find you need or want more, switching to a 24 inch incandescent fixture will give u 2 of the compact fluorescent bulbs. Keep in mind, this tank is shallow.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:21 AM   #14
 
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You are not going to fit a 24" fixture on a minibow. My 7g is about 15" total length. Your mantis does not care how much light you have, neither will the rock. If you decide to put a few pieces of coral in there they will care. 5 watts per gallon in a mini bow will provide great results. Not the norm but the rare, I've seen a few nice SPS nanos run on 5wpg in a nano such as yours.

I can easily convert your hood to accept PC bulbs all the way up to 42W. In fact I can convert it to hold 2 42W bulbs. The only problem is the 42w bulbs that will fit are in the 6,500K range. A great growth bulb but will not have the razzle dazzle of the actinics and above 10k bulbs normally used in reef tanks. I could squeeze in a 13" 24w PC bulb for you in a heart beat. A dual color bulb such as a 12k and a 20K dual will look great. That would get you at 4.8w per gallon. The intensity of a PC bulb is much more intense than an incandescent. And I use a ballast that overdrives the bulbs.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:41 AM   #15
 
I was actualy planing on making a plexi-glass hood and place a powercompact fixture on top of it
The fixture has on actanic bulb and one 10,000 k both 9 watt
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:20 AM   #16
 
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I have run 18 inch fixtures over my 2 1/2 mini bow... naturally it doesn't "fit" the tank, but the bulbs were right where i needed and wanted them, and the 2 compact fluorescent bulbs were enough for me to do an awesome coral tank.
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:19 PM   #17
 
Do any of you guys have any comments about keeping a mantis in a 5 gallon? Is it a good idea?
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:20 PM   #18
 
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Just commenting on the photo of the 7 gallon mini bow. It's gorgeous! Reading all the info is very mind boggling; is it necessary to have life rock/corals in a marine tank? Do you have to have a protein skimmer? I feel like I need a degree in marine biology to start a marine tank, but I would love a nano tank also. :)
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:41 AM   #19
 
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As for the mantis, that will depend on the amount of maintenance you wish to provide in meeting care needs so the tank can sustain such a critter. Keep in mind that the smaller the tank the faster the rate of fluctuation. Think about evaporation for instance... an inch each week from a 30 gallon tank vs that same amount from a 5 gallon tank... BIG difference there. With that kind of difference, you will find jumps in temp, jumps in salinity, and jumps in nutrient levels and mineral content. A nano is a lot of fun, but it does require a good amount of care.
For the needing a degree to keep a nano... same thing... it's not always difficult, if its done right and you can afford to devote the needed time and energy to its care. My last nano was 2 1/2 gallons, it sat on my desk so I could easily dote on it whenever I was at home. I finally moved everything to a friend's tank and took it down because I didn't have the time to take care of it twice each day to keep it stable. A skimmer isn't typical of a nano, the few on the market don't work very well, if at all. They are difficult to set up, difficult to keep running properly, and difficult to get replacement parts for. If the maintenance is done, a skimmer isn't a needed part of any salt water tank. Not all people have the time to devote, and a skimmer can help to "pick up the slack"... or provide a "cushion" for problems that might occur.
In a nano, live rock is a must for filtration purposes, but corals are optional. A good example of a nano without corals would be live rock, caulerpa, and seahorses, such as I keep now in a 15 gallon designer tank. It's "easy", no special lighting needed to sustain corals, only caulerpa and the live rock, hang on filter, small power head, and water exchanges of about 15% once/month. It's stable, healthy, and fun. I feed them twice/day, and the female will curl her tail around my fingers if I dip my hand into the tank. Whenever we come into the room they come up and dance around the top corners, looking for attention. Many times they are not asking for food, simply "play time" with us. I devote more maintenance time to a 20 gallon freshwater tank with 2 fancy goldfish who needed a temp home until they can be safely moved to a 55 in a permanent home. More difficult? NO Different? YES
There are a number of fish and inverts that can thrive in a nano (of the right size) their whole lives. Let us know if you decide to take the plunge, we can help teach you to do it the right way, and save some money in doing so.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:11 AM   #20
 
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I'd like to take a minute and reiterate Dawn's last statement. Is salt that much more difficult or expensive than freshwater? NO. Are the fish and corals more expensive. NO. I've paid over $1,000 for a freshwater fish before. It's just that most freshwater people are buying fish under $5 so they don't have much invested in them. Some don't care if they live or not because they were only $2. Once you take a minute to really look into the demands of a freshwater tank most people realize that their tanks are seriously lacking. My 125 fresh has 4 Eheim cans, 600w of lighting, 2 Tunze 6060 (1,600gph flow each), a wet/dry sump for gas exchange, Eheim 900goh return pump, 100 lbs of driftwood. Essentially I have thousands wrapped up in that tank to create the best possible housing I could. Now I've seen many 125 setups that had 80w flouro lighting and 1 small canister filter. That was the entire tank. It was pitiful.

Anyone ever setup a "technical" plant tank? Electronic PH monitors, CO2 valves and canisters, bubble counters, bubble diffusers, huge lighting needs, special clay substrates, substrate ribbon heaters, fertilizers......Etc... As in any well thought out tank can be expensive and time consuming, be it a 5g nano or a 300g planted tank.

So with a nano it's like anything else you do. The more you devote to it, be it time or money, the better it will be.
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