Wake's 20 Gallon Tall Nano Reef Build
After almost a year hiatus, I am back fishkeeping! Last year CT had some wicked power outages and I lost all of a 150 gallon reef tank :cry: Last week I took a vacation from work and set up a twenty long freshwater tank for my son with some Platys and Cories and I got an itch that nothing but a saltwater tank could scratch! I still had a 16 gallon that I used as a Q tank (hyposalinity only, no meds) that is going to be my new S/W obsession. It was pretty much the only thing I had left after I sold off my 150...
I took pics of me taping off the tank to paint the back black:
And after painting the back Satin Black:
I am very excited about this. I am getting rock and sand today from Fosters and Smith, along with a nano powerhead and a heater. I am going to let it run empty for about a month (or longer if I feel the rock isn't cured) to let it mature. First addition will be a pair of False Percs - slated for September 30th...
Looks like a good start. Couple questions:
1) Are you going to drill the tank and install a sump?
2) What are your goals for livestock? SPS? LPS? Clams? Enough Xenia to choke a horse?
3) What other gear/mods do you have planned for the tank?
1) I think that the cons outweigh the pros of a sump on a 16 gallon tank. I know I gain water volume, but I have to find a tank that fits under the stand, drill the tank and concoct a sump that will be efficient with bubble traps and what not.
2) My first goal is to get a pair of clowns in the tank. Most likely false Percs. I also would like a Yasha Goby/ Pistol Shrimp combo. Maybe a couple of peppermint shrimp to take care of aptasia and other detritus. Lastly nassarius snails, hermits and probably a serpent sea star as a cleaning crew.
For corals I think I will do low-light, softies and polyps. Nothing too light dependant, I am probably going to invest in a
I will never keep a clam again as I read up on how much light and plankton they require. It seems to me that more clams are killed in aquariums each year than survive. I am going to go slow on corals, so we'll see as this build progresses...
3) Gear/mods: I am outfitting the tank with a Hydor Nano 240 powerhead, an Fluval 204 canister with only LR in it, and probably (due to a discussion on carbon in a different thread) a Prizm skimmer. I know the Prizm is a black-listed skimmer, but I have one hanging around and think I will make the necessary modifications to make it worthwhile. If not I also have a Seaclone CC that may be able to be mod to produce skimmate.
I really want to make a mod on the hood that came with it. Right now it only has the one little strip for the T8 light that came with it. I want to keep a lid on this tank as evaporation can be a killer in a smaller tank and this should help to slow that down. If I run that LED fixture that I linked or even the Quad T5, I will need more glass to let the light in. I am thinking of bending 1/4" plexi into the shape I am looking for and maybe re-use the lid part...
The essentials have arrived!
The Base Rock: 40 lbs
The Live Sand: 40 lbs
And powerhead, heater and stick-on thermometer (I still have a digital coralife I plan on using)
Now just four more hours til I leave work... Then my son and I can set it up! He keeps looking at his freshwater tank saying, "Nemo?" He's a funny little two year-old. Loves his fish!
My suggestion would be to ditch the canister filter and rubble rock idea, as it's just going to turn into a horrible nitrate factory. Also, on that small of a tank you can get away without a skimmer if you're doing regular water changes.
Water changes and protein skimming are not a means to the same end. I would use carbon, but I had read an article posted in another thread that made carbon out to be the precursor to lateral line disease. Large water changes can be detrimental to a system. Large water changes can stress the fish, bleach your corals and flucuate your salinity. I always change 10% a week to keep trace elements and bicarbonates in check, but not to remove Dissolved Organic Solids. In the case of DOS I use either skimming or carbon. Since carbon is out of the picture, it's skimming.
I added water, sand and rock last night. I forgot about the patience needed after adding sand. All's I wanted to do was aquascape and move the powerhead into the right place...
An hour and a half after adding sand:
Better this morning. I didn't have time to go elbow deep before work.
Much better this morning. Tried to reposition the aquascaping, but am not 100% happy yet. I have a fellow s/w enthusiast here at work that is going to trade me a live rock from his tank for a base rock of mine.
I am torn between using carbon and running a skimmer. I have an old Red Sea Prizm skimmer that I can mod and try to get to work, but I have to pull the tank away from the wall about 4".
Right now that canister is empty, I am just using it for flow.
I am happy right now with the aquascaping, but am considering modding the Prizm and skimming the tank. When I mod the skimmer, I will post the pics of the mods in case anyone has one of these hanging around they would like to mod.
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