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-   -   Wake's 30 Gallon Long Nano Reef Build (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/saltwater-journals/wakes-30-gallon-long-nano-reef-111443/)

wake49 08-21-2012 12:32 PM

Wake's 30 Gallon Long Nano Reef Build
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone.

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:

Attachment 63068
Attachment 63069

And after painting the back Satin Black:

Attachment 63070

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...

TheWonderfulWub 08-22-2012 09:17 AM

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?

wake49 08-22-2012 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheWonderfulWub (Post 1209416)
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?

First of all, thanks.

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 or a Fixture. I haven't decided which way I want to go yet (and what type of funding the finance department, aka wifey, will release on this project).

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...

wake49 08-22-2012 12:03 PM

3 Attachment(s)
The essentials have arrived!

The Base Rock: 40 lbs
Attachment 63137

The Live Sand: 40 lbs
Attachment 63139

And powerhead, heater and stick-on thermometer (I still have a digital coralife I plan on using)
Attachment 63138

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!

TheWonderfulWub 08-22-2012 02:23 PM

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.

wake49 08-22-2012 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheWonderfulWub (Post 1209739)
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.

I am using the Fluval mostly as an added source of flow in the tank and as a surface skimmer (I have a TOM surface skimmer adaptor for canisters) in lieu of a sump. I plan on larger pieces of Live Rock to actually catch the detritus. I never planned on rubble as it does not have enough surface area to be a good detritus trap before becoming a nitrate factory. As long as the surface area of rock is sufficient, it will act in the same manner as putting rock in your sump inlet (common practice).

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.

wake49 08-23-2012 06:09 AM

2 Attachment(s)
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:
Attachment 63207

Better this morning. I didn't have time to go elbow deep before work.
Attachment 63208

wake49 08-24-2012 03:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
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.

Attachment 63257

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".

wake49 08-24-2012 03:24 PM

Right now that canister is empty, I am just using it for flow.

wake49 08-27-2012 12:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
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.

Attachment 63394


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