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Discussion Starter #1
here I go again.... My 75 gallon reef is doing well.. I can't add much anymore.. it needs to grow now... I transferred my fish( fresh water ) from the 20 bow front to the 65 gallon upstairs.. bringing the total to 4 up there... now I HAD an empty tank... after cleaning and prepping the 20 bow... I just cant let it sit.. so I've decided to set it up as a single species, invert only or possibly dwarf sea horse tank... I want to run it as all natural ( as possible) I only plan on a HOB filter to give it a little flow.. and if push comes to shove a Nano HOB skimmer... I've already put in a 4" deep sand ( ultra fine sand) bed and a 12lb Tonga rock...my plan is to have several species of macros and a small CUC including sand stirrers and assorted "pods" .. from there I haven't quite decided.... I'll post a few pictures and the progress as I go... for now it's the boring time... I'm waiting for it to cycle.. at least it gives me a few weeks to make a definitive plan.....:-(
 

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Make sure to use a few hand fulls of substrate from your main established tank to seed it. Maybe even use some water change water to save on some salt and season it some more. As usual if you want some macros sent your way I can hook you up with a couple types just for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Make sure to use a few hand fulls of substrate from your main established tank to seed it. Maybe even use some water change water to save on some salt and season it some more. As usual if you want some macros sent your way I can hook you up with a couple types just for fun.
In preparation for this, I had a piece of filter floss in my GFO reactor for the last few months...it now resides in the HOB filter on the Nano... I took a small mesh bag and took a hand full of gravel and put that in the second filter slot... and as you advised... ( just to save money) I filled the tank from my current tank, thus killing 2 birds with one stone ....

This thing looks pretty naked right now :cry: The fern culpera in the picture is not staying.. It was in stuck to the mesh bag and I hadn't removed it yet...
 

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It already looks alll cleared up,must have been up for a couple days. Are you going to go with a branch type of rock on the sides or ledge\caves? Or were you planing on some sort of branching coral to grow into the space?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It already looks alll cleared up,must have been up for a couple days. Are you going to go with a branch type of rock on the sides or ledge\caves? Or were you planing on some sort of branching coral to grow into the space?
I filled it Tuesday night... I didn't even rinse the sand... the sand packed real hard , I was surprised how hard I had to did to get the rock to the bottom of the tank... yes.. definatly going out and up from there.. I'd like to go a little more exotic than my main tank... I'm not sure exactly what but I didn't want to clutter with a ton of rock.. I figured I'd start with a "filter" piece then work slowly from there...

the existing hood has a single T-8 bulb, I put a 10,000 k one in it replacing the natural sunlight one that I had when it was a fresh water tank..
 

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I have never regretted my decision when deciding to take more time, I believe I have said it before that in this hobby patience will serve you well. I look forward to the next update.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
it begins...

My tank cycled fast.. just over 2 weeks to flip and turn 4 ppm of ammonia to nitrite then to nitrate over night( 2 nights in a row).... so the stocking has begun( finished a week ago)... first I added a Aquqa-C nano HOB skimmer... I upgraded the stock 900 gph pump to the 1200 ( after reading reviews) and added the skimmer box assesory to skim the top of the water and keep the return current to minimum.. that up grade also keeps the water level change from effecting the skimmer ... I then over a period of time added 2 turbo snails.... 3 peppermint shrimp.. 1 fighting conch.. a chestnut cowrie... 3 fan worms... a home grown colony of Zoa's and mushrooms.. and a green bubble coral.. I added a fake coral and plastic plants for hitching posts and put in a mated pair of tank bred Black Hippocampus Kuda.... they eat frozen Mysis... enriched frozen brine shrimp and fresh hatched baby brine.. and have done so immediately after being put in the tank... I feed twice a day.. I can hear them smack the food right through the tank when they pluck it from the current..

I'll be switching out the fake "stuff" when I find suitable gorgonians and "plants" for them to hitch on..

My choice of the clean up crew IMHO should keep the tank clean and happy.. the conch is my sand stares in lieu of a fish which I would feel could out compete the sea horses.. the snails cover different areas of the tank and should keep the algae to a minimum.. the shrimps get any scraps that fall down the cracks and the fan worms can filter out any "juice" left over from the shrimp( while still getting target feeding)... and in case I see an imbalance/over crowding issue... the 75 gallon reef is 10 steps away with room to spare.. I love the way it looks ( well except for the fake stuff).. and I am amazed at how much the sea horses actually swim around the tank... I thought they were immobile creatures.. but it would appear that I have just enough current to allow them to do as they please... and as per usual.. should the sea horses out grow the tank.. well we all know how that will end don't we:lol:;-)

Pictures when I get a chance..
 

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The Kudas are a nice seahorse to have,not too big or small and usually take to tank life well. I used to have some that were partially yellow wich was nice. Did you get a male and a female?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Kudas are a nice seahorse to have,not too big or small and usually take to tank life well. I used to have some that were partially yellow wich was nice. Did you get a male and a female?
when we picked them out they were swimming the tank at the LFS ( with about 20 other Kudas) with their tails linked... they stay together all the time... I watched them feed them and them eat before I bought them... one that is more brownish has a definite pouch.. the other appears to have a more pointed/triangular abdomen.. so I'm relatively sure they are a pair...they are still young according to the fish keeper at the store... but he was convinced that they were "boy and girl" as was one of his associates... we will see.. I need to take those pictures!... one of the fan worms launched from it's tube during the night... it was hanging out a long way when I did the evening feed... I knew it was coming.... the shrimp got a fee meal...

I've discovered one thing about the nano.. it's ALOT harder to control the evaporation and maintain SG. ... it makes me appreciate my sump... ATO and volume in the big tank a lot more...
 

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I have had a couple incidents when one of my dusters had feather bail out. One made it through the ordeal and is still with me today and the other never fully formed another head and perished. Basically don't throw in the towel with the guy and give him some time. As far as the water top offs, I have not ATOs any more as they take up room and I have little of that. All the space I have is dedicated to the systems and what keeps them. I have to walk around with a bucket of water and a pitcher every other day at least. Almost all of my tanks are open top and decent turnover\flow so I definitely lose some water.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the only thing remaining was the crown... the rest of the worm got consumed..

I have to use the pitcher and water for my fresh water tanks, it's not the end of the world to have to fill the nano... I've been doing it 2 times a day to keep my SG. from wide swings... I use the ATO in the big tank to dose the Kalc..

I like the Aqua C HOB skimmer.. it's slim and compact... it's a little noisy but the micro bubbles are almost gone... according to the manufavtuer it will quit down when if is broken in fully... I bought the skimmer package for it but it looks awful in the tank.. so I'm just letting the pump and screen be visible.... it skims well for a simple devise and it's still not broken in..
 

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The skimmer will probably smooth out, as you mentioned ,after it has been running for a few weeks. As far as the skimmer pump,I have been waiting for some one to come up with a sort of aesthetically pleasing cover that you can attach such as a hollowed out resin cast piece of live rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The skimmer will probably smooth out, as you mentioned ,after it has been running for a few weeks. As far as the skimmer pump,I have been waiting for some one to come up with a sort of aesthetically pleasing cover that you can attach such as a hollowed out resin cast piece of live rock.
Been working on a hide away idea....the pump hanging there is just butt ugly!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You will have to get creative for a holder\brace for the tree itself but you are a handy man, you will whip up something I am sure. The seahorses would like the roots I bet.
since you mentioned it, you put the wheels in motion.. I've got some black Styrofoam here at the shop... I'll make a slit in it and slide the stalks into it allowing for adjustment...I'll form fit it between the HOB filter and the skimmer... I'll be able to adjust the height of the plant by moving it up and down like I did when I started them in the fuge... as awlays.. thanks for a great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
finally pictures!

I made a mod on the skimmer last night.... when I bought the AquaC nano HOB... I read many reviews for it ( and others) and determined that the best option was the 1200 gph cobalt pump instead of the Cobalt 900 that came with it.... after thinking about it yesterday while I re-plumbed a pump in our waste treatment room at work, I bought a 90 degree elbow at Lowes on my way home and substituted the 90 for the factory straight fitting , thus allowing me to turn the pump body up so about 1/3 of it was out of the water and the intake strainer pointed down... thus making the pump assembly much less visible.. because I went with the larger Power head, I feel that what I loose with the 90 will not effect the performance... I monitored the pump body that was out of the water for over heating and after running all night it was still room /tank temp...I'm still going to grow the mangroves because there are many benefits involved.. I need to transplant a few from my sump...

Pardon the bubbles.. the skimmer is still breaking in.... I couldn't get the fighting conch to cooperate it remained buried in the sand during the photo shoot..
 

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