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8 Gal Nano Clown Tank


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#1
11GTCS

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So this will be a reefing blog about my first saltwater tank. My family has an off and on history with fish. My dad kept saltwater fish and some sea horses back in the late 70's and early 80's before the reef/LR revolution, and grew frustrated with the methods used at that time. Both of us have kept freshwater, but found them not nearly as interesting to keep. Now that I am in college, we are both breaking (back in his case) into reefkeeping and saltwater fish. He is working on a 60 gal tank, but, because of dorm regulations, I am working with an Aqueon Evolve 8 gallon.

Equipment I currently have:

-Coralife 11'' T5 with typical 50/50 bulb setup
-Hydor 240 Powerhead
-Aqueon 50 Watt Heater

Equipment I have on order to install:

Custom Filter Setup
-Seachem Purigen
-Seachem SeaGel
-Seachem DeNitrate
-Upgraded Return Pump

Livestock I currently have:

-About 5 Pounds Live Rock (Fiji Base)
-3/4-1" Live Sand (Black Arag)

When I first put in LR, I kept it as one piece and let it cycle. The tank looked like this:

photo.JPG

Yesterday, I broke it up and aquascaped it, and now it looks like this:

photo2.JPG

As far as levels, I am waiting until tonight to allow for the shock of aquascaping to dissipate. Last readings were:

Ammonia > .2 ppms
Nitrite 0
Nitrate ~40 ppms (I did a water change immediately after this reading so Nitrate should be lower)
S.G 1.025-1.026
PH ~8.0

I plan on waiting a couple more weeks for it to settle into a good balance with filter setup and LR LS setup. After spring break, I will begin adding some other livestock. I also plan on ordering (soon) an Ecoexotic Panorama Pro 18" LED setup, as I plan on getting frogspawn for the tank and want a quality light. Anyone with experience on that light setup I would be more than appreciative of some info on how it performs.

I plan to add the following live stock (First time around):
-1 Skunk Cleaner
-1 Scarlet Reef H Crab
-1 Blue Legged H Crab
-1 Bumblebee Snail
-1 Margarita Snail
-1 Small Frogspawn

Once that livestock acclimates and settles in (mid spring?) I will get a single Oscillaris Clownfish, which will round out my tank for the time being, though I may get some zoas later in the life of the tank. Any suggestions/advice? I know starting with LPS coral is somewhat difficult, but I think with the quality lighting setup (47 watts max?) and the filtration I have, and due to the durability of frogspawn, I will likely be able to make it.

#2
Jacob042426

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Take out the bumble Bee and the margarita. The bumble bee isn't reef safe and the margarita likes colder water. And what is this "nano clown" that you say?

#3
BulkRate

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Second on ditching the BB sail...I think the bumblebee snail is actually a whelk. Whelks like to eat other snails. A pity, because they look pretty cool, for a CuC member.

The margarita is a mixed bag. I've got one in my 9 gallon "cuboid", but I keep the temp kind of low (79-80F). He's been in there for about 2 months and seems to be doing OK. Awesome glass cleaner.

IMHO I'd hold off on adding the shrimp until your tank's a couple more months mature. But I've been pretty timid in stocking mine...almost 5 months in and only a single neon goby as far as fish go. But my only fatality has been a mushroom that got itself shredded in a powerhead after a newbie rubberbanding attempt gone awry.

I'm looking into the "nano clown" / "mocha clown" that's been popping up for the last year or so on various forums. It appears to be bred by Sustainable Aquatics in Maine and I've got an inquiry in to them about adult size. Kinda 50/50 on whether this fish is actually "bred for small size" or "shipped while a small size". It would be perfect for those of us with smaller tanks to have a ocellaris variant that tops out at 2" long or so.
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "...I drank what?"

#4
11GTCS

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Take out the bumble Bee and the margarita. The bumble bee isn't reef safe and the margarita likes colder water. And what is this "nano clown" that you say?



What snails would you recommend? and oops 8 Gal Nano is one thing and Clown Tank is another. I meant that the 8 gal nano tank's purpose was for clownfish. Sorry about the confusion!

Second on ditching the BB sail...I think the bumblebee snail is actually a whelk. Whelks like to eat other snails. A pity, because they look pretty cool, for a CuC member.

The margarita is a mixed bag. I've got one in my 9 gallon "cuboid", but I keep the temp kind of low (79-80F). He's been in there for about 2 months and seems to be doing OK. Awesome glass cleaner.

IMHO I'd hold off on adding the shrimp until your tank's a couple more months mature. But I've been pretty timid in stocking mine...almost 5 months in and only a single neon goby as far as fish go. But my only fatality has been a mushroom that got itself shredded in a powerhead after a newbie rubberbanding attempt gone awry.

I'm looking into the "nano clown" / "mocha clown" that's been popping up for the last year or so on various forums. It appears to be bred by Sustainable Aquatics in Maine and I've got an inquiry in to them about adult size. Kinda 50/50 on whether this fish is actually "bred for small size" or "shipped while a small size". It would be perfect for those of us with smaller tanks to have a ocellaris variant that tops out at 2" long or so.


Do you have any other snails you use? I am not a fan at all of the turbo snails idk they just don't look like much to me. But roger that on the shrimp thats fine they are more entertaining when the fish is in anyway. I haven't actually heard of that kind of a clown before I'll look into it! I'm only a few minutes from Maine so it wouldn't be much of a trip.

#5
Jacob042426

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Contact John at reefcleaners. I got my cuc from him. He is berry nice. Just beware that he does not know how to count.

#6
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Contact John at reefcleaners. I got my cuc from him. He is berry nice. Just beware that he does not know how to count.


Well, at least the Reefcleaners' counting disability usually ends up in your favor. At least with snails...you'll probably get more than expected or ordered.

So far I have a mix of 2 astreas, which have proven to be all-around awesome cleaners of both glass and rockwork. 2 florida ceriths that seem to prefer digging through the sandbed, but occasionally are on the glass/rock. 2 nassarius, to deal with food leavings, and the aforementioned margarita which is almost always on the glass, oddly enough seems to spend a few hours parked on or near the heater (?!) each day. Its shell has noticeably grown since I put it in, so I dunno...it seems to be doing pretty well for a snail that's supposedly slowly cooking to death. The margarita's also a beautiful (for a snail), with a zebra-striped foot + the coraline encrusted shell, but if it dies in the next couple of months I will probably switch to a warmer-water snail.
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "...I drank what?"

#7
FireCorals

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Contact John at reefcleaners. I got my cuc from him. He is berry nice. Just beware that he does not know how to count.

+1

And his counting disability is a good thing, you always get more!
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#8
11GTCS

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I contacted John, and he was a great help. I now have my future CUC lined up as:

-5 Dwarf Ceriths
-3 Nassarius
-4 Florida Ceriths
-4 Small to Medium Nerites

Which is quite economical compared to my original CUC plans via Live Aquaria!

Tested my levels, and they were pretty off, but considering the massive change to the tank yesterday with the rock being broken up, I'm not surprised.

Date: 20 Feb 12
Time: 1712
SG: 1.027
pH: 7.8 (oddly low, considering salinity is a little high)
Temp: 77.3
Ammonia: .3 ppms
Nitrite: 0 ppms
Nitrate: 30 ppms
Clarity: Very Clear
I want to start testing for kH since my pH is changing so much (range of 7.6-8.2) but the test kit is still in route. :P

#9
Jacob042426

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Sounds good!

#10
11GTCS

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So I was doing some thinking and tinkering today and I might do my own custom LED light setup. While it won't be much cheaper because of the cost associated with CREE LED setups, I will put on a controller that will do what I want it to do.

I have some extensive soldering experience, as my dad was an electronics tech in the Army and so growing up we would do lots of projects together. As an engineering major, I have access to the equipment on campus I would need.

What I am not sure about, though, is the number of LED's I'd need. I want to use the CREE 3 up blue/white combos for daytime/channel 1, and for nighttime just some single CREE blue LED's/Channel 2, but I also want to have a full spectrum (red based) sunrise/sunset on Channel 3. Does anyone have any experience with the ratio of LED's? I'd imagine I'd only need 1 or 2 reds, 2 Blues, and 3 3-Up LEDs, but I'd rather ask and see! Thanks All.

#11
11GTCS

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Just checked levels again... everything was the same except for pH which went back up to 8.0, and salinity which rose (probably due to evap, and I added some distilled water to correct for this). I hope the ammonia stops dropping again soon so I can consider livestock! Filter stuff should be here tomorrow which should help as well.

#12
11GTCS

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Yay! Filter stuff in... I did a custom job... lots of blue bonded pad and filter wool lol :D

I used 100 mL of Purigen, placed near the flow from the first chamber into the second to catch the most possible flow (B's Law), and the SeaGel and De-Nitrate in media bags in the first chamber surounded by filter pad...

And this is how it ended up! I'm obv a noob so feel free to critique/yell/ect :D

photo3.JPG

#13
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So got an answer back from SA. Sometimes, answers we get to questions we ask aren't the answers we want to hear.

The "nano-grade" mocha clowns are indeed juveniles. They'll grow up to be the same size as a normal ocellaris. So whatever the webmaster's on over at justinfrags (which started me looking into this)...it's apparently good stuff. Or they made the same mistake I did.

Figure approx 3" of fish adult size then for each clown. Which might be a bit too much fish for an 8 gallon.
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "...I drank what?"

#14
11GTCS

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So got an answer back from SA. Sometimes, answers we get to questions we ask aren't the answers we want to hear.

The "nano-grade" mocha clowns are indeed juveniles. They'll grow up to be the same size as a normal ocellaris. So whatever the webmaster's on over at justinfrags (which started me looking into this)...it's apparently good stuff. Or they made the same mistake I did.

Figure approx 3" of fish adult size then for each clown. Which might be a bit too much fish for an 8 gallon.


I mean I can do one.. I really want to do two but I at least want to do one. We will see how it goes though. I did get the same answer to my question lol. IT's a huge shame.... It would be need to have "mini" clowns...

#15
11GTCS

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Time for another update! Current Levels:

Ammonia: 0.1 ppms
pH: 7.9
Nitrite:0 (But I think that's wrong I want to double check it seems to be giving false readings)
Nitrate: 30 ppms
S.G. 1.0265 (before I corrected for evap)
Temp: 77.2
Alk: 5

This also the day before my water change (got some water that ive been running in a bucket for about a day I'm going to add in tonight, so my nitrates are pretty high for that reason. I have spring break in two weeks, so after that time for the livestock! :D As long as my levels cooperate.

I have some good coraline algae growth, especially on the upper pieces of the rockscape. I plan on remedying that low light level with a good ~40 watt CREE LED light setup I'm going to solder in the next week hopefully. Waiting patiently for my package from LEDgroupbuy; I just got the heatsink in today!

So in other words, not much to report but some good progress and hopefully some action soon, tank seems to be maturing nicely.

#16
Jacob042426

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:bowdown:

#17
11GTCS

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:bowdown:


Haha oh yes feel the might of das N00B!

#18
11GTCS

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Haha so... I'm having dreams of mangrove fuge grandeur. Any suggestions? I'd put it in a 2.5 gal I got kicking around :D

#19
lucky38422

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That's a cool scape!

#20
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That's a cool scape!



Thanks! Do you have any pictures of your tank?

#21
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the only thing i hated about the aqueon evolve series is that it's not glass. i'm clumsy and i would probably end up scratching it. that's why i went with the fuval spec. 2.5 gallon glass, perfect size to fit on my desk at school.

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#22
miniwhinny

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You ended up with some nice shapes after breaking the large rock. Looking forward to seeing you get "stuff" :)

#23
11GTCS

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You ended up with some nice shapes after breaking the large rock. Looking forward to seeing you get "stuff" :)


Thanks! I can't wait either its the biggest test in patience! I found some nice Cristata coral that I think would look amazing in there... Hopefully its still around in a couple weeks!

the only thing i hated about the aqueon evolve series is that it's not glass. i'm clumsy and i would probably end up scratching it. that's why i went with the fuval spec. 2.5 gallon glass, perfect size to fit on my desk at school.


I've already scratched it a tiny bit, which is a pain yeah, but when i bring it home and semi drain it ill try and buff it out before I fill it back up :)

#24
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Got my LED stuff today! It's all ready to go, except I still have a relay for the meanwell CCD and the wiring. I have a 12V 5A power supply that I am going to wire both the controller and the CCD for the big channel into in parallel. That will give me 4.25A available for the 2.1A max controller. Plenty of room for expansion!

I have 4 3UP CREE XT-E. This is a total of 36 Watts, 12 watts white, 24 watts blue. I will likely split the blue lights, with half going on the same channel as the whites. This will allow me to have half available for custom colors and moonlights. I also will have 1-2 each red and green LED's (didn't bother with CREE's for these. I will have them somehow wired in so that I can custom regulate each one. That way I can do full spectrum sunrises and sets (blue lights, then fade to red, then orange, then the regular daylight setup). This will leave me with 40-45 Watts.

Here is the stuff I got!
photo5.JPG

#25
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Wow feels like its been a while! I've been getting another tank set up for the 3 and under Pico contest! This tank has been doing well, maturing nicely with levels stabilizing out in acceptable params. Spring break is this week but after that I will be back to school and bringing some inverts with me! Reef Cleaners got me a list of what should work for the tank and after I put those in I'll let it sit another few weeks and hopefully the levels will get even better! I'll be sure to post pics of the tank with the CUC in it, and maybe a frag or two!