Congratulations to parishilton for being selected for our April Reef Profile! His 5 gallon nano reef houses a diverse selection of coral utilizing simple reef keeping methods. Below he has written a profile of his aquarium's progress over the past year, and shares his experiences in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments and questions in parishilton's featured reef profile thread.
Display: 14" x 10" x 10" rimless glass aquarium
Lighting: MH 150w 20k Solarmax Nano (3:00pm – 11:00pm) + 1x11w pl light (Red/Blue) (2:00pm – 00:00am.)
Filtration: Hang on filter Eheim Liberty 2042
Circulation: From Hang on filter and outflow from Eheim compact 600 chiller feeding pump
Cooling: 1/20 chiller Hailea 100a
Established April 2009
• Weekly water change of 1.5 gallons with Oceanic Salt mixed to 1.025.
• Top-off evaporated water by hand every 3-4 days.
• Carbon pad in the hang on filter is changed once a month.
• Clean the glass with toothbrush whenever needed.
I feed my Cherub angelfish once or twice a day and try to avoid any left over food as my tank has no skimmer. Whenever there is left over food, my CUC and invertebrates take care of it. I have never fed anything or dosed any supplements other than fish food (Hikari Marine S). I personally believe that sufficient light and frequent water changes will provide enough elements for corals to survive and grow in a nano tank.
Fish & Invertebrates
• Cherubfish (Centropyge argi)
• Anemone Shrimp
• Pistol Shrimp (Added 2 weeks ago)
• Many tiny Abalones (Haliotidae)
• Pom Pom Xenia
• Thousand Hand Xenia
• Elongata Xenia
• Blue African Xenia
• Green Striped Mushroom
• Purple Mushroom
• Superman Rhodactis Mushroom
• Green Rhodactis Mushroom
• Red Acanthastrea lordhowensis
• Green Bubble
• Ricordea Florida
• Pink Ricordea Yuma
This aquarium was started in April 2009, it is my second tank. My original plan was to setup a small tank on my nightstand to keep a couple of fish with live rock. After seeing el fabuloso's pico tank however, I was inspired to start keeping coral. The major changes to this tank were when I changed my PL light to a 150w MH and added chiller. I am glad that I did, the result was beyond my expectations. Everything in the tank looks even better than before.
Disasters & Regrets
There is always at least one obstacle to overcome in this hobby, I experienced one of them myself. It was when my glass inflow pipe broke and the tank lost half its water. Fortunately I was around when it happened and already had water prepared for the weekly water change, so I lost nothing. The worst part was cleaning the floor! I can't imagine what would have happened if I was not around at the time.
My only regret is that I should have known not to put the green stripe mushroom in the middle of the tank. It is impossible to remove, whenever I cut it out it always comes back with new baby mushrooms.
Words Of Wisdom
I don't have enough experience to be able to advise anyone, but there are some things that I personally believe can lead anyone to successfully maintain a nano reef.
First is patience. It is the most important factor for beginners. Many beginners are not patient enough, and whenever they encounter some problems, they get discouraged and quit the hobby. Therefore, try to be patient and learn everything step by step. There are no shortcuts in this hobby, and no tank can be beautifully mature in a day or even a month.
Second is self-discipline, which relates to frequent water changes and maintenance routine. The key to my success is frequent water changes. As most of us are keeping nano tanks, they require more attention and care than bigger tanks do. No matter how lazy I am, I try to do water changes and the maintenance routine when it is due. Water changes are the way to keep tank parameters in check and the best way to counter any problems that may arise.
Since I am crazy about keeping SPS right now, I am planning to add more of them to the tank. I also have to consider taking some corals out of the tank as it is already too crowded. I am also planning to change the light hanging unit to give more open space on the top of the tank.
I'm really surprised that my nano reef has come this far when I look back on my original plans. First I would like to thank my local reef club, SiamReefClub.com, for being such a great resource and helping me gain experience in the hobby. Special thanks to Christopher Marks for giving me the honor to be selected for the April 2010 featured reef and the opportunity to showcase my tank. Finally, I hope my tank profile will be informative, helpful, and can inspire new hobbyists.
HAPPY REEFING EVERYONE!