Congratulations to community member kimberbee and her 10 gallon nano reef for being selected for our May Reef Profile. Home to eighteen vibrant rock flower anemones and a forest of gorgonians, this nano tank has a lot of mouths to feed! Below is the aquarium profile kimberbee has written for us sharing her experiences in the hobby and this aquarium's progress over the past year. See what she's been up to and share your comments and questions in kimberbee's featured reef profile announcement, or in the comments section below. Be sure to also check out her aquarium journal for more information about this unique reef tank.
Display: Innovative Marine Fusion Nano 10 (12” x 15” x 13”)
Stand: IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit
Lighting: NanoBox Mini Tide
Heater: NeoTherm 50W
Circulation: Stock Return Pump and RW-4
Filter Media: Chemipure Blue Nano and PolyFil/Filter Floss in an inTank media basket
Top Off: AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro
Rock: ReefCleaners dry rock
Established April 2nd, 2016
Maintenance on this tank has been really easy. I do a 20-25% water change every week and siphon the sand to get all the nasties out. I use an RO/DI unit at my kitchen sink for clean water and Red Sea Coral Pro salt mix. Occasionally if I’m sick, travelling, or rushed for time, I may skip a week of water changes, or quickly swap out water while leaving the sand alone. So far, I’ve seen no ill effects with a missed or rushed water change. I also use a tooth brush to clean algae off the back wall of the tank and the RW-4 powerhead every water change. I swap the chemipure packet for a new one monthly, and change the filter floss/polyfil weekly.
I do not dose or test the tank, other than making sure salinity and temperature are correct. I may test on the rare occasion when something looks off, even after a water change, or in the case where I lost a shrimp and fish within a week of each other. I find that regular maintenance works wonders for keeping my tanks and livestock happy and healthy.
I feed a variety of frozen foods (spirulina brine, mysis, bloodworms), pellets (Hikari Marine S), and powdered foods (Reef Roids, Coralific Delight) to my tank every second or third day.
- “Swoop/Swirl” Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) – Andromeda
- Pink Streaked Wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia) – Pluto
- 2 Spotted Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes Yucatan) – Cassini I and Cassini II
- Pom Pom Crab (Lybia sp.) – Aurora
- Purple Plating Sponge
- 18 Rock Flower Anemones
- Grube’s Gorgonian
- Knobby Sea Rod
- Purple Sea Rod
- Yellow Sea Whip
I started reef keeping in July 2014 with a used BioCube 29, and less than a year later I purchased an Innovative Marine Fusion Nano 20. I ran the two tanks in my apartment for another year. Since I was still learning about corals, fish, and inverts, both tanks were a mish mash of random livestock that didn’t always get along. When it came time to move from my apartment, I made the decision to downgrade my 20 gallon tank to the current 10 gallon version I have now. With my new setup I wanted to go for a specific look, rather than throwing all kinds of corals together like I’d been doing previously, so I only put the RFA’s, gorgonians, and the purple plating sponge (which was attached to the rock) into the new tank. Thankfully the RFAs and gorgs get along very well and I haven’t had to worry about coral warfare since setting up this tank.
I moved everything to the new tank in one day, keeping some old water, a handful of sand (the rest was new), and the same Reef Cleaners rock that had been in the previous tank. This meant I didn’t have to wait for a cycle to complete, and I had a nice insta-reef. I did this on a Saturday and did a water change the following Wednesday. My careful planning meant I suffered no losses or injuries during the move!
Two months after moving I went on a weeklong vacation. My tank sitter did not feed the tank, but did watch my ATO container and added RODI as needed. When I came back, one of my gorgonians was halfway covered in GHA. I was too nervous to trim the gorg and left it algae covered for 10 months before I was brave enough to frag off the dead parts. It turned out to be really easy to cut and glue the gorg, I wish I had done it sooner!
I haven’t changed much in this tank for the past year. 18 RFAs is a lot for such a small space, so I am happy to let them grow out and take over. I have decided to stock SLOWLY and carefully to make sure nothing gets out of whack with my bioload. A few months ago I lost an anemone shrimp and a Pink Streaked Wrasse (that I had waited over a year to get), but I recently added another PSW and two anemone shrimp. It’s really cute to have the shrimp climbing all over the RFAs, and I think they are a really unique invert for a small tank – they look like they belong among the RFAs.
Inspiration & Goals
There are many tanks on Nano-Reef.com that have inspired me, but I can’t deny that I love clean, organized systems. Limiting myself to mostly RFA’s and gorgonians has eased the stress of worrying when one of the anemones might go on a walkabout. It really REALLY keeps it a peaceful community tank, which I love.
I am going to start doing every other week water changes for this tank, and am hoping the addition of a skimmer will help keep everything stable and happy. It’s pretty much on auto pilot, and I’d like to keep it that way.
I’m also hoping for an RFA spawn someday...
Advice to New Reefers
It’s probably been said in every TOTM write up – BUT BE PATIENT! Not only with the set up and stocking of a tank, but with equipment purchases as well. It seems as if there’s always new tanks and equipment in the hobby, so there’s always something newer, better, and more expensive to upgrade. I have actually purchased 6 tanks in the past 3 years, half of them on impulse – MTS (multiple tank syndrome) is a real thing.
Nano-Reef.com is really a wonderful place full of great people who only want to help others succeed in the hobby. There are many people who helped me out when I was just started having not had a single bit of marine experience before taking the plunge. Thanks to everyone, and especially Christopher Marks for creating this great resource!