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Next steps on a 12g Auquapod


adams03

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So I recently bought my first nano-reef tank, a 12g aquapod, and I posted earlier. I have been looking at multiple upgrade-ish things that others have done and I have no idea where to start! I put my live rock in (about 10 pounds, I know I need some more) along with the sand, and it is still cycling so I have some time to change things before I really start to add livestock...

 

 

First, what is a good way to set-up my live rock? Does it really matter? I don't want it to come crashing down and kill something, but the tank isn't exactly huge so there's not a ton of room.

 

 

Second, what would be a good idea to upgrade and what do I upgrade to? I have been searching the forums, but there are SO many different things and I have no idea where to even begin. Maybe a new pump? Lights? I dunno...

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I recently purchased a used Aquapod 12 that had been stock with some zoa, mushroom, and xenias. I have had it up a running for approx 1 month and all has gone well so far. This is my first attempt with saltwater. I did have slightly high temps 82-83 with the stock pump and fan. I recently replaced the stock pump with a mj 900 and tried a hydoflo. I replaced the stock fan and added a 2nd; also remove a few of the fan vent bars and the temps dropped approx 1 or 2 degrees. I liked the wavelike action of the hydroflo but it kicked up to much sand with my current aquascape. Other than that the step up seems to be working great. I also have consider getting the nanotuners 32w pc up grade, It is only around $60, but I am on a budget and would rather use it to buy some corals.

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1) Switch out the stock pump.

2) Fuge mod.

3) Change fans in the hood.

4) ICA chiller...or any kind of chiller.

5) MH retrofit.

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killer b, thanks for the input! What is a hydroflo, and how do you like the Mj900 pump? My AP 12g has two fans, and then white/blue/led lights?

 

 

epic, thanks for the input but..

 

1. to which other pump? Like the MJ-900

2. You mean a refugium mod? Don't I need additional lighting for that? How would that go in?

3. Where do I get new fans? And are there ones that seem to work really well?

4. I bought a heater, is a chiller just the opposite of a heater?

5. What is an MH retrofit and what does it do?

 

I know I ask a lot of questions, and for that I apologize, I'm just trying to get my first saltwater tank just right and not kill some innocent critter just cuz I skipped something. And once it's all said and done, how it the world do I install all these new things? I don't really have tons of tools (let alone money/experience) to be cutting and drilling on this tank.

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killer b, thanks for the input! What is a hydroflo, and how do you like the Mj900 pump? My AP 12g has two fans, and then white/blue/led lights?

epic, thanks for the input but..

 

1. to which other pump? Like the MJ-900

2. You mean a refugium mod? Don't I need additional lighting for that? How would that go in?

3. Where do I get new fans? And are there ones that seem to work really well?

4. I bought a heater, is a chiller just the opposite of a heater?

5. What is an MH retrofit and what does it do?

 

I know I ask a lot of questions, and for that I apologize, I'm just trying to get my first saltwater tank just right and not kill some innocent critter just cuz I skipped something. And once it's all said and done, how it the world do I install all these new things? I don't really have tons of tools (let alone money/experience) to be cutting and drilling on this tank.

 

A hydor flo is a rotating current deflector which fits onto the return line from the sump. It's designed to make random flow in the aquarium.

 

The MJ900 would be a great pump to use - efficient and quiet.

 

Yes - he's referring to a refugium mod. Yes, you'll need additional lighting - carefully cut the plastic off the chamber for the refugium and place a small plant bulb/fixture there (or mount it above the chamber, although it's not quite as effective). A search of the DIY will give you the exact directions.

 

A chiller is the opposite of a heater. Depending on your house temperature, you may or may not need one. If you run central A/C, or a window unit in the room with the tank, you probably won't need it. Just take note of the max temp your tank reaches during the day, and if it's above say 82-83*, you may want it to be safe.

 

An MH retrofit is a metal halide light fixture designed to go inside the existing hood to replace the stock lighting. If you plan to keep corals, you'll likely want to upgrade the lighting somehow. Metal halides are on the expensive end of the lighting scale, but also the will give you the most options for corals. An easier option than the retrofit and new fans would be to remove the hood and get a metal halide fixture (such as the 16.5'' 70 watt Sunpod fixture).

 

A cheaper option would be to get a retrofit kit for pc lighting, like you already have. The additional pc lights will give you more coral stocking options.

 

 

My recommendation is to upgrade the pump first. Then, do the refugium mod with a small plant bulb/fixture and some chaetomorph algae (this is easily the most effective filtration option you have besides the live rock in the display). If your temps are okay, no need to worry about chillers/fan mods. You could start with soft corals like mushrooms, and when you decide to upgrade lighting, you can "upgrade" your corals.

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^ exactly what dshnarw said.

 

I'd do the upgrades in the order I listed them...roughly. Comically, it's also in order of ascending cost. :D

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Thanks for all the help! Are there any good sites to look at for these items? The LFS near me isn't a very big one.

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1) Switch out the stock pump. www.drfsfosterandsmith.com www.bigalsonline.com www.marinedepot.com for either the Maxi-Jet 900 or Maxi-Jet 1200. At DrsFoster&Smith, use "DODGE" or "JEEP" for 15% off.

2) Fuge mod. Get a scalpel. For the 2x9W Coralife mini-Aqualight, go to www.hellolights.com

3) Change fans in the hood. www.newegg.com for some fans, you can probably get a power adapter there too

4) ICA chiller...or any kind of chiller. www.nanocustoms.com for the ICA chiller. You can Google for the IceWorks IceProbe chiller.

5) MH retrofit. There's a thread in the Classifieds here by "Anuanu Humu". Great ballasts, good price. I recommend picking one up.

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Maybe a dumb question, but with the maxi-jet do I put that pump back into the 3rd compartment of the back on my 12g AP? Or does it sit in the actual tank itself? And for the Coralife light, do I just get the 9" 2x9W Freshwater? And i am assuming from looking at newegg.com, the fans I use will be computer fans? Just look for a great fan then?

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1) 3rd compartment.

2) Yes, freshwater.

3) Yes, computer fans.

 

I just spent an hour re-doing the wiring for my hood. :)

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1) 3rd compartment.

2) Yes, freshwater.

3) Yes, computer fans.

 

I just spent an hour re-doing the wiring for my hood. :)

 

I think the pump should be in the 4th chamber, just like the stock pump. At least that's where I have mine.

 

I also did the 70W MH upgrade (16.5" SunPod) and it's made a huge difference in the health of my LPS. It's an expensive upgrade ($150-$225) but it's not something you'd regret. It changes the all-in-one look, but you also get to stop worrying about tank temp all the time.

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Haha, 4th chamber is what I meant. Hmmm, a 70W MH, I'll look into that. Where did you get yours?

 

 

If I get the MH, will I need to replace the LED and Blue Lights that come stock with the daylight on the AP? And Say I do the MH retrofit so I can keep my lid, how does the ballast thing work? Do I just unscrew the lighting fixture in there now and insert the new 70W MH? I'm a bit confused, currently searching Google and the forums to try and find my answer...

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Haha, 4th chamber is what I meant. Hmmm, a 70W MH, I'll look into that. Where did you get yours?

If I get the MH, will I need to replace the LED and Blue Lights that come stock with the daylight on the AP? And Say I do the MH retrofit so I can keep my lid, how does the ballast thing work? Do I just unscrew the lighting fixture in there now and insert the new 70W MH? I'm a bit confused, currently searching Google and the forums to try and find my answer...

 

I got mine off of ebay for $150 (couldn't resist at that price). The Sunpod comes with 8 LED lights (4 blue/4 white) and is a complete replacement for the stock hood. I also got a glass top for my AP12 which keeps the fishies from jumping ($12). I liked the all-in-one look and was worried how the upgrade would look, but I think it looks pretty good and don't miss the stock hood at all.

 

I don't have a pic of my lighting setup, but it looks the same as the one pictured here.

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I got mine off of ebay for $150 (couldn't resist at that price). The Sunpod comes with 8 LED lights (4 blue/4 white) and is a complete replacement for the stock hood. I also got a glass top for my AP12 which keeps the fishies from jumping ($12). I liked the all-in-one look and was worried how the upgrade would look, but I think it looks pretty good and don't miss the stock hood at all.

 

I don't have a pic of my lighting setup, but it looks the same as the one pictured here.

 

 

Haha, I just sent you a PM about this stuff, sorry about that!! I think I may do this, plus the refugium mod will be easier than trying to rewire and cut a hood (something I've never done anything like before...)

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Hey Adams,

 

I know this may fly in the face of everyone else's opinions, but if you aquascape your tank to have a "center pile of rocks" or better yet - one big rock in the center of the tank you might not need to mod anything. Any time you pile up rocks you get pockets of dead space and have to compinsate by adding more flow and in doing so ad more heat. Especially when you pile everything against the back wall. As long as the centerpiece rock has a few caverns for crabs, fish and shrimp to hide in you can't go wrong with this set up.

 

The only mods you would need to make are more lighting, if you wanted to keep anything that requires a bright light source. Extra pumps and powerheads ad to the heat of the tank. If you place your LR in the right spot to allow constant flow to swirl around the central rock you eliminate the need to hydor flow tips and extra powerhead/s all together.

 

FYI - I run a stock BC 14g with one large rock in the center that is "mountain shaped" and I get great flow with the stock 130 GPH pump upgraded to a 300GPH. That's the only mod. I run two chambers full of LR rubble and chemipure as filter media (THAT STUFF IS GOLD and seems to be the only media that really makes a diffrence) and a peice of floss in the overflow and that is it. My parameters are always at 0 and I have no dead spots and a tank that is great to view from any angle.

 

Patrick

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Wow, Patrick thanks for the response! I'll definitely look into that for now, seeing as how I only have LR right now and I just graduated college so funds are a bit tight so... I will probably still go for the mods later on but for now I may just stick with a similar setup to what you've done.

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