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5g ADA Rimless - 24 Months in

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Hello Everyone.

Longtime FW hobbyist - first time Reefer... I originally bought this tank to upgrade my 3g FW nano, but when I found I would need to buy a new light, I decided this would be my foray into SW Reef. I know a 5g is not the ideal size for a beginner, but I have been keeping FW tanks for almost 20 years, and recently got into the high end of th FW hobby. Here are my current tanks:





I do 75% weekly water changes on all my FW tanks, so doing frequent and large water changes for this little thing should be no sweat. I have purchased 2 tiny Tunze powerheads, a digital thermometer and a 70w HQI HM pendant for this setup. The idea is sleek, modern, and minimalist.

So here is what I have so far:

I went out and bought a $50 side table from Target:


Measured everything out and drilled a couple of holes - one for the light pole and one for the electrical wires:


Seems that this little thing is made out of a cousin of cardboard and hollow in the middle (I guess they don't make furniture like they used to). I was concerned that with the weight of the tank, these holes may have compromised this little table's ability to hold. In the doubt, I just cut some pieces of PVC and glued them in as reinforcement around where the tank would be.



I also used a piece of PVC for the pole hole.


Next, I bent a 3/4" EMT pipe and cut to length. Drilled holes and sprayed with a black Lacquer and mounted against an extra piece of pine underneath the desk:


The hanging kit wires were cut to a closer size (still awaiting final trim) and the light was hung. I used velcro straps to hod the wire against the backside of the pole (out of sight):


Pushed a rubber cap onto the end of the EMT and the pole was complete:


After that, I cut out a piece of cupboard liner as a pressure pad underneath the tank and positioned the tank on the table:


And here is what I have so far:




Last piece is a 1 1/2" Grommet for the wire hole - which is in the mail. Oh and perhaps a power strip mount on the back of the table.

I am out of town all next week and plan on filling with LS and LR when I return. I have been reading up on all kinds of coral, but am still undecided on what exactly will be going in the tank once it is cycled... I want bright and colorful. Suggestions are welcome

Edited by dapellegrini

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This is a great start!


You should run a canister filter on that and add an inline heater to keep most of the equipmet out of the tank.


Get a large enough one and you could ditch the powerheads.


Oh and I would make a space on the bookshelf for the ballist being as your whole setup looks so clean. Looks kinda tacky where it is now

Edited by Prowland

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I was originally thinking about doing an Eheim Ecco - but was told on another SW forum that canisters are "Nitrate Factories" and with a tank this size and frequent water changes - 25%-50% a week - that I wouldn't need a canister...

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I know a few people have used them with success but they do not run the standard media in them. Most replace the media with live rock rubble.


Some have gone as far as making a refugium out of them.

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i like your f/w tanks, especially the rimless. Is that a 72 bowfront in the second picture? I noticed kind of a confusing trend in your f/w planted tanks though... no fish? How do you get such good growth and coverage with no nitrates, especially since you do so many water changes? Co2 injection? and supplements?

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Yes that is a 72-bowfront. There are tons of fish, shrimp and snails in all of my tanks - just the smaller kind. Look close and you should see some. If not, you can see some of my fish in this thread I did on cheap camera :photography




On my FW setups I dose Nitrates (20ppm), Phosphate (2ppm), Potassium and Iron (.1ppm) every day with a large water change at the end of the week to reset everything. I also use pressurize CO2 injection to maintain CO2 above 30ppm. Plant grow like mad and the fish are very happy. Most of the FW critters I have are rare or unheard of in the generic FW hobby.

Edited by dapellegrini

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Those FW tanks are gorgeous. I have a 90g planted tank back home with pressurized CO2 and mh, but it isn't anything like those...wow.


I also really like the clean look of your new tank. There's nothing more difficult that holding onto the clean look in reefing, so much hardware you want to add, Good luck, you look like you definitely know what your doing.

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Dwarf puffers, twig catfish, and cherry shrimp. My three favorites and the main occupants of my tank at home. Good taste.


Is that glosso in the first pic?

y favorite plant. I miss FW.

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great tanks.


see this link for an example of a nano reef on a canister filter, stunning!




remember his 3 components for the filter, dinitrate, p04 remover and carbon.


i modeled this method on an old tank of mine and came up with this...




then moved to softies...




the advantage of a canister as already stated is minimal equipment, something i think you can relate to :)

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If/when I do use a canister, I will probably get a slightly larger tank and have it drilled (12 or 14 inch cube). For now I am hoping I can get this working with a power head and weekly water changes...


Anyone know of an easier version of sun polyps? I love that orange color, but don't want to have to feed anything for now...

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Wow. Gorgeous freshwater set-up. What are the small plants growing on the substrate in the first pic? Some kind of cress? What type of rock is that?




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dapellegrini, are you too good for old planted tank friends now that you are venturing into reef-dom ;-)?



Tanks are looking beautimus. I gotta post some pics of my ADA and the tang tank.

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Thanks for all the nice comments on the FW tanks... The ground cover in the first tank is HC (Hemianthus callitrichoides ''Cuba'') not Glossostigma elatinoides - which I found to be too invasive. The rock is Chinese Seiryu Stone.


What kind of live rock should I look for? Any good sites / photos for hardscape inspiration? It doesn't seem that as much thought is put into layout in SW tanks ??? For example, here is a good FW aquascape gallery:




Can anyone point me to something similar for SW Reef?

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Hey CatDrool - :) interesting to cross folks on both sides of the hobby... Ever since I saw my uncle's reef tank back in 1982 I have wanted to do one (I was 5 then)... While I believe I have a handle on the hardware setup of even the most complex Reef tank (stuff I will not be using on this setup - calcium reactors, O3, etc), I find the creature/compatibility learning curve quite steep.

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Check out Duncans Singapore Green tank. Proof you dont need to have any filtration if youre dedicated enough to water changes and use good cured live rock. That would definitely help keep the clean look on this tank.

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I have 2 "Tunze Universal pump Mini 5024.04":




and a "Micro-Jet 320 Mini-Pump":




to play around with for flow.


I also have a Coralife digital thermometer that I may use:




and am considering getting a 50w Azoo Titanium Heater (only 5.5 inches long):




Of course I want as little as possible in the tank, so we will see how this all works out. Once I have the LS/LR I will be in a better position to decide what I might use and where.

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Where did you buy the 3/4" EMT Pipe? Is this something that you can at Home Depot?



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I love my tunze mini... it puts just the right amount of flow where needed and it is so slim.


Make sure an peel that stupid silver tag off of it before putting it into your tank.


Just go to the pico section and look around at those tanks for insperation.

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They sell EMT at Home Depot or Lowes. It stands for Electrical Metal Tubing. Then get yourself a can (or two) or Rusts-o-leum Lacquer. Works great. This is the second light mount I have done like this. The first was a bumpy road, and if you are going to try it, you might glean some information from my first attempt, here:


http://aape.naturalaquariums.com/forum/ind...hp?topic=1522.0 (there are 3 pages)

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