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New Caledonia - 8g

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Since this is my first post, I will first say Hello to the community!


Although I'm not new to aquariums (have 3 planted nanos, 2g, 5g and 8g with fertilizing, pressurized CO2 and etc) I've decided to step into the salt water thing.


I'm from Europe, and I manage to get my hands on a Dennerle Nano Marinus 30L (8g) kit.

The kit included:

1) 4kg (9 pounds) of sand

2) 24W light (an all in one lamp, 3 small neons are white and 1 is blue).

3) some reef trace elements and shrimp food sample and so on.

4) desimeter and salt.

5) the Dennerle BioFilter 4 in 1 which is just an internal pump with sponge + a sourface skimmer.


They recommanded 2 startup methods:

1) either start with live sand (discarding the one in the pack), live rock and real sea water - faster method.

2) start with provided sand + RO water + provided salt, wait a week, add Live Rock, wait more weeks and so on.


I've decided to take a shortcut and I started with method 2 but with a twist. I added a fistfull of live sand I got from the LFS, and without waiting a week, I also added 4kg (9 pounds) of LR. 6 hours per day of light.

The Live Rock was not from an established aquarium, but the LFS kept it in something like a wide 'tub' with lots of water running over them and under poor light. I guess for all the hitchhikers to die ? It has coraline alge on it though.

The live sand (small quantity, maybe 200 grams ?) was from their display tank for corals.


It's been going for few days, here are some pics:












For now I've made some beginner mistakes:

1) no bacteria put in yet.

2) don't know if I made the right choice putting a dead blood worm (I have some frozen food for my fishes in the planted tanks, so I put a dead worm to rot and help existing bacteria to grow). However, the worm is still in there after 2 days (lost some of its red color though) so I concluded that maybe the live rock is free of bristle worms which would have exited to consume it.


I'm learning though and will read lots of posts from the boards.. (I've already read the articles before buying).

Edited by viulian

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Not using bacteria isn't a beginner mistake. Just let it cycle like normal and you'll be fine.

You can probably pull that blood worm out if it's still there. Once your ammonia and nitrites are down to 0, do a wc and you can slowly start stocking.


What do you want to stock it as?

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asting is right. Also being that you seeded you sand bed and have LR in there you should be good within a week to two. Just be sure you params. Are stable.

Edited by Jai1985

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Thank you for the reply guys :) I guess I was lucky to be allowed which rocks I want and I tried to arrange them more or less before buying them.


Today I came home, and the white stone I knew started to change color, the part closest to light has the strongest brown coloration:




(I know they are supposed to be diatoms - the manual warns me of this).


Took some mesurements:

PH: 8

KH: 9

No2: 0.5

No3: 10

GH: >15


I will measure again in few days. I forgot to mention that I used tap water instead of RO (although I got a small RO unit, I did not got around to install it and since I was impatient to get it going - I just used declorinated tap water and will gradually switch to RO).


What do you want to stock it as?


Initially I wanted to have 2 false percs and 1 damsel - but I got a tip that I should go for 1 false perc, 1 yellow watchman-goby, a shrimp and a cleaner. I don't really care which ones beside the false perc - so I'm open to suggestions :) the more colors the better.


About the corals - I read the article that anemones are forbidden. I will stay away as they grow really big it seems. Ok no anemone.

I would like to have: Euphyllia ancora - which I read about, and I saw other interesting corals (ones that move periodically and seem to 'gulp' the water :D but can't find the name now) but no other ideas. I would like green and blue and red and yellow. Worms also..


I know the rules to stock slowly (just as for planted aquariums, to allow bacteria to adjust to new stock levels without creating spikes so no rush with stocking now). Just reading and trying to remember all.

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A short video I recorded (then sped up by a factor of 20) of one of my Plate Corals (Fungia Sp) while opening to eat. I recommend watching it full screen @720p


Edited by viulian

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Time for an update :) so here are some shots of the aquarium:


Front view:




And from left to right:









a) orchid dottyback + 2 false percula (paired) + yellow watchman goby + blue yellow tail damsel



a) Torch coral, Sun coral, 2 x Chili coral, Stylophora Pistillata, Platygyra sp., 2 x Fungia Plates, Zoas and Alveopora, Xenia.



a) No sump, Eheim Ecco Pro 200 with 1L Eheim Substrat Pro and approx. 300ml Rowa Phos, 200 ml Purigen and 400 ml Carbon.

I clean it every two weeks when I exchange prefilter as well as the white pad.

B) AquaMedic NR400 nitrat reactor without mv controller / probe set to about 1-2 drops per second (mainly according to opinions of people running them with the controllers).


I feed filter feed food, frozen marine mix, flakes and once a week live artemia - also I add JBL KorallFluid (vitamins). Frozen food gets soaked in Seachem Garlic Guard.

Every water change (RO) I also add bacteries and reef elements - trace and minerals - bith from Dennerle.



a) Salinity 1026-1027 (refractometer)

B) 26 Celsius

c) kH 7

d) Po4 not detectable with test kits

e) No3 between 5 and 10.


No more stocking from now on, I am investigation for a better light.

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