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New to nano-reef (zero experience)


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Hello. I wanted to post my pics of my 1st ever aquarium; which happens to be a 12 g JBJ nanocube. The 1st picture is from 9/1/04 when my temp became stable at 78-79 degrees. Live rock was added this day. 2nd picture is from today (9/5/04). Here is some data:

Nano first setup and checked for leaks on 8/31/04. heater installed. timer installed. mercury based thermometer installed. RO water added with live sand. LR added on 9/1/04. 2 stones are Fiji, 1 stone Marshall Island.


Sep. 2nd, 2004 8:29 pm

Nano setup. 13.2 lbs of aragonite live sand. 13 lbs of live rock. temperature 78 degrees.


sp. gravity 1.022

Nitrate < 10 ppm (trace pink)

Ammonia < .025 ppm (no color)

Nitrite < .1 ppm (maybe a hint of color)

pH 8.4 with phenol red test


Amphipod (sp!) activity noted today. Moonlight DIY installed.


September 3rd, 2004

added distilled H20 to account for evaporation.


September 5th, 2004 7:53 pm

temp. 79 degrees

sp. gravity 1.021

Nitrate <10 ppm (trace pink)

Ammonia .025 ppm

Nitrite < .1 ppm (almost completely clear)

pH 8.2 - 8.3 (test does not have good specificity) 8.25

new activity noted. small slug-like creatures are numerous as well as amphipod activity. one semi large (1/2 inch) slug noted today. some plant growth on 2 Fiji Rocks, no plant growth noted on Marshall Island rock. algae growth noted on all LR.


No real spike noted as of yet, but I am planning to be very patient in order to do it right. I am planning for cycling to take between 4 and 8 weeks. I have decided to not add any carcus/chemical to my reef to speed bacteria population.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Sorry, I'm not sure how to get my photos properly formatted for easy viewing on the server. I'll work on it. X)


They are in my gallery, though. It's just when I post them in the thread, they're huge and require a lot of scrolling.:(

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Hi Chad,


take the pictures in 640x480 that usually helps the size. Also, if you need to cut, crop or resize. There is a free program that is out there that works well. It's called IrfanView. Just type that into any search engine to find it.


Good Luck with your project, I'll be watching to see how it goes...





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Thanks, I had no idea. LFS told me 1.022, so I thought I was doing good. Would a good way to bring it up be to add my pre mixed RO saltwater to account for evaporation instead of distilled freshwater? That should bring it up after a few days, right?

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yes, you can top off with sw to bring up sg. why would you listen to lfs? haven't you read here about the bad advice they continuously give nanoreefers.

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Originally posted by EtOH_is_good

yes, you can top off with sw to bring up sg.  why would you listen to lfs?   haven't you read here about the bad advice they continuously give nanoreefers.


Well, that is being harsh. LFS do sometimes have knowledgable and helpful employees (albeit rare in some areas).

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Being new to the hobby, I guess sometimes it's hard to decipher what is good or bad advice. But thanks a lot for the tips. I definitely want to have a complete reef with featherdusters and other invertebrates. I had read that the bubble tip anemone would be a great clown hosting species to try as well. But after reading one of the FAQ's I found on here, it has about scared me away from attempting that too soon. I wouldn't wanna be pulling out a dead anemone 4 or 5 months from now because of my inexperience. :D

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okay, so i over generalized about bad lfs advice, but most ppl have to say that their lfs has tons of experience before they accept their advice as gospel.

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no disadvantage to putting heater in the back. as long as your power head is running, and flow is being passed through, your heater will still retain it's original function of heating up the water :)

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Hello everyone, Just wanted to update you on my saltwater disaster. ;) I am aware of my sp. gr. being too low. Have been topping off with RO saltwater from LFS, but having problems getting it to raise much above 1.022. I am getting a little frustrated because I really thought I would be seeing more action by now in terms of ammonia production. My wife hates my nano and can't see any good in it, so I guess I'm getting a little impatient to get it going to prove to her it will be nice. :blush: How am I doing? Please hit me with any suggestions. Thanks!!!


Below are my journal entries:


September 8th, 2004

added 7 more lbs of LR. This LR looks much better than previous live rock with abundant plant life to hopefully initiate nitrogen cycle.


September 13th, 2004

temp. 78 degrees

sp. gravity 1.022 (hydrometer seems imprecise today)

Nitrate <10 ppm (trace pink)

Ammonia <.025 ppm (trace color)

Nitrite < .1 ppm (trace color)

pH 8.3

noticing some brown algae growth on sand bed and on magnetic algae cleaner.




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You are running through the cycle. Your using cured live rock right? If so the cycle won't be so noticable. I would expect ammonia to max out below .5 . You could add some fish food to help boost the cycle, but it has already started. Your pods will appreciate some food, and you will get to know how fast your system is processing the ammonia>nitrite>nitrate.

Also, plants will not initiate the nitrogen cycle unless they die. Plants do absorb Nitrate though.


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oh. So if I am not going to see a well-defined cycle, is it safe to assume that adding a clean up crew would be ok fairly soon? (based on the fact I'm getting some macro algae growth)


Footbag, Yes, you were right: all cured liverock. I guess that would be a good experiment for me to add some food and to determine the actual speed of my NH4 NO3 NO2 cycle. Thanks again.

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