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Hi everyone, I have been posting sporadically on here asking question regarding my tank build but here is my official build thread! A little background, this will be my first attempt at my own reef tank but my parents have had one for years. I just finished graduate school a couple months ago and decided to take the plunge and get into reefing myself! My equipment list is as follows:

  • IM Fusion 20 Gallon
  • Custom Stand (still being made, counter-top will suffice for the cycle)
  • Nanobox Duo plus M (waiting to receive, cycle will run without light on anyway)
  • Sicce Syncra Silent 1.5
  • 100W heater
  • IM Custom Caddy
  • IM Spinstreams x2 (arriving today)
  • 15lbs Pukani Live Rock
  • 20lbs CaribSea Special grade sand

I do not want to run a skimmer on this tank so I am still trying to decide what to do with the two inner chambers. I plan to eventually run chemipure blue and carbon in the custom caddy along with  fliter floss. I will probably be purchasing another caddie and place filter floss and marine pure spheres in it for more biological filtration. I am also contemplating plumbing an algae reactor in my stand for nutrient export (pump in one of the two internal chambers) but that is still up in the air. Any thoughts on what I should put in the last chamber? I still have lots of rock work to do but I was trying to get everything setup and running last night and this is where I ended up.

 

Before Water

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Just Filled

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After some rock work

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Like I said I am sure I will move the scape around a million times before I am settled on something I really like but I appreciate all thoughts and suggestions!!

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Looks like you are off to a great start. Your equipment is sick and your rocks will look amazing in your tank. I like the idea of having two columns in the tank being the shape it is, like two mini-bommies. I might just use the smaller pieces of rock to better support to two larger ones at the base and have two prominent features.

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15 minutes ago, JTumbleweed said:

Looks like you are off to a great start. Your equipment is sick and your rocks will look amazing in your tank. I like the idea of having two columns in the tank being the shape it is, like two mini-bommies. I might just use the smaller pieces of rock to better support to two larger ones at the base and have two prominent features.

Thanks! I cant wait for the light and stand to come in and really get an idea of how the whole system will look. And I am using Uwdanno's tank for inspiration on the scape, his tank is absolutely incredible. Im sure this weekend I will be moving the rocks around all over the place... haha

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Forgot to mention I also have a Tunze nano ATO for the system

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Really nice looking tank. I really want a nano box light since I’ve been hearing really good things about them. Keep the updates coming. Looking forward to see this tank!

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21 minutes ago, RocketClownfish said:

Really nice looking tank. I really want a nano box light since I’ve been hearing really good things about them. Keep this updates coming. Looking forward to see this tank!

Thanks for the kind words! I decided to go with the Nanobox after reading a lot of positive reviews. I was between the AI hydra 26 and the nanobox. I really love the sleek nature of it and Dave has been great answering all of my questions. I will let you know how it turns out! 

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Everything looks great.

 

If you run chemipure, there's no need for carbon. It's the same thing.

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Looking good!  I hear you on the rock scape....I feel the urge to change mine....weekly....😀

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I think I rescaped 6 times but now livestock is going in so I'm going to have to stop. Those look like nice rocks. I can see little fish hiding in all the holes. Is it pukani? I ordered pukani but wasn't as nice.

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Looks great! Following along. :)

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7 hours ago, RocketClownfish said:

Did you rinse the sand before putting in the tank?

I did not, from what I’ve read it seems like some people do and some don’t. If I rinse the sand isn’t that taking away from the purpose of the “live” sand by taking out the beneficial bacteria? It does cloud up a lot when I’moving my rock around though right now... 

3 hours ago, NanoTrav said:

I think I rescaped 6 times but now livestock is going in so I'm going to have to stop. Those look like nice rocks. I can see little fish hiding in all the holes. Is it pukani? I ordered pukani but wasn't as nice.

It is pukani, my lfs has a lot of nice peices so I got lucky! 

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So I think I have come to a aquascape I am happy with.... for now. It is pretty open and spacious but I want to make sure that I leave enough room to allow corals to properly grow out and for fish to swim. The left rock structure on the left goes about 2/3 of the way up the water level while the rock on the right goes up about 1/2 way. I am not sure how high the rock structures should go, I want to grow a variety of corals including some SPS. I will be running the NanoBox Duo so I think I should be able to get high intensity on either but let me know your thoughts on if I should go higher or lower! 

 

Tank.jpg.91c46bc06136de5db2470386763461da.jpg

 

I added in the Sicce 1.5 and that pump is great! Extremely quit and much better flow then the stock pump. I also added two spinstreams and they make a huge difference in tank flow. Still waiting on my NanoBox Duo and tank stand but I am in no rush, the tank hasnt even been cycling for a week yet so there is time to wait! All thoughts, concerns, suggestions are appreciated!

 

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Nice setup! I Just setup an IM10 and started my cycle right around the same time you did. Tagging along to watch the progress. I like your scape... the Pukani looks awesome.  I was hoping to get the Nano box light as well.

 

Did you decide what you were going to put in the other overflow chamber? I decided to put seachem matrix under filter floss to hopefully add more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow since my scape isn’t packed with rock. 

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51 minutes ago, Kdrof said:

Nice setup! I Just setup an IM10 and started my cycle right around the same time you did. Tagging along to watch the progress. I like your scape... the Pukani looks awesome.  I was hoping to get the Nano box light as well.

 

Did you decide what you were going to put in the other overflow chamber? I decided to put seachem matrix under filter floss to hopefully add more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow since my scape isn’t packed with rock. 

I haven't decided yet, Right now I am actually just running the two filter socks that come with the tank. I do have one of the custom caddies but I have to go to my LFS to get some filter floss. I am leaning towards eventually running two caddies, one with filter floss and marine pure spheres and the other with filter floss and chemical filtration. The next two chambers are really up for grabs, right now one of them is full of pukani rubble from when I finished my scape, the other is completely empty. I am thinking about putting a pump in that chamber and running a line to an algae reactor that I would put in my stand but I am still not sure. Like you I enjoy the minimalist scape so any ways to remove organic waste will be beneficial

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I am pretty sure the sand he bought says 'do not rinse' right on it.

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33 minutes ago, CeresReef said:

I am pretty sure the sand he bought says 'do not rinse' right on it.

I did not look at the bag specifically, my LFS told me to just take from the bag and put directly into the tank. There was some silt and clouding initially but it has been a week now and after moving the sand bed around alot over this past week with the aquaacape I have had no issue of the sand bed clouding the water or anything anymore, so all is good!

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51 minutes ago, CeresReef said:

I am pretty sure the sand he bought says 'do not rinse' right on it.

It does say that. On the other hand rinsing will not affect the bacteria in any way that will be noticed. 

Edit to add: Rinsing the sand is also a great way to prevent or greatly reduce the initial diatom bloom people see in new tanks. 

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Good to know!  I get my sand this Friday.

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Hi everyone, I was just thinking about my system and trying to make it as automated as possible and was thinking about water changes and was wondering if I could just purchase a second ATO system (using Tunze Nano ATO currently) and use that to pump fresh saltwater into my system instead of having to pour buckets and everything. I was thinking about placing the switch at the exact height of the RODI ATO switch and just leaving it unplugged/off until I do my water changes, and then after the water is drained I could plug it in and replenish the exact amount of water that I drained out. I hope this makes sense, would this work? Obviously my regular ATO would have to be turned off during the water change as well.

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18 minutes ago, Zach W said:

Hi everyone, I was just thinking about my system and trying to make it as automated as possible and was thinking about water changes and was wondering if I could just purchase a second ATO system (using Tunze Nano ATO currently) and use that to pump fresh saltwater into my system instead of having to pour buckets and everything. I was thinking about placing the switch at the exact height of the RODI ATO switch and just leaving it unplugged/off until I do my water changes, and then after the water is drained I could plug it in and replenish the exact amount of water that I drained out. I hope this makes sense, would this work? Obviously my regular ATO would have to be turned off during the water change as well.

I thought mixed saltwater is only good for a day or two after being mixed? Unless you plan on having a water pump inside circulating the water constantly. If you don’t want to pour buckets, buy a second cheap water pump and then buy some cheap return hose for it to reach you tank. Put the pump in the freshly mixed saltwater and then put the hose in the tank. It’s not really ‘automated’ but it’s certainly easier. 

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1 hour ago, RocketClownfish said:

I thought mixed saltwater is only good for a day or two after being mixed? Unless you plan on having a water pump inside circulating the water constantly. If you don’t want to pour buckets, buy a second cheap water pump and then buy some cheap return hose for it to reach you tank. Put the pump in the freshly mixed saltwater and then put the hose in the tank. It’s not really ‘automated’ but it’s certainly easier. 

This was my main concern, I know at high salinity and fluctuating temps you can have the salt to crystallize out of your solution. At the proper salinity and a controlled temperature I was not sure if that would happen without any water motion though. 

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Well it turns out my Tunze Nano ATO 3152 doesn't work... I set everything up and plugged it into the outlet and nothing. I checked and rechecked the connections and still no luck. After a little online troubleshooting I found a 9V battery and disconnected the pumps wires from the controller and touched them directly onto the battery and the pump turned right on. The controller unit must be bad I am thinking. Has anyone else had any issues with this ATO?

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Just a quick update, I contacted Tunze and they sent me out a new controller asap and rushed the shipping and my ATO is now working, great customer service!

 

Also, my tank has been cycling for 2 weeks today, started with ~14lbs of live pukani and live sand. Checked my parameters today and I am at:

Ammonia- 0

Nitrite- 0.05

Nitrate- 40

KH- 6

pH- 8.2 

Salinity- 30ppt

Temp- 78

 

It seems like my KH and Salinity are low, I am thinking when I do a big water change that will help bring both up though, any thoughts on this? Also, based on these numbers I think my tank is cycled but Im not totally sure, I have been dosing ammonia and have seen my levels of Ammonia and Nitirite drop over these two weeks. For reference I dosed ammonia to 2 on Monday and then I have been away until today and when I checked it was at 0. I know I should do a big water change after the cycle is done to bring down my nitrates but want to make sure my cycle is done before I do that. 

 

If my cycle is done, should I add a CUC now? I don't have any algae in the tank so I am not sure what they would eat. I also don't have my light yet but it will hopefully be in anytime... @DaveFason haha. Does the CUC need a light? Or should I start with fish, I am planning on a goby and pistol shrimp pair, and 2 clowns. Thanks everyone for the help!

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