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Chicago Nano Guy

Time to Get Back In

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Chicago Nano Guy

Hello Everyone ,


My name is James and I am finally dipping my toe back into the world of saltwater aquariums. A little about me,Im an old school reefer who had to take a break for the last 6 years, for you youngsters out there that break coincides with children, life, and definitely money. If you don't marry a woman that loves fish tanks prepare yourself!!!Anyway to keep the costs down and in order to get my kids addicted to the hobby which down the road will allow me to upsize to a larger tank again because wives always caves to the kids. I know genius right, anyway, Im gonna start with an all in one nano.


I used to have a JBJ nano cube back when they first came out so long ago that we had to mod an overflow out of a tape cassette  case.....Anyone remember that? Well obviously times have changed and now there are open top all in one aquariums everywhere. So I knew I needed to come back to the forum and ask the people in the know in 2018-19 what the deal is . So thanks to everyone in advance. 


Chemistry, water, dosing , etc, Im familiar with, Im also lucky enough that I can literally see a saltwater aquarium store from my house so water changes will be a snap as they sell predosed (not a real word) RO water both mixed and fresh for top off ! My thinking is doing a 20% water change every two weeks while topping off with fresh RO water as needed . I will also be setting up an auto top off system to be used when we travel as a family. 


So lets get to the questions :




-Which brand? I have been looking at the WaterBox 10 or 15 system they use starphire glass and the corners are almost seamless, but I am open to opinion so please share your thoughts and experiences with the newer all in ones out there because nothing is better then a first hand review.






-I don't want a powerhead in the tank I don't like the way they look in such small spaces but I will need increased flow for the corals I plan to keep. Almost everything I have read says most allow for a larger pump to maximize the flow so again does anyone have opinions I what the best tank with pump upgrade combo? I plan to keep SPS and Zoos only so water flow is something I harp on and will be taken into account for the decision on the set up.




Obviously more affordable LED lighting is something that has changed significantly during my absence. I have done the research and Im leaning toward the 

Prime HD plus system, I like the wifi setup for programmable daily light cycles. If this technology is available for cheaper on a different light I'm all ears. 




Heater :How many WATTS ?



I see your filter socks, carbon, bioballs etc.....but seems to me other then the sock and carbon the rest of the space should be used as a mini refugium or at minimum filled with small pieces of live rock and maybe some macro algae. Anyone try this ? 



So this build will start to be collected and setup sometime around the second week of January. Maybe I should take up a vote on

1. Choice of tank ?

2. Pump brand and size?

3. Lighting? 

4. Heater 



I know it might seem like you are doing all the research for me and you are, but I want to do this tank right the first time and luckily financially I am able too.

 I am also only going to stock the tank with high high quality corals and fish. I am going to try to work something out with the fish shop owner (since I will be spending lots of money with him) that he lets me know when the shipments come in and I can be the first one there being Im so close. I will also ask him to keep an eye out for anything awesome he sees while unpacking and set it aside for me because I'm good for the cash same day or he can sell it to someone else. So Im going to go with only the most colorful SPS frags I can find and zoas that a pop. Thanks for the replies can't wait to finally decide on the perfect tank light combo.


Peace and Love














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