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Ronin859

New 15G Nano Reef

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Ronin859

I just wanted to start a thread to get some recommendations or advice on my upcoming nano tank. I have been watching videos and lurking here for the past month or so planning a 15 gallon nano reef.

 

So far I've got the tank (cheapy trying to cut costs where I can), Kessil A80, a AquaClear 70 (for hob refugium), refractometer, 20 lb of CarribSea Argonite sand, 14lb of Reef Crystals, 12 lbs of dry rock, AquaVitro seed, and 15 gallons of RODI. I also have a 50w Hydor submersible heater on the way as well as a Koralia Nano 425 gph coming.

 

I know a need a thermometer of some kind, I'll probably get a cheap one to throw in the refugium, and testing equipment. I do plan on getting the Hanna checkers, but I'm open to other suggestions. I also just bought some paint and will be painting the back today when I get around to it.

 

My main plan for this tank is growing some Zoas and maybe some Montipora. I'm sure that list will grow. 

 

Oh the wife and the kid want fish too. A Clownfish, or two, and possibly a Goby?

 

Also please excuse the sandwich bags on my RO jugs. I've got proper lids on order from Amazon haha. 

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

2 hours ago, Ronin859 said:

I do plan on getting the Hanna checkers, but I'm open to other suggestions.

I'd get the Hanna ULR Phosphorus Checker (for phosphate).  There are other, as good, budget options for the other kits.  I like Salifert for alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium; however, you won't need these right away.  For the nitrogen cycle, I'd probably just get API ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite kits.

 

2 hours ago, Ronin859 said:

I know a need a thermometer of some kind, I'll probably get a cheap one to throw in the refugium

A temperature controller isn't a bad investment, and can save your tank if your heater gets stuck on.

 

2 hours ago, Ronin859 said:

Oh the wife and the kid want fish too. A Clownfish, or two, and possibly a Goby?

A pair of clownfish and a goby would work well.

 

You might wish to start cycling the dry rock: https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Temperature-Controller-Programmable-ITC-306T/dp/B07PHPSYMN/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2XK6OYDC32BBS&keywords=inkbird+temperature+controller&qid=1561479193&s=gateway&sprefix=inkbird%2Caps%2C181&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1

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Ronin859

Thank you.

 

I was looking at the API kits to start off with. I'd like to start with the Hanna's, but I've already went well over what I planned on spending to get the tank up and running. I did read that the Salifert tests were good as well so I may have to consider those later on.

 

Do you cycle you rock before you add it to the tank? I heard that some dry rock can leach nutrients out of the water and it was good to cure it before adding it to the tank. Also I believe I read somewhere that some dry rock can make your water extremely cloudy and it was good to rinse it thoroughly before adding it. What to do with the rock is probably my biggest unknown at the moment.

 

I didn't even know that the temperature controller was a thing. I'll definitely have to get one of those.

 

 

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seabass
1 hour ago, Ronin859 said:

Do you cycle you rock before you add it to the tank?

You could, but you could cycle it in your tank if you want.  Looks like it'd fit in a 5 gallon bucket.

 

1 hour ago, Ronin859 said:

I heard that some dry rock can leach nutrients out of the water and it was good to cure it before adding it to the tank.

I normally recommend changing out all the water after the cycle has been established.  That should take care of the excess nutrients.

 

1 hour ago, Ronin859 said:

Also I believe I read somewhere that some dry rock can make your water extremely cloudy and it was good to rinse it thoroughly before adding it.

Some rock is cleaner than others, but good idea.

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Clown79

I like the hanna alk and ULR.

For ca,mag, nitrate either salifert or red sea are good options.

 

For cycling I've always used api ammonia.

 

A decent temp controller is the inkbird. Really decently priced and works great. I use the itc308 but they have a new one with plastic probes.

 

For cycling, I've always done it in tank but with dry rock I give them a good wash down, have even soaked them for a few days in rodi/distilled.

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Ronin859

When you wash your rock before cycling the tank do you just run them under tap water?

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ReeferWade
1 minute ago, Ronin859 said:

When you wash your rock before cycling the tank do you just run them under tap water?

No, don't do that. The garbage from the tap water will get trapped in the rock. Use RO water. 

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Clown79
4 minutes ago, Ronin859 said:

When you wash your rock before cycling the tank do you just run them under tap water?

No, I prefer to place them in a bucket with rodi or distilled water. I run a pump in there, helps get rid of dust, dirt, etc.

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Ronin859

Good to know, I appreciate it.

 

Got the tank painted and AquaClear modded today.

 

 

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seabass
36 minutes ago, Ronin859 said:

When you wash your rock before cycling the tank do you just run them under tap water?

Sure, that's fine.  But I wouldn't use tap water for cycling, or even soaking.

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Ronin859

Getting an idea of tank layout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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seabass

Nice!

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Houston(EX)NanoReefer

Salifert test kits are reliable and can be purchased individually, so you only have to buy what you need right now. Hannah checkers are nice, too, but probably not necessary at this stage. I like your rockwork so far. I would definitely recommend getting some sort of epoxy (JB WaterWeld) to keep the rocks in place.

 

Have you got a plan for an ATO yet? Buying used is always a good money saving option, or going the DIY route. I know its a small tank and evap should be minimal, but manually topping off is going to get old, fast.

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Ronin859

Definitely going to get an ato when I can. I was thinking about the AutoAqua Smart ATO. I remember seeing a video where someone hid the sensor behind his oceanbox, which I plan on getting to make the tank look cleaner.

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Jrill

I have the same type of 15 gallon your planning. I think you'll find that light being too dim for much . I run a diffused AI Hydra 26 HD over mine and see around 280 par a couple of inches below the surface. And like I said that's with a diffuser.

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Ronin859

I knew the A80 wasn’t the brightest, but I was hoping it would work for the tank. I was considering the AI Prime HD, but I was trying to save $ where I could.

 

If I have to get a second I think it would work. Or my wife is eyeing a 10G Nuvo and the A80 may end up on it and a Prime HD may find it’s way onto the 15G. 

 

I’ll just have to see how it goes.

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Ronin859

Got water and AquaVitro seed in the tank yesterday. The tank was pretty cloudy for a few hours, but I woke up this morning and it had all settled. I do need to clean the glass though.

 

 

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Natereef

Looking good man. 👍

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Ronin859

It's been a few days since I did an update, but I've been documenting everything that's been going on since my last post, day two of the 7 day AV Seed cycle.

 

June 28th

 

AM-1 1/2 tsp AV Seed added. 1st fish added (Female Ocellaris (Zelda)).

Water at time of acclimation- SG 1.026, Temp 77 f, and pH 8.2

 

PM - Filter leak. I noticed a small crack in my AC70 that was slowly dripping water. Drained the filter and repaired with silicone. Added a new heater Hydor 50w ( I had been using a cheapo Aqueon from Petco) and a Koralia Nano 425.

Water- SG 1.026, Temp 77 f, pH 8.2, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm?(maybe somewhere between 0 and 5ppm?)

 

June 29th 

AM-3/4 tsp AV Seed added.

Water- SG 1.026, Temp 78 f, pH 8.0, Ammonia 0-.25ppm (somewhere in between), Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 5ppm

 

PM-3/4 tsp AV Seed added with Male Ocellaris (Link) as well as a Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Ganon). Both have acclimated well and are eating. Zelda has moved out of her corner and is really exploring the aquarium.

Water at time of acclimation- SG 1.026, Temp 77-78 f, pH 8.2, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 5-10ppm

 

June 30th

AM-3/4 tsp AV Seed added. All fish seem to be doing great and are eating well.

Water- SG 1.026, Temp 78 f, pH 8.0, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 5-10ppm

 

July 1st

No data. Family emergency. 3/4 tsp AV Seed added. Temp is a stable 78 +/- half a degree maybe. I really like the new Hydor heater.

 

July 2nd

AM-3/4 tsp AV Seed added. All fish seem to be doing great and are eating well. Going to get some Mysis Shrimp tonight to change up their diet.

Water- SG 1.027, Temp 78 f, pH 8.0, Ammonia .25-.50ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 5-10ppm

 

So far the tank looks great and everyone seems very happy in their home. Link is odd though. He's constantly looking for food at the surface, but there is nothing there. I'm wondering if he was used to flakes being floated on the surface.  Zelda has no interest in the surface whatsoever. They both came from the same tank.

 

 

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Ronin859

I did my first 20% water change and I’ve decided I need to get a better backup heater and a pump to circulate the water during water changes. It took 24 hrs to get 3 gallons of mix to 77 degrees.

 

I’ve got what I believe to be a diatom bloom. From what I’ve read it’s a good thing and it should pass with time.

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ninjamyst

I love how simple but elegant this build looks!  great job at the scape!

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Ronin859

Thank you. 

 

I’m very happy with how everything is coming along. 

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Ronin859

Diatom definitely bloomed, or I think that’s what it is.

 

Do I need a cuc or will this go away on its own? I read that a couple Trochus Snails would do a pretty good job, but I don’t want them to eat it all and then starve. Would another species be better for my situation?

 

I appreciate any advice.

 

 

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seabass

Yeah, diatoms.  I wouldn't worry about it too much.  You could get some omnivores for a cleanup crew if you wish.  IDK, maybe something like dwarf blue leg hermits and/or cerith snails.

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billygoat

Some people think Cerith snails are lazy, but I personally have had good experiences with them and recommend them as the core of your clean-up crew. Their metabolism seems to be slower than that of faster-moving herbivorous snails like Trochus, Turbo, etc., which means they have an easier time surviving once your algae bloom crashes and food is no longer as abundant. They spend at least half of their time buried under the sandbed (or in the case of dwarf Ceriths, sometimes also hanging on the glass up near the waterline), which also helps to turn over the substrate and keep the top of it aerated, at least a little.

 

The diatoms will probably also crash on their own though, so if you prefer to not bother getting some cleaners you could probably get away with waiting on them for now.

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