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M&C 20G Red Sea Max Nano - clownfish success!

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M&C

Hello Nano-Reef! I've been waiting a while to get back into the hobby after breaking down this pico reef build due to frequent moves for school and work. Now that we're more settled in one place, my wife and I have decided to start up a new reef and bought ourselves a Red Sea Max Nano.

 

Livestock plans are pretty set in stone at this point:

  • Mixed SPS/LPS
  • Fish
    • Ocellaris clownfish pair 
    • Helfrichi firefish or a springer's damsel
    • Yellow watchman goby
    • Pink streaked wrasse 

FTS: 8/25/19

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Table of Contents:

Equipment:

  • Tank: 20G Red Sea Max Nano
  • Lighting: AI Prime HD, LED diffuser
  • Filtration: stock protein skimmer
  • Heater: 75W Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm, Inkbird Temperature Controller
  • Flow: MP10, stock return pump
  • ATO: Tunze Osmolator
  • Salt: Red Sea Coral Pro
  • Media: BRS carbon

Rock & Substrate:

  • ~15lb BRS Reef Saver Rock, ~3lb KP Aquatics Uncured Live Rock
  • 15lb Caribsea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand

Maintenance:

  • 10 gallon water change weekly
  • Replace filter sock and filter floss weekly
  • Replace carbon monthly

Feeding:

  • Hikari pellets daily
  • BRS reef chili + Reef Roids every other day
  • Frozen mysis weekly

Fish:

  • Pink-streaked wrasse
  • Black and orange ocellaris clownfish pair

Invertebrates:

  • Cerith and dwarf cerith snails
  • Nerite snails
  • Nassarius snails
  • Banded trochus snails
  • Scarlet cleaner shrimp
  • 2 blue porcelain crabs

Corals:

  • SPS
    • Red montipora capricornis
    • Red montipora setosa
    • Bubblegum montipora digitata
  • LPS
    • Fluorescent tip purple torch
    • Peach/pink hammer 
    • Purple tip green frogspawn
    • Jack-o-lantern leptoseris
    • Green duncan 
    • Brown/green candy cane
    • Dragon soul favia
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M&C

The tank was started on 7/23/19. We decided to go with a mix of dry rock and live rock as a way to hopefully reap the benefits of both while avoiding the biggest drawbacks. By starting with a dry rock foundation, we were able to take our time building an aquascape we really liked. And by using a few smaller pieces of live rock from KP Aquatics, we are hopefully able to avoid the unwanted hitchhikers while introducing some much needed biodiversity into the tank. 

 

FTS 7/24/19:

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As a side note, I can't speak highly enough of KP Aquatics. I've ordered from them a few times in the past and have always had a great experience. This was my first time ordering live rock from them and I was really impressed. The rock was very light and porous, and came loaded with various algae, coralline, and sponges. No bad hitchhikers seen yet. Here's a close up:

 

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Mike P
33 minutes ago, M&C said:

Hello Nano-Reef! I've been waiting a while to get back into the hobby after breaking down this awesome pico reef due to frequent moves for school and work. Now that we're more settled in one place, my wife and I have decided to start up a new reef and bought ourselves a Red Sea Max Nano.

 

Plans for the tank are still developing, but so far we're thinking:

  • Buy a new camera because these pictures are pretty bad 😁
  • Probably mixed SPS/LPS
  • Clownfish pair, neon goby pair, yellow watchman goby, and a royal gramma or a candy basslet if I can convince my wife it's okay to spend $700 on a fish 😅

 

FTS: 7/24/19

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Equipment:

  • Tank: 20G Red Sea Max Nano
  • Lighting: AI Prime HD
  • Skimmer: stock skimmer
  • Heater: 75W Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm
  • Flow: Hydor Koralia 425gph (upgrading to a VorTech MP10 soon), stock return pump
  • ATO: Tunze Osmolator
  • Salt: Red Sea Coral Pro

Rock & Substrate:

  • 15lb BRS Reef Saver Rock, 3lb KP Aquatics Uncured Live Rock
  • 15lb Carabsea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand

Maintenance:

  • N/A - cycling

Fish:

  • None

Invertebrates:

  • None

Corals:

  • None

:welcome: Looks good and your plans for this build sound good. Looking forward to seeing how your tank turns out. I’m in the slow process of getting a reefer 170 going and transferring my EVO 12 to the new build.

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DutchNanoReefer88

Good quality live rock always is a pleasure to look at, even if not much else is happening in the tank. 🙂 

Good looking so far!

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M&C
11 hours ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

Good quality live rock always is a pleasure to look at, even if not much else is happening in the tank. 🙂 

Good looking so far!

I'm glad someone else thinks it's nice to look at! I always wondered what people outside the hobby would think if they saw me staring at rocks for an hour every few nights haha. 

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M&C

Just a quick update, it looks like the cycle is on its way to being done! I can see diatoms on the sand bed and lots of life coming out of the rocks - worms, brittle stars, feather dusters, and sponges to name a few. Ammonia is at 0, but the nitrates are also still at 0 so it probably still has a few days. Either way that was pretty quick! As long as things look good by early next week I'll be ordering a clean up crew from reefcleaners. 

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M&C

Managed to snag this little guy off the Diver's Den earlier tonight :ninja:

 

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Snow_Phoenix
4 minutes ago, M&C said:

Managed to snag this little guy off the Diver's Den earlier tonight :ninja:

 

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I was just showing this fish to my parents earlier this morning. 😊

 

I already have a pink streak in my reef and she's amazing. 

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M&C
4 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I was just showing this fish to my parents earlier this morning. 😊

 

I already have a pink streak in my reef and she's amazing. 

This will be our first one but from everything we've heard they are great little fish. Maybe a little shy at first, but once they're comfortable they show a ton of personality. Can't wait!

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M&C

A few updates for anyone following:

  • Our pink-streaked wrasse hides out in the rocks most days so we haven't seen much of him outside of feeding time. He's eating well and appears healthy, just cautious for now. No good pictures yet. Hopefully he gets more comfortable as new things are added to the tank.
  • Picked up our first coral from the LFS today. Fluorescent tip torch looking pretty! By the way, a set of cheap orange and yellow iPhone camera filters has really upped our picture quality. Highly recommended if you're not ready to commit to an expensive camera. 

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M&C

Fish sighting! We decided on a Moana Lord of the Rings theme for our fish names, so here's Pua Pippin.

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Torch is about twice the size it was yesterday!

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Updated 8/17/19 FTS:

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DutchNanoReefer88

Such a cute fish! One day I´m going to make a Wetmorella-only tank (I know the one you have isn't a Wetmorella 😉).

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M&C
10 hours ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

Such a cute fish! One day I´m going to make a Wetmorella-only tank (I know the one you have isn't a Wetmorella 😉).

I've heard those are pretty great fish too! Similar to the pink-streaked wrasse in terms of temperament. We love ours so far, he's coming out from the rocks more frequently the past few days.

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M&C

Pippin out for a stroll, he spends most of his time outside the rocks now.

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Our euphyllia collection coming together nicely. Picked up a peach hammer and purple tip green frogspawn from our LFS the other day. We wanted a decent set of attractive housing options available for our clownfish pair which we plan to order soon. We never did find a true designer pattern we liked and opted for a back/white and natural orange pair.

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Here are a few macro shots:

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Torch coral looking pretty on it's rock. 

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Scarlet cleaner making an appearance! Now if only those porcelain crabs would show themselves...

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allesluge

very nice tank, following

 

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M&C

A few new corals added today.

 

The star of the show and probably one of my new favorite corals, a jack-o-lantern leptoseris. This thing looks practically radioactive with all that fluorescence!

JloH32N.jpg

 

Neon green duncan, this guy's colors pop pretty well too.

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The humble candy cane. Throwback to the first coral I think I ever bought back in 2011-ish, had to make room for it in the tank even though it's not the most eye-catching. 

T9EwGb8.jpg

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M&C

Sunset on the reef.

 

MWgKzCl.jpg

 

Q5rYQki.jpg

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M&C

Friday evening side shot, still trying to dial in the lighting to bring out the best colors. Can you spot the new additions? :ninja:

 

CPGc2Nd.jpg

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Wonderboy

Great work so far - looking very clean - that's a very nice looking hammer - following for more!   :]

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M&C
6 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

Great work so far - looking very clean - that's a very nice looking hammer - following for more!   :]

Thank you! I'll try to post some new pictures by the end of the week, maybe a video too. The new clownfish are not cooperating in front of the camera right now haha

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M&C

Few random pictures for the evening:

 

Jack-O-Lantern leptoseris, love how this glows under actinics

13xOU1o.jpg

 

One of our new clownfish (Frodo & Sam, we decided to switch it up to a LOTR theme 😄) photobombing the duncan. They've been hanging out near the torch coral and swimming up to it quite a bit the past few days, hope it's a sign they're ready to move in.

Be4L4pq.jpg

 

Gandalf the shrimp, but what's hiding behind him?

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Bubblegum digitata, couldn't resist when I saw these frags for sale at our LFS 😍

DjVdUoa.jpg

 

Dragon soul favia living up to it's name

rOTxlea.jpg

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TerribleLobster

Nice progress 😄 I had two questions. 1. Do you think 10 gal weekly water change is overkill? I also have a 20 gal tank and I switch out about 4-5 gallons a week and I find that to be plenty. My nitrates are extremely low. 2. How did you get the live rock from kp aquatics? Did you order 10 lbs of rock from them? That seems to be the minimum but still runs you about $130 shipped.

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M&C
On 9/9/2019 at 9:11 PM, TerribleLobster said:

Nice progress 😄 I had two questions. 1. Do you think 10 gal weekly water change is overkill? I also have a 20 gal tank and I switch out about 4-5 gallons a week and I find that to be plenty. My nitrates are extremely low. 2. How did you get the live rock from kp aquatics? Did you order 10 lbs of rock from them? That seems to be the minimum but still runs you about $130 shipped.

Thanks! I've always done larger water changes and never had any ill effects. I think they're more feasible in nano tanks than something 50+ gallons and would encourage more people to do them. Then again, the triton method seems to be gaining more popularity now, which as I understand involves little to no water changes at all. Who knows what the right answer is? I kept my 4 gallon pico going strong for 2 years on 100% monthly water changes.

 

For the LR I did go with the 10lb package. It was pricey, especially since I only used about 1/3 of it, but IMO worth it for the biodiversity it brought to our tank. 

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RBReefing

Wow that looks great!  I am new to this hobby and will be starting a RS Nano also. Researching corals I was hesitant to get the more aggressive lps corals like the hammer and frog spawn due to the size and shape of the tank. What has your experience been? Do you think I am being too cautious or are there things I should consider if doing that?

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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M&C
3 hours ago, RBReefing said:

Wow that looks great!  I am new to this hobby and will be starting a RS Nano also. Researching corals I was hesitant to get the more aggressive lps corals like the hammer and frog spawn due to the size and shape of the tank. What has your experience been? Do you think I am being too cautious or are there things I should consider if doing that?

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

It’s definitely something to consider. Euphyllias, especially torch corals, are some of my favorites in the hobby so we knew we wanted to have a few. We specifically designed the rock work and flow pattern with their placement in mind. Overall I think they’re pretty easy with a little careful planning. 

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