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Littlest Reef

3g Fluval --> 30L Nuvo

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Littlest Reef

New here. I was in the hobby for 5 years or so as a teenager keeping a 100 gallon FO. When I left for college, my dad kept the tank running but didn't fully understand the concept of a drip loop, and the entire operation was closed down when one of those glorious hang-on-the-back overflow overflows happened and nearly burned our house down. Mom still having nightmares. Flash forward 15 years, and I knew once we bought a house I would get back in the game, just didn't expect the scale to be this small. My father in law bought us a 2.9 gallon Fluval as a gift for my 2 and 4 yo's, and with COVID we figured let's throw our hat into the reefing ring. We picked up 4 lbs of live rock, a Kessil A80 tuna blue, and some Red Sea test kits, and off we went.

 

First two months were rough. I HATE the 3 gallon - give me a little dilution. This is a full time job. Also, when my hand going in the tank displaces 1/2 the water, it's rough. We conquered an aiptasia problem and literally every type of nuisance algae and bacteria including dino's, and ultimately we picked up a rough looking GSP as a test coral. Throughout June parameters were stable and the GSP looked good. We inherited a small Azure damsel from a friend that similarly picked up the hobby during COVID and made a hasty exit.  Made plenty of other mistakes, including buying 4 margharita snails not knowing they are temperate (still alive as of now). Two weeks ago with everything looking good we picked up bam bam zoas, a single duncan head, an octospawn, and a torch from the same friend that attempted reefing. So far so good. Duncan is the only inhabitant that has been touch and go, and we moved him to the bottom of the tank as it seemed lighting has been the issue (closing up gradually through light cycle). 

 

Now we are looking to upgrade to a 30L. I am tracking and reviewing some 30L build threads to make sure I have a game plan this time as we made a lot of mistakes the first go round. I will post updates here, likely pulling the trigger on the new tank in a few days.

 

 

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TerraIncognita

Only tip I can give is go buy a little "hand claw" if you're trying to pick up small stuff / move it around.

 

Otherwise just only put your hand in to move it when you do your weekly water change. If you do a weekly 30% water change on this guy, and keep the lights low for the first month, this tank should flourish. GL.

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mitten_reef

I have the 30L, probably the best tank I've had to date (been in this hobby since 2013).  feel free to look up my build thread for some info.

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jcreefer

Welcome to the 30L family 🥳  You're going to love the room (compared to the Spec).  Can't wait to see what your creation will look like!

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Littlest Reef

Pulled the trigger on the tank today.

 

So far for equipment I am looking at the Tunze 9004 skimmer, the IM UV sterilizer, and Cobalt neotherm heaters which I have had good luck with in the past. I would like to use a gyre mainly because they didn't exist the last time I was in the hobby, but I'm striking out with a recommendation for a tank this size. I haven't decided on lighting yet, but I am going to do the 4 month BRS cycle, so it's not a hurry.

 

Another option I haven't not seen done is whether or not I can somehow repurpose our existing 3 gallon fluval to become a fuge. Certainly people have done that, but I would like to do them side by side as almost like a fuge display? Question is how to get the water to and from without an overflow waiting to happen.

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Littlest Reef

On the gyre, I am wondering if a ReefWave 25 is going to be too aggressive even on a low setting. While only 30 gallons, the tank is 3 feet long. Haven't seen one of these in the build threads on here.

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TerraIncognita

1. Congrats on the 30Gallon, but is it 30Gallon or 30Liter? That's a big difference.

 

 

If it's 30L it's just shy of 8G. The Reef Wave will be fine. It's all about how you position the flow honestly, you can have a 500GPH flow in a 10G tank and it's fine. Really it's all about the positioning of it, and where you put your corals etc.

 

2. You can definitely make the 3G a Fuge and I would highly recommend it, the more things you have to help keep stable water params, the better. The only way to make it a DT Fuge, would be to put a separate water return system somewhere behind or under both tanks. You will have to however google or search on how to make a sump/fuge return system, it will take PVC and a lot of Custom DIY thought.

 

Otherwise you could POSSIBLY figure out a way to join the two water systems, i.e. if they're acrylic, you might have a local custom acrylic shop that could actually cut holes in the two tanks, and put a tube or channel connector between them. That would almost be super cool to see, but IDK if you'd be able to get that done, you'd then also have to go through the trouble of making sure you have a flow method set up to take OUT of one tank, and then RETURN still into the other tank if you wanted proper water flow between the two tanks. Anyway, not to go on a tangent, just look it up, you'll get some ideas of how you could make it work.

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mitten_reef
3 minutes ago, Littlest Reef said:

On the gyre, I am wondering if a ReefWave 25 is going to be too aggressive even on a low setting. While only 30 gallons, the tank is 3 feet long. Haven't seen one of these in the build threads on here.

I have the icecap gyre 1K, which is the precursor to icecap 2K gyre, which to some extent related to Reefwave 25.  I only need just one 1K, And running it at 40-50% max at the moment. So I would guess you can run that on the lower/lowest end, but you won’t be able to get much of the variable flow. I’m def happy with the water motion that one gyre created in the 30L.  But if costs wasn’t an issue, I wouldn’t mind to have a second on the opposite side to create more turbulence flow, but perhaps I could have done more with programming the schedule (which I didn’t care enough to deal with it).  

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jcreefer
1 minute ago, TerraIncognita said:

1. Congrats on the 30Gallon, but is it 30Gallon or 30Liter? That's a big difference.

30L = 30gal, Long (36in in length)

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TerraIncognita
7 minutes ago, jcreefer said:

30L = 30gal, Long (36in in length)

Ah! yes, sorry, I've been out of the hobby for about 4 years, but it's all starting to come back to me like a flood.

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jcreefer

I think you'll need a pair of what ever pump you end up choosing.  3 ft is pretty long.  I have 2 MP10s on opposing glass and even at 50%, the wave only reaches a little over half of the length.  Going any higher will create hot spots and kick up the sand bed.  

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hinnenkm
1 hour ago, mitten_reef said:

I have the icecap gyre 1K, which is the precursor to icecap 2K gyre, which to some extent related to Reefwave 25.  I only need just one 1K, And running it at 40-50% max at the moment. So I would guess you can run that on the lower/lowest end, but you won’t be able to get much of the variable flow. I’m def happy with the water motion that one gyre created in the 30L.  But if costs wasn’t an issue, I wouldn’t mind to have a second on the opposite side to create more turbulence flow, but perhaps I could have done more with programming the schedule (which I didn’t care enough to deal with it).  

I'm running a Nero 5 in my 30 L and second what mitten_reef said. It works with just one, but if cost weren't an issue, two would be great 🙂

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Littlest Reef

2 gyres it is. I am trying to structure a slow cycle here and have corals and fish in the tank by late fall. I would like to only buy what I need spread across a couple months, not for financial reasons but really I just need something to do late at night while the babies are sleeping and reading about gyres is about as good as it gets. However, I want to get the cycle started asap. I think to get this off the ground besides the tank I'm going to grab dr. tims, the skimmer, heaters, the rockwork and sand, and then presumably I don't need or even want to run UV during the cycle or at least the beginning of the cycle, and I won't need my lights until about 2 months in if I am slow playing it.  I'm not even sure if I need the gyres now but I guess maybe there is something to be said for cycling on the flow that will ultimately be used? 

 

@mitten_reef how do you like the 1k? I may grab two of the 2ks. 

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mitten_reef
33 minutes ago, Littlest Reef said:

2 gyres it is. I am trying to structure a slow cycle here and have corals and fish in the tank by late fall. I would like to only buy what I need spread across a couple months, not for financial reasons but really I just need something to do late at night while the babies are sleeping and reading about gyres is about as good as it gets. However, I want to get the cycle started asap. I think to get this off the ground besides the tank I'm going to grab dr. tims, the skimmer, heaters, the rockwork and sand, and then presumably I don't need or even want to run UV during the cycle or at least the beginning of the cycle, and I won't need my lights until about 2 months in if I am slow playing it.  I'm not even sure if I need the gyres now but I guess maybe there is something to be said for cycling on the flow that will ultimately be used? 

 

@mitten_reef how do you like the 1k? I may grab two of the 2ks. 

I love the gyre, best powerhead/wavemaker yet for this tank.  as @jcreefer mentioned, the traditional styles, you crank it up and you get hot spots, you turn it down, it doesn't quite make it across the 36" length.  you can go to the newer, gentler flow like nero's to try to avoid the hot spots, but I have no direct experience on them to say anything, other than they look cool 😄.   the gyre gives me a nice smooth sheet of water across 36" of the tank, get around the rock obstruction really well.  The nice thing about the 1K, now the 2Ks, is that you can also opt to run one rotor (instead of two, with the included end cap) to cut down on flow a bit (give you more room to ramp up/down), so having two I'd go with running single rotor. 

 

that said, not to sound like a total gyre fanboy, I'm setting up a shallow cube with a center overflow, that I'm trying 2 Nero 5's on each side of the overflow mainly due to size and I've never tried a "wide-flow" type before.  I think each powerhead style (traditional, gyre or wide-flow) all has its advantage/disadvantage related to the setup that they're in, the dimensions, the scape, and the livestocks you're keeping.  The gyre works best for me in the 36" long, narrow, and shallow shape of IM30L.          

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jcreefer

I’ve been contemplating replacing one of the MP10’s with Red Sea ReefWave 25.  Looks like Red Sea made some slight modifications to make it more maintenance friendly.  Been wanting a wider flow for the tank and looks like all the major retailers just restocked on the ReefWave’s.  Hmmm 🤔 

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Littlest Reef

Having watched someone clean the RW 25, I wonder if I am better off with two of those instead of the 2ks. Presumably they both have about the same output. 

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jcreefer

I’ve held off getting a ReefWave because I just haven’t found much user reviews on them.  I’m one of those that need to see real life experiences and research the heck out of things before I commit.  

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Littlest Reef

Maybe I will be the guinea pig. 

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Littlest Reef

Is there any sensible reason why I need to spend $100+ on an ATo reservoir, or can I just find a reef safe tupperware/jug with a wide mouth? I am thinking about the Tunze 3155 - ATO is totally new to me, this wasn't used on a widespread basis in the late 90s. 

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jcreefer

ATO is probably the most impactful invention in the reef world, next to the protein skimmer IMO. Couldn’t imagine having to manually replenish on a daily basis and worry about salinity swings throughout the day.

 

I use the Tunze 3155 and put the pump in a 5 gal RO water jug.  No need to get fancy if it’s hidden away.  I have a hood on top of the tank, so my evap may be a bit lower than most open top set ups.  I go through about 4 gal/week. Your mileage may vary.

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Littlest Reef

As I lay the groundwork for the 30 gallon, I am wondering if my torch is bleaching.... first purchase and now

 

 

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Littlest Reef

If I had to guess I would say the issue here is too little light. We have a Kessil A80 tuna blue. I have it on a 10 hr cycle that ramps up to 40% intensity. The reason for the low intensity is that at one point our duncan was looking shriveled/closed up every day by 2 PM. Moving it down caused a drastic improvement, but I think that also precipitated the bleaching of the torch. Being that the tank is so small, I can move it up but not by much. A perusal of Youtube shows this light is only hitting 170 par right at the surface on full intensity, which is the high range for softies, but with it at 40% I have to imagine I'm much lower. I'm wondering if I should creep it up to 100% gradually. I've had significant difficulty finding a schedule for someone with the same tank/lighting. One Reef2Reef member has the exact setup, but he has been MIA for 2 years, no word on what his schedule was. 

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TerraIncognita

From what I know bleaching can be from many reasons not just lighting.

 

make sure you identify the right problem. Not feeding it enough can also cause bleaching.

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Littlest Reef

I am still on the fence with the torch, I may try and turn it into to the LFS in hopes they can revive it/find it a good home. I am thinking this 3 gallon will ultimately become a zoa / GSP garden with no fish. The octospawn and duncan will be moved to the new tank.

 

Today put in order for the new tank which arrives tomorrow.

  • 9004 skimmer
  • 1 reef wave 25 - will see how it is before buying the second
  • 40 lbs Fiji pink arag
  • 30 lbs reef saver shelf rock
  • 15 lbs reef saver rock
  • Upped test kits all to Red Sea, I had a couple APIs 
  • IM UV sterilizer
  • Dr. Tims to get things going
  • Cobalt therm, 150W

In next wave will likely pickup ATO, another gyre, inkbird and another heater. Still haven't decided on lighting. Will likely stick with softie/LPS. 

 

I will need help with scaping so I will update next week once rock and rank is in place.

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Littlest Reef

The above equipment has arrived. Posting here but will venture into the equipment forum if I strike out.

 

On the Tunze 9004 skimmer, I want to run it in the center chamber. With the Y split from the single pump, it doesn't fit. Has anyone run this with 2 mighty jets, presumably building some redundancy in and making room for the skimmer?

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