Jump to content
inTank Media Baskets

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,


I've started a new build, and have decided to document it in this journal so that you might follow along (if you're interested). :happy:






I used to have a wonderful tiny mixed reef picotank for the last few months which brought me much joy. Unfortunately, 2.6G of volume wasn't enough to grow out all my corals, and I did add more than 60+ frags in that little tank. :unsure:


Eventually, I decided upgrading was the best solution. I needed a tank that wasn't too large that it would become a burden doing WCs, but not too small that it didn't have enough space to accommodate all the corals either. I settled on a 10G+ tank - it was roomy enough to meet my requirements, and most importantly, be simple enough to WC every week. I used the Tank Transfer Method (TTM) to upgrade, and used established cured LR (~5-years-old) from older systems as a biofilter. Only the LS was new, but I seeded it with a small cup of LS from my picoreef. 


The new nano is now located in my bedroom, and the temp. dips down to as low as 25'C (night) and as high as 30'C (very hot afternoons). The swing seems wild, but my pico operated under the same temp. range (more or less), and so far the animals didn't have any issues with the temp. 




10.23G tank

18" x 12" x 11"


6mm Crystal Glass




H300 Dophin HOB (440L/Hr)

Aqua Knight Spectra M029 (30W)

Jebao SOW-4 Wavemaker (4000L/Hr)




Activated Carbon

Filter Floss




Established LR taken from my previous 2.6G's picoreef, 60G's refugium & 10G's nanocube in the library





4.5kg Aragonite Live Sand --> seeded with a small cup of LS taken from the sandbed of my 2.6G picoreef





Tap Water + Dechlorinator (Nutrafin/Prime)




Fritz RPM




1x Purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora)  - Bullet II - 07/12/2023





(My monsters! a.k.a. Critters of Chaos!) 


1x Yellow Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus cyanoscelis) - Shrimpy - 02/05/2021

1x Blue-Eyed Red-Clawed Hermit Crab (Calcinus gaimardii) - Geralt - 15/12/2021

Hitchiker Collonista Snails

Hitchiker Microbrittlestars

Hitchiker Spaghetti Worms
Hitchiker Stomatella Snail

Hitchiker Limpets




SPS (6 Types):

Red Pavona

Garf Bonsai Acropora Valida

Forest Fire Montipora Digitata

Chili Pepper Montipora

Lime Green Montipora

Jack-O-Lantern Leptoseries



LPS (13 Types):

Meteor Shower Cyphastrea

John Deere Leptastrea

Orange Eye Leptastrea

Green Leptastrea

Christmas Favia

Purple/Blue Whiplash Blasto Merletti

Malayan Rainbow Acans

Purple-Striped Green Acans

Neon Green Candy Cane/Trumpet

Red Fungia

Red/Blue Lobo Brain Coral

Rainbow Brain Coral

Duncan Coral



Soft Coral (6 Types):

Orange Clove Polyps

Metallic Green Star Polyp

Neon Green Star Polyp
Green Weeping Willow Toadstool Leather

Green-Polyped Brown Toadstool Leather

Red Pineapple Tree Leather



Zoanthis & Palythoas (20 Types/Morphs):

Green Nuclear Death Palys 
Rusty Red Death Palys

Rainbow Infusion Palys

Metallic Green Palys

Captain America Palys

Utter Chaos Palys

Sunny D Palys

Sunflower Zoas

Vampire in Drag Zoas

Firestorm Zoas

Fire and Ice Zoas

King Midas Zoas

Purple Monster Zoas
Orange Bam Bam Zoas

Pinwheel Zoas

Daisy Cutter Zoas

Bam Bam Zoas
Radioactive Pink Cat Eye Zoas

Tequila Sunset Zoas

Blueberry Zoas



Mushrooms (19 Types):
Green Leopard Discosoma Mushroom

White Striped Green Leopard Discosoma Mushroom

Golden Leopard Discosoma Mushroom

Superman Discosoma Mushroom

Watermelon Discosoma Mushroom

Red/Green Discosoma Mushroom

Ironman Discosoma Mushroom

Blue Discosoma Mushroom

Skittles Discosoma Mushroom 

Golden Spotted Green Discosoma Mushroom 

Interstellar Discosoma Mushroom

Cherry Red Discosoma Mushroom

Green/Orange Bounce Rhodactis Mushroom

Acid Green Rhodactis Mushroom

Green/Light Green Bullseye Rhodactis Mushroom
Forest Fire Rhodactis Mushroom
Rainbow Yuma Mushroom

Blue Hairy Mushroom

Green Hairy Mushroom







Current Coral Count: ~64 Types/Morphs/Varieties 







Nanofish x1

Ornamental Crab

Ornamental Shrimp
Assorted Corals




Empty tank on 16/11/2020:




Post-TTM on 16/11/2020:




FTS on 17/11/2020:




Topview FTS on 17/11/2020:




FTS on 12/12/20:




Topview FTS on 12/12/20:




FTS on 09/01/21:




FTS on 09/02/21:




FTS on 20/03/21:




FTS on 23/04/21:




FTS on 25/05/2021:




FTS on 15/07/21:




FTS on 10/09/21:




FTS on 16/10/21:




FTS on 15/11/21 (*1-year-old) :





FTS on 16/12/21:




FTS on 23/1/2022:




FTS on 19/02/2022:




FTS on 21/03/2022:




FTS on 16/04/2022:




FTS on 16/05/22:




FTS on 06/06/22:




FTS on 08/07/22:





FTS on 13/08/22:




FTS on 20/09/22:




FTS on 26/10/22:




FTS on 25/11/22:




FTS on 19/12/2022:




FTS on 23/1/22:




FTS on 20/2/23:




FTS on 12/03/23:




FTS on 29/04/23:




FTS on 29/05/23:




FTS on 28/07/23:




FTS on 16/08/23:




FTS on 12/09/23:




FTS on 10/10/23:




FTS on 07/11/23:




FTS on 07/12/23:




FTS  on 10/01/24:




FTS on 16/02/24:







FTS on 21/03/24:



  • Like 13
  • Wow 6
Link to comment

I ran into several issues before & during the TTM. Mainly, I had to sneak the tank into the house and carry it up to my bedroom - and all in all, that didn't exactly go as planned. :unsure:


While my mother was busy glaring at me from the dining room, I did manage to carry the tank up by myself and was rather glad to have it safe and sound on my art table:




Then came the hard part - stripping down the pico & transferring all the livestock into a spare bin. Since I had so many loose pieces here and there, I misplaced both my red devil & leopard discosoma shroom frags because they were so small. Either I accidently threw them away, or tossed them back into the refugium of my 60G (where I chucked all the extra tiny rocks in from the pico). :unsure:




I had quite a busy day - I spent the morning mostly driving to my primary LFS, picking up some extra zoas which I reserved two weeks ago, and making more coral reservations for my 60G, which I will pick up during my birthday some time next month. My LFS manager was kind to me as always - he actually glued down ten pieces of zoas & palys which I purchased onto a flat rock (you can see it in the pic above) and even tossed in a freebie purple encrusting monti frag, because he knows I love blue & purple stuff. 


Alongside the tank purchase, it was quite costly yesterday, but I was happy to support my LFS. When I returned home, I slowly began the TTM and here's when I had trouble. I picked out extra rocks (cured, established LR which were as old as 5 years) from my 10G nanocube in the library downstairs, and a few smaller LR pieces encrusted with coralline (and had macro growing on them) from the fuge of my 60G. As I was scaping, I realized I had a stowaway!


Mainly, my bicolor blenny was in one of the rocks that I pulled out of my 10G nanocube, and had practically hitchiked his way into my new tank. 😕


I was not keen to have an extra fish in this 10G, because I already have a damsel (Sapphire) & circus barred goby (Prowler) which was going to be transferred over from the critter bin to the nano. But it was incredibly difficult to remove the blenny, because he wedged himself tightly in one of the holes of the LR and simply refused to come out. I gave up trying to get him out, and scaped my tank with him in it. 


Considering how the trip to and fro to my LFS pretty much drained me, I was too tired so I went ahead and slowly re-added all my livestock to the tank within the first day. 


I mixed up fresh batches of SW for both the critter bin and the new tank during this time - I did not use my old SW. But I did use a very small cup of LS taken from the sandbed of my 2.6G picoreef. I rinsed the sand with fresh SW first prior to adding it to my new sandbed, and once added, I mixed the old LS with the new LS using a chopstick. (Then I added the rocks on top, followed by the corals)


Usually when I TTM, I *never use old LS taken from the older tank. But the portion I added was very small and rinsed thoroughly, and I added it since it does have some beneficial bacteria as well as bright red spaghetti worms in the sand. I threw out all the remaining older sand however. 


Once the livestock was in, I tried to plug in my older HOB unit and it. did. not. WORK! :angry:




Thankfully, my new Jebao SW-4 wavemaker was working fine, so for the next 16 hours or so, the tank only had flow from the wavemaker (and no further trouble, flow-wise).


But before I went to bed last night, I did add a small vial of Bioptim biodigest, although it was unnecessary, I *think. Since *most of the rock was already cured and established, it did technically have a mature biofilter and was already full of bacteria, sponges, bristleworms etc. But better be safe than sorry, I guess (?)




Right before turning the lights off and sleeping, I checked up on the tank and tentatively, it seemed okay. I hadn't set up the light yet last night (no time & too tired), but Benny greeted me in the side panel, so I assumed everything was alright:



  • Like 3
Link to comment

This morning, there were two things that I immediately worked on for the tank. First was to get a working HOB filter on it - so I used the old, smaller HOB filter which I used for my pico, and filled up the compartment with a sock of activated carbon and some floss. Next, I had to get a proper lid over the system - with three fish, I was worried one of them would jump out overnight - but thankfully they didn't (phew!). 


I had five spare pieces of plastic which I used to use to cover my QT tanks downstairs. 




So I picked two pieces which could provide the most cover for the tank, and went with it.


Next, I pulled out my PAR 38 LED. I recently purchased a 54W bulb with various LED colors, including red & green. I stuck a small piece of black tape over the red LED to limit the amount of red light that the tank receives - because that'll only encourage algae growth.




The lights were indeed quite bright, but there is still mild shadowing around the extreme corners. Here's the tank with the new light, taken with & without clip-on yellow filter lens.






The new Zoas & Palys on the Zoa Ledge were slowly starting to open up under the new light, and the Zoa Tower & Zoa Garden was awakening: :happy:






Unfortunately, my Montihat was blown off the rocks by my Jebao last night, so I will have to pick it up & re-glue it later on:



  • Like 4
Link to comment

Even the SPS were slowly extending their polyps:






This was the new purple monti freebie frag: 🤗




I really hope my Pavona & leptoseris continues to grow! 🙂




Dusky the blenny peeking. 








Prowler is quite bold in this tank. I caught him out in the open several times today:






I think upgrading seemed to have benefited the fish the most (at this moment). I noticed all of them are making full use of the reef, and exploring all corners. Sapphire the damsel certainly seems active enough. 🙂 

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1
Link to comment

Pics updated! 🤗


This was how my previous 2.6G mixed reef picoreef looked like:






I'm hoping to collect more zoa morphs in this new nanoreef. Will focus on growth & recovery. I have a tendency to pick up dying or browned out frags from the store, and see if I can nurse them back to full health again. So far, it has been a rewarding experience, and I'm looking forward to embarking on this new reefing journey. 🥰

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Update #1:


I decided to try & take some topview shots using my clip-on yellow filter lens. The coral colors aren't too accurate - there's still a yellowish tint in some pics, and in others, it is overly blue. 


I might need to make adjustments to the brightness & balance the blue/whites in the future to try and get the most accurate colors as possible. 


In the meantime, here are some quick pics:


Brain coral pair:




Forest fire digi:








Sunflower zoas:




Strawberry (?) Mystery coral:




Mini Malayan rainbow acans:




Meteor shower cyphastrea (recovering) :



  • Like 3
Link to comment

Update #2:


Rainbow brain:








Green leptastrea & purple death palys:




Orange leptastrea:




Red pavona & Jack-O-Lantern leptoseris:




Zoa Ledge:




^Colors are much brighter in real life. 😕

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Update #3: 


Zoa Tower from different angles:










^I'm not happy at all because the colors are way off. They're actually very bright & vivid, but the colors are dull and brownish with the clip-on lens under the PAR38. 


The Tower is also in the shaded area of the tank, so the zoas are receiving very little light. Some of them are stretching, so I'm thinking of adding my Aquazonic LED strip over this section of the reef. 🤔

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Update #4: 


I managed to take 2 topview FTSes today, but you can see how bad the shadowing is at the corners of the tank:






I'll add an extra LED strip - if it's not enough, I'll add a second LED strip as well. Just need to be careful not to fry anything. 


Also, half of the Montihat browned out - so I'm going to quickly remove it and re-glue it shortly. Hopefully it can bounce back in time. 😕

  • Like 4
Link to comment
5 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Following. You posted so much already I need to come back later and read it. By then it will probably be two pages. LOL Seriously wishes you great success with this set up.

It took me ~1 hour to kick start the thread with the first 6 or so posts. I had to type out the explanations on my laptop, but upload the pics later using my cellphone. Did it during ~2.30pm to ~3.30pm local time when most of the forum was asleep. 😄

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Also, quick update - looks like I'll have to whip out the old Aquazonic LED & Chihiros LED strip to cover the shadowing in the corners. 




Will position the lights diagonally to ensure the Zoa Garden on the left & LPS on the right receive enough light. 


Will dim the strips to 50% capacity first to hopefully *not melt or fry anything in this tank. Evap. is going to be murder though. 😕

  • Like 2
Link to comment

From the look of that light cone my immediate recommendation is to get that PAR bulb mounted higher, you may very well be at risk of frying things.
I cannot speak for the brand, but I can speak for the technology; parabolic aluminized reflectors do not muck-about -the ABI tuna brand (with half that wattage rating)- is renowned for cooking sps if it's not kept 15 inches (around 35 cm) above the water line.

My own 12W PAR bulb is currently 40 cm above a 12 gallon cylinder tank and putting out 120 PAR at 27cm depth.

Also, jesus the itemization must have taken quite a while to type out! There are entire shops over here with a less-impressive selection than your little nano XD what a list!
Oh, and be cautious with the Fairy Dust Zoas, they sting, they spread, and can really take over in a way you'd expect from something like blue-anthelia or xenia.

For reference, this is how high I have my own PAR bulb, and it bleached an ironman disco shroom, possibly a torch too. (Pic re-located to my own thread)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
7 minutes ago, A.m.P said:

From the look of that light cone my immediate recommendation is to get that PAR bulb mounted higher, you may very well be at risk of frying things.
I cannot speak for the brand, but I can speak for the technology; parabolic aluminized reflectors do not muck-about -the ABI tuna brand (with half that wattage rating)- is renowned for cooking sps if it's not kept 15 inches (around 35 cm) above the water line.

Also, jesus the itemization, there are entire shops over here with a less-impressive selection than your little nano XD what a list!
Oh, and be cautious with the Fairy Dust Zoas, they sting, they spread, and can really take over in a way you'd expect from something like blue-anthelia or xenia.

A.m.P. - the light is mounted as high as possible - the mount can't extend further beyond this. Currently, the bulb sits exactly 12" above my waterline. I debated clamping it to the metal rack next to the tank, but the rungs are too thin for the mount to be clamped on. Given how heavy a single PAR38 bulb is (I think they're around ~1kg?), I thought this was too risky - if the mount falls off, then the bulb can plummet into the tank - it might be heavy enough to take the lids with it. In which case, I'll be left with a much bigger problem than before.


Since the tank is long (18"), the only way to even out the spread is to support the sides with LED strips running at 50% capacity (I'll increase or decrease it accordingly). I did briefly consider purchasing a second PAR38 bulb & mount, but the upper side of the tank still probably won't receive enough light no matter how many bulbs I add (I *think). 🤔


I'll try to improvise with what I have and document it here for anyone who's curious. 


I arranged all my corals in such a way that the most light-demanding ones are located in the center of the tank, directly under the beam of the PAR38's LEDs (think all my SPS pieces). Just worried about the Zoa Garden at the fringes - they don't need as much light as SPS, but BME, they grow best under medium light, medium flow. 


Heh, regarding the livestock - I pretty much pulled over everything from the pico, with the exception of the 10 new zoa morphs that I purchased yesterday. 😛


I remembered what you said about the Fairy Dust - it's kept isolate on its own LR rubble, although I placed it in such a way that it *sits next to my other zoas. I can easily move it further away from the rest of the zoas, if need be.


Thanks a ton for all your advice though!


I'll see if I can find another way to mount the PAR38 higher. Oddly enough, it was quite difficult to find a new mount online locally. This current mount is an old one which I purchased from a photography store online. 🤔

  • Like 1
Link to comment

You may have more luck at a hardware store and going for industrial-chic, so-to-speak, grab some electrical conduit at the right size and just make something to hang it from, you can probably find a shop-light fixture like mine for next-to-nothing to clip-on to a structure pretty-securely.

Worth noting that cylinder tank is 18" diameter as well, although the footprint is a bit easier to light shape-wise lol.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
10 minutes ago, A.m.P said:

You may have more luck at a hardware store and going for industrial-chic, so-to-speak, grab some electrical conduit at the right size and just make something to hang it from, you can probably find a shop-light fixture like mine for next-to-nothing to clip-on to a structure pretty-securely.

Worth noting that cylinder tank is 18" diameter as well, although the footprint is a bit easier to light shape-wise lol.

Noted - thanks for all the tips & pointers! I appreciate it! 🙂 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I peered into the refugium of my 60G today morning and actually found my red devil & one of my leopard discosoma shroom frags! omgomgomg






It was a bit difficult to fish them out, but eventually I managed to remove them and re-add them to the nano: 😄




Hoping they'll reproduce again and pop out more new heads. 👍


Clove polyps seem to be taking off: 




I kept them isolate on their own piece of rock rubble because I didn't want them to take over my rockwork. 


Prowler was out and about again:




And I used the Chihiros LED light strip to solve the shadowing issue on the left corner of the tank:




I originally tried to use my Aquazonic LED, but the metal brackets were stuck in an elongated position and couldn't be moved, so when I tried to put the light on the lids, it was too *long and one end of the bracket kept sliding off the edge of the tank. I was worried it'll fall off and take the lids with it, so I used the Chihiros strip, but dimmed down the colors a bit. 


I'll try to apply some WD-40 on the brackets of the Aquazonic and see if it can be adjusted again into a more compact length. Otherwise, I suppose I can align it in a straight line on the right side of the tank - although with the extended brackets, it might be too long by an inch or two again. 🤔


The zoas certainly seem happier with the extra light. My LA Lakers were closed up - hoping they'll open up again, now that there is more light.


Also, I *might transfer my purple gorg. from the refugium of my 60G to this nano in the future. Still thinking about it. 🤔

  • Like 5
Link to comment

Quick Add-On: I forgot to turn the HOB filter back on after taking the topview pics of the tank yesterday. I only realized it this morning when I woke up and checked the plugs, and spotted the switch for the HOB turned off. The tank was without the filter flow for ~13 hours, but the wavemaker was one at 50% capacity. Everything survived. Water was a bit cold, but that's expected because I sleep with both the fan and A/C turned on every night. 👍


(And yes, I turned the filter back on first thing in the morning, when I spotted it was off)

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Actually having a pretty nasty migraine atm, but I'll just post up a few updates. 


This was the view from my bed in the evening:




I think the light is indeed too powerful. I tried clamping it to some books at the highest tier of my shelf, but as expected, the weight of the bulb was too much & the whole bulb + mount nearly fell into the tank. 


So I re-clamped the light to the back of the tank, but my cyphastrea is peeling:




And my setosa is bleaching:






So I need to move these 2 pieces further down the tank, or shade the light somehow (for now). 🤔


A part of my montihat is browned out - the part that was shadowed by Coralline Ledge in my previous picoreef:






Same goes for my tenuis - the part which was originally shadowed in the previous tank browned out, but the areas that received light retained color:





  • Like 1
Link to comment

I still find SPS very tricky to keep. But I re-glued my bird of paradise seriatopora and it seems happier with full PE:




The new purple monti has stubby polyps:




Bullseye rhodactis shroom:




Rainbow brain & radioactive birdsnest from above:




Weeping willow is not too happy to be in direct flow of the Jebao:




Metallic GSP:




Green leptastrea has made a full recovery:




And the favites that I accidently washed with soap & vinegar: 😕



  • Like 2
Link to comment

Topview of the Zoa Tower - am thinking if I should relocate the rastas and blue hornet to the Zoa Ledge: 🤔




The Zoa Garden fringing the Zoa Tower:




I like the Sparkling Red zoas - spotted a tiny aiptasia wedged between the polyps though, so I'll need to eradicate that:






Tubbs Blue (new polyp spotted today!) 😊 :




Mysterious neon green & neon yellow zoa among these dull ones: 🤔




Purple death palys: 🤗



  • Like 3
Link to comment

I took more pics of the Zoa Ledge today, but I tried adjusting the brightness of the shots to capture more accurate coral colors:




Didn't quite succeed but it seems close enough. 🤔


I will keep trying though! 


Rainbow infusion & blondie:




Blue agave, purple monster, rainbow yoda & red hornet:




Unknown starburst, purple hornet & fruit loops:




The unknown starbust is slowly developing a new polyp. Same goes for the purple monster & fruit loops. Hope these guys grow out quickly & take over the entire rock in the upcoming months! 👍

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • Snow_Phoenix changed the title to Snow's 10G Critters of Chaos (TOTM)

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...