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Tony Bologna

Tony's 10 Gallon Reef Journal

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Tony Bologna

Hello Nano Reefers. After years of contemplation and a decade without an aquarium, I have decided to ease my way back into the hobby.

I purchased the aquarium and accessories online tonight and will pick them up at Petco tomorrow. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to take an additional 25% off sale prices.

I'm Starting with the basic Aqueon 10 Gallon kit that includes a filter, heater, and hood with LED lights. I purchased instant ocean salt and caribsea aragonite sand. I'll use 10lbs of dry rock to construct the aquascape. I don't intend to use all of the rock but we'll see what happens. I like negative space aquascapes  and intend to keep the bioload low. I'll complete a fishless cycle and run it as a FOWLR tank until I have maintained stable parameters for at least a few months. I'm out of practice and need to get back into the swing of testing and performing regular maintenance before risking the lives of any beautiful corals. I'll upgrade the flow and lighting when it is time to add some soft corals.  I think this is the perfect opportunity to keep that Azure Damsel I always wanted. Aggression isn't a concern because he'll be the only fish in the tank. As far as invertibrates go, I really like hermit crabs but think I'd be better off sticking to snails and maybe adding a shrimp of some kind down the road. I'm sorry there are no pictures to share at this time. I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm and had to start documenting my first Nano reef journey right away.  Please feel free to share any words of wisdom you may have for a nano reef noob. Thanks. 

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JohnTheReefer

Welcome to NR! 

 

There is a lot of great knowledge on here about setting up a new tank.

 

Since dry rock is being used the cycle may take a little longer. One recommendation is to get an ATO (auto top off) unit for the 10 gallon to help keep the salinity stable and add a better filter like an Aqua Clear. The addition of a small power head similar to the Hydor Koralia Nano would be beneficial as well. 

 

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Tony Bologna

Thanks for recommendations. Which ATO is the best option? The Auto Aqua and Tunze both look nice.

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Tony Bologna

I have to do something about that scape. Seriously. There isn't anything to see yet. I picked up the tank, assembled the stand and got spousal approval on a location near my favourite chair. It's a start. 

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JohnTheReefer
10 hours ago, Tony Bologna said:

Which ATO is the best option? The Auto Aqua and Tunze both look nice.

I can't say which one is better than the rest, but the Tunze has been consistent for me. Just be sure to install the float switch housing offset from the magnet mount. 

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JohnTheReefer

The setup is looking good so far! I like those stands because they have adjustable feet to level the tank. 

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Tony Bologna

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Sorry no pictures today. I cleaned the aquarium and painted the back black. Every attempt to take a photo resulted in a lovely portrait of my reflection. Hopefully my rock will arrive soon and I'll have something to show.

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Tony Bologna

My rock arrived ahead of schedule. Time to rinse it off and get it in the tank. I'll use about 7 or 8 out of 10 lbs.

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Tony Bologna

I found time to wash off the dry rock tonight. I used about 7.5 lbs to come up with this scape. I had a 2 island scape in my mind but it looks like there is only space for 1 island in my 10 gallon aquarium. I hope I'll be able to get the sand and water in tomorrow or Sunday.

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Tony Bologna

I got the sand in the tank. I should have it filled by the end of the day.

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JohnTheReefer

It's starting to come together! The rock scape looks great. 

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Tony Bologna

Thanks for following along. Things got salty today! The tank holds exactly 8.75 gallons of water. I was curious about how much water was displaced by sand and rock. Now I know. I'm using bio-spira for my cycle. We'll see how long it takes. All I have to do now is wait.

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Tony Bologna

It turns out there are two things to do while my tank is cycling. Wait and daydream. I plan to use my HOB filter to hold a filter pad and  carbon or chemipure as needed. For additional flow I plan to add a cicce or hydor nano powerhead.  However, I'm not sure if simply upgrading the HOB to an aquaclear 70 or seachem tidal 75 would provide adequate flow and reduce the amount of hardware in the tank. If you have any suggestions or personal experience to share, please feel free. I'd rather get this right when the time comes than waste time and money on trial and error. Thanks.

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Zer0

Are you dosing ammonia with the Biospira? You need a way to feed the bacteria during the cycle, dosing ammonium chloride has been the easiest for me since you can measure how much you dose. I use Fritz Ammonia.

 

Also have you gotten an ATO yet? I use the XpAqua Duetto, it’s super simple to set up and looks nice. I linked it below if you want to take a look at it.
 

https://www.marinedepot.com/xp-aqua-duetto-ato-auto-top-off-system

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JohnTheReefer
On 3/2/2021 at 12:25 PM, Tony Bologna said:

I'm using bio-spira for my cycle.

Bio-spira should support a cycle using fish if memory serves. A damsel or clown or two usually does the trick to help things along. 

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JohnTheReefer
9 hours ago, Tony Bologna said:

However, I'm not sure if simply upgrading the HOB to an aquaclear 70 or seachem tidal 75 would provide adequate flow and reduce the amount of hardware in the tank. If you have any suggestions or personal experience to share, please feel free. I'd rather get this right when the time comes than waste time and money on trial and error. Thanks.

An aquaclear 70 alone will most likely not suffice flow wise. Although more expensive an aquaclear 110 might for fish only if you want keep equipment to a minimum for now and add a power head later if coral gets added. 

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Tony Bologna

Thanks for your comments. I am using  Dr Tim`s ammonia. The information  regarding  flow is helpful.  I found the dimensions for the nano powerheads and they really are tiny. I'll  stick to the original  plan  and use a powerhead or two for the bulk of the flow and the HOB primarily for mechanical and chemical filtration. I have not added an ATO yet. I appreciate the link. I hadn't  seen that one, it looks nice and simple. I have a full hood on the tank for now. Evaporation shouldn't  be an issue until I add reef capable  lighting and the hood comes off.. Thanks again for helping.

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