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Anna's 20g Nano


annamarie421

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Hi everybody!

 

I was the lucky recipient of a (cracked) 24g AquaPod for Valentine's day. This is my first experience with saltwater, and I am VERY excited! I wanted to start with an all inclusive system originally because I was totally overwhelmed by the thought of picking out components for a system on my own. After doing a little more research on the AquaPod while I waited for the replacement, I decided that I was up to the challenge of designing my own system. The deciding factor is that I wanted more powerful lighting than the Pod offers.

 

I wanted to stay within a similar price range between the Pod and my own system, so I decided on a 20g tank (All-Glass Aquariums), and black AGA stand. For lighting I went with a 2x65W PC "Coralife Lunar Aqualight Deluxe Linear Strip" for light (6.5W/Gal instead of the Pod's 2.33W/Gal). I will use two powerheads in the system, as well as an AquaClear HOB filter w/ surface skimmer attachment (possibly converted to a refugium). I have 25lbs of live rock on the way from Premium Aquatics, as well as 20lbs of Arag-Alive (sp?) Fiji Pink live sand.

 

I hope the light ws a good choice. It is the only 2x65W PC fixture that the LFS had, and they would only give store credit (can't blame them) for the broken Pod, so I had to make due with what they had. I'm open to feedback on everything! I'm here to learn.

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This picture isn't exciting, it's the partially full tank of fresh (R/O) water warming up, getting ready for salt, with the lights set up. Well, OK, I think it's REALLY exciting... :D There will be many more pictures to come as I get my system going.

 

Anna

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Good suggestion, drowning - I was trying to ignore it, but I definitely need a background - the clear & cords is ugly. Of course I'm dreaming of beautiful coraline, but in the meantime, I think I'll try some black background from the fish store, and if that looks really bad, I'll empty it & paint it black. :)

 

Anna

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Good suggestion, drowning - I was trying to ignore it, but I definitely need a background - the clear & cords is ugly. Of course I'm dreaming of beautiful coraline, but in the meantime, I think I'll try some black background from the fish store, and if that looks really bad, I'll empty it & paint it black. :)

 

Anna

 

Before you go out and buy that background from the fish store, please consider painting the back with Krylon Fusion Paint from walmart. It comes in many colors and comes as a spray paint. It really is awesome paint because it drys quickly and is easy to get off if you don't like it because its almost rubber like. I've used this type paint a few times and it just works awesome. I highly recommend it for your background

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Like the Rolling Stones! If you get that joke you need to find me and slap me. In the face. It better leave a mark.

In all seriousness, you won't be sorry about buying that fixture. It works wonders for my softies and LPS. Don't try SPS with it though (maybe Montipora).

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OK. I'm convinced! I know it'll look 1000% better if I paint it instead of using background. I don't want to be kicking myself in a few months for not doing it right the first time. So Sunday, my rocks will get to live in the rubbermaid bin for a few hours while I paint the tank. Black will be the color of choice. Krylon Fusion, 4+ coats looks to be the way to go. I think it'll look great!

 

Water is up to 79*, and salinity is within range (can't remember exact reading). My 25 pounds of live rock from Premium Aquatics gets here today (as well as some other goodies) - will post pictures of the rocks later!

 

Anna

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Hi Anna,

keep us updated on your progress. I am currently in the process of setting up the same system as you and I'm keen to learn from your experiences. Good Luck!

John Kelly and his pal Max the dog.

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Annamarie...welcome aboard. Looks like you are off to a good start. As you prepare, my only piece of advice is too AVOID the urge to stock early and throw your corals in within a few weeks after cycling. The most common mistake made...is just that. Save yourself the headache of posting, "Help, my corals are dying". Take your time. Have fun with this and we'll peek in on you. SH

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OK, so I was lazy this weekend, and didn't get around to painting the back of the tank. I'm not adding my sand until I paint (LR will go in a rubbermaid tub for a few hours), and I haven't aquascaped the LR...so my tank isn't looking that impressive at the moment. Photos to come as soon as I've got my painting, sand addition, and aquascaping done. The live rock is looking great despite its 2-day shipping in the COLD (5 below zero outside).

 

Right now my setup consists of:

20H AGA Aquarium - back to be painted black

2x65 PC Coralife Lunar Aqualight Deluxe Linear Strip

25 pounds of live rock from Premium Aquatics

20lbs FijiPink Arag-Alive (will be added after I paint the background of tank)

AquaClear 50 (200GPH) w/ sponge (rinsed daily), carbon, live rock rubble

100W Visi-Therm Stealth Heater

Whisper Power Filter (90GPH) - for extra mech. filtration (rinsed daily) may not keep this on permanently

Two MaxiJet 600 Powerheads (170GPH each)

MiniJet 73GPH Powerhead - may take this off, not sure

 

steelhealr - thanks for the welcome! I promise not to start adding stuff too soon! I don't want to be responsible for any deaths!

 

JPKelly214 - Hope you and Max the dog are doing well with your setup!! How far along are you? Be sure to let me know when you get your tank thread going!

 

Who knew wet rocks could be so much fun to look at?!?!?!?!

Anna :)

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ClowningAround

anna nice job so far, but if your like me, time will fly by with the amount of time you spend watching those wet rocks :) inspect them closely you will be amazed at what you see popping up, good luck

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Good luck Anna! I'm not sure if I told you this, but you should hold off on the light until your cycle is done and you have a cleanup crew.

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Hi Anna,

Well, yesterday a buddy of mine built the skeleton for a 30" stand and tomorrow I'm going to the home depot to pick up some wood to cover the outside of the syand. Live rock is cycling. I went with 20lbs premium Fiji from Drs Foster and Smith and it seemed to have been pretty much cured when it got here. Ammonia levels are holding steady at 0 , Nitrates at 0 and Nitrites at 20. This should decrease when I start using R/O water. Other than that. no other news. Lol,

John Kelly and his pal Max the dog.

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OK, so I've finally got the back of my tank painted! I ended up doing about six coats of Krylon Fusion (gloss black), then let it cure for a few hours before setting it back up. I now have a sandbed (20 pounds Fiji Pink Arag-Alive), and a bit of an aquascape. I really love how its looking now!

I'll try to add another photo tomorrow once the water has cleared up - it's still cloudy from adding the sand.

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Thanks everybody for the great advice & suggestions - please keep it coming! It's much appreciated!

 

Anna :)

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The water is all cleared up this morning, and it's looking great. If you are unsure about painting the back of your tank, do it - you won't regret it! Best $4 I've spent on the tank so far. I'm not sure if I like the aquascape - tell me if you hate it (and how to improve it). Thought I'd add a pic now that the water is cleared up.

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Anna :)

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The water is all cleared up this morning, and it's looking great. If you are unsure about painting the back of your tank, do it - you won't regret it! Best $4 I've spent on the tank so far. I'm not sure if I like the aquascape - tell me if you hate it (and how to improve it). Thought I'd add a pic now that the water is cleared up.

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Anna :)

 

hey, like the aquascaping, good tunnels and valley and the places to put corals looks promising. I am also using 110 Watts PC on my tanks.

 

I have two 20 gallon high tanks, if you have and questions at all, let me know PM may be easiest to get me.

 

here's a link to pictures http://photobucket.com/albums/c226/oceanhighz/?start=40

 

Brandon

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Brandon / oceanhighz - Thanks for the comments & offer for help! I'll be sure to PM you if I've got any questions!

 

pets_unlimited_fish_guy - Good call on hiding the heater. Don't know why I didn't think of that....probably because I'm new at this! Thanks!

 

I'm adding another 5-10lbs of LR. Anita from Sharky's Reef (www.sharkysreef.com) emailed me some photos, and they have some GORGEOUS pre-cured purple coraline COVERED Fiji (not on website) priced very reasonably (around $4/lb I believe), and they're a 1-day ship from me (which is awesome!). If anybody wants, PM me and I'll send you photos of the Sharky's LR ( have pics of pre-cured Fiji and Tonga un-cured). The customer service is super, and I haven't even placed my order yet! Their prices on Salifert Test Kits are also quite good!

 

Anna :)

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annamarie421

Last Thursday I noticed that I'm starting to get algae (exciting!). I've got diatoms, some teeny tiny bubble algae (crap!), and some green spiraly thready looking stuff (haven't identified yet), maybe some cyano too. Last Thursday my Nitrate was aprox. 75 (Salifert test), and it's dropped down to between 5-10 since Monday. I haven't done any water changes, it's just dropped (maybe due to the algae bloom?). I never had a huge amonia spike (I was expecting more), and it never got to over 2.5 (I only test every couple of days, so maybe it was higher on a non-test day). Amonia and nitrite are steadily at 0 now.

 

I'm not planning to add any critters yet. I don't think it's been long enough, and I'm not in a hurry. My tank isn't stable enough yet. Will be ordering 5-10 more pounds of (pre-cured) LR still. That will at least give me another mini-cycle. I think I'll start (slowly adding) my CUC after amonia, nitrite, nitrate are all steadily at 0 for 1-2 weeks after the addition of my new LR.

 

About my bubble algae - should I get an emerald crab (when tank is ready)? I could give it to a local reefer once its services are not needed any longer. I definitely don't want to have an emerald crab permanantly. I guess the other option would be to let the bubbles grow big enough that I can pick them off with tweezers or something?

 

Nothing to add photos of at the moment (everybody has seen algae!).

 

Anna :)

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Anna,

 

Great start so far. Some day I will get off my lazy double moon and get some pics of my 20g. You have some great rocks in there but I think you should play around with your aquascaping a bit. In a nano the aquascaping may be one of the most important parts of the whole setup. This is the best time for you to play with your rocks because there is nothing else in there.

 

Here is something I put together, and sorry for the choppy quality. Let me know what you think.

 

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Your tank is awesome. It is gonna look sweet when yopu get some fish and corals in there. Your a real inspiration for me to go ahead and get a 20H AGA over an overpriced nano!

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annamarie421

So I haven't added any more LR. I'm not sure if I want to now or not - I really like the amount that is in the tank, and I'll get more with corals, so I think the plan is to try to improve my aquascape with what I have.

 

I had a problem with a fan in my light fixture becoming loud. I called up Coralife, and they sent me a two-pack of replacement fans, no questions asked. I received them within 3 business days - I'm VERY impressed w/ their customer service!

 

It's time for me to start slowly adding a clean up crew. My params have all been zero for over a week now, but I wanted to be sure. I'm not sure what all I'll get for a crew yet, but I'll start with a couple of Astrea snails, and maybe two hermits.

 

I'm buying a used AquaClear 110/500 w/ surface skimmer to mod into a fuge. I'm planning to keep my AC50 going - not sure what I'll run in it yet other than carbon.

 

Luceneck - thanks for arranging my rocks! Feel free to grab a beer (the Kegerator is downstairs)! :D I've acutally been thinking of changing it to something very similar to what you did - I want to build up the right side, and have a bare spot between the two "rock formations". Again, thank you SO much - it's awesome to "see it" rearranged without actually doing it! You're very talented!

 

Chuck-D - Thank you SO much!! I have absolutely no regrets for going with the AGA. Keep looking at other people's tanks - I'd go with the MJ900s or 1200s now that I've had the 600s going for awhile for more flow. Make sure you look at everybody's setups, and see if you can get stuff used (wish I had been patient enough to buy more used) - that'll leave more money for your sea creatures.

 

ChinChek - For a second I thought "wow, his rocks look so much like mine!". I'm not even blonde. How embarassing. It's amazing what people can do with Photoshop!

 

OK, so I'm going to <viva> Las Vegas this weekend. I hope I win a huge jackpot! I hope I don't get caught up in the moment and blow all my aqua-money trying to win that huge jackpot! :o

 

Thanks for looking at my thread! More photos to come post-Vegas!

 

Anna :)

 

Edit to add: I totally forgot to mention that I have pods like CRAZY! They're all over the glass, and the rock. Funny how I'm kinda creeped out by insects, yet these pods, which I think of as sea-bugs (I know, I know...) fascinate me to no end!

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Sea_Of_Treachery

its looking real nice, can't wait for updates! if you like how the rock looks now, id just add maybe 5 more lbs,it will still be pretty open.

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annamarie421

Back from Vegas. Did y'all know that they don't use coins/tokens for slot machines anymore??? It's all electronical. That's total crap if you ask me! I had a blast, and ended up spending way more money on overpriced drinks than gambling. :D

 

If I hadn't had to work today, I could've gone to see a Mike Paletta presentation hosted by my local reef club. It's ok though, because it was mainly focusing on SPS, which I don't have the lighting to support.

 

I've been rearranging my rock this afternoon. I'm still not totally satisfied, but I think it looks better. Anybody got any comments on it? Bad/good, better/worse than before? I need more LR, but I haven't been able to decide yet if I want to buy it, or if I want to accumulate it as I aquire corals... Maybe just a small piece from the LFS (3-5 lbs).

 

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I added a very small cleanup crew earlier this week, since my tests have holding steadily at 0 for the past two weeks. I've got one blueleg hermit crab, one scarlett hermet crab, and two astrea snails. So far, the scarlett doesn't seem to do much, the amount of algae that the astreas eat is amazing, and I love to watch the blueleg - he's very active. The blueleg molted yesterday - very cool! Everybody seems very happy in their new home. Might add a few more critters this weekend.

 

Anyway, it smells like my frozen pizza is burning...and it's time for another beer!

 

Anna :)

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