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ZenMastr1968's 10G Nano


ZenMastr1968

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ZenMastr1968

Here's my little piece of Nano Reef keeping... I've been reading on this forum for a few weeks now and finally got most of the pieces together in one place. I put it together the evening of 3/17/06 and so far I have the following:

 

10 g AGA

20" 2x40W Current USA Orbit w/ lunar

2 AS mn606 Mini-Jet pumps for circulation

50W Jager heater

20lb of LR

15lb of CaribSea Arag-Alive Indopacific Black

 

Will probably focus mainly on inverts, low end corals, and maybe one or two small fish - maybe a clown/anemone pair.

 

Here is what it looks like after about 3 days of cycling:

post-19254-1142979658_thumb.jpgpost-19254-1142979788_thumb.jpg

The pics are a little cloudy today because I re-arranged the rock some - it was a lot clearer over the weekend. Still haven't fully decided on the layout, but I like this one much better.

 

Still have to place the AC 70 HOB when it arrives. I will mod it to keep the heater and make a space for macro algae, also will be working on DYI spraybar type attachment for the 606s, as well as something to cover the back of the tank. May experiment with a surface skimmer in the near future as well....

 

I started running tests on the water last night and I think things look promising. I'll post more pics when I have the HOB future fuge is installed.

 

Thanks for looking and I appreciate any and all comments.

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ZenMastr1968
Thats a lot of rock. Is it tonga? What kind of light,I like the style

 

I think it's Marshall Islands LR, but could be Tonga, some of it is branchy - some isn't. I wanted smaller pieces in general, but didn't like what the LFS had so I placed an order. After seeing what arrived, I liked the looks of it. It was one big massive mound before I rearranged yesterday and took out about 5 lb of rubble sized pieces in the process. Still looks a bit imposing, but there are lots of nooks and crannies for things hide and crawl in/around. I've been doing some research on what the reefs look like around the Marshall Islands, and most of the pictures are giant walls, so....I'd like to make it as realistic as possible. Going to shoot for more native species to the area as well.

 

The light is a Current USA Orbit fixture. I think it gives the whole thing a more modern look. One thing I do have to say is - and I think it has been said around here before - the fan when the Actinic bulb is on is a bit noisy.

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ZenMastr1968
I am in need of a light for a 20 long I want to start. I think I might look into the orbit.It looks good.

 

I believe there is an orbit that will fit that, have also heard good things about the Coralife Lunar Aqualights (this one didn't come small enough for my tank, so not an option IMO).

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ZenMastr1968
did the orbit fixture come with the legs?

 

Yes it did...All I've done is pull it out of the box and remove the packing - which was rater impressive. Also came with rubber feet if you just want to put it on a glass top.

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ZenMastr1968

Well it's day 10 and here's an update....

 

The AC 70 arrived undamaged this time. I modded it for a future fuge, built a space for the heater, and added it to the tank last weekend.

 

Checked my levels tonight and it looks like the following:

 

0 ish ammonia

0.05 ppm nitrite

~5 ppm nitrate

8.2 ~ 8.3 Ph

salinity dropped a bit to 1.022 when I added the gallon or so of water to fill the AC70 and top it off

 

There's alge growing on the rock and sides of the tank, so I take that as a good sign. Also the color is coming back to parts of the rocks themselves. The levels have been dropping fairly steadily - I've been checking them every couple of days. I think by this weekend they should be pretty much zeros if the rate of change says like it has been.

 

If they are all zero I'll probably add snails for cleanup this weekend. Anyone have any suggestions on a crew for a 10 gal?? Maybe 4 or 5 Cerths, a couple of maragaritas and an emerald crab with a cleaner skunk shrimp.

 

I've heard read that a good approach would be to add the snails, wait a couple of weeks, add the crab or shrimp, then wait a couple more weeks ad the other, then wait a couple weeks and then add a fish - does that sound like a good plan?

 

Also, anyone had any experience with using LocLine tubing/fittings as a spray bar? I'm thinking about picking up pieces to make a multi directional hose with lots of off chutes to keep the flow up where I need it. Thoughts on this??

 

Thanks and I'll post more this weekend....

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ZenMastr1968

New Development :angry:

 

Woke up this morning to no flow from the AC 70 - thought that the pump motor had croaked like I had heard on this forum happening from time to time - not good since it's only been in the tank for 3 days.....omgomgomg

 

Fortunately (or unfortunatly - how ever you want to look at it) upon further inspection, fine sand had made it's way into the impeller and was keeping it from turning. I disassembled the pump and impeller section, washed it out, and got it back operational again - but now I'm questioning my design/wisdom.

 

It appears that the mini-jets are too low in the tank now and the current from them is kicking up the bottom - I'm still debating the loc-line spraybar idea, but it is obvious that this will happen again until I resolved the situation. I think I'm going to go ahead with the spraybar parts - get them on their way and also think about moving the AC 70 intake further away from the bottom of the tank.

 

Two options present themselves to me at this point in time for moving the intake:

 

1. shortening the U tube and makeing the basket end higher in the tank

 

2. going with the add-on surface skimmer attachment for the AC

 

Not sure which direction to head, but I think redirecting the flow is more important at this time. May go ahead and spend the $10 and pick up the surface skimmer and give it a try in a few weeks.

 

On a positive note, alge is continuing to consume the LR and sides of the tank, so I take that as a good sign. I'll post some more pics this weekend.

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ZenMastr1968

Just a quick update...

 

The levels are dropping. Last night they were:

 

0 ammonia

 

0 nitrite

 

~0.5 ppm nitrate

 

salinity back to 1.023, PH holding steady

 

The AC 70 is holding together, the alge is growing like weeds :D , and the loc-line parts for the spray bars should be arriving tomorrow. I'll post some pics of the spray bar(s) when I get them put together and then an updated pic of the tank when they are in place. Will definatley will be making a trip to the LFS Saturday morning to see what I can find for the CC.

 

Later fingerscrossed

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hey i got a question, how many gallons of water do you actually have in that tank?

 

that can be a cool blenny/shrimp tank

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ZenMastr1968

I think that with the AC 70 there is about 8 gal of water...

 

I was thinking about some shrimp, a crab or two, but I don't think that blennys are my speed. Really want to try the clown anoneme thing - I know, it's probably wrong to try to keep them in such a small tank, but I like them. But, hey, if they are easy to keep, thanks - I'll keep it in mind....

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No way you have 8g with all that rock.

 

Any way you can move it around more or move some of it out?

 

If you like it, thats cool. But I am definately a "less rock more swim space" kinda guy. Here is my 10g

 

DSC02039_Medium_.JPG

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ZenMastr1968
No way you have 8g with all that rock.

 

That's a nice looking tank by the way.

 

Well here is how I estimated....I started out with 6 gal of mixed salt water in the tank and then added about 15 lb of LS and 25 lb of LR. I didn't have the AC 70 in at that time and all that almost filled it. I think I had to maybe put in another half a gal to top it off - that makes 6.5 gal. A few days later I took out 5 lb of the LR and then a few more days later added the AC 70. When I did that I had to put in an additional 1.5 gal of water so that makes about 8 gal - give or take. There isn't as much LR in there as it looks. There were about 5 big pieces and 10 or 15 tiny pieces that I picked out when I reorganized (making the 20 lb that is in there now). They are somewhat precariously stacked with lots of caves and openings - so it isn't one solid wall of rock. I've also added a blue background so you can't see through the back anymore. :P

 

Here's a shot of the alge filled tank as it looks tonight with a shot through the end of the tank...

 

post-19254-1143777963_thumb.jpg post-19254-1143778012_thumb.jpg

 

I don't think the setup is "cast in stone" so to speak, but I think it looks good for now. Have to restack the stone. I knocked a bunch down the other day when I had to emergency evac the AC 70 out for repairs....really looking forward to getting a cleaning crew this weekend!

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annamarie421

Looks to me like you're off to a great start! I like the look of the rock wall type design you've got! Keep the updates and photos coming! What are you planning to stock the tank with?

Good luck!!

Anna :)

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ZenMastr1968

I'm probably going to stick with mostly corals. I wanted to start out with a bigger tank but didn't have the room (or the initial :bling: ). I also figured I would have a hard time with corals in a bigger tank, so this will be my pet project and I'll focus on the smaller aspects. If and when I get a bigger one, I'll make it FOWLR... I've been looking around the forum and like the looks of the zoos, hammers, maybe a polyp or two....will try to resist the temptation of going too fast. Already suffering from wanting to see things active in the tank.

 

My levels haven't fully dropped yet, but the alge war is raging and would like to keep ahead of that a bit. I still had a tiny bit of nitrates to go when I tested Wednesday (I think) - I'll check them again tonight. If they're 0 then I'll go ahead and get a small CUC tomorrow - maybe 2-4 snails (maybe ceriths, astraila (SP?), margareta), an very small emerald crab, and maybe 2-3 hermits (maybe a blue and a red). I'll do my best to let that sit for at least 2 weeks and check the levels to see how it goes.

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ZenMastr1968

Well the nitrates weren't quite 0, but I couldn't resist....the LFS was quite tempting! :D

 

Here's a look at my DIY attempt at spray bars. The last pics show them coupled to the output of my two 606 mini-jet pumps.

 

post-19254-1143993246_thumb.jpgpost-19254-1143993380_thumb.jpgpost-19254-1143993284_thumb.jpg

 

post-19254-1143993339_thumb.jpg

 

The front of the tank is pretty scummy right now, I'll post more pics when (hoping) it gets cleaned up. Here's what I put in it to start with:

 

3 Astraea Snails, 1 Electric Blue Hermit, 3 Scarlett Hermits, 1 Emerald Crab

 

The better LFS didn't have too much of a selection of snails, I hit a couple of others in the area - unfortunately none are all that close :(

 

I think I will pick up some more snails from the web, better sounding selection and cheaper...

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ZenMastr1968

The tank is starting to look a little better - the snails are working their magic.

 

post-19254-1144203738_thumb.jpg

 

I finally got a half decent shot of the emerald crab....

 

post-19254-1144202726_thumb.jpg

 

I'm going to keep watching the parameters and probably place an order for some additional snails (more sand friendly) and maybe a few more hermits toward the end of next week. Then set my sights on a shrimp a week or two after that.

 

I'll post more pics as it develops... What does everyone think so far???? :huh:

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annamarie421

Hey Zen - everything is looking good! How'd you get your emerald crab to pose for you like that?! Mine still hides most of the time. Of course you have to decide for yourself, but I now understand why most people recommend scarlet hermits (or none), over everything else. My bluelegs are having a little crab war, even though there is plenty to eat, and according to stocking suggestions, they're not overcrowded. So what I'm saying is go easy on the hermits, and scarlets are the way to go.

Have you found a local reef club yet? If I were you, I'd try to find one (check the club forums at Reef Central) - you should be able to get some nice frags for a fraction of the price that they would cost in the LFS, and no shipping charges! Plus, it's fun to meet people with the same interests!

Best of luck to you, and keep the updates coming!!

Anna :)

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ZenMastr1968
Hey Zen - everything is looking good! How'd you get your emerald crab to pose for you like that?! Mine still hides most of the time. Of course you have to decide for yourself, but I now understand why most people recommend scarlet hermits (or none), over everything else. My bluelegs are having a little crab war, even though there is plenty to eat, and according to stocking suggestions, they're not overcrowded. So what I'm saying is go easy on the hermits, and scarlets are the way to go.

Have you found a local reef club yet? If I were you, I'd try to find one (check the club forums at Reef Central) - you should be able to get some nice frags for a fraction of the price that they would cost in the LFS, and no shipping charges! Plus, it's fun to meet people with the same interests!

Best of luck to you, and keep the updates coming!!

Anna :)

 

That's true - I'll have to start checking around for a club....I'm sure there's one (or more) around here in Boston.

 

I have decided to stick mostly with the scarletts, but the electric blue caught my eye. I think I might get a couple more of the electric blues and maybe a halloween hermit (orange and black banded leggs) or maybe the halloween and more scarletts [still haven't decided yet]. So far the electric blue has continued to be the most productive and active - right now none of them are really even close to each other. I can usually only see about 2 out of the 4 I currently have at any given time. I've read that the electrics can become agressive in large numbers - so I'm trying to keep that in mind.

 

The emerald is mostly reclusive, but I happened to see him walking across the top of the rock last night, so I grabbed my camera. He was actually on the front of the rocks (in plain view) last night when I went to bed, but I couldn't get a good shot at that point in time as only the lunars were on....definately need a better camera (or just have to get better with the one I have :lol: )

 

When I had the water level down to put the spray bars in last weekend, I took the next steps for the fuge setup and put about an inch or so of the left over indo-pacific LS in the bottom of my biggest chamber of the AC 70 and then added some LR rubble. Now I just have to find a LFS that has some cheato (they were all out last weekend when I was there) and still have to come up with a suitable light setup and I can get that piece running. I actually have noticed in the last couple of days the small, clearish, whiteish, buglike organisms which I believe everyone refers to as copepods all over the front glass - that sounds like a good sign....

 

On a side note, I've read that cleaner shrimp can be bread fairly easily and their offspring can do wonders in providing live feeding opportunities to the rest of the reef tank inhabitants. Has anyone tried this and how did it go???? I might try to get a smaller pair. How do you tell the males from the females??

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VannReefer87

hey zen, here is a pair for sale if your interested...was looking at online fish stores like usually dreaming of what i want in my tank...Shrimp Pair...hopefully that'll help

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ZenMastr1968

Thanks for pointing me in that direction Vann... I'll have to keep my eyes peeled and even ask at the great but somewhat remote LFS when I'm there next. That link was for CBS, does anyone know if they are reef safe?? For some reason I was told they weren't so much at one of the LFS. Anyone have any other input on that subject?

 

Thanks all, and keep it coming.... :)

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Hey im In MA too not far from Boston. Maybe when i get my tank going we can do some swaps or something. I know there is a Reefing club for sure, im tool azy to get the website right now though. Im sure you will find it if you go on google and search for Boston reef club. Anyway, looking good.

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ZenMastr1968
Hey im In MA too not far from Boston. Maybe when i get my tank going we can do some swaps or something. I know there is a Reefing club for sure, im tool azy to get the website right now though. Im sure you will find it if you go on google and search for Boston reef club. Anyway, looking good.

 

Sounds good sleepy - I beat you to it....Boston Reefers Society. Checking out their forum now. www.bostonreefers.org

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