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My first Nano (and SW tank)


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I've noticed during my time in forums that I have learned the most from seeing people document their

own experiences. I hope this gives someone new to the hobby a chance to see what to do

(or what not to do ;) ) and learn more about the hobby.


Read on if you want to start from the begining, or click a date to jump farther into the thread.


4-07-06 : LR & LS added

4-17-06 : Some hitchhiker & cleanup crew pics

4-23-06 : Chaeto & Firefish

5-01-06 : A Sad Day

5-28-06 : Mushrooms

10-11-06 : The Long Overdue Update


March 26th, 2006 --

I've dug through my assorted aquarium boxes and found what should save me a few $$$ setting up. Here's what

I'm going with...


10 gallon AGA

Aquaclear 70(300) HOB Filter

Maxi Jet 600 PH

Penguin 550 PH <--If I need it

50w heater


And today I ordered...

Orbit 20" 2x40w PCF



And I bought a Water General RO/DI off of ebay a few months ago for $52 after shipping. Works Great.

I use it for my Discus tank.


Well thats all the news for now, Below is a picture of the current waterless state of things. I'll have to wait

about 2 weeks until I get another paycheck and I can get the LR and LS... Until then.

B) ( If I can wait that long...)



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Nice stand, I saw that one at Petsmart. Was thinking about getting it but I want a refugium in the future and there is no cabinet underneath large enough for one so I let it pass. If you don't mind me asking, how much money did you spend on the stand?

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Awesome, im trying to convince my roommate to start a 10 gallon. Im gonna make him follow along.

Sounds great. Just don't let me scare him away when I bomb. :) There are lots of good 10g Nanos

out there that will show the 'end product' so you can see those too.



Nice stand, I saw that one at Petsmart. Was thinking about getting it but I want a refugium in the future

and there is no cabinet underneath large enough for one so I let it pass. If you don't mind me asking,

how much money did you spend on the stand?

My wife picked it out. I came up to her the other day and told her I was thinking about getting another

aquarium setup and to my surprise she thought that would be cool as long as we got a nice stand. I got

it at Petsmart, it was $59.99, if I remember correctly. It was also very EASY to assemble. I'm putting

the aquarium in the corner as you can see so I figured there is room behind if I want to do bigger refugium.

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April 3, 2006


Put on your party hats 'cause its time to celebrate, I got my light, the 2x40watt orbit!

Here it is shortly after arrival, as you can see, it was packed decent.



And I don't think I mentioned it but when I ordered the light I also got 2 free timers and

(sit down if you are standing) a FREE SHIRT :happydance: Here is that beauty...




And tonight I also mixed up the water for the tank. Here is my high tech RO setup...



I also started a Mod for the Aquaclear 70 (300). I could bring myself to chop up the nice

plastic insert for it so I dug into my stash of assorted aquarium goodies and found some

old replacement cartridges, I think they are the kind you buy at wal-mart. The happen

to be the same width as the AC output so I found you can cut a small chunk out of it and

presto its the begining of a AC70 Mod...




I should mention that I cut off the blue fiber and dumped the carbon, I'm thinking about

leaving the filter floss and carbon on another one and comparing the two.


This mod slides right down and creates the guard across the output...


It is a little uneven, but with better cutting that can be fixed. I plan for more fiddling with

the AC so I'll snap pictures as I go.


Well that is where I stopped for the night.


Tommorow I'll buy the LR & Sand. Pictures to follow ;)

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I lied. I didn't get the liverock yesterday like I said I would. But I DID get it today! Right now there is

about 10lbs of fiji rock in the tank, it's pretty cured but as you will be able to see in the picture I'm waiting

a day or two to put in the sand be so I can get rid of some of the ucky deads that fall off. Along with the

rock I got a 15lb bag of CaribSea Ultra Pink Aragonite, 2lbs live sand from the store tank, 1lb of sand from

the floridia keys, and a bunch of rubble for the aquaclear.


Here it is as it now stands...



And in the next picture, which is the same picture, the yellow arrow points to the chunk of rock I need to

use some epoxy to attach so it stays upright, the Orange arrows point to the powerheads and the green arrow

is the intake for the AC70.


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Well last night I took the LR out and scrubbed it down better, it had ALOT of rotten junk on it. I pulled a

bunch of stinky dead bi-valves of sometype off and a dead sponge or two. I have also spotted a baby brittle star, a few small

worms and some bristle worm. My wife thinks I'm nuts because I keep watching for new "bugs" :P


You may notice I changed the LR a little when I put it back in. The left side is still the big piece but the right has 3 small hunks

which make up 3 "mini canyons". I'll have to take a top-down photo at some point.


Anyway, lets get to the good stuff, what we are all here for... Pictures.



Here is the tank as it sits now. I forgot to mention I'm trying a Hydor FLO rotating wavemaker. I like it so far, but my only

complaints are...

#1 It's frickin huge in a 10 gallon tank.

#2 It sticks out pretty far into the tank.

But I think I have enough flow from the powerhead on the other side & the AC to make up for the space behind the hydor flo.

And besides it creates an area of lower flow.



And here is the classic...

What is this?


My best guess is a ill looking mushroom, but I know nothing.


Well thats it for this update. Enjoy (or don't). :)

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Nice looking tank. I will be sure to follow this one. That sand looks like crushed coral, it isn't very fine. Is that the LS from the LFS?



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Im really happy that we are going through this together, you let me know what to watch out for ;). So far it looks like your doing great =D.

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dam 52 off ebay was it new im seeing a lot of 5-6 stage ro/di units off ebay for <100 which is crazy compared to major brands 2day like kent, aquafx, or seachem is this a scam or r they really good filters? heres a link to one example--http://cgi.ebay.com/Reef-100GPD-Reverse-Osmosis-Water-Filters-DI-free-5-ps_W0QQitemZ4452928207QQcategoryZ20684QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


this is the r/o link\

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Nice looking tank.


I will be sure to follow this one. That sand looks like crushed coral, it isn't very fine. Is that the LS from the LFS?




Agree...why did you choose that particular substrate? SH


The sand is actually fine sand, it's Caribsea Ultra Pink Argonite, what makes it look like crushed coral is there is some

coarse sand and some rubble from my LFS mixed in. The pictures above it isn't distributed very even and the big stuff

is in front. I assure you it's not crushed coral. (I have that in a African cichlid tank & wish I would have never

bought it. It buffers great but looks suspect.)


Here's a picture of the nano substrate, zoomed in...


Sorry it's a little blue :o


I didn't want a completly uniform substrate because IMO they look unrealistic. I like the look when it has a bigger hunk

or two in it. It changes the texture makes it look natural. But thats just my opinion, I have seen lots of spectacular tanks

with just oolitic or some other sand.



Im really happy that we are going through this together, you let me know what to watch out for ;). So far it looks like your

doing great =D.

I guess I'm like a crash test dummy :)


dam 52 off ebay was it new im seeing a lot of 5-6 stage ro/di units off ebay for <100 which is crazy compared to major brands

2day like kent, aquafx, or seachem is this a scam or r they really good filters? heres a link to one


I think as long as you do your research ahead of time you can find screamin' deals. My RO was used so that lowered the price.

I know a good deal can be found if your just patient. I just tested mine yesterday and it removes everything, (well as everything

as you can get ;) )


Thanks for looking.

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Well yesterday I got home from work and looked into my tank and BLAMO Diatom algae. I

was pleasantly surprised. Today I got home and this was the situation...



Nice, I was happy to get that started. Thats about the only time you'll see me happy about an algae bloom ;)


I guess I should mention I have been testing the water since I put the LR in the tank.

  • On the 6th, I was all ammonia, and about 1ppm nitrite.
  • On the 7th nitrite was up around 3-4ppm
  • On the 8th nitrite was right about 3ppm with nitrate sitting @ <10
  • on the 9th nitrite was at .5ppm and the nitrate was upto 30ppm
  • The 10th (today) nitrite was sitting at < .5ppm (lower than the detection limit ;) ) and nitrate was 10ppm.

I was happy to see it fit the normal "cycle" I have seen in the past, although it was fast. I would attribute the

nitrate drop to the algae growth and some (I hope) nitrogen fixing. But because I am skeptical of the cycle being

this fast I am waiting another day or two then adding some snails & maybe a hermit and we will go from there.


I suppose I should mention my other parameters.

pH 8 - 8.4 (I know it's a big range but thats what the test strip reports and I have yet to borrow a pH meter from

where I work to check it.

SG (target) 1.023 -1.024 although it gets close to 1.025 by topoff time.

KH is around 300, a little less according to the shade of green.

Temp has been steady, between 78-79°F.


The first day of testing the pH and KH were a little low, which had me worried (for no reason) but after a day they

bounced up to and held the current ranges. Presumably because the argonite sand took time to buffer.


Well feel free to comment.

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I have crabs... and snails... and a shrimp.


Last night I took a big step and actually put living creatures into my tank. (Not counting hitchhikers mind you.)


I bought:

  • 2 Nerite Snails
  • 3 Cerith Snails
  • 2 Turbo Snails
  • 2 Blue legged hermit
  • 1 Emerald Crab
  • 1 Peppermint Shrimp

I acclimate them all and added them last night. The hermits got right to the algae, the snails began their feast, but the shrimp

and crab hid instantly. After the lights turned off I went back with my red lensed flashligh and the emerald crab was climbing

around chowing down and the shrimp was out wander between several rocks. How fun to watch them all!


This morning everyone was still accounted for and looked to be doing well.


From this point I plan on wait, wait, waiting to make make sure everything statys stable and things keeps going well. Maybe next

paycheck I'll add my first coral. Oh Joy :D But we will see how things go until then.


Sorry no pictures. :(

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Looks good so far. Keep it up!



attack of the algea begins dadada

You are so right.


The brown algae attack is subsiding but it is being replaced with green algae.

Thats most of the news. The cleaning crew has been at work but I need to upgrade with some more snails. I may get some Bumblebee snails.


Anyway here is what I am trying to get at... Pictures :) Forgive me because some have algae on the front glass and focusing is hard.



These buggers have appeared several places on the live rock. If you look in about the middle of the picture you will see one little fan and another toward the bottom.



The Emerald Crab. Which I love. And he loves bubble algae. The Peppermint Shirmp is in the back, slightly out fo focus. Once again forgive me for the focus.



In the middle of this picture you will notice somthing with a little reddish 'intake' and 'output'. I haven't tried to figure out what it is but I'd guess some type of sponge. Also you see some of the coraline algae growth.



And the final picture for the night, one of the blue legged hermits. I just realized I said Red legged hermit in a previous post. It appears I was mistaken :unsure:


Until next time.

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Hopefully the green algae is not hair algae!!! Since you used an RO unit, you shouldn't have a big problem with hair algae. IMHO

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Bought 2 Jenner's Cowry (Cowrie? I've seen both spellings), Jenneria pustulata.

Had to use the flashlight to take the picture since it's night in my corner of the ocean ;)


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Just thought it was time for an update...


Well everything has been going great or so it seems. Time will tell :) My only concern right now is the cyano outbreak in the front left corner of the tank. I adjusted some powerhead angles so we will see how that works. Otherwise the LFS is getting a bunch of Scarlet Hermits in, which I have read and been told will eat the cyano. Onto the update...


First, don't get me wrong the Turbo Snails clean like no other BUT they are like infants who need consant attention. I have had to flip them back over several times. So a word to the wise; keep a eye on your Turbo Snails because they need you to turn them back over.


Ok Friday morning I was doing my daily morning inspection and notice that stuck to the powerhead intake was a shrimp like creature who looked very dead. My heart sank because I loved my Peppermint shrimp, and he appeared to be dead. BUT upon further inspection the shrimp was hiding in his little cave. Oh Joy! He didn't die, he molted! Much better. It was his old exoskeleton stuck to the intake not him, so that made me very happy.


Onto everyones favorite thing... Pictures.


Friday I took off work early and went to may LFS to see what was in. After enjoying a free bagel with one of the owners I picked out a clump of Chaeto which was given to me for free which is awesome. I currently have it in the main tank, but plan to move it to the AC as soon as I get a light for it.



I also picked out my tanks first (and only) fish, a orange firefish Nemateleotris magnifica. Sorry for the bad photo.



I arrived home and I wasn't the only one who was happy about the Chaeto. Note the crab claws extending from behind the LR.



And yet another hitchhiker. It looks like some type of clam/scallop thing, it raises and lowers (for lack of better words) it's 'lid' and small whitish/clear 'tenticles' stick out. It's neat.



I guess a FTS is in order...



And I was so impressed with my turbo snail climbing onto the hydor flo I took a short video (of questionable quality) which can be found here: Snail-go-Round


So my only current question is this: Because the cleanup crew is doing such an effecient job should I supplement somthing for them? Seaweed, Mysid, something else?

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cool video, I wonder if he's dizzy? you have an orbit 80 watt fixture right? I had one, but the fan was noisy and I wanted some acros so I bought a MH fixture. I know that you can keep whatever with PC lighting but the color just doesn't seem to be the same, for some reason my acro started to bleach, and I was told that MH would bring the color back. Anyway, the cleanup crew did a great job. I kept my lights off for the first month of cycling so I didn't get hardly any algae in my tank. I have plenty now though, I have 7 astrea snails, 1 margarita, 4 scarlet hermits, and 1 blue legged hermits. Congrats on a cool nano!!! Oh yeah, the best thing really for the red algae is a skimmer, I got one and the red algae dissappeared.

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Yes, I have the 80w Orbit. The fan is a little noisy but I've gotten use to it. Thanks for the kind words and input :) And I do have a skimmer but lack the room on the tank to run it :(


5-01-06 : A Sad Day Indeed...


I got home from work today to find my firefish a dried, shriveled, thing on the kitchen floor. Sucks. I knew they were jumpers but figured the lid only left a 1" gap at the rear of the tank. I guess I learned. Forgive me for not taking a picture of the funeral.


In other news; I have been combating the red algae(cyano) and think I am winning. (Or it is letting me win.) I am trying to get a scarlet hermit from the LFS but the shipment was delayed until today and I have to wait for payday. I know you understand.


So when I goto get a scarlet hermit what new fish should I buy? Remember this is a 10g and I only want the 1 fish.


And because today was so sad I took some happy pictures.


Snail Eggs...




Peppermint Shrimp...




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i have crabs

Looking good so far. Soo glad to see that you are doing your research!

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