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Coral Vue Hydros

Old Reef Keeper, New Nano Questions

Dan Chase

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Hello, this is my first post here, my name is Dan. I feel funny about posting in the newbie section since I started marine aquariums more then 20 years ago and reef tank shortly after. When I first started reef tanks, the normal thinking was 55gal minimum size tank, I shortly after started experimenting with a 20 gal and then with that's success, a 10 gallon. I had to make everything for the filtration back those days.


I have been out of the hobby for 8 years now, wow have things changed, they now have names for the mini reef tanks I used to build, "Nano" tanks! The Pico tanks just blow me away!


Anyway, enough of the introduction. I have a few questions regarding a new 10 gallon tank I have just started cycling. It currently only has a Fluval 2 filter with activated carbon, 10lbs of Fiji live rock and a yellow tail Damsel fish. It also has the standard 18" Daylight florescent light. You can read about my planed up grades below. I add my specimens slowly, it will probably take over a year to inhabit it fully.


1. Does this tank load sound reasonable for a long term plan?

2. Will the combination of the Fluval 2 & Skilter 250 be sufficient to maintain good water quality?

3. Is the protein Skimmer in the Skilter good enough or should I supplement it with something else?

4. Any comment's are welcome!


Thanks in advance. It's good to be back in the hobby and it's hard to believe how far it's progressed in the years I have been away! :)


10 Gallon Nano Reef Tank


Tank Specifications


10 Gallon (12?) acrylic

20”w x 12”t x 10”d




Custom Build Oak Hood

1. Power Compact 1x 96W CF/PC 50/50 Quad 50/50 Actinic 03/10,000K bulb

18 1/2"L x 7"W x 1 3/4"H




1. Fluval 2, 94 GPH with activated Carbon pads, Used for circulation as well as filtration.

1. Skilter 250, 250 GPH chemical, mechanical and biological filtration

1. Sanders Piccolo protein skimmer (f needed with Skilter 250)

1. 10lbs Fiji Live Rock





Soft Corals & Anemones


2. Mushroom Anemone - Actinodiscus/Discosoma

1. Ricordia Mushroom

1. Orange Button Polyps - Palythoa Saulis

1. Metallic Green Star Polyps - Clavularia Viridis


Hard Corals


1-2. Small Brain Coral

1. Bubble Coral




1. Royal Gramma

1. Undetermined clown fish

1. Yellow tail Damsel (if it survives cycling)




1. Cleaner Shrimp

2. Cleaner Snails

1. Nudibranch, Dorid Group

1. Feather Duster.

1. Small Blue Starfish

1. Christmas Tree Worms, rock with several specimens

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you're just like my older brother. (he started back around '81? with ponies) i've been trying to pull him back in for the past year (like pacino in the godfather 3 :D ).


just a couple of thoughts, you may want to go glass. i'm sure you aware of the issues but i gotta mention my opinion that's all.


bioload is doable if you're patient, might get a little crowded in there tho imo.


rip out the guts of the skilter. in place of that venturi chamber POS drop in the piccolo and you're set imo. i'd still use the filter cartridge to throttle back the flow tho. (i like the emperor hob's, they've a big enough chamber and built-in throttle switch)


check the spacing on the quad lights. i never liked the spacing shift off from the base. (i.e. off center) you can offset this a little by wiring them opposing parallel rather than parallel from the same side.


no sand? ??? you are 'old school'! :P jk

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Have you hit the Member's Section of this site? Equipment seems to have a lot to do with other factors (water changes, bio load, demands of occupents...). There is TONS of info on specifics in that section. Don't forget to use the search for specific topics (Skilter), most likely, many folks before you have asked similar questions.

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tinyreef, Thanks for the advice on the Skilter, I think I'll do just that! I have been having a real hard time locating anyone that sells the Sanders Piccolo protein skimmer, you wouldn't have any links would you? Searches Both here and on Google have turned up empty. I'm also open to other brands as long as they are small & compact, the tank is in our living room, so it must look neat & tidy, that comes straight from the boss! :rolleyes:


Your brother and I started about the same time, I'm still amazed how much things have changed and how healthy the specimens are these days! That's good news, one of the reasons I gave it up before was all the unhealthy ways they were capturing specimens, being an avid diver, I would rather keep the reefs healthy then pursue the hobby.


BTW: I have been reading up on live sand, this totally new to me, I will slowly start replacing the sand I have now at about a pond at a time. See, I'm not so old school I'm not willing to learn! ;)



Chamkeeper, I have been drooling on the members sections for the last few weeks, there are some wonderful tanks there! I did do a search on the Skilter on this board, but could not find anything specific to what I was asking about the protein skimmer on it. I did find a few post on modifying or removing it, which is why I was asking about it it's quality. The other questions pertained to this particular tank. When I started in the early '80's we were all flying by the seat of our pants, now there is a good chance someone has setup a tank similar to what I am proposing, it's their advice I seek.


I should have also mentioned that I plan to change 1 gallon a week. I am also thinking more seriously about cutting down the fish load to just 1 Royal Gramma. I also would love to add a small calm, but I'm concerned my lighting will not be sufficient and metal halide is not an option.


Thanks for the replies!

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I finally started a tank at Christmas. I used a 50# of Home Depot sand, Southdown, in my 30. I seeded it with just a little LR and a pound of LS. Now, it is all live, beautiful. Because my tank is designed to be a FOWLR, I seeded coral skeletons, 'dead rock' and now, I have lots of coraline growing on all of it. You are destined for a great tank, your past knowledge will only help evaluating new concepts.


Good luck and please offer info to us new folks,


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