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I've been in the reefing hobby for about 7 months. Before that for the past 20 years I had a 45 gallon salt water tank. Nothing fancy, just fish, crabs and tons of algae 😉 . Last fall, as I had been neglecting the tank and was thinking about getting out of the hobby all together I stumbled across a new-ish local fish store. They specialized in corals and unlike another fish store in the area, seemed to really know what they were talking about and VERY customer friendly. Talking to the owner about reef tanks he introduced me to the IM 10 and 20 all in one tanks, how they worked, what was required in reefing along with the challenges everyone here is aware of. So I decided to decommission my 20 year old standard saltwater tank and went with the IM 10 Nano set up. It took some convincing with my wife but we found a great place in our kitchen that we could all enjoy a new and smaller tank. I was aware of the risks with smaller tanks as smaller = more fluctuations/chances for disaster but this time I really wanted quality over quantity. I wanted quick and easy maintenance and not something that would take hours every few weeks to keep up. More frequent, 10-15 min small maintenance items I was fine with. So I started it up in Dec, got a great quick cycle, imported two of my clowns (only one stayed as they began to fight) and some crabs into the 10 gallon and off I went. 12/19/17 Parameters were really stable aside from a Nitrate issue I was never able to completely beat into submission but the corals didn't seem to mind. I added a Golby with his shrimp buddy and a cleaner shrimp. I had Zoa's, Candy Cane's, Xenia's, some leathers and a few torches including a beautiful Pink Tipped Torch at the top. I even added a nice Monti that was doing well and a small clam that took the the tank instantly. 5/4/2018 The tank was doing really well. I had even tapped down the Nitrate problem and was getting 2 weeks easy per water change. The pictures above were from May. Below is the tank on June 9th. No I did not upload the wrong picture, that is what a tank looks like after a complete (and I mean complete) crash. So what happened. We went on a family vacation for a week. I had my parents coming over every other day to check on the tank and feed the fish along with adding just a little Alk ever 2-3 days to keep my levels where I wanted. They came by on a Sunday and everything was cool. Came back Tuesday evening to find the tank completely cloudy, corals closed up and dying. They called me sent me pictures and I had them open the tank up to get a better look. They found the clown dead (which is what I think triggered everything). They got him out along with the dead cleaner shrimp and I walked them through a 50% water change (not easy with 70 year old parents). I then called my LFS and had them come out the next day to do another water change. By the time they came out almost everything was dead or dying but did another water change to try and salvage what they could until I got back on Sat. When I got home EVERYTHING was gone. Not a fun way to return from the beach. As I began to pull the dead corals out I found the dead golby under the rock which obviously continued the death spiral the rest of the week. Devastated doesn't fully describe how I felt. So why am I writing this? A few reasons. 1) For newbies -- know the risks. Things can go bad in a hurry especially in small tanks. I wouldn't trade my 10 gallon. I love the size, I love where it is in our house and everyone that comes in would marvel at its beauty and just how "cool" it was. 2) Be careful with fish in such small reef tanks. I know fish are common in this small of a tank but my clown was probably a bit big for this size and if they up and die on you --ish goes bad quick. There is a reason many contributors here have corals only in Nano's. That is my plan (at least for now) for this tank going forward. 3) Get to know and support your LFS. Those guys were INVALUABLE in educating me and still are. Look I buy some of my stuff online but most of my items I try to buy from them even if its a little more expensive. If they go out of business all I have to turn to are the message boards here 😉 4) When on vacation, checking on a small tank every other day is risky (esp if you have fish). Spend a little more money paying off the next door neighbor's kid to come and and make sure everything is alive every day. Had I had my parents checking every day, the dead fish would have been caught immediately and a small water change would have sufficed until I got back with minimal damage. And the 5th reason I'm posing is since I got into the hobby and found this forum I've loved following individual tanks progress sooooo the "Phoenix" rises from the ashes... reborn and will be better than ever.... 6/21/2018 Tank completely re-cycled added a nice Zoa rock and red mushroom to get things going then found someone getting rid of a cool multi-head Candy Cane Trumpet that gives some nice definition/shape and color pop to the tank. Watching the levels closely, everything is stable right now. I learned a lot in my first go around of what I liked and ended up not liking. Looking for quite a bit of movement in this tank along with some different colors. Will be doing Euphyllias, some Acans, maybe some small Duncans and my wife loves the pulsing Xenia's. She enjoys the tank as much as I do (except I do all the work) and she has good taste in what makes a tank look good (and expensive taste as well). I appreciate and welcome any and all advice as the one thing I'm sure of is that the knowledge on these boards is beyond anything I hope to achieve and I've learned a ton just reading and following tanks. This community is awesome! Long post but I hope my (expensive) mistakes helps others out, esp in the Nano newbie arena. Mark
Hello reefers, While i am slowly collecting everything for my reefer 170, I bought an im fusion 10 for a good price (not easy in europe) and thinking about setting it up as my first saltwater tank. I sold my freshwater tank and i'm officially fishless and it kinda sucks . Planning to run it skimmerless (like Gena, she does a wonderful job with her fusion 10) and just keep up with water changes. If i really need to use one i have an atb nano hob skimmer for backup. So what do i already have: Tank: im fusion 10 Stand: ikea kallax Pump: eheim compact 600 Skimmer: eheim skim marine 100 Heater: eheim thermopreset 50watt Water movement: mp10wqd Light: Nanobox mini tide plus m ATO: Tunze 3152 Now what ato should i get? Tunze nano osmolator 3152? Should i choose the prime hd or the kessil a80? I actually want a mini tide but it's to expensive to import it to Belgium Couldn't resist and bought a nanobox mini tide plus m, i wanted that light for over 2 years now. Figured it be worth the extra cost. Here are some pics: What do you think of this aquascape? Planning to only keep a few corals like a frogspawn or torch and some acans and zoas. i also want one fish to keep the bioload low. Not really sure which one to get. Perhaps a purple dottyback or a tailspot... Fts 01/04/2019 Cheers, Rory