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  1. My Dream Nano Reef Tank: Simplicity Meets Super Low Maintenance WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! For many years, I have been enjoying my three maintenance free, heavily planted freshwater tanks; my favorite being my Dream Blue Velvet Shrimp tank that is also home to my Bamboo Shrimp, Mini Golden Rabbit Snails, and a Salt and Pepper Pygmy Cory Catfish. For the past year, the wife really wanted a nano reef tank for her classroom to be viewed by hundreds of students, their parents, and her co-teachers. Not to be out done, I then wanted a nano reef tank for the home office. And thus, the Office Nano Reef Tank was born on 9/10/2019. (A week later, the School Nano Reef was born on 9/17/2019 which can be viewed here.) MY PRIMARY GOALS I have 3 primary goals for this nano reef: 1. Very low maintenance (almost self sustaining with little involvement from me. Think pseudo Triton method.) 2. To have Pom Pom Xenia cover the majority of the rocks with various corals scattered throughout to add diversity and color. 3. To have clear water with no odor. EL CHEAPO 10 GALLON AQUEON AQUARIUM FROM PETCO FEATURES ◕ Price: $14.99 (I missed the dollar per gallon sale, but the dream must move forward!) ◕ Tank Length: 20.25" ◕ Tank Width: 10.5" ◕ Tank Height: 12.625" ◕ Material: Glass TANK HIGH LEVEL CHARACTERISTICS ⇨ Aquascape : Nature's Ocean 12-Inch Coral Base Rocks (they gave me 2 gigantic aragonite rocks so I spent hours trying to break them apart by throwing them against the concrete. I was a madman on a mission!) ⇨ Sand : 10 pounds of Nature's Ocean Natural White No.0 Bio-Activ Aragonite Live Sand ⇨ Heater : Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater, 50 Watt ⇨ Lighting : NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light & Finnex 10" FugeRay Ultra Slim Aquarium LED Light; Current USA Orbit Marine IC PRO Dual LED with Bluetooth ⇨ Powerheads : Hydor Koralia Nano 240 (2) + Custom Prefilters ⇨ Wave Controller : Hydor Smart Wave Circulation Pump Controller ⇨ Filtration : Zoo Med's 318 Submersible Filter (TC-20) (Filled it with Activated Carbon Media Pads cut to size.) ⇨ UV Sterilizer System : AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine 3 Watt ⇨ Coralline Algae Starter : Pink Fusion Strain & Purple Helix Strain Coralline Algae in a Bottle + Nitrifying Bacteria ⇨ Tank Lid: 20-Inch Aqueon Aquarium AAG29020 Versa Top ⇨ Natural sea water: Imagitarium Pacific Ocean Water, 5 gallons (2) MAINTENANCE ◕ Daily Dosing of Reef Fusion 1 and Reef Fusion 2 to maintain the critical levels of calcium, alkalinity, and other elements and trace minerals. ◕ Top off with Distilled Water with Instant Ocean's Marine Conditioner that adds protective fish coating and eliminates chlorine, chloramine & heavy metals. ◕ When the water's surface develops an oily film, skim it off with paper towels as needed. Then re-add filtered natural sea water for any water that was removed. ◕ Clean the Prefilters on the Circulation Pumps whenever they become overly clogged. ◕ Replace the Activated Carbon Media Pads (cut to size) for the submersible filter whenever the need arises. ◕ Clean the sponge filter for the UV Sterilizer whenever the need arises. MY CORAL CHOICES Pom Pom Xenia (ORA) I LOVE pulsing Xenia and find myself hypnotized every time I see it. I know others may hate it, but I find it as one of the coolest corals. They have no stinging tentacles and little to no toxins. It may try to colonize the tank and possibly fly around if it runs out of space on the rock it’s on, and may try to smother other corals if left unchecked, but the easy solution for that may be to just pull out any Xenia that gets too close to my other corals. I really love the Pom Pom Xenia (ORA) variation due to the pinkish color and larger pulsing effect. 2 Duncanopsammia Corals I bought two Duncans online and as far as I know, they may have short stingers, but they basically don’t really sting anything and are pretty safe in that department as far as I know. And they have no toxins that I’m aware of. They’re so cool looking too! I had two additional ones also, but the first one succame to Brown Jelly disease after a great fall onto the rocks and the sand. I believe its tentacles may have gotten injured and infected during this fall. The second one slowly perished from a similar fate including the occasional cyanobacteria bothering it. Candy Cane Coral (ORA) I really wanted the Neon Green Trumpet Coral, but they were sold out at the time. Hopefully, this one will turn out to be cool too. Purple Australian Big Polyp Blastomussa Coral & Red Australian Big Polyp Blastomussa Coral The Blastomussa Wellsi corals seem like the perfect addition to add to an open area that I have at the bottom of my tank. Acropora echinata Coral I received a tiny frag of what looks like Acropora echinata by accident in with my online order. I placed the small frag on the highest point of my rocks to try to give it the most light and current possible. I feed it Reef-Roids a few times a week and it seems to be quite happy so far with a multitude of polyps open most of the time. I like getting expensive corals for free! 🙂 Neon Green Trumpet Coral I almost gave up on trying to find this stunning coral, but when I least expected it, not only did I find it, but was given an offer I couldn't refuse. It was Cyber Monday, but the LFS told me that I could get the 50% Off Black Friday deal on this coral if I want it. Welcome home Neon Green Trumpet Coral -- my collection is finally complete! MACROALGAE Chaetomorpha Macroalgae One of the best, hardest working, and hardiest macroalgaes that you can find although if used for the display tank, small bits and pieces can easily get into every nook and cranny. I attempted to replace it with the much prettier looking Red Ogo Macroalgae, however that melted due to poor shipping conditions and possibly other factors. Fortunately, I kept the Chaeto on stand-by in a sealed zip lock bag and it survived without being in water for 24 hours! Red Dragon's Breath (Gracilaria Hayi) Macroalgae [Death by Mexican Turbo Snails] Simply beautiful to put into the display tank. Seems to work best if you can find a way to anchor it down. Red Ogo (Gracilaria Parvispora) Macroalgae [Death by poor shipment conditions] Normally a beautiful bright red & burgundy color and is fast growing, this macroalgae did not survive a 4-day journey through the mail in cold weather conditions to my home. The temperature inside the package felt a bit cold due to the heat pack not holding up for the entirety of the trip. Upon opening the bag, a really foul stench permeated the room. The macroalgae arrived orange and after acclimating to my tank, almost immediately began to cloud the water and became mostly transparent within 24 hours. Needless to say, I had to remove all of the Red Ogo from the tank, but I was fortunate to have kept the very hardy Chaeto on stand-by in case an emergency such as this arises. LIVESTOCK 2 Ocellaris Clownfish The thing that started it all! Nemo and Marlin make their debut in our new nano reef tank that is situated between our desks in the home office. I selected the smallest ones available at the LFS and they should remain relatively small compared to other types of clownfish. I love their vibrant colors, overall peacefulness, and their wacky movements! 1 Tailspot Blenny A HUGE Personality stuck inside a tiny little body. Blenny is always there to stare back at me with a smile as I debate life's choices. 1 Yellow Watchman Goby I've read so much about this fascinating fish that I just had to experience one. Pretty, funny personality, grumpy at times which adds to the flavor, and a cool duo if you already have a blenny in the tank. I'm excited to watch all of its future antics. 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp from Sri Lanka I love watching the shrimp hang upside down on my "rock bridge" and search the tank in the evening for leftover food. I also get to witness it cleaning the fish every now and then. I was reading that you could keep two Skunk Cleaner Shrimp in a tank, but no more than two otherwise the mated pair will kill off the others! 1 Porcelain Anemone Crab My fierce little Samurai that help filter and clean the water. Don't let their peaceful demeanor fool you, that one on the right (nicknamed Alpha crab) ripped off two of the legs of the other one (nicknamed Captain Hook because his one side only has 1 leg)! Although at this time, they're both doing well and are still alive. Alpha crab molted on 12/14/19 and I actually thought he killed Captain Hook, lol. Crab molts look so real! UPDATE: As far as I can tell, Alpha crab ended up killing Captain Hook. I noticed one day that Alpha crab clutched Captain Hook's claw, but I was able to quickly intervene and shoo Alpha crab away from Captain Hook. Sadly, I believe it was the next morning when I noticed Captain Hook's claw was pulled off and his corpse was upside down on the top of the large rock that he usually stays on. I didn't realize if their claw gets removed, they will die so easily. 1 Ruby Emerald Crab I read that the smaller Emerald crabs are more likely to eat Bubble Algae compared to the larger Emerald crabs. I asked my LFS to pick me out the prettiest emerald crab that was small, and he found me a Ruby Emerald Crab to adopt (first time I've seen a red Emerald crab myself). Hopefully this little guy will munch on some Bubble Algae that I noticed throughout the tank. 1 Peppermint Shrimp Although Peppermint Shrimp do not always eat Aiptasia, you can increase your chances of getting one that does by getting more than one Peppermint Shrimp, which is just what I did. I tried killing the Aiptasia manually before with some lemon juice and tweezers, but after a few months, not only did it come back in the same spot, but another popped up on the other side of the tank! Seek and destroy, my Peppermint Shrimp! 4 Stocky Cerith Snails These snails are hard workers and they even clean on the edge where the sand meets the glass. I hear they are usually hard to reproduce due to their eggs being eaten by fish and such. I don't mind as long as they don't reproduce out of control. 3 Banded Trochus Snails They are excellent algae eaters and do a great job cleaning the brown diatoms off the glass. They also like to keep the heater and the surrounding areas sparkling clean. 4 Mexican Turbo Snails I got these snails to take care of some cotton candy algae that may have hitchhiked onto the Chaeto that I bought off eBay. I confirmed that the larger snails that are 2"+ do indeed consume the cotton candy algae. 2 Tiger Sand Conchs I got the initial conch because I read that it eats cyanobacteria and also algae & detritus. It keeps the sandbed well stirred up and doesn't deplete it of microfauna. And it's amazing to watch it hop around on its powerful foot. After observing it eating cyanobacteria at a snails pace and doing a good job at the areas it was at, I decided to get one more to keep entire sand bed looking great since my particular system could use it. 1 Feather Duster I've been fascinated by my tiny little fan worm hitchhikers found on two of my corals. I do not feed them, yet they continue to grow and thrive possibly due to me spot feeding Reef-Roids to my corals every now and then. I've been curious of the much larger feather dusters and wanted to give it a try to see if their care level is similar to the tiny hitchhiker variety. Although, I may spot feed it Reef-Roids at the same time I do my normal coral feeding just to make sure it gets some nutrition besides what is found in the water. There is also a thriving Tisbe copepod population in the tank as well. a ton of Tisbe Copepods Our unseen clean up crew behind the scenes. They sometimes sacrifice themselves as lunch for any hungry fish waiting for their next daily meal. HITCHHIKERS Fan worms I have a few of these tiny little feather dusters that hitchhiked onto some corals that I purchased online from LA. I believe it adds more diversity to my tank and gives me one more interesting thing to stare at. Branching Coralline algae I first noticed this purplish, tiny twig that was attached to my Candy Cane coral when I initially added it to my tank. At first I didn't know what it was, but once I did, it's been a welcome addition to the reef. I'm happy to see it continue to grow over time. Cotton Candy Algae [PENDING: Death by Mexican Turbo Snails and Mechanical Filtration] Commonly referred to as a nuisance algae, this pretty pink & fluffy algae was first seen attached to my Chaeto that I purchased off eBay. True Mexican Turbo Snails (Turbo fluctuosa) of the larger variety (2"+) can help reduce the amount of cotton candy algae within a tank. I found acquiring these snails to be more difficult than I expected. My LFS sold me some Zebra Turbo Snails that they called Mexican Turbo Snails and they did not eat any of the cotton candy algae because it's the wrong kind of snail. As the weeks go on, I've grown more fonder of the pink color that this algae exhibits and I may change my mind on how bad it may be. It helps to export excess nutrients along with the chaeto while looking more aesthetically pleasing. My only real concern is if it can cause chaeto and corals to die over time by growing over them and preventing light from getting to them. I will keep a close eye on this nuisance algae and hopefully acquire some large Mexican Turbo Snails in the future. Aiptasia anemones [Death by Peppermint Shrimp] I noticed a tiny little Aiptasia anemone on the rockwork. I don't know where it came from, but it must've hitchhiked from one of the recent corals that I added to the tank. Not wanting to wait, I blasted it with some pure lemon juice. I then dug it all out with my tweezers and siphoned out any residue. That was the very last time I've ever seen an Aiptasia anemone in any of my reef tanks. UPDATE: Months later, I noticed two additional Aiptasia anemones in the tank so this time I purchased 2 Peppermint Shrimp to see if they can deal with these scary pests. Flatworms [Death by Toilet and hungry Clownfish] I've noticed flatworms on two different occasions and only on my Xenia coral. For the longest time, I thought these little brown spots were just part of the Xenia dying or rotting away -- UNTIL I noticed it moving one day! I then took the piece of Xenia out, dipped it into tank water with Seachem Reef Dip, rinsed it off with new tank water, and flushed the flatworms out of existence. The second time I noticed it was on a different Xenia (one that I didn't dip); I was able to siphon it off the Xenia, it floated in the water and to my surprise, my Clownfish ATE it! I was both surprised and proud that my Clownfish was helping me rid the tank of this pest. So Death by Flushing and Death by Clownfish. Make your Choice. Vermetid snails I added 6 Turbo Snails a few days ago, and the 2 largest of the pack had some noticeable hitchhikers on their shells. I would've swore I saw a worm-like thing quickly enter a calcified burrow on one of the shells. As I observed more closely, I noticed a bunch of mucus strands or slime trail that floats in the water so I may also have Vermetid snails possibly (pretty possible there are multiple types of pests on the shell). When I read up on Vermetid snails and finding out that the mucus strands irritates corals and can even cause them to die, I quickly got to work and removed the 2 large snails from the tank. I took a tooth brush and used the end to try to crush the calcium burrows and remove them from the large snail shells. I rinsed with tap water and brushed the shells hoping it may aid in killing anything else on the shells. Spirorbid Worms Ever since I added the large Turbo snails, now I have countless Spirorbid Worms all over my tank. I see this as a good thing because they are peaceful filter feeders after all, however I would venture to say there are hundreds -- maybe thousands of them all over my tank. Since I do not do water changes in this tank, I wonder if the influx of tiny filter feeders (Spirorbid Worms, Vermetid snails, Pineapple Sponges) is due to the plentiful source of food floating in the water column? Perhaps this is nature's way to bring balance to my tank so everything can live in harmony. Pineapple sponges I didn't know it at the time, but there was a Pineapple sponge hiding within the Chaeto that I purchased off eBay. Fast forward to today, now there's countless Pineapple sponges all over the underside of rockwork and in dark areas of the tank such as behind the heater. Based on my research, these should decline in population over time as the food supply lessens within the water. I tend to like filter feeders overall so at this time, they're a welcome addition to the biodiversity within my tank. Bubble Algae I noticed Bubble Algae on both of the Blastomussa corals that I got from LA. After doing much research, I did not want to get an Emerald crab because based off other hobbyists' experiences, they're 50/50 on whether or not they'll even consume the Bubble Algae. And on top of that, it's 50/50 if they may pick at & eat your corals in the tank. And when they get big, they may even go after your small fish. So, no thanks. Then I was reading about hobbyists' popping the Bubble Algae with tweezers. For the ones that have, they claim the Bubble Algae never came back after they were popped and removed. On top of that, when various hobbyists watched their Emerald crabs eat the Bubble Algae, the Emerald crabs themselves pop the Bubble Algae! For the hobbyists that did not want to pop the Bubble Algae, they were scared if spores would spread. But, others mentioned it may only spread if the Bubble Algae is mature and large. Either way, I went with popping the Bubble Algae with tweezers and I will update this if I notice any coming back. UPDATE: I found out later that any of the BA skin that hid itself within the cracks or floated in the tank eventually repopulated itself. In response, I purchased a small Ruby Emerald Crab to help end this menace once and for all! PICTURES Day 16 (9/26/2019) since starting the Office Nano Reef: Day 43 (10/23/2019): Day 60 (11/9/2019): Day 81 (11/30/2019): Day 112 (12/31/2019):
  2. The School Nano Reef: Simplicity Meets Ultra Low Maintenance WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! For the past year, the wife really wanted a nano reef tank for her classroom to be viewed by hundreds of students, their parents, and her co-teachers. She was so determined and excited about this that she told all of her co-teachers that she is getting one even before I planned out the logistics of such a feat (since I'm brand new to saltwater tanks and wasn't too eager at the time to spend the time and money to learn such a thing). But, I didn't want to let her and her friends down, thus the School Nano Reef Tank was born on 9/17/2019, a week after my Office Nano Reef Tank was born which can be found here. I also wanted to document this tank separately from my Office Nano Reef since it has been having a host of it's own unique types of issues which included Dino's up until recently which I'll detail in a separate post. MY PRIMARY GOALS I have 3 primary goals for this nano reef: 1. Extremely low maintenance since it can be weeks before I'm able to visit this tank to perform any type of maintenance. 2. To have GSP cover the larger rocks and to have Pom Pom Xenia cover everything else that remains. 3. To have clear water with no odor. EL CHEAPO 10 GALLON AQUEON AQUARIUM FROM PETCO FEATURES ◕ Price: $14.99 (I missed the dollar per gallon sale, but the dream must move forward!) ◕ Tank Length: 20.25" ◕ Tank Width: 10.5" ◕ Tank Height: 12.625" ◕ Material: Glass TANK HIGH LEVEL CHARACTERISTICS ⇨ Aquascape : Nature's Ocean 12-Inch Coral Base Rocks (they gave me 2 gigantic aragonite rocks so I spent hours trying to break them apart by throwing them against the concrete. I was a madman on a mission!) ⇨ Sand : 10 pounds of Nature's Ocean Natural White No.0 Bio-Activ Aragonite Live Sand ⇨ Heater : EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 50W ⇨ Lighting : NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light & Finnex 10" FugeRay Ultra Slim Aquarium LED Light; Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light ⇨ Powerheads : Hydor Koralia Nano 240 (2) ⇨ Wave Controller : Hydor Smart Wave Circulation Pump Controller ⇨ Filtration : Marina S20 Power Filter (Filled it with 4 Marina Slim Filter Carbon Plus Ceramic Cartridges.) ⇨ In-Tank Refugium : Drilled custom holes into a Hamiledyi Fish Breeder Box ⇨ Coralline Algae Starter : Pink Fusion Strain & Purple Helix Strain Coralline Algae in a Bottle + Nitrifying Bacteria ⇨ Tank Lid: 20-Inch Aqueon Aquarium AAG29020 Versa Top ⇨ Natural sea water: Imagitarium Pacific Ocean Water, 5 gallons (2) MAINTENANCE ◕ Occasional dosing of Reef Fusion 1 and Reef Fusion 2 to add calcium, alkalinity, and other elements and trace minerals. ◕ Top off with Distilled Water with Instant Ocean's Marine Conditioner that adds protective fish coating and eliminates chlorine, chloramine & heavy metals. ◕ When the water's surface develops an oily film, skim it off with paper towels as needed. Then re-add filtered natural sea water for any water that was removed. ◕ Replace the Marina Slim Filter Carbon Plus Ceramic Cartridges for the Marina S20 Power Filter whenever the need arises. ◕ Clean the sponge filter attached to the Marina S20 Power Filter intake whenever the need arises. MY CORAL CHOICES Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia This was one of the first Xenias that I purchased and I found out that I actually love the Pom Pom Xenia (ORA) variation more due to the pinkish color and larger pulsing effect. So the Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia was banished to the School Nano Reef. Green Star Polyps / GSP The School Nano Reef will only get doses of Calcium and Alk whenever I have time to visit it, which may be weeks at a time. Thus, the only surviving corals that can take such abuse may very well be GSP and Xenia. Let's see how these two hold up in the long run. I'm hoping that the GSP will cover all three huge rocks within this tank within a short period of time. MACROALGAE Chaetomorpha Macroalgae This is part of my magic bullet to keep the phosphates and nitrates down as low as possible. This plus the Xenia will be my main excess nutrient exporters. Red Dragon's Breath Gracilaria Hayi Macroalgae [EATEN by Mexican Turbo Snails] Simply beautiful to put into the display tank. Seems to work best if you can find a way to anchor it down. Red Ogo (Gracilaria Parvispora) Macroalgae [DEAD: Melted in 24 hours] Normally a beautiful bright red & burgundy color and is fast growing, this macroalgae did not survive a 4-day journey through the mail in cold weather conditions to my home. The temperature inside the package felt a bit cold due to the heat pack not holding up for the entirety of the trip. Upon opening the bag, a really foul stench permeated the room. The macroalgae arrived orange and became mostly transparent within 24 hours. Needless to say, I had to remove all of the Red Ogo from the tank. LIVESTOCK 2 Ocellaris Clownfish (ORA) It wouldn't be much of a School Nano Reef without the ultimate stars, Nemo and Marlin. We just love their vibrant colors, overall peacefulness, and their wacky movements! 1 Sharknose Goby Originally in the Office Nano Reef, Goby has made his transition to the School Nano Reef quite well. I often see him first in line to eat when the circulation pumps are switched off. He enjoys laying on top of the enormous "rock bridge" that can be found within this tank. 1 Yellowtail Damselfish To make this tank even more appealing for all the kids staring at it, how can you forget about Dory. Hopefully, Dory won't become too aggressive as time goes on. This damselfish was also originally within the Office Nano Reef. 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp from Sri Lanka The larger of the two Cleaner Shrimp that was in the Office Nano Reef makes his debut to the School Nano Reef. He spends much of his time hiding under the "rock bridge" or off to the side. Still hungry as ever and even swims upside down on the water's surface when the food pellets hit the water. 1 Stocky Cerith Snail [PRESUMED DEAD: Haven't seen the Stocky Cerith Snail in awhile] These snails are hard workers and they even clean on the edge where the sand meets the glass. 1 Banded Trochus Snail They are excellent algae eaters and do a great job cleaning the brown diatoms off the glass. They are able to right themselves if they fall upside-down onto the sand. 1 Astrea Snail [PRESUMED DEAD: After closer examination, I believe the one I have left is actually a Banded Trochus Snail.] I hear these snails cannot right themselves if they fall upside down into the sand. Somehow, this snail has defied all logic and is still alive. If he does fall upside down, there are about 14 hermit crabs waiting for their next free meal. 2 Zebra Turbo Snails I was looking for Mexican Turbo Snails and the LFS told me that these were them. I found out later that they lied and they're actually Zebra Turbo Snails. All of these are large (~2"). 2 Turbo Snails I got these snails for my Office Nano Reef to take care of some cotton candy algae that may have hitchhiked onto the Chaeto that I bought off eBay. I found out that the smaller ones (~1") tend to pass it by which are the ones that I currently have. They were purchased at a LFS under the name "Turbo Snail", but the LFS employee said they should be Mexican Turbo Snails, but by the look of their shells, I do not think they are. They never did eat the cotton candy algae so they were banished to the School Nano Reef. I later added 2 additional larger (2"+) snails and confirmed that at least 1 of these does eat cotton candy algae. I have a feeling one or both of the larger snails are in fact Mexican Turbo Snails, but I'm listing it under the generic Turbo Snails just to be safe. 13 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs These Blue Leg Hermit Crabs can be interesting to watch. I always enjoy watching them switching shells and then sometimes switching back. 1 Electric Orange Hermit Crab As the story goes, I ordered 6 Banded Trochus Snails from LA, but only received 3 Banded Trochus Snails, 2 empty shells, and a hermit crab! Well, shown below is the hermit crab and it has grown much larger than my other Blue Leg Hermit Crabs! a ton of Tisbe Copepods Our unseen clean up crew behind the scenes. They sometimes sacrifice themselves as lunch for any hungry fish waiting for their next daily meal. HITCHHIKERS Asterina Starfish I have read mixed feelings on these aquarium pests. Depending on which you have, some may eat corals, but most will leave them alone. They normally consume algae and some hobbyists report Coralline algae as well. These hitchhiked onto a rock with GSP on it that I purchased from a new-to-me LFS. I welcomed them to the School Nano Reef because some students were asking if we could get some Starfish for the tank. Now we got a few "baby" Starfish. Hopefully it'll never turn into hundreds or thousands of these little Starfish. PICTURES Day 60 (11/16/2019) since starting the School Nano Reef: Day 76 (12/2/2019): Day 89 (12/15/2019): Day 96 (12/22/2019):
  3. I have an idea for a 55 gallon low maintenance tank. No sump or mechanical filtration. Just chaeto, soft corals, and a couple hardy fish. The goal would be for the growth/harvesting of chaeto to keep nutrient levels low enough to eliminate the need for water changes/outcompete undesirable algaes. I would assume that since I only stocked chaeto, soft coral, and very few fish I wouldn't need to dose (except maybe iron for chaeto?) I basically got the idea from the Triton method (minus LPS/SPS corals)/the BRS refugium testing series/tanks like https://www.nano-reef.com/featured/2016/brad908-r114/. Thoughts? More Details: I am thinking of doing bare bottom, some dry rock, LED lighting, heater, strong powerheads. I am worried that without sand/lots of rock the biological filter might not establish, but I was also hoping that lots of chaeto would make up for it, since all of that macro algae also has surface area for bacteria (right?). Basically just want to better understand if a very simple, very low maintenance tank would work. Really not sure though, hence why I'm here asking for advice.
  4. Tsinguílev

    Tsinguílev's nano reef

    Namaste All, My name is Wladimir Tsinguilev. I reside in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. Since I can remember birds (and later on ornithology,https://www.hbw.com/ibc/u/11943), everything related to nature and drums (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCln0m94H1_eYyW8pWCw-WLA/videos?view_as=subscriber) always fascinated me. Reefkeeping was something that I got acquainted with years later. I was attracted by the cornucopia of colors and vividness exposed in the photos available on the internet of all the coral colonies and marine fishes in the tanks and wanted to have a reef aquarium someday. As a kid I kept freshwater aquariums, bettas, turtles, parrots, dogs and cats but the reef aquarium was something unheard of back in the day in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact the first source on reefkeeping that I was exposed to was at 9 years of age at the library of the Institute of Ecology in Sofia. It was a German magazine called DATZ Aquarium&Terrarium and a lot of books on ornithology and nature. Books and magazines are still mandatory for me as of today and I do consider myself a bibliophile, even though we live in the age of the internet, computers and all the high tech paraphernalia. I started my little artificial slice of the ocean at the end of August of 2013 and the system is still running. It is a 20 gallon (45x45x40) mixed reef. On various occasions I changed and rearranged the aquascape, corals, fish and other inhabitants and today I am happy to say that I do not make waterchanges and finally got the perfect match as far as chemistry is concerned (ATI essentials 1,2and 3 is doing great for me). I will post photos in a chronological fashion as it was difficult to make a diary over the years, and I always thought it is very difficult to keep one in timely fashion. PART I The tank is rimless and the stand is made of glass. Wavemaker Hydor Koralia, live rock from Indonesia, a Centropygae flavicauda back at the center, Xenia sp., Caulastrea sp., Euphyllia, Feather duster, a Trochus snail and Carib sea sand bed. In the right corner there is a Wheeler's Shrimp Goby (Amblyeleotris wheeleri), a fish with great personality. A close-up of this nano inhabitant, suitable even for pico tanks. Nassarius snails patrolling the neighborhood, one of them is still with me to this day. This top-down perspective reveals the Chinese LED light. If my memory serves me well it was a 38W E27 bulb for €45, which served its puropse in the beggining with not so delicate corals in the system. Eventually the bulb fell into the water. Reason being, I did not have a decent gooseneck tank mount at the time and it was mounted through a common lamp clamp. Nobody perished so that was nice. I dismantled it just to see the lenses and what is inside. There is a Ricordea mushroom on top of one of the live rock. This photo reminds me of one of those pictures in my favourite magazine Marine Aquarist from Yokohama, Japan (in my humble opinion the best mag on reefkeeping). Sometimes it is made without any additional lights, just the flash of the camera and even without it. Because of my interest in angelfishes I decided to buy this book by the great Kiyoshi Endoh. My first (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi). PART II This is the tank in about two years from its conception. Added an extra flow through a Sicce wavemaker, bought my first SPS corals - a Branched montipora, Stylophora pistillata Purple Milka, Acropora sp., Millepora sp., Pink and green Birdsnest, Green Symphyllia radians from Indonesia, various zoanthids, a second Green Trachyphyllia, a blue Tridacna squamosa, two mini carpet anemones, a Echinophyllia sp., two clown fish Amphiprion ocellaris sp., and a female Blue Star Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon bipartitus) - another fish with great personality and behavior. A view of the glass stand with some of the products that I used at the time. The auxiliary plastic stand which is very convenient and easy to clean. For me cigars and reefkeeping go hand in hand. This Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) was eating artemia but did not survive. Acclimation. I never attached my corals to the live rock, which in my opinion is an interesting approach to reefkeeping, and I would relocate them from time to time. The Aiptasia-Eating Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) did a splendid work on erradicating the pest anemone and nowadays he is so lazy I barely see him picking at them. PART III
  5. lonewonderer

    No water changes

    Hello everyone. I need some expert opinion. I have seen yoshi's video and he has not made a water change for more than 5 years if im correct. My question is, if my softie tank has literally very low nutrients is water changes nessesary? What if i dose suppliments instead doing water changes will this be ok? I have the following setup feeding 1 cube mysis per day 40 gallon reef tank aquaclear 110 for mech filtration 15 gallon refugium sump with softball size chaeto with purigen, chemi pure blue, AC 8x6" algae scrubber that produces algae per week cpr protein skimmer and an additional small PS kessil lights wave makers Ph 80 nitrates 20 phos 1 ammonia and nitrites 0 cal 400 alk 10
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