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Hello NR! I’m excited to be joining the old school pico reef contest. My plan for the tank is a ‘boneless’ setup… so all (or mostly) soft corals and nems. On top of this, the tank will be set up at my high school, Whitney Young, as a part of my club, Eco Club, which focuses on animal stewardship and environmental education. I will be the one managing all maintenance on the tank. My main goal for this project is to teach other students about coral reefs/marine habitats and for them to be able to become active in their protection and conservation. Since I’ll keep it at school I won’t be there to take care of it every day, so I’ll try to make it as bulletproof as possible (why it'll be boneless). Let’s get down to the setup list: The tank I’m using is a UNS 3N, very seamless, clean look. Aquaclear 50 power filter. I’ll get into the filtration below. Kessil A160, supplied by the club. May get the A80 for myself later. Tetra 50W heater. ACKE horticulture/refugium light. JBJ ATO, cheap and ugly. Now we’re getting into filtration: The filtration is going to be mostly biological. I converted the AC50 into a refugium by putting the light on the back and taping the sides to keep the light in. I’ll be putting chaeto in there along with 3 marine pure spheres- I considered caulerpa but the possibility of it going sexual and nuking the tank outweighs the pros. The other biological filtration will be from the sandbed and live rock. I might also throw in a chemi pure blue baggie in there just because I have so many of them. No mechanical filtration at the moment since I won’t be putting in a lot of nutrients/large organic matter. Jumping into the aquascape plan: I wanted to give this its own category since I planned so much about it. Just to give you an idea of how long I spent on it, it took me over 10 minutes to wash the epoxy and super glue off my hands after I finished it. I designed an arch to be able to let a few corals grow up the sides of it while leaving enough room on the sandbed for other corals. I’ll try to find some tall corals like leathers, kenya tree, xenia, or photosynthetic goniopora to put on the back of the arch to give it more depth. I want to keep my RBTA on the top of the arch and let it be a real centerpiece, but I might have to move it back to my main tank if it doesn’t do well in the tank. If that happens I might try to get a carpet mushroom to replace it. I’ll get cloves, GSP, zoas (no palys), mushrooms, and some other softies to grow over everything and make colorful. Then on the sandbed I’ll keep RFAs and ricordea to put some more colors in there. Moving onto the stocking list: So the only real things that I will stock in the tank will be a clean up crew and a few crabs. My plan so far is to put in my pom pom crab, halloween hermit, and a porcelain crab as show inhabitants. The clean up crew will be a couple nassarius snails, some zebra/blue dwarf hermits, and a couple trochus/astrea snails. I’ll update this and make an actual list of things I put in the tank once it’s fully set up. That about does it, I’ll try to pump out as many updates as I can for you all.
My first Nano-Reef contest tank! 🙂 [Current FTS will go here later] Background I've been keeping saltwater aquariums for the past 12ish years straight, so I've been having some serious fish tank withdrawals in the past 6 months without one (since I moved from CA to Hawaii). Luckily I get to play with tanks at my work, but I really miss having a tank of my own. So I'm glad I could use this contest as an excuse to get my feet wet again! If you are familiar with some of my old tanks, you may already know I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I'm loving the restrictions of this contest. Reef Tank in Hawaii? I think my main challenge will involve stocking this tank. I live in Hawaii, where it is illegal to keep hard corals in your aquarium. They take this very seriously, so I will not push that. What you can have are zoas, palys, soft corals, and some anemones (I think just H. malu). Not too bad, right? Well...you can't import any coral, so you're stuck with whatever grows here in Hawaii. Zoas and palys selection is ok, soft coral is almost non-existent (just a brown Sinularia and a mat-forming softie similar to Blue Snowflake). Also, live rock/sand is illegal to sell/collect. So you must start with dry rock and sand. The good news is you can collect your own CUC and zoas/palys, as long as you don't take any live rock with them. I can collect my own fish as long as I follow the regulations. Good news, limu (Hawaiian for algae) is legal to have/collect. So you guys know exactly where this is going 🤓 Stocking ??? We'll see! I currently have two little gobies at work I may add to this tank. Definitely want to see what zoanthids I can find. I haven't decided if I want to stick with Hawaii-only fish. Although if I don't end up keeping fish in here I'll probably get a cleaner shrimp. Macroalgae, of course Probably a feather duster, if I feel like culturing phyto Equipment Tank: Marineland standard glass 2.5g Lighting: ???? Suggestions please! I'm considering using natural lighting but I'm worried the tank would get too hot. Also I am cheap Filtration: HOB TBD