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  1. ZaneyNano

    ZaneyNano - getting started

    Aquarium CADE Pro Reef Mini PR400 - 55l tank capacity - 15l back sump area - (approx 14 gallons inhabitable space) Lighting Kessil Tuna Blue A160WE with Kessil Spectral Controller Filtration (back of tank) Small Carbon filter Pad, Serra Ceramic rings, Marine Pure ceramic blocks, Blue Life ClearFX Pro bag (small) Skimmer Stock Skimmer Heater None currently in use Cooler Aquael nano cool ATO Manual - Ripple Aqua Nano to be installed. Additional water movement Old Tunze mini powerhead 600l/h. Sicce Voyager Nano 1000 to be installed Current Additives - all occasionally Polyplab One Polylab Reef Roids Aqua Forest -NitraPhos Minus Seachem - Prime ARKA - Microbe Lift, Trace Elements Generic Iodine Fish - none currently Inverts Sand shifting star Some snails Coral Star Polyp Torch Coral Green Zoas War Favia ? Cleaning Flipper nano - daily Water changes 2-5 litres every couple of days Weekly Skimmer clean and filter pad cleaning Weekly sand siphoning and turkey blast rocks Hi all - I have recently joined Nano-Reef after finding the site and have already been inspired by so many amazing and different aquariums on here and charting their development I have decided to keep my own journal as I progress - hopefully positively - with this new little aquarium of mine. In particular I would be looking for friendly advice, tips and information on anything and everything! There is so much to know in this hobby every bit helps. I'll try and keep this as updated as possible. Some background; I grew up in coastal NSW loving the marine life that was so accessible either through snorkeling, fishing or generally always being at the beach. I wanted to have a little bit of that world in me bedroom so I ended up keeping what would now be called a pico tank in the mid 90s as a 15 year old - and somewhat unsuccessfully at first! It was definitely a steep learning curve and there was not much support back then - no real internet and LFS owners were all grumpy old men who seemed to dislike anyone being in their shops! I was finally happy with it when I simplified it as much as possible - it was essentially two nice, small, coraline encrusted pieces of live rock with a bi-colour blenny darting about. it was a bare bottom tank and i loved how simple it was and I would watch that fish for a good ling time. At the same time, I also got hold of an old battered fish tank that I threw in an under gravel filter and some hitching posts and successful kept some Kuda seahorses for a few years which lived on nothing but frozen brine shrimp. Seahorses are one of my most favourite marine creatures along with sharks and octopus. These aquariums entangled me enough in the hobby that I went on to purchase a custom made 4 foot aquarium with back sump filled with bio balls and that was about it. The lights were simple combination of tube lighting - pre-T5 days! I had big plans for it but was aware of its limitations and was daunted my first coral failings in the pico tank that i was so cautious that I didnt really progress much with this bigger tank other than keeping a variety of fish and some nice live rock. I bought a baby hippo tang that grew quite large and that was essentially the highlight. I packed up the tanks in the late 90s to go back packing in Europe where I stayed for the next 15 years or so. Getting re-started Moving back to Australia and having a slightly larger place to live (though still small!) i re-ignited my interest in aquarium keeping. I began scoping out options and visiting LFS trying to decide what would work best for me and the constraints I have with time, money and space. I have always been attracted to Nano tanks because I find they can fit so aesthetically in a small home and they remind me somewhat of rock-pooling as a kid. Tiny little worlds filled with so much life and colour and interest! So, I decided a nano tank it would be! My initial idea was to have a plain 40cmX40cmX40cm all starphire glass aquarium with nothing other than a tunze commline skimmer and some simple live rock to act as the filter. I saw a set up like this at the LFS and thought it was perfect - a simple scape, one or two fish and some coral! However, I had heard that CADE aquariums were a great AIO and when an opportunity to pick a brand new one up for absolute bargain at the end of 2019 I jumped at it and so it began ! Once getting the tank set up and in position I wanted to cycle the tank as quickly as possible. Nano Reef beginnings My idea was still to have a simple off-centre scape with a lot of anti-space preferably with some nice volcanic rock as a base but when I got to the LFS I saw an amazing big piece of live rock that whilst I was concerned would be too big - might be a great single rock to wedge corals in and around - almost looking like some sort of mini coral atoll dominating the tank. So I bought that and some Dr Tim's as well as black 'live sand' ( i really wanted to go bare bottom but the bottom of the tank under the glass looked too ugly) and set off to get things underway. Fortunately I live near the coast in Sydney so have access to (usually) really good quality natural seawater and was able to set up my tank with this rather than salt mix. I like to collect seawater near the kelp beds as I think their is likely some really good nutrients in and around that area and also that they are high flow areas that look super clean. The tank cycled super quick with the Dr Tim's, live rock and sand. I discarded the heater almost immediately due to the Sydney summer and bought a little fan cooler which seems do at least take the edge off. With the tank ready to accept livestock I bought a tiny plain aquacultured ocellaris clown in orange and enjoyed seeing them swimming around while I worked on improving a few features. Primarily, I swapped out the stock LED strip light which seemed to heat the tank up too much for a Kessil 160 Tuna Blue. I was tossing up for a long time between an AI Prime and a Kessil but again a great deal came up on the Kessil so I went with that. Adding the spectral controller has been great as the tank can ramp up and down incrementally throughout the day while I am at work. I then added a black clown which was slightly larger but seemed to get on well with the orange one. All was going well until enter - some classic NOOB mistakes! My partner always wanted a puffer fish which I knew get too big and required a massive tank dedicated to their needs and high polluting lives. However, when they saw a little spotted box fish at the LFS they demanded they have it! I knew it was a mistake but considering I was allowed the fishtank in the first place I went with it hoping for the best. Unfortunately the box fish pretty soon developed ICH and passed it on to the clowns. They continued to eat well but soon went downhill fast and all ended up dead within a month. As gutted as I was, it was a good reminder to stick to the game plan and not be swayed - currently going fallow has also allowed me to take it slow again and let the tank mature slowly before re introducing fish. The other mistake made was purchasing a NPS Gorgonian which also went down hill fast despite the LFS insistence it was not fully NPS and was happily feeding and subsisting on good light. I love sea fans so much I didnt stop and think enough. Again another great learning to stick to the live stock I have researched that will have a better chance of success in a small nano. Current state Currently I have some star polyps that a re doing really well, a small torch and a small frag of zoas oh and i think a war favia? All seems to be doing well and I am looking for them to hopefully taking hold before adding anything further. I have been adding a little bit of reef roids and some Polylab One but I dont like how it clouds the tank for soooo long. I have a ripple aqua ATO to come to help keep levels steady as well as a sicce nano to improve flow. I am really invested into this and want to make the tank a success for many years. As such I am welcome to as much advice, tips, comments, criticisms as much as possible to achieve this whilst i also read as many other journals as possible If anyone has ideas around better placement of current corals and ideas for future corals and their placement it would be greatly appreciates Will update more as things progress. Here is an early tank pic (excuse quality its a video still from iphone)
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