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4.5 gallon nano reef tank

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Started up a NANO REEF TANK

About 4weeks ago now.

Tank Dimensions

- 36cmL x 22cmW x 25cmH


- 14000K CFL Hydroponic Light


- Internal Power Filter 500L/HR with Sponge n Phosgaurd

- 3kg of live rock

- 2.5kgs of live coral sand

So the Tank is now Fully cycled..

No Ammonium

No Nitrate

Phos 0.03pm

PH 8.2

Temp 26 degrees

So Im wondering what to start off with now...

I saw a very nice looking Tomato Clownfish

So I'm thinking one of him...

And a Medium Sized Frogspawn prehaps?


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Nice sized aquarium, small tanks are far easier to appreciate and aluminate,3 watt diodes in LED spots would do that one and keep all corals nicely!

Especially if you get a tank for each type of environment and suitable life forms for each.

The tomatoe clown (Melanopus) are a very strong natured amphiprion and all clown fish are evolved damsels, be careful!

A strong fish though once it settles in normally, the coral, some varieties with out algae or something activated to take out the nasties they put into the water can aggravate other corals to death at times!

Do a check on each life form you want and the water needs to be kept cool as in not above 26-27c if possible,25c is the best all rounder,a chiller is the way to go.

You have to decide,more so fish or more so corals,with out some support gear or a substantial bio support system,if its lots of fish and lots of corals,it may all come crumbling down.

Edited by liquidg
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Given the size of the tank tomatoes won't work, much to big.

I think your limited to coral gobies and maybe a small occelaris clown, even then I think wit such a small volume of water it will be hard keeping things stable especially if overstocked, and keeping corals will be even harder again. Maybe an invert tank could get some sexy shrimp or similar

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Hey Guys

Thanks so much for all your comments ! Found it all very constructive.

I've decided to upgrade the tank by a bit...

Still gonna be a NANO TANK tho..

New Tank Dimensions

- 40cm L x 35cm W x 45cm H = 63 Litres

Which Now Makes the Tank a 14gallon WOOT!


- 700L/HR Hang On Filter with ceramic rings, phosguard, Crushed Live Rock, Sponge

With Mini 12Watt LED over 6500K

- 6Kg of Live Sand

- upgrade to 9KG of Live Rock in the tank

- 1.kg of live rock in the hang on filter

TOTAL LIVE ROCK = 10kg now.


- 40cm x 25 cm CFL

- 2 x 6500K + 2 x 50/50 10000k + blue 430 - 455

Protein Skimmer

- Internal Protein Skimmer 450L/hr

I know I now... Have to cycle all over again!


Well worth the upgrade...

Its the biggest tank I can fit at my house..

But I think with this upgrade I've got a bit of lee-way now...

Now I can get more corals an have a clownfish like I wanted.

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Hey Mate

Yeah I had a read. It should be all sweet cycling should only take 2 - 3 days...

The live rock is already cycled and the live sand is to.

I'm just gonna leave it for 2 -3 days as I said then check the levels again.

But now with a protein skimmer and a new hang on back filter thats filled with live rock.

It really should be fine!

But I will just leave it for a bit.. As funds are low atm and Id rather wait a week or two before introducing

4 frogspawn corals in green,red,yellow,blue.

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Mate,do a google search for (amphiprion frenatus), they are one of my favourites, it certainly looks like yours.

Shops have been getting that one wrong for a very long time, they some times even call it a Melanopus-tomatoe clown!

You get some cunjevoi in their diet and the red colouration increases after a while.

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Hey Mate

Did a google search thats deffs him!

Was thinking of getting him another little friend on the next week

From the same tank which he came from.

Tho to be honest I'm suprised at what there keeping in that tank at the LFS

1 Black clownfish, 4 seahorses and 2 other clownfish like the one I have..

Its a big tank.. But to be frank im suprised none of them have battle scars!

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Black ocelaris are not to bad of nature and the frenatus are not to bad as well, maybe in a confined space with other damsels it could be an issue, plus the amphiprion damsels aren’t really fin nippers to take bites out of the sea horses fins, so except for the food getting taken by the fish before the sea hoses can feed, that’s not that bad a combination!

See if you can incorporate some cunjevoi in the diet of your one-ones, the red will intensify and their nature will remain a little softer, cunjivoe has a large protein content and very good colouration enhancing vitamins.

If you put two in and one is small enough to morph to the opposite sex, they may get a bit nasty to others in the tank, as they breed very easily and may defend a territory when that starts.

Nice fish the frenatus,good luck,see yah.

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I got a very large bright fluro green helio coral or plate coral!

Turns out the poor clownfish got eaten by it :S

I checked the water levels... an everything!

Even went back to my LFS Atlas aquarium at wavel heights.

David the guy there was baffled...

Its an utter mystery as to why the clown died..

But oh well least the helio got a feed out of it I guess??

I'm gonna get a proper occellaris clownfish today from aquarama they have them on sale for $20 each

So Figure it may be worth a try?

Still stumped tho.. Perfect conditions..

Oh well guess thats life?

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There are conditions, issues and substances you cannot test for and the fish and possibly inverts will die from these, not all though, you learn after a very long time to identify things before hand that take our aquarium pets, by sight and at times, by smell!

With live rock bio filtering and a substrate, you will not necessarily see some issues in the tests and you will never have perfect conditions with these!!

If the bio area is designed to cope with anything, than near nothing is a problem.

This is a many years of experience compilation of failures and successes, too much to go into, these would take many pages to explain!

An unassisted aquarium such as yours and most others have similar,will have issues,not always quite enough to make you give up though,well for a time anyway, this is the type of aquarium set up that the majority of Internet sites promote, but that’s the hobby over all for many1

Personally I have only found flaws in the live rock bio filtering and that’s what most hobbyits are depending on these days, I did away with this unstable and unreliable style of bio filtering after some years of giving it a go in the eighties, it does something, but so does any media any where in your water.

Good price on the ocelaris though, see yah.

Edited by liquidg
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