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Louise01

From 600L to 50L... My first nano.

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System Objectives:

So after ~6months of MIA, I am back in the game After pulling apart and selling my 600L reef system, I have decided to try my luck at a 50L nano setup. Now I have never run such a small tank (even in my freshwater days) and I don't for any second believe that this will be a walk in the park. But I will give it a go and see where it takes me

System Type:

Initially this will be a FOWLR but depending on results, I will introduce some easy coral (morphs, zoas etc). If possible, I would like to turn this into a small basic reef (torch, heliofungia, morphs, zoas, and possibly that 'A' word- anenome).

Display System:

System setup date:

To begin 25.08.2012

Display Tank:

Blueplanet 50L (2ft x 1ft x 1ft) AIO *MODIFIED*

http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/cata ... &catID=115

Display Lighting:

2ft 4x T5 light. All bulbs came as white- will switch to blues & purples when/if coral is on the cards.

Stand:

Open pine 2ft stand- very basic

Hood:

No hood, open top

Sump:

None. Although I do have the ability and equipment to sump this tank if my current filtration is insufficient.

Filtration

3 stage trickle filter that came with tank. 1st & 3rd stage to have LR rubble, 2nd stage RowaPhos.

LR and macroalgae in tank.

System Water:

Natural salt water

Top up:

As required with bottled water

Water changes:

Unsure at this stage, play it by ear

Display Water circulation:

1x Wavemaker suited for tanks 40-60L (name eludes me and I am just too damn comfy to get up and check!)

Return pump:

Water drops from trickle filter

Skimmer:

None. If tank is sumped in the future, a skimmer will be added.

Cooling system:

Resun C650- not yet connected, will wait to see how hot tank runs without it first.

Will put up photos tomorrow after tank gets wet

I will be using black substrate (if i can find any by tomorrow)- the nice thick stuff of course- don't want to go creating any sand whirlpools in my tank!

Now stock wise...

As i am currently not using a skimmer I will be keeping it nice and small. I would really appreciate some advice on my options here. Below is what I am tossing up between.

2x orange clowns

OR

2x decora goby

Edited by Louise01
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Finally have some pictures for the journal!! Only four but its a start, also took the first parameter readings this morning...

FTS

P8260176.jpg

FTS

P8260177.jpg

Noticed little pink/purple pods at the front of one rock. They haven't come out for me at all. I would definitely like them to. I see little pink tentacles poking out sometimes but they are not opening up.

P8260178.jpg

Found a lot of Aiptasia so once my tank has stabilised I will add a peppermint shrimp to eat the lil *****s! This one is the biggest I've ever seen.. About 4cm in diameter.

P8280180.jpg

I'm sure theres a lot of mixed opinions about the HOT PINK gravel, and yes I always believed coloured stones were best left for primary schoolers, but I was originally purchasing black, saw the pink and decided on a whim to give it a go. A do like it so far, partially because its only a very thin layer and partially because its adding colour to the tank.

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Parameters

SG- 1.021

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Nitrate- 5.0 - 10.0ppm (damn this API kit with its barely differing colours)

Ammonia- 1.0 - 2.0ppm (colour inbetween the 1.0 and 2.0 results)

pH- 8.0/8.2 (API colours are so similar)

Phosphate- 0.25ppm

kH- 10dkH

Calcium- 480

SG not as high as I usually keep my tanks at- easy fix though.

Ammonia would be due to die off in live rock during transportation.

Nitrate and Phosphate will go down once tank has cycled and macroalgae in tank grows. The RowaPhos in trickle filter will help with my phosphate too

No brown algae to report as yet. Wont be adding any livestock until tank has cycled. CUC to be added as follows:

1x peppermint shrimp

1x trochus snail (unsure yet)

3x turbo snails

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Between ocelaris or percula,as in orange clown fish,the ocelaris as adults are stronger then percs,though the ocelaris start to get a brown ting to their colouration as they age.

Nemo was based on a perc!

The decora is a beautiful fish,one of my favs,but out of the shop common little dart fish,the magnifica seems a more resilient fish.

The magnifica we have found two out off here so far and being that they are found in shallow and deep waters makes them a tougher fish unlike the decora and the helfrichi,both beautiful fish but not as easy as the magnifica.

Raise the peps content to the amount ten for your tank and they will keep things going well,fantastic workers on tank cleaning those little shrimp.

I took in 12 i didnt want any more to the meeting last night and no one wanted them so Danny took them as lion fish food,they have many users.

I hope that helps in some way.

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Between ocelaris or percula,as in orange clown fish,the ocelaris as adults are stronger then percs,though the ocelaris start to get a brown ting to their colouration as they age.

Nemo was based on a perc!

The decora is a beautiful fish,one of my favs,but out of the shop common little dart fish,the magnifica seems a more resilient fish.

The magnifica we have found two out off here so far and being that they are found in shallow and deep waters makes them a tougher fish unlike the decora and the helfrichi,both beautiful fish but not as easy as the magnifica.

Raise the peps content to the amount ten for your tank and they will keep things going well,fantastic workers on tank cleaning those little shrimp.

I took in 12 i didnt want any more to the meeting last night and no one wanted them so Danny took them as lion fish food,they have many users.

I hope that helps in some way.

Thanks and yes I was referring to ocelaris or perculas. I am leaning more towards the 2x occy's for my tank. I definitely prefer the decora over the magnifica and I greatly regret not purchasing a decora when I had my larger setup. The helfrichi have also always been a favourite of mine (although a little too expensive).

Let me know if you end up with more peps that aren't needed in the future. I don't know if I'd want 10 in there (what with not running a skimmer and all) but if I can maintain an equilibrium I would definitely like more than one, and if the tank ends up getting sumped well, that will open all sorts of doors for me.

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True,crustaceans out put is of a greater protein nature then fish for sure as fish recycle most of their urea.

That’s the way to go if you can as well, external bio filtration that is.

Very simple to do, if you have the space under your tank.

Virtually no one utilises much of the external filters any more, its all mech filtration shoved in a mass of wasted space and called a sump!

A sump was always a place of catching the rubbish that the badly designed tricle filters from the past with that silly sponge pre filtering let by, for some time now the trendy term for external bio filtering is a sump.

I suppose the way things are it had to happen as near no one really understood and still don’t’, the need for proper pre filtering to sustain the external filter medias anaerobic nature, even a nitrate reactor fills with rubbish over time, but if your external bio filter is done right, with some intense work building it and factoring in all fail safes, you have dam little maintenance after the build, you can then do away with water changes and fluctuating parameters, permanently!

I use peps for part of my dotty backs food supply, in both of my display tanks they are hard workers on debris and cyano,the top tank has 10 to 15 the bottom tank has between 20 to 30 in it.

This is the dotty back that loves it’s peps.

Ogilbyina Novaehollandiae-east auzy endemic multicolour dotty back,transition as it changes sex.

The ones I took in to the meeting were for one our new members that couldn’t make the last few trips and he couldn’t make it to the meeting, so Danny’s several lion fish and leaf fish had eaten all the others he had and no one wanted any so, that was that.

Good luck with it, just remember the style your tank and system is based on,can easily be over loaded, less is better.

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True,crustaceans out put is of a greater protein nature then fish for sure as fish recycle most of their urea.

That’s the way to go if you can as well, external bio filtration that is.

Very simple to do, if you have the space under your tank.

Virtually no one utilises much of the external filters any more, its all mech filtration shoved in a mass of wasted space and called a sump!

A sump was always a place of catching the rubbish that the badly designed tricle filters from the past with that silly sponge pre filtering let by, for some time now the trendy term for external bio filtering is a sump.

I suppose the way things are it had to happen as near no one really understood and still don’t’, the need for proper pre filtering to sustain the external filter medias anaerobic nature, even a nitrate reactor fills with rubbish over time, but if your external bio filter is done right, with some intense work building it and factoring in all fail safes, you have dam little maintenance after the build, you can then do away with water changes and fluctuating parameters, permanently!

I use peps for part of my dotty backs food supply, in both of my display tanks they are hard workers on debris and cyano,the top tank has 10 to 15 the bottom tank has between 20 to 30 in it.

This is the dotty back that loves it’s peps.

Ogilbyina Novaehollandiae-east auzy endemic multicolour dotty back,transition as it changes sex.

The ones I took in to the meeting were for one our new members that couldn’t make the last few trips and he couldn’t make it to the meeting, so Danny’s several lion fish and leaf fish had eaten all the others he had and no one wanted any so, that was that.

Good luck with it, just remember the style your tank and system is based on,can easily be over loaded, less is better.

I always enjoy reading your posts liquidg.

Definitely sticking to the 'less is better', I know my setup can't handle a lot and there is no way that I want to overload it. I've made a stocklist and I will stick to it.

2x occy

plus CUC as mentioned

Possibly a small number of 'easy/basic' corals but I'll just see how it all goes.

Interesting about the dottyback- I haven't seen that type before. Where can I find pics/journals of your tank(s) liquidg?

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I am currently doing a 27L and holy **** you it's suprising how many corals you can fit in there. I have avoided the duller corals and stuck to many bright corals as I source them and it is a bright little piece of art. This will be my 4th marine aquarium over the years and suprisingly I am finding this one the easiest to keep so far....but then again it's the first I've done with LED's.....I can't wait to see the progress of yours.

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One week in and here are my parameter readings.. I am quite shocked by them actually!

SG- 1.022 (getting up there slowly)

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25ppm (API phosphate reader does SUCK, very tempted to get a Hanna Meter)

pH- 8.0/8.2 (API- need i say more?)

Calcium- 460

Alkalinity- 9.0dkH

Calcium and alkalinity have dropped since my mid week reading (Ca by 20 and dkH by 1.0), still in acceptable range but am hoping will stay stable as I do not want to have to dose my tank to keep these up. If it becomes a real issue I can always replace substrate with a thin layer of crushed coral but would like to avoid this too (substrate changes are a horrible job).

Will take readings again in about 4days and still not adding anything just yet- my readings are accurate but it seems to good to be true- or maybe I'm still intimidated by nanos and are having a hard time trusting them due to that. I'm in no rush anyway, patience patience patience

I've decided I only want ONE fish in my tank now so I'm open for ideas!! Must be colourful and not have any crazy feed requirements haha

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After looking at bulbs I have decided to purchase the following ATI when I get coral:

2x blue plus

1x purple plus

1x aquablue special

24w 12k globes- should look good!! Does anyone know where I can pick these up in Brisbane north? Guppys has them but I dont exactly trust shipping globes...

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Parameter readings 1w 5d in..

SG- 1.024 (aiming for 1.023)

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25ppm

pH- 8.2

Ca- 440

Alk- 8 dkh

So Ca has dropped by 20 and dkh dropped by one... I see a pattern emerging!! haha

Small amount of brown algae on LR/substrate but barely noticeable. Nothing exciting happening in this corner folks.

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Ok so ill admit it- I have neglected this journal over the past 2wks BUT only because I couldn't find it with all the forum changes hahahaha

2w 6d

SG- 1.023

pH- 8.2

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25ppm

Ca- 420

ALK- 9dkh

3w 6d

SG- 1.023

pH- 8.2

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25ppm

Ca- 460

Alk- 8dkh

That last reading was taken on Saturday the 22nd so I'm now 4w 2d in and haven't dosed with anything and plan to keep it that way.

I've somehow lost my thermometer so will purchase a new one today. I trialled having all 4 T5's on and the temperature jump was quite noticeable. I had planned on putting inverts (CUC) into tank at 4w but until I get my chiller attached I am keeping it as is. As I am not running a sump I will simply be removing the 450lph pump that currently runs my trickle filter and replacing it with a 1000lph sump pump. This will first take water from the tank -> chiller and then from chiller through trickle filter before going back into tank. I will use a T-piece in the plumbing to half the flow going into the trickle filter (500lph) with the other half of the flow (500lph) being dumped directly into the tank. By doing this I may not even need my wavemaker (2000lph) but will just see how this all goes.

The tank looks much the same- macroalgae growing heaps, some very nice pink coralline appearing on LR and pods sprouting up all over the place. Small amount of green hair algae on substrate and a TINY (5c diameter) amount of red hair algae.

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Its cool how the calcium levels starts to rise once the bio community kicks in and begins to produce their own nitric acid.

It doesn’t break down that much of the live rock-coral rubble-shell grit, but with out many algae from symbiotic life forms soaking it up, you can get highish readings of cal in the early days and later if not much coralline or calcium skeletal corals are doing well in the aquarium.

It’s interesting how KH can drop a little as cal goes up as well.

Your KH is cool, the ocean runs at roughly 7.

Try to get rid of your phosphates though, this will get your corals to bleach quickly or slowely, but it will restrict its survival potential.

Corals die from weak nitrite cycle oxidation, toxins, rubbish settling on them, heat,low intensity of lighting colours and phosphates on average.

They achieve weak colours to just brown or grey because of protein abundance.

I don’t know whether you are going with LEDs down the track,but for the LED fittings we got last year, fan cooled the diodes will last at least 10 years at high quality aquarium grade colour out put and they are old school 3 watt x-re diodes.

The problem with resistance lighting,which includes T5s,is they only last at high grade aquarium colour intensity for around four months because of the heat, they still look the same and are on,but they aren’t the same any more, the phosphorus powder coatings on the inside of the tubes are damaged by the heat and that gives your fluro tubes their imbedded colours that corals need

My LED fittings cost $126 landed at my front door from china with a long warranty to completely do a 2 foot tank.

Even the LED T8 LED fluro replacement tubes I got will last at max out put for at least 2 years and they are only 10 watt 2 foot tubes, nothing needed in the fluro fittings, just positive wire on one end of the LED fluro tubes and negative attached to the other end, no ballast or starters or fuse.

I have three of these over the top tank now and all corals and algae,clams,even sps and coralines are powering under the ones with the tiny quarter watt diodes at 1-1 blue and cool white with the tiniest 60 degree optics directing the light from each diode.

If you can one day, go with fan cooled LEDs they are 20 times cheaper then T5s over time and because they have no UVR,they aren’t harm full to corals or fish from low light environments.

Edited by liquidg
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Ok checked my parameters just now

5w

Nitrite/nitrate/ammonia- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25 (apparently)

Ca- 500

Alk- 1dkh?!!

pH- 8.2

When attaching chiller yesterday I did a 10L water change. I cannot understand what would cause my alk to plummet like that. My Ca is up and pH has always been stable at 8.2. Advice? What should/n't I do?

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Its just a lack of buffers in your water and the wrong acids are bit high and causing the apparent inbalance,just add some Ph buffer or even better sodium bi carb and carbonate, gently!

I always used those pool products or tunzie KH granules or seachem buffering agents I think it was in the past,I don’t use anything like that any more.

Your PH is the electromotive forces in the gap between the base and the acid,you use some positive ions,(Lime or cal), to force them a part and get that gap correct and some buffering agents for the acid content of your water as it is out of wack,no big deal if not left go on to long!

That’s what I meant by the bacteria’s naturally produced nitric acid that breaks down your cal media in the early days of maturity, they are going a bit over board at the moment.

Edited by liquidg
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Hahaha ok guys, I had a numpty moment- well a couple moments to be honest and I feel like a complete meathead!

I had my end point colours confused the WHOLE TIME. I must have tested my dkh 3 times and could not work out why the result was always 1dkh UNTIL I did a quick google search for the API alkinity instructions.. My end point colour is yellow not blue! I am an idiot. After further testing and awaiting the correct end colour my alkinity is:

8dkh!!

So today I have added (100% Reef Safe)

2x turbo snails

1x neon green hammer

All acclimatising as we speak :)

I have also decided that the pink HAS TO GO! So will replace shortly with coral rubble grit (thin layer)- what would be a good size?

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I don't know whether you are going with LEDs down the track,but for the LED fittings we got last year, fan cooled the diodes will last at least 10 years at high quality aquarium grade colour out put and they are old school 3 watt x-re diodes.

The problem with resistance lighting,which includes T5s,is they only last at high grade aquarium colour intensity for around four months because of the heat, they still look the same and are on,but they aren't the same any more, the phosphorus powder coatings on the inside of the tubes are damaged by the heat and that gives your fluro tubes their imbedded colours that corals need

My LED fittings cost $126 landed at my front door from china with a long warranty to completely do a 2 foot tank.

Even the LED T8 LED fluro replacement tubes I got will last at max out put for at least 2 years and they are only 10 watt 2 foot tubes, nothing needed in the fluro fittings, just positive wire on one end of the LED fluro tubes and negative attached to the other end, no ballast or starters or fuse.

I have three of these over the top tank now and all corals and algae,clams,even sps and coralines are powering under the ones with the tiny quarter watt diodes at 1-1 blue and cool white with the tiniest 60 degree optics directing the light from each diode.

If you can one day, go with fan cooled LEDs they are 20 times cheaper then T5s over time and because they have no UVR,they aren't harm full to corals or fish from low light environments.

Do you still have the link/name of the place you bought your LED's from??

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Ok guys, pink gravel is OUT! Removed it yesterday because quite frankly it looked like sh*t. Moved the macroalgae over to the left on the left side of the tank.

Its all looking rather bland atm and the lighting I have now makes everything look yellow- YUK- but thats only because I do not have the coloured bulbs for it, just 4x white. Soooooooooo LED's were ordered yesterday!! WOOOOP First time ever on the LED's and I'm pretty excited. Ordered the 72w clip on LED's from guppy's.

Lights LED - LED High Power Clamp On Light - 72W LED CLAMP ON LAMP LIGHT FOR MARINE AQUARIUM - Guppy’s Aquarium Products Online - 72W LED CLAMP ON LAMP LIGHT FOR MARINE AQUARIUM

Have a 4hr practical assessment today starting at 0900 and instead of studying I am on here, how predictable!! Anyway readings for today are as follows:

6w 1d

SG- 1.023

pH- 7.8!!

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Ca- 460

Alk- 7dkh

Phosphate- 0.0ppm

Yay, love it when they come back predictable.. Well except that pH is a bit low for my liking but in saying that I did move all my LR around yesterday when removing that AWEFUL gravel so I expected a difference. Should sort itself out I'd imagine. Ill do a small water change mid week...

After my practical I think I'll go down the the LFS and see what coral they have- time for a treat I think

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LED lights have been fitted- took some DIY work as the neck was too long and sat over the end of the tank.. Just got a black laminated board and attached it to the back of the stand and then drilled the clamp into it- now sits perfectly above the water.. I have it sitting just under 30cm from the water level. Its day 01 of LED's so interesting to see how the 2 corals handle it over the day.. Lights are set to come on at 0715 with a 15min sunrise setting. The lights are off at 1800 with a 15min sunset setting.. I think I will change this to sunrise at 0600 and sunset at 2000. I have the lights set at 80% brightness but I will play with this setting depending on how my corals go. I will put some photos up today (although they will not do the tank justice).

Parameters 7w 1d

SG- 1.022 (did a 10L water change yesterday and miscalculated the amount of fresh:SW ratio to re-fill with.. Once some evaporates I'll just add SW to bring the SG back to 1.023)

pH- 8.2

Nitrite- 0.0ppm

Nitrate- 0.0ppm

Phosphate- 0.25ppm (I keep saying this, but I am getting a Hanna Meter as API colours are sh*t)

Ammonia- 0.0ppm

Ca- 460

Alk- 6dkh

Should I start dosing a alk/Ca supplement? My Ca is always nice and high but my alkalinity seems to have steadily dropped week by week (it started at about 10/11dkh and has gradually dropped to 6dkh over the past 7w) I REALLLLLY don't want to dose my tank but I understand the importance of keeping a stable alkalinity so will start dosing if need be.. I know the ocean sits at 7dkh so anything under that is definitely a worry.

Still undecided about which fish.. I went to the LFS during the week and picked up a pink/yellow helio fungia and saw some ADORABLE one-spot occy clowns. Instead of the middle bar they just have a spot at the top near their dorsal fin. I'm sure normal people would just call them mis-bar clowns. So atm choice list is:

2x one-spot occys

OR

1x yellow watchman goby

OR

1x strawberry dottyback

Can feel a re-scape coming on soon so stay tuned!

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