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Old 03-29-2021, 09:22 PM
rustybee rustybee is offline
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Default New Nano Tank Log

Hey folks. New to the forum, but not new to reef keeping.

Started more than 35 years ago as a teenager, keeping a 12G salt water tank (air stone and live rock) with a pair of percula clowns. Moved to Canada, took some time away from this hobby and eventually started a 60G in our first home. Eventually bought a 175G bowfront from upstarts JNL (Big Al was the incumbent along with King Ed’s and a shop on Kingsway... think Laurie was the shop owners name). Had the 175G set up as a reef tank, deep sand bed, 400W MH, Neptune Aqua controller, EuroReef skimmer, Calcium Reactor, no expense spared. Fast forward 15 years and 3 kids later, a much delayed home reno meant that the 175G had to be torn down (tank given away for pennies on the dollar as a terrarium) and liverock/equipment stored. Never really got the opportunity to setup another, as there just wasn’t another space in the house to setup a big tank like I wanted.

Fast forward 2021 and the itch for a reef tank beckons still. Saw a for sale ad for a nice nano tank setup that the wife approves, bought it an the journey begins again. Here is a thread to serve as a blog for this nano tank build with my 14 year old son (how life comes full circle lol).

Feb 1 2021

Fluval M40 tank and stand. Got a great deal from a local CanReefer. Came with a Tunze Silence 1073.008 recirculating pump, a 75W Eheim heater and a cheap set of no name LED lights. Upon first impression this is a well made rimless tank. Frosted edges is a nice touch. Stand is well built with enough space and shelving to do the trick. Built in sump looks good, although I think that the middle overflow box is not designed as well as it could be (all sections have top overflow). Not wanting to open a can of worms to redo the middle compartment, we decided against doing the required mod.

Off we go! Found a quiet corner in a cool part of the house (not wanting to deal with a chiller or natural sunlight from the skylights/windows). Had a new bucket of Instant Ocean leftover from the 175G days. Mixed batch of saltwater to 1.026 using an old Aquarium Pharmaceutical Inc Ion-Exchange Resin filter (mistake 1). Filled the tank to check for leaks. All clear. Fired up the re-circ pump (works!). Have a trash bin of super fine Caribbean sugar sand (wow that’s a lot a sand from the 175G lol). Did a few wash to clean up the sand. Decided against a deep sand bed on the build since it is only a 16G and space is at a premium. Just a thin 2cm sprinkle of cleaned sand for the nice “ look” (mistake 2).


Feb 2 2021

Cloudy water from adding the sand has mostly cleared out after 12hrs. Have all of my old live rocks still stored in Rona 77L garbage bins. Call me a sentiment old fool, but these were at one point premium Fiji/Tonga liverock full encrusted with coralline algae. Have 4 of these Rona bins stored in heated in the house with only air pump running, hopefully that one day I will start another tank. Picked out 2 larger pieces as the base. Aquascaping has always been one of my favourite elements in tank setup. Decided against one single structure, and went with 2 separate structures for more room to display corals. Picked a few more smaller pieces from the bucket to finish off the structure. Looks good so far even though all the coralline has died off from no light... happy but I am sure not the final layout.
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Last edited by rustybee; 03-29-2021 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 03-29-2021, 09:49 PM
rustybee rustybee is offline
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Feb 5 2021

Tank has been running for 3 days. No measured Ammonia, Nitrite or Nitrate. The old trick of air stone in a bucket of liverock works great considering it was stored for more than a year. Saw an ad for a CanReefer 5 mins away selling some zoas for a reasonable price. Kid is pretty excited about adding our first inhabitant into the tank. Purchased 2 zoa frags. One unidentified.

Whamming Watermelon Zoas

Took almost 2 days but the zoas finally opened up. Placement mid level. No measurable parameters. LED light not as strong as I had hoped but sufficent for now. Have to think about more powerful light if I want to keep SPS. Flow from the return pump not strong enough either. Added an old MaxiJet pump to get more flow.
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Last edited by rustybee; 03-29-2021 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:39 AM
rustybee rustybee is offline
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Feb 8 2021

So far so good, tank parameters are still well in line. We decide on our first fish. One of my favourites from days gone by, either a Pseudochromis Fridmani or a P. Springeri. Son picks the former attracted by the luminous neon purple; cannot say I blame him since the jet black body and blue striped face of the latter is a bit more subtle. After 2 trips to our LFS, we find a healthy specimen to bring home. Turns out I forgot how how elusive Pseudochromis can be, it hides all day in the shadows only darting out into the open during feeding.

We also ID the mystery zoas as Vampire slayer. So many new names to remember these days. Back in the old days zoas were either green or brown. Lol.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:10 AM
rustybee rustybee is offline
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Quick pic update on the tank. Shots from iPhone so pic quality no as great as it could be. Tank log is providing to be tougher than expected as edit only allowed within 15 mins of posting.

Fishes- ended up adding a pair of Lightning Maroon Clowns and what turns out to be an evil 6 line wrasse.

Blasto had an unfortunate overnight encounter with the Acan garden (suspect that snails knocked it from its spot). Turns out the Acan was the winner and the Blasto lost half of its polyp. Thought it was a goner but 3 weeks later it also almost regenerated from bare skeleton. Amazing.

Ended up with 2 areas for the Zoa garden and 2 areas for the SPS. Bare bottom works great for the Acan garden. Coralline algae showed up 3 weeks of start date. Going old school using Kalk top off evaporation. KH was initially a bit high in the 10-11 range before dropping and holding at 8-9KH was the tank started filling up with livestock.
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Last edited by rustybee; 05-18-2021 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:41 AM
Wretch Wretch is offline
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Looking good. Cant wait to see what else you go with it.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:02 PM
mseepman mseepman is offline
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It looks great. Surprised you are so deep into SPS with such a young tank. Just be careful and remember patience is your friend.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:53 PM
rustybee rustybee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wretch View Post
Looking good. Cant wait to see what else you go with it.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mseepman View Post
It looks great. Surprised you are so deep into SPS with such a young tank. Just be careful and remember patience is your friend.
Agreed. I wont recommend this type of tank SPS heavy bioload for the inexperienced in a nano tank. But once the coraline algae started taking off I figure the conditions were close to ideal. Already getting some vertical growth and base encrusting from the earlier SPS introduction.
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Old 06-17-2021, 01:09 AM
Carson. Carson. is offline
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Lol, I think your live rock is older than I am
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:22 PM
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Love mature live rock. I started as a total newbie with rock from a 12-year old tank that was shut down. No cycle and my tank just sprang to life. Best thing I ever bought.
Its fun to hear the excitement in your posts. I wish my daughter would share in my hobby but I think shes a little jealous of it haha.
I smell an upgrade in the not too distant future.
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