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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Trying to start a 10 gallon nano reef! (HELP?!)

    Before someone even thinks of saying I should start off with freshwater, I already did and have two fw aquariums running right now.

    I know some basic stuff about marine tanks thanks to a friend on another forum.

    This is some stuff I saved to my computer for my marine tank as a reference:

    True blue actinics (Neon blue lighting) (all corals need this)

    Large Polyp Stony (lps)
    Small polyp stony (sps)
    ^Both^ need metal halides for lighting

    soft coral
    ^^ needs power compact (pc) lighting

    power filter

    skimmer (puts tiny bubbles in the water to attach to debris to float to the top so it can be skimmed out)

    power head

    live rock (1-1.5lbs per gallon)
    live sand (1-1.5lbs per gallon)

    hydrometer (measures salt content) (should be 1.023-1.026)

    add 10 lbs of live rock to the tank and 1-2 inches of live sand. Get some instant ocean salt mix and a hydrometer.
    mix the salt in the water till you read about 1.019-1.022 on the the hydrometer.
    have the filter running on the tank and the nitrogen cycle is the same as freshwater

    Is there anything else I'll need? What type of coral do you recommend? What kind of invertebrates and fish do you recommend? Is there anyone that can sell me some live rock or live sand for cheap?

    Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks to all that help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chujai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    i wouldnt say you NEED MH for most LPS, ive done fine with frogspawns, torches, candy cane, bubble with power compact before and now T5... some SPS will do fine under T5 as well like monti digi .... i have a frag of those doing fine....

    i would highly recommend getting a good RO/DI unit...

    i dont think you need to have a filer, if you using live rocks and enough of it, you dont need to have another filter ...

  3. #3
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    not a bad start... salinity should be 1.023 to 1.026
    get a refractometer, alot more precise, not that expensive.
    power filter.. don't need, skimmer absolutely
    RO/di is great
    your 10g nano could easily take 20lbs of LR.

    be carefull on your fish load, not as same as freshwater... much less fish in a reef tank.

    your power filter could run carbon and polifilters.
    the carbon should be charged about every month, filter media every week or less. or only carbon.

    water changes every week if you can, bi-montly.
    get/build a sump for your tank for added water volume and to stuff all your equipment like heaters and skimmers in it.

    remember, no stupid questions.. so ask and read alot
    thats what the board is for.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Post My 10 Gallons Nano

    I'll take a picture of my 10 gallons nano that has been running for a while.

    -Tank is 20" x 10" x 10"
    -PC lamps 20W 50/50
    -Aquaclear 150 Hang on back filter (Running with Carbon and Nitrate Sponge)
    -Aquaclear 20 Power Head
    ***Will be adding the new TAAM RIO NANO SKIMMER (Hang on back)

    -25 pounds of Live Rock
    -10 pounds of Caribsea Sand
    -2 Clown Fish
    -1 Fire Shrimp
    -5 Blue knukkle hermit crab
    -1 Red Scarlet Hermit crab
    -4 Crown Snails
    -1 Serpent Sea Star
    -1 Porcelain crab

    -Blue Zoo's
    -Red Zoo's
    -Green Zoo's
    -Purple Zoo's
    -Orange Yuma
    -Clove Coral
    -Green/Yellow gonipora
    -Orange Carnation Coral
    -Purple Mushroom
    -Red Mushroom
    -Brown Mushroom
    -Autralian Gorgonian Frag
    -Red Bali Coco Worm

    **Feeding 2 time a week with Frozen Brine Shrimp with Cyclopez
    **Feeding 1 time a week with New Life Spectrum Dry Food
    **Adding 1 time a week Iodine
    **Adding 1 time a week Kalkwasser (in small qty)
    **Adding 1 time a week Human Vitamin C in powder (Buy at pharmacy)

    Doing 10% of water change each 2 weeks.

    Temperature: 78F - 80F

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I just bought these items today:

    Two 5 lb bags of live rock
    2 bags of oceanic sea salt mix that make 5 gallons each
    Power head for up to 30 gallons
    Power filter for up to 20 gallons

    Can someone explain to me what ro/di is?

  6. #6
    ijo is offline
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Its a water filter... takes regular tap water and pushes it through a bunch of filters to remove the bads from it... with a tank your size I don't think you need an ro/di unit. Buy bottled water from your local grocery store(I think the distiled water comes with a red cap)... a 5 gallon jug will last you a few months of water changes.


  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Ok thanks. I'll just buy one if algae becomes a problem. I'm also thinking of doing soft corals because of my budget.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    A really good piece of advice I haven't seen mentioned yet, keep a close eye on your tank and keep up on your water changes and maintenance. Bad things happen quickly in this hobby, and when you're dealing with a 10 gallon water volume this is going to be even more extreme.

    I also agree with adding a sump if possible, I have a 20g nano, the tank is drilled and I have a 7.5 gallon acrylic sump, the extra water volume does help, not to mention I think it's pretty darn cool. Don't bother trying to drill the tank yourself though, it's not worth it for all it costs to have it done.

  9. #9
    Member NanoReefaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I'd stay away from the TAAM Rio nano skimmer. They're in the same class as a Fission, Prizim, or Sapphire nano skimmer. If you want a 'better' skimmer go with a Tunze 9002 which can be modular or a AquaC nano skimmer. I'd suggest a Deltec MCE300 but you seem to be wanting to stay out of the higher end equipment. You may fair better with a fuge, preferably above tank. If you can put a sump in the mix even better. Just don't forget to size your equipment for total water volume and not just the display size.

    If you do end up getting the sump (or fuge) return the power filter. You can run a sock and carbon in the sump. Don't get hermits, they're little more than eye candy. A properly assorted snail CuC will do the same job and more. There is also no 100% reef safe hermit. Some are more reef safe than others but even then individual hermits will also vary in temperament (and taste).

    Being a nano you really should keep up on two important things; water changes and top off's. Your tank will shift in SG as the water evaporates which will led to instability and possibly coral loss. Top offs should only be done with RODI or distilled water. Tap water isn't up to the same purity level that our reefs require. Water changes are essential in a nano, more so if you have lps or sps. The water change will remove toxins and waste before it has a chance to effect the water quality. It will also replenish chemicals like calcium and iodine in the water, hopefully to their desired levels. Don't forget though, not all salt mixes are created equal nor are any two batches have the same levels. Always test a new bag/box/pail of salt before adding it to the tank.

    Also, as many have said before; If you don't or can't test for it don't add it. I'm not pointing fingers but as an example if you don't test for iodine to see how much of a correction, or even if your levels require one, it would just be plain stupid to dose it and 'guess' how much your tank needs.
    You only do what you know because you don't know better.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Thanks for all the info, guys.

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