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  1. #1
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    25Gal Nano Reef Question

    He guys,

    This is my first attempt at a reef tank so i will give you the basic setup.

    - 25Gal tank
    - 20lbs Fiji dry rock
    - 10lbs Fiji live rock
    - 3 1/2 inch deep sugar fine sand bed w/ 3 cups of sand from an established tank
    - 2 Kor 1 power heads
    - 50/50 bulb for light

    I started off with just the sand, dry rock and water for about a week with the PH's running then added the 10lbs of LR and the few cups of sand from an established tank. I checked my levels every 2 days and saw a definite Ammonia spike then drop off to 0, then a Nitrite spike and drop off to 0 and now my Nitrates are sitting around 10ppm. Gravity has been stable at 1.024.

    I have algae growing on the sides of my tank and have tons of copods running around not only my live rock but my dry rock as well(which has changed color to match the live rock i added. i ran a few 25% water changes and tested a few days after and all of the levels stayed where they should be. Added 4 of the smallest blue legged hermits i had ever seen and checked my levels after a week and all stayed in line. Nitrates came up a bit to 15ppm but did a 50% water change and all settled back inline.

    Tank has been running for 5 weeks now and so far i have been happy with it but am wondering .....what next. I have read more then my share on forums and a lot is opinion which is great. I am thinking i am might be safe to add a few fish and see what happens but i also don't want to jump the gun too soon. Ultimately i want to have 2 clowns, 1 other fish (not sure yet), a cleaner shrimp, urchin and some low light corals.

    I know i need a bigger cleanup crew (since i only have the 4 blue legs) but i am not sure if i should add the 2 clowns first, or add few corals, or expand the cleanup crew.

    Any advice you could give on maybe where i should go next would be a great help.

    Thank you

    Jordin

  2. #2
    liv
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    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
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    check amonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates..
    once they are all undetectable or close to, your good to add something else.
    Snails will be a must.. start with 20 snails.. a mix of 4-5 different species and get them to clean up the glass. check if snails are doing ok, they are a good indication of water quality. after that, you should start slow.. maybe add your single fish first before adding a pair of clowns. whats your water temp at ? You running a protein skimmer ?

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

  3. #3
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    to Aquaria Canada


    i agree, going to fast right now will only hurt. because of the small water volume and minimal livestock, i would consider doing a very large water change ( ~ 100% ), scrub all the LR and give a little more time. adding any livestock ( other than some CUC ) while you already have NO3 (nitrates ) will only add more nitrates, allowing more algae to grow, increasing your aggravation level, etc..........


    another thing to consider now is your sandbed. i would recommend either drastically reducing it ( 1/2" ) or increasing it ( 4"+ ) and fully being prepared to maintain a DSB. in a tank your size and this being your first attempt at a reef i would suggest reducing and possibly increasing the grain size ( seaflor ). the other sand will keep until you're ready to upgrade ( won't be long :b7: , we're always looking to upgrade )

    IMO, as LIV said, grab some snails... cerith, astraea, nassarius, just a few of each and let them get to work. giving it a little more time now will save you so much aggravation down the road.

    what water are you using??
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  4. #4
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    Thank you for the replies. As i said i am not in any hurry to rush anything i like taking my time. All the dry rock is starting to come alive as evidence of the copods running over them and the change in color which is a good thing. I rather enjoy just staring at life starting grow.

    Do you think that going with that many snails is too much for such a small tank? being only 5 weeks young i dont want to run the risk or starving/crowding them in the small tank. Maybe go 10 to start then let things settle then move another 10 in there? or you think to drop all 20 to start?

    For the other questions i am running RO/DI for water and the temp has been steady at 79 since day 1. Since it is a small tank at this point my lighting is limited so i am running a 50/50 reef bulb 8 hours a day on a timer and checking Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and phosphates and all have been at great levels according to what others have said they should be at.

    I am curious with the comments on the sand bed. running 3 1/2 - 4 " of sand i thought would be sufficient for a DSB. A4Twenty - Are you suggesting a courser sand bed to allow more bacteria to get caught up and grow?

    Thank you

  5. #5
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordin View Post
    Maybe go 10 to start then let things settle then move another 10 in there?

    your CUC will have to grow and change as your tank requirements do, so yes. look at where you're having problems and grab a few snails to target that problem. also get some extra empty shells or your hermits might / will ( and may still ) attack your snails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordin View Post
    I am curious with the comments on the sand bed. running 3 1/2 - 4 " of sand i thought would be sufficient for a DSB. A4Twenty - Are you suggesting a courser sand bed to allow more bacteria to get caught up and grow?
    sorry for the confusion, i was suggesting the coarser sand ( SFG ) if you reduced to a SSB, this will allow you to vacuum the sandbed to keep it clean. for a DSB the SFO is the right choice.

    actually, the smaller grain will allow for much more surface area for bacteria to grow than the larger grain.

    4" is right on the lower limit for a DSB, most will recommend 4" - 6" as a minimum. the reasoning is that in a DSB we are looking to create an anaerobic ( low oxygen ) zone at the bottom of the sandbed. the first few inches will remain aerobic due to the proximity of oxygenated water as well as snails, worms burrowing. so by going with the minimum depth, you will only be creating a minimal anaerobic zone, which will have little affect on your N03.

    HTH
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

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