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  1. #1
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    Is a sw nano right for me?

    I've been doing the fresh water thing for a few years now. I'm familiar with most aspects - but far from being an expert. Then again, who is? I guess that's why they call this a hobby?

    Anyway... I find myself getting bored with my fresh water tanks a lot. I recently got into discus and although they're GORGEOUS fish they are really quite boring and more apt for a large, built-in display or something to that affect. So I'm thinking about selling them all off. And I think the only fresh water fish I'll be keeping is my Sanchezi piranha.

    I am thinking, however, about getting a sw nano going from the procedes of the sale of the discus. I think sw - especially starting from scratch - might be more interesting. See, the thing is, I'm not impatient. But I get bored. So once the fw tank is all setup, the fish are all in there, etc etc, there's nothing left to do. Which is also why I end up tearing my tanks apart about once a month. Just to have something to do. With sw there are so many aspects to keep me busy and interested. I think it could hold my interest for a lot longer.

    In terms of what size of nano - I really wouldn't want to go beyond 20 gallons. I know - some people think small is impossible. But I've done a lot of reading and it's what I'd like to attempt. So either a 10 gallon or 20 gallon. I'm thinking a 20 gallon, though. Then the question would be 20 high or 20 long. Any pluses or minuses there? I'd be buying the tank brand new from the store to ensure good condition...

    In terms of lighting. Any suggestions? I have a 55w cf ballast. It's a 30" oceanic one with the highly polished reflecter on the inside. Looks like a mirror. Would it be possible for me, perhaps, to retrofit another 55w in there and do 110? Would this be adeuqate lighting for a 20 gallon long? (The size I would like to go with, I think.) Or should I just abandon the retrofit idea and go for a new light altogether... I've read time and time again that Coralife are great. Suggestions?

    I have a powerhead sitting around that a friend gave to me recently. It's an Aquaclear 50. Apparently it has a flowrate of 270 US gph. Would this be adequate for flow? I don't really know here... I'm clueless when it comes to powerheads.

    And in terms of perhaps doing a mini-fuge of some type. I have multiple Aquaclear filters kicking about and getting an AC500 wouldn't even be a problem. I've heard of some people collection live rock and rubble pieces and sticking them in here for some added biological filtration. Is this worth it?

    Anyway... I'm sure I forgot to ask some of the questions that I wanted to. But that's fine.

    Any answers or pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated.

    Thanks! :biggrinbo

  2. #2
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Welcome to Aquaria!

    You'll find many of us here nano reef tanks...some as small as 5-10gal.
    I have a 20gal at work and it has a standard elcipse lid with the regular lights (one was changed to atinic). No mechinical filters, just live rock and a cleaner crew.

    For flow, you want to aim for a minimum of 10x. So, for a 20g, 200gph.
    With the 300gph you have, you should be ok. More wouldn't hurt, but depends on the type of corals you want to keep.

    Lots of great help and info on this site. You got questions, we have answers (sounds like someone's slogan.....).
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    if u retrofit ur lighting, 110w is more than plenty for ur tank, u just gonna make sure its the right specturm or colour temperature

    nano to me = < 10g
    mini's are 10-30g

    go with a 20 long if you can, high tanks light is harder to penetrate to depths.
    and logn tanks is easier to aquascape IMO, also more room to work with

    for the fuge, the idea is to get the AC500 with a DSB (deep sand bed) to produce nitrifying bacteria, LOW flow modding may be required, u will also need a small lamp to grow macro algae in there, as for coral rubble, u can skip that if u don't want to do it, DSB and macro is the important part of a fuge

    read everywhere and get a basis of what u need to know to set up a tank
    anyway ask lots of questions, welcome to the board

    what kind of discus u got? i might be in the market for some!

  4. #4
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    if it was me i would go with the 20 g long. u dont need as strong of lighting to reach the bottom since its shallow. it also gives fishes more room to swim. your power head will be fine. dont forget the AC filters provid flow also. as far the lighting situation not sure about this whole retro fitting maybe someone who knows will chime in.

  5. #5
    Senior Member StephG's Avatar
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    First thing is you did the right thing by joining a marine forum such as AC.
    Second thing is you need to dertermine what you want to keep before buying any equipment or you'll find yourself upgrading alot. Figure out if you want a reef or if you want fish only. Also if you don't want any equipment showing in your main display you'll want to consider a sump/refugium combo to put pumps and heaters in there. Base your equipment on what you plan to keep. Read as much as you can (nitrogen cycle, refugium, compatibilities between corals and fish, etc ...)

    There are alot of people on these boards that successfully keep nano reefs. They're not really hard if you've done the right planning and don't expect things to happen overnight.

    Also if this is your first venture into salt water ... maybe pick up a good book. Don't be afraid to ask I (or anyone on these boards) will gladly answer even the simplest question.

    Ohh yeah and if I had to start over I would definatly go with a 20 Long instead of a 10G. Go with the biggest aquarium you can afford I'd love to add more fish to my tank but because it's so small I can't.

    Good luck,

    Steph

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone... I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the 20 gallon long.

    How many wpg should I be aiming for on the tank? And do I need it on there from the get go? The corals are what really need the special lighting, aren't they?

    As for the AC-fuge idea. In terms of providing light. Would a 7w cf work? Or would it depend on the spectrum of the lighting again?

    I need to learn a lot about lighting...

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    What I wanna keep?

    I'd like to have some simple corals. I've read zoos and mushrooms, for example, are pretty easy. And they look nice. So I'd be content with some of that to start. Mainly lower light corals. For fish I don't know what I'd want. Maybe a clown of some type? (How typical.) Nothing too demanding or that gets too large. I'd have to do some research on the types of fish... But what interests me beyond the fish is all the cool shrimp and crabs and things that one can get. Those are interesting... I've also seen a couple interesting gobies in my looking about that seem as though they'd fit into a 20 gal alright.

    I wouldn't much care about hiding all the equipment in a separate fuge, either...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    7w would be ok for ur fuge, spectrum doesn't matter TOO much cause ur growing just macro, so anything between 6500K and 10000K is fine. go for a nice full spectrum.

    Don't use watts per gallon as indication of light... just... don't...
    its a poor rule of thumb. anyway... what u should be looking at is intensity.

    actually a easy way to describe this would be Incandescent vs flourecent.

    flour. has less wattage but greater output.

    if you retrofit ur light to 2 55w PC (compact flour.) I would recommend 1x10000k and 1xtrue actinic, that'll give u a good balance and intensity to grow most soft corals, LPS, and maybe some SPS though i wouldn't try SPS for a beginner

    as for animals... really its personal preference, as long as they won't kill each other

    i'd look into gobies and clown... easy to care and funny looking

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    see with my tank i have 65 w total in a 10 and i havent had any problems so far. mind u i dont plan on putting sps in there. as for shrimps i ordered a shrimp goby pair from ivan u should read up on that. they are buddies that help eachother out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    The prospect of a new tank is always so exciting! I bought a 32G Hagen kit four months ago. So far, it's fish-only. I run an AC200 & a Fluval 2 (internal filter for circulation). Fish that do well in smaller aquariums (and that suit my taste) include: Purple Basslets, Firefish, Six Line Wrasses, Bi-colour Angels & the list goes on... A website that may be of interest to you is liveaquaria.com. I'm a complete newb & find the many stats quite helpful as well as the "Compatibility Chart."
    kate

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