I have always been wanting to try my hand at saltwater and decided a nano reef for the bedroom would be delightful! Now most people say saltwater is hard and to start with the biggest tank possible.. I plan to debunk that myth that holds many pople back by doing a nono (questionably pico) reef as my first reef tank.
Ideally you would want to start with a marine tank.. for some strange reason i decided to go with a freshwater tank, this is likely because i had spent months dry starting a freshwater shrimp tank out of my actual marine tank the 24g lost shrimp city. The tank used there was an innovative marine nuvo 24 which is a beautiful bent glass aquarium. If i ever break it down.. i’m sure it will end up as a reef.
For now lets start small and begin our journey with the 46;l/12g Fluval edge
My journey started on Dec 15 2014:
I moved my shrimp and fish from my edge to the 24g lost shrimp city
12g two days ago
The shrimps/fish new home (ironically in a proper reef tank)
With the former inhabitants in there new home it was time to clean out the tank. I find using water and a 2″ stainless razor the quick and eay way to clean a tank.. about 20 minutes of cleaning the tank looked good as new.
For the heater i decided to go with the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75-Watt heater as its has a digital thermostat for added reliability and is super thin to take up minimal tank space.
I then added about half a bag of live sand. Being a small tank and myself being a tad impatient i decided live sand/live rock were a must to get the tank up and running in a reasonable amount of time. It only took about half a bag (10lbs) to fill the tank.
Next it was time to get some salt water added along with a powerhead. Now we get to wait for it to clear. (Should take 2-3 days)
…and the journey to the dark side begins!
In freshwater you have your fitler with ceramic media and sponges as your biological filter. In marine tanks the rocks is your main filter. You can start with cheaper base rock but you will be waiting along time for the rock to colonize with bacteria and become alive. Being such a small tank i decided to go all out and stock it with 100% live rock from the beginning.
I went a little overkill buying 20-25lbs of live rock through a classified add. The rock came form an establish tank and was fully live/cured! Perfect to jump start the cycle on a new tank.
Sadly the tank was overly cloudy and I couldn’t see what I was doing so I drained the tank and got to work stacking rock
Jan 12 / 2014
Its been just shy of a month since my journey began. Looking back at the original rockscape i see how bad my designs were.. I must have re-scaped the rocks atleast 50 times before i settled on something i like.. and in ta tank like this with only a small opening to work through it can be a huge PITA.. that being said im very pleased with the end design. When creating your scape be sure to leave space around the edges to properly clean the glass. I finally got my custom UltraBrite Led System which is a huge upgrade over the stock light.
About 5 days in and 50 re-arranges later I finally got a scape I’m happy with
I originally just balances the rocks in place and later used dabs of superglue gel and putty At the joints to stabilize my creation
A little over a week after I started my ammonia and nitrite were barely read able and I only had a bit of nitrate showing up. I did a small water change and added my first inhabitant
2 days before Christmas.. The next day my impatience got the best of me and I picked up a small purple bonsai sps and an alpha/omega zoa which came complete with a bonus bristle star wrapped around it!
Dec 26: Boxing Day! What a perfect day to go stock up on some reef goodies! I packed up the fiancé and headed out to find some new creatures to stock out little glass cube of reef. We ended up at an amazing little store run by a fellow reef enthusiast. My Boxing Day booty started off with an awesome little cleaner shrimp, 2 blue leg hermit crabs, a very entertaining porcilin crab and 2 coral frags
After about 30 minutes of drip acclimating everything it was time to introduce them to their new home
One of the amazing things about corals is many of them contain a floss-florescent pigment that makes them glow under the uv spectrum. I absolutely loved the glow and started to hunt down corals to light up my tank like a black light party at night!
I meet another local reefer who was kind enough to show me her tank and hook me up with some more frags to get me started!
It felt like time to add a small fish. One of my favourite finds so far is the yellow clown goby. This little guy is only about 1.5″ full grown and is a peaceful addition to a small reef. As a side note of caution he has been spotted nipping polyps on my purple bonsai sps
The same day I also picked up a green trumpet coral. It amazes me how it can be so small and hard out of water and it grows and moves once it’s i. The water and happy under the lights. Corals really are amazing little creatures
The porcilin crab absolutely loves that thing. He has claimed it as his new home and rest on the heads and spends most of his day filter feeding
Next I wanted move move by on the tank and added a head of hammer coral , a new zoa (Green Bay packers) and a mushroom
Last night I decided to get my little yellow clown goby a friend and picked up a baby perc clownfish. Very cute little guy!
I’m start to see lots of new growth and new palops. So exciting!
Time to add a little more color!
My latest Addition is a pink and white coco worm