Nano Reef for Beginners??

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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby tigermath » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:28 pm

Arnab, can you give some more details on your 1' cube,,even I am interested.
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby xarg0n » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:49 am

tigermath wrote:Arnab, can you give some more details on your 1' cube,,even I am interested.

On a separate thread :P
Thanks & Regards..

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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby xarg0n » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:05 am

If you are planning for sps then use two 70s than one 150 for even spread. But for lps, polyps, mushroom , zoas ..one 70 should be enough. If you use 5wpg then the scape should be done in a way that there are many shady areas, where the above mentioned corals can be kept. Also when you bring new corals you should light acclimate them over a period of one week. Means slowly move them to brighter area from darker areas. Else sensitive ones may bleach. Light acclimation is an absolute must for sps.
Thanks & Regards..

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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby Tirtha » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:20 pm

The more I am reading, I am becoming more restless. More questions,

1. Already thinking to move up to 30G. :P Will a 20G SUMp will be enough?
2. How about a DSB in the Sump along with DSB in the main tank?
3. Should I use Bio Ball in SUMP or Not?
4. What is the max and Minimum temp I should achieve in Reef?
5. Argonite with seeding LS or only LS?


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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby Achintya » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:32 pm

A very informative thread for me too. Will follow this thread..
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby xarg0n » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:59 pm

1. Already thinking to move up to 30G. :P Will a 20G SUMp will be enough?
>> Yes you can, there is no hard and fast rule for sump size. 1/3rd of DT tank ideally should be enough.
2. How about a DSB in the Sump along with DSB in the main tank?
>> DSB must have at least 2.5" depth to work perfectly. Berlin methods deploy 4" atleast. The sole purpose of DSB is to create an anaerobic zone for denitrification. If Depth is less, and fish disturbs it frequently the DSB will never actually mature. Also if a mature DSB gets disturbed and oxygenated water penetrates it, all the anaerobic colony will perish leaving loads of toxic metabolic wastes which may endanger your live stock. So setting up a DSB in DT is not a good idea unless you have a high tank and can have 4" depth/have any fish that regularly diggs sand like wrass and few damsels, sometimes even clowns. Better to have it in sump. But once its set , never disturb it.
3. Should I use Bio Ball in SUMP or Not?
>>Bio Balls can be used. they have great surface area to host aerobic bacteria. People say they are Nitrate factory. But Thats how you pay to ensure no NH4/NO2 which can kill fish, but not Nitrates. Controlling Nitrates is difficult but not impossible. I will cover that separately.
4. What is the max and Minimum temp I should achieve in Reef?
>>In my tank during winter Lowest temperature hits about 18*C, never seen any discomfort for any of the livestocks. But some say better to stay above 16. I never experienced below 16, so cant actually tell you a perfect lowest. But Perfect highest is 27, and better to stay within 27. beyond 30, you may not be able to save any corals at all. Few hardy species may still refuse to perish if the photo period is kept within 4 hours a day.( This is assuming all other critical parameters as constant while only temperature is variable)
5. Argonite with seeding LS or only LS?
>> Aragonite is needed indeed. There are live sands available as well, those Aragonite come with water in the bags. Costs about 1250 for 10 kilo. But the tragedy is dry aragonite costs 150 a kilo. Aragonite has a natural buffering tendency , so your kH will have very little fluctuations. Do not skip Aragonite. Also due to white granular surface they scatter the light quite well, so shady areas get better light which helps any low light corals for eg, mushrooms, LPS etc
Thanks & Regards..

Sourav...

"If you want to do something in a better way, do it yourself !" --Nepoleon Bonaparte
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby krishnendu » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:10 am

Feels good when a planted guy moves to marine :D :D :D :ymhug: :ymhug: :ymhug:

There might be many contradictory suggestions I may mention, but those are from my experience you may ignore.

Size of the tank
You can go with 1feet cube, 2feet or 20 gallon tank or smaller size tank.. but smaller the size of your system the more it will tend to destabilize in future. Choose the largest possible water volume keeping in mind your budget and the asthetic you are planning to.

IMO choose a wide tank >= 18inch it will help you in scaping the tank to allow proper space for water movement. Another point is height, most of the invertebrates which we keep in our tank are collected from >18inc below water level, so it is recommended to atleast keep your tank 18 inch ht. It will also help to scape your tank.

Sump

The most important part of reef tank is sump.

Size of the sump - The bigger the better. Try to built the largest possible sump you can accommodate in your space. Keep the design of the sump as simple as possible. It will help you in maintenance of the same in longer run.

Design suggestion:

Keep the mechanical filtration part above the sump, the water from the tank shall pass through mechanical filter media to the sump.

Make the first chamber of the sump with bio balls or bathing scrubber :D ... most of the snails lay eggs on this.

Second chamber for skimmer, this is the heart of any reef tank. Keep enough space for a in-sump skimmer .

SKIMMER Many people may suggest you to go without skimmer for small tank, regular water change will do....... but its not practical. I have tried and studied with different set ups with skimmer WO skimmer, but belive me the better the performance of your skimmer the more stable your tank will be in longer run.

Third chamber for DSB - Deep Sand Bed

DSB This is the place where beneficial critters grow apart from biological filtration. It should be approx 4inch in depth spread over minimum 1sq feet area. Water level over this chamber should not be more than 2 inches , it should be designed properly so that water flows over the surface of the DSB.

Fourth chamber for return pump.

Cont........
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby mithun » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:27 pm

wait a minute guys.. hold your horses... What do you mean by 26 gallon nano reef?

i havent seen anybody in kolkata or otherwise in India to maintain a "reef" in less than 50 gallon.. forget beginners.. Reef means assortment of hard and soft corals.. you cant really maintain that in 26 gallon.. def not for beginners..

And if you want to start a less than 50 gallon marine tank, only way to go for beginners is skipping corals altogether.. go for FOWLR or FOWDR with a few button polyps and mushrooms and anemone.

in FOWLR and FOWDR you can really skip all those DSB, ATS etc hitech stuffs... Just got for a well designed sump with a good skimmer, monthly 30% WC and you are sorted.. keep a fine sandbed on 2-3" in the tank and go for either 70Watt 10000K MH or a few t5HO with actinic suppliment for better coraline growth.

Having said that, you cant really feel the charm of Marine in FOWLR .. if you plan bigger I would be glad to help ;)
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby el batty » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:49 pm

kinda agree with mithun da, reef is something totally different from having a few corals in tank...tirtha da, i would also recommend to start a FOWLR and eventually when you succumb to the marine charm, then upgrade to a proper big tank and all necessary hardwares. Check if you can manage to sustain a fowlr, then upgrade to reef.
It sounds tempting, agreed...but its really hard to maintain a marine tank properly if its small. I would definitely suggest against reef for you, but fowlr and maybe some mushrooms.

P.S: All the stories about mushroom sustaining 30 temp is utter "poop"...was brainwashed by some sellers with "big big consignment" and bought corals without chiller...literally all melted. Kesto da saved my brown zoa colony and then i bought chiller. I recall in Bangalore you can use fan to keep temp <28..if so, go for polyps else its a wastage of money.
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Re: Nano Reef for Beginners??

Postby mithun » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:05 pm

where did that like button go? :D

okay here is some basic thing you must have to maintain reef.. in layman's terms..
1. 50+ gallons water volume as a minimum
2. CHILLER is absolutely must pretty much anywhere in India other than hillstations (you tank should be at 25C.. period )
3. A very good skimmer (rated double of your actual water volume)
4. Lights (WPG doesnt matter, more the better, blue/purple-er the better)
5. Strict cycles of dosing, maintenance.. A reef is like a woman in PMS.. one day's carelessness/laziness would need months to recover.
6. Some way of reducing phosphates (ATS/Phosban reactors/GFO etc )
7. Lots of patience.. Setting up reef needs time.. atleast an year before you can say your tank is running OK now.. "successful" is a myth in reef.
8. A Reef tank is like a lifetime project.. if you are starting reef plan early and clearly.. minor upgrades are fine(like going for LED from MH).. but major upgrades are impossible.. A bigger tank would need completely different set of equipments.. so dont think I will buy a cheap skimmer now and will but buy a better later.. Buy the best NOW or wait before you start your tank. Its not a seasonal tank like planted.. you should plan for couple of years ahead.
9. Time.. make sure you can give atleast 30-60 mins a day to your tank every day. That includes checking everything is running ok, tuning tens of different knobs (you will never be 100% satisfied with tuning), all livestocks are fine and dosing/maintenance.
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