My 14 soon to be 15 year old son is about to have a birthday. He has been dying for a nano reef tank. He figures with a nano reef, he will limit himself to what he can and can't have. He is going major low budget (I gave him a 50 dollar guideline last christmas). He finally figured it out and with patience this is his idea.
Supplies he currently has access too. (Free)
1. 10 gal aga tank (Like new)
2. 20 gal high aga tank (used for growout, refugium, sump, scratched, hold water fine though)
3. Lee's Counter Current Protein Skimmer. (Used one but works fine in a sump. )
4. Marineland Powerhead (the penguin one with the filter, usta be mine but I didn't feel like it was enough flow at 160 gph plus the filter thingie was hard to hide)
5. 10-20 lbs of homemade argocrete.
6. Oystershell/southdown/caribsea aruba shell mix (about 50 or so pounds)
7. The 10 gal tank is acting as a calurpa refugium and already cycled with a 2 inch or so sandbed.
8. 60 Plant grow incandescent light in a Repti fixture.
9. 55 Watt AGA Power Compact (23.5 inches).
10. A DIY Overflow with hoses.
This is his plan: Build a stand that will accomidate his 10 gal tank on top with a 20 gal sump. Empty the 10 gal tank into the 20 gal. The Skimmer is rated for 30-60 gallons so it will not fit in a 10 gal tank without destroying a ton of space. However it does fit and is currently in the 20 gal sump.
Make a 4" DSB in the 20 gal tank. He will have to purchase a insump pump to pump up to the 10 gal and use the overflow. He will have to buy a 100 watt or so submersible heater
and we can build him a return spraybar easy enough.
We are mounting the incandescent lighting fixture to the top of the inside of his stand and using an alternating lighting sequence.
My wife and I have already pegged out what will be fragged and already spliced some "Shrooms" for his first corals along with about a pound of live sand and a live rock from each of our tanks. I figure the refugium is already cycled (I am growing calurepa and gracileria in it and it only has 5 hermits, and a turbo snail and about 3 astrea snails. I will add 10 nassiurs snails). But may go through one again as I add the 20 gal of water (going from10 gal to 30 gal volumne) and the extra sand toincrease the sand bed.
Out side of 5 astea snails and 5 hermits he wants a pair of neon gobies (my wife and I have aobut 10 between the two of us), a rainsford goby, and possibly a bicolor pseudochromis
or a strawberry pseudochromis. He figures that with a pair of cleaner shrimp the livestock will help maintain his tank free of pests.
One other possiblity is that he may run a powerfilter as polisher like I do on my sump every so often.
Any thoughts? (the 10 gal will have 55 watt pcs)